Friday, October 28, 2011


Fall colors
It rained yesterday here in Henderson.  The over night temperature was 48.  I took a walk in the rain which might seem foolish to some but after the long dry summer a cool walk in the rain was refreshing.  I surveyed the property that we own and it is nothing short of a jungle.  I sure would like to clear the land and make it look nice. 
Janie and I went to see mother at 5:30 and she was a completely different person.  She was happy and laughing.  She told us several stories about what happened to her during the day and had us both laughing.  She is glad that she came to the hospital saying she feels so much better.  The nurses said they were amazed by her progress.  They were impressed that she was so considerate and helpful with others.  She has been going to the group sessions and has enjoyed them.  When other patients would need some help mother would get up and go to their aide.  She told us of a man sitting next to her at lunch who kept trying to get the food off of her plate and he would be trying to pick up food that was not there from off the table.  She felt sorry for him.  Mother says she sees the need to get out of her room and mingle with others and plans to do just that when she gets back to the nursing home.  She says she is going to eat with the others and go each day to the common area to do her sewing.  We were so excited to see her laugh.  She did not have her bottom teeth in so I did not take a picture of her this time.  I want to thank everyone for their prayers for her. 
The fence I erected last week
Janie and I went back to the cottage and watched the Rangers loose the sixth game of the world series.  We enjoyed watching the game, having just come from mother who seemed to be doing so well.  Today I have to repair two linking faucets.  One in the bathroom at my mother-in-law's house and the other in the kitchen here.  If I can't repair them I will replace them.  We plan to visit with mother again this evening at 5:30 and will head back to Hillsboro Saturday morning.  God bless you.
Janie making Frito Pie on a cold autumn day at the cottage

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Me and my mother at the hospital in Kilgore
The crows are really in a talkative mood this mild autumn morning as are the blue jays.  The wind is blowing and it sure looks like rain.  I can understand why my parents were glad to move from their apartment in the city to this little house in the woods.  It is so quiet and peaceful here.  This house has had many names.  Usually we call it by the name of the last person who lived in it.  It was called Stacie and Scott's house then Jason and Angie's house now it is called Mamaw's house.  Janie and I have taken to staying here when we come for our weekly visits to check on and help our mothers.  I suppose it will come to be known as Janie and Paul's house now.  That does not seem to fit since we consider Hillsboro our home so Janie and I have taken to calling it "The Cottage."  Bethsalem would be Hebrew for house of peace and this morning that name seems appropriate. 
Janie and her mother at County Line Church (38 years later)
Janie and I went to see mother yesterday at the hospital in Kilgore.  The staff said she had been crying some but when we arrived she seemed fine.  I could tell she was glad to see familiar faces.  We embraced and then were taken to a conference room where we were given an update on her status.  They had asked her a lot of questions about her family past and present.  Some of the information she had given them was incorrect and so we set the record strait.  She has an infection (UTI) and they are treating her with antibiotics.  This alone can cause mental problems.  They have taken her off some of her meds and put her on others.  So far mother has not refused to take her meds but she has refused to participate in the group activities.  She seems to be clear about where she is and why. 
The last thing mother said to me before we took her back to her room was that she wanted to move back to her "little house."  Janie explained to her why that would not be a good thing for her and mother acknowledged that she was right.  I asked mother if she remembered the time when I was six years old and I ran away from home.  She smiled and said yes then began to tell me the story.  I told her that she came and brought me back home because she new I could not take care of myself and I was not thinking clearly.  It was right for her to do what was best for me.  In the same way we are doing what is best for her.  She seemed content and peaceful when we left her.  I intend to return to see her again today and have been praying for her.
We took my mother-in-law to her church Wednesday night and enjoyed the services there.  I missed being at our church and am really looking forward to being back in the pulpit Sunday.  God bless you.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Me and Jonathan
We already have more than 4000 miles on our new truck.  It seems like we live on the road.  Our services were good on Sunday.  I preached from the first verse of the Song of Solomon.   Doctor Roy Culley told me that he thought I had bit off more than I could chew when I chose this book for my doctoral thesis and I fully understand why he feels that way.  It is a tough book. 
Me and my son-in-law at his new farm
Monday we went to Palestine to see Naomi and have lunch with Sarah.  We then headed down to Hardin to see our grandkids home school cooperative program.  It was really good.  Joshua acted in two skits that were really funny.  Ruth played in a stomp band that was very impressive.  Hannah played the part of the only adult survivor of the Alamo.  It was a great night.  Right before the program my mother called me saying she wanted me to come help her move back home.  I told her I would talk to her about that on Thursday.  We ended up driving to Henderson and spending the night there so I could go see my mother Tuesday morning.  Steve and Teresa met me there and mother was in a bad mood.  She had been refusing her medications and she seemed to think they were bringing her a pill to make her feel better.  I went to check on it with my brother and they brought her pills to her and she took them under extreme protest.  She threw the medicine cup at the nurse and told her to get out.  After about an hour she was feeling better and seemed more like herself when her "happy pill" kicked in.  They came that afternoon and took her to the hospital in Kilgore for a mental evaluation.  She will be there for two weeks.  I intend to go see her this afternoon.  I spoke with the nurse last night and he said mother was doing fine and had been very cooperative. 
I was texting with my youngest daughter just now.  She had a big scratch on her arm from a turkey attack.  I offered to buy one of her turkeys and she was agreeable.  She said I could have one for free if they could watch me catch it.  I think I'll just pay the going price and forgo the spectacle for I am sure the bird would not be cooperative.  God bless you.

