Beasts of Burden

My wife and I shoulder the yoke of our shared lives as gracefully as the soil, into which our plow share is forming a new furrow, allows. For me, this recently came into sharp focus while we were replacing soffit screens on our house.

The necessary steps of replacing soffit screens are as follows; remove the old screens, cut new twelve inch screen roll to length (generally about twenty feet), fold the screen to be only seven inches wide, staple the screen over the soffit vent, cover the edge of the new screen with something so critters are not able to work at the sides (one by two treated lumber in our case), and finally, to prime and paint the new wood.

The process of installing the new, seven inch by twenty foot, long screen requires a minimum of two people. One to hold and one to staple and nail. As my wife, and women in general, are not nearly as efficient at stapling and nailing, she is the primary holder.

A quick aside … Some might quibble with my assertion that, in general, women are less efficient than men at stapling and nailing. For those of you that do quibble with this assertion, I propose that you ramrod a Habitat for Humanity crew for a few days. Some of the more common views you will encounter are men holding ladders for women who are performing work atop the ladder. When that work is stapling or nailing, both the man and the woman will have pained expressions. The woman’s pain is rooted in the struggle of performing work for which she is inexperienced, and ill-suited. The man’s pain is rooted in frustration associated with wanting to complete the work himself. Work of a type he has likely performed countless times in the past. Switching roles on the soffit screen job would not occur to my wife, for a few reasons. One, my having been a sheetrock and painter guy, she has witnessed me performing this work for many, many years. Second, she wants to complete the work in as short a time as possible. And lastly, my wife is from Texas and is, therefore, a liberated woman, is unhindered with second-wave feminism, and admires men doing manly things. By this reckoning, my proposal stands.

Back to my story.

During one of our soffit screen repair breaks, while my wife was inside snapping ends off green beans and I was sipping coffee and smoking a cigar, I reflected on the many blessings in my life. Most prominent at that time was the blessing that is my wife, with her poor ways and ruggedness of body and spirit. Not only is she capable of doing physical work, but is also drawn to it in her desire to shape her world to that which is most satisfying. As a pair, we (she and I) are well fit. Her “outies” fit nicely in my “innies”, and her outlandish spontaneity normalizes my quirky need for control. Our faith and our worldly beliefs are aligned such that communication and coordination are made easy and intuitive. While involved in brutish activities, I am boss. Inside the house, in the garden, around the washer and dryer, etc. she is boss. To a large extent, when push comes to shove, we can graciously accept the other as boss for any job. We greatly admire the best aspects of each other and humbly accept returned admiration. We both like and desire each other both in a platonic sense and in ways that might be impolite to mention here. To some degree, one being useless without the matching other, we are a fitted pair. We are simultaneously complimentary and strikingly different, going together as well as do navy blue and lemon yellow. The softness of her skin under the roughness of my hand is not unlike the measured tone of her sharp tongue when railed against my gentle nature.

And so it is we go as beasts of burden under the yoke. Life spends itself out in loquacious harmony as we plod and trod, eying that which is next before us. Shouldering the responsibilities that will bring us closer to our desires, closer to each other, and closer to God.

Love you, babe.


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Own Today, and Everyday

Below is a message from me to my most beautiful daughter Allison.

I have just finished our phone call in which you had just left the office after quitting your job. Again, congratulations on how you handled the process!

My purpose in writing to you at this time, related to the congrats I gave above, is to both caution and to encourage you, as follows:


You have just executed some decisions that likely left you feeling free from future worries and feeling empowered to make new, and exciting, decisions in the near term. Be cautious in treating this recent experience lightly. There are lessons to be learned here that could be prescient on how you handle personal behavior the rest of your life. Review the experience and look for lessons that may resonate with you. Own the lessons and the answers. Own today, every day. It may sound trite, but you only ever have today. This day. This hour. This minute.

Your uncle George fell off a trailer yesterday gouging his shin, which required 30 stitches to close. He is doing fine and back at work. During a conversation about his accident, we acknowledged how tenuous life is. We might lose it in the blink of an eye, so it is incumbent upon us to live it fully at all times, as best we can.

