Posts

Symbols Connect Us Too!

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Many stories have been told about the importance of relational connecting during the Pandemic days of social distancing and isolation. However, there are other levels of connecting that link us to each other. Symbols can also be a tangible way we connect with the memory of loved ones and friends. Recently, our daughter, Michelle, wanted to "connect with her grandmother" by making a blackberry cobbler from her grandma's recipe book. Since my mother passed away nearly three years ago, Chel sought the help of some beloved family members in obtaining a copy of the cobbler recipe. Image credit: sarabakesgfree.com Calls were made to aunts about this need, but there was some misunderstanding. We think now that the request was not all that clear after analyzing the suggestions that were offered, "Can't you just buy the box of tapioca and follow the directions? Why don't you come and visit soon? You can watch me make one!" Even grandpa tried to get in on the acti

A Three-Score-and-Ten Celebration!

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  70th Birthday Rib-Fest with Dad! I went home to Vandalia the day before my 70th birthday. It had been more than a year since I had last been with my Dad. While we were faithfully keeping up with each other during our weekly Sunday evening phone calls, there is nothing to be compared with "laying eyes on a loved one" in person!  During the days of the 2020 Pandemic, we had been trying to stay in our place to model for our loved ones and to some extent, protect them as we all were managing very different responses. Now that I have received two doses of vaccine, I am feeling a lot more comfortable in reconnecting with my extended family near and far.  Dad and I went over to Effingham to eat baby-back ribs at Fridays. We have been doing this for years during our mutual birthdays and have logged several special memories from these experiences. Based upon those previous years, we were fixated on one particular entrée, the dry and perfectly crusted, delectable fall-off-of-the-bon

"When You Don't Get What You Want"

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In these past weeks leading up to the Masters golf tournament, I have been watching some Sunday afternoon televised play. I tell Monique that I'm trying to familiarize myself with those elite competitors who will likely face off at Augusta National, the much anticipated spring classic scheduled during April 8-11. In all honesty, though, my motivation is to justify why my golf game has never risen above "duffer status!" When I see the professionals struggle as they have at the recent Players at Sawgrass in Florida or the Dell Match Play tournament in Austin, I still feel that there is hope for me! Credit: clipart-library.com You see, my golf game is characterized more as using the whole course...water, rough and sand! I have "rinsed more balls" than I can count in trying to get over a body of water. I have spent more time in the tall grass, across the cart paths and in the course landscaping areas than on the fairways or greens. I yell "Fore!" and then

Jim Byron: Care in Motion!

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Over the years, spectators at Williamsville Bullet Football events have likely witnessed numerous occasions when a student athlete has had the misfortune of a hard hit injury. Sometimes the player's condition was assessed as getting "the wind knocked out of him." At other times it was a muscle strain, a twisted ankle or something like a hyperextended knee, or even a fracture. Whenever a player on our team goes down in pain, a coach and an official or two are usually the first to respond. But there would be another significant resource that could be seen among them. Jim Byron, long-time sports therapist, has been standing nearby and ready to render a healing touch, a relieving massage through his blessed hands and therapeutic expertise. Photo Credit: Jim Byron Family Jim has spent nearly forty-five years springing into action and rendering aid to Williamsville athletes in distress. In fact, Jim has served student athletes through his Sherman Sports Therapy Center in over f

Jelly Bread Imagination!

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We have an after-meal practice of slathering our favorite jam or jelly on a slice of French or Italian bread as an easy dessert. Since bread has some serious carbs and jellies have those tasty sugars, we have to guard against the excess of these kinds of habits that over time can wreck a fitness diet! It has also become a regular occurrence for Monique's imagination to run wild after the first bite. I guess this is a gift of sorts, but she holds and usually rotates the bread as she points out to me what she sees from the tooth marks left behind. Delicious Jelly Bread! Image Credit: unsplash.com  I can honestly say that I never get it! I think I am too linear or literal. If there is a figure left from the bite of bread and jelly, I don't see it like she does. Sometimes I want to play along as she describes the figure. She will ask, "Don't you see the head, the floppy ears, and the big eyes?" I'll answer, "Uhhh... no, I don't! Can't we just eat our

"Take It!"

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Yogi Berra, the Hall of Fame catcher, manager, is known for his clever and nonsensical sayings like, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it!” I think that if Yogi found himself in these Covid-19 Pandemic times we find ourselves in, he would have remarked, “If you can get a vaccine, take it!” Monique and I have been fortunate enough to join the 92 million (at the time of this writing) who have already been vaccinated. She received the Pfizer doses through her heart doctor. I took two doses of the Moderna vaccine through state law enforcement. I serve them as a chaplain. Neither of us had any side effects other than a slight stiffness on the day after in the upper arm at the site of the shot. Image Credit: Daniel Schuldi www.unspash.com What does all of this mean for us? We want  to get back into our normal life once again! After a year of coronavirus sabbaticals, we want to return to in-person work assignments, church attendance at the building, and visits with family near and

"Some Call It, Girl Power!"

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It's spring training for baseball enthusiasts! We have nearly survived the winter and now we are inching closer to opening day for my favorite sport. I love baseball and have already been following some Saint Louis Cardinal games being televised from their training facility in Jupiter, Florida. The Cards made a significant acquisition (third baseman, Nolan Arenado!) during the off-season that may put them on top of the National League Central this year! We have twin daughters who played every sport in their high school careers. They started each year with volleyball in the fall, then moved to basketball during the winter and finished up with softball in the spring. (They would have played soccer and been on the track team too, but they literally ran out of seasons!) I lived for the spring when we would grab our lawn chairs and head out to the ballfield. The snap of the ball hitting the glove and the crack of the bat hitting the ball are etched into my sports psyche! There is nothin