Monday, November 29, 2010

16 days

The past two weeks have been packed with family and fun. Here is the Brown's travels:
1. Mimi came here on Friday
2.We went to the zoo on Saturday.
3. Sunday. G and A went home with Mimi.
4. Thursday, J, W and I went to San Angelo.
5. Friday, all drove to Odessa to see great Granddaddy and Grandmother.
6. Saturday, kids and I flew to ABQ.
7. Picked up the "new" suburban.
8. Drove to Aztec to Grandpa and Grandma's house.
9. Sunday, church and a movie.
10. Thursday morning we drove to Grants.
10a. Justin drove from Temple to San Angelo.
11. Thursday afternoon we drove to Amarillo to Granola and Papa's house.
12. Friday we met our new cousin and spent some time with great Papaw.
12a. Justin drove home.
13. Saturday, drove home, seeing friends and family along the way.


Airport and Plane ride


Aztec and Grants


Lubbock and Abilene

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

so the reverse is flip-flopped, per se, if you will...???

I wasn’t happy when I found out who I was working with last night.  The guy is a moron and usually really gets on my nerves.  Ever been around someone who wears out clichés?  Or someone who misuses phrases or gets them so twisted up that you really have no idea what the thought was they were trying to convey? 
After I got to work, I decided that I’d better change my attitude or it would be a long miserable night.  I decided to be entertained by his senselessness instead of being annoyed by it, and started jotting down some of the things he said.  I tried to write them exactly as he said them so I could bring a few of them here for you.

After getting of the phone with his brother-in-law and receiving the news that his wife’s sister was divorcing and that his now soon to be ex-brother-in-law would not be at Thanksgiving-
“Bottom line is I got some pissy-ass Cheerio’s here.  I’m just like….man, this sucks.”
(Yes, I got to listen to all of the family drama back-story, but it was too much to write.)

About 30 minutes after a convenience store stop-
“Man, that Columbian dark roasted coffee I drank got me f**ed up! (pause) Well, not f**ed up.  Hyped up.  That’s it.  That Columbian got me hyped up!”

Discussing whether the heavy freight volumes we have been experiencing the last few months will continue into next year-
“It kinda like a pre-forecast of what it’s gonna be like.”

After we spent 6 hrs bringing a train the last 35 miles to Temple and into the freight yard, something that could and should normally take as little as 90 minutes-
“We been T-boned, man.  And I don’t mean the good T-bone.  I mean the one that bruises.”
…then a few minutes later after a period of silence…
“Coffee ran out, man.  Or I think my damn battery blew a cell.  I don’t know.”

I’ll try to bring more quotes when I work with this guy again.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

On Culture Part III

ad•o•les•cence noun \ˌa-də-ˈle-sən(t)s\
1: the state or process of growing up
2: the period of life from puberty to maturity terminating legally at the age of majority
3: a stage of development (as of a language or culture) prior to maturity

We hear plenty of the bunk about multi-culturalism and diversity in our day to day lives, so I don’t feel a need to address those ideas here. What I rarely see or hear much about is our own 2010 American culture. Observations on our own red, and yellow, black, and white (and brown) collective culture.

I believe that the most outstanding trait of contemporary American culture, and I don’t think it’s a good one, is that we take a long time to grow up. Adolescence in today’s America can last 20 years or longer, often beginning around age 10 and not ending until a person’s late 20’s or early 30’s. How strange that childhood seems to be ending sooner, yet it is taking our youth so long to become productive, responsible adults. Strange, but true. The age of adolescence has overwhelmed our children and young adults. Why? As I often say, I don’t have all of the answers, but I have lots of opinions. I’ll share a few here. If you have any of your own to add, please do so in the comments section. I’d like to hear them.

• Parents, who haven’t come out of adolescence themselves, treat their children as friends. I think this draws children into adolescent thoughts and behaviors sooner than is good for them, and then locks them into this way of thinking and living longer than they should because the principles of authority and submission, dependence and responsibility are never learned.
• Institutional childcare. Daycare is paid for, and service is demanded from the parents and the children. Then kids are sent to schools where parents demand as much in the areas of childcare and social activities as they do academics. This continues into higher education, producing young “adults” who want to enjoy the freedoms of adulthood, yet still demand to be taken care of. e.g. Obamacare says that you can now stay on your parents’ health insurance to age 26 and after that, the government will pay for you.
I believe that when children are brought up in homes, whether their own or, if both parents are working, in someone else’s, they are more likely to be shown love and taught discipline and accountability.
• Sexual “freedom” and putting off of marriage. In today’s culture, adolescents are taught that sex is for them too, as long as they “really love that person” and “protect” themselves with condoms and birth control. Sex is no longer viewed as something that rightly belongs only in a marriage relationship. That would make a person have to be “tied down” before they could enjoy the pleasures of a sexual relationship, and even non-believers view marriage as a duty and a responsibility one to another. I’m sure I sound old-fashioned, but I don’t believe that a person should date or enter into a courtship until he is prepared to seek a wife, and that people shouldn’t marry unless they are prepared to be parents. Don’t misread me here. I’m not saying that you should be financially secure and read up on all the marriage, pregnancy, and parenting books before you ask to take a girl to dinner, but that you should enter that relationship with the future in mind and look beyond the infatuation and intense physical desires of a new relationship.

