Tiny Bite

“Just a tad,” I respond to Alison, our longtime family dentist. After first placing and then removing the permanent crown on my tooth, she is making adjustments so that my upper and lower teeth come together in unison. After several bite tests, followed by some grinding down of the crown, my teeth are almost hitting at the same time. We are getting close. Although the adjustments Alison is making are actually very tiny – fractional  in actual measurement – that difference is significant  in … [Read more...]

Just Coffee

“Life is an echo. What you send out, comes back. What you sow, you reap. What you give, you get. What you see in others, exists in you.” Zig Ziglar   As Matt approaches the counter, he remembers what had happened just a week earlier in this same convenience store. As he pulled out his wallet to pay for a cup of coffee, the clerk told him that an elderly gentleman who had just left the store had already covered the cost of his beverage. Matt hurriedly sought and found this thoughtful … [Read more...]

Happy Birthday

“It takes a long time to become young.”  Pablo Picasso At this point, it is not too important to be accurate on the exact number – that is, the number that represents my age. I have been around a long time – let’s leave it at that. I hope to be here for at least a few more years. Without excessive revelation, let’s just say that I am in the fourth quarter of my life. Happy Birthday! Hmmm. While I really don’t seek anything special for my birthday, I was amazed by the large number of folks … [Read more...]

Real Rest

Taking time to do nothing often brings everything into perspective. Doe Zantamata “Alright, let’s go walk on the pier,” my wife announces. It is late in the afternoon. Our Australian Labradoodle, River – who completely understands southern drawl  English—is already up and jumping like crazy at the door!  One of his favorite things to do is to walk on our 960-foot pier that protrudes over the wetlands, ending at Alligator Bayou. The attraction is the marshland, with its distinctive smell and its … [Read more...]

A Contrarian View

"The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.” John Kenneth Galbraith As soon as I am comfortable with a view I have adopted, it is going to be challenged by the ultimate challenger in my life, my wife Carol. Sometimes, I just know that I am on solid ground. Then, I dive into a one-on-one with my life partner, and soon I have second thoughts about a view that seemed to be certain only minutes earlier. It would not be an exaggeration to say that Carol poses a … [Read more...]

Tee-Shirt Message

“Never, never, never give up.”    Sir Winston Churchill ‘The harder you train, the smaller your obstacles become” were the words imprinted on the back of his tee-shirt. We were with our grandkids at a yogurt shop in Orange Beach -- everyone  was chomping into delicious desserts. Fifteen-year old Chase, when questioned about the meaning of the motto he was sporting on his comfortable apparel, responded quizzically that he was uncertain about the slogan; nor could he remember how he acquired … [Read more...]

Repetition

“A baseball swing is a very finely tuned instrument. It is repetition, and more repetition, then a little more after that.” Reggie Jackson I pull back on the throttles of the twin 715 diesels of The Great Gab-Sea as we approach the ‘trolling corridor,’ an area located about 8.5 miles south of Perdido Pass in the Gulf of Mexico. Our team grabs the rods and reels that have already been prepared with different selected lures. Choosing my compass heading, I engage the engines in idle speed as … [Read more...]

The Most Powerful Words

“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” Maya Angelou ‘I love you’ are influential words.  Most of us were introduced to this phrase during childhood. When properly applied in life-giving situations, these three little words are a catalyst for exceptional outcomes.  Conversely, when used in selfish or other negative ways, this phrase can be emotionally hurtful and even destructive. ‘Love’ is not a neutral … [Read more...]

What Could Have Been

“You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.”  Source: Benjamin Mee, “We Bought a Zoo”  One of my all-time favorite movies is The Wizard of Oz. And my favorite character in that movie is Cowardly Lion. I love the scene where The Wizard shares wisdom about courage and fear with Cowardly Lion. As mortal living beings, it is natural for us to associate … [Read more...]

The Dividing Line

The company my wife Carol and I founded almost five decades ago, Hackbarth Delivery Service, was launched from  our small three-bedroom home in an historic neighborhood of Mobile, Alabama. A sun room off to the side of our small kitchen  served two purposes -- half for Carol’s den and the other was my office. A couch  providing seating in the den became the dividing line between my office and Carol’s den. Not enough for either purpose, the division of space became a bone of contention.   The … [Read more...]