Saturday, August 29, 2020

Chadwick Boseman

Actor Chadwick Boseman passed away yesterday, Friday, August 28, 2020, from a four year long battle with colon cancer.   He was only 43.

Boseman had made a career out of playing icons of Black history and culture.  Jackie Robinson in 42.  Thurgood Marshall in Marshall.  James Brown in Get on Up.  King T'Challa in Black Panther.  His range was incredible.  Watch 42, then Get on Up, then Black Panther to see how fully he can create and embody a character.  Particularly those that are so varied and complex.

Boseman was also one of those superhero actors that seemed to transcend the role and become a superhero themself.  Like Christopher Reeve, Chris Evans, and Gal Gadot before him, he recognized the power and impact that he had as the Black Panther and used it to greatly impact those around him.  To know that most of his time spent in the role was spent during his battle with colon cancer, makes it even more heroic.

This one hits a little too close to home.  At 43, Boseman's death is a reminder of many things.  That we do not know how much time we will be granted on this earth, so let the important people in your life know how much they mean to you.  How much you love them.  And for the same reason, we should seek to do good to everyone around us.

It reminds us to not take our health for granted.  To get checked out by a doctor, to start colonoscopies and other routine checks when prescribed.  

His life over the past four years during his cancer diagnosis reminds us that we do not know what other people are struggling with.   What battles they are facing.  The general public knew nothing of his battle; from his presence on screen, you would think nothing was wrong.  Even in physically demanding roles like the Marvel movies.  That we could all face out battles with such resolve and grace.

In a time in this world in which we need superheroes more than ever, we have lost a bright shining example.  May we rise to the occasion.

Rest in Power, Chadwick Boseman.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Hurricane Laura

Hurricane Laura is now bearing down on Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana.  Now a Category 4 hurricane and potentially intensifying further, the storm is expected to make landfall around Sabine Pass on the border between the two states.  Landfall is expected early Thursday morning.

This is looking eerily similar to Hurricanes Rita and Ike, though potentially much more devastating.  Rita made landfall as a Category 3 storm; Ike a Category 2.  Already, meteorologists are preparing the region for a catastrophic storm surge, as far as 30 miles inland.  Upstream flooding is possible as far as Eastern Arkansas and the Ohio and Tennessee valleys.

For those from the region, the storm represents the worst of the two previous storms.  The intense wind damage of Hurricane Rita.  The extreme flooding of Hurricane Ike.  From my experience, Hurricane Rita devastated the power infrastructure in Buna, causing parts of the town to be without power for two months following the storm.  The were sections of land nearly clear cut from the removal of trees and other structures.  Ike destroyed my grandparents town, turning it into a lake from bridge to bridge.  Their house was up on beams, up a good three foot off the ground.  Water was still in their house up to the top cabinets.

I know evacuation is a long process.  One day I'll tell the story of driving into Houston to pickup my father at the airport the day Rita was to make landfall, trying to then evacuate to Austin.  It was a long day and hot drive.  So, believe me, I understand how difficult it can be to move even a few miles.  But this storm doesn't sound like the one to try to ride it out.  And many of you are under mandatory evacuation orders.  Please follow them - I hope you've already done so.

Though we are far away, our hearts are all with you there.  We're praying for you.  We're thinking of you.  We're keeping tabs on the storm's progress. 

Be careful.  Be smart.  Be safe.  Get to higher ground where you can.  And get far away if you can until this is all over.

Saturday, August 15, 2020


The big 40 today. It has been a very good start to this new year for me.  Time with Jamie’s family leading into it. And with good friends the week before. FaceTime with my family today and a lot of good goodies delivered to my door. And quality relaxing time with Jamie and the kids. 

I had thought of making this post a list of 40 things I’ve learned or some such. Instead, I think I’ll just take the opportunity to say thank you. To everyone who posted on the page, to everyone who texted or called, to everyone who Jamie got to write an email or note passing along your memories and wisdom, thank you. 

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for your well wishes. For your thought and prayers. For your friendship. For your time. For being there. 

Thank you for being a support in times when needed. For being a kick in the pants when that was called for too. 

In America especially we like to think that the it’s still possible to be the lone wolf.  The rugged individual in need of no one, pulling one’s self up by their boots straps. 

But the truth is, I am who I am because of all of you. And for all you added to my life. 

I tried to thank everyone who posted on Facebook, adding likes to the comments on other people’s posts and commenting back to those who posted on mine. If I missed anyone, I apologize and please accept my thanks. 

It has been a great day, and hopefully the start of a great new year. I look at what all 39 brought and all the changes we went through. We are in such a different and better place now.   I’m just excited to see what is next. 

Again, thank you all. I love you and goodnight. 

Friday, August 14, 2020

Happy Birthday Mom!

I share this picture a lot, largely because it’s one of my favorites. My mom and I many years ago now.  I love it because it shows a bond we’ve shared throughout the years, there from the beginning.

We’re connected in so many ways. Mom and first born. Mom and son. And in having back to back birthdays.  This last one was a situation where having similar tastes in cakes really worked out. 

