Friday, October 18, 2013

Law Enforcement and The Gun Culture

          A quick Google check of total firearms in the United States will roughly reflect the American civilian population out paces any place in the world with approximately 270 to 310 million non-military firearms distributed among a population of 316.8 million people.  Blended among this total, from January 2009 through January 2013, 65.4 million background checks have been conducted in this country alone for the purchase of individually owned firearms and it does not take long for a reasonably sane person to shake their head in utter amazement.  With this said, let me say to the Ladies and Gentlemen, Conservatives and Liberals, and any race or nationality that compose the population of this great country, that regardless of how your feelings register, as related to the Constitution of the United States, IT IS the governing authority “Of the People.” 

           For the first time in my almost 63 years of life, I am inundated almost daily by a Presidential administration and Democrat influenced Congress from attacks on various problems associated with the Constitution with emphasis on the Second Amendment, especially.  Running in close parallel as if to add substance to this verbal discourse our elected officials are regurgitating are the voices of tenured “intellectual heads, or academia”  that represents many leading universities throughout our country with some of them calling for the total dismissal of this Divinely inspired document!    To borrow from the Novel Unintended Consequences, by John Ross, there exist in America,  a base core of Americans known as The Gun Culture.  These are the "tired and poor," those “huddled masses yearning to be free,” that our Statue of Liberty welcomed to our shores in the last 200 years!  A collection of different races and cultures that came legally to this "melting pot" they only knew as the United States of America.  They came here because of the promise of freedom, to embrace life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as promised by this amazing document. These people sought not to change our way of life but blend into her very soul as they gave up their native language, adopted ours and from many cultures became "one" America!  The core belief in their very souls was truly to become part of a "One Nation, Under God," as they offered their gifts of individualism and willingness to give of themselves as well as the lives of their sons and daughters in two World Wars.  Because of the opportunity the Constitution of the United States offered, it allowed this country to be blessed as no other civilization ever in the history of mankind.  This is where the Gun Culture found its heartbeat and it can still be found in the DNA every true American of every State in this Union. With the undertow of political dissent moving in our hearts today, we recognize once again, this urgent sense of "oneness" that is disturbing the true "strain" of Americans to Hold fast to one inalienable right we hold dear.  The right to “keep and bear arms” and that that right, “shall not be infringed!” 

          Have you ever sat and watched as storm clouds gathered with amazed anticipation of the unknown?   So it is with many of us today, as we watch an expanding and perceived unchecked Federal Government take aim at “We the People.”  In our preparations for the uncontrolled fury of natural forces, some of us run from the threat while yet many of us dig in.   With this being a known reaction, why is it not surprising that we find ourselves divided as a Nation.  I clearly stated in one of my earlier short stories, Thoughts Reflected,  that my rights as an American Citizen was given to me by God Almighty, not by a government elected by unions, fraud and minorities that think the purpose of government is to sustain their personal greed.  But yet here we are, surrounded by an almost majority population existing of 10-15 million plus illegal aliens joining forces with an existing welfare state that depends on the Treasury of the United States to support them.  Now you tell me, is this not exactly what the majority of 535 men and women have sold their very souls to do! Are those of us who are grounded in our basic core beliefs, now even more deliberate in resisting the change being forced upon us by a Federal Government designed from its very inception to protect us?  You see, you and I subsist as the benefactors of those "huddled masses," as their faith, blood and labors paved our fundamental way of life. As we become more cognizant of this undesirable path we are being funneled toward, we are collectively beginning to dig in as to assert our discontent toward those responsible for this move.  We will sustain our way of life if need be but at what cost is yet to be decided!  We are the existing heartbeat of the Gun Culture that defines the very soul of this Nation. 

        And it is here we find ourselves defined as a society, all across this nation, governed by state and local laws, living in large cities, towns and parishes governed by men and women we call by first names.  Accepted and desired by us is our State, Parish, Municipal and local Law Enforcement Community that protects us from each other, as since the Gates of Dawn mankind has become adept at adversarial behaviors intent on destroying one another!   As we exist today, probably 95% of our Law Enforcement Communities interaction with firearms has always been what we refer too, as our  criminal element. On the other side of the coin, you find those law abiding citizens that embrace our peace keepers as we have watched them grow from T-ball to High School athletics in our local communities to become the young men and women whose chosen profession it is to protect us, as was ours to protect them.  All of us must recognize, it is "those of us you protect," who put you there!  What is unknown to you as you practice the role of protector in our society is, as the storm clouds of discontent continue to gather, you will encounter us more and more.   We are not the criminal element of society that you are used to encountering.   As we become more visible in your existing world, you need to know that we are simply defined as the Gun Culture who has the right to keep and bear arms just as you do.  We exist in almost every home, automobile and business and increase in growing numbers every month of every year.   We will appear and interlace with you as force-multipliers in the form of open and concealed carry, all of which are constitutionally allowed and authorized by Local and State Revised Statutes.  

          Most of us have seen You Tube videos, or similar post on various social media sites where Law Enforcement and the Gun Culture meet face to face in various public or not so public incidents. We know at times the interaction between the two can become extremely tense. As a result of these unfortunate misunderstandings, the governmental authority or Law Enforcement Officer(s), exercises his authority over the citizenry which usually leads to an arrest followed by a common mistrust of both sides.  Almost immediately as these chain of events are set in motion, the law suits follow at what time the main stream media takes possession of this unnecessary situation as their "spin" is then fed to the voices of discontent through the local news stream.  Once exposed to the masses, it will be left for them alone to decide who was right and wrong and this is where the finder of facts will be decided along those political and racial divides.  We must understand that the Law is the Law and until it is changed, it should be enforced FAIRLY across societal norms!

           How is this to be accomplished? An avenue that should certainly be explored is the responsibility of governmental leadership.  If they come to acknowledge that our Law Enforcement Community should be trained to enforce the WORD of LAW as it exists and not used as an excuse for individual interpretation.  As an immediate first step, those laws concerning the legal possession of firearms should be taught in the form of sensitivity training to new academy recruits as well as to existing police line divisions. This training should be mandatory for law enforcement administrators!  As an NRA Pistol Instructor who teaches firearm Safety and Concealed Carry Training, I want my students to know that there exists a thin blue line protecting the honest society from the criminally inclined.  This thin blue line exists in the form of adrenalin pumped young men and women that ride in marked and unmarked police units throughout our country. They simply have not been taught how to interact with the Gun Culture. The only thing they know is how to react to a perceived threat. We NEED and WANT these men and women who are willing to put their lives in harms way, for each of us,  as they intervene on our behalf to Serve and Protect. God forbid if that time presents itself, they just might need us, too! 

           Law Enforcement professionals need to know the LAWS concerning the carrying of firearms in the communities they serve. Further, they need to know there are thousands of us that can legally carry, whether it is OPEN carry or CONCEALED carry.  Please understand, that the majority of us who are licensed to carry do know the laws governing our actions. There is no reason why a law enforcement officer should treat an honest citizen,  again usually licensed to carry as a result of a background check by an authority of that States Government, should be treated as a common criminal on a misdemeanor traffic stop.  In my resident State of Louisiana, it is the concealed carry permit holder’s responsibility to inform a Law Enforcement officer who makes contact with them in an official capacity, that they ARE carrying concealed. The officer has two choices at this point. Inform the individual he is going to disarm him/her, which they can do, or tell them to leave their weapon secure with instructions to keep their hands where they can be seen. A lot of what the officer may or may not do at this point is precipitated on the “purpose” of that “contact with them in an official capacity.” Why in the world would any officer take possession of a firearm authorized him by the rules of engagement, run that legally permitted weapon through NCIC to see if it’s stolen?  And to continue to add insult to injury, remove the magazine and every cartridge in it placing them on the back floorboard before locking the pistol in the trunk as to insure their safe departure? Or better yet, disassemble the entire weapon and lay it on the floorboard of the back seat with an implied threat not to attempt to touch it until they have departed the traffic stop?

           Yes, lawfully armed citizens have been subjected to this type of treatment as if we were stereotypical criminals simply because of the “LACK of TRAINING" given to law enforcement personnel to include their supervisors.  I can only predict that because of the growing number of concealed carry permit holders in Louisiana alone, the frequency of these types of interactions will only increase. I shake my head in disbelief knowing this type of training has not already been extended to those who serve with pride and honor.  Are we just determined to force our will upon others until the tax base fails and society as we know it crumbles around us?

Federal vs. State vs. Parish vs. City vs. the Gun Culture.  Which side find Ye?

Rod Ferguson
August 16, 2013

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Thoughts Reflected

I have been short of late at posting anything but a few occasional words on my blog for the year 2013.  It seems as if an entire year has come full circle yet I have sat dormant and the urge to write simply has not possessed my soul to reflect or share anything of my past with anyone remotely interested in what I could share.  It is Sunday afternoon and I am sitting on my patio listening to the world pass me by.  Absent again is the sound of my Mockingbirds as they usually entertain me with their late afternoon serenades.  It was a year ago on my Facebook Quotes of 2012 that I mentioned not hearing a sound from my normally vocal friends and was told they were resting.  The "dog days of summer" have encouraged rest as another group of fledglings have taken their place in the evolution of my immediate macro climate...  The pesty mosquito is back this year still giving thanks to what ever god he serves for the meal he "thinks" he is about to receive.  Heck, why not.  I let them get half gorged before I smush them where ever they are on my ample body and console myself that that mosquito probably sucked from my body the one cancer cell that could have killed me somewhere down the road.

I pointed out two things that were of significant importance to me in the preface of my 2013 blog.  The fact that my son was going back into harms way and that my oldest sister was not doing that well.  So as a fat Turtle Dove sits on a 7200 volt line and mourns her soft coo in the fading light of this day, let me see if I can touch on where I am at this particular "time" in my life.  I shared with those that read one of my first stories, The Mockingbird, and Why It Is So Real in my Life, that for me, I have broken the average lifespan down into four seasons.  Those seasons, starting with our birth through age 19, I called the Spring of our life.  The next 20 years, age 20 through 39 years I refer to as the Summer of our life.   Quickly following is the Fall of our life which is 'by definition,' age 40 through age 59!  Now I know that many of us will live into our 80's and some of us even our 90's, I must ask you to understand that as I speak to you,  I am in the Winter of my life at age 62.  I still feel good and work like I am still in the Fall of my life.  Thus, enter Phase I of the Winter of my life, and if you can identify, yours as well.  Just the other day I was sharing with a friend of mine that has become somewhat interested in my short stories, that I thought it important to define the four stages that I visualize in my mind that the Winter of our life presents us with.  As we were talking, she interjected a few thoughts of her own that she thought would be prevalent for our current conversation.  Didn't take long for me to realize my idea of a short story was her idea of a Non-fiction novel of which I simply cannot comprehend in my mind.  It is like the word infinite!  We know exactly what it means and how it is defined, but I simply cannot comprehend its depth.  So as I speak to you in Phase I of the Winter of my life, let me tell you where I am August 11, 2013.

My son Stewart, as most of you know, has returned from Afghanistan one more time, safely.  For those of you that may be stumbling across this story for the first time, let me just tell you in a nutshell what he is and what he has done his entire adult life.  He joined the Air Force before he ever graduated High School and was gone from me before he ever turned 20.  The early summer of his life found him a Graduate of the Air Force's battlefield airman, called TACP (Tactical Air Control Party).  From there he went to Ft. Benning, Ga where he picked up his Airborne Wings.  Somewhere right after the airborne wings he was stationed at Pope AFB/Ft. Bragg, NC,  and we found ourselves sitting on the end of my bed watching airplanes fly into the world trade center.  He slaps me on the back and says, "Well Dad, looks like my generation has found its war!"  At least he took his profession seriously.  He added Army Sniper School, a Ranger Tab and HALO School to his two Associate of Arts Degrees from the Air Force Community College, so folks that is all he knows.  How to prepare for and apply the art of war, complete with the horrors that imprint the mind forever. 

As we speak, he is back in Afghanistan.  He left just this past week to return for what he says is a transitional period to train his Air Force replacement in the U.S Army's 1st Ranger Battalion.  Said he should be there two maybe three weeks and then he is coming back home where the Air Force takes warriors just like him and puts them to pasture.  "It was like a kick in the stomach," he told me when he heard that the Air Force was going to move him and his family to Fairbanks, Alaska.  He fought it at first.  Who wants to lose the starting quarterback position to some young, upcoming airman he probably trained in the first place?  But isn't this what he asked for?  Or better yet what his father prayed for?  The only thing I truly know my son enjoys more that the "art of war" (God forbid), is the outdoors.   Hunting and fishing runs in his blood, and it is like God has preserved for him one of the most beautiful places in the world, Alaska.  I am hoping there are no Volkswagen's left up there because that boy shoots much better than I do, and I'm no slouch...  Anyway, if all goes well and he is not called back into JSOC (Joint Special Operations Center) he will learn how to adjust into the father he is and the husband he should be.  How I wish I could go back to Alaska and live the remainder of my life.  I would even be happy with Jasper, Arkansas...  Oh well, I'm still in Phase I.  I still have hopes and dreams until Phase II slaps me across the mouth.  In the meantime, I would like for those of you that have rambled this far into my reading, to pray for my son and his family.  Two Bronze Stars are enough.  Don't you think?  I will let you know when he returns home from his 9th and final trip (I hope) into harms way.  Those trips alone have taken its toll on this old man and how can I thank my friends enough for their prayers over the years?

As I adjust into Phase I of the winter of my life, I sit back in deliberate silence and listen to the stories of family members as my oldest sister struggles with what I would call Phase IV of the Winter of her life.  I wrote about this sweet woman in 2011 in my story, Who Are Hero's?  Actually that story was written before 2011, it is just that I posted it that particular year on my newly developed blog or collection of short stories.  I will have to refrain from speaking the feelings of my heart as I may have to go to Monroe and address some long needed business. I have two wonderful sisters and a more than capable niece that looks after my sister the best they know how within their personal constraints of sanity vs. rage.  I have been there to visit my oldest sister Diane on three different occasions to find her house locked up tighter than a medieval castle.  The only thing missing was a mote.  I sat in my car knowing I could call and make contact or maybe go to the front door and knock like many others have, only to be ignored.  This of course, I am told, is instigated by her husband who seems to resist any input from immediate family as to what constitutes her best interest.  He manages her medicines, as information unfolds and more than one have noticed that her am meds are given to her at 2 or 3 pm if given at all. We just don't know.  He allows no outside help in the form of  Home Health Care to come in and really check on both of them.  Has taken it upon himself to decide when she is to go out and really who she is to see unless "family" just barges in of which I refuse to do.  It is not my legal business to pry into my sisters personal life so I best remain outside of the loop.  I have had issues since my father passed in 1996 with this man and it is in my best interest, balanced with my current level of sanity, to leave well enough alone.  For me to become unleashed would not be conducive to family longevity.   However, if ever I even hear she is touched in other than loving ways, or verbally abused beyond what is tolerated by normal circumstances, let me remind you here, reader, that God does say that vengeance is His.  I just prefer God uses me for His vessel of vengeance if this thought develops into a concrete truth.  So usually my voice of reason reaches me occasionally from  Sandra, my second sister mostly, as she is the only one that calls to keep me up to speed.

My youngest sister Nona, told me a few weeks back that she worries about my mental health at times so I will try not to bother her with trivial things going on in Diane's life.  She thinks Diane is half crazy for the way she thinks most of the time, so if anyone would know of sibling mental stability it would be her as she watches the three oldest fumble around in different stages of the winter of our lives.  Linda? Well, so far she hasn't approached me about any kinds of assisted living as we speak.  She does know to take me to some VA center, hang my DD form 214 around my neck and drive away without looking in the rear view mirror.  So far I'm allowed in our shared bedroom if I stay on my side of the bed!

My niece?  Well.  She has two sisters.  My oldest sister is really their responsibility, so any decisions to be made about their mother's well being will be theirs and certainly not mine.  But my heart still aches to know.  The last time I saw Diane was at Sandra's 50th anniversary on February 2nd of this year.  She looked really weak but still had that sweet smile I love so much.  In between the smiles and her soft touching of my hand as we sat at the table we shared, I had to bite my lip as I listened to her husband's stories of "drowning puppies" when he didn't want to fool with them.  I know not how long she has to remain on this earth and further understand that she is very cognizant of what is going on???  Her memory is not that good as Nona  has told me that she is capable of understanding and carrying a conversation but may very well not remember it the following day.  Am I justified in staying away from her for nefarious reasons?  I mean, I simply do not understand why in the world this man will not allow any and everyone who cares for her to interact with his wife in making the last of her days go peaceful?  I can't help but wonder what in the hell is going on behind closed doors?    The immediate family has tried all that is possible to open these doors to interact with her as to give her company as she navigates the last days, weeks or months of her existence.  But make me a eat my words, I shall not underestimate this woman.  She could very well outlive all of her siblings.

So as I close the pages of a very short tribute to my readers that are concerned with my concerns, let me tell you I still ride a Goldwing and drive that same ole Grey '86 Corvette I bought in California and drove back to Pineville in 2000.  Really found that perfect car for me, or so I thought in a Black Mercedes C300.  Had my name all over it...  Linda just said I needed to sell my three corvettes and my motorcycle to pay for it.  So here I sit.  I still dream of living in Newton County Arkansas down at the end of some dirt road where the only car coming down the road is coming to visit me or possibly looking for trouble.  And wouldn't it be nice to have an outside shower?   How wonderful it would be to experience four distinct seasons of a given year.  And why have I always had a passion for honey bee's?  Nature's nectar.

I am too far to the right in my political beliefs to even engage in a pleasant conversation with a republican much less a democrat.  I am inclined to the right and the left can go to hell as far as I'm concerned.  I've just got to stand face to face with my Creator someday and try to explain to him why I thought the way I did in the late spring and summer of my life.  Yes, like Reagan once said, he too, was once a democrat.  So I will continue to post tidbits of information on my blog and live each day hopefully, to the fullness of its intended purpose.  Why wish away even one day.  Fridays and Saturdays are hard for me for some reason and I actually find peace in Sundays.  I embrace Monday with enthusiasm as I do the rest the week.  And yes, I am paranoid of this country's future.  I am actually afraid of the Government that boldly tells us the Constitution of the United States, which I believe was divinely inspired, has serious flaws and needs to be replaced??  And my God in Heaven, why does not the Congress of the United States of America  challenge such recklessness of this administration's path?  So far to the right that I have fought with myself for an entire year, what would I really do if this Government does take a stand against the people?  Where are the men and women we send to represent us?  Why have they sold their very soul to gain the world?  Its obvious they have done this.  So where do I really stand.  Struggled with this a long time.  My rights as an American Citizen was given to me by God Almighty, not by a government elected by unions, fraud and minorities that think the purpose of government is to sustain their personal greed.  I read once that any pain inflicted upon you last for a while but pride last forever.  As a personal reminder of who I am and my conviction, I permanently reminded myself that the pain of death would be my choice because my rights "Shall Not Be Infringed!"  Molon Labe.  My prayer is that it will never come to this...  I have been wrong before.  Haven't we all?

