T’is the Season: Of Choirs and Angels and All-week Practice Wednesday, Nov 28 2012 

Musical drama rehearsal from where I sit in the choir loft.

The timing of the Christmas season in our household undoubtedly begins in late November/early December in the choir loft where churchmates gather night by night to practice for the annual musical drama, scheduled for production the first weekend in December.

So here we are tonight, as every night this week.  Choir stationed behind the stage in the darkened sanctuary, players adorned in 1st century Near Eastern garb, theatre lights probing the darkness.

The darkness?

No, this season is not about  darkness! The light!

Yes, the light.  T’is the season of light.

Friday, Nov 23 2012 



As one steeped in the manners of my native rural Deep South, I should have known better when I visited Manhattan last week. But, wooed by the seductive allures of “When in Rome, do as the Romans,” I had to learn my lesson. Thank God it ended OK, but not until I came to my “Country boy can survive” senses. Here’s what happened.crowne-plaza.jpg

When we arrived in the city, we had to check our bags with the bell captain at the Crown Plaza Hotel on Broadway because we arrived a little early for check-in. We took a stroll around the neighborhood to get a feel for the surroundings (that’s another country boy tendency, by the way: to analyze surroundings, especially in unfamiliar environments.) When check-in time came, we reported back to the bell captain, clutching our claim tickets to gather our bags to head to the room. But the bell…

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The Bayou des Cannes Medley Monday, Nov 19 2012 

What do men do at a camp on the banks of Bayou des Cannes outside of Eunice, Louisiana after a church men’s fellowship supper of squirrel sauce piquant, black-eyed peas, and banana nut cake?  Un ‘ti brin de la musique, of course.

Daylight Savings Time: Thank God for Winn Dixie! Tuesday, Nov 13 2012 

All summer long, we played outside, we did yard work, we rode bikes–anything to avoid coming in before the dark of night, which seemed never to outlast our energy.  But this Daylight Savings time of year, work ends at 4:30, daylight close behind.  I despise the dreary, dark days of this season when premature darkness spoils day’s end. 

Oh, what to do to extend our lease on life after dusk?

Let’s go to Winn Dixie!  The shopping errands Sarah used to run in the afternoon we now postpone until after supper so we’ll have something to do in those lean hours of early eventide, the same hours in summer when we rode, we ran, we mowed, and we romped.  Not so much riding or running or mowing or romping at Winn Dixie, but at least we’re moving around!

Thank God thus for Winn Dixie, for Fuel Perks and reduced overripe bananas richly abounding, and for someplace to go and something to do in the dark, short days of mid-November.

Veterans Day Salute: Father-in-Law Tommy Morris, Sr. Friday, Nov 9 2012 

Tommy Morris, Sr. was a World War II sailor. He was a proud veteran!

My father-in-law was always proud to talk about his service on an aircraft carrier in the Pacific during World War II.  He set foot on the hallowed grounds of Bougainville and Guadalcanal and other celebrated landmarks of that region and that era.  His stories of that time were rich and spellbinding.  For example, once on one of those island duty outposts, an air raid siren sounded at night.  He ran from his tent to report to his assigned duty station.  When the emergency was over, he returned to the place where his tent had been to find not a tent but a smoldering crater.  In such moments, men contemplate the Almighty!  And he was ever a man of great faith.  Thank God for the siren, or I may have been deprived of my Sarah Ann.

Like most of that generation, he’s passed on from us, but we ever owe his generation a debt of gratitude.

So on this Veterans Day weekend, we raise a toast to your memory, PaPaw Morris–We thank you for your service.  Our supreme regret is that you’re still not here.

Friday, Nov 9 2012 


It’s been a while since this blog has tackled a linguistics topic.  One usage from childhood I recall among the American Deep South Scotch Irish “southern” talking folks of the Louisiana Florida Parishes was “like to a‘” with the approximate translation of almost.  Here are some examples:

“I like to a’ puked my guts out last night with that stomach bug.”

“Uncle Joe like to a’ died after he seen Aint Bea pickin’ her nose in church.”

“Bruther Jones like to a’ preached the hell out a’ his congergation.”

“Ol’ Joe Blow like to a’ keeled over dead after he learnt that dawg that bit him had rabies.”

Yep, I’ve known people that talked just like that.  But not Cajuns.  Just Deep South Scotch-Irish, mostly years ago.

Now, where does “like to a‘” come from?  Obviously, it’s translated as “like to have.”  So the most…

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Humble Rewards of the Teaching Profession: Farewell, Laura Gorham Thursday, Nov 1 2012 

A colleague at arms in the teaching profession  departed this world too early by earthly standards.  Laura Gorham was only 47.

Laura Sittig Gorham, our sister and friend.

Laura was a favored teacher of our own daughter in 7th grade American History some years ago.  And Laura was a church-mate for years,

a woman of remarkable faith who cherished the friendship and fellowship of the community of faith.  She loved her church and the people therein.  And they loved her likewise.

Given Laura’s steadfast faith, her passing is victory.   Rather than lament her estate, we should lament our own, for her faith in the glorious installment of eternity that follows the present was real.  In spite of the disease that ravaged her latter days, she is now free, unlike we who remain.

Praise God who heals, no matter that healing is on one side or the other of life.  Laura is healed!