Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sleeping in Chruch

The idea of going to church usually makes me groan but once I am there I rather like it......well except for the music. For years I get irritated when the music starts. I found the solution, and it works well; I don't even go into the sanctuary until the singing is over – it is awesome. Of course that might have something to do with my grandson keeping me company while we hang out in the foyer. Once I started getting grandpa duty during church I told him, “Don't worry Benjamin, Grandpa will not take you into the service until that devil music is over. Your young ears are way to tender for such noise.” Sometimes I worry that I am just being negative about the music. Last week the scripture. “make a joyful noise unto the Lord” came to mind and I wondered. Hmmmm....what if the music I'm hating God actually likes...that kinda puts me in a bad spot. So now I just try to increase my denial that the music is even happening by not thinking about it. Us men can do such things so I have been told. Heck, if God gave me that ability who am I not to use it? That's logical right?
That aside, the last two weeks I am wondering if maybe I am being a bad influence on my grandson. I know what you are thinking, 'only the last two weeks?' Stop those kind of thoughts right now....I am a good grandpa. Back to my conundrum, you see for the second week in a row while I am holding little Benjamin – right in the middle of the sermon, when my eye lids might be drooping just a bit, Benjamin goes to sleep. Now I am his grandpa, far be it from me to deny him what he wants. And, I know this is not about me (Hah!) but I get the best feeling all over when that little guy snugs into my shoulder and falls asleep.
Well, that's all I got. My whole reason for writing anything at all was so I had an excuse to post a couple of pictures of my grandson.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Where Has Grayquill Musings Been

If  you have tried to view my blog lately, you probably have been confused. As they say a machine is only as good as it operator. >GOOD....Grayquill>not so good.
Here is the last post you might have missed. Baby Cradle

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Baby Cradle

I heard the other day that 80 percent of all baby cradles made in the United States are made by Grandpa’s. Well you know me I like being normal so here it is.  

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Another Grayquill Moment

I was so hoping my Grayquill moments might be taking a turn toward more favorable results.

For months when I leave work, I see a young lady standing in the reception area of a technical high school waiting to be picked up. She always stands in the same place and it is easy to see her.

The school day ends early. By the time I leave, I know this poor girl has been waiting to be picked up for several hours.  It really bugs me seeing her standing there alone in a now empty building. Her posture communicates to me fear and sadness. I can only imagine the tension the young lady must feel waiting for hours in an empty building.  With the heat off, the building cools. Imagine the creaks, the groans she hears the building make, and what horrors must run through her mind as she waits alone.  Standing there she is at the mercy of anyone who comes into the building. As you might guess, night after night my feelings of pity for the young lady spring up and as a result my irritation toward her parents enlarges with each passing day.  

Last week, Tuesday, I left work later than usual. There she was still waiting to be picked up. Now I am angry. Who are these parent? Thoughts flashed through my mind of what I needed to do to correct this injustice. My first thought was, I am going to hang out and when that parent shows up, I will let Grayquill do his Jujitsu barn dance.  The main problem with that is, Grayquill doesn’t know Jujitsu. Rational thought prevailed and the next morning my first phone call was to the vice principal.  As I explained the reason for my call, I was encouraged to hear her shocked disdain for the plight of the young lady. The principal patiently listened to my passionate venting and assured me she would get to the bottom of this! She quizzed me with several questions and then she asked me, “Grayquill, where exactly does this young lady stand.”

“She is always in the same place, right on the right hand side in the entry way.”

There was a long pause, “Grayquill, that is a manikin.”
“Uhhh…what? Huh?” confusion….Grayquill could hear a large volume of laughter coming back through the telephone.  I hung up. My foolishness scored my pride but then I began to laugh. You gotta admit that’s funny.  

That night when I headed home I nodded to my favorite manikin knowing she was well protected under Grayquill’s watchful eye.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Grayquill has been warned…

I will warn you right now – if you have a tendency toward bad dreams and your creep meter pegs easily.
STOP reading NOW! This is your last warning and your last chance to save yourself.

Some might say this story is proof positive that I am being warned by our creator to stop killing His small creatures – I mean rats!
It was late. Dinner with my wife at our favorite diner was now over. She was headed to the store and I headed home.  As usual I drove on automatic and I let my mind run through the tasks ahead of me. I needed to start a load of laundry, maybe type out a blog post, and a must was to fill my birdfeeder, I mean rat feeder.

I arrived to a dark house and as is my usual routine I entered through the garage. Flipping on the light I then filled a container with bird seed. I headed into the house, flipped on the outside lights, slid the slider open, and went straight out into the back yard.  The birdfeeder could not be seen clearly. The light faded away into the darkness of the surrounding trees and only one side of the feeder was dimly lit. 

As we all know we are often held accountable for our choices.  That said, some of my blogger buddies might be saying, "tut tut and this serves you right for what is to come -Your recent choices involving rat killing was ill advised." With that fact only as a side note and that no real cause and effect has been proven; I throw out that tid bit of information only in passing, as that information might be deemed important to at least one reader. Okay, maybe two.

