One thing I have learned throughout my life is sometimes speaking your mind only gets a piece of somebody else’s mind – and not the good piece.
The old saying goes that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. However, I’m surprised the old dog doesn’t know the old tricks. What good is a new trick if you have not really mastered and learned from the old tricks?
My experience in this area stood me in good stead for many years. An incident happened recently bringing to light how valuable this “old trick” really is. I may not be good in the new tricks, but I think I have mastered a few of the old tricks.
I really do not know when this incident started, but somewhere along the line I said something resembling a guttural “uh huh,” and forgot about it. What you say in these odd moments may determine your quality of life for many years to come. This points out the difference between husbands and wives.
The only way a husband can remember what he had for lunch is to look at his shirt. A wife’s memory, on the other hand, is so keen she can remember things that never happened.
In the midst of a mild domestic discussion, any wife worth her salt can bring her husband to his knees by simply stating, “But, Honey, you promised me.”
At that point, no husband has the equipment to counter that argument. He may well have promised, but there is no way to prove one way or the other.
About a month ago, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage got it into her mind to remodel the kitchen. During this time, I did a pretty good job of staying out of her way. When the rare opportunity came soliciting my personal advice on a matter associated with this remodeling project, I quickly and enthusiastically supported her decisions.
The man who carefully measures his words will add happy years to his life. I sure don’t know how long I’m going to live, but I want that time to be happy.
Following the kitchen remodeling my wife proceeded to remodel her bathroom. At this point I should have had some suspicions, but I didn’t. As a husband, I am not equipped with a “suspicion detector.” Experience should have taught me that if one project is done successfully it only inspires another project.
When a wife gets it in her mind to remodel part of the house that thought gets stuck and there is no stopping her. After each remodeling project is completed, my wife always asks my opinion of the job she has just done. Read More→
Getting old seems to be a long and slow process. The longer it goes the older you get.
I didn’t really think I was getting old until a few weeks ago I was visiting with some friends from high school. You know those old high school friends that you had fun with when you were young enough to have fun? And oh boy, what fun we had.
A sharp difference exists between being young and being old. You have to get old to really understand the difference because when you are young you do not have enough time to think. That’s the problem with young people today. So many things to do and so much technology they do not have any time left over to think.
Those young whippersnappers.
There is a huge difference between being young and being old.
When you are young, you enjoy having lots of fun.
When you are old, you enjoy remembering all the fun you had when you were young.
The best thing about being old and remembering those good old days is that you can exaggerate about how good they really were. Even when you are exaggerating with friends that shared the same fun, they go along with you.
Whether it is the absence of memory or just wanting to enjoy fun to its fullest extent, I do not really know.
As my friends and I were talking about the good old days, I happened to notice wrinkles on their faces. I did not say anything at the time, but they sure looked old to me. Also, I did not quite remember how grey their hair was when we were young.
When I was young and having all that fun, I never gave a thought about how young I was or that I was getting older. My whole focus was on the fun element of life and I thought that would carry me through the rest of my life.
I remember my 20th birthday very well. I was celebrating getting out of those teenage years and becoming an adult. For some reason I thought you became an adult at 20. Little did I know that it takes many years to become an adult and some do not really make it. I simply assume that the older you get, the more fun you can have. Boy, was I ever surprised!
Celebrating the good old days is quite remarkable. Because in it all, I noticed my friends were getting older. One of my friends repeated a story three times and not to embarrass him, I laughed all three times.
After the meeting and driving home, I began to think about myself. Am I as old as they look? Read More→
I have discovered over the years several types of minds. The “open mind” which catches everything except the truth. The “analytical mind” which organizes everything to the point of sterility. The “closed mind” which you can bounce ideas and they never stick.
For every man, there is the “woman’s mind.” Every husband knows if he wants to change his wife’s mind, all he has to do is agree with her. Finally, the “political mind,” which for all practical purposes is an oxymoron. Politicians obviously do not have a mind of their own. They change their mind so often you hardly know who they are.
I find most people’s minds are like beds – all made up and tucked neatly away. Many of these people have sound minds – sound asleep, that is.
The most valuable mind is the suspicious mind. It is in this frame of mind that the real picture has developed for me. An incident several years ago illustrated this to me.
We received one of those calls every American gets at least once a month. An invitation to come to Daytona Beach and spend two nights at a motel on the beach. The sponsor even offered to throw in breakfast, which we promptly threw out (or was it “up?”).
It all sounded wonderful. My wife and I had never stayed on the beach and thought it would be an excellent opportunity. Eagerly we said “yes” thrilled with the prospect.