Rod Ferguson
August 13, 2013

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Facebook Quotes of 2013

I started collecting facebook quotes around the middle of 2011.  As that year faded into 2012, I started to post a few pictures and add comments to my post that friends contributed, that to me, only added to the humor or fun of the original post.  As 2013 introduced the beginning of another calendar year to us, I feel compelled to continue what I started in 2011.  I guess as long as I remain a facebook member, I will contribute to the 2013 quotes as I did the previous years.  I have noticed that not to many folks comment anymore as they probably don't venture this deep into my collection of stories...  Here is what you might expect as 2013 continues.  My oldest sister is in poor health and my son is going back into harms way sometimes in January through early June.  My grand kids that I interact with daily are growing older and I don't expect my facebook friend list to expand much larger that what it is.  Basically, it has reached a saturation point and quite frankly, I don't win friends and influence people like I once did!  Laughing...  So here is the beginning of a new year with an unknown finish as we begin... Stay with me.  I do add to this often...


          Anniversary dinner at Applebee's! I told her there was no need in her cooking when she could buy me dinner!

Larry Good:   Congratulations. Love you both                        
Brad Sturdivant:   Congrats!!!

Martha Durham Compton:   Well aren't you just the sweetheart allowing her to do that for you!! Happy Anniversary!

Martha Holliman Preston:   What a beautiful couple! Congratulations!

Debbie Rizzo:  Congratulations! Rod, you losing weight?

June Thompson Overstreet:  U such a lover!

Rod Ferguson:  Avoiding the scales this holiday season. Don't think I'm losing but hoping I'm not gaining. Need to start back on my Limu lean shakes.  Probably could drop 10 to 15 pounds in a couple of weeks if I did it right.

Rod Ferguson:   Thank you June.  I use to be able to hold my own, now I just try my best to hold on!

Sandi Shannon Woods:   LOL you are so good to her !!! :)!!!

Bettye Crystal Bogue Jones:   what a deal...all around!

Lauren Maxwell Spillers:   Congratulations, but you are so bad Rodney!

Leona Price Cagle:  Congrats you two kids...

Merilyn Matkins Breithaupt:   Happy Anniversary you two....many more years to come....

Jerry Breithaupt:   Congratulations, you are just too nice,., LOL Linda must be a tough woman to put up with you...

Anita Holloway:   You're a mess Rod!!! LOL!!!



Becky Woods Harper:   Congrats to you both!!

Rod Ferguson:   Thanks guys. I've really struggled to help Linda along. She has responded well to training, thus making it possible for me to keep her! I thought for sure that her Bawcomville background might really interfere with my ability to adjust to her "different" ways, but it appears it has worked out just fine! She has made me three chocolate pies this week alone, and promised a Fourth one tonight. It seems that every time she checks my sugar level my diabetes hasn't gone up a bit! Told me she is using granular sugar which is good for diabetics. I'm really lucky...

Becky Woods Harper:   Oh you gonna get it Rodman! :)

Rod Ferguson:  I sure hope so!

Becky Woods Harper:   Down Rodman!!!

Becky Woods Harper:  You being bad.........

Posted sometimes late January 1 from home.

          Right in the center of this picture is a navigational buoy for passing tows. If you enlarge this pic, you will see a small bird sitting atop this buoy and an expanding circle of water he just made as he splashed into it for whatever reason, returning to his perch. Have no idea this bird's name but he chatters really fast and keeps me company as I sit by my river. 

John Takewell:   I see the bird but can't blow it up enough to tell what kind it is ...probably a tern, could be a left tern or right tern but if he went out dipped the water and then right back I'd say it was a u tern. Lol

Rod Ferguson:   Dang John! That's what he did! It is a U Tern.

Posted January 7 at 1045am

          My river spot is back to normal as our new year establishes itself in our daily protocol. As I pulled up into the pre-dawn darkness of my river this morning, I noticed that both sides had been cleared of its seasonal lighting. Gone are the symmetrical Christmas trees the city of Alexandria created on their tall mercury vapor lights across the river. Here on my side, all of the smaller lights have been taken off the leafless Natchez Crepe Myrtle trees and the giant Peace On Earth sign removed. Light is coming earlier to my river but like the months of July and August, my mockingbird is quiet. There is a Mild disturbance in my heart and soul as I sit here this morning. Death defining "time" itself is again making visual road markers in my oldest siblings life as my youngest son again prepares for yet another journey into harm's way. "Whoa boy!" Be still my heart. Let me get a grip on this before you run away with me!
Posted January 8 at 0645am

I did not write this.  It is believed that Patrick Henry wrote this in 1775.  In light of the current political upheaval where our Government thinks they control us, I simply posted this to my friends and added my thoughts in parentheses within the body.  Only one of my contemporaries responded...

          "It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace – but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! (actually 50 years ago as America's voice remained silent as a very CLEAR minority escorted the Alpha and Omega out of the Heartbeat of our very soul) The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! (If we have arms to bear.... Just how many of "US" will give them up when the government simply ask for them?) Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? (Because we are disorganized. If they WACO'ed your neighbors home, what would you do! Well yes! Almost every home in the south has a firearm in it!) What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? (The America that nurtured each of us into adulthood, to return. For our government to do its job. Provide us the freedom to pursue happiness and reap the rewards of OUR labor) Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? (Are those in power, NOT enslaving those of us that are already Slaves even more?)Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!" (Who ReAlLy is prepared?? YOU answer that question to yourself, not me! We have seen it happen and said nothing.)

Doyle Jinks:   True ,, but herein lies another view ... Some will fall to this coming barrage of "illegal gun violations" crimes ,, that I see looming in our future ... And as observed "we won't react"... But, did our forefathers respond at the first "oppressive tax" or to the first drop of "rebel" blood..???

I trust we will "rise up" ,, when those WACO'd are our neighbors and family instead of some unknown "strange" folks... It may take two or three in short order for us to reach that point,, where we are are willing to sacrifice "life as we know it".... Ruby ridge and Waco will never become our battle cry ,,,,, but ,, there is one out there that will ....

Posted January 8 from Pineville, La

           I sit here at my river as the pouring rain falls on my car. Lightning accents the Gates of Dawn with her light show. Through the rain drenched windshield of my patrol unit I can observe my 60'x 30' American Flag yielding to a northeastern wind atop her visual perch. God has been dismissed from public life and now the minority screams for us to lay down our guns for a greater peace?? I wonder when this icon of liberty, freedom and peace will be attacked and her rightful place among us will also become desiccated by the cry of the left. Oh yeah. They will cry loudly to suppress the only symbol in the world that stands for exactly what it means in our hearts. The flag of the United States of America.

Posted January 10 at 0650hrs from my River.

A friend of mine of many years, Johnny Fatheree,  posted the following two quotes of historical value that settled in my heart.  I could not help but go back and read them over and over.  Where Tench Coxe's words were powerful, it was really Thomas Jefferson's words that moved me into a very strange state of mind.  No one really responded, but from the depths of my heart, I could not help by share my feelings...  He posted:

     "Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms

each man against his own bosom? Congress shall have no power to disarm the militia.

Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an

American ... The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or

state governments, but where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the People."

-- Tench Coxe, 1788.

And then he posted this from Thomas Jefferson:

     "And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from

time to time that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take

arms...the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood

of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure."

-- Thomas Jefferson

Rod Ferguson Posted this Prayer:  My God in heaven. The truth in these words. Are we there? Why are all of our hearts heavy? Is the time come to refresh the tree of liberty? One more time let me read this... Absolutely. It does say my blood. Oh precious God. Forgive us where we failed you and allowed Your blessings to be hurled back at you as to blend with the politically correct. Is not the blood of the patriot the same manure as the blood of the tyrant? What am I precious Lord? Patriot or tyrant? I too have taken of the forbidden fruit as I sinned against you and remained silent as did others. I recognize the discontent of my heart. And as I take my stand and if my blood will spill, it matters not my blood was patriot or tyrant. Both together nourish the tree of liberty. Correct us in Your wisdom of which we cannot understand.

Johnny Fatheree:  So eloquently put.

Posted January 13 from my home.

          It is snowing in Jasper, Arkansas according to the weather on my Iphone. Of all the places I've visited, I love that part of Arkansas the best. Down some long winding dirt road to a small cabin with a big porch and great view with the only sounds of man the crack of a distant gunshot, a passing airplane at altitude or a visiting vehicle coming down my private road to see me. Sitting on a front porch with 23 degree weather, bundled up in a warm blanket watching the snow fall, I wonder where my mind would take me?? I will never forget the dreams I have.

Posted January 15 from my IPhone

          0100 hrs appears in soft blue colors on my digital clock that I have been watching since 10:30. I've told pandora "I am still listening" four times as my birthday present is curled softly beside me sound asleep. Since school was cancelled tomorrow, our grandson stayed at his moms tonight so my little fuzz ball is piled up with me where she needs to be! Lol. Anyway, we decided to call her Meggie Mew instead of Tiddy Tat.   Linda said it would be easier telling the Vet her name instead of spelling it out as to eliminate the shock! She is a climber and like high places so... Have no idea why I am wide awake. So many things cross ones mind in the quiet of the morning as no one thing dominates the drifting mind. Sometimes my heart will center on friends past, present and future and a sadness as well as a smile will throw my mind into another world of thought. I dwell mostly on the political landscape and the imagined horrors of this nation without the blessings of a Holy God. So I guess there is a discombobulated peace in my mind that stirs my thoughts against rest. I think, is my problem. I think maybe, that as Our Creator slowly removes His hand from a country so determined for Him not to be here, it is only natural for the carnal mind to dwell upon those things never thought of as we lay our heads to rest in what we grew up knowing was a free country. Rebellion? Never in my life have I worried about something Divinely inspired being taken from me. As Moses wrote down the Divinely inspired first five books of our Bible as spoken to him by God, this Generation is watching the constitution of this country being attacked with every intention of it being undone. I feel this document too, was Divinely inspired as our early leaders and the one(s) that penned the Declaration of Independence sought His guidance in the infancy of this Nation and dedicated it to Him. I'm rambling. We are divided. Half will understand what I am saying and half will not. Still wide awake and its 0146 now and Meggie Mew hasn't moved. Reckon ill go pee and wander on down to the media room and watch some TV.

Posted January 16 at 0145 am from home

          No traffic is moving this morning over my drawbridge because she is closed due to icy conditions. The locks on my river are opened wide as she runs quickly down stream with the red clay silt turning her into that ugly reddish color. She will regain her composure after a couple of weeks of rain run off and unless some unknown rain event re-enters the forecast??? I will not see her rise in her angry mode until the ice melts in her northern basin this coming spring.

Posted January 16 at 0645 from my river

          My river seems to have slowed her pace. Her rusty color is still present so the locks must still be opened. So many times I sit here and watch her persistent pace to her final destination of which I can only imagine is eventually the Gulf of Mexico? Is my river the same as time? Always there yet moving to a final destination? We know our ultimate destiny, yes, but as I sit here and correlate my river with time, I must ask, how many friendships pass me by simply because I sit here and watch. My U-tern is back on her navigational buoy chattering away, splashing in and out of the river. A White Heron just violated the space of a Great Blue Heron, so he simply lifts off for a more secluded or secure spot? How anti-social. And here I must leave my river and engage my daily chores as both my river and time interact in harmony as if they are programed by a higher order???

Posted January 18 from my River

          0615 in the morning and I am awakened by the piercing sound of an Am track horn from across Lake Pontchartrain as I sleep on the North Shore. I have seen this very train before as I sat on the elevated balcony of my cousin Alvin's home drinking coffee. I remember asking him if that was "The City of New Orleans," Illinois Centrals Monday morning rail? He just smiled and told me no, that that train turned East somewhere up the line. But here I am months later listening to the rhythm of the rails under the warm covers on a cold Sunday morning. Mardi Gras is kicking across the Big Lake in the Crescent City and my mind races back to MLK holiday two years ago. My oldest sister Diane was in the hospital in West Monroe and I was up there visiting with her. I even remember my Egg McMuffin breakfast that morning as I left Linda's mom's house early. Well, she again is in the hospital this holiday up in Monroe and time marches on. The festivities continue and I am 62 and no longer 60. If I could undo the last two years, I think I would have gotten on that Train instead. I wonder where it would have taken me and how different things might have been? Think ill go shower and join the day with my cousin. Good morning America, how are you?

And my wonderful friends started adding there thoughts...

Jerry Breithaupt Morning Rod, Hope your sister is doing better.

Steve Brooks:  It's not too late to get on that train. Do it it is a fun ride. I did not know that the train I rode from Jackson to NOLA and back again in a few days was not the City of New Orleans. I was under the impression that it was. Beware though, it stops every 8 miles coming south from Jackson at every little bump of a town along the tracks. Back then it irritated me to death that it took so long. Now I would just love the scenery and the peace. Life has changed,and we are her native sons.

Rod Ferguson:  You nailed it Steve. We are slowing down in more ways that just age. We are starting to notice the things that are the parts of the whole as the sum slowly begins to reveal itself because we allow that now.

Becky Woods Harper Good morning Rodman.

Rod Ferguson:   As fresh coffee fills the downstairs I gaze across the fog laden waters and know the distant sun is working hard to melt away the obstructions to our curiosity. It is going to be a beautiful day. Thank you Precious Lord for your continued blessings. They are so simple yet boundless in your giving. May your word be heard and understood in countless Churches across this country this, Your day. Punya? I love you.

Jo Otwell May:  Morning Rodney!

Rod Ferguson:   Morning Ms Jo.

Lydia Hernandez Blades:   G'morning Rod.

Rod Ferguson:   Hey awe yaw!!

Leona Price Cagle:   Morning Rod and everyone else!

Rod Ferguson:   Absolutely!

Larry Good:   Hi Rod, That was the first song I learned to play on guitar.

Rod Ferguson:   Yup. I must of sang that song at least 10,000 times.

Karen Gauthier:   Rodney, that makes me remember a Labor day weekend in 2003, i had had a wonderful weekend with my mom and said so to myself out loud about midnight on Sunday when I was finally tucked away in my bed, with the children in their beds, and I was happy for the first time in quite some time at how much fun we had all had!!! and THEN, the phone rang, and I sprung into action, running down the hallway.... i got "the" call, that would bring me to my knees and change my life FOREVER; my beautiful older sister, at age 46, was dead from suicide.... and my spiral down into the darkness of grief would haul me away for many, many years.... sorry to be so gloomy on this beautiful Sunday day, but it just brought back the memory...
Rod Ferguson:   Never apologize for expressing your heart, sweet Karen. It was a train horn that stimulated my post.

Posted January 20 at 0630 hrs from Slidell, LA

          Yesterday morning, Ashton, my 6 year old grandson, who will turn 7 tomorrow, the 23rd of January came down into the den and crawled up into my lap. I started kissing him and told him, "I won't be able to kiss you anymore when you turn 7 years old, Wednesday." He looked at me, squeezed my neck and told me, "Yes you will, Poppy. I want you to always love and kiss me!" As I am typing this, I find myself sitting here staring at the flashing cursor, thinking back some 23 years or so to another 7 year old that may or may not have said the same thing.  He cannot crawl up in my lap and let me kiss him now, but my love  for him is still as strong as it ever was as he again he slips back into harms way. Precious friends, when those little arms slip around your neck or seek to hold your aging hand, thank God for your blessings. For one day, they just might be the one... Well. You can only imagine.
Posted January 22 at 0800 am from my office

          Driving home from Sam's and Ashton tells me he loves me a million! Linda asked if he loved her that much too and he said heck no! You feed me. There is not a number that high!! *sigh*. I remember when a million meant something.

Posted January 25 1900 pm from home


          My river is heavy with fog this morning. Is seems to be getting progressively thicker as the minutes tick by. The strip of trees between where I am parked and the levee is alive with the sound of Blue Jays fussing. Wonder why my mockingbirds are quiet? The heavy fog is closing in on my visible world like depression use to close in on my mind. I sit here and think of my life long friend struggling for his life in an Arlington, Tx., ICU and through the clutter of man made noises I finally hear my mockingbird's voice assure me that our Creator is still in control. Thank you my friends for your prayers and your friendship.

For my friends that keep up with my life through my blog, here is the story. Last week Mickey was in his garage working with an 8 inch hand grinder. Somehow it came apart disintegrating in his hand. When the blade tore lose,  it cut his right index finger off at the middle knuckle and he found it was hanging on with just a little bit of flesh. The finger was surgically reattached and Mickey was placed on a lot of antibiotics and also some heavy duty pain medicine. Over a three or four day period of time this medicine compacted his system. He told me he tried all kinds of laxatives to loosen it up. Instead of calling the doctor he sat in his bathroom and pushed too hard apparently perforating his colon. He became extremely ill within a couple of hours and his son, Brandon, took him to the emergency room. They diagnosed the problem immediately and for some reason, he told me they were going to observe him for 48 hours despite the 103° temperature that he had. Yesterday afternoon, the 4th of February, he called me and told me they were rushing him into surgery.  He stayed in surgery for a bout 3 1/2 hours the best I can predict. Brandon called me late last night and told me his dad was in the ICU on a ventilator and was not doing well. I just got off of the telephone with a very nice ward nurse in the IC unit where Mickey is staying on the afternoon of February 5th. She could only tell me that he was stable and still on a ventilator. I asked if he were conscious and she could not tell me. I am thinking that he is critically stable. I am seriously worried about him as I write these words here. I have been in touch with his wife, Donna, in the Philippines. I have not told her how really bad I personally think he is. I am praying his general good health, will bring him through this. Thank you  all for keeping him in your prayers.  Please, if you are this far with me, include his wife, Donna...