With not an inkling of the horror awaiting me, I headed into the shadows of the dimly lit birdfeeder.  I was now nearing the feeder and what I could not see on the back side in the darkness was a nasty long tailed rat stuffing his fat jowls on the remnants of my bird seed. In addition, I guess because of my uncommonly pudgy stealth, the rat was equally unaware of my approach. In blissful ignorance I began to lift my hand toward the feeder.  There was no warning, no inner sense that danger was only inches away. I enclosed my hand around the bottom of the feeder. At the same instant my thumb pinched a plump incredibly alive rat. The contrast of soft fur and a horrible scratching sensation hit my thumb all in the same instant. Tearing my hand away I jumped back from the feeder. To my great shame, an incredibly loud little girl scream passed over my lips that even the neighbors heard.

Traumatized, I headed toward my house doing the Grayquill high kick dance and screaming all the way. As I looked over my shoulder I could see the demon himself on top of my birdfeeder giving me his beady eyed stare. IT WAS HORRIBLE!!!  The last I saw of him as I entered the house, he was headed across the rope away from the birdfeeder. 

Safe in my house, my first stop was the disinfectant. I gave my hands a good scrubbing while inspecting my thumb for any broken skin. To my relief I was uninjured except for maybe my heart and a few vocal cords. The washing time was needed to begin the recovery of my manhood. Upon the completion of the scouring my courage was back and I headed straight into the back room for my Gamo rat killer. With flash light in hand, pellet gun cocked and loaded of rat, I began the Grayquill rat stalk into the back yard. Knees bent, toe to heel steps, flash light sweeping the parameter of the darkness, I searched intently for the illusive prey.  I eased along slowly, toe to heel, toe to heel. My eyes glued to the end of the light beam from my 190 lumens bulb as it coated the underbrush. I really did not expect to see much but there is something within this man that needed to show the world and one particular rat that I cannot and will not be scared into a wimpy prisoner in my own house.

My journey of much stealth once again had brought me back to within inches of the first incident – the birdfeeder. To my mortification which I can only blame on my masterful intense search for the terrible little creature, I had failed to look up. Now to my complete and utter ignorance the rat had returned and was perched back on the feeder only inches from my face. Time was at a stand still. I stood there motionless scanning the dark green salal that filled the area.  I cannot say it was a true feeling but a change was happening in my inner being. I know not if it was my soul, my spirit, a sixth sense, or some other outer force tying to protect or warn me. But suddenly I turned my head to the right. At that moment the rat made his move. It was a blur of gray flying fur. As I jumped, I swear that the vermin's tail flicked the edge of my beard as he passed in the shadows. At the same moment that little girl’s scream once again echoed throughout the neighborhood. It was terrible, humiliating, and worst of all emasculating. I checked my pants for wetness and it would be to embarrassing to admit my findings.

I must end my story as I think I am beginning to make myself look bad. All in all, the rat escaped, and I was yet to prove my superiority to the hideous little vermin.

That night as my head hit the pillow I could only say to myself, "this was a terrible, no good, very bad night. Tomorrow will be a new day and redemption will be possible –maybe." 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Really??? They Listened?

This week I had the privilege to talk with a bunch of middle schoolers. The night before I was to face these small monsters I was filled with terror. Scheming for any possible way to get out of it, I thought about feigning sickness. That lie would not have been too far off course noting the way my stomach was feeling. My biggest concern was based simply on my fear for survival. I was worried that a classroom full of middle schoolers would eat me for lunch. My assignment was to speak to 20 – 30 little people at 25 minute intervals nine times throughout the day. The eight graders came first and to my great delight when I looked up, they were listening and full of questions.  
After my introduction, I wanted them to get to know me a bit, so I ask them some true or false questions. I had several outlandish false claims but the true ones seemed to cause their heads to tilt in wonder.  
Which is true or false? (all true)
·  As a boy I was shot in the head with an arrow?
·  I was born into a Mennonite farm community and lived on a potato farm until I was six years old.
·  As a youngster our family did not have enough beds so I slept in the bottom drawer of a chest of drawers until I was four years old.
·  When I was your age I would not kiss a girl because I was afraid the girl would laugh at how silly my kiss was?
·  I have had 20 car accidents, two motorcycle accidents and two of my car accidents happened on the same day fifteen minutes apart.
·  I barely graduated from High School and swore I would never go to college.
I knew I had little to offer the brainiacs in the room. My hope was to offer encouragement to the kids where school came hard. That is a story I know well, even with nearly 50 years separating me from those days the feelings are as close as yesterday. My story, Angel with Wrinkles I hoped would give them a window into the beginning of my story and it did wake up most of the kids.
The crux of my talk laid out a few simple principles I have learned along the way.
o   Everyone is smart at something. Maybe it isn’t school work but that is not evidence you are not smart at something.
o   80% of success is showing up ( I know not very original but still true)
o   Fear is part of the process but push through it and take advantage of scary opportunities.
Who knows if anything said made a difference but I said what I know and I am hopeful. All in all I had more fun than I thought possible and I feel honored that I was allowed to share a bit of myself with some young people.