“Oh, by the way,” the young woman on the telephone said, “you will be required to listen to a 90-minute presentation.”
It was then my suspicious mind kicked in. To be more honest, the kick came from my wife, who had the suspicious mind.
“Is there anything we have to buy?” my wife made me ask the delightful woman on the telephone.
“Absolutely nothing,” she said so cheerily, I believed her. My wife, “Miss Suspicion,” did not buy it for a second.
Finally, I convinced her to go and I arranged with the woman on the telephone for the two nights on the beach.
Looking back on this incident, I realize a suspicious mind does come in handy.
I must confess (which is hard for me to do) my wife’s suspicious mind has saved us from a few potentially disastrous situations. (But you didn’t hear it from me.)
When we arrived at the Daytona Beach office, they greeted us most graciously. I was smiling a smile that said, “See, I told you this was going to be great.” Read More→
Looking at the alarm clock by my bedside, it clearly read 2:37 a.m. The loud buzzing sound was not in my head after all. Who in the world could be calling me at this hour of the night?
I grumbled to myself, sat straight up in bed and gasped. An emergency! Someone’s in the hospital! Someone has died!
All kinds of such thoughts danced through my sluggish brain as I reached for the telephone.
Pastors are on call 24/7 and never know when an emergency will summon to duty. It may be in the middle of the day, or in this case, in the middle of the night.
Many telephone calls I’m not so anxious to get.
Mr. Alexander Graham Bell has a lot of answering to do for this contraption of his.
Among telephone calls I’m not too thrilled about are those infernal automatic political calls advising me to vote for some candidate – them in particular. Like most politicians, these calls never give me an opportunity to answer them.
They unleash their spiel and then hang up, probably to go to the next phone number.
What I want to know is, why don’t these aspiring politicians ever call me when they’re not running for some office? Why don’t they call me on my birthday and sing happy birthday to me?
Why don’t they give me their home phone number so I can call them and give them a piece of my mind?
I would like to get my hands on the person who taught these politicians how to dial phone numbers.
Another category of phone calls I am not too enthralled with are telemarketers. I have a difficult time hanging up on people. As long as they want to talk I can’t, or I don’t have the heart to hang up on them.
I know they are just people doing their job. I know much of what is sold via the telephone is excellent and useful, but I do not like anyone telling me what I should be buying, especially when I have just put on the feedbag.
The only thing I have been able to do is take the conversation in hand from the very beginning. As soon as the person on the other end of the phone begins talking, I start engaging them in chitchat.
I ask about their family, about the kind of day they are having and what they plan to do on the weekend. I ask for their home phone number so I can call them back.
It has become a sport for me and I am anxious for the next phone call to come so I can tell them about my day and my plans for the weekend. After all, they called me, it is my turf.
This telephone call at 2:37 a.m. was not from a politician or a telemarketer.
When I answered the telephone, I heard a raspy voice on the other end say, “Is the reverend home? I need to ask him a question ‘bout the Bible.”
By this time, every fiber of my being stood at attention, ready to serve. Someone needed me, which was all I had to know to fly full-speed into action. Read More→
As big as my ears are, you would think I would be able to hear everything I am listening to.
I like to think I am hearing what I am listening to but I have so many illustrations that prove otherwise. I’m not sure what it is, but I am working on it with the help of the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage.
It was on a Friday and I was very busy trying to get things done for the weekend. Some in our domicile can multitask and then the other can hardly do one thing at a time.
I’m not quite sure how my wife does it, but she can do half a dozen things at the same time and get them all done perfectly. It is like one of those jugglers at the circus who can keep half a dozen balls in the air at the same time.
Not me. I can’t even keep one ball in the air at the same time, let alone half a dozen.
I was busy trying to get ready for the weekend when the wife came in and said, “Can we borrow your truck on Monday?”
I grunted and nodded my head in the affirmative.
“We need to move some furniture to a storage unit.”
Now, in those two sentences she used the word “we” but I heard the word “I.”
I am okay with her borrowing my truck and doing whatever kind of business she needs to do. A marriage works that way. One has a truck and the other borrows said truck.
I should have thought something was up, but you know how it is with us men. We do not think unless backed into a corner and we cannot do anything else. All through the weekend when I saw my wife, she would look at me and smile and nod her head. I smiled and nodded my head back at her. After all, isn’t that what a good relationship is all about? Smiling and nodding your head at each other.
As I recall, it was a rather pleasant weekend and then it was over.