Posted February 5 at 1420 pm from my Office.

          Took a couple of vacation days to go sit with Mickey in Arlington, TX.  Got there around 6ish and the ICU was closed to visitors from 6pm until 8pm, so I went with one of the RN's Mickey works with and his son Brandon to have supper. When we returned to the ICU at 8:15pm we discovered his room was vacant and what little personal stuff he had was gone! I did not need that as my entire trip was based on the fact he was in critical condition! We found out they had moved him to a private room! Your prayers are working. He has a ways to go but from every indication he is recovering way ahead of schedule! He said he may even be able to come home as early as Monday unless he is enjoying his drugs too much and just running his mouth! It is good to see him in the mind set he is in, even though it is drug induced. I am looking forward to the next few days with him ! Thanks everybody. You all have been here for me and Mickey!! Thank you.

Posted February 7 @ 2200hrs from Arlington, TX

           Catheter is gone and they are getting him up for physical therapy. We gonna be sitting in a chair! I'm in the corner watching this. Pain pump engaged and legs moved to the side. This should be interesting. And painful.

Posted February 8 in the AM hrs from Hospital Room

          Back at Arlington Memorial to sit with Mickey. Nothing I can do for him as the professionals care for his every need. We hardly speak because he hurts. He is able to sleep though, between the BP and temperature checks and the other dozen or so activities that keeps him from resting. But some how it doesn't matter that we can't really socialize like old friends. He knows I'm there and I am comforted knowing I am where I'm supposed to be, just with him. Another heart flare up last night. I will find out just how bad before long. Don't forget us over here and to those who haven't, it is apparent your prayers are heard and felt.

Posted February 9 early am

          Mickey called me at his house after I left the hospital Friday night and told me he was having another episode of tachycardia with his heart and that they were moving him to the Telemetry Floor for close monitoring.  It was after 10pm so I decided to stay at his home and just wait until the next day to go back.  By this time ,residual Mississippi wine from years past had placed me in a place I didn't need to be so I just went on to sleep.  Discovered the next morning that his heart rate spiked for a while around 170 bpm...  

           Hey yaw. Should I get up and make that long drive or go see my buddy again in the hospital? Probably go see him again. Yup. That's what I will do.

Posted February 10 at 5:30am from Hospital

          Another one of those nights of memories before falling asleep and I am awakened by a string of thunderstorms that raked through the Metroplex at 4:30 Sunday morning.  No need in trying to go back to sleep so I got out of bed, put my things together and headed to the hospital to see Mickey again.  For the first time since my visit, he seemed more alert and in tune with my presence.  He told me how much it meant for me to be there and that he didn't want me to go.  Just knowing I was there meant a lot to him and for some reason I knew exactly what he meant.  He told me I almost killed him Friday morning when they removed his catheter.  The ward Nurse came in to remove the catheter and redress his wound and asked me if I wanted to step out of the room.  I told her that we had been married for 35 years so it was not necessary, and he told me that he almost started laughing out loud which would have put him in cardiac arrest.  It took that sweet nurse 20 seconds before she could even move before asking me, "really?"  One of the male nurses had come in to check his BP and temp earlier and told me his temperature was 97.5 which was a touch low.  I told him my core temperature was 96.8 after my sex change operation 14 years ago.  When he left the room, Mickey told me I was going to have to stop that shit or I was going to kill him from laughing.   It finally dawned on them what kind of friendship Mickey and I actually had and they eventually warmed up.   All in all, Mickey and I both fed off each others company even though few words were exchanged.  He has a long way to go as would anyone following this type of surgery.  The colostomy will be reversed in about 6 to 8 weeks and he should make a full recovery bar any other unknown complications.  And this all started with a severed right index finger, of which was hardly mentioned.  So my advice to you or anyone else that reads this, if you ever have a finger cut off and suffer with this pain just puncture your colon. I promise, you will not even think about your severed finger again!  I left around 10:20am Sunday morning headed back to Louisiana.  I'm sure I will make it back over before too long.  After all, a friend like this only comes around once in a lifetime.  When you take that and understand it, you realize how important friendship really is.  

                The soft, steady pelting of falling rain on my patrol car, stimulates my thoughts over a large spectrum this morning. For some reason I seem to be lost. My sense of direction held captive as I stare through the rain distorted windshield at my drawbridge. I think my mind is still in that hospital room in Arlington. Oh well. My day must begin. And a good morning to all of you that touch my life each day.  

Posted February 11 at 6:30 am from my River

          It is a 34° start this morning on Valentine's Day. For the first time in over a week I walked outside to a very clear and beautiful sky. I glanced skyward hoping for a glimpse of the International Space Station or some other foreign object that was placed up there by mankind. The closer I get to the river the more obscure my vision becomes because of the fog. As I arrive at my favorite spot on her banks, I see only what is close, yet hear the familiar sounds I am accustomed too from this spot. As nighttime submits to the coming day I reflect on Pat Carruth's Memoir of last evening. My oldest sister is at home from her extended hospital stay and seems to be holding her own, my best friend just returned from deaths door from a punctured colon and my son is for the seventh time back in harms way in Afghanistan. As I walk the fence line of the unknown, I too draw from the source of strength my Cane River friend tells us That sustains her. So as the fog prohibits my ability to watch the day come alive, the same fog of the unknown comforts my soul. Is there anything in that "unknown"  world that could pull me from His hands? I hear the voice(s) of tested wisdom, yet I still pray, I think not!

Posted February 14 at 6:30 am from my River

          I open my American Rifleman Magazine and on page 17, an italicized printing reaches up, grabs my collar and says read this! "The greatness of America lies in her ability to repair her faults." Was this a challenge to the Gun Culture as a whole? Are those of us detached because of complacency or denial? I still recall Thomas Jefferson's words, "the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of the tyrant and the patriot!" Might her faults be corrected without the tree of liberty being nourished in my generation? Or do I embrace the task as to defer it for my children's, children? Where stand, ye?

Posted February 14 at 0830hrs from my office

          Another encounter that elicits a comment from yours truly. Several months ago, I stated that while sitting at my river, I witnessed a Bald Eagle flying at altitude up the river.  How amazed I was, to see this sight over a large populated area and that it was only the second time I had seen an eagle in my life, etc, etc... At 1:45pm, just a scant 30 minutes or so ago, I pulled up to my river to sit for a few minutes and put together some notes from my day's work. As I glanced out of my window, climbing toward the area where I was parked was a Bald Eagle holding a fish in its claws! The white head and tail of this magnificent bird froze me as it climbed to altitude from my right to my left. Before I could get my Iphone unplugged, take it out of its holder and tap the camera app, it was only a spot in the blue sky. Still visible and even higher was what appeared to be a second Eagle. Their profile is different than a hawks, and it amazes me there is possibly a breeding pair this close to my river spot! Truly something to behold! At least to me, anyway. Wish I could have gotten a picture of that bird. Maybe someday...

Posted February 15 at 1415hrs from my office

          As I sit by my morning river with my window down, I enjoy the sounds associated with this place including my mockingbird. Rolling thunder captures my attention as I look southwest across my river and beyond the skyline of our sister city Alexandria. I see the dark gray clouds of an approaching front. Light sprinkles of rain tease my windshield and the beauty of distant lightening splits the clouds as if commanded by a greater power. This morning for sure, thunder's report of existing lightening will be the alarm that stirs many of us to wake. I love the transition of winter to spring in my beloved Louisiana, and if you find the time to look, listen and observe, you too will find she loves us back as well. It is who we are!

Posted February 21 at 0655am from my river

          We let them go in our minds, but we keep them forever in our hearts. I look across the manicured grounds of Memorial Park in the late winter sunshine at the resting places of many. It is peaceful, serene and beautiful. Monuments reflect the memories of loved ones past as small American Flags move gently in the soft wind reminding me of the sacrifices of those that gave all. As I sit by my niece's resting place on these beautiful grounds, I think someplace, I too, will rest someday. Until that time, I will hold those who rest here before me, forever in my heart until I join them.

Posted Saturday, February 23 from Memorial Park Cemetery, Monroe, LA.

          Comfortable Sunday afternoon. My mockingbirds are cutting up and across the pipeline that borders my back yard, the sound of amphibians blend in with the gentle songs of the afternoon. Mesquite smoke from my bar-b-que pit will soon lay siege to the neighborhood as I tease hamburger meat, pork steak and sausage for my evening meal and quick lunches for the coming week. My how my mind so races through weekends past!

Posted Sunday, February 24 from my Patio


          And a low tow pushes its barges under my drawbridge as the gates of dawn begins to color the day. Impressive.

The first rays of light begins to color the day from behind me. The tow actually appeared before me as the navigational lights on the bow of the first barge caught my attention as movement.  Silently she slipped beneath my draw bridge.  Because of the low profile of the tow itself, the bridge did not need to be raised... 

Slowly she continues past my sitting profile.  I have memories past that remain of this very spot forever bound with the emotions tied to this place, wondering if I am the only one that remembers. As the world continues to turn at a set universal speed, The jealous sun continues to bath my world in her beauty and comforts my heart as the memory fades, just as the tow prepares to bury that time dancing in my mind into the fog bank just beyond her bow.
Posted March 12, from my River

          Oh say, can you see, by the dawn's early light. The beauty of my river as she awakens for the day ahead of me.

Posted March 13 at the break of dawn from my river.

          The Daffodils have pushed up everywhere and the Eastern Redbud Tree has kissed the landscape all around central Louisiana with their amazing colors. Azaleas, Pear trees,  Mayhaw trees and the Lady Banksia Rose along with other blooming plants have presented their colors to the beckoning spring. On this day 17 years ago, I walked out of North Monroe hospital into the most beautiful spring day that will always be pressed into my memory, after the passing of my Dad in 1996.  Fast forward to March 5, 1997, my mother too, passed, just 9 days shy of one year of losing my Dad.  So you see, Spring, as defined in my mind, is the first three weeks of March and is a very special time of the year to me.  My Mockingbird talks to me daily and every bloom and flower that I see, has a special memory for some reason. To this day, I remember the drive home to Pineville and all of the beauty that particular day offered me as comfort. Yet today as I drive through the streets and residential neighborhoods of my city, I have yet to see the Dogwood's blossom. Her scaffold layers of bloom have yet to appear??  I seek one particular tree who's beautiful display has amazed me in past years, to see if she might reveal her secret.  There!  I can see, still hiding from the uncommon cold mornings this year has given us, I notice on the tips of her branches the early stages of promised Dogwood Blooms that will again remind us of the resurrection. I have missed her presence in my world this spring.
Posted March 14 in the afternoon in my office...

          The darkness of my river catches my attention as the reflections of urban lights quiver on her slightly disturbed surface. Silently she distances herself from me as another season will entertain her for yet another short period of time. Familiar sounds echo in the cognizant reasoning of my thoughts, as the movement of cars and trucks on the high speed interstate mixes again with the growl of slow moving vehicles as they pass over the grated surfaces of my draw bridge. The jealous sun waits patiently in the center of our universe for our blue marble to turn her dark side, yet once again into his warming embrace.  As this daily evolution takes place in this very spot, with or without me, my wildlife begins to stir and the voice of my mockingbird once again, finds my ear and makes me smile. Spring. Life continues. 

Posted March 21 @ 0630hrs from my River.

          Sitting here at my river on a beautiful spring day. The unusually cold wind sweeping in from the north, extends the Flag of this Country to the fullness of her glory! Displayed against the light blue sky, her colors of Red and White Stripes move majestically as my eyes follow the motion to the dark Blue Field of Honor accented with 50 Stars. Her tips have not frayed from the constant repose of the wind, as she is brand new on her mount, yet as old as her beginning. Oh my Precious God. How can I alone thank you for the simple blessing(s) of watching her over the years remind me of the lessons of freedom. She was there as the blood of patriots and tyrants nourished the tree if Liberty, who's umbrella shields me to this very day.  It is, Precious Lord, that history yet defined, she cannot speak to me of! Still, her warnings are as loud and clear as her colors.

Posted March 25 from my River.

          Folkses... Closing out a pretty good week at work knowing tomorrow is a holiday of its own sorts. I wonder how much longer we will be allowed to celebrate this time we, as a once Christian Nation, set aside to celebrate our Saviors death, burial and resurrection. Setting that thought to the side let me just wish all of my facebook friends and family a consoled, peaceful, and hopefully wonderful Easter. One where we pause to remember the sacrifice of the Lamb, and feel in our hearts the promise of the resurrection! Happy Easter, yaw...

Rod Ferguson:   I love the thought of blooming honeysnuckles and baby bunny ravvits.
Sandi Shannon Woods I love this !!!

Posted March 28 from my Office at 1515 hrs..


         The high speed traffic noise of the by-pass bridge behind me and the low grumble of slower traffic across my draw bridge before me are the dominate noises in the predawn darkness as I sit most mornings at my river. Insects emits a collective level of noises of its own frequency as my mockingbirds usually announce their presence a few minutes before color change. A new critter has joined me since Easter break. In the little neck of woods between the spot I sit and the levee, is a stand of older trees and a residence. Apparently they got chickens over the holidays and their rooster is more vocal than both traffic bridges combined. My river lays below me as a sheet of black glass with the urban light reflecting off her. I sense God is waiting for my humbleness yet I am distracted by the "clutter!" It is early. Maybe a new place less distracting is warranted?

Rod Ferguson:  Ah yes, after trying the airport, I drive up to the boat launch up river! One mercury vapor light without the urban circus. Way across the river a Mockingbird sings. Distant traffic noise is less audible as I guess we can never get far enough away from that. A lone fisherman prepares his boat for launch as maybe he is waiting for God to turn the dimmer switch brighter as to navigate the stilled waters of my river. Yes. Nature is coming alive now.  I can humble myself in its beauty and speak with God as the lights of my fisherman's boat disappears up river.  Have you ever shared with God just the first verse alone of "How Great Thou Art?  He is you know.

Michael Gates:  You should write a book!

Posted April 2 at 0630 hrs from my River.

          I often grumble about the "noise" I hear while parked at my river in the early am hours of any given pre-dawn morning. The sound of the high speed vehicles on the interstate bridge and the low grumble of slow moving traffic over my drawbridge. Those are given noises as my mind listens for the sound(s) of nature. The first call of the mockingbird soon joined by the ensemble of sparrows and other gifts our God created for us. Often wish I could go to a place where there was no "clutter" as I call it. What did I mean? No noise at all? Or just the elimination of man made noise? I googled it. One of the quietest places in the world is the basement sanctuary of the Trappist New Melleray Abbey, in Iowa. The author of the work I read stated he was warned, “that the silence of the room was so intense that it was likely to ‘take him outside of his comfort zone.’” Stating further that some people from big cities, find themselves “physically unable to remain in the chapel for even five minutes.” So I am to embrace the fact that silence does not truly exist, even in the quietest of places or moments. The brain creates noise to fill the silence, and we hear this as tinnitus, the article states?? I do hear all of those sounds I am blessed to hear. I should chastise myself for trying to displace the beauty of sound regardless of what I perceive it to be or desire to hear. As the Oboe and French Horn accents the strings of the the Violin, it is the tympani of the awakening world that resonates in my soul, so let me thank my God for the sounds I hear in His gift of early mornings, the day and my remaining life... Where did this come from?

Posted April 9 from my office

One day last week, I believe it was Friday morning, the 12th of April, I awakened and gathered my Iphone to scan messages as I started my day.  I had a couple of friend request from a Dave Stevens and a Barbara Braswell Stevens.  Names I didn't recognize.  Before I accepted them as friends I checked the profiles and realized the common denominator was Magnolia Academy a private school I taught at one year while a police officer in Jackson, MS.  As I read the profiles, I discovered that the two were actually married and had been for 25 years.  I had often wondered about many of my old students and what actually happened with them and as I was scanning through pictures that I might recognize, I stumbled across this letter posted to one of their walls!  The hand writing was a dead give away.  I was intrigued and as I read the letter, I actually remembered these two young people as students of mine so many years ago.  It took me by surprise that I have been remembered over the years and stirred my emotions to maybe one or possibly two emotional tears.  Some seasons never die in the mind and hearts of those whose paths you might cross. I accepted their friendship. Here is what Dave Stevens posted to my wall: 

          For those who might not know but Mr. Ferguson was the early version of E Harmony and played Match Maker 32 years ago. Also, he actually taught a high school history class in addition to being a football coach and serving full time on the Jackson Police Department. It was back when he was a little younger, thinner but had the same hair style he has today. The great History teacher and instigator he was, he had two students complete a questionnaire then he picked each response up and gave it to the other person. Unfortunately, only one of the original documents is still in existence, however, his unique gift for match making has stood the test of time. The result is the two young kids he put together have been dating for the past 32 years and are celebrating their 25th anniversary. Thanks Coach for the effort years ago.

The questionnaire:

Posted April 15

          Even before the gates of dawn release the first fingers of light from behind her doors, I can see the red tint reflecting from my river surface. Lot of rain in her basin as of late and locks are open to hasten her run the great river as her temperament is disturbed and restless! I guess I awakened with my locks opened this morning. A lot of information filled my mind as I became conscience. Everything is here at my river. The same sounds, both man made and of nature, yet there are things in my past that returns unwanted that disturbs my natural flow. As I look at my river under the reflection of artificial light, I can't help but wonder, how does she know? How can she reach into my heart and soul and reveal to me my feelings?

          Joggers gather at the base of my large flag and pose for pictures. Two of them are carrying flags on staffs that extend well above their heads. Is this a form of false patriotism as the loss of life in Boston? Even as the thought sickens me I well remember the flush of patriotism during 9/11. Took every bit of two months for the two political parties we now bow and worship too, to destroy the last vestiges of patriotism our country has experienced since The Germans bombed Pearl Harbor. And we wonder why?

Posted April 16 from my river

          Dear God. As I arrived at my office this morning after visiting my river, I settled into Facebook to see what might greet me on my news feed. Oh thrills! You immediately challenged my patience as Jane Fonda stared at me with clinched fist and that smirk designed to put me into an orbit far beyond your comfort and peace. To add to that, my friends just had to follow up with a couple more pictures of Obama with assorted facial expressions that just "set me off!" Oh, and lest I remind you, I could not help but wrestle last night as I passed into temporary rest, the foolish efforts of John Kerry as he flits around the world making concessions with our enemies as well as Yours! What a pair. John Fonda and Jane Kerry. My generations contribution to the world! Tell me Lord, just what lessons are you trying to teach me, or worst yet, prepare me for ?

