Archive for March, 2017

Don’t Do That!

Back in the day, some gas stations gave out “stamps” with each gas purchase. Customers could save them and exchange them at the Green Stamp store, or Blue Chip Stamp store for some pretty cool stuff.

blue chip stampsI was nineteen, and I’d been working for Roger Robideaux—he was a pretty cool guy—at the Gulf Station for a few weeks, when I noticed a lot of people didn’t want the stamps. I figured it was probably too much trouble; saving them, licking them, and driving all the way into Phoenix to the stamp store. So! I got this fabulous idea; if a customer didn’t want their stamps, I would keep them!

In no time at all I had a mess of Blue Chip stamps, and was off to the Blue Chip Store, where I got an eight-track tape player for my car. This stamp bidness was the bomb!

A week or so later I was sitting in Roger’s office chair, my feet up on his desk, browsing through the Blue Chip catalog, deciding what to get next, when Roger walked in.

He looked at the catalog then looked at me with his head cocked to one side and asked, “When a customer says they don’t want their Blue Chip stamps, what do you do?”

I grinned. “I keep them,” I said, raising the catalog. “You can get neat stuff!”

“Don’t do that!” he barked. He seemed excited, and maybe a little bit mad, but it was hard to tell with Roger.

“How come?” I said.

He did a funny little dancing jig, rolled his eyes and said, “Because I have to pay for the stamps!”

That made no sense at all to my nineteen-year-old brain. “Then why do you give them away?”

He went over and hit the wall with his hand, danced a little more and said, “Just don’t keep them. Okay?”

The bell rang, signaling we had a customer at the gas pumps, so I slapped the Blue Chip catalog onto the desk, gave Roger a little salute—I was kind of a smart aleck sometimes—said, “Got it, chief,” then sauntered out the door.

After I’d filled the customer’s tank, I asked them if they wanted their Blue Chip stamps. The lady said, “I sure do. You can get lots of nice stuff with those stamps.”

I grinned and said, “Yeah, I heard about that.”

I figured Roger was watching me, so when I got to the driver’s window, I made a big show of holding the stamps up where he could see them, handed them to the customer, held my empty hands up for Roger to see, and smiled real big. Did I mention I was a smart aleck sometimes?

Roger smacked himself in the forehead with the palm of his hand then did one of his little dancing fits. Yep, he was a cool guy to work for, ol’ Roger.

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The Truth Is A Lie

It appears truth has evolved to be what we want to believe in order to justify our actions, or lack of same. In other words, the ends justify the means; if a lie gets us the results we want, then we deem it our truth.

People are not blind; we might fool them—temporarily—with our words, but they will soon know the truth of our hearts by what we do. I heard someone say recently our children learn more from watching how we live our lives than they do from what we tell them. We can tell them how dangerous alcohol and drugs are, but our words are meaningless if we then go to the refrigerator and get a cold beer and drink it in front of them. And no matter how you try to explain it, they are likely to determine there is no truth in your words, but your actions speak loud and clear.

I am convinced that when we love Jesus and allow His spirit to dwell within our hearts, we will not walk in darkness, but in the light of His love and truth. Don’t talk about loving Jesus, do it! He—the truth—will set you free!

If we say that we have fellowship with him and walk in the darkness, we lie, and don’t tell the truth. 1John 1:6

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There It Is!

One Saturday afternoon a few summers ago I was taking a walk around the small lake at the RV park we were staying at and came upon an old boat. It looked as though it had been there for a while; leaning precariously to one side, weeds grown up around it, paint chipped and faded, and the body spider-webbed with cracks.

boys water skiing

We were pretty good skiers, but no, this is not me and Ed. We weren’t THAT good!

As I looked at the boat, Uncle Marvin came grinning into my thoughts; I can still see his big smile. Some of my best childhood memories are of the times he took us to the lake. Those summers and trips to the lake were awesome.

I can still envision me and my cousin, Ed; huddled shoulder-to-shoulder on one side of the back seat, staring intently at the landscape whirring past. We were filled with anticipation, and around every bend in the road we’d search anxiously for that first view of the lake. And then, finally, we’d shout in perfect triumphant harmony, “There it is!”

Yes, that old boat leaning to one side there in the weeds might seem like just an old boat to some who pass by it, but to me it holds a boatload of memories.

Uncle Marvin and Cousin Ed are no longer with us, but the wonderful memories of them and the times we spent together at the lake on those glorious summer days will never leave my mind.


