Saturday, March 29, 2014

Glennie...



I am the oldest of the surviving Shorey boys. Glennie would have been older, but he died at three years of age of cancer. I turned one year old on December 16. He passed away less than a week later.

Glennie refused to be separated from his cowboy boots, and in the photo he is wearing an old beat up cowboy hat that he loved. My sisters are a little older than me and remember him fondly. They, along with our mom and dad, say that he was a beautiful child in disposition and in physicality. Glennie was intuitive, sweet spirited, which reminds all us of our daughter, Meagan. Even though he was taking maximum radiation treatments Glennie was bright and sunny.

I drew this picture of Glennie (formal name Glendon) from a faded, grainy, black and white, picture. The fatigue of the treatments shows up around his eyes much more dramatically in the actual photo. Hopefully, later on down the road, I will draw it again. But for now I want to post sketches such as this for all kinds of different reasons.

In particular, I know mom will love this...

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Spring Has Sprung...

Cataula was under high, thin, wispy clouds, and a gentle breeze on Saturday making it a perfect work day. I went up and down several hundred feet of frontage on Holland Road on the 4 wheeler and collected 4 bags of trash. Why people chuck bottles, cans, and bags of fast-food wrappings out their car windows, rather than just throwing them away in their own trash cans I will never understand. Surrounding The Shire, acres and acres of rolling pastures, that just a week ago were a sea of beige, are beginning to cast a green hue that shimmers in the wind. Everything within the perimeter of the white board fence, out-buildings. and pond--about 7 acres--gets mowed. The sun will rise and set another couple of weeks before the lawn begins to produce chlorophyll and stretch toward the sky. But right now you can almost watch the mottled patches of clover, dandelions, and spiked tufts of wild onions grow. Dandelions crowned with yellow blossoms reminded me of my childhood in Maine. Every spring mom used to dig up the dandelion greens and cook them. I remember how good they tasted splashed with vinegar. On Saturday, I lacked the ambition to get a trowel and continue the tradition.

Bradford Pear trees are dropping their delicate white petals and slowly morphing to a soft pastel green from their outside edges toward the their middle. Hundreds of bees awakened by the warming temperatures zipped among their branches siphoning the last dregs of sweetness from their buds. High-bush blueberries are covered with tiny clusters of future pies and jam. Forsythia is spreads like an umbrella displaying brilliant golden arcs. Protruding domes of ant hills are busy with activity. Hollowed gourds, that once upon a time housed purple martins, hanging high above the ground have been commandeered by bluebirds. At least a dozen of them flitted about chasing down bugs, romancing their partners, and rebuilding their nests.

Spring has sprung...


Life at The Shire

On Friday afternoon, my friend Royce Railey brought his young son, Lee "R", (I call him Shadrap Buzzbait Rattletrap Railey) over here to The Shire to do some fishing. SBRR is learning the nuances of angling from his dad who is a professional bass fisherman on the FLW tournaments. We all caught fish, but for me listening to SBRR's conversations with his father and observing the loving interaction between them was the best part of the entire experience. As I stood on the opposite bank the sounds of their voices, the particular "spat" of lures hitting the water, bass breaking the surface, or the excited "I got one, Dad!" resonated  across the pond in pitches and echoes that cannot be duplicated.

Simultaneously, off toward the southwest shotguns and other weapons bellowed. I knew it was another friend and father, Todd, teaching his young son, Scott, how to shoot skeet, and fire weapons accurately and safely. The two of them are extremely close and joined at the hip on the weekends.

It's crazy how our minds (at least mine does) chase down lines of thought, but as I slung my own lure in between trees I thought of another father, David, and his son, Walker, who on Saturday morning, the opening day of turkey season, would cover themselves with camouflage, creep into the woods with an assortment of turkey calls and a 12 Gauge Benelli shotgun and try to lure a gobbler into range. Dad does the calling. Son does the shooting. Love that arrangement.

As I sorted through the pleasant sounds coming from the physical world around me and the nostalgic thoughts rising up in the spiritual world within me, I remember sighing, "This father misses his sons… and this son misses his father."

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Dad in his Navy Dress Whites...


My father joined the Navy at age 17. He was a Plank Member on the submarine, Pintado. He and his shipmates received a Presidential Citation for bravery. I miss him…

I drew this sketch from a picture I have. 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

It's None Of Your Business...

Jesus said… "I tell you [Peter] the truth, when you were young, you were able to do as you liked; you dressed yourself and went where ever you wanted to go. But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and others will dress you and take you where you don't want to go." Jesus said this to let him know by what kind of death he would glorify God. Then Jesus told him, "Follow me." Peter turned around and saw behind them the disciple Jesus loved-the one who had leaned on Jesus during supper and asked, "Lord, who will betray you?" Peter asked Jesus, "What about him him, Lord?" Jesus replied, "If I want him [John] to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? As for you follow me." ~ John 21:18-22

In the passage above, Jesus has just restored Peter. You probably know the story. In a sequence of three confrontations, Peter had denied he knew Jesus. In a sequence of three questions, Jesus wiped away those offenses, and the bitter feelings of guilt the passionate fisherman carried. Peter was restored and recommissioned.

Peter is a reminder that for every disciple some things remain the same: we can no longer do as we please, Jesus will reset the trajectory of our lives, and the people we encounter--be they godly or ungodly--are part of God's sovereignty involved in our trajectory.

But not everything is the same. The dialogue between Jesus and Peter reminds us that the trajectory of the lives of all disciples, ancient or present, varies in extreme degrees from person-to-person. Fact is, they may vary wildly. According to the lore of church tradition, Peter would end up in the cruel and merciless clutches of the ungodly. But being dragged by the rough hands of persecutors would not mean he was no longer in God's hands. Bad people, with bad intentions, doing bad things, would actually lead to God being glorified in Peter's life. Peter died as a relatively young man pinned to a cross--an inverted crucifixion. He considered himself unworthy of dying as his Savior did.

Yet, as the words of Jesus' restoration still hung in the air, impetuous Peter quickly rallied and fired a question back at Jesus. "What about John? What will his life look like?" Like the lives of Peter and John, each disciples journey may radically contrast. According to the lore of church tradition, John lived a long, though not easy life, well into his nineties (comparable to the epically long lifetimes during Noah's era).

We, too, can be more concerned with God's Providence for another believer, rather than what God has planned for us. We will never glorify God by coveting the lives of others. When we make that our business, we can expect to hear, "It's none of your business."