Posted April 17

          Ten months ago and longer, I often commented on the sounds I first encountered as I walked from my carport to my vehicle. As I executed this ritual at 5:20 this morning the typical sound(s) normally encountered were dampened silent. It was to early for my birds and the usual sound of traffic on the highway was trumped by the sound of God's breath as the wind moved freely through and around everything. Standing tall around my home are long leaf pines, gum trees and red oaks. The latter have soft tender leaves that rustle softly this time of the year and when the wind moves within the collection of individual tree canopy's, there is a softness to their movement that is revealed in a unique song. Listen carefully and you can hear a faint, almost whistling sound from the pines. Nothing else could I hear except the deep bass of one lone bullfrog. I smiled as I recalled Mrs. Kay's cooking DVD from Duck Dynasty. Frog leg's I think was the lesson.

Rod Ferguson:   Low hanging, dark gray clouds at my river and the firm wind actually moves my car as gust competes with traffic sounds. A serious rain event threatens today's after noon hours. God willing, I will enjoy that as well.

Lydia Hernandez Blades:   Good morning Rod Man! Love reading your posts. A gifted are !! I'm sure others would agree when I say you should write a book !! Think on it.. Then go ahead and do it !! :)

Sue Hollis:   AAAAHHH the sounds of pines sighing in the wind. LOVE IT

Posted April 18 from my river.

          That distinct dark to light gray bird that greets me every morning had a special message for me today. He looked at me as I walked out from under my carport and simply said in his song. "You took your shower this morning instead of last night, didn't you?" He knew I was running late for my date with my river – Just wanted me to know that he Noticed. That little grey stray I call Meggie Mew also ...notices. As i glance down the hallway as i depart my home, there she sits. Tail wrapped around her and ears straight up. There is a comfort in knowing when you have people and even things that care about your coming and going. Not saying a word about a gray, overcast sky that is mirrored in my river, and my grey beard is my reward for living. I shave my head so I won't be reminded of just how long I've survived. Wondering if this post will make the re post from here to my blog. Morning yaw. Love those things that welcome you into their world.
Posted April 23 from my River

          The beauty of God's light show as I slip out early to enjoy the approaching front! Light sprinkles against my shaved head and one song at distance from my Mockingbird. I feel refreshed and the front has not even passed! Good morning, yaw.

Rod Ferguson: The rain is falling hard at my river and my flag is responding fully from a west south west wind. A tow patiently balances in the river waiting for my drawbridge to raise?? Ordinance says it will not raise before 9 am and here it is just 6:15 am??  Looks like the inland mariners may as well have breakfast.

Rod Ferguson: And then a text! Hey Poppy! I need like 15 bucks for a field trip by 7:30!! These early morning request (often for money),  is usually accompanied with an I love you and emoticons complete with hearts, tears and wagging tongues, but as of late I don't even recall any of that. Just go figure! Pull me away from my river with a storm front pushing through, my flag at full extension and a tow waiting to pass through and not even an I love you! Well, I never had that kind of nerve!!  Well now? Yes...  Just maybe I did. 

     And this is how the text exchange began and ended:

Kinzi Bear:  Hey poppy can you bring me 15 dollars by like 7:30?  Its for a field trip. (This text hit me at 6:15am while I was sitting at my River)

      Poppy:        Who is this, I don't know you!  Only my grand kids call me poppy!

Kinzi Bear:  Your eldest grandaughter poppy haha

     Poppy:        And just where am I supposed to find you before 7:30?

Kinzi Bear:  Around 7:30 or sometime before 8:00 and at school.

     Poppy:        Left 20 bucks in the office on a note for Mrs. Jowers to give you the money.  By the way, you owe me 25 bucks.

Kinzi Bear:  Why 25?

     Poppy:        Interest.

Kinzi Bear:  -_- ill give you 20 bucks and thank you

     Poppy:        Let me know when you have it in your hands.

Kinzi Bear:  okay ha

As the day continued, a close friend posted I was a good Poppy and for some reason it just spilled out:

Leona Price Cagle:   You're a good poppy.

Rod Ferguson:   I appreciate that, Leona. I do try, however the changing of the tides has laid the foundation blocks of an entire generation never encountered before. I guess we say that about them all, but as I look back I can only speak about just four.  Our parents, know as the Greatest Generation, bore the sacrifices they made for the world in WWII and handed to their children, three gift wrapped packages. The Baby Boomers took these three gifts with the signature(s) signed in blood, called the institutions of Church, Family and Schools and literally abused them and redefined them so that as we passed them to our children of the X Generation, they could not bear the weight of opposition the free love generation gave them. Oh Lord, are we reaping the failed rewards of "protectors of the realm," as our children may or may not be a part of our adult lives?? And this "Y" generation? They simple negotiate between authority figures as they seek the path of least resistance until they too add their learned wisdom(s) to the plan of freedom continually being massaged and redefined. I guess I am a good Poppy. As long as I am needed. I am sore afraid that once I am no longer accepted as a provider,  the rules again will be changed by the Generation X'ers chosen leaders as I become a burden either financially or physically... Pray our Lord returns or like a good pet that served its season among loving families, may we find ourselves "put to sleep" so we will not suffer any longer nor be a burden to them. But there was that season! When we all loved unconditionally... LoL... Rambling again... Love ya, Leona...

Posted 24 April in the early am hours from my office


          And the month of May beckons with rain laden clouds and record cold.  This spring is struggling to reset the record cold of American history since the recording of temperatures began.  A depression set in Wednesday night for some unknown reason(s)?  My recorded history?  Laughing.  Could I put a finger on it? For the last several months I seem to have climbed out of my depressed moods that teased and prodded me from different, unannounced perspectives .  I still manage to put them to rest as one does every beautiful season as it comes to an end, reminiscing the beauty it held in my mind and heart and the sadness its parting reminds you of.  Ah, yes, May.  What is it so polarizing of this month?  Do I go back 10,000 years or just a decade?  Why do I remember the 2nd of May and hold it so fondly in my heart?  I recalled distinctly where I was, Arlington, TX.  A wonderful 4 day weekend to visit and share with my best friend.  Why May 2nd??  Well, I guess because that was the day we found out our Navy Seals had taken out Osama two years ago back in 2011.  Was that the time I rode my gold wing over and passed through that terrible lightening storm??  No...  That was later.  I laughed as heavy rains and winds pushed me across the interstate as I rode at 70 plus MPH with lightning flashing deathly close, hoping I would not run into a Texas hail storm.  While thinking to myself that if lightening did hit me, I would not feel a thing, yet I swear, it seemed like I could hear a woman screaming, "Get me out of this, NOW!"  What things we perceive in a season where you know you have found many moments of happiness??  Fast forward the first couple of days of last May?  Where was I?  I do recall talking football with that same wonderful friend and remember talking about Drew Brees!  Drew Brees?  I guess as long as he is a Saint and wears the Jersey "9" he will also share the month of May, unfortunately with Osama as that is what I remember from 2012.  Well, that and much more, actually, but that was that season.  So as this May 2, entertained me yesterday, I sat back and recalled the events of that day the last couple of years and tried  to hide depressed moments in my work.  Yet, somewhere that voice again in the back of my head tells me I have not been forgotten?  Laughing...  Osama?  Are you talking to me?  You are dead.  There are trophy's on your wall I know you hang onto, so why talk to me when there are so many?  But God, why did it falsely lift my spirits, and why did it take all day for me to finally delete it from my head as I read it over and over a thousand times?? I guess my wish would be that this years 2nd day of May exceed the experiences of the last two. I am sure it did for a subset of some, as I continue the struggle to re-adjust to a new season, if it will ever come.  Seems like all of us have missed an entire spring this year and I just can't break out of the depression of winter even though I think I'm already there sometimes.  I guess I know I have walked through the doors from the fall of my life into the final winter and this depression that teases me is nothing more than my refusal to shut the door and realize where I am.   But as I sit by my river on this windy, overcast day, I again allow time itself to place a band aide over the wounds inflicted upon me as I recall  loved ones I've lost over the years, to include pets.  My LillyPuss, the most recent.  She grew up with us on Facebook, remember?  Laughing.  Guess I just need to quit picking at the scabs, and remember the beauty of blue, Almond Sky's as I settle into the final season of my life.  Winter.  I move on.  We have too...  Too... Did I get that one right?

Posted May 3, 2013 from my heart. 

           My river looks like black ice as I drive up beside her and look down... The adjoining city is reflective from her surface as the 6am bell tolls from the Catholic Church from across her depths. Stillness is the feeling this morning as 43 degrees on this 6th day of May slaps the global warming theorist in the face. My mockingbirds are happy this morning but yet I'm not? To many messages or not enough? I don't do this "friends" thing very well at times. But I will continue to try with that select few that haven't deleted me from their news feed! Morning yaw. Cold start with the promise of beautiful. Get er done! Good lord, now I'm losing it.

Posted May 6 from my River. 

          This old man has great sugar! Sure is fun being his... cat!  He sure smells good and he had a hamburger with red onions for lunch today!  He just makes me go limp all over!

Posted May 9 from home

           The only sounds given up this morning were big frogs and little frogs. Not one peep of my mockingbird was heard. The promise of rain still lingers.  And I prepare to struggle through yet another long weekend.

Posted May 10 from my driveway.

          To those that care enough to follow my taunting and sometimes repetitive mockingbird stories, I thought I would share with you a positive and so very happy secret!!! Guess who is back on American soil??? Here is a hint. The young good looking one!! He arrived back from Afghanistan on American soil on 17 May and send me a simple text.  "In Maine. Another one down."  This picture was taken in December in front of the barn where my nursery and landscape business was for 20 years...

  This actually moved my heart.  51 of my friends liked this post and several more commented!  This touched my heart.  Martha Jo Bubnich Mongold, Marty Mason, Danny Griffith and 48 others like this..   Leona Price Cagle:   Nice

Becky Gates Lockhart:   Happy!:)

Lee Palmer:   We'd love to see u both.

Brandy Smith Bradshaw:   SSSSTTTEEEEEEWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!! Welcome home daddy!!!!!!!

Barbara Ryals:   Glad for u both

Debbie Rizzo:   Yay!

Doyle Jinks:   Is he standing on a "block" ?? 

Rod Ferguson:  Doyle, Obviously he picked up his mothers DNA...

Sheryl Hopkins Bell:   Two great looking men! Great to see you two together!

Melvin Bullock:   Amen ..thank you Lord for answered prayers!

Jo Otwell May:   Nice looking young man, happy for you both!

Darryll Martin:   It's good to know he's back.

Pam Turner Nations:   Wow! He's gorgeous!!

Landon Ledford:   Good lookin guys! Maybe I'm a little biased tho, as we kinda resemble each other. Glad to "see" you two.

Lydia Hernandez Blades:   Exciting news,Indeed!!!!!! Glad he's back in the USA! Please thank him for his service. We are grateful.....!!!!

Deborah Copes:   Happy day indeed! Welcome home and thank you for protecting me!

Martha Durham Compton:   I know you are thrilled. Give him a big Thank You for his service to our country!!

Sandra Borden:   Yay! Way to go!! Love you both

Shelby Shelton:   Two good looking guys! Love y'all!

Debra Plunkett Johnson:   So glad he's back. I've been praying every day for his safety.

Nathan Martin:   Praise the Lord for answered prayers!

Kimberly Ridge Good:    Fabulous news! So glad that he's home safe and sound.

Bettye Crystal Bogue Jones:    hope your son realizes how many people have been praying for his safe return. i know you are beyond glad.

Rod Ferguson:   In MAine. Another one down. This was the text he sent to me at 2pm central time when he landed on US soil.   This was his 7th trip into harms way. I thank all of my facebook friends and family for your support and prayers!!

Darryll Martin:   Wow, 7 times! Be sure to tell him thanks from us. We appreciate his service.

Jerry Breithaupt:   Happy for you both, tell him thanks for the service.. Invite him to come Sunday. I've got plenty of pistols and rigs he can shoot.

Carolyn Winstead Gresham:   I know this made you very happy. Hope you get to see him soon.

Stewart Ferguson:   Thank you for thoughts/prayers.

Martha Holliman Preston:   That is great news, Rod! So happy for y'all!!!

Lana Martin:   great photo..

Posted May 20 at my office

          Comedian Lizz Winstead was the first to stir further division between Liberal and Conservative America when she said "It is clear the tornado was ordered to only target Conservatives!" She is a comedian, remember??? Well folks, Oklahoma has seen the fury of some of the most deadly tornadoes in her tempered past, and this will not be the last one they will bear.  But I can promise you this, America, what we won't see is a solid red state sit there and whine about the hand she was dealt!  As they always have and will, the Sooner State will bury their dead, mourn their losses and... REBUILD their lives!  And they will do this, as always, without media fan fair and handouts (except for those temporary in nature as that is what neighbors do, not the government) until the last scrap of twisted metal and debris has been removed and the first nail of recovery is driven. The difference? There are still blue states "whining" and still waiting for their beloved federal government to come pick them out of the mud, clean them up and GIVE them everything they deserve.  And Hurricane Sandy visited them when?? As for Winstead?? Oh my gosh! That is almost as bad as having someone spit in your face! 
Posted May 21 from my office

          The cover picture on my timeline was posted a month or so short of one year ago. It is the picture of the sun just breaking sunrise and shinning through a Crepe Myrtle as I welcomed the coming day while sitting on my patio. If you are familiar with that picture, A time lapse of almost one year has since passed as I have witnessed the sunrise move 40 degrees to the right of where it was this very morning. Almost an entire year has passed and what have I learned? Maybe the tilt of the earth as it rotates around a very stable sun will reveal a pattern of consistency as one season disappears and another one comes into focus. My distortion is why can I not look to the new season with enthusiastic optimism instead of holding onto the fading past? Is is sad because it was just another wasted season or is it sad because it was yet unfinished? I think we never glean from a season the fullness of the fruits it could surrender mainly because we are to quick with our "understandings" or moral convictions because we think we are just as smart, as the Regulator of those seasons we experience. We place trophy's on our walls as to never forget our accomplishments yet the void in our hearts of those faces that once made us look forward to just one day of that season is replaced by the faces of strangers unknown to us as we try to re-create through them yet another happy season for our life as the earths tilt slows to yet began another 365 day move to the right. I think I said that correctly...
Posted May 23, from my morning office.

          A Restraining order is an invitation to a mentally disturbed individual to physically aggress himself upon the person seeking protection from him in the first place. When served these papers, the male counterpart or subject served, sees printed across the papers in large letters, " Go Ahead, I dare you!" And many times he also sees in smaller print, "You are not man enough for me and I've found someone else!" So take heed to this message and prepare yourself. A peace keeper finds many stepping around the rules of authority set by man. But a peacemaker will be trained and prepared to use the tools necessary to equalize a potential threat to them and their family. And I pray if you ever become a victim, that tool you chose for your/their protection is not some inanimate object that leaves you cowering in fear. Look at the picture and ask yourself. What do I need to be prepared for?

Posted May 23 from my office with my dearest female friends on my heart.

A Text to my Son on Memorial Day just a couple of weeks after he returned from Afghanistan.

          How do I tell you to have a happy Memorial Day. Is there such a thing as a "Happy" Memorial Day? Yes, I guess maybe there is for those families and citizens that have not been victimized by those hard lessons of sacrifice learned only in combat. Yes, when I address the combat veteran, especially one that bears the burden of recent sacrifice and un-sutured wounds of battle, I would expect it to not be a happy day. So, as I speak to you through text, my son, I wish for you a peace in your heart, mind and soul this very day as you recall the smiles, laughter and life experiences of those you bonded with that "gave all" and have gone on before us. Only warriors understand this bond, so this day is theirs. To be remembered with a spiritual respect only a person(s) that has lost up close and personal can understand.  As for me? You are my Memorial Day as I think of you and the things you have seen and experienced.  So I guess for you personally, this day does harbor a vast range of emotions. No one but God Himself can understand the way you feel but you and you alone.   As for me, I am solemnly contented as once again, I know you are temporally safe and in the loving arms of your family. With that said, my wish for you is that you experience this day with a comforted peace. And where it is just words to so many, a heartfelt "Thank You," for what you and your "Band of Brothers" have endured for our freedom(s).  You see, people who take for granted the sacrifices made of our "fallen heroes," may only remember your friends as numbers lost, but I know, to you, they will be forever real. I love you, son. I ache with you and try to understand. I will continue to be here and love all of your "kind" that continue to bear the Cross of this nations feeble resolve. Please do not forget your calling. 


And his simple response:

          Thank you dad, means a lot.  I've been taking it easy today with yard work and putting in some stone steps..  Bought some new power tools yesterday so I'm looking for things to hammer down with them.,

Now.  If you, the reader of my blog is capable, I encourage you to read between the lines for how he alone, just one among thousands, deals with his Memorial Day(s).  Crawl into the arms of a veteran of any conflict,  look into their eyes and simply say two things, "Thank You" and "I Love You!"  And I must ask if you have come this far, to take the time and pray for these young men and women who's very job it is, to go into harms way.  As a famous General once said, "It is a disgrace that we should mourn these men and women that have fallen.  Instead, We should thank God that they lived!" Thank you Carla Joiner  9/23/13
Posted May 26 from Church the day before Memorial Day


          Let me give you a glimpse into the heart and mind of this passive-aggressive collector of facebook quotes for just one moment in just one of the assorted days of my remaining life.  Somewhere along the way, my wife Linda and I came to a fork in the road.  We stood there for several years trying to decide which one we should take and as in many cases, she took the left fork and I wondered off and meandered the right fork where I struggle to exist this very day.  As her birthday (Saturday, June 1) approached, I simply asked what her plans were for the weekend.  I have learned to ask.  I was informed she was AGAIN babysitting for the oldest two grand kids.  I promptly informed her I was going to Slidell and spending the weekend with my Cousin Alvin.  She was agreeable to that scenario, so off I went and there she stayed.  My youngest daughter added her three on Saturday, to the two already there, and the stealing of my chocolate milk increased three fold.  I looked to the heavens and said, "Thank you, God!" and went on about my visit with my cousin Alvin in a peaceful solitude often found with old men, minus the checker board.  Well, long story short, I arrived home about five or so Sunday evening and the two oldest were still there!  "Hello, Poppy," as they bowed low and greeted my return.  I looked at Linda and said, "Who are these children and where are their parents?"  She smiled and informed me they were spending yet another night!   So I told her she had 10 minutes to get ready to go out with me as to have her birthday dinner a day late.  Since I allow her to drive, I said, "take yourself, along with your well behaved husband to anyplace your heart chooses to dine!" We stopped at a Chinese Restaurant to spend quality time together.  And as the evening closed before I NyQuil myself to sleep, here is just one instance that transpired!  My friend Sandi Woods, asked me if Linda had a good birthday and here is what I sent her in Private Message on facebook.  Of course my original text to her has been slightly altered to "maintain" my G rated blog... Yeah, right!