It’s been different not getting to celebrate together, but we make the best of it.  And we know that our hearts are connected no matter the physical distance.

To Mom, I hope you have a wonderful day. I hope it has been bright and wonderful. And I can’t wait until we can celebrate together again. 

We miss you, we love you, and we wish you all the best!

Happy Birthday Mom!

Thursday, August 13, 2020

A Prayer for the Start of School

Though Avalyn started school two and a half weeks ago, I recognize many schools across the country are starting back now, or in the near future.  This year has made it very interesting to plan for a prayer for the start of school, because this year is so abnormal.  Some schools are going back though modified, some are starting virtually first, then planning to go back, others still are planning for both, not knowing exactly yet what they plan to do.  

It's in this environment I would like to offer a prayer for this 2020-2021 school year.  For the students, the parents, and the faculty involved.


Dear Heavenly Father,

We come to you in a time of uncertainty and stress.  Facing a year that has already tested us and an upcoming school year which we are not prepared for.  A time in which we desperately want things to get back to normal, but recognize that it may not be for a long time yet.

It's in this environment in which we pray for, above all else, grace and mercy this year.

Lord may we find your grace, amazing grace, upon us.  May you protect us and guide us through this school year.  May you watch over all the students and keep them healthy and safe.  May you lead them to be kind to each other.  If nothing else, may they be kind.  May they wear their masks, may they learn to wash their hands well.  May they find a way to be friends and friendly even through social distancing.  May they listen to and help their teachers, not adding any additional stresses.  May their innocence and youth guide us through this difficult time.

May you watch over the teachers and grant them wisdom and patience.  May you give them grace in their interactions with their students. With parents who may not agree with the school's precautions.  With other faculty who might make things more challenging.  May they find joy, even in this chaos.  May they find the ability to give themselves grace when this year does not go as planned.  When everything changes on a daily basis.  May they give themselves permission to relax and let go.

May you watch over the parents who are trying to balance it all.  Praying that school continues to go forward, praying they don't have to work from home, make sure the kids are doing their school online and also try to get everything done around the house.  May they find grace in their interactions with teachers, recognizing they too are trying to figure out how to navigate this crazy time.  

May we all grant each other the grace to recognize that we're all trying our best in a very challenging situation.

May we be agents of grace in making someone else's day better, brighter in some small way.

May we be agents of your grace in finding the good, even now.

May we be merciful.

When school goes back to virtual after being open.

When the school gets its first case of COVID-19.

When it's just gotten to be too much.

May we be merciful.

And let us find you.

Let us find you in the ability for kids to play together for the first time.

Let us find you in the new resemblance of a routine.

Let us find you in a Zoom call.

At the dinner table after school is out.

In the pickup and drop off line.

Let us see you more clearly in this time.

For that is how we will get through it.

We thank you for all you have brought us through and we pray for your wisdom for this year.

In your most precious name,


Tuesday, August 11, 2020

That's Enough 2020

You know, we've handled the quarantine.  We've handled masks.  We've handled social distancing and work from home.  This may be a step too far.

Dr. Pepper is having a shortage.

Dr. Pepper is my coffee.  I've never really developed a taste for hot beverages, coffee even less so.  For a dose of caffeine, the Dr. is my drug.

I'm working on drinking far less of it and trying to limit it to the weekends at most, but this week is a semi-staycation and with the big birthday coming up, it's been a little more regular in our house.  

It's my addiction.  Not a good one, as if there are any good addictions, but at times a necessary one.  It keeps me awake on long road trips.  It helps combat the grogginess after a long night.  

It's the perfect pair for a hamburger, or pizza.

It's a taste of Texas in our new home.

It's making this pandemic bearable.

At this point, can we go back to the toilet paper shortage.

Seriously, it's time to go stock up.   

So, again, enough 2020.  No more.

Let's turn this around and move on to happier things.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

National Spider-man Day

Today is national Spider-man Day, celebrating 58 years of the amazing, spectacular wall-crawler.  First appearing in Amazing Fantasy 15, August 1962, everyone’s neighborhood friendly Spider-man has since become an international icon. 

“With great power, there must also come great responsibility.”  More than anything, the years of Spider-man material have served to remind us of the characters great motto. A variation of the promise that “to whom much is given, much is demanded.”  That we are responsible for how we live our lives. What we do with what we are given. How we improve the world around us. And how we care for those around us. 

That we have a responsibility that extends beyond ourselves.  And in this current environment, I cannot think of a better reminder for us. A reminder that we have all been entrusted with some amount of power. And it is our responsibility to wield it well. That it is in our power to protect our neighbor, to help prevent the spread of this virus. And we have the responsibility to do so. That we have the power to make others’ lives better during this crisis. The power to help provide meals, provide aid, provide support, provide an ear. And we have the responsibility to do so. 

That we have the power to be kind, and we have a responsibility to do so. 

There’s a meme that goes around that says “always be yourself, unless you can be Batman. Always be Batman.”  Let’s change that. Batman is a little extreme, and potentially a little psychotic depending on the writer. Spider-man is a lot more balanced and teaches us a more valuable lesson. 

Let’s be Spider-man. 

Excelsior, true believers!