Making It


He received the invite. Nashville’s Grand Ole’ Opry. Now, it was real. Satisfaction cut through the engraved stress marks on his face that belied his young years. He had earned it. Rough schedules, racking up miles across the country, opening shows with a mixture of envy and admiration for those who had paid their dues.

Billed as the new Hank Williams those close to him shuddered at the commonality.

Blinding lights, applause, screams, hands reaching to touch him played in his head as he splashed water against his face and patted down his hair. The paraphernalia used earlier set on the counter beside the sink. One more time to pull him through. Good that he forgot to put it away, he told himself ignoring the real reason. The effect didn’t last that long, just enough to get him on stage.

“Twenty minutes,” the chauffeur said through the phone.

Muscles tightened. His stomach quivered. He washed white pills down with bourbon to calm the nerves, but his thoughts were on the bathroom counter. One last time his mind reasoned. Before the show, before walking onto that famous auditorium with pieces of wood from the Ryman auditorium.

The wood Hank Williams stood.

The stretcher disappeared out the door. That close to making it his chauffeur thought with a tear in his eye.

Your Comments and Shares are appreciated. Thank you, Paul.

The old woman next door


Three summers now, rude words cut through the cool morning air followed by a window shut with force that rattled the glass.

The old woman next door started that damn lawn mower every Saturday morning at 6:45 am sharp. You could set your watch by it.

A chain link fence, four feet from his bedroom window separated the properties. The landlord made it clear that seniors made up most of the quiet street. He assured the landlord, early or late, he never threw parties. In fact, he did his partying after work before he came home in the wee hours of the morning. He slept late, and returned to the club where he and three others played music from nine to one o’clock in the morning. If anything, learning of the quiet neighborhood drove him to sign the rental agreement without reading or asking questions.

He never admitted the early Saturday morning routine had turned into a game. He could have left the window unopened that one day of the week, or used earplugs.

As it turned out, a game so ingrained that he woke up 6:45 sharp every Saturday morning from the first Saturday the lawn mower failed to start. A habit that continued after they took down the for sale sign.

Have you experienced a conflict with people and discovered that you missed them and the conflict after they were gone?

I never met a dog I didn’t like


There are people I don’t like.  Will Rogers claims to have never met a man he didn’t like, but that is a stretch for me. I’m not saying some are worthless to the core. I want to believe a redeeming quality lies somewhere in the vilest person.

Dogs are different. Sure, they may have one or two bad qualities. More, in most cases. Same as people, they have bad habits. They pee on carpets, steal food from the table or your hand and run. They chase mail carriers, track in mud, get on the furniture when you turn your back, leave teeth marks on your favorite shoes, and send expensive obedience school manners down the drain when company arrives.

But they love you.

Even when you drink too much, let gas, belch, scratch your stomach, or take more than your share of the bed.

Rin-Tin-Tin was awesome in movies. So was Benji, and a host of amazing dog movie stars. But, I’m talking in your face dogs, those that meet you at the door, the huggers and kissers. The slobbers and droolers. Those that save lives, protect, warn of fire, danger and intruders.

Dogs that point out the bad people.

I will stretch. I’ll check out Will Rogers’ famous quote and look for underlying qualities before kissing off people. I’ll jump start unconditional love and do my best to keep it running.

That’s what dogs do.