Linda did have a good birthday. I was at Alvin's and she was at home with 5 of six grand kids so she was in heaven without me griping about those kids getting on my last nerve. EXaMPlE!!! I come home and take her out to eat... The oldest two are still at our house mind you... Her cell phone rings. It is Junior! The 13 year old who has yet to reach puberty. He says, "Mawmaw, Mickinzi, (who is 12, mind you, and looks like she is almost 20??) took the battery out of the remote control and hid it and I can't change channels," he whines, hysterically... So I said, "Baby, give me that telephone," which she passed to me... I told him, "Junior, count to four for me, please." He responds, "One, two, three, four," and I screamed into the phone from the solemn quietness of the Chinese restaurant, "THERE ARE FOUR TELEVISIONS IN MY HOUSE AND IF YOU CALL US AGAIN ABOUT "FOOLISHNESS" LIKE THIS I'M COMING HOME AND PULLING YOUR GUTS OUT AND CHOKING YOU TO DEATH!!!"  I then turned off the cell phone, smiled and went back to my cheep crab legs and shrimp knowing exactly why I avoid Church the way I do.

Now, just think what would have happened had I stayed home this weekend? I would have really ruined Linda's birthday! I need to be growing old somewhere in Newton County Arkansas, somewhere outside of Jasper, at the end of a very long dirt road, raising bee's and collecting honey.  I could call it Rod's Nectar of the Ozarks!  Nah, that doesn't sound right either... Weak, huh?  LoL

Posted June 3, from my morning office

          Sometimes it is the simple things in life that stimulates contentment for a vast majority of us.  With that said, let’s explore a small set of simple things.  I open the refrigerator and find a brand new gallon of milk sitting there.  Never opened!  I get that pleasure of knowing that, I alone, will remove the cap and seal and swallow as much of the cold liquid as I can swallow before Linda fills it back to the top with tap water!  **gack** Contentment…  Knowing I am drinking milk.  Not milk water.  Or walking outside to greet the mornings and hear my Mockingbird sing to me and then make the time to enjoy the other sounds of the dawning morning.   This encourages me to drive to my river and sit silently and watch her move to her destiny.  The lessons she teaches me in her “displayed temperament” alone is contentment as well as giving me a time to pray!  This too, is a sense of contentment for me!  Lot of things we take for granted as “contentment,” such as, discovering there is more than enough toilet paper to take care of business, hanging there in front of us just as it should be in our moment of need, as opposed to finding there is none there at all!   Then we move to greater forms of contentment of which one, I would like to share with you.  Sometimes during my 28, going on 29 years of marriage, I was strolling through some place like Sears, Lowe’s or some other place similar to that and my eyes fell upon a RED washing machine and a matching RED dryer.  Want, not need, pulled a hair on my now almost hairless leg.  Intrigued was I!  Absolutely beautiful matching pair of utilities I knew I would enjoy having in my home!   As I bring this attention to my betrothed, I am told we have a perfectly good washer and dryer at home.  My “But honey” attempt as rebuttal was ignored and I simply followed her away from the "eye candy" or temptation.  So over the years, as all of us know, a washer or dryer never goes out the same time as the other dryer or washer does, so when the opportunity to buy that matching set of “washer/dryer” presents itself, the desire in us to do “just that” is snapped back to reality when the other spouse tells you, “I don’t need a dryer, I need a washer,” or vise versa!

So, I find myself existing over the years with a miss matched assortment of Kenmore, Whirlpool, Maytag or some other brand name of washer and dryer that does not even come close to being matched!  I mean really, what should it matter?  I have never complained of not having clean drawers, socks, shirts or pants.  And beside, Linda drives a white Dodge Caravan and I drive a gray Chevrolet Corvette and an Illusion Blue Honda Gold wing.  They don’t match either and they sit out side for every passing human being in the world to see that!  Yet I am content with my vehicles?  Go figure…   Couple of weeks ago the significant other of 28+ years mentions that the dryer of 14 years has decided to stop functioning as designed, and then mentioned she didn’t really like the way her washing machine of 4 years actually preformed.  Was there not a  recent alignment of the planets just a couple of weeks back?  I quickly mentioned we should run to Best Buy to see if they had anything on sale and as we arrived, sitting in the foyer was a dryer on sale for 499.99…  *crap*  So as we look and size up our options on this cheep model, I suggest we go inside and see just what else is there.  28 years now, and I know better than to just “pounce” on something “I think” she needs.  Understand?  So as we approach the washer and dryer section, I direct her attention to a puke blue shade of Samsung dryer.  Electronic of course, and priced alone was more than a conventional white washer and dryer together! 

Easy Rod, I thought… I think she likes it.  Front end loader kind!  I quickly pointed out that the Washer door opened right to left and the dryer door opened left to right for easy opening, transfer and unloading!  And then from her the words, “I could sell my washer to Paige (our daughter).”  I was beyond myself by then!  Could not STAND the possibility of her actually considering this, but I knew we were almost at the RED ones nicely displayed just around the corner as we continued to shop and observe.  I said, “Linda, look!’ ‘These RED ones are on a pedestal; you would not even have to bend over!”  The hook set, until she saw the price of 250 bucks for each pedestal.   My only remaining argument was, “At least it would match the color of our kitchen and utility room.  Long story short, I guided her to Lowes in Pineville so I could contribute to the city’s tax base, and simply left her alone.  She said something like, “I guess my first two social security checks could pay for the dryer,” and I walked off to look at the tools and to let her decide if she wanted to put water in the milk or not!  No pedestals, but she did mention she saw where she might find some that were reconditioned for half the price.  I’m content. Yet once again. 

Posted June 13 from my office

          A friend of mine that shares similar political views with me posted this morning that burning bridges takes to long, that he prefers explosives! As I sit here in the morning clutter of man made noises at my river, I actually realize that I am sitting yet mere feet from a once strong yet imploded bridge that spanned my favorite river decades before my low growling draw bridge was constructed! Yet, here I sit at the base of that destroyed bridge staring into the mesmerizing waters that I cannot cross any longer. She is running rapidly this morning. Telling me her world is exactly as it was decades ago as people exercise under my giant flag that stands where the gentle rise to the "other side" began when that bridge existed? Over there on that other side is a beautifully constructed A-frame river view where the bridge descended. Rapidly, my river moves this morning as my Mockingbird embraces my fragile mood and from her surface I kneel down and discover a new word in my life. Neuropathy. Welcome the numbing effects of diabetes to the bottom of my feet and toes. So as I sit here disecting my morning in thought, she speaks softly to me saying, my lesson is simple. I run swiftly to remind you the winter of your life does not allow for error so careful yourself and as you sit at the base of this once strong bridge, know that maybe it was was exploded to protect you from what might exist on the other side. And I think back 10,000 years and wonder how I got here.

Posted June 20 from my River.

          Strange sitting here at my river watching the sunset of the summer solstice. Jupiter is a distinct planet in the fading light of the western sky and the east sky is strangely dark. So unlike my morning visits, I am listening to the insects claim their night as roosting sparrows across my river say their good night in loud chatter before artificial lighting comforts them through the swaying of the branches that protect them. It is comforting to sit on the side of my motorcycle while a soft, cool breeze comforts me from what was this hemispheres longest day accompanied by oppressive humidity. It is dark now, and urban lighting make my rivers surface glisten. She isn't speaking to me tonight. Probably doesn't even know I'm here. I have had difficulty the last few days understanding who I am and what is happening. Guess maybe my GPS is re-calculating. I do wish whatever transition I am experiencing would hurry as I am beginning to not like myself. Well, the sun allows my side of the world to cool as the clock of life skims by like the motorboat passing me on the river headed to the boat ramp. My insects are not as loud as the were when I first arrived because they have found me to feast upon. I still sit here in... Well, in what? I just need to shut the hell up and let my mind finish what it started. After all, tomorrow won't last as long as today did so surely there will be less stress??? And the six month slide to the winter solstice begins. Hope I am there.

Posted June 21 from my River 


          Got a house full of son-in-law, daughter and three (3) grand kids until we get electricity and water connected to their new home. In the mean time I'm going to try my luck visiting Linda's mother in west Monroe. *sigh*   I must remember now the perks!   Magic grill at about 6:30 or so this afternoon and I get to graze Coney Island in west Monroe tomorrow afternoon! Yeah. That makes things tolerable. Doesn't it? Then I get to come home to fertilized diapers flattened in my garbage compactor and adjust to the smell of stale urine. Poor Meggie! She's a tough ole cat though. She will keep them entertained. Hey! Did yaw know Linda's mom is still arguing that Hawaii is an island right off California's coast? And she still insist Alaska is where Washington state actually is. Sandi? You think Laddie would let me sleep it off in the cookhouse?
Anyway, this is what happened Friday night!  I wait until darkness to go into the house.  I entertained myself on facebook and texting friends and then ease into the hallowed domain of Linda's mom.  Quietly I go to the bedroom she occupied as a much younger person in the last millennium.  I take my medicine and down a couple of Xanax to place me quickly asleep.   Before laying my head down, I walk into the bathroom to take care of necessary bodily functions only to walk out and back into a dark room.  Linda walks in with a smile on her face and I say, oh dear Lord, your are not going to tell me what I think your going to tell me!  Sure enough. I am told by my wife that if I walk out of the bedroom to go to the bathroom I need to turn off the bed room light. There was a time in this town I had a 100 places to lay my head, and now my own sister will not even answer the phone. Lol   After a restless nights sleep despite the assistance of good prescription meds, the following day has to get better.
I awaken with an entire day to pilfer through cracks long forgotten in and around my old stomping grounds of Monroe and west Monroe. People I would love to see and laugh with but that probably won't happen either. Made magic grill last night and Coney Island is today around 2 I reckon. So between now and then I'll check out Howard Griffin land of toys and maybe checkout ole East Gate mall. And then there are all of those gun places! Yes! After I start with McDonalds an a lite breakfast of a sausage burrito.

I eventually drove down Joe White road to go and see the Black Bayou boat dock my dad took me to some 50 years plus years ago as a child.  After passing home after home worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, I came to a dead end road and encountered locked gates.    It was somewhere close by that Oliver's boat dock use to exist.  Now there is nothing but fields?  I was told while talking to a friend on the telephone that you can get to black bayou off 165 so I said, why not. To my surprise I find it is now a National  Wildlife Refuge.   I made my way into the refuge on an asphalt trail that eventually turned into a raised wooden walkway.  There was a small cabin at the end of the walk way and I walked in. I found myself sitting in a photo blind listening to the sound of nature void of man made clutter! Peaceful.  So unlike my River back home. Cumulus clouds were built up all around and helped keep the temperature down. So far, the only wildlife I see are a couple of wading Egrets. I actually got lost in my own thoughts as I sat there alone.   Awesome.

Then I have a wonderful lunch with a couple of great friends, Sandi and Leona at Coney Island in West Monroe... That pretty much wrapped up 2013's fourth of July weekend.  My goodness how it improved from last year!

Posted 6 July late pm from my home

          Sitting here in front of my old barn where I stored my landscape equipment. My old Kubota tractor occupies the same ole spot along with the accompanying implements I used and exchanged regularly to accomplish different task. There are fallen limbs from storms past,  that are still resting on the rusting tin roof  and that nostalgic look that stirred memories past is now interrupted by a pink Barbie car, little boy bicycles, barbeque pit and tool boxes.   To my immediate left is a brand new double wide trailer sitting where one of my green houses once stood. Just inside the sliding glass door is my 18 month old granddaughter Gabby, with both hands against the glass adding the first of soon to be millions of fingerprints to the glassy surface as she wonders what  Poppy is up to. Wasn't it just yesterday I applauded her arrival as she slipped effortlessly from her mothers womb? Many of you saw that video I posted. Some of you, many times. So as I sit patiently in my van waiting for my son-in-law to come assist me, I look up and take in an even distant memory. My own dad's electric recliner that has been in my home since he passed in '96. His recliner, sitting on my old lawn trailer, waiting to be passed on to another generation and newer home, along with my old barn that still holds my generations labor. transitions before my eyes at time never slows. Katie, my four year old granddaughter appears and watches me through the same sliding glass door and wonders why there are tears in my eyes.    A piece of furniture used for a season to be passed on to another generation? I do wonder how I will be remembered.  Don't we all at some point?

Posted July 13, from what was once known as my nursery & landscape business...

          When your day begins at the side of deep clear water and the sounds of the waking world stimulates your senses, one can't help but sigh at the foolish nonsense that plagues society. We reep what we sow, the Word tells us, and we watch it play out before us and wonder why? My river is calm and peaceful and a cool breeze comforts my soul. As my mockingbird sings to me I think back and can hardly see the past but I know it is there. Thank you God for the peace in my heart and I ask you to comfort the hearts of all of my friends with your peace, the one that passes all understanding. That is the peace my river speaks to me of this morning. One almost unknown to mankind as we exist today.

Posted July 16 from my River

          Are there times when you find yourself sitting in your most favorite place in the world and it is just as beautiful as it ever was, yet nothing moves in your heart and soul. You just sit there as I did this morning at my river in my own thoughts. A fisherman below me in his boat, pulls a small Bass from the water and as I anticipate his tossing it back into the depths, I am surprised that he actually slips it into his ice chest. Now that is what I call frozen in time. A friend I went to high school with, reminded me in a comment to my July 13 post, that "Along life's pathways there are moments in time, when time stands still. They are called memories." How true! There was a time toward the end of the fall of my life that I was full of life. Anticipated tomorrow with a passion as it seemed I had something to look forward to. Always entertained those frozen in time "snapshots" and how I could put them into a short story. "What happened," I ask myself on mornings like today realizing yet another season has faded almost completely in my rear view mirror. Seems I have no desire to engage life with a passion I once had. Kinda like the engine in my old corvette. I'm not always hitting on all 8 cylinders, yet I still function as what I am. I want my old grey and black corvette functioning like she once did, but I know its not possible unless I spend lots of money on her that I could be putting into that new to me, yet used Mercedes that continues to tempt me. Yet I hate to pass her on to others that might abuse her and just use what parts she generously gives up until there is nothing left but a shell. But goodness, those memories we shared will forever be 'frozen in time' as I remember the fun we had together... Think i'll just patch her up and continue to enjoy what she still has to offer? Maybe then, if I take the hard top off, I can once again melt into her and find some of that "energy" I once had to sit down and put a couple of more short stories together... Oh, and i'm fine. Just seem to have lost my focus over the last year or so. How I love the encouragement of my friends!  Happy Birthday, Paige...  I love you, baby...

After everything was said and done to this post of yesterday, I felt compelled to include the comments of my friends.  I was not in a depressed state as much as it may have seemed.  Some of my closer friends recognized my moment yesterday and some missed it completely.  What was consistent was the thread of concern.  This is the re-enforcement I receive from friends near and far...

Carolyn Winstead Gresham:  I wouldn't say you are ready to be sold as spare parts yet. And You have the perfect "top down" hairdo.

Eugene Stamper:   Every day is a Blessing, I know you realize that...sometimes our mind plays on us but the heart knows from within

Martha Musick Gibson:   Rod, keep up the good fight! Try some new things -- refuse to get old!!!!

Sharon H Angell:   Every day is a blessing, but it is tough learning to age with dignity when your mind still feels young and your body isn't anymore. We feel your pain, bro. You are putting into words what a lot of people don't know how to express. I really believe it is a more difficult journey for men in this season of their life, than women. At least that is what I have observed with Tom.

Martha Musick Gibson:  I think you're right, Sharon. It is harder for men. Part of aging with dignity is getting out there and trying new things, do some things you've always wanted to try, but never got around to --- and don't allow ourselves to "get old."

Carolyn Winstead Gresham:  This isn't a commandment but maybe should be. "Thou shalt not over-analyze life." But let's look at life from your parameters: Each Season of life divided into 20 year segments, starting with Spring and ending with Winter. Life over around 80. Clearly defined. Now let's look at Nature. Seasons are defined by specific months of the year. Spring is March, April, and May. Summer - June, July, and August. Fall - September, October, November. Winter - December, January, and February. Yet the 1st day of Spring was March 20th and the 1st day of Summer was June 21st. I have seen it snow in April here in Louisiana. Seasons and seasonal conditions are fluid and can run into each other. We have had Spring mornings this very Summer. The reality of life for each of us is that everyday we live brings us one day closer to our last. NONE of us know when that last day is. Truth is we have all probably come closer to death at times than we realize. Some of us closer than others and realize it, but younger people than you and me die everyday. You aren't dead yet. There is plenty of life for you to live and that you must embrace. There may even be a few Fall days left. You never know. Your words and your humor definitely enrich the lives of many, mine included.

Martha Musick Gibson:   Rod, we all love you! Btw, I love your laugh -- keep laughing!

Sandi Shannon Woods:   Is he being sad again ??? Rid rod don't make me come down there and whoop some &@$ !!! now aren't you glad you have the one friend who does not buy into this !!! U just need Friday to get here !!!! LUVS U MORE THAN MY LUGGAGE !!!! And we all know how much I love that stuff !!! all kidding aside .. Winter of our lives ... Enjoy every sec.. I gonna skid into home base myself

Don Crawford:   You reminded me of a quote from my favorite book of the many, many that I read. “A man who tells secrets or stories must think of who is hearing or reading, for a story has as many versions as it has readers. Everyone takes what he wants or can from it and thus changes it to his measure. Some pick out parts and reject the rest, some strain the story through their mesh of prejudice, some paint it with their own delight. A story must have some points of contact with the reader to make him feel at home in it. Only then can he accept wonders.” ― John Steinbeck, The Winter of Our Discontent

Sandi Shannon Woods:  Great book Don, one of my favorites too.