Early on Monday morning my wife came into the living room where I was watching TV and drinking my morning cup of coffee. I can’t start any day without my coffee. Whoever invented coffee should actually get a Nobel Peace prize.
My wife came in and looked at me and said, “Are we ready to go?” Then she smiled and nodded her head in my direction. Read More→
When it comes to certain things, I am quite a bit confused. One thing has to do with time. What I want to know, what time is it?
I do not know why time cannot be the same for everybody. After all, everybody is squirming about equal rights. Why can’t we have equal time rights? Why do we have to split it up so much?
If that is not enough, we have this idea of changing the time. Who in the world came up with such a stupid idea? You turn the clock ahead one hour and then a couple months later you turn it back one hour. What good does that accomplish?
It is like giving somebody a dollar and then six months later taking that dollar back. What exactly is going on? It just does not really make sense to me.
It has taken me quite a while to get adjusted to this idea of “Spring Forward” and “Fall Backward.” I get the idea falling backwards, but I do not know what it means to spring forward. Moreover, why can’t we spring backward and fall forward one year? After all, there is this issue of equal rights.
It has taken me a while to get adjusted to these kinds of time changes.
One year I remember rather well when I got everything confused. I thought I would take control and not tell the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage that I was going to change the clocks. I wanted it to be a surprise for her.
Of course, I put things off to the last minute and usually get into trouble. I put this off to the last minute not knowing that my wife had already turned the clocks ahead. So, trying to impress the good lady of the parsonage that I was a responsible gentleman, I went around and turned all the clocks ahead one hour.
Some people say when you get older you forget a lot. I have been forgetting a lot all my life.
A few hours later, after setting the clock forward an hour, I could not remember if I really set the clock forward. So, very quietly I went around and set all of the clocks forward one hour. This was on a Saturday night. I thought I would really surprise my wife with remembering to set the clocks forward.
That night when it came time to go to bed, I noticed that I was not very tired. I try to go to bed by 11 o’clock each night, but this night I just could not even yawn.
“I think,” I told my wife, “I’ve had too much coffee today. I just don’t feel sleepy.”
She looked at the clock, scratched her head and said, “I don’t feel sleepy either.”
What do you do when it is time to go to bed and you do not feel sleepy but you know you have to go to bed or you will not get up on time in the morning. And church services were in the morning.
“Well,” my wife looking at me rather strange, “we better go to bed or we will not be able to get up in the morning. And we can’t be late for church.”
It was a little after 11 when I got to bed and my eyes just would not close. I closed them and they would snap open right away. I tried counting sheep. By the time I got to 10,978 sheep, I was just as awake as before. What do you do with that many sheep? Read More→
I remember my grandfather telling me that the older you get the faster time flies. Laughing at him at the time I thought it was another of his little stories he loved telling.
Just the other day I caught myself telling one of my grandchildren, “The older you get the faster time flies.” Then it occurred to me. I am my grandfather. I am not sure how I got here, but here I am.
It is hard keeping up with things, especially when time ticks by so fast. Just when you think you are all caught up, you realize you have to start it all over again.
I was complaining about this the other day to the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. Normally, I try not to do any complaining in her presence. She has the ability of turning my complaint upside down and confusing me to the extent that I have no idea what I am complaining about.
In my complaint I said, “Where does time go?”
“Where,” my wife said rather sarcastically, “do you want time to go?”
I had to stop and think about that one. In fact, I am still trying to think about that one. To be rather honest, I do not know where I want time to go. The only thing I do know is, I do not want it to go by so fast. Why can’t time slow down just a little bit, especially as I get older.
In my confused state of mind my wife said, “Would you do me a favor and go to the grocery store and pick up some items? I just don’t have enough time to do it myself.”
Whenever my wife asked me to do her a “favor,” I believe there should be some kind of a recompense for my time. After all, my time is valuable, at least to me it is. Read More→
You would think being a husband as long as I have been I would have learned the fine art of negotiating with my wife. And trust me, it is an artistic creation.
When I got married, somebody told me that marriage was a 50-50 proposition, which being the naïve young man that I was, believed it entirely.
The problem I have discovered is that 50 from a man’s point of view may not necessarily be 50 from a woman’s point of view. If I knew then what I know now, I would have asked that person to define what they meant by 50.
Through the years, I discovered that at times it is a 25-75 split. Other times it is a 0-100. Nobody can be 100% right all the time unless of course they are married to a husband.
When men get together, they talk about sports, hunting, cars and so forth.
