Winter has come to Texas. It was so cold here this morning – 7 degrees with the windchill – that I didn’t go out for a walk, which sorely disappointed my dog. He’s in for a huge surprise, as I may not venture out very much for the next week. The forecast calls for more single-digit temperatures with a possibility of snow.
If it snows, I might go out. I like snow. Yeah. I’m silly that way. I’ll have to see if Dusty feels the same way about strange white stuff raining down on us.
Slim Randles is my guest today, but before turning the blog space over to him, I want to announce that my latest book, The Many Faces of Grief: Stories of Love, Loss, and Hope From a Hospital Chaplain is now live. The book chronicles my 30+ years working in hospital ministry, first as a volunteer and then as a professional.
The book is a tribute to all the people who graced my life during those years, allowing me to be part of their journeys of triumph and tragedy. Sharing those experiences affected me in a profound way, changing my way of looking at life and living.
It is also my story of personal growth from those first tentative steps into visits with patients through my Clinical Pastoral Education and the years I worked full-time in Pastoral Services at a hospital in Omaha, NE.
My hope is that those who choose to read the stories will be able to smile at some and be inspired by them all.
Now here’s Slim. Grab a cup of hot cocoa to stay warm on this cold, cold, day and enjoy the read.
“You know,” said Herb, “when this danged virus thingie is over and we all have our shots and are guaranteed to live longer than anyone else wants us to, there is only one thing I’ll miss.”
Doc, our morning coffee medical expert, put down his cup and looked at Herb, who was not our medical expert but a retired pawn shop owner.
“You mean you’re going to miss this pandemic, Herb? It’s terrible. What on earth will you miss about it?”
Herb glanced around the philosophy counter here at the Mule Barn truck stop and smiled.
“I will slightly miss its contributions to our more colorful swearing.”
“Oh … “ said the cowboy, Steve. “because we cussed it so much?”
“Not a bit, Steve. No, it was in the use of new words and phrases. For example, as a cussing epithet, who could outdo someone who says, “I want that virus vaccination now, PANDEMIC!”
“Or … why don’t you just go COVID yourself …. 19 times!”
Doc nodded. “Good one, Herb.”
“I know,” said Windy, “how about let’s VIRUSTICATE ourselves over to the bar and have a CORONA?”
“That sounds like fun, Windy,” said Doc, “but at my age it’d be just my luck to virusticate myself over to the bar and have a coronary, instead!”
Windy had a quizzical look on his old bearded face. “Well … how about a Budweiser then?”
“That does sound wiser,” Doc said.
Sometimes, there is a danger that expanding the language can create its own problems. That’s why we drink coffee here.
Brought to you by Desperate Season, from award-winning author Maryann Miller, a mystery found at Amazon.com.
Oh my! I didn’t see this tagline until just now when getting his post ready. What a delightful surprise, right after I snorted my coffee when reading the last comment from Doc. Thank you, Slim, for this endorsement of my book.
Check out all of Slim’s award-winning books at his Goodreads Page and in better bookstores and bunkhouses throughout the free world.
All of the posts here are from his syndicated column, Home Country that is read in hundreds of newspapers across the country. I am always happy to have him share his wit and wisdom here.
Slim Randles is a veteran newspaperman, hunting guide, cowboy and dog musher. He was a feature writer and columnist for The Anchorage Daily News for 10 years and guided hunters in the Alaska Range and the Talkeetna Mountains. A resident of New Mexico now for more than 30 years, Randles is the prize-winning author of a dozen books, and is host of two podcasts and a television program.