Smartphone, To Do List, To Do, Watch

Sammie was incredibly pleased with herself. She looked at the “To Do” list and admired the neat row of tick marks noting the completion of the tasks. It had been a long while since she had managed the feat, if she had indeed ever really done it before at all. But there is was in black and white – Monday’s jobs were finished! Too bad it was Wednesday.



One Person’s Trash

Padre’s Ramblings

One person’s trash is another’s treasure. This maxim is an undeniable truth in my life. In the early 1960’s, my mother called for me to investigate a strange object she could see in the yard. I went to see what it was with the expectation, as she had suggested, that it might be a turtle (tortoise). What it proved to be was a homemade Baba Looey which was made from a pre-printed fabric, cut and then suffed with what I later found to be ruined stockings. It was probably dropped there when the gargage collectors were emptying the neighbourhood bins [back then they emptied the metal cans into large burlap sheets and bundled them like Santa sacks to take them to the “garbage truck”]. It was, however, in my pre-school aged mind a present directly from God. My mom wasn’t keen, but the necessary washings and repairs were made and this little doll became my constant sleep companion at night, even continuing with me [albeit in my pillow case] into my teenage years. Later when i went into the forces and married it was kept safe in my parent’s home until I was nearly 60. Now the Hanna-Barbera superstar resides on my dressing table. Treasure is in the eye of the beholder.


Sunday Writing Prompt, July 4/21 – Treasured Trash

Hike Drop

Footprints, Steps, Bristol, Coast, Ebb, Mud, Traces


It was the early 1980s and I was at the US Marine Corps Infantry Training School at Camp Geiger, North Carolina.  It had rained for days, and the trails and pathways throughout the wooded training area had become quagmires. This did not of course stop the training.

It was into this environment that we men of “Charlie Company” began a timed hike.  At first I did well, even though the mud in places seemed to make every step feel as if my feet weighed a hundred pounds.  I was quite proud of myself at my professionalism.  In fact, almost Hollywood-like, when I slipped my rifle was instinctively lifted skywards away from the unforgiving mud.

But alas, I started to fall back in the column, and eventually was trailing some ten to fifteen yards behind the others.  As we approached a place where the trail crossed a road, a truck was waiting, and I and other “hike drops” was snagged by a sergeant who ordered us onto the uncovered back of the vehicle.  Cold and wet to the skin we were taken at speed back to camp, as the chill began to take its toll.  I never again was a hike drop.


Mud and toil – is a way of life

It prepares you for a world of strife

By testing yourself  – to the limit each day

You strengthen yourself  – for the role you play

The defense of others – is no simple chore

But to give of yourself – who can do more?


Lips blue, fingers numb
Windswept the transportation
Never lag again!



dVerse: Snapshots of Our Lives



Stillness in the House, Stillness of Heart

Dianne as teen

Young Dianne

My wife, Dianne was a talented musician.  She was a classical pianist, played for worship at several churches, and scored and accompanied amateur singing and dramatics groups.  During her illness she continued to practice, but as her energy levels waned, she dedicated herself to making recordings of her work so that I would not be without her “pretty noises,” as I called them once she was gone.

The recordings are precious to me, but as of yet, I have not begun to play them.  But I shall.  For now there is stillness in my house.

Having come from a religious tradition of A Capella music, it took me some time to truly come to appreciate the praise that musicians can shower on the Lord.  Dianne taught me that making harmony in one’s heart is just as much harmony with the glorifying of God as it is with that of other worshipers.

Music is indeed an aspect of our human experience.  It can move us, lift us, humble us, and encourage us.  There is a theological concept called numinous, “having a strong religious or spiritual quality; indicating or suggesting the presence of a divinity.”    I have felt this presence of God on several occasions in my life.  The earliest memory was a vespers service at a Benedictine house when I was a teenager.  The Spirit of God sent shivers through my body, and the devotions of the monks were life changing for me.  Later, I had a similar experience during a particularly powerful acapella worship in Tennessee.  Most recently, not long before Dianne’s passing, I again felt it during a Pentecostal service of praise and worship.  Dianne used to sit quietly during such periods of worship, not singing, but mediating upon the Spirit’s washing over her, and through the congregation.   Her praise (despite being a musician) was at those times was meditative, and personal between her and God.

I have come to truly value the act of praise, and I hope that my heart’s reaching out to God is more complete than just what I can offer with my voice.  But I can also, as Dianne taught me through her example, just “be still in the Lord.”



First Date

Image result for cardiff train station

Cardiff Station – walesonline


Full of apprehension

Butterflies in the tum

Full of hope and expectation

Of what might now come


Our meeting very public

Clear for all to see

For the sake of each our children

We met so publicly


On a platform in Cardiff

We we sat to chat and stare

Into each others eyes

As if all others were not there


And so on our first meeting

Online chats now eclipsed

My train soon departing

I first felt the wonder of your lips




As I have posted already, Dianne and I met online in a parenting chat room.  The relationship blossomed, and we felt there was truly chemistry in the making.  We therefore arranged our first face to face meeting.   As her children were still reeling from her divorce, it seemed best that we meet on neutral ground on which they wouldn’t be threatened by my presence.  We decided that I would take the train to Cardiff and we would meet at the train station and chat, and maybe wander into town for a drink.   In the end we spent hours just sitting there chatting, holding hands and coming to know each other better.  Maybe not the making of a classic RomCom, but it was the beginnings of a fulfilled life together.