Winners All

My North Dakota friend, Elaine invited my out to her farm to harvest the last of her rhubarb to take back to Texas.  After a beautiful garden tour, we went inside and compared travel notes about her upcoming trip out west, which included Cody, Wyoming.  "Which road is best?  Which is most scenic?  The Beartooth Highway had snow higher than the truck last June.  Don't miss the museum.  Ride the trolley.  Look at this brochure that mentions Meeteetse.  Where is that?  How do you think it's pronounced?  It must be close to Cody.  You should go there too!!"

The next day we played musical gates at the Denver Airport when our flight was delayed and a group of  red-shirted high school boys made all three changes with us.  I finally got close to read the printing on the shirts - "Meeteetse Fighting Longhorns".  What? Meeteetse?  A Wyoming football team going to Texas?  Unheard of.  And to think that I had just heard of Meeteetse - population 327 - just south of Cody, Wyoming.  And going to Robert Lee, Texas (population 1049) of all places.

The coaches of the two teams had met at something like a football camp and made a plan.  After months and months of fund raising, which included building a mile of fence for a rancher, the six-man team's dream was turning to reality.  Their ages probably spanned four years.  They came in all shapes, sizes and athletic abilities.  These well-behaved young men wore naturally faded jeans, scruffy boots, and a little peach fuzz on the chin.  I imagine that not only can they play football but can also rope a calf, skin an elk, and shoot a coyote.  Who knows - they may even carry shotguns in their pick-up trucks.

This team that practices in 80 degree weather under the backdrop of the the Beartooth Mountains, Yellowstone National Park, and the Tetons were headed straight to triple digit heat, and a town whose water supply has completely dried up.  The host team is another gritty group of kids who live in rugged rocky West Texas ranch country.  They can sheer a sheep, ride a horse, and chop down a cedar tree. They too can rope a calf, skin a deer,and shoot a coyote.  Who knows - they may even carry shotguns in their pick-up trucks.

As there is no lodging in Robert Lee, the guests will be staying in the homes of their opponents.  Before going back home, they will attend classes together for a day.

AND - get this - Robert Lee, Texas residents did their own fund raisers to get those guys here.

The Friday night lights are probably turned off by now and the score board is dark.  But no matter what the score was - they are all winners! ALL.  Both teams.  Both towns.

Let's send up a big "YEE HAW" to the Longhorns and the Steers for good news and hope for the future of America!




Bring Back the Front Porch

After MUCH reflection,
I have figured out the problem with America.

It's not the right or the left or the center.
It's not the Baptists or the Methodists or the Lutherans.
It's not the Cold War, the Civil War, or Star Wars.

It's the 
front porch.

Or, more specifically, 
it's the demise of the front porch.

With urban sprawl (whatever that is...),
we built modern houses and neighborhoods
without front porches or sidewalks,

because we need our privacy.

So we have built behind every house, a secluded outdoor living space.

 Away from prying eyes and the sounds of the street.

We love it - no matter how low budget, thrift store, redneck.

But we have forfeited knowing our neighbors.

We don't know when the Olson's are on vacation
 because someone else picks up their papers.

We don't know that the new neighbors next door
have three little boys and one on the way.
We wouldn't know that the Daddy 
let those same little boys 
ride on the leather couch on the trailer on moving day.

We don't know about the guy sitting on the tailgate 
holding a barbecue pit with one hand and waving with the other

or the man standing in the back of his truck 
balancing a floor lamp while his wife drives.

And we don't know about the man on the Harley,
trying to convince his very disgruntled rider 
to get back on.

We would miss waving at
 all the couples, families and friends
 that walk or bicycle by on warm still evenings.

 Let's bring back front porches.

It's a place for a cool drink after a hard days work.

 Problems get smaller as the front porch
breeze blows them away.

Nothing is more relaxing or inviting 
than fern baskets and rocking chairs.

And besides all that,
How in the world would we know when our yards
have gone to 

Courtesy of the Church Youth Group Fund

Come on over and still a spell..... 
ummm.... on the porch.
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