Sunday, October 8, 2023


 "Good morning, neighbor....."

.....I turned toward the yard and front porch of a close neighbor living on the same east Texas road as we do. I was on my Monday morning walk and for the first time in days, had legs with strength and a mindset for the exercise. 

I stopped, replied "Good Morning" and asked if she was enjoying the morning with a cup of coffee. She said she had already had 4 cups and I replied that ought to do it. 

She and her young 5 year-old granddaughter got up and started walking toward me on the road. I noticed granddaughter was barefoot and mentioned that to grandmother. "Is she barefoot?" There are big rocks, small rocks, grass spots and dirt paths they were crossing to get to me.  

"Is there any other way?" A matter of fact statement of her young grandkids. Granddaughter crossed all my perceived obstacles in her path, barefoot, without pause and both of them arrived to walk with me down the the tar-paved road. Granddaughter's eyes still puffy from a night's sleep.

"So this is what 5 years old looks like" I thought to myself. I have 73 years on this little gal and so much has changed. Everything has changed!

Grandmother and I talked of things of no significance. We chat easily and I could spend much time sitting on her porch visiting of everything and nothing. 

Granddaughter asked if she could pick some of the wild flowers along the road and grandma said yes. Into the taller grass, some brambles and Texas things with long legs: barefoot. Wild flowers retrieved and back to the blacktop road: barefoot. Grinning, I shook my head in awe. 

"So this is what 5 years old looks like?", I again said to myself.

Further down the road, pipe fences are covered in wild, vine-winding flowers. Grandmother walked across a patch of grass, yanked a string of flowers for granddaughter who immediately strung them around her neck. An instinctive 5 year-old girl norm, I thought. She adjusted the string of flowers around her neck much like my wife adjusts a string of pearls around her neck.

I reached the end of distance I walk, turned around to head home. Grandmother and granddaughter in tow.

Then, a moment that tore at my heart. Briefly stopped, I noticed 5 year-old standing next to me: barefoot. Quiet. I turned to her two hands holding up a single light purple flower to me. A simple offering. I was taken aback and asked, "Is that for me." She nodded yes, staring through me with two large brown eyes the size of the moon. The kindest smile that no one ever saw, but me.  

So this is what 5 years old looks like!

The sounds of the back roads here carry long distances. A small car was approaching from the south so we stopped and stepped aside before the car was in view. Cresting the hill, the car slowed down, the driver's window rolled down and a smiling "good morning" said as he passed us by.

As we neared the corner, grandmother saw granddaughter number 2, maybe number 3, standing on the porch looking for her. Alone and for a few moments lost in a "grandmother and youngest sister having completely disappeared" movie. 

Towards us she came running barefoot carrying a well-worn teddy bear. Within a few more moments, the last granddaughter came running to us, wearing sandals and her hair set in a ponytail. She may have primped a little before coming out.

Each of these young gals can carry on full conversations of storytelling, asking questions and offering perspectives. Full, complete sentences wrapped in carefree expressions. 

I am of the opinion that grandmother spoils these children somewhat when they come to visit. "Is there any other way?"

Together, they led me home.



"Yes, Dust in the Wind and all of that." I found the above video earlier in the week and thought worth sharing. 

A single flower I pass by several times a day, has bloomed amongst a bed of greens and other colors. It was only for the taking of a moment to look at the basket, to see the photograph.




A CLOSE RACE, but I think the Golden Retriever won. Just me! 



A good writer can take things that eat at me, "gnawings", and put each and all into perspective. Paint a picture and easily capsulize a problem.  And the good writer can hold the reader to the end of story.  A good story sticks. 

YoumeandTheafter has been my attempt to tell stories, to rant enough to empty my mind of some gnawings and to get on with any given day of living a life.

I found the above article on The Burning Platform this past week and quickly realized that so many of the "little" things that eat at me these days" were well covered in that article. Twice read.

To many of the topics mentioned, I might like to comment, but realize, to what point? Best shared as is.

These are elephants in the room that only my wife and I discuss, usually over breakfast. Elections are a year away and whatever is coming is already seeping through the cracks.

Lots of food for thought "out there."


Israel and Hamas at war this past week.

Not going to post sites. Too much and you can find any information given your interest. The posted video atrocities committed against women and other civilians this past week can be viewed at will. 



Health care workers strike (here) & (here).

I am on blood thinners now and life will be forever different. "Improvise, adapt and overcome." Heartbreak Ridge

Tore some muscle in my right bicep a week ago. Took 4 days for the bruising to show up and show up it did. Large, red, purple and yellow. The yellow part is the injury healing. A good color.  But a trip to the urgent care was in order, to be on the safe side. I have never bruised like this before, ever. 

Appears to be a minor injury needing time to heal and cared for over the next few weeks. And it was explained to me that the bruise will continue to grow more, moving down my bicep (gravity) towards the elbow. And it has, just like clockwork. Ice and time. 

Having the availability of a healthcare worker is something we (I) take for granted. Always has been someone to go to for medical care, minor injury to major injury. Always. 

And just like that!! What to do when they are not available?

"Times they are a changin." 

This past week was the very first time I ever took the time to listen to the words.  Damn!!!

We are on our own more and more; huh?  

"Who ya gonna call?" sorry.


Numb this morning from worldly events.

God bless and prepare! Thanks for the visit.


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