Lydia Hernandez Blades:   Hey Rod Man!! You say you have lost your focus this last year or so...then RE-FOCUS,my friend. If you are looking to the if it was a great memory...if it wasn't Thank God it is in the PAST!! If you want something to look forward to...Tomorrow is not promised but God does promise you a future while you are still here...a plan to prosper you and give you hope...Now that right there is something to look forward to....otherwise..FOCUS ON TODAY!! God has given you TODAY !! Thank Him for it!! He has given you bunches of friends who all love ya...your darling grand kids love ya...and Today could turn into one of those days you look back on and smile!! ENJOY THE PRESENT MY FRIEND...IT IS A GIFT !!

Don Crawford:
                            Bobby Blue Bland - Years Of Tears

Don Crawford:   Rod...You've got "Years of Tears to Go". Take a moment to watch the video and listen to the fits.

Rod Ferguson:   I must read Steinbeck's book. The Winter of our discontent??? And I really don't mind tears, Don. For some reason they cleanse my soul and help me focus... Thanks all of you. I'm really alright...

Karen Gauthier:  Boo, you're just in the valley right now, that's what i call it.... it's my "dead zone" and i think for some odd reason we all must suffer thru it.... I guess so we know what really being on the mountain top is all about.... Thinking of you Rod.....

Karen Gauthier:   btw.... i LOVE the blues.... and that Bobby Blue Bland song was great!!!!!

Posted 18 July from my River. 

          As the sun starts her slide below the western horizon on this Saturday, the 20th of July, it almost seems as if she has given me an almost full moon to rest my tired eyes and seemingly low voltage mind upon. This is a most peaceful afternoon as I sit on my patio unwinding from a productive day. My first concealed carry class with my friend, Lee, came off very well but has left me mentally drained and just plain ole tired for some strange reason! The heat of the day has yielded to a comfortable micro-climate of teasing breezes, insect tones of the non-harmonious variety along with the soothing afternoon teasing of my mockingbird's song. As the afternoon fades into dusk, that beautiful moon becomes brighter in my east south eastern sky. The blue sky is replaced by an almond colored moon and I go back... Well. It doesn't really matter. From behind the limbs of a young willow oak, the man in the moon winks at me reminding me how far I've come. The final "chucks" from my favorite bird and I close my eyes and remember anyway. Could it have been any better than this?

Posted July 20th from my Patio

          Just how many friends do each of us collectively have in our facebook friend list? From those friends spring fourth other friends of friends we don't even know. From my friends alone there are probably twice that many that are not even facebook friends, yet friends still the same. Add to that, family, neighbors and church acquaintances, those numbers could exceed 500 to maybe a thousand or more, depending upon the weakness of your personality. Yes? As with any substantiation of fact as to how many vs how few friends actually existing in our world of friends, only a handful r-e-a-l-l-y matter. Those are the significant others that accept you unconditionally, despite your weaknesses, faults, arrogant behaviors, etc... that actually miss you when you are 'silent' in their life for short periods of time. Then there are those that are silent you will never forget.  And yes, that might include one or so that might occasionally eat your face off for what ever reason, yet are right back in your heart the very next day wondering if you forgive them. I have one of those crazy friends. Scared from the 60's I think. I really do like her! In my own special way, I actually love her. She knows everything about me I want others to know, and what she does not know about me is a secret between only God and myself. Friends like that are few and far between. I know this because I feel that in my heart about her. I've even mentioned her in my blog way back when and for some reason started to just aggravate her by ignoring her special day just to incite a reaction from her! Oh yeah, that would have been fun, but I really don't have the time to try and overcome that face eating, as it would eventually become. So as the third year of her seventh decade spins toward the end of the first of the 365 days until the next one, I wish for my friend, Sandi Shannon Woods the happiest of days that extend beyond the end of life as we know it. To me she has been the best a friend could ask for and my hope is that I can be the same kind of friend to her in return. And I said all of that with out even saying Happy Birthday. Well dang! Almost... It just has to come out, doesn't it? Love you, girl!

Posted 24 July from my office

          Well, this morning was an all time first. I am sitting by my river enjoying the awakening sounds of the morning around me when I notice a skunk trotting rapidly toward My parked vehicle. Hustling along in a rapid trot, she was moving too fast for me to take a picture and for some reason I felt compelled to NOT suddenly jump from my car and attempt taking pictures. Another first time surprise from my river. She is so kind to me when she distracts me from myself. Good morning Facebook friends and family.  A stupid skunk.  Why a skunk?  Could it not have been a raccoon, armadillo, squirrel or even a rabbit? Here I go again.  Sitting at my desk with my face in my hands listening to Gordon Lightfoot sing Carefree Highway on Pandora as my mind retraces memories of years gone by.  Yup. memories are moments frozen in time.  Should I get that tattoo?  Molon Labe? 

Posted July 25 from my River

          Sometimes I just sit in humble silence wondering just why I seem to have lost my focus. My drive to smile and exist in harmony with my environment or to even put into words a memory of my past in simple short story form has fled into the recesses of gray matter not understood by me. I have countless friends that are at my finger tips yet there is that undefined void that still cries out as tinnitus in my silent mind as I pass through any given day with tunnel vision as if I am wearing blinders? Seems like there are soul ties from seasons past I need to give to God Himself? If and when I am able to put all of this together, I am sure it will be an entertaining work of non-fiction, if I have time remaining, to put it into words. There may come a time when you want to cry out to your past and ask forgiveness for your trespasses, yet the heartbeat of time reveals the heartbeat of the one you seek may no longer resonate in your existing world.

Posted July 30


           It was just yesterday that I sat at the stop sign's intersection of Ball Street with Main, that I encountered something that moved my heart and left me staring in amazed awe. Across the street from me was a blind man walking down the side walk with his white cane tapping the concrete before him. I watched. The back and fourth movement of the guide rod as he followed every contour of his intended path as he confidently stepped in the very area explored by the tip of his cane. Feelings "passed" to him through this "seeing cane" into his hand telling his mind to proceed. With each step he recognized the difference between the drop off of a curb or the gradual sweep of the adjoining drive ways pooling with Main street. No reflective clothing, accompanying seeing eye dog or human partner. Just he and he alone with his white cane and what ever thoughts present in his functioning mind drove him to his destination undeterred by his handicap perceived only by me! It took me back years, as I recalled a question I asked a blind woman who had lost her sight to a car accident. I was a police officer in Jackson, MS in 1978 and I was taking her to the Annie McBride Center for the blind, after she had given her testimony at our church. I asked her how she dealt with her handicap. I remember her smile as she responded, "Being blind to me now is a small inconvenience." As we arrived at her destination, I asked if she would like me to walk her to the door, and she politely declined my request. She left the car and extended her white cane, and moved just like the gentleman I was watching, confidently with each step directly where the sweeping tip of her cane had just past. I was experiencing the same feelings watching this man move toward my river as I did 35 years ago as this woman disappeared into the massive doors of the institution that was now her home. Awed amazement. I started to following him to see where he was going and how he would navigate crossing roadways and the narrow walk span of my draw bridge if he crossed over my river. I left him to his own. However his blindness found itself to exist in his world did not matter to him. He was doing exactly what he intended to do in that moment, obviously intent on getting to where desired to go. As his white cane revealed his next step, I released the brakes on my white Crown Vic, turned left and accelerated in the opposite direction to my destination. All was well in my world. Yours?

Posted August 1 from my Office

          For the last few mornings, I have arrived at my rivers edge just before daybreak only to feel the same repose over and over. I always wonder the "psychology" of such repetitious dichotomy. This morning is cloudy and a stiff south eastern wind extends my flag to display her full colors as sycamore leaves rustle on the branch because of the lack of rain.   As I drove up, the Robert Frost poem I love so much returned yet again in my mind with a slight twist. My rivers lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep; and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep.  And my mockingbird was not heard this morning?

Posted August 7 at my river

          What is in a wife! Well, let me see if I can spend a moment or two here. It is someone that knows all of your weaknesses and ignores your strengths, unless she needs something moved. She is someone who takes care of my every need except  personal hygiene. She leaves that up to me, so maybe a quick heart attack is in order down the line if long term care on her part becomes a factor.  Most of all "the wife" is there to keep us aging men "in line" when we cross that ego boundary we only dare approach when in their company. Yes, we all do it, and everyone of you reading this knows this all too well.  I stepped out of the shower just recently and as I stepped in front of the mirror I flexed my muscles, sucked in my stomach and slapped myself  across the chest just above my insulin injection bruise and said, "Linda your a lucky woman! I'm bald headed, carry a pistol, shot three people, me being one of them, have a tattoo and I ride a motorcycle! Baby, you're married to one bad dude!" She casually replied, "Baby, the tattoo is fake and you ride a gold wing!" I'm still contemplating suicide!

Posted August 12 from my most humble abode...

          Fields of Gold... I simply find this song amazing. Why does this one song reflect so favorably in my psych despite its propensity to incline my mindset toward the melancholy side? I simply love it. 

   Martha Durham Compton: Does it have some happy memory attached to it maybe?
   Sandi Shannon Woods: Cause u are a complex man !!! Morning Skunk ... Gonna miss me lol

Beautiful clear Sunday morning. I just rode up on my gold wing to my friend Lee's house for a tactical shooting class. Quiet out here as crows caw and chickens stir. I lean back against my range bag strapped on the passengers seat of my motorcycle and as I look up, within arms reach, a leaf. I am parked under an Eastern Redbud tree and its leaf is perfect. Holding it against the blue sky, it is easy to trace the handy work of an omnipotent God.  As transparent as this leaf appears to me, I am even more so transparent to Him. 

Posted August 25 from my friend Lee's driveway.

          The most beautiful words I have ever received from my son just arrived, via text. Where my heart leaps with joy, there is sadness and uncertainty in his soul. For 13 years of his life, he has preformed at the top of the food chain in his career field, taking the art of modern warfare to the enemy that attacked us September 11, 2001. Nine trips into harms way to do what his country asked him to do and, he did it quiet well... Now I can relax knowing there are no more of these trips left for him to make, for me to worry about the unknown.  Yet his entire world is changing faster than he can adjust. Let me share with all of my friends that have prayed for us, followed me through the down times as well as the good. The most beautiful, yet simple text a father, mother, wife, son or daughter could ever receive:

 Stewart: In Germany... War is officially over for me. Not sure how I feel about this!

   Dad: Come home son. Help those sweet girls grow up to be ladies and learn to love your wife as you have never been able too before.

Stewart: I can't describe how I feel.

 Dad: God will reveal to you a new world. You will be able to show your family the Aurora Borealis for the first together. You will be able to gaze upon the most beautiful landscape in North America. A snow mobile is not a four wheeler and teaching yourself as well as those girls how to snow plow with a pair of skies is going to restore your heart as you have never experienced before. You tell me those girls are sun and sand girls? I'm telling you they are going to take to being snow bunnies like a lab puppy takes to water.


          And for those of you in real life and my facebook world that truly care for and love me, please keep Stewart and his family in your prayers and know I can NEVER thank all of you enough for being my friend. 

Posted August 25, from my home.


          Sitting on my patio this morning watching the sun begin to filter through the Crepe Myrtles lining my back yard. Has been a while since I've embraced the morning from this spot. What is strangely unique this Labor Day holiday morning is there is no traffic noise on 28E. My mockingbirds are still not monopolizing the coolness of the breaking day with their song yet my mourning Dove is softly cooing as a fox squirrel barks his discontent at something. I see one of my favorite birds sitting on the edge of my garage. Making that chucking noise and flexing his wings. Guess he is preparing for another dog day of summer as his mind doesn't recognize summers end has come. I sit here and my mind competes with the political landscape wondering what foolishness is being perpetrated in Washington and think also of people in my life I've loved and lost. Some I miss, others I resent and so many I pray peace upon. Another day my sister is in my heart as she continues to struggle with her life at St Francis in Monroe. A Blue Jay screams go see her yet I remain in the suns rising rays watching the dew begin to fade on my glider arm. What is it about Eureka Springs and Jasper, Arkansas? Sun is too bright now. I must go back inside now and contemplate my day.   Today would have been my Mom's 93rd birthday.  She is one of many I miss...

Posted September 2 from my patio

          My draw bridge will be closed for repairs the next 100 days. LA DOTD has plans to refurbish this old icon on a 24/7 schedule until completed. As I anticipate sitting here in the future mornings that will come, I will miss the low growl she... emits as vehicles stimulate the steel gratings as they traverse her span. What new will prevail upon completion? This face lift could enhance our Christmas season. I will still have the high speed interstate or Purple Heart Bridge to keep me company.

Posted September 3 from my home

          On this September date in 1941, my oldest sister was born.  As I sit here thinking about this being her birthday I also think about the little birthday party my nieces and two other sisters are going to give her today.  Remember now, just last week we were wondering if she would even see today or not.  She is still not in the best of health, but she is back at home and last I heard is refusing Hospice care.  I so want what is best for her and know her daughters have her best interest at heart.  Yet there still remains the abusive husband that cannot communicate with anyone without spewing from his mouth the most filthy language that generates from his weak and spiritless mind.  I have always known that people like this, that resort to this kind of behavior were probably abused in the same way or feels so incompetent around others that the only way they can express themselves is forcibly.  At any rate, the last thing I heard was that he convinced Diane she did not need Hospice, and one of his reasons is they (we, family), are trying to kill her.  Sandra, my second sister, called and invited me to the birthday party later today, at which time I kindly reminded her I had previous plans to go to Texas.  I did inform her it was probably best I remain as far from Diane and this man that she lets influence her for what ever reasons, as I could.  Our personalities do not belong in the same proximity and simply stated, 95 miles is still to close.  I told Sandra and Nona I basically had reached a saturation point and to just notify me when she passes...

          My son-in-law came by and visited during a lull in the Softball World they exist in, informing me that I need to sit down with him and Linda's third son.  This is the one I sent to prison for stealing heirloom firearms I had accumulated from my law enforcement past and from my deceased father.  He stole them for drug money, I'm told.  So I pressed charges against him and off he went.   When he got out of prison, Linda suggested to him that he needed to talk to me...  He promptly informed her he had served his time and didn't need to speak to anyone.  OK.. Couple of years later he tears up some equipment of mine and steals a lot of gasoline so I simply share with the local police where he is, and they arrest him on warrants that I had nothing to do with and TADA!!  Back to prison...  When he gets out this time they send him back for probation violation... When he is out he works long enough to draw unemployment and then sponges off someone until he has to go back to work.   Well, my son-in-law, daughter and their family are currently being sponged upon and now he thinks since I'm the only father figure this son knows, we should sit down and work things out?   I think not.  Are you seeing a picture evolve that might surprise you?  I'm talking about the three, maybe four people that read this.

         And poor Sasha, our little black toy poodle.  She lived in the wash room of our spacious home. She was fed every day and watered and let out side long enough to hate it.  If you walked on the patio with her she would run to the washroom door and turn circles to go back into her solitary cell.  No affection at all.  Just pure punishment in my mind but contentment in hers?  Well, after months of complaining and telling my oldest grand daughter I would give her 100 bucks if she would kill Sasha, it finally dawned on Linda I could possibly be serious and she finally found her a home!  We took her over to her new owner just last night.  5 or 6 years, heck, I don't know... Maybe longer.  I was so happy for her I didn't even go to the door with Linda when she dropped her off.  Guess what bothers me the most with Sasha is I'm seeing my life beginning to take the same parallels as Sasha's...  Well, now Sasha is gone and somehow Meggie Mew spends the entire day outside.  Remember my pet killing neighbor???

          So another Friday embraces me and spins me in a negative way as I know "running to you Pictures" are exchanged or soon to be, as Linda, Carolyn, and myself prepare to go to Arlington, TX for a LIMU convention.   I will stay in my favorite room and visit with my best friend and his wife Donna as we do our thing while dealing with all of the negative input from memories past and existing dramas.  Haven't heard a word from my son as his family prepares for the move to the 49th state and probably won't unless Bungling Obama along with Lurch sticks his ass too deep in Syria's personal cess pool and the Russians end up sinking one of our destroyers. At least I know he is safe.  Hey yaw... I just felt like venting...  Hope you have a wonderful weekend and many to come.

Posted September 6 from my home

          This was the second morning I stepped from the solitude of my home into the beginning of my day and felt no difference in the ambient temperature from hence I came. I know that fall is coming as the fall equinox is the 22nd and my mornings are beginning to reveal less colors as I stroll to my car. What I no longer do is slow down and listen to the sounds of morning like I did two or so years ago. I simply stroll to my car trying to decide if I want a sausage burrito at McDonald's or to just drive on to my river and spend a few extra quiet minutes there. I seem to have been existing in some sort of a vacuum or feel a void as if something was missing in my life. As I pull up to my favorite spot at my river, I put down my windows and adjust to the familiar sounds I am hearing and try and discern what is different?   The only sound missing is the low growl of traffic across my drawbridge as that noise is replaced with the sounds of metal against metal banging and tinking as workers hurry to restore her before Christmas.  The visual is even more strange as heavy equipment is positioned along her span as acetylene torches cutting away at her old trusses drops a fiery trail of pieces of cut steel into the peaceful river below. Yes. I am still here. Just seems like I need to adjust to that already in motion pendulum swing back into that other direction.  Along the way I need to embrace the friends and opportunities that I will interact with and try to avoid the hard lessons learned on the way back to where I came from before?  That's right.  You caught the learning curve?   I guess what I am trying to say is, I need to slow down once again and listen to the always present sounds and experiences that life will let me embrace and let new music into my today and now.  I may have a little difficulty embracing some of that rap stuff, but I'm sure Pandora will keep me poised. 
Posted September 10 from my River

          Sitting in the parking lot of the VA Hospital at 0630 this morning waiting on a friend to draw some blood. As I sit here like I do so many mornings at my river, I am being soloed by my favorite birds! I do not feel the crisp bite of fall this morning but obviously the dog days of summer are over for my mockingbirds, as at least two are quiet vocal this morning.  I seriously think this mornings start is the foundation of what I anticipate to be a wonderful day.