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Reach Out and Touch Someone

In a novel I read about the Vietnam war a scene was described; while on a night patrol, it was so dark the soldiers had to reach out and put their hand on the back of the man in front of them so they could know they were going the right direction. I think the guy in front must have been a Christian.

When we have faith in Jesus, knowing He’s with us at all times, we won’t be afraid, and His light will guide us through even the darkest jungles of this life, no matter what form they take.

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Cookies Are Like Songs!

One of my many hobbies these days is making cookies, and as you might expect, I like to experiment. I’m always concocting some derivative of one recipe or another, and a good percentage of the time the end result is a mighty tasty treat! Now, I realize cookies are like songs, and most of them have already been done by somebody somewhere, but hey… they’re new to me!

Here’s today’s experiment:

Candy Apple Cookies


Preheat oven to 375candy apple cookies
















NOTE! Parchment paper is an absolute must!

If you’ve never used parchment paper on your cookie sheets, try it! It’s awesome!

Also! This recipe makes about 3 dozen cookies. Double it if you have cookie monsters in the house!

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One Ringy Dingy

Mom and Ray are back in Oklahoma again, but that doesn’t mean Mom intends to do without the goodies I got her hooked on while they were living with us. Such things as apple bread, all kinds of cookies, homemade jalapeno cheese bread, homemade jam, and so on. So, Monday morning, as I was deciding what to fill the box with for Mom’s twice monthly shipment, I thought she’d probably appreciate it if I included some of my world famous pecan waffles. We freeze them, and then toast them; kind of like an Eggo, but oh… a THOUSAND times better! I ship the stuff to her priority, so she gets them in two days, and puts them in the fridge or freezer.

Here’s the weird part; I put the package in the mail around noon on Monday, and Mom called me at about 6:00 P.M. that evening. She says, “When you put my next package in the mail, there’s something I want you to include.” I said, “Too late, it’s already on the way.” Mom said, “That’s okay, but next time, would you send me some pecan waffles?”

one ringy dingyWow! Mom and I have always had a “connection”, and it seems we read each other’s minds quite often. But, this instance of it was maybe the most amazing one yet! It was as if she called it in!


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What’s in Your Dream?

I slept fitfully last night, having odd dreams that made little sense, and waking multiple times. I’ve always been intrigued by dreams, and it seems to me my mood when I awake in the morning is often determined by the dreams I’ve had. The following poem is a vague description of a dream I had several years ago. I awoke with a sense of dread and remorse in my heart that was hard to shake. I had no idea what the dream, or dreams, could mean, I just knew how I felt, so I tried to recapture the feeling in this poem.

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Best Dog Ever!

She was just a mutt, but smart as a whip, and a person couldn’t ask for more loyalty and love than she gave us.

If the Clock is Ticking

The old dog makes pitiful soundsdog-office-0031

Sleeping there by my desk

Sometimes she sounds almost human

Whining as she sneaks toward the end

There’s a ringing in my ears

Not loud, but steady

Not that it bothers me

I just notice it at times like these

Times when the house is silent

And I’m alone with my thoughts

And the ringing

And the old dog

The ceiling fan moves the air

Ever so slightly… soundlessly

If the clock is ticking…

I can’t hear it

Copyright © 2012 C. Mashburn



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Three on the Tree?

three on the tree

It’s true, we don’t see many standard transmissions these days (do they even make cars with them anymore?) and so the scene I witnessed this past Saturday morning was quite unusual.

We stopped for gas in one of those little east Texas crossroad “towns”; no more than a gas station/convenience store at a four-way stop sign, with a couple of dilapidated metal buildings next door and across the street. There was an old car—maybe a ‘90s model Mustang, but couldn’t be sure—sitting in the sloped drive facing the road. As I pumped gas into the tank, I wondered why the driver had parked there; kind of in the way. As I was climbing back into the truck, an older local (I could just tell, ah’ight) ambled out of the convenience store with a sack of fried chicken in his hand. He was “big” and I marveled at how he could even fit into the small car. He hit the starter, and the car made one protesting grind then went silent. The driver’s door immediately popped open a leg came out and with one smooth motion the car was propelled down the driveway. It lurched as he popped the clutch and the engine sputtered to life, and he made a right onto the farm road and vanished into a cloud of gray black smoke.

I grinned and in my mind went through a myriad of similar scenes of myself doing much the same thing, many times and many years ago.


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How it Should Be

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