When women get together, they talk about how to deal with their husbands.
I know it does not sound fair, but then it is our fault as men for not getting our act together.
Although, I must admit that at this point in my life I do not have any regrets. The only thing that I have trouble with is the word “tomorrow.”
I am not quite sure what that word means from my wife’s perspective. From my perspective, the word “tomorrow” is just a way of putting something off and possibly not even doing it.
I never really thought anything of it until recently. To me the word “tomorrow” was just a casual word I used to postpone things. It was not until last week that it really came to the forefront.
The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage asked me to do something for her. I was really busy at the time, I’m not sure what I was busy doing, but I was not paying too much attention. I smiled at her and said, “Okay.” Then, I went back to doing whatever I was doing.
The next day she approached me and said, “Did you do what I asked you to do yesterday?”
I really was not quite up to date on what she asked me to do yesterday, but I said, “No, but I’ll do it tomorrow.” To be fair, I actually forgot about it. I did not mean to forget about it, but it does not change the fact that I forgot about it.
The next day she queried me rather sternly, “Did you do what I asked you to do the other day?”
At this point I was marinating in that husband fog that seems to plague every husband and so I said, “No, but I’ll do it first thing tomorrow for sure.”
If I thought that was the end of the conversation, I was thinking in vain.
“Today,” she said as sternly as I have ever heard her speak, “is the tomorrow you promise to do it.”
Now I am swimming in that husband fog. How in the world can today be tomorrow? At this point, I did not know if she was confused or if I was confused. To keep things safe, I will admit to being the one confused. Read More→
I have been pondering a delicate question this week. Why is it I can only do one thing at a time? If only I could do several things at a time, I could get more accomplished.
The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage is an expert when it comes to multitasking. Although I have lived with her for over 45 years, I still do not know how she does it. She is better than a circus juggler and can juggle a dozen tasks at the same time.
Not me, that is for sure!
I like to do many things, but I have to do them in order and one at a time. That is how I have always done things even though I have tried to juggle two things at one time but it has never been successful. Usually, both of them fall to the floor and I have to start all over again.
Every day I make a list of things I need to do and start working on them one by one. I am looking forward to the day when I will be able to accomplish everything on my list.
Maybe I am just trying to do too much.
Like the other day, I needed to go across town to pick up something at one of the office supply stores. Usually, I am not allowed to go into the grocery store by myself. However, when my wife found out I was going to go across town, she asked me if I would stop at the grocery store and pick up a few things. Then she handed me a list, and said, “Get everything on the list and only those things on the list.”
Then she gave me one of “those looks.”
It is hard for me to go into a grocery store and not pick up a few things that I want. I have never seen any ice cream that I did not want. However, when I am on strict orders with a shopping list, I don’t have any leeway at all.
It started out rather well. She handed me the list and I put it in my pocket and headed for the front door. As I was going out, I heard her say, “Remember, only those things on the list.” Read More→
Living in Florida my idea of winter is anytime the temperature drops below 60°. At that point, I do the shiver-me-timbers dance. You don’t want to know!
I have a rare disease called Coldaphobia. As far as I know, there is no cure for this except escaping to Florida. Even here, cold will manage to sometimes poke its nose into my business. All I can do at the time is sneeze, hoping it will scare the cold away.
Experiencing a rather cold afternoon this past week, I queried the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage on this subject.
“Why,” I asked rather philosophically, “did God give us winter?”
There are times when I do muse philosophically with a far-off look.
In this mode, I sometimes think about that philosophical question, “How many angels can dance on the point of a needle?” I’ve often mused on this question, but the problem is I do not know how big angels are and if they really can dance.
I guess it is in the same category as the question, “If a tree fell in the middle of a forest and nobody’s around, does it make a sound?”
I like to think along those lines because there is no correct answer to any of them. So, my answer is right, which makes me feel good about myself. If there is anything I want to do, it is to feel good about myself. After all, nobody else feels good about me so it might as well be me.
With all that in mind, the question that I posed to my wife deserved an answer. “Why did God give us winter?”
My wife was busy in the kitchen at the time, but she turned around, put both hands on her hips and said, “So you could go out and buy a new sweater.” Then she went back to her kitchen activity.
Of course, it did not really answer my question. Why is God interested in my sweaters? Why can’t he allow me to have a climate that eliminates the use of sweaters? I could handle that.
Then my wife interrupted my muse session and said, “God gave us winter so that we would appreciate summer when it came.” Then she went back to her kitchen work.
As I thought about that, I had to admit that she is right. Read More→