Friday, February 21, 2014



Me:  This is Mary, how can I help you?

Caller:  I need to schedule a chimney sweep.

Me:  I can do that for you.  Where are you located?

Caller:  In Harrisonville.  South of Belton.

Me ????:  Um, I have never heard of that.  Could you be more specific?  Which direction?  Towards Morgan's Point?

Caller ?????:  Ummm......No, south.

Me:  I'm sorry, I'm not familiar with Harrisonburg.

Caller:  NO!  Harrisonville.

Me:  Oh, sorry, I'm not familiar with Harrisonville.

Puzzled silence....

Sounds like we'd come to an impasse.  I really did not know what to say next.  So I prompted her:

Me:  We cover a wide area.  Waco, Temple, Gatesville, Killeen, Copperas Cove, Harker Heights, Lampasas, but I don't know Harrisonville.  Are you maybe over towards Little River, Academy, Holland?

Caller: Well, we are about 30 minutes from Kansas City.  Do you know where Kansas City is?

Me:  Uh.....Kansas?  Missouri?

Caller (light beginning to dawn):  It sounds like you are too far away.

Me:  Yeah, like in Texas.

Caller:  Well, I googled "chimney sweeps near Belton" and you were the first one that came up.  OOOOHH.... I guess I should have googled "chimney sweeps near Belton, Missouri."

Me:  Yeah, that would be good.

Caller:  So all these other ones that are listed, are they in Texas, too?  Temple, Round Rock, Georgetown?

Me:  Yes, ma'am, all around here.

Caller:  Well, never mind.

Five-Minute Friday...SMALL

"For who has despised the day of small things?"  Zechariah 4:10 Five Minute Friday

Smallness tends to get a bad rap.  We want bigger.  Bigger is better.  So says the common wisdom.  So we are conditioned to think.

But I'm not so sure about that.  When I think about the things that make my life happy....a visit with a neighbor, a phone call from a kid, a card in the mail, sheets smelling of fresh air and sunshine, a baby laughing, hot water and soap and towels for a shower any time I want, a rainstorm, fresh peas from the garden, a good book, a smile and a hug, a pot of orange tea, an opportunity to help, a free cup of *senior* coffee from McDonald's, the sound of the wind chimes in the breeze, a Bible study with my friends, a funny joke, a text from the 1LT...there aren't that many big things on the list.

The small things, it would seem, are the big things.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Five-Minute Friday...GARDEN

Five Minute Friday
It's GARDEN time!  Garden conjures up alllll sorts of possibilities.  All of them good.  Even the tired aching back after you spend the day pulling weeds out there.  Because there's nothing like a good, honest tired.

I am allll about fresh food.  What a shame that so many children are growing up today thingking food comes from HEB.  They do not even know that it comes out of the ground.

We live in a part of the country where gardening is pretty ongoing.  Even in the dead of our version of winter we have hardy, hearty greens growing out there.  Collard greens and chard and kale, which has been enjoying a new status as the darling of healthy smoothies and snacks in the form of kale chips.  They are just growing away out there, with no input at all from us. 

January is pea-planting time around here.  Sweet little peas, my very favorite!  They never make it to the table in our house.  We go out there and eat them right off the vine, and if you're not careful, someone will beat you to it.

My favorite thing about the garden is how it connects us with ourselves.  I am firmly convicted that God put Adam in the garden for a reason.  It wasn't a random selection.  God could have placed Adam in a city or any other place, but He chose the garden, the place where we connect with the creation and with the Creator.
The kiss of the sun for pardon.  The song of the birds for mirth. One is nearer God's heart in the garden. Than anywhere else on earth.  ~  Dorothy Frances Gurney

Monday, February 10, 2014

Have It Your Way

I only go there occasionally, but when I eat at Burger King, "My Way" is a Whopper Jr. with no tomatoes, extra onions, and extra pickles.  That's what I ordered when I went through the drive-through today.

Right before the disembodied "Pull up to the window," I caught a glimpse of the screen with my order on it, including "extra onions $.10."  I did an incredulous double-take, but by the time I looked back, my order had been replaced with a picture of a milkshake, so I pulled up to the window where a friendly hand was waiting to take my money.

"Did I see that there is a charge for extra onions?" I asked.

My money-taker disappeared into the window.  A few seconds later she was back with a giggly "Yes, there sure is."

"Then why," I inquired, "is there not a discount for 'no tomatoes'?"

Of course there was no answer for that.  No attempt to find out.  No offer to ask the manager.  Just a shrug and more giggles.

What to do?  I have the moral ground!  There is a principle at stake here!

But how bah-humbug is it to make a federal case out of 10 cents?  It is, after all, only 10 cents, and ten cents today is roughly equivalent to.... nothing.  To be honest, had I not happened to see that little notice on the screen, I would have happily forked over the money and been none the wiser.

So I paid my extra ten cents and took my little Whopper home where I savored every last bite of that extra onion.

Burger King is world-famous for "Have it your way," and so you can.  But you better be prepared to pay.