Given all this, I hope for you not to miss an opportunity at this time if one, in reality, exists for you now.


As I mentioned above, you have self-empowered your life and your awareness. You have independently “filled your sails,” so to speak. Now, leverage the wind in your sails to move you through the coming rough seas of job search. Know that you can revisit your current state of being, at will, to bring internal resources to bear on new experiences at any time. Doing so might push you to even greater challenges and greater successes.

Once you practice these type behaviors, you will be, at least in part, living an examined life. I encourage to Google, and read about, “the examined life.” Whether you have previously realized it, or not, you do this already. I know this about you, for I can tell you know your life is worth living!

Living an examined life is hard, but I believe you are up to it. Don’t you? Turn your examination inwards on all parts of your life. Write down your discoveries! They are the fodder to be consumed on your path to personal enrichment, satisfaction, and joy.

Lastly, give thanks to your higher power. For brevity’s sake, let’s call Him God. Give thanks to God, from Whom all Blessings flow!

Your loving father,


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Finding Things In Plain Sight

Whilst I may be good at finding things which are lost, I absolutely suck at seeing things right in front of me.

My wife, Katherine the great, is renowned for putting things down in the most unlikely of places. The results of this behavior is that she often is looking for things she has misplaced. Less often, but frequently, she gives up her quest in favor of sending me on one. She does so in full confidence that I will locate the missing object(s) and deliver them to her. Perhaps, seemingly contrary, to my known sighted shortcomings.

You might ask how I am able to pull off such feats of finding, challenged as I am. It is through a known secret of success in life called persistence. Persistence allows for apparent wisdom in novices and knaves, luck to shine her face on those who never win, and victory to come to those less capable than most.

Someone, not likely Woody Allen, said “Ninety percent of success is showing up.” Well, I am here to say, just showing up ain’t enough. You better be prepared to stay awhile.

Persistence is, in large, why I am married today. My wife demonstrated incredible persistence in getting me to the altar in the face of my somewhat childish and roguish behavior during our courting. Though I knew I didn’t deserve her, and could not do no better in any woman yet walking this earth, I was recalcitrant to the bit and bucked her all the way down the aisle. She broke me with love.

So it is with great humility that I come to confess I have found today what has been in plain sight lo these many married years. Smoldering love that lay dormant as lava within the belly of a volcano. Passion, driven by the fiery lust of said love. I’d have never taken a bet on the long shot that my wife today is hotter than when we married. To my taste, she is hotter than a Mexican jalapeño.

Katherine the great, in plain sight.

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Katherine at 59

Here I am at sixty-four,

Feeling no different than I did before,

Sharing a Love, sharing a life,

With a drop dead beauty as my wife.

At the tender age of fifty-nine,

It’s a conundrum that boggles the mind,

How a woman that looks so fine,

Can be the one I may claim as mine.

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My Wife Caught Me Doing It!

For quite a while I have turned down our bed in the evening. It is one a few ways I do such small things in attempt to silently honor my wife and to let her know how much I appreciate, and love, her.

Some months ago I heard her ask, rhetorically, “Do you fluff my pillow every night too?” The manner in which she posed the question was more observationally, if not a bit defensively. It seemed to me at the time that perhaps she was in some way challenging herself for not doing such things for me. Truth be told, she spoils me in ways too many to hold forth here. No man, ever, has been better loved than me. And I know it. To the depth of my core being, I know it.

Keeping in mind that I’ve never schemed to ensure I was not observed fluffing her pillow, it just happens that my turning down the bed most often occurs whilst I am isolated with other activities, mainly involving the bathroom. Like brushing before bed time. Well, she busted me the other night! As I was fluffing, she walked through the bedroom door, and excitedly shouted, “You do fluff my pillow! You are too good to me!” Of course I immediately professed the things I laid out in the paragraph above, how she spoils me, my love and appreciation for her.

The longer we live and love each other, the more often these scenarios play out for us. How prescient were my words to friends when I married Katherine I couldn’t have known at the time. Those words went something like this, “Marriage is the most freeing thing that ever happened to me.” As then, today I am able to simply love my wife. No longer did I need to prove anything to her, or to myself. We pledged vows and were committed.

