Minceys Musings

Being a Big Wig

A colleague once told me that someone who had known me practically my entire life (a person I had considered a life icon) made a statement to the effect that I had forgotten where I came from. This was purportedly because I would neither heed to nor seek this person’s advice at work. May I respectfully disagree.

In Conclusion

Picture it—church on Sunday morning. The pastor has delivered the points of his message, and the congregation has responded in many ways. Some follow the pastor’s every word, focusing on him intently.

There are others, however, that rarely if ever focus on the Sunday morning sermon. What is going through these people’s minds?

A Very Present Help

I once attended a service at Loveland Baptist Church when Rev. Oliver Wolfenbarger was pastor. He rose to preach and announced his text. It was the same text he had used the previous Sunday.

Preacher Wolfenbarger said, “I know what you’re thinking—poor ol’ Wolfenbarger’s losing it. He don’t remember that he preached on these same verses last week. I just want you to know, that I know I preached this last week, but I didn’t get finished. What’s more, I’m just as crazy as you think I am.”

Another Friend Has Gone

I was saddened to learn just last week of the passing of a colleague from my first eight years teaching at Luttrell Elementary School. I have throughout the years had many colleagues, most of which were just acquaintances, but a few who became treasured friends.

The President Has My Number

Picture it—I’m sitting in my living room in my usual spot on the loveseat. It’s the evening of the day of my latest medical procedure. I was not able to eat solid food for one full day before the procedure, so I am indulging in a delicious supper of fried egg and bacon sandwiches that my wife prepared especially for me.

I can remember a time when all my meals were eaten at the kitchen table with my mother and father. At that time it would have been unthinkable to eat a meal in the living room in front of the television. A snack, maybe, but never a meal.

Double minded?

I was on my way to work last week. I was listening to the late minister Adrian Rogers on Christian radio station BBC. Like many engaging preachers, Pastor Rogers possessed a drawing voice filled with conviction. One of the main things I like about him is his sense of humor—not foolish, but thought provoking.
In the course of his sermon, Pastor Rogers stated that it was not possible to think of two things at the same time. This gave me pause for thought.

The Answer in Poetry

When my only half-brother on my mother’s side passed away, he told his wife he wanted me to have his books. I received quite a few, but there was one in particular that his last spouse favored and made sure to keep for herself. I hope that book has brought her much peace and joy throughout the almost ensuing decade following his departure. It is not I who will go to the grave knowing I failed to fill one of my dying spouse’s last wishes, and I certainly don’t miss what I never had.

Human Raccoons

I read a post on Facebook a few days ago that brought me a moment’s pause. Someone wrote that s/he never imagined ever entering a bank wearing a mask and asking for money.
Have you ever thought that if someone had predicted your future and told you certain things that you would have imagined yourself to be in a completely different place and circumstance than you presently find yourself?

What Scares You?

Two weeks ago I left three fictitious youngsters in the hayloft of Uncle Ex Newman’s barn as they laid out of school— Clark Mosely, his older brother Hen, and their still older cousin Jay Harvey Tatum. Three youngsters alone in a barn can be a scary situation for those not in the barn, I’m sure. I promise to join them in their misadventures once again soon, but inspiration has taken me on another path for this week.

Seek and ye shall find (somethin')

John Clark Mosely and his one-and-a-half-year-old brother Bobby Henry set out with their cousin Jay Harvey Tatum to find their father Fletch Mosely. If truth be told, Hen hoped they didn’t find him. Hen figured Fletch would beat the sap out of them for laying out of school. “Maybe,” Hen hoped, “he won’t even know it’s a school day.” Daddy never had been much for school when he was little—he only went to (not through) the second grade, and he hadn’t been around home enough lately to know much about what was going on. Hen would never have let either his little brother or older cousin know that he was scared of his daddy, but he for “dang-shore” was!

When the Storms of Life are Raging

(This is the continuation of last week’s story titled “From Dust Thou Art”.)

It was after Bella had put the little Mosley aunts to bed and had turned in herself before Mother Maggie returned. She talked quietly to Pa Fain, so quietly that Bella tiptoed out of her bed and hid behind the living room door to hear what was being said. Bella was so curious to know what had happened to Della that she felt she could not sleep if she didn’t know. Sneaking like this was dangerous, for if Pa Fain had caught her, his belt strap would have given her backside a reminder not to snoop that would have lasted for at least a week.

From Dust Thou Art

(This is the continuation of the story I began two weeks ago titled “A Child Shall Lead”.)

“What do you mean somethin’s wrong with Dellie?” crossly questioned Granny Evie Tatum.

“She started hurtin’ early this mornin’. She left Evelyn to look after the other kids while I tried to lead her here. But she got to hurtin’ so bad that she made me leave her propped up against a stump while I run here to get you and Uncle Iv.”

Don't Slob on Your Dipper

Last week I wrote Part One of a story I hope you found to be enjoyable. I promised to write the second part this week, but other inspiration in light of COVID-19 has come to my mind.
When I was a young boy, my father was friends with Earn Hendrix, a blind gentleman who lived with his elderly mother on Dotson Creek, very close to my Great-Aunt Minnie and Uncle Jim Yadon. Aunt Minnie was sister to my grandfather Charlie Sampson.

A Child Shall Lead

Oh, Lord, please help me get there before it’s too late. This and many similar thoughts swam through the nearly delirious Della Maude’s mind as she struggled through the thick brown bed of fallen leaves. She stumbled many times and would have fallen had it not been for the support and steadying hand of her husband’s niece, Bella.

Scavenger Hunt

The date is Monday, March 16, 2020. As I write this article, the county, state, nation and world is in a state of unrest due to Coronavirus. Today the U. S. Stock Market took its sharpest dive since 1987, when Ronald Reagan was president. Amazing to me, especially as it was just a few days ago that it showed a dramatic one day increase! This is just evidence of how fast things change in an uncertain and fearful world.

Reality . . . What’s That?

I still have the first dictionary I ever owned. Ms. Wanza Sharp gave it to me in fourth grade. It was missing both front and back covers, and the first and last few pages were missing. I still have it safely tucked away in my home library archives. The dictionary is precious because it was one of the first books I ever owned, and Ms. Wanza, one of my all-time heroes both in and out of the classroom, gave it to me. Also, I spent many a day playing school with that wonderful volume.

The Peddler’s Ware

Have you ever felt like just getting away from it all? Perhaps in moments of trouble or frustration you, like I, have thought how wonderful it would be just to keep driving in the direction you were going, turning away from all the job struggles, family worries, quarrelsome friends, and debt.

Heaven on Earth

Ah, the summer of 1983! Alas, I remember it well. It was the last summer before I became an undergraduate at Lincoln Memorial University. Oh, how I looked forward to being surrounded for four years in an environment completely saturated with Lincoln lore and memorabilia. In the entire time I lived on the Harrogate campus, I never tired of seeing Lincoln everywhere I turned. I was in heaven on earth!