Ricky Bobby

Ricky Bobby
If you ain't first you're last

Friday, February 13, 2009

Rubbin is Racin

For our regular readers, I would like to show off some of my "Northern" family. This is the King clan of the Commonwealth of Virginia. They all live is a small hamlet of about 150 people along the Virginia /West Virginia line deep in the Alleghenny Mountains. As you can tell, they are 'racin' fans like me.
The Matriarch of this group is my dad's youngest sister "Darlie" who is married to my Uncle Tinker. Terry "my cousin" married
Vickie and they live next door to Tink and Darlie. Their son
Aaron is the biggest racing fan of all. You can see him in the shot
below standing next to Dale Jr's car. Above, you can see Terry and
Vickie standing with Aaron next to the truck. Terry's sister Denise
lives on the other side of Tink and Darlie still "I think". Ole Kirk
is Terry and Denise's youngest brother and he lives at home to
help take care of Darlie who has been ill for years. As a matter of
fact, Vickie e-mailed me earlier to tell me Darlie is back in ICU.
Please lift this family in your prayers. The last sibling of the group is Darrin. Last I heard, he was living in Manassas....that's near DC for you ignorant South Georgia readers....Anyhoo, the whole tribe is in the photo to the left. This was taken this past Christmas.
My life is certainly richer for having known them and being a part
of such a warm family. They stick together and have unabashed
love for each other. Terry is an accomplished artist. He makes
signs and drawings of various natures as a part time job. Had he
chosen, he could have moved to a larger place and made more
money than most of us could imagine. But he is evidence of a truth
I've learned....Wealth seldom brings contentment...but
contentment always brings wealth. He knows the needs of his
Mom and Dad. I'm sure neither has ever voiced it, but he just knows his loyalties and obligations. Now then, Vickie...she's a bird. I don't think I've ever had more fun just being around someone than her. Before my Dad died, he bought a bumper sticker for Vickie's car that he never gave her. It said..."I ain't speeding, I'm qualifying". I do believe she would have fun just going to the dentist office. She's more fun than a bucket of greased eels. I've watched her sled down the hillside for hours just to entertain the kids when I was too cold to stand on the porch. They're both rock solid in their faith and raising Aaron on a narrow path.
I don't get to that part of the world very often, and I feel a strange draw to it. It is my ancestrial home, and who knows what the future holds...A man has to make a living and there's just not much need for a police chief in Monterey. You would have to see the beauty for yourself to understand it. These folks live on a hillside above the Jackson River. Just across a small valley rises the first of five of the Alleghenney Mountains to the East....ya just gotta see it.
Pray for my family if you will. I do.
In God's Glory
Don & Co.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Husband Years

Below is a couple of shots of two identical vanaties situated on opposite sides of our bathroom. The one on the bottom belongs to my bride, and the one on the top is mine. They illustrate as well as anything can one of the many mysteries of the differences between man and his keeper. The photos were taken at the same time, same day, with absolutely no preparation or pre planning. They are both just as you would find them on any given day of the year.

One hundred forty-seven years of marriage will be entered into the books for us as of Saturday. I guess that spending so much of my life living in the dog house has caused me to age in a similar canine fashion. Anyway I was lying in bed at lunch today, as is my custom, thinking over the things Tilena and I have seen, done, succeeded at, failed at, rejoiced about, and worried over together. There's a formula for super glue out there that has made someone very wealthy, and I'm sure it contains many of these ingredients. Those experiences have bound us together in a way no human intervention could separate. There were ,of course, days when the committment we made before God was the sole reason we remained together. More and more though we are reaping huge dividends and banking enormous profits from gritting out teeth and hanging in there through those tough days. The balance came as we recognized more and more the truth of the words written in Red, and a realization of the trivial nature of most everything else we would encounter. The triangle theory "as some refer to it" says....Take any two entities separated by time, experiences, beliefs, social placement, likes, dislikes, distance and education, and focus them both on the singular Glory of God our Creator and challenge them both to travel "alone" toward that single point. Focus only on the destination God and look neither to the left nor the right. The next time they look over at one another, they will realize how much closer they've become to one another during that time. And as more and more time passes, it becomes clearer how God's mandate of "two becoming one" is fact. I think I said once before...I'd rather be in jail with Tilena, than free with anybody else in the world. She is me, me is she, Me and She are today simply WE. We've fought more battles and suffered more losses than most. But we remain as a testament of a Glorious God's Grace.

