Archive for the good old days

Two Hands While Learning

When I was learning to catch a baseball, my dad always told me, “Use two hands while learning.” He said when the ball hit my mitt, put my other hand over it to make sure it couldn’t pop back out of the mitt. It was good advice.

This morning, I was thinking of another saying that’s popular with some of us rednecks; “Here, hold my beer and watch this.” But how these two came together in my mind is interesting. I was thinking about how we are tempted all day, every day, by the world and it’s shiny and exciting things and adventures. We do our best to keep our hand in God’s, so he will help us not to succumb to the temptations, but sometimes we literally look at him and say, “Just this once?” I picture Him smiling as he lets go and lets us make whatever mistake we’re going to make, but I also realize He’s wanting us to not only not let go of His hand, but give Him our other hand as well.

 

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Found Money

I push aside worn shirts looking for my suit. I hate going to these “parties”, but not as much as I hate wearing a suit and tie. I’ll get over it—always do—but the thing is… well, as usual, we’re so broke we can’t pay attention.

The car’s got less than a quarter tank in it, and I got a buck or three to my name until payday. I couldn’t sleep last night, but her! She just gave my shoulder a pat, then slipped right off to dreamland. Then, as I was finally drifting off to sleep, I heard Mom’s voice; “Don’t worry, Charlie. God will provide.” I groaned and answered out loud, “Sure, Mom. Is He gonna leave a twenty under my pillow?”

serendipityThen! Tonight, we’re getting ready and when I shove my wallet into the inside pocket of my suit jacket I feel something. “No way,” I whisper. But yes way! I pull the wallet out, reach back in, and stare at a folded twenty-dollar bill.

She’s in front of the mirror, checking her hair—again—and I grin at her.

“What?” she says, returning the grin.

I give her a playful pat—not on the shoulder—and say, “You look gorgeous. But come on, we have to stop for gas.”

Copyright © 2013 C Mashburn

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Simpler Times

This is a melancholy sort of poem but, just so y’all know, I’m not sad. In fact I’m very much at peace and have great hope for the future. I do, however, often look longingly at the way things used to be. I think we all tend to do that. I hope you enjoy the poem.

Those Times Ago 

 

Eyes closed, I smiled and imagined

A full moon hanging low in the sky

Looking like a shiny pearl button

On a dandy cowboy’s shirt

 

Sequin stars glittered

On a blouse of blue-black silk

While in the distance cattle lowed

And coyotes yipped and howled

 

When I opened my eyes

It all faded to cold hard truth

The hot dry grass on my neck

And burning tears I wouldn’t let fall

 

City traffic whirred nearby

Distant sirens pierced the night

A neighbor screamed angrily

At her laughing children

 

I gazed up at the dingy sky

Closed my eyes and tried to recall

Those times so long ago

When hope still lived within me

 

Times when stars twinkled

The man in the moon smiled

And parents, tired from their day

Murmured and chuckled softly

 

just us kids 2 (2) quoteGliding in the old wooden swing on the porch

Smiling, looking forward to tomorrow

While in the moon-shadow of a tree

Children tittered secret laughter

 

I wondered when the world had changed

And wished we could go back

To when life was simple; those times ago

When hope was more than just a word

 

Copyright © 2011 C. Mashburn

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A HA-HA Moment!

6-30-19 walk 2 quoteI was walking last Thursday and out of nowhere my brain said, “Hey! I know! Let’s run!” So off I went. I didn’t run very far–maybe a couple hundred yards–but the next day my back and hip hurt. It happens these days–little aches and pains pop up–and I didn’t give it too much thought. I stretched all weekend, went to the gym this morning, had a good workout, did more stretching, and feel a lot better now. I was pondering the possible reasons for the mysterious pain, and it finally hit me. About the time I realized what I’d done (the running last Thursday) my brain said, “HA-HA!”

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Blown Away

panhandle treeThe Texas Panhandle is a place where you can stand knee-deep in mud and have sand blow in your face. The wind blows so hard there, and so often, the trees all lean the same way. As I stood in the muddy street—not knee-deep by any stretch of the imagination—I could attest to half the saying being true. Gritty sand stung my cheek as I stood staring at the old house. It leaned to the east, and I couldn’t decide if the wind had pushed it that way, or it was somehow alive and straining to look around me with its two dark eyes. It spoke to me in groans and creaks, and I found it sad. I tried to recall the love and laughter that had once filled it; the singing on the porch, the smell of frying chicken and biscuits made from scratch. The memories, much like the sand, had a sting to them, so I turned and walked away.

This post is a part of SoCS ~ https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/24840312/posts/2589351338

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Back in the Day

There was a time we’d fix things when they broke instead of just throwing them out and getting a new one. It’s sad it’s come to this. And, even sadder still, it’s too often true with love. Back in the day, “Until death do us part” meant something.

Back in the Day

 

In the old days

When things were broken

You didn’t throw them away

You fixed them

 

Your sock had a hole in it

You darned it

Darned if I know why

They called it darning

 

When a sock got too thin

Or the holes were too big

You used it as a rag

To polish the old furniture

 

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Grandpa ~ Pa to the family ~ Luther “Bunk” Stringer

I remember grandpa and grandma

It seemed like they fought a lot

Sometimes nothing more than

Grandma’s steely stare

 

Grandpa bent over the sink

Washing his hands

Seeing her anger over his shoulder

Reflecting in the kitchen window

 

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Grandma ~ Ma to the family ~ Jewel Stringer

Next thing you know, they’re in their chairs

Side by side, talking about the day

Making up, but not saying so

Just loving each other quietly… easily

 

Back in the day

Things and love got holes in them

You darned them, patched them

Glued them back together

Throwing them away…

never crossed your mind

 

Copyright © 2013 C Mashburn

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Time

Cliff Patterson, the father of my childhood and lifelong friend, Barry Patterson passed away yesterday, after a well-spent 92+ years. I only saw Cliff a few times after I left Buckeye, Arizona when I was about 18, but he always held a special place in my heart. He teased me mercilessly from the time I was 10, until I got out of high school, but he did it in fun, and I always took it as such. He was my little league coach for a couple of years, and he taught me to throw a change-up. He’d signal me to throw it at those times he thought it would work, by giving me a “secret” sign. And when it worked, twisting the batter into a knot, as he swung wildly at the floating pitch, Cliff would split a big grin. That’s what I remember most, that beautiful grin. Rest in peace, Cliff Patterson. You made us laugh, you were loved, and we will forever carry you with us in our hearts.sunset (4) poem

 

 

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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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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

 

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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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My First Video!

A cute little ad for “JUST A BOY“, put together by the publisher. I need to learn how to make one!

Available in paperback or e-book on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

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