Friday Night at the Garner House

Of all the things I had thought would be the easiest as well as most difficult to acclimate to upon my return to East Texas, I have come to understand just how much I had thought too much of one and too little of the other.

For I looked forward to the home-cooking outdoor grill & barbecue culture that abides from the Big Thicket to the south-side of Texarkana, yet I dreaded the sultry sweaty beat of the humid East Texas heat.

While I have found the Spring to be, thus far, mild and honey-sweet as my beloved’s iced tea… I think it is merely the delightful contrast between our present day and too many long cold Mid-Atlantic mornings of gray late-Winter; but let us see how I feel during the Summer droughts of July and August.

However, the great heaps of fried, baked, barbecued, and smoked meats have taken their gastrointestinal toll upon me of late, nowhere more so than this evening at the home of Jesse & Shannon Garner.

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Dreams of my Grandfather

I dreamt of my Grandfather last night…  William “Pop-Pop” Ferguson, father of Marjorie “Nan” Croyle, mother of my mother Linda Lee.

I dreamt of William Ferguson, who has been dead no less than twenty years now.

There was a long abandoned highway, it looked like the road that ran the length of Lake Okeechobee…  I remember driving along this highway to visit my grandparents as a young boy. In the dream, I was walking, and the day was hot.

As I neared the harbor, which I remember being near to where my grandparents lived, I noticed a figure standing out upon the Pier.

Standing out upon the Pier, in a low-slung floppy fishing cap and loose white cotton shirt with blue jeans and sockless Docksider loafers, was my Grandfather…

…silhouetted against the twilight sky of early Sunset, shadowy against a canvas of blue-orange-gold, holding a dried sugarcane fishing pole with his gaze focused out towards the horizon of the lake.

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Friday Night at the Prosser House

The first thing I remember of today, after the long droning hum of shallow and all-too-brief sleep, was the straining urgent voice of my beloved extolling me to arise.

With little more than an hour until our guests arrived, there was still much to do.

Still hovering in a nebulous cloud of consciousness, I possessed enough conscience to feel the sting of having contributed so little and slept for so long.

The tension this had caused was evidenced in my wife, and it cut me to the quick.

Fortunately, there was not even enough time for me to pick a needless fight with her (under the guise of rationalizing my exhaustion), as our guests would be arriving momentarily…  verily, ’twas time to put an orderly polish on a chaotic day.

Guests arrived in gradual succession, quickly filling our small house as quickly as the plates of food covered our table; their children gleefully joining my own for raucous play as well as a Wallace & Gromit marathon.

Everyone ate well and there was plenty left over. I could hardly begin to ascribe such appellates as “better” or “best” with regards to everyone’s contributions…  except to take special note of the desserts that Sherry Watson and Tana Sandel brought. The delights of Tejano cuisine notwithstanding, I’m a sucker for a good dessert.

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Life is complicated, life is simple.

Do I contradict myself? Very well then, I contradict myself.

At a few minutes past seven, we returned from spending most of the late afternoon and early evening at the local public library, our custom always of Thursday afternoons.

While it is pleasant enough for a library of a town this size, Candace and I believe there are a few adjustments that can/will be made to significantly enhance the experience of its patrons.

Even so…  it possesses a certain simplicity that has appealed to me since my days as a youth.

There was a distinct sensual pleasure in stepping out the front door into the golden sunlight of dying day…

          …my hair still wet from the cool shower, the texture of blue jeans on my legs and a loose cotton shirt hanging off my shoulders, my own faint smell mingling with that of the freshly mown grass, the gay voices of my children echoing out across the empty streets.

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Hate Thine Enemies

A new poll by the “Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life” reveals that the more often Americans go to church, the more likely they are to support the torture of prisoners. According to the survey, more than half of Americans who attend church at least once per week said the use of torture against suspected terrorists is “often” or “sometimes” justified.

What is more, there was a strong corroboration of “evangelicals” whom “often” attended church with a higher approval of the use of torture to suspected terrorist.

Of course, these descriptors strongly indicate one group: Protestants in the more rural areas of the South. Might as well write the headline:

Southern Baptists Support Waterboarding Muslims

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