Posted September 16 from the VA Hospital

          I sit beside my rivers slow moving waters as the gates of dawn remains yet arrived. My draw bridge is elevated and darkened this morning as the 24/7 repair work obviously ceased for last nights crews. Highlighted by distant urban lighting, as they sit upon her approaches. are what appears to be  the pre-historic silhouetted pose of construction cranes.  There they sit quietly in the humid darkness waiting for their designed intent to be used by gathering work crews. It is silent here, except for the sounds of man made clutter as I watch and listen. Everything I see and hear is doing what it was designed by man to do. I sit back in my seat and stare at the top of my draw bridge focusing on her highest point.  There a red covered light  attracts my attention as it blinks in perfect sync as its only purpose is to mark it's existence to low flying aircraft?  So as the morning light slowly gives the color to our awakening existence, the sounds and sight of Gods creations gives purpose for my existence! I was created as were you, as the most perfect of all of His creations to enjoy everything He prepared for us for this purpose. For His pleasure and for us to Worship Him.  May this song touch your heart as it touched mine.  And as I grow older, I was told just today that life was found in the womb of my youngest daughter.  Late April?  Early May?    
Posted September18 from my River

The fall equinox began at midnight. What is it about this days beginning race to the winter solstice on December 21? The day and night is evenly distributed on this day and from here until the winters solstice the days get progressively shorter. Here in Pineville I have yet to enter the outside and feel the first nip of fall. Until today we had no rain, so the absence of moisture and the decrease in sunlight encouraged the first dusting of falling leaves. Reminiscent of falls past, what memories of seasons past dance across my mind as leaves tumble across the roadways of  my approaching car mostly in congested neighborhoods. Another weekend comes to go as after today I will never be as young as I was when it was here.  I mean really.  Who thinks of others on days like the fall equinox?  Happy Michaelmas to my social networking family.

Posted September 22 from my home

Yesterday was a beautiful first day of fall! Absolutely beautiful. This morning as I walked out of my 73 degree home, 58 degrees welcomed me making me smile all over! The first bite of fall. Oh my soul. Let the colors of the season enhance our awe of His handiwork!

Posted September 23 from my River


          The defining of another typical Central Louisiana Fall day. Every day this week I have walked from my house into the still dark mornings to be taken captive by a high pressure front complete with our always present humidity. Temperatures have been consistently in the mid 70's or better. I know my Fall is coming but without our cool crisp mornings our colors will turn slowly into this dull drab monotone season absent those bright Fall colors. *sigh*. Still it is here and slowly moves upon us just like another weekend begins to mark time and engages the mind with opportunities lost, memories etched in collected pebbles and the excitement of the unexpected. May this weekend compliment your soul with contentment.

Posted October 4, 2013 from my River

          Simply amazing.  It is a typical weekend at the Ferguson household.  It starts on Friday afternoon with the congregation of 5 grandkids and ends with 3 of them spending the night.  I enlighten my wife that I have plans of going to Winnsboro the next day to put some reloaded rounds down range with my friend Jerry and to take him some powder that another friend had purchased for us to share.  Kind of a business trip ya know.  I owed him some money, I invested in this powder,  now he owes me some money, I want my money back, he has a great place to shoot and he is a good friend!  So, as this Saturday morning dawns and the 8 o'clock phone call from Winnsboro puts things into motion,  I am informed that "we" are taking one grandchild home and the other two would accompany us on what is now our "collective" business trip.  OK then, so I load a few hundred rounds of 9mm, .45acp, .22cal bullets and of course my trusted 5.56 rounds complete with corresponding firearms of which to shoot them with and we are off!  No problem!   Well, after we get a good 20 minutes out of town, I realize that I have forgotten something incredibly important!  The powder that I was taking to Jerry was still sitting in the front seat of my Corvette parked secure in my carport at our house. We turn around and go back to the house to get what really encouraged this trip to Winnsboro in the first place.  The powder.  No ones fault but my own, yet the "tone" is set.  Once we get back to our house, its seems like every body has got to use the bathroom, go get something that they forgot, or do something else like pick up snacks, cokes and iPad chargers, make-up and hair brushes. What started as "let me jump out and get what we forgot" and get our ass back on the road has suddenly turned into a survival stop!  Oh yes... This dark place in my mind is beginning to take me into strange places I would rather not go as I sit patiently in the passenger seat of the van, just waiting.  15 minutes later we are again moving toward our destination and in the back of this amply sized van I hear this noise from a 13 year old and 14 year old. Stop! Don't touch me! MawMaw!  Mckenzie has her feet on my chair! Stop It!   Get your iPad off the top of my seat!  This is Junior.  The 14 year old that hasn't reached puberty raising his voice.  Then the 13 year old that looks 20 tells him to SHUT UP!  Just as I am about to unleash Hell upon these uninvited leaches,  my wife chimes in and tells Junior to change seats and quit bothering Mckinzi! Now mind you, I am already passed aggravated because I had to return home to get what was forgotten and now this sibling bitching  is rattling my last sense of sanity?  I wonder if it has even crossed their damaged minds that I am actually going to a pistol and rifle range with unlimited rounds of ammunition. Ah yes! If they only knew what was going through my mind.

Posted October 5 after safely returning home

          She is quiet. Not a ripple on her dark as ink surface as a mockingbird across her depths greets the coming morning with anticipated excitement. As I sit in the warmth of my patrol unit with my window down, the cool morning air confirms the seasons tightening grip on us. Glancing into the side view mirror of my unit, an almost exact image of my profile picture reminds me why I posted that picture in the first place. Images of vehicles racing across my high speed traffic bridge accompany the sounds echoed up the rivers basin as my draw bridge is still silent because of upgrading repairs. My flag gently stirs from the tease of a morning breeze as I do not envy the rider of the motorcycle who's high pitch whine fades in sound as he speeds south to his final destination on this cold morning. As I again look up from my collection of words, I realize my Creator has again given color to the awakening landscape that surrounds me and I give thanks to Him that I am allowed once again to participate in it. May The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob comfort and bless this reader. I have already thanked Him for your place in my life.
Posted October 8, 2013 from My River

          Ladies and gentlemen, today I am resigning my position as President of the United States. Michelle and I will receive the salary and benefits due us the rest of our life as well as secret service protection!  We are going back to Chicago where I will join the Crips and she will join the Bloods. By doing this, we will insure that our kingdom will expand exponentially and without criticism from opposing political groups. With what Homeland Security has provided us with in Chicago in forms of MRAPS and other military equipment, I see no reason why I should want for anything!  Good Luck Joe!   And with those last three words, my happy dream turned into a nightmare!

Posted October 11

          Those weak moments of touching a memory is evanesced with the passing of time. When it is there and the heart stirs, we set aside the thought and the once fertile fields of interaction grows over with moss until it is gone forever. 

Posted October 13

          I was minding my own business by mowing my yard behind my swimming pool.   As I eased up to the Ligustrum trees, to my surprise, there stretched out in his radiant colors, was nothing more than Satan himself.  This is by far the largest Copperhead I have ever seen in my entire life. I thought for a millisecond of capturing him for bragging purposes when "that voice" in my heart spoke something very mater of fact and ugly to me. Basically my heart told me it would  simply stop beating if I attempted to go near that damn thing.   I left my mower running and went into the house to get my .357 and some snake shot  as to take care of business.  Of course when I returned, guess who was gone? The beauty of the fall season and knowing he is still somewhere in close proximity to my swimming pool still bothers me immensely!   And of course the conversation below the photograph that actually followed:

Sandi Shannon Woods Yikes !!! Did u kill it !!!
  • Rod Ferguson attempted too. I grabbed it by the tail and it was too strong for me to hold. It came back up on me and actually bit my watch band! One of its fangs broke off in it and I'm going to make a necklace out of it. Anyway, when I slung him off my arm, he went into some serious undergrowth and I for some reason didn't feel compelled to go into his world and push my luck anymore
  • Rod Ferguson I ripped off my watch looking for blood, because had he bit me, I would have cut my arm off.
  • Sandi Shannon Woods So glad !! He will be back be careful !!! A dead skunk would not smell
  • Rod Ferguson yes. I heard they were territorial. And this was right beside my swimming pool!

  • Sandi Shannon Woods And a armless skunk would be dangerous to the world .. Shooting wise !!!
  • Sandi Shannon Woods He was thirsty what u out in it tequila ???

  • Rod Ferguson No tequila... Gave up on that stuff. Woke up one morning on a tree limb. Had no idea how I got there...
  • Barbara Ryals did it actually bite your watch band- i would have fainted-
  • Rod Ferguson No Barbara. I just ran with that story because I knew Sandi would eat it up. I had a fleeting thought of catching it for bragging purposes, but my heart told me if I got near that damn thing it would kill me itself, simply by refusing to beat one more time!
  • Martha Durham Compton I knew you were full of BS
  • Rod Ferguson Lmao... Most normal people do!
  • Rod Ferguson I have been known to catch a few poisonous snakes in my past and will snatch up a non-poisonous snake in a heart beat. But in my final season of my life, I find that a poisonous snake strikes a fear into my heart I do not need to deal with so I try to give them a very wide berth...
  • Sandi Shannon Woods Hey be nice to me !!!
  • Rod Ferguson I am always nice to you, Sandi. AlWaYs... You are the only one that makes me feel like a hero... The rest of these folks actually know the difference... But you, MY SANDI, believe in me... *grin*
  • Sandi Shannon Woods *laughin* u have never lied to me !!! So u are a hero !!! With a flying red cape bounding over tall building.

  • Rod Ferguson Thank you very much, Sandi. So unlike Martha. She actually knows... Barbara did too, but gave me the courtesy of asking... laughing!
  • Sandi Shannon Woods Well they must of been the chosen in school .. I was not even remembered and u were unaware of all the hearts u crushed bahahahaha
  • Rod Ferguson I have never lied to you, true. But I have shared with you stories of my heroic deeds and accomplishments! Some I might add with a mendacity of expanded truths and fictional parallels, yet not actually an outright purposeful lie.
  • Martha Durham Compton He embellished his stories ...a lot!!!
  • Sandi Shannon Woods LOL I know we yank each others chains lol

    Posted 14 October from my office

               The gathering fall season has finally presented us with an almost perfect yet beautiful Sunday.  As dusk dissipates the bright colors of this fading pristine day, my mockingbird reminds me one more time of his place in my heart. The song is replaced by "chucks" as he seeks the protection of his roost for the coming night. Tiny insects announce their existence as a million chirps and trills seek to dominate my peaceful existence as I experience the day's fade on my patio. 63 degrees pushes the mosquito away and as another degree or two falls, I'm sure I will lift my hoodie over my shaved head to help store warmth. The sky is full of passenger planes passing thousands of feet in the darkened sky as a siren disturbs my thoughts.  As if directed by appointment, the neighborhood dogs join in howling accompaniment as my mind thinks of those I know that are probably traveling at this very moment in time. Colors are all but gone as the 1900 hour slips away with each passing minute. To exist in this moment is truly a gift you can find when you silence yourself before God and absorb what is being revealed to you. Great message this morning, Nathan!

    Posted 20 October from my patio

              Upon arrival at my river, I notice my waters were aggravated and disturbed. As I stopped, turned off my lights and put down my windows before turning off my engine, I looked and discovered I had just miss a passing tow boat and barges. As I read through a morning scripture my mocking bird comes to life just seconds before the 0635 hour. Smiling at his greeting and enjoying the cool grip of this mornings 55 degree start, I notice my river is now calmed down, and displays an attitude of Comfort. Like what I was understanding when I was reading the scripture about the Comforter He sent to abide in each of His believers. I find it simply amazing what can transpire in ones mind when the Word is able to work in a welcomed mind in a perfect place. That is where I find myself most mornings. In that perfect place where I can experience the awakening of my day with man made noises as it blends with the sounds of nature. Another day is preparing to reveal my coming future. Let me leave my place of comfort and intersect with those events and experiences we call the rest of my day.
    Posted 22 October from my river

              I am sitting directly under my drawbridge staring at a 3/4 moon slowly setting at 280° at 11am on a bright beautiful day.  And yes, you actually can see the moon in the daytime.  The bottom right quarter of this satellite is obscured from the suns light and I scratch my head wondering why this is. As I glance just in front of me I notice the shadow of the bridge I am sitting under is casting a shadow at the same angle on the ground before me as what is darkened on the moons surface 270,000 +/- miles away. Then a small light  (very small mind you) goes off telling me that the sun, a scant 93,000,000 +/- miles away from the earth/moon orbit is truly casting the appropriate shadows in his jealous scheme of universal proportions.  It is just that my simple mind cannot comprehend the magnitude of what I am seeing on such an Omnipotent scale.  Okay, okay...  If you  are having difficulty getting a grip on what I'm saying, I don't think I will be able to explain it any better, so it is ok to feel sorry for me.   Better yet, try not to spend too much time trying to understand this either.  Just smile like my wife does and acknowledge to yourself quietly the early stages of abstract, discombobulated ideas that compete for attention in the fading mind of an aging male...
    Posted 23 October from my river

               Way to go Rod! My third day into my exercise program and I out walk my treadmill.  As I approach 1.15 miles of my 2 mile stroll at 3.5mph I smell this ODOR of electrical origins and my treadmill tells me "that's enough fat boy!"  So almost right in the middle of day three of my exercise program, my equipment stops before my heart quits.  Is that a check or checkmate?

    Sandi Shannon Woods:  I am just impressed u walking !!!! Now make your 2nd bestie ( me ) do it too!!
    Suzanne Keenan:   
    Rod Ferguson:   It is a mindset. I finally made myself start exercising after dieting for three months and wham! My treadmill goes into shock and dies from electrical overload! Anyone got a treadmill for sale out there?
    Sandi Shannon Woods:   Got a new flex.  And some kind bike not like the old ones new one low sit lol .. They are gathering dust.

    Rod Ferguson:   Use that flex, Sandi. Of course you don't have a weight problem like I do, but exercise is still good for ya.
    Sandi Shannon Woods:  It would kill me !!! I get enough cleaning lol
    Becky Gates Lockhart:   Proud of you Rodman!! You'll be fighting off girlfriends before you know it!! Lol
    Rod Ferguson:  Those days are long gone Becky.  Last girlfriend ditched me for her yardman! 
    Lydia Hernandez Blades:   Proud of Ya, Rod Man!! The pics posted online of your reunion this past weekend show that your dieting has paid off !! And now exercising, too!! Go you!! Not letting that treadmill change your mind is admirable!!! Keep up the good work !!!
    Deborah Copes:   No excuses! Go outside and walk like I do?
    Rod Ferguson:   To many old dogs in the hood, Deb...

    Kitty Kervin:   rofl!

    Posted 30 October from my home

              On the last morning of October the wind extends my flag's glory in the pre-dawn morning as a serious front slowly targets Central Louisiana. Winds are gusting at my river, up to 18 mph or so, straight out of the south as flashes of distant lightening accents the low hanging clouds. Today would have been my dad's 95 birthday.  I lost him at age 77 and wonder where time has gone as the pulsating wind whistles around my parked city vehicle which I feel moving underneath me. Needless to say my river is disturbed because of the wind, and I'm sure my mockingbird is so not interested in navigating in gale force winds, yet just as I type this, from across the river at 6:46, his voice kisses me good morning. This will be an interesting day, and for you likewise, this I pray.


    Posted 31 October from my river


              My day started at 3:45 am this morning when a wake up reminder from Mother Nature turned into a visit to the drudge report followed by Fox News on the iPhone. 4:20 am saw me getting dressed for work to spend time at the reloading bench for an hour or so which resulted in about 75 new .45 rounds of ammunition. As I walked out onto my driveway and beheld the Gates of Dawn, I stopped dead in my tracks and marveled as the morning sun, yet risen, bathed the underneath bottoms of the eastern hanging clouds in beautiful pink! Absolutely gorgeous! Glancing to the northeast I felt somewhat sorry for those that could not witness such a beautiful sight as there were no clouds on their eastern horizon to be painted. As my early am turns 10ish, I sit and watch the teasing autumn winds separate faded leaves from the large earth plants surrounding my former nursery. With each gust, the White Oak behind me sprinkles my car with the leaves of her past season. As the days grow shorter and the heart grows cold, their memory of yet another season gone, is settled forever as they gently fall to the waiting embrace of their beginning. It is here another 10,000 years may pass as they return back into the soil from which they came just last spring? The screech from one of our resident birds of prey and the barking fox squirrel goes silent, as an unwanted hornet enters my open car windows and buzzes loudly just inches away from my face. As we temporarily square off with each other, he asked me if I didn't have some other place to be? I think maybe I just might as the skyline of Jackson, MS fades once again in my mind.
    Posted November 5 from my old nursery

              Did not most of us wade the liberal waters in our young adult years as we flexed our newfound freedoms from parental controls? Oh my word! This could easily turn into a very long short story so I will avoid going there for all of our sakes. So let me quickly parallel two different worlds. MTV awards verses the CMA?   Proverbs 22:6 pretty much encapsulates my journey as I recall what was compared to what is.  I much prefer class to trash. Where find ye?

    Posted November 7 from my office

              The day is fading as I sit on my patio. The giant Long Leaf Pine that accents my back yard is host to a fat fox squirrel and Sasha sits trembling in my lap watching its movements at elevation. A half moon reveals her intentions to watch over central Louisiana's first predicted frost of the season as she peeps around the majestic branches of my Pine reminding me of her presence. There is no sound from my mockingbird yet .  It might be a little early for him to comment on the pending cold night. A couple of folks have extended Veterans Day greetings to me, and I had the honor of spending the day, yesterday, with my veteran at the range in Winnsboro.   He and his family are passing through Louisiana on their way to our 49th state. Bittersweet afternoon as my mind caresses the memories of yesterday. What could have been versus what is. The oldest veteran I know from WWII is Mr. Solomon.  His daughter, Mickey Solomon Smith, posted his picture today on Facebook. The youngest I know personally is my son Stewart. Thanks to all of us who wear the National Defense Service Medal and to those who when they raised their right hand, took that oath, not for a season but for a lifetime. To defend this country against all enemies, both foreign and domestic, SO HELP US GOD. That is one oath that bonds every veteran and those that bore those memories with us know so well. 