Saturday, October 22, 2011


Naomi in Papa's hands
Janie and I got very wet when I broke the PVC water pipe I was working on. She was watching me work when the pipe broke and the spray of water hit her in the side of her head and soaked my shirt hitting me square in the chest. I ran outside, while being hit square in the back by the stream of water, to shut it off. We got the mess cleaned up and the pipe repaired. This all happened at my mother's house on Thursday.  I got to thinking the other day that my parents lived in this house for 9 years saving them $54,000 in rent based on what they were paying in rent for their apartment in Longview. This benefit was afforded them by the one child out of five whom they charged rent for living with them while he was working and saving for college.  No complaint though for they charged $35.00 a month which included food and laundry services which was not a bad deal.  Later my dad stopped charging me rent since I was planning to move back to Texas to attend college.  A few years before he died my dad said he did not remember charging me rent.  I can understand his not remembering for there are things that my kids remember growing up of which I have no memory.  This is the reason I like blogging.  It helps my short memory.
Justin and Sarah's new home
Friday we were called upon to babysit with Naomi and we jumped at the chance.  We dropped what we had planned for the day and got right over to Palestine after our visit with mother and her doctor.  Mother was in real bad shape mentally when we arrived for our appointment with her and the doctor.  Steve was in the room when we arrived and mother was weeping.  Mother would not be reasoned with and so Janie went to get the nurse to see if they could give her something to help her out.  Janie returned with the doctor in tow.  The doctor could not get anything out of mother so she asked to meet with us back at the nurses station.  We had a good discussion with her about mother's condition and agreed to stop giving her the two medicines that treat her memory loss.  She changed some of her other medicines and will evaluate her in a week to see if changes need to be made.  Today mother is doing very well so maybe the change is starting to work.
We went to the district ladies auxiliary meeting today and had a really good time.  Janie and I were the only ones who attended from our church but the total attendance was 35.  The skit, sermon, and food were all real good.  Tomorrow I will try again to preach the first actual sermon from the Song of Solomon.  Janie and I are going to sing a special before the sermon.  God bless you.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A First

Me doing my clerk job at our local Baptist Assc. meeting
Sunday morning I experienced a first.  I was about 5 minutes into the sermon when a lady in the congregation passed out.  One of our members is an RN and she came to her aid.  They laid her on the floor and our music director called 911.  She had no pulse and was not breathing.  After they got her on the floor she came to but her blood pressure was still very low.  The sound man called the radio station and had them to take back control of the broadcast.  The ambulance arrived and by the time they got her loaded up and taken out we only had about 10 minutes left in the service.  We went ahead and dismissed. 
It has been a busy week.  Janie and I went down to Waco for a surgery on Monday and then again on Tuesday.  Today we went to Dallas for a surgery there.  Tonight we head for Henderson after our services and I have an appointment with my mother's doctor on Friday morning at 10:00 to review her medicines and overall health.  I have several projects I want to try to get done while we are in Henderson.  God bless you.  

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Work Day

One of our deacons replacing water damaged Sheetrock
We had a work day today at the church and there was a good turnout.  We got a lot of work done and it was work that really needed to be done.  The windows got a face lift with replacement of rotted boards and fresh paint.  They look really nice now.  I started to replace some Sheetrock on the ceiling when one our newest deacons showed up and I turned it over to him.  He did and outstanding job.  I made two runs to the lumber yard for materials and then a run over to the Pizza place to feed at least some of the workers.  We could all say without exception that we were tired by the end of the day. 
Another deacon with his daughter
I visited my mother on Thursday after first stopping at the nurses station to get the scoop on mother's nausea and ordeal.  Armed with the truth I went to mother's room to hear her story.  She had a visitor in her room when I arrived and the wheel chair riding lady seemed to be causing mother to smile so I did not want to interrupt.  The lady heard me approach and quickly excused herself to let me visit.  Mother began to cry and was convinced that no one had been to see her when she had been so sick.  She said that not even the staff and looked in on her or tired to help her.  This was not the truth but since mother can not remember what happened more that 24 hours ago it keeps her upset.  I proved to her that she had been checked on and that people had been to see her.  Once she was convinced of the truth she was fine.  We had a good visit and I left her laughing and feeling good.  The problem with her condition is that tomorrow she will not remember my visit nor our conversation.  I visited her 3 times on Thursday but today she does not remember it. 
Friday I went fishing for 3 hours with my brother, Steve.  We had a good time.  He caught about 8 and I caught 1.  The sunburn was worth it.  God bless you.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Sweet and Sleepy