Lord please, let me never forget from whence my Blessings, and blessing come. From the Love of my God, and the love of my wife, the Fair Katherine.


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Sensual Renaissance

Who’d have thought, it would happen for us?

We are now, what we were once,

Who’d have thought, I could still make her blush?

My wife and I, in a sensual renaissance.


When did I stop, seeing what I saw?

When did I, become such a dunce?

When did I, stop heeding her call?

My wife and I, in a sensual renaissance.


Saturday mornings, are different than when,

So busy were we, we had no response,

Now we do more, than chuckle and grin,

My wife and I in a sensual renaissance.


For my fair Katherine


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Somebody Shoot Me Before I Get There

Dementia will come like my dad they say,

I still have some sense but have little hair,

Signs are showing I’m on the way,

Somebody shoot me before I get there.


My brother has sense and more hair than me,

When asked he’ll say he hasn’t a care,

I’ll watch him close to see where he be,

Somebody shoot me before I get there.


Think I’m kiddin’ about what’s involved?

I deal with it daily and it gives me a scare,

Refreshed is my memory when I visit my maw,

Somebody shoot me before I get there.


No one who knows me is willing to be,

None who love me are willing to go there,

No one to put me out of my misery,

No one to shoot me before I get there.


Well shit, that’s a sad note to start the day …

– Wint

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Random Thoughts About Stuttering, and Me

Most of my life I self-identified as a stutterer. Today I see myself as a writer. Apples and oranges, you say? Perhaps. Today my drive for effective communication may be derived by limitations imposed on me by my stutter. As a child, I was simply not capable of effective oral communication. Today, hopefully, I am able to effectively communicate by writing.

To be clear, as a child, my stutter was so pronounced my blocks might last a full minute. The facial expressions on those in my audience were compelling. Mostly, those faces reflected disgust and pity. Those seemingly incapable of pity reflected confusion.

Within the context of my current stutter, my near fluency today is a byproduct of mental gymnastics in choosing words and formulating sentence structure. For most, the mental process of word choice and sentence structure formulation is a learned discipline. For me, it is second nature. No, more apt is that it has become a core characteristic of my nature. As natural as is breathing.

My mild manner is also likely a byproduct of my stutter. Treated unfairly as a child, I learned anger was not helpful. Perhaps, anger was not even justified. Compassion for the plight of my audience may well be a gift from God. Whilst stuttering, I felt as bad for them as I did for myself.

Of all the examples of unfairness in the world, few are starker than the meanness of a child. Life has yet to impose on them a filter between mental processes and vocalization of their thoughts. They do not possess sufficient perspective to allow them to anticipate the impact their behavior will have on others. Nor do they see their impact as a reflection of themselves. When it comes to meanness, they will give as good as they get. Their emotional outbursts are spontaneous. This is not a fault in their character. They are not bad, wrong or acting improperly. They are children, expectedly acting childish. The first time a child hears a stutterer, it is appropriate for them to laugh. Stuttering sounds funny! Though rarely will a child laugh at a stutter a second time.

As a child, when I was around physically impaired people I was embarrassed and was shy to be near them. Especially, I was fearful of interacting with them. My stutter may have influenced my feelings for the impaired, but I expect my emotions were actually on par with most other children. I believed then that people viewed me as I viewed the physically impaired. Today, I feel no unease in these situations. In some manner we are all impaired. Are we not?

My stutter is a blessing to me. It helped me become a writer. Writing helps me better know myself. Knowing myself helps me better understand others. Being understanding and empathetic of others helps me be a friend. My stutter has made me a better person, than I might have otherwise been.

We all have potential to burst forth in Glory provisioned by a loving God. We are all children of God, from Whom all Blessings Flow.

So sayeth Wint, the stutter!

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The Man in Your Eye

When I look in your eyes who do I see,

The person you love looking back at me,

Confident, brash, cocky yet wise,

Blessed and favored, is the man in your eye.


The man I see is nothing without you,

Broken I’d be, there’d be nothