Posts

"Eloise, Your Thoughts?"

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Most every late afternoon we get a call from our eldest son. He uses the time to update us on his day and we then reciprocate regarding our days as well. This daily chat has kept us connected. On many occasions our pre-teen granddaughter is sitting nearby and oblivious to the particulars of the conversation. She usually has her headset on and is playing a game or listening to music. This is her time to decompress following a busy day at school. What kind of listener are you? Image credit: www.clipart-library.com After a good fifteen-minutes of carrying on with our “Number One,” Matt will interrupt himself, look at Eloise sitting on the couch with him, and ask “Eloise, your thoughts?” He loves to tease his daughter and delights in catching her off guard with this playful interaction. She’s a good sport in all of this and responds to this surprising interruption by scrunching her up upper lip and flaring her nostrils to show that she is annoyed by this uninvited attention. Unless presse

Sayings That Shape Us!

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Joseph D. Keppler December 9, 1929 - February 14, 2024 (I shared the following eulogy at my Dad's funeral, February 19, 2024).  I have so many wonderful memories from growing up with my parents. I say “growing up” because it became clear when I started grade school and heard one of my peers exclaim, “Your parents are so young!” And they were! Mom and Dad eloped on June 10, 1950, and had to go all the way to Corinth, Mississippi to get a justice of the peace who would marry a 16-year-old girl to a 20-year-old sailor, who after four years of active duty, was now in the Naval reserves! That sailor and his gal would become dad and mom, grandpa and grandma, to this great family. Mike, Grandpa, and Matt "A quick pic between oil changes!" I learned so much from dad who had married young, took on a family of four kiddos, and started his own business in those first fourteen years of marriage. Growing up in a family business taught me many lessons for sure! Watching dad and mom in

A Needed Distraction!

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Our family has been stressed coming and going these days since grandpa (my dad) has been in hospice at his nearby community hospital. His health has been failing since his 94 th birthday back in early December. It has become serious enough that our grown kids and their families decided to come in to see, be with, and encourage dad. They were determined to sit and share their affection with him while he was still aware and conversant. Klay, Eloise, Karter, and Danny Marc said, "I had to sit a different table. Too rough of a crowd for me!" ๐Ÿ˜ The kids came from near and far. Our Texas son drove twelve straight hours and the New Mexico family purchased airfare that same day to fly in as well. Everyone gathered around dad on two occasions, and it was special to see the outpouring of their devotion. They had accumulated so many cherished memories over the years. Even though it was an exhausting trip for them, the kids and grands just couldn’t pass up what might be their last oppo

"Under Cover of Darkness"

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We are blessed to have good neighbors! It is extra special to have professional firefighters on both sides of us and a retired fire chief across the street! A few years ago, one of them had to “rescue” me from the roof where I had been blowing leaves out of the gutters. It was a blustery day and I had not tied off the ladder on the back side of the house. As I finished, I was surprised to find that my aluminum ladder had been blown down to the ground by a strong gust of wind. This left me hopelessly stranded on the rooftop without a cell phone or a way down! "Mom, does anybody see me?"๐Ÿ˜‡ In my despair, I happened to look across the street and saw one of my neighboring firefighters who had briefly stepped outside. I immediately shouted, “Hey, neighbor! I could use some help!” He waved and was on the way. I will not forget his counsel as he put the ladder up against the house that day, “Neighbor, you might want to take some rope and tie it off on the gutter next time!” He winke

Golden Connections!

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I enjoyed a special breakfast meeting this week with a couple of dear friends at one of our favorite restaurants. It had been a few years since we had all been together with each other in person. The three of us slid into the booth and the conversation immediately commenced. For what seemed like a few minutes, but spanned a couple of hours, we chatted, laughed, and shared life with each other! We just picked up where we last left off! I have repeatedly over the years experienced this gift and dynamic of true friendship! Image credit: vecteezy.com During this same week, I had conversations with three other friends. One said, “I sure do miss our small group meetings!” Another commented, “I so appreciate everyone’s prayers on my behalf!” And another newer friend suggested, “Why don’t we get together soon? I want to run some things by you!” My life is rich with such friendships! I find relational value in each encounter! I need that regular relational connection and I sense my friends need

"Can I Honk the Horn?"

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I’m still processing an experience at the recent St. Louis Auto Show. I have been attending this annual event for years now. We (including sons, grandsons, and granddaughters too!) always combined this with a visit to a nearby eatery. These days we have been gathering around the long table at our beloved Snarf’s sandwich shop located downtown on Washington Avenue! Snarf’s fresh bread and handcrafted sandwiches never fail to satisfy our pre-show appetites! This would be my ride if I was buying! But, maybe not red! ๐Ÿ˜‰ The show this year, however, was less than satisfying! It was lackluster and disappointing. There seemed to be fewer cars than the four hundred advertised. We were able to navigate the usual brands on display in about an hour. There wasn’t any special vibe concerning any vehicle. Some had exotic exterior colors like a powdered blue Bronco or a gaudy pink as seen on the C1 Corvette in the Barbie movie. These paint jobs seemed more appropriate for a retro kitchen appliance!

Manna, Bread, and Life!

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Our daughter, Michelle, has undertaken another enterprise of late that has me singing her praises! She has learned how to make homemade sourdough bread and it is delicious! I have already been eating my fair share since receiving a sample loaf just a few days ago. I immediately processed it into thinly sliced servings and bagged them for the freezer. I told Monique that I was ensuring its freshness, but the real reason behind my madness was to discourage me from eating more than my daily allotment! Sourdough bread from the   Happy Heart๐Ÿ’—Home Bakery! I love bread and have often said about it, “Carbs are a killer in our diets!” If there has been one carbohydrate that has challenged my target weight over the years, I believe it has been bread. This isn’t scientific, but just a hunch on my part! Maybe, it is me playing the blame game! The facts always surprise me and if you read around the subject, you will find assertions to the contrary. For example, Natalie Rizzo, a registered dietitia