    Posted November 11 from my home

               The first lingering, wet, miserable cold front of our yet defined winter season has enveloped central Louisiana. This is the second day that the overcast, rainy 35 to 40 degree temperatures, send the majority of us gravitating to warm buildings and even warmer beverages. Was it not this season we yearned for during the dog days of summer. I distinctly remember the only sound I would encounter as sweat ran down undefined cracks, was the surprised grasshopper as his crackling flight distanced himself from me? How discontent we become as the absence of extended light disturbs our day, yet we still anticipate the possibility of icy roads and secretly hope for snow? Ah, yes. The life of a southerner. The things that amaze us while at the same time touches base with depression as its continued presence lingers. The weather channel is telling me to look forward to a rainy low of 30 degrees tonight and a clearing low of 24 degrees tomorrow night. And during this period of perceived discontent, time passes, life continues, as an omnipotent God simply prepares the coming spring to bless us once again if we are here to witness its rebirth. Until then, let me see the beauty of the season and enjoy every friend that reaches out to me. I mean, after all... This is Louisiana and next week we just may be right back in the throws of yet another typical Louisiana winter of 75 degree highs.
    Posted November 25 from my office

    Folkses, this is so very true. The kids I obviously raised want to blame me for every fault in their lives. Yet with rare exception did any of them "ask" for guidance or direction in their choices, much less the blessing of their father for those they chose to marry. Bull headed, defiant and distant in their relationship with "mom and dad" because we caused all of their problems! Of course the way I see this is simple. I must have provided a wonderful foundation for which they could raise their own children. If they will quit blaming me for their problems and realize I was teaching them what NOT TO DO, wouldn't they be fairing much better? When I realized the truth of this little message, a whole new world awakened to my soul. I found peace and realized that my "common" parents were some of the smartest people in the world. I can't help but see my father in me. Yup, that simple man with a 6th grade education. Married 54 years to my mom and worked at the same job for 56. Simple, huh??? 


    Posted November 26 from my office




    A collection of person(s) near and far that recognize this name on a Facebook page but not inclusive of that same subset of folkses that can also put a face to that name I too, include you as well. Then to the ones that know the smile associated with the face that bears witness to the name that frequents that Facebook page, there I also find those that are close enough to know the heart behind th...e smile of the face you may only know as a name on Facebook. And it is to this exclusive group of assorted names, associated faces and smiles of whom hearts I've grown fond of with time that I extend the happiest of Thanksgivings too. Those person(s) all, near and far that are a name as well on my Facebook page, thank you for your friendship.

    Posted November 27




                 Watching the sunset in my favorite part of the world. Those that know me, you probably know this place. For 15 years plus I have dreamed of growing old here and with each passing year I place another shovel full of dirt on those dreams. I took pictures one more time of the one place that stole my heart the first time I walked the spiral staircase to "that" one room. This is that one room where ...French doors open onto a raised wooden balcony to reveal the one vision my eyes favor more than any place in the world. From the confined solitude of this upper sanctuary, I have dreamed of the countless story's I could put together in digital format so as to discover the hidden mysteries of what my heart really contains. I have resigned my yearning desire(s) to the realization that I must put those dreams to rest now. Every time I come through here I simply want stay. There is angst this time for some reason. Do we gain or simple loose when we set aside a dream we cannot have? I feel I have lost, yet I have had three seasons to prepare for this last season. Ok, Rod. The sun has faded over the western hills of the Ozarks. Throw another spade of closure on what could have been and put whip cream on what remains and actually is. Damn diabetes. Always something that calibrates the winter of your life finitely.
    Posted Thanksgiving Day from my favorite place on earth
              I have seen the Elk herd and heard them bugle. Frost layered morning of 27 degrees as I sit in the roadway to Boxley Baptist Church. Why do I love this place with the passion I feel?
    Posted November 29 from Newton County Arkansas
    Bass Pro Shop anyone?
    Posted November 30 from Branson, Missouri

               I have been sitting on my patio for the last couple of hours reading my concealed carry magazine subscription and talking with my sister, Sandra on the telephone. At exactly 1554 hours a chorus of frogs started making a noise on the pipeline behind my house and promptly stopped at 1557 hours. Un-disturbed by their cacophony, my resident fox squirrel scurries up and down my long leaf pine in my back yard seemingly un-deterred by my presence. I remember my hunting days where the predator in me would tune into the sounds made by tiny claws against bark, knowing it was a matter of time before his daily activity would cause him to forfeit his entire life to satisfy my hunger for one day. Meggie LaMew sits on the edge of my leaf strewn patio watching the activities of this unknown life form wondering just what, I can only imagine. Didn't I just completely void my patio of these Red Oak leaves just a brace of hours back? Almost like my efforts were in vain in removing them in the first place. Actually, this is my second time this season and fall still has time on my calendar to deposit even more before the Winter Solstice begins 20 or so days from now. My squirrel is still now and my bird is quiet. Their has been no commercial aircraft at altitude traveling from east to west as my sky is void of vapor trails, yet I find a peace in this fading day. A lot of things I have revisited and clearly have missed over the last few days. As I allow those tangible things to filter though my mind, it becomes obvious to me some of them are clearly not as I remembered them. I think I should focus on what positives might imprint my tomorrow and try to put all of these things in a proper perspective. Yes. Just like before, Yet still again, just one more time.


    Posted December 2 from my patio





                The smell of red beans and sausage is beginning to filter the warm insides of the house. Our Christmas Tree is standing and simply thawing her branches until she is decorated later this afternoon as to help us celebrate the season. As cold as it is outside to this southern boy, my granddaughter has brought me a cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows and I find myself contented. Linda's poodle has found a spot in my lap and I swear Meggie seems to be acting somewhat indignant. Now I'm feeling sleepy. A cozy nap followed by red beans, sausage and rice. Let it snow. I'm content.  Yet the day that will live in infamy crosses my mind from time to time.
    Posted December 7 from my home

                We tell ourselves, oh boy, another Christmas season. Actually at this time of my life it has dawned on me that it is simply one less Christmas left to experience. I've come full circle from those seasons of my youth I so enjoyed! I vividly remember the boxes of fruit, complete with oranges, tangerines, and apples under the Christmas tree complete with my Roy Rogers cowboy pistols. So let me fast forward to my daddy years! Oh my!  They are also gone. My children are the moms and dads now and it happened so fast I just didn't seem to notice. So now, the granddad days of winter embrace the season around here as we decorate yet again for another Christmas Season. The same excitement still exists in our hearts as the season grows within us but yet from a whole different perspective or mindset. As the memory of my parents is fading with each passing year, so to will I be lost in the memories of my grandchildren first, followed by my children that chose to be a part of my senior years. So what is it then about the person in question I wrestle with? We accept the cards we are dealt and trade off what we can for the very best we can hope for. In the end we fold. We accept what is and dream of what could have been, knowing everything we desired we actually gained in small pieces through the collective years. And it is those very pieces that we chose to hold in our memory until that too fades. The day will come more soon than late that we awaken and find that everything has come to pass only to laugh hysterically with our Savior at the foolishness of our ways. And wasn't it really His coming to be with us, the entire point? Now what exactly did we miss? Merry Christmas!


    Posted December 9 from my home





              In the 0621 hour I see light stirring on my drawbridge as DOTD workers arrive to put the finishing touches on her refitting that began the first week of September. They left her raised last night as they do most as to accommodate river traffic that slips quietly through our cities as most of us sleep. There is a 6 to 10mph north wind blistering my rivers surface in this 34 degree weather and I am glad I am sitting in the chilled comfort of my car protected from these elements. My 30'x 60' flag is fully extended this morning and even through the closed confines of my unit I can still hear the ever sounding pops of her colors as she responds to the north wind. My bridge was just lowered as to access workers back and fourth. Still to dark to see individual workers but they are upon her. Their day has begun as has mine. Today I feel the 4/4 beat of time as we race along in that counter beat of threes. Light begins to dawn and wind buffets my car. I laughed at a Facebook post last night about what someone likes most about winter. When it is gone? Lol. I don't want to waste one day. Besides, winter doesn't officially start until the 21st of December. There are still leaves to fall. And Christmas gifts yet to be purchased for those important in our life. Lest we forget??


    Posted December 10 from my river






    My re-structured drawbridge is back from her 100 day sabbatical. Her brightly polished aluminum handrails protecting pedestrian traffic from plummeting into my river is really the only "new" that is visible. What is noticeably gone forever... is the low growl passing traffic would make as their tires integrated with the steel grating that was obviously replaced with a hard surface. The heavy hammers have ceased their clatter and the prehistoric lifting cranes have been removed as to restore vehicular passage between the cities. It is like the 100 days came to pass like it never happened?? Yet my tell, tell low growl is forever gone. And to think I was one that complained of man made noises or "clutter," as I referred to that noise in seasons passed. I reckon only the heart stays true despite the change of the season(s).

    Posted December 12 from my river






              My river appears as a perpetual sheet of black ice as she moves in stealthy silence to her encounter with her next admirer. As the sun begins to introduce the dawning day my beautiful moon hangs suspended between the towers of my drawbridge like a football splitting a goal post. She spoke to me last evening as she rose from her eastern hiding place to grace the night sky that is now giving way to the promised day. Her words were soft, distant, yet strangely without hurt. I know better than to read anything into them as they will be gone in scant minutes for yet another span of lost days.  Below me on the sandbar, a flash! Someone besides me is also witnessing the beauty before us and capturing through camera lens the expressed intent of my river. We are both witnessing this setting moon that comforts my heart. I wonder if I could intrude into his thoughts, if they might parallel mine? I think not.
    Posted December 18 from my river

              Folkses, this nation is divided. It has happened and it happened on our watch! Now that we are forced to eat the carrion of our complacency we allowed to be forced down our throat(s) in order for us to be politically correct, here is what I would love to see. Lets not demand that A&E Television to bring Phil Robertson back. Lets encourage "Duck Commander" to dump A&E and allow a true Christian Network to embrace their chosen.way of life... I knew as well as all of you knew, it was just a matter of time before this man, Phil Robertson, tempered from the trials and temptations of life, not to mention, born again in the Spirit, was going to clash with theses Libtards that run A&E. I truly expected Phil to have a "temple" tantrum experience after praying in Jesus Name and toss the entire director and film crew out of his home! I personally thank God for a man like Phil Robertson that many of us should emulate! We concede ground to the enemy and call it tolerance, or what ever name the main street media chooses as long as those that diabolically oppose the 10 rules that has balanced civilization remain under attack. Unlike 99% of every person that has ever gone to Washington DC to represent us, let us see if this man will sell his soul to gain the world, or... Give the world back to maintain the peace God promised his soul... Like I mentioned earlier... I'm surprised he hasn't sent A&E packing already.

    Posted December 19 from my office
              And I find myself participating and going about my business on this particular calendar day as I do every other one. It is 72 degrees outside and the wind is blowing hard. Where the forecast of projected rain still promises 100% for the better part of the day, it seems to have been nominally delayed as of this particular time. At 12:11 pm, one of the most powerful universal event recognized for centuries will take place and it is known to the entire world. As consistent and predictable as this event shall come, only to pass, it will be entertained in the minds of less of us as we simply participate in the day and fail to notice the importance of this event. The entire earth in its perfect sync with our massive solar system has reached the zenith of its celestial path and will slowly begin its tilt back from which it was just yesterday in its continued 365 day orbit of our sun! As this significant event occurs, the pagan/Christian worlds celebrates the darkest day of the northern hemisphere in festive mode commonly referred to as the winter solstice. As for me I think of friends past and present and the snow turns into rain.
    Posted December 21 from my car

                Hear I exist on this cold Christmas Adam following my brave, yet seasoned shopper wife through Wal-mart. The folkses that find themselves locked up in this tangled maze of subliminal dysfunctional personalities are so far seeming to be doing fine. They are trying to survive yet one more day to fight an even more focused battle on Christmas Eve. Me? I am sane. I am not carrying concealed. I have my stuff in open carry mode just in case this Christmas Adam suddenly turns into memoirs of Black Friday! Now why is everyone giving me a wide birth as they seem to deliberately avoid me?  I can't imagine? I've yet to have one person tell me merry Christmas and no one gets near enough to me for me to speak it to them? Go figure. Any of yaw ever seen those pictures, "people of Wal-mart?" Well. I know where they come from now.  I wonder if I will be a featured guest on that long list of "noticeable" Wal-Mart favorites...

    Posted December 23 from my car




               All of my life I wondered where my dad's middle name Ruel, actually came from.  I have chased blood lines and names back as far as I could and discovered nothing. My dad's sisters never knew where my dad's middle name came from but I knew all of my life it was unique and as I stand here a mere rock throw from 63,  have never seen that name used by another person. I gave my only son his name so that he could establish his own identity for himself yet always be connected with this family.  His given name Stewart was my mothers maiden name and I gave him my dad's middle name or Christian name, Ruel. Christian name?   With warm affection I found out today where that name found its origin. Ruel is a Hebrew name that simply means, "Friend of God!"    Maybe that is why I have had a peace with my dad's name all of my life despite its uniqueness. My dad's mom, or my Granny was more wise that anyone knew. I am even more comfortable with it now.  I told my son this day via text, this news and then said,  Merry Christmas, little buddy.
    Posted December 24 from my home

              Let's see how we are doing today. Honey, get the vacuum and do the den. Check. Except she find spots I missed. Peal the potatoes for the salad. Check. Dice them up! How big do I dice them, I ask? The answer, how big do "I" want them to be.  Check.  Ok. That works great until she tells me to do the same things with the eggs except for the DO NOT DICE THE EGGS THE SAME SIZE OF THE POTATOES!! She doesn't like them that size. Wait? I thought she said the way I like it?? Now add the pickle relish, mayo and a touch of mustard.  She then tells me to mix it up and hands me a large spoon.  My mind quickly provided an alternative.  I had two choices. This big spoon or the mixer.  To me it was a simple, efficient choice because the spoon is  slow work like and the mixer is quick! Guess who lost that round with benefit of rebuttal?  As I slowly and deliberately go about this mixing thing, she turns to me and asked if I am licking the mixing spoon?  Well?  I was not really licking it but it had made a few trips to my mouth!  I am now sensing an attitude so I keep my mouth shut when she say people don't want to eat after you. I knew better than to say I've been swallowing my spit for almost 63 years and I'm still alive argument as concrete proof of ridicules but thought better. However, when she dumps the potato salad from the mixing bowl into a smaller plastic serving bowl, I thought I would settle the contents evenly into it by pounding this plastic container on the kitchen table.  Well, as my luck would have it, this serving bowl, full of warm, tasty potato salad decided to split down the side throwing some of the salad across the table, I am asked one of the dumbest questions I've ever heard! Didn't you know plastic will break?? Well, heck no, that's why I did it. It wasn't a glass bowl! I survived that smart retort but had no idea how close to the edge I really was. On to the deviled eggs. She drops several egg yokes into a bowl along with pickle relish, mayo and mustard and I am again told to mix it up.  Ok. Didn't I just go through this with the potato salad? She then sticks a fork in my hand and away I go. I smush and mix and stir, casually pulling the deviled egg centers up on the sides of the bowl like it was spun in a centrifuge.  It didn't hurt a thing, yet for some reason that pushed her over that thin fine line. She said my stupid explanations was the last thing she needed when she was under stress. Stress? What stress?  Me??  I was helping her.  Didn't she just tell me yesterday in front of company that she thought I was funny. I was banished from the kitchen until time eat. I'll drag around the house just out of sight as to keep the peace. 


    Posted Christmas Day from my house





              I have learned over a lifetime that your real friends can be counted on the fingers of one hand.  One of my longest living friends I met when I stopped him for speeding in Jackson, Mississippi in the late 70's.  His name is James Michael Ward.  I simply call him Mickey.  Here is a glimpse of where that friendship started nearly 40 years ago. We were in our 20's and rode our motorcycles from Jackson to Vicksburg and had our picture taken beside a cannon overlooking the Mississippi River. Fast forward to three days ago and you find the same two friends in their 60's even closer now than we were then... How do you really define a true, best friend? Simply as one finger on one hand! AND NOT THE ONE YOU NEARLY CUT OFF AND ALMOST KILLED YOURSELF OVER EITHER, MICKEY!!!

    Posted December 29 from my home

              The 31st of December began for me at 0145 as I awakened and was unable to go back to sleep.  No reason.  Was not upset nor was I suffering from any kinds of stress related problems that prohibited rest.  I went to my den and simply watched the military channel until I dressed and slipped out of the house at 0520 heading to McDonalds before settling into my favorite spot at my river.  As time slowly ticks away the last hours of 2013, I read my intro to my Facebook quotes of 2013 that focused on two things, my sister Diane and my son Stewart.

              Diane left 2012 in relatively poor health and there was more than one time during 2013, we found ourselves at the hospital, wondering if there would be another day for her.  As I write my final entry at 2240, My niece Lori, tells me my sister, who has been in the hospital since Friday, is again having difficulty this very night.  I have said in different posts throughout this year to never count her out.  We all grow tired at some point in our life, yet despite her setbacks, she still displays the strength to continue well into 2014.
               My son Stewart, assigned to the 1st Ranger Battalion saw two additional deployments to Afghanistan.  If you have followed my run though 2013, you will see that our God has in fact answered a father's prayers and delivered my son into the only paradise he could find in this world.  His entire military Air Force career was to prepare and take the art of war to the enemy that struck us on 9/11.  That is all he has know since he enlisted following graduation from High School.  His war days are now over and he and his family are still setting up their new home in Alaska.  This is the only place in the world a warrior of his caliber could go to pasture and become the husband and father he wants to be.  And for me?  He is safe.  I can rest my head without the worry of that phone call.  And yes, folkses...  He is fine!  Has already sent me pictures of him posing in only his boots and gym shorts before a large digital display thermometer displaying -41 degrees below zero temperature!  Have no idea where he gets it from.

               So my 2013 prayers have been answered.  I slipped through rather unscathed, but that is life. I pass the remaining hour and a half of this year as I wait to go pick up my granddaughter from a New Years Eve party with her Sunday School friends and take my first breath in 2014 and celebrate my 29th anniversary with my wife, Linda.   So as I say goodbye to 2013, I have watched Johnny Football with Texas A&M bring his Aggies back from a halftime deficit of 38 to 17 and beat the Duke Blue Devils 52 to 48! 
              As 2013 ends for me on a good note, I wish for every person that interacts with me in 2014 the very best life has to offer you and yours. May the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob bless you and our nation!

    Posted December 31st from my reloading bench at 2245.