I believe that this cultural trend of extended adolescence is damaging to our nation and society. It is a burden to those who become “sandwiched” taking care of their elderly parents and their “grown” children. It lowers the tax revenue, yet increases the burden of government programs, resulting in budget deficits and higher taxes for those who do grow-up. It is leaving millions of kids fatherless.

I pray that my children will “ponder the path of their feet, and let all their ways be established.” Proverbs 4:26; That they won’t wander aimlessly and endlessly in adolescence, but that they will enjoy their childhood, and when the time comes that they will become upright adults.

“When I was a child, I spoke as a child; I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” 1 Corinthians 13:11

Twilight and Mist

I often pick the song of the week by choosing a song that has been stuck in my head.   Yesterday, the song "Twilight and Mist" was playing over and over in my mind.  I have to confess that I didn't know all the words and didn't even know the title of the song until I decided to use it as song of the week and did some research about it for this post.  But its music is beautiful and I often find myself humming its melody.

It is from the musical score of the movie Legends of the Fall which, after Lonesome Dove, ranks as #2 on my list of favorite movies.  From what I can gather, there is only one verse, and it was written expressly for the movie. That one verse captures the romantic struggle of the whole story though.  As the story unfolds, Susannah is loved by all three brothers, but never belongs solely to one of them, and none of them ever entirely belongs to her.
Twilight and Mist
Music by James Horner Lyrics by Brock Walsh
As evening fell, a maiden stood
At the edge of a wood.
In her hands lay the reins
Of a stallion.
And ne'er I'd seen a girl as fair,
Heard a gentler voice anywhere.
Whispered, "Alas..."
She belonged, belonged to another--
Another forever.
Yes, she belonged to
the twilight and mist.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Loving Her is Easy

I’ve been working a lot the last several weeks.  Being gone for anywhere from 8 hours to a couple of days, then coming home and only getting about 10 hours off before the phone rings and having to go back again.  I know my working so much has been tough on Leslie, and not just because she’s been deprived of having me in her bed every night.  When I’m at work it means that I’m not washing dishes, fixing breakfast, dropping off or picking up from school.  The chores that we generally share end up being done by just her.  I know that I could not win the bread and bring home the extra bacon if my wife were not working extra too.  I’d like to take this opportunity to say that I appreciate my wife and what she does.  The paychecks have my name on them, but she earns them too. 

This week’s song is for my wife.  Written by Kris Kristofferson, one of the greatest lyricists of all time, and seen here performed by him and Willie at a Highwaymen concert. (You can see JR Cash and Waylon doing backup)  Loving Leslie was and still is pretty easy.

“Loving Her Was Easier”
I have seen the morning burning golden on the mountains in the skies.
Aching with the feeling of the freedom of an eagle when she flies.
Turning on the world the way she smiled upon my soul as I lay dying.
Healing as the colors in the sunshine and the shadows of her eyes.

Waking in the morning to the feeling of her fingers on my skin.
Wiping out the traces of the people and the places that I've been.
Teaching me that yesterday was something that I never thought of trying.
Talking of tomorrow and the money, love and time we had to spend.

Loving her was easier than anything I'll ever do again.

Coming close together with a feeling that I've never known before, in my time.
She ain't ashamed to be a woman, or afraid to be a friend.
I don't know the answer to the easy way she opened every door in my mind.
But dreaming is as easy as believing that it's never gonna end.

Loving her was easier than anything I'll ever do again.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Halloween 10-31-10

Our church small group gathered and went around the Cunningham's neighborhood and then to some of our group's homes to trick or treat. We had a fun group and fun time.

After trick or treating on Saturday at Sea World, Annie was excited to do it again on Halloween night. We have a Biscuit Halloween book and at the end the little girl has dumped her candy out on her bed. The little girl has two suckers plus other candy on her bed, but Annie has been fascinated with the two suckers, a red and a blue one. She was set on getting suckers for Halloween. Thanks to C. Kneip, she did end up with one sucker. That made her night! She received the prize she was looking for and was content with Todd C. carrying her the rest of the time. Well, I think she was content for Todd to carry her the whole night :)

When we got home, we were able to see Dylan and go to a couple of houses in our neighborhood. Beautiful girls!
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