Never let it be said though, that we don't have our differences. Actually, we have more differences than commonalities. It was curious that just as I got up from considering these things and a nap that never came, I looked directly into our bathroom. The view gave me a quick reference into the subject. On the one side you see my vanity....identical in construction, scope, size, and material to my bride's side. The similarities end right there. Even at that, of the six small items on my vanity, four of those were put there by my wife. I guess it takes a lot of work to keep such a good looking woman "dressed out"....Now I ain't complaining mind you, just making a comparison. Shoot, I don't even need a comb anymore.

There is a lot a fellow learns over the course of a multi-decade marriage. The fact that wives speak a completely different language is one of them. For example...if she says "whatever, it really doesn't matter to me..." IT MATTERS. If she says "does this dress look bad on me?" your answer shall be..."honey, NOTHING looks bad on you". The most trouble I remember getting into was early in our marriage. One night she pulled on a pair of jeans and asked me...Do these jeans make me look fat? and of course, me being the wit I sometimes think I am, thought it would be funny to say..."No...it's your hips". As soon as the swelling went down and I could see clearly again, I remarked how slim she was looking.

We're just different, women and men. Don't try to analyze it...just accept it. There's no earthly reason to argue over something you're never going to agree about anyway. We simply see things differently. You know, I quit arguing with my wife many years ago. When we don't agree, I just let it go. I'll find something else to do, somewhere to go. What I've recognized is that I love her more than being right. See, if me and her argue, somebody will win and the other one has to lose....and I don't ever want my wife to lose at anything. So here's the thing. either I was wrong to begin with...as I probably would have been anyway...or I go away knowing I've given her the gift of grace. At some point past or future...I owed it to her anyway.

So anyway, these are just a few thoughts I often point out to my sons. I do hope my son in law shares a similar philosophy. Cause he's living with both the second and third most valuable women on the earth today. Besides....I don't imagine he gets a whole lot of "unsecured credit" from my Christy anyway. She can hold her own with anybody. Are you listining boy? Don't make me come up there...............

That mentioned, I'll attempt to put up another shot of Clayton Parker. Of course, there's no way I would leave out my Gracie Bug. She just don't sleep enough.

It's hard work being a big sister.....We're off to Ft. Lauderdale for our anniversary this weekend, so those of you at church, we'll miss you. The boys will hang around and take care of Bowden and Pepper.

God Bless us all.

Don and Company

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Anybody seen Al Gore?

Mama's Home...Woo Hoo! I finally got my lifeline home late Thursday Night. What a blessing. She did manage to get here with the camera and all photos intact. It's actually a bear to download photos to this blog, so you're getting only three out of the batch. The shot of Clayton Parker is pretty close to the moment he drew his first breath of air on this planet. And check out that handsome family of four...my Emma Grace is still my heart beat. Nothing ever compares to my gorgeous bride though. No picture is complete without her in the frame.

It's been a very good couple of days around here. We got Nick home from DC in one piece. He has been a constant chatterbox about his experiences. Ryan and I are most thankful to have Betty Crocker home. We survived on my cooking...but we certainly didn't prosper. We even got grilled salmon and shrimp last night. Stack that up against fishsticks and t.v. dinners. The house smells much better now too. The floor was beginning to wiggle around a little.

Of course, with pleasure comes the pain. The weedy and overgrown lawn was quickly pointed out to me....begging the question...please somebody, please answer me this...When Tilena pointed out the weeds in the flower beds, I told her that putting weed killer out when it is below 70 degrees is a complete waste of time and resources. Then she says "WHY". She is always asking questions like that. Does she really want to know why? "Cause I understand the science behind this phenomenon...and when I start to give the answer, she sort of gets a glazed look on her face..." Or is she just being contrary? Trust me, weed killer don't work in cold weather folks, it just don't. Which leads me to another conundrum...has anybody seen Al Gore? It's 65 degrees outside today, and that's the warmest its been in a week. This has been the coldest winter in 15 flapbanging years...GLOBAL WARMING my eye! The coconut trees are almost completely brown. When was the last time anybody saw anything like that at this latitude? Those weeds are the only thing growing here these days. Irregardless of all that....I faithfully and obediently went outside to cut the dead grass and pull the green weeds. I came back in three hours later and found all the furniture moved around...and some even shoved onto the back porch. One of these days I'm going to come into this house after dark and break my neck. That woman of mine does not like for man nor beast nor inanimate object to sit still long enough to collect dust. But I digress.

Enough for today. I really didn't have much to say....I just wnated to show off the Giddens Family. I'll put up a blurb on the fishing tournament in a couple of days. I do have some goods shots of the boats.

All in God's Glory.

Don and Company