Archive for January, 2019

Obsessing Still

Obsessing Still

 

In my youth I was obsessed

The automobile and its awesome power

Owned me

Its only rival the music that

Moved me

Or… were they partners in the game 

Both have ceased to call to me

 

jbs house (2) quote

Breathing deep of the unseen rose

While gazing at silhouettes on smooth water

As daylight bows to night

 

In the void, seeking; sometimes finding

Blessed inner peace

Wanting nothing more

Hoping for nothing less

Obsessing on its promised caress

All else… scattering in the road

Behind me

 

Now and then, glancing up to the mirror

Watching… as the silent movie plays

Parts and pieces bouncing and tumbling

Into the muddy ditch of the past

Once filled with the raging waters

Of my life

 

Copyright © 2012 C. Mashburn

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Big Brother is Everywhere!

Sometimes the Internet really irritates me. Maybe some of you have had this happen; someone puts a post on Facebook, and you jump right in with an opinion or an example of how you agree with said post. Then… nothing. Right! Nothing! Ten—maybe fifteen—others throw out their opinions, apparently conversing with one another, but your comment seems to have been rendered invisible. What’s the deal?

A good example was a post yesterday. A friend—not a good friend, I admit—posted a concern about how it seems we just have to think about something and, BAM, we start getting ads on Facebook about whatever it was we were thinking about. It’s downright eerie, right? Well, I’ve experienced such phenomena, and so I jumped into the fray to commiserate and discuss the fact that, um, that uh, guy… you know the Facebook honcho… yeh yeh yeh… that guy, seems to be spying on us. All 300 billion or so of us.

minion cell phoneWhat’s been happening to me is truly bizarre. It’s my phone. Since Sherry’s been out of pocket, my diet has not been, well, it’s been pretty bad. Lots of Fritos and bean dip, and easy to cook stuff. You know, like… Fritos and bean dip. So, the strange thing is—the Facebook dude is no doubt behind it—and Verizon, too, I’m sure.

What happens is, every time I eat Fritos and bean dip, my phones ring tone changes, and it’s not a pretty sound, if you get my drift. What really gets me though—makes me mad, if you want the truth—is when I answer the phone, there’s no one there. And, this awful smell comes out of nowhere!

minion in thongHappened at the grocery store checkout the other day. The checkout girl looked at me funny and giggled when my phone blasted its irreverent “ring tone”, and she really cracked up when I pulled out my phone and answered it. Then—the smell, ya know—her eyes got wide and she covered her mouth and nose with a hand, while waving the other one at me like she was shooing flies, and said, “You ain’t right!”, before promptly vacating her station. I just grabbed my stuff and skated on outta there.

It’s all annoying. I’m thinking about getting off Facebook and switching to Cricket.

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Where No One Lives

If you’ve ever driven the small highways of Texas, you’ve seen a house like this; some of them near to falling down. I wrote this poem quite a few years ago after such a drive, and on this cold and wet East Texas day, it seems fitting to post it again. It’s kind of a sad poem, and I think you all know I’m not sad. In fact, I have much to be thankful for. I just wanted to share one of my favorite writings with you.

Where No One Lives

 

Wind shrieks through broken windows

           A house where no one lives

               Rusted wheel cries out an answer

                           From a well that no water gives

The painting is “Forever Yesterday” by Evelyn Peters, and the painting and poem hang side by side on our living room wall. It almost seems the poem was written about the painting, but it wasn’t.

 

Leafless tree that once bore fruit

  Alone in a weed filled yard

    Long since dead and barren

Lifeless limbs are grey and hard

 

Splintered door on rusted hinge

 Sings a mournful song then closes

  By the porch a broken trellis

    Once filled with yellow roses

    

                                    Porch swing sits against the wall

                                       No chains to make it swing

                                            No lovers or children to hold

                                                    When April brings the spring

 

                                                           Broken boards, once a home

                                                              Shelter, it no longer gives

                                                                  Tis but a pile of broken memories

                                                                     This house where no one lives

 

Copyright © 1998 C. Mashburn

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Thank You, God, For Her

In the spring of 1995, I was just winding down from a period in my life when I had severely tested the boundaries between right and wrong. I look back on those days and wonder how I survived, much less became the somewhat decent man I am. I credit God for both, but he has a co-star in the latter; He sent a beautiful lady—an angel, I believe—to show me what love is all about.

I wrote the following, rather clumsy, amateurish poem a few days before the first anniversary of the day I met Sherry, and today, almost 24 years after that first meeting, the words I wrote are truer than ever. Except that is, I can truly say I no longer worry about her, because I know God will always bring her home safely to me; and I no longer have to hope it’s her, because now, I know it’s her.

Sherry will be home soon, and at the end of what’s been more than three of the most trying weeks of our lives, I know when she walks through that door I’ll say, “Thank you, God, for her.”  

God, I Hope That’s Her

 I remember when we met

It seems like only yesterday

You walked into my life

I knew I wanted you to stay

 

And it still makes me smile

Every time I picture you

As you walked up to me

In that pretty dress of blue

 

I spent my whole life searching

And wondering where you were

And the first time that I saw you

I whispered, “God, I hope that’s her

 

grin-big-earsOur love grew so fast

We couldn’t stand to be apart

We were meant to be together

We knew it from the start

 

I wanted to be with you

Every minute of every day

Every time you left me

I wanted you to stay

 

I thought about you all the time

And I wondered where you were

Every time the phone would ring

I whispered, “God, I hope that’s her

 

I promise that I’ll love you

For the rest of my life

I want you with me always

I’m so happy you’re my wife

 

Now, when you’re not at home

And it starts getting late

I sometimes start to worry

I walk the floor and wait

 

I tell myself, when you get home

I’ll ask you where you were

And every time I hear a car

I whisper, “God, I hope that’s her

 