Naomi, #11, mad according to mommy but sweet
Sarah took this picture and sent it to my cell phone.  She said Naomi was mad but I sent her back a text saying she was sweet.  We will try to go by and see her the end of this week.  She is doing really well and Sarah got good report from her doctor yesterday.
Stacie went to the doctor yesterday and she is due to have her sixth child on May 24th.  This will be our 12th grandchild.  We are truly blessed.  We will be going down to Hardin to visit with them on the 24th of this month. 
Elijah, #9, to sleepy to eat
I began the series of sermons on the Song of Songs this past Sunday morning.  I am looking forward to the series and am excited about the first 2 sermons.  I fully expect to be just as excited about the rest of them.  There should be about 30 sermons in all from The Song.
My mother has been having some problems and I am told she was sick yesterday.  I got a phone call from the nursing home at 2:00 this morning saying they gave her a shot for her nausea and that she was now sleeping soundly.  They believe that it was recent change in her medicine that caused this nausea so they are going to consult her doctor this morning.  I am going to see her on Thursday.  I have several items of business to take care of in Henderson while Janie is taking her mother to the doctor on Thursday and to the hairdresser on Friday.
Me waiting to preach my first sermon from "The Song"
It is raining this morning and we need every drop. The 4 inches we got last weekend was really good and it looks like we may be getting another inch or two right now.  I praise God for the rain!  Our new truck is really nice.  I am going to make Janie a chifferobe and we went to Lowes and got the materials for it.  It was nice to have a truck to haul things. The gas millage in the truck is about 19 mpg but the comfort is worth it.  God bless you.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

My Favorite Plumber

Lunch with Naomi
On Wednesday we had lunch with Naomi and Sarah.  She is a sweet baby and is doing very well.  We enjoyed the hour or so we were there and after leaving them we made it home in time for our evening services.  The attendance was low but we had a good service. 
Parsonage Plumbing Problems
Today I helped Sullivan Supply with a computer problem and helped my favorite plumber fix a leak inside the wall of our guest bathroom.  He had to cut an access hole in both of our closets.  The pipe coming from the lavatory was in real bad shape and had to be replaced.  He made quick work of it and this evening I patched the access holes.  It was a big mess.  I started the morning working on my thesis and the sermon for Sunday but that lasted only about an hour when I got the call from Sullivan Supply and from the plumber.  My day has not gone as I had planned but then it rarely does. 
I just watched the "180 Movie" (33 minutes long) and would recommend that everyone do so.  It is outstanding.  God bless you.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Channel Cats

Number 2 catfish
It was a quarter of a mile walk from the truck to the fishing spot.  Ten or fifteen casts of an artificial bait were all unproductive.  The shadows were long being cast by objects standing before an amazing sunset.  Over on the far shore a hawk swooped down to the water and rose majestically with a small perch in his grasp. Smelly catfish bait yields two small Channel catfish from the first pole while the second pole is armed with every other lure in the box with no result.  Each of the two catfish had to wait for at least a few minutes before the cork they had pulled under was discovered missing by the angler.  The sun being now fully set sends the fisherman packing.  Three washings of the hands finally gets the smell of the catfish bait to fade. 
Number 1 catfish
A woman visited our services on Sunday and seemed to enjoy the worship service.  As she left she wanted to tell me that I was wrong about something I had said from the pulpit.  I very quickly told her that I was not wrong and quoted the verse of scripture upon which my statement was based.  She did not agree but did not stay to discuss the matter further.  Janie rushed out into the parking lot to meet her not knowing what she has said to me.  She came back in rather puzzled by the lady's doctrines.  I think this woman goes from church to church like a drive by shooter spouting her doctrines but really not interested in the truth nor staying long enough to debate.
Balloon Bed
Monday morning we went to the nursing home as usual then we mailed off a box of goodies to Jason and his family in France.  We discovered a leak in the drain under the sink in the guest bathroom at the parsonage Sunday and I called my plumber friend and arranged for him to come by and take a look on Thursday. 
When we arrived Monday night at my mother-in-law's house she helped me to make my balloon bed. I will use this bed when hiking.  It is made from an old sheet.  It has 8 pouches 5 inches wide and 48 inches long in to which you slide 3 inch diameter by 48 inches long balloons.  This takes up very little room in my back pack and is very light weight.  It is very comfortable and I am looking forward to trying it out.  I think Janie and her mother who both helped me with this project thought that they would pop when I laid down on it but they did not.  
My brother Steve is having a water meter installed tomorrow.  The well which I dug out has gone dry and so it is time to hook up to the public water system.  I prefer well water but if there is not any then public water beats hauling water.  I will go over in the morning and see if I can help him get the water line run to the house and tied in.  I will keep the well house and pump in tact so the well can be monitored for future use if it is needed. 
I am going to begin preaching from the Song of Solomon on Sunday morning.  It is going to be a hard job to cover the subject matter in a discreet way.  It would be easy to use big words, cryptic language and metaphors to hide the lessons so vividly taught in the book.   I will be walking on egg shells with each sermon trying not to cross the line.  My brother, Steve, told me that at least mother's house was empty now so that if the church fires me over the Song of Solomon I will have a place to move into.  I do not expect that to be the case but there is a need to be cautious.  Janie will be my sounding board and will help me know how to present the sermon to the people appropriately.  God bless you.