The Symptom of Travel

Thoughts

The Symptom of Travel

So here I am sitting in my hotel room in Chicago looking through the Guest Information Guide and find a section called “Forget Something? It’s A Symptom of Travel,” and my mind begins to race.

The symptom of travel is forgetfulness. Traveling takes away the familiar and pushes us into the terminal of the unknown. In the rush of leaving for the airport something that is valuable to the trip gets misplaced; the symptom of travel. Hurrying through the terminal trying to satisfy the ever-changing TSA regulations and the random rules applied differently at each city…and you pat your pockets down looking for your passport; the symptom of travel. Realizing that your overnight toiletries suitcase is neatly packed and sitting at the foot of your bed at home while you are standing in the airport is a symptom of travel.… Continue reading

The Diving Board Effect

Thoughts

The Diving Board Effect

 

This morning a pastor was lamenting with me on the phone about the dip in church attendance and attitude since summer has arrived.  I immediately got an image in my mind.

Imagine standing on the diving board overlooking the deep end of the pool.  As you contemplate what brand of belly-buster you are going to attempt you will begin to bounce slowly.  You are adjusting to the rhythm of the board with your highly-toned, Michael Phelps, swimmer’s body.  Each knee-bending bounce of your body causes the board to flex up and down and you begin to feel the pulse of the board.  Your eyes squint into a steely-eyed stare, your focus sharpens, and somewhere in the distance a dog barks.  Finally you have decided to try a triple corkscrew with a facedown flop and with one gigantic heave you push down on the diving board with all your force.  The diving board flexes down to its limit and then rebounds to vault you into the air, higher than you ever were before.… Continue reading

I Miss Keith Layne Today

Thoughts

I Miss Keith Layne Today

On this fateful day ten years ago a very good friend of mine slipped the surly bonds of earth and kissed the face of God.  Keith Layne was a husband, a father, a pastor, a singer, a worshiper and a lover of all (well, most) people.  He loved good food and good laughter and had an eclectic love for music—there just wasn’t too much music that he couldn’t find something to appreciate.… Continue reading

I Don’t Like Jimmy Cotton

Thoughts

I Don’t Like Jimmy Cotton

Tomorrow is Father’s Day and it will be the third one for me to celebrate without being able to hug my dad.  I hope the angels realize whom they have there.

My dad stuck up for underdogs.  He was a sucker for the guy on the bottom.  In fact, the guy being whipped didn’t have to be dad’s favorite, but he still didn’t want him to be belittled or taken advantage of.  From sports teams to boxers to preachers, my dad was for the one that everyone was stacked against.  He couldn’t stand a bully and I can’t either.… Continue reading

Cigarettes and Seatbelts

Thoughts

Cigarettes and Seatbelts

Recently I sat at an intersection in Houston waiting for an interminable red light to change.  I glanced around me at the other drivers also waiting for the go signal.  One driver caught my attention and held it.  He was wrestling with his seat belt and quite apparently was having difficulty in snapping it securely closed.  He kept one watchful eye on the intersection for the changing of the light and tried valiantly to fasten his seat belt.  While I was watching this scenario I noticed that he couldn’t see the clasp of the belt very well because he was squinting his eyes almost shut.  The cause for this severe Clint Eastwood squint was the cigarette that was dangling limply from his lips.  Every time he looked down at the buckle the smoke would ascend and while floating upwards it would go into his eyes.  After twisting his head back and forth, trying several times to see the latch, he began blindly stabbing with the seat belt clasp in his left hand while holding the latch in his right.… Continue reading

I Misplace Things

Thoughts

I Misplace Things

I misplace things.

I hesitate to say they are lost because I know that I had them in my hands and know that I didn’t want to lose them, so I put them in places that I think I will remember, but I don’t.  Someone will walk up to me while I am busy talking to others and they hand me an envelope and turn and walk away.  Knowing how, as Robert Frost said,  “way leads on to way and doubtful that I should ever come back,” I slip the envelope in a pocket thinking I will empty those pockets when I get home, but many times I put the jacket back on a few days or weeks later and there is an envelope in the pocket that just says, “Thank you, from your friend,” and there is no signature of ownership, and I have no clue who handed me the envelope.  So now I look ungrateful for the $50 gift card inside because I don’t know whom to thank.  I misplace things.… Continue reading