Copyright © 1996 C. Mashburn

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Special Delivery

For much of my life, I fought against a world I perceived to be unfair, and I had no peace within my soul. And, it was not on one sudden day I learned how to be at peace. Nor did I suddenly devise a battle plan to defeat my foes. God delivered me from my enemies—many of them imaginary—and He delivered His peace unto my soul. That’s not to say I am now in a constant state of peace. But I am learning to let go of things more readily than I once did. Nowadays, I am quick to turn to Him for relief from the battles—whether they be perceived or real—of this world. Peace is an addicting thing, and the more I have of it, the more of it I want. And the best part is, it is always available for the asking.

peace within

 

He has delivered my soul in peace from the battle that was against me: for there were many against me. Psalms 55:18

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Words Fail Me

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Me & Tater Salad

My first wife, Evelyn, brought it up in a Facebook comment yesterday, so I thought I might as well share it with y’all along with another related story.

It was Thanksgiving—I’m going to guess 1970—and we were living with my maternal grandparents, Ma and Pa, in Moab, Utah. Ma had invited her friend, Edith to Thanksgiving dinner, and Edith brought potato salad. Well, I didn’t care for potato salad, and thought nothing of not putting any on my plate. Edith, however, noticed it right away, and thinking she’d help me out, handed the bowl to me and said, “Charlie, you didn’t get any of my potato salad.”

I said, “Thanks, I don’t want any.”

“Oh,” she said, obviously hurt that I didn’t want any of her potato salad.

A few minutes later, she said, “Charlie. Are you sure you don’t want any of my potato salad?”

“Yes, ma’am,” I said. “I don’t care for potato salad. But, thank you.”

I think this is where it became a challenge for her. “I think you’d like my potato salad. It’s very good”

She got a raised eyebrow from me with that comment. And out of the corner of my eye, I saw Pa grin at me, then quickly look back at his plate.

edith bunkerI looked across the table at Edith. The hurt expression was gone, and a glare had taken its place. This was not going to end well.

She put one hand on the bowl of potato salad and said, “You should at least taste my potato salad. It’s really good, and I just know you’ll like it.”

I put on my best smile, and said, “Lady! I don’t want any GUFFING potato salad! (I did not say guffing.)

Pa busted out laughing. Ma gasped, put her hand over her heart, then shot Pa a glare that could curdle gravy. Poor Edith was in shock. Evelyn, attempting to save the day, said, “I’ll have some! It’s good!” Me, I went back to eating my turkey and dressing.

I was wrong. It ended just fine. Not another word was said about that stupid potato salad. By the way, in later years, I developed a taste for potato salad. I love the stuff!

~~~~

Several years later, I was single, and visiting Pa, who had retired and moved back to Fritch, Texas. It was the early eighties, Ma had passed in the late seventies, and Bunk (Pa’s nickname) was baching it too. Evelyn had gotten tired of following me all over the country (I was –still am, I guess—a gypsy of sorts.) And so, we went our separate ways. Well, I went, she stayed put.

Any way Bunk and I went down to what was, I believe, the only bar in Fritch, where we played some pool and drank a few beers. It was late, maybe about eleven o’clock, when this drunk guy came busting in, looking like he wanted to fight, and not caring with who.

The guy was a couple inches taller than me and outweighed me by probably sixty-seventy pounds. He stood in the doorway, glaring as he looked around the room and, since the only other person in the place was the old guy behind the bar (Pa was in the men’s room), his glare landed on me. I smiled politely as the big guy lumbered toward me but kept a firm grip on my pool cue. You know, in case he didn’t want to be friends.

First thing he said was, “You know who I am?” He had a funny way of saying things, so I thought he was joking. I grinned at him.

I heard the men’s room door open, and Pa laughed out loud then said, “Tater Salad!” The big guy looked past me, his face lit up, and he shouted, “Bunk!”

I said, “Tater Salad?”

The big guy ignored me and as he strolled toward Bunk, said, “Just the man I want to talk to.”

“Tater Salad?” The guy still ignored me.

“Well,” Bunk said, shaking the big guy’s hand, “Buy me and my grandson a drink, and we’ll talk all you want.”

The guy glanced at me, grinned, then yelled over his shoulder, “Boo-Boo, Give us three Crown and Coke!”

“Don’t call me Boo-Boo, Tater Salad, or you’ll be drinking through a straw for ‘bout a month.”

They all laughed—Bunk, Tater Salad, and Boo-Boo. I said, “Tater Salad?”

We climbed aboard stools at the bar and Pa said, “What’s up, Ron?”

I said, “Ron?”

“I’m fixin’ to go into stand-up comedy, Bunk. And I got some ideas for routines, but I figure you must have some I can use, too. Can’t nobody tell a story like Bunk Stringer.”

So, Bunk told him some of his best stories, and Ron “Tater Salad” White soaked ‘em up.

When Bunk had about run out of material, I looked around him at “Ron” and said, “Tater Salad?”

ron whiteHe grinned a drunk-on-his-butt grin and half snarled, half laughed, “You just ain’t gonna let that go, are ya? Ah-right, here’s how it goes.”

He told me the story about being drunk and getting arrested for driving on a sidewalk in Fritch. The cops knew who he was so when they asked him his name, he—being the smart aleck he was—said, “They call me Tater Salad.” And, a legend was born.

When he finished, Bunk laughed and elbowed me. “Charlie, tell him your tater salad story!” And so, I did. Ron got a big kick out of it and said he might use it in one of his routines when he hit the big time. He never did. Use it that is. He hit the big time, big time. Maybe you’ve heard of him.

~~~~~~~

Please check out my remodeled website and my latest books:

Just A Boy ~ A childhood memoir

Just a Man ~ A book of encouragement

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