Archive for Random Thoughts

What Did He Say!?!?

angelI don’t think anyone will argue when I say, Charlie ain’t no angel. I don’t have time to list all the bad things I’ve done, said, or thought. Take the “said” thing for instance. I’m not proud of some of the language I’ve used and let me assure you that though I use the past tense, it’s more recent than I want to admit. Like, oh, an hour ago. Yep. My daddy wasn’t no sailor, but when it comes to cussin’, I couldn’t have had a better instructor. Or worse, depending on how you look at it.

My most recent outburst occurred this morning (twice), when I messed up the jalapeno bread (twice). In retrospect, it was comical. Except for the water and jalapenos and cheese, I put the ingredients in the bread maker last night. Then, at 6:00 A.M., I added the cheese and jalapenos, and started the machine. It takes four hours to complete the cooking cycle; rest, mix, rise, mix, rise, mix, bake. But as the machine began to mix for the second time (two hours into the process), I noticed it didn’t sound like it normally does at that point. As I was opening the lid, I saw the water, still in the measuring cup, sitting beside the machine. I didn’t use all the words the old man taught me, but I think I got most of them in.

So! Off to the store I went to get another jalapeno! Got home, cleaned the machine, and put in another batch. Thirty minutes later, when the first mix began, something—AGAIN—didn’t sound right. I opened the lid, and it was apparent the mixing blade was nowhere to be found. I’m fairly sure I got all the words in that time. Dad woulda been proud! Or, not.

Finally found the mixing paddle in the trash with the first “dry” ingredients, and put it in, started the machine again, and I’m hoping the bread will turn out okay. We’ll know in about three hours. And if doen’t, I’ll put together another batch. Won’t be no more cussin… today.

Like I always say, “I’m gettin’ better.” But I sure ain’t no angel.

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Live and Learn

Back in the mid-eighties, I was building a grocery store in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and came across something on the plans that wasn’t right. So, I drove to the architect’s office and told him we had a problem. He smiled and said, “There are no problems, just situations that need solutions.” I smiled right back at him, and said, “Okay… we have a situation that needs a solution.” He said, “So what’s the solution.” I stared at him for a few seconds, looked down at the plans on the table and then told him what I thought should be done to correct the “situation”. He agreed, we did the necessary paperwork, and as I headed for the door to go back to the job, he stopped me and said, “When you have a situation, don’t bring it to me until you have a solution.”

That simple lesson served me well in my career but, it also helped me in almost every facet of my life. I learned not to focus on problems but rather to search for the solution. And then, if I needed help or confirmation, to seek out someone who could advise or approve my ideas. Oh, of course I plowed forward without help many of those times, and made a lot of mistakes, but those mistakes also taught me valuable lessons. In fact…

live and learn

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Decisions

grey clouds 3 poem

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Painting Memories

fiery sky (2) poem

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Drifting

Maybe it’s a good thing—this new way we’re living. Actually, we’re not even sure it’s a new thing. Maybe, like my grandpa used to say, it’s the same thing only different. It’s kind of like riding a makeshift raft down a slow-moving river. Bumping into the shore now and then, sometimes spinning slowly, then finding the middle of the stream and moving on. We’re not sure where the stream will carry us to, but we trust it will be a good place. Our faith is strong—most of the time—but we admit it fades now and then. We explain away the dimming of our faith by saying it’s merely wondering. Wondering what lies ahead, not afraid of it really, just curious. That’s what we say—but only to ourselves; in our thoughts. But when the raft bumps hard on the shore or spins ‘round too many times, it’s hard not to grab onto the edge and even harder not to shout out. But…

lazy river quote

They were there when this journey began. Too many to count lined the shore, wishing us safe travels, telling us it would all be good—whatever it was—and wherever we landed. “We’ll pray!” they shouted as the current pulled us down the stream. And I’m sure they did. But they’re gone now. Or maybe it’s us. Maybe we’re the ones that left, and maybe we want it this way. We’ve always loved to travel, leaving the past and moving on to the next thing. And the next. Taking no one with us, but promising to stay in touch, which we seldom did.

Well… at least the current is slow. And… we don’t have to worry about daylight savings time.

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A Promise Comes

For some reason this poem came to mind this morning. I wrote it in 2006 but it seems appropriate I should share it again today, the day after Labor Day.

I was taught at a very young age: Never give up. Never quit.

~~~~~~~~~

A Promise Comes

 

The sunburnt harvest moon slowly rises

on the porch

Picture courtesy of Google Images

In the east on this late day in fall

A gentle breeze moves the porch swing

In the distance a whippoorwill calls

 

The neighbor’s dog down the way barks

While lightning bugs blink in the yard

Serenity wraps ‘round us like a shawl

‘tis forgotten that life is so hard

 

From the children’s room, soft giggles

As they play with their simple toys

Their lives are filled with struggles

And yet, they hang on to their joy

 

In evening dim we dream of olden times

The way it used to be

To go and come and just walk about

In a place called land of the free

 

We rise each day and do our work

As to the Lord, and not as to man

Doing as we are told to do

Singing hymns, we work the land

 

We know not if our wait be long

But know alone, we won’t carry this load

And soon we’ll rejoice and praise our Lord

A promise comes down the dusty road

 

Copyright © 2006 C. Mashburn

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Don’t Go There

the veil(2)It’s happened several times in the past, but it seems to be happening more frequently as I get on in years. I’ll be sound asleep in the early morning hours when a voice—clear and audible—awakens me with but one word; my name. “Charlie?” Yes, it comes in the form of a question; an almost searching but perhaps curious lilt to it. Sometimes I feel as though the voice is asking for my help, other times it seems to be reaching out to help me; as in, What are you doing, Charlie? Don’t go there.

I’m never quite sure who the voice belongs to, but after I’m fully awake for a few moments I discern the voice to be my mom’s. Always though, I’m never certain.

Afterward, I feel no fear or dread, but it does make me wonder. First, I wonder if there’s something wrong with mom—she lives 400 miles away—and then, sometimes, I wonder if there’s something wrong with me. This morning, for the first time since this began happening, I wondered if this happens when I come to close to “the veil”, as in dying.

I know, it’s a morbid thought, and maybe nonsensical too, but it came to me this morning, so I’m writing it down. What if—for reasons unexplainable—I approach death in my sleep and God uses Mom’s voice to call me back from the edge because, quite simply, it’s not my time to go.

I wonder.

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