Archive for March, 2007

Financial Success

Tuesday, March 20th, 2007

I attended a fund raising the other day at Lake Victor Community Center. You can drive through that country and not see a single person. But if you have a need to help someone the folks come in from all over. While there I ran into an old neighbor and friend from long ago, Hubert Hyman. We laughed and talked of old times until we played that line out. Hubert asked me if I remembered telling him how to become rich. I am about 8 or 9 years older than Hubert and I probably told him all sorts of things. Now I don’t make thing up these days but I surely may have done so in my tender years. Becoming wealthy was a song I remember singing an inordinate amount of time.
I envisioned becoming a farmer and selling cows, chickens and hogs until I had all the money I needed. The lack of land reared its ugly head and squashed that plan. I did have a paper route that financed all a kid needed but little extra. I swept W.H. Smith’s Dry Goods store each morning before school and that was a success. Mr. Smith was a kind man and encouraged us all to become something. I agreed, but I had no idea just what road to Nirvana to take. Mr. Smith suggested perhaps getting a higher education would help. Mr. Smith was an Aggie so when asked where to go to school you can guess his answer.
So off to Texas A & M I went in search of my fortune. I just knew in a few short years I would find that pot of shining gold sitting in the middle of the road waiting for me to take home. I also tried working for a road builder, house builder, and salesman. I even tried other schools. Each had suggestions for finding Jason’s Golden Fleece. I noticed one thing all of them had in common. Hard work.
So I went into business for myself. It has been an interesting adventure and has supplied most of the things I really need. Fortune? Not exactly. It may be I revamped my idea of just what a fortune is.
Hubert’s remembering me having a plan for sure wealth in those early years hit a musical cord within me. Maybe it is not to late after all. What did I tell you Hubert I asked? He said I told him if he would just save one cent a day for one million days he would become rich. Hubert ran home all excited about learning how to have all the money he would ever need. He soon realized he might not live that long. Hubert took a different road to find his financial success. And Hubert wears his success with grace and dignity.
If I had saved one cent for each day I have been alive I would now have a total of
$288.35 in the bank. I think there may be a better way.

The Coming of Spring

Monday, March 5th, 2007

About this time of the year most of us start looking for spring. The garden centers are where it shows up the earliest. My bride and I were in one the other day and I could not keep from buying two tomato plants. Now what in the world am I going to do with those things until the last frost? I replanted them into larger pots and put them in a sunny window, hoping for the best. I will keep you posted as to their fate.
Leon Hale, who has written a column for the Houston papers for over 50 years, worked out a solution. He and a buddy, O.F. Morgan, would load up their pickup truck about this time each year and head south, looking for spring. This column ran for over 20 years and Leon said it was the most popular set of columns he ever wrote. Perhaps looking for spring reveals a deep rooted desire and hope that only spring can solve.
So I pulled on a jacket, warm cap and braved the brisk north wind yesterday and walked around our place, looking for signs of spring.
And I found a few brave little anemones poking their heads above the brown dry grass. Anemones have daisy like blossoms, with a scrawny looking plant and leaves. They bloom white, blue and rich pink. Most bloom white, some blue and very rarely pink. I can’t guess why one plant in the wild would color itself in such a manner. Any way they think spring is here. I sure hope they know what they are doing.
Down in the draw grow a few red bud trees. I ventured into the valley for a look. Sure enough some of the blossoms have swelled and burst into a bright magenta color. It is indeed a welcome sight this time of the year to spot a red bud shining like a beacon of color in the drab cloth of winter. I wondered if the red bud really knew something of the coming season. I trust they do.
The big show off this time of the year is the wild plum. They have burst into full bloom all over our place. Their snow white blossoms attract not only us mortals looking for spring, but also the honey bee, as well as many moths, and wasps. The woods are awash with the heavy fragrance of the blossoms. The French Boutique would do well to copy the smell of the wild plum tree. What a heady feeling the smell brings and bodes well to ushering in the coming season. But is it really true? Does Mr. Plum know something? We hope.
However, I remembered something my old friend, John Steel, once said. “Don’t count on spring until the mesquites bud out.” We have a ancient mesquite tree high on the ridge to the west that has weathered the coming of many springs. Surely this patriarch would know if spring is just around the corner. I made my way to the tree’s domain. There he stood, in his battered beauty totally barren of green. Not a swelled bud was evident. Not even a promise of green to come. That nailed my search for spring to the barn door. Not yet my son. We must wait for Mr. Mesquite to make the announcement of the coming of spring.

Getting to Work on Time

Monday, March 5th, 2007

The guys were talking about their pick-up trucks down at the garage the other day. That got me to thinking about my favorite truck. Oscar was his name. Oscar was an 1982 Ford Courier and we drove to work each morning for years. I talked to Oscar and Oscar talked to me on the way to work. Oscar was a Democrat and I am a Republican. You can see right off we had many spirited conversations. The political climate was heated and convoluted then as it is today. However Oscar was quite civil and polite. I trust I was also.
One morning on the way to work in the pre-dawn hours Oscar asked how I was feeling. I had for some time been anxious about my health and this morning my left arm ached and my chest felt there was a heavy weight on it. I told Oscar the truth, I didn’t feel well. “Hold on buddy, I am taking you to the hospital of the Future.” The truck lifted off the pavement and quickly gained altitude. I looked down to see other cars below on the roadways. The steering wheel and brakes were useless for Oscar was in total command. We raced onward, high above ranches and farms and into downtown. Oscar circled and made a perfect 4 point landing in front of the most magnificent glass, stainless steel, polished marble building I had ever seen. There on the facade of the tall building were the letters, DEMOCRAT NATIONAL MEMORIAL HOSPITAL. “Go on in, they will take care of you,” Oscar said. I entered.. I was quickly whisked away and undressed., redressed and wheeled into a bright cheerful room staffed by beautiful nurses and interns. I was tested, weighted, temperature checked and wired for sound. Handsome doctors soon arrived and had me rubbed, smoothed, and salved for processing. All of this action occurred to the beat of the sweetest music ever heard and in lightening speed. Lights flashed, colors came and went. I was shaken up, splashed down, pushed and pulled in all directions and quickly indeed felt better.
I was redressed and ushered through a door into a long hall way with two doors at the distant end. As I walked down the polished marble hallway my footsteps echoed off the glistening steel walls. My newly repaired heart kept time with my measured tread. Feeling good!
At the end of the hall way at the two doors, I noticed one door was labeled Democrat. The other door was signed Republican. Well, I have always voted Republican, so I opened that one. As I stepped through the door it quickly slammed shut and locked behind me. I found myself standing in the alley of the building. A cat scooted away, upending a can of trash. But there in the middle of the alley was Oscar wearing a big grin. “Feel better” he asked. “Yes”, I replied, “The hospital of the future did a great job.” “Well hop in” he said. “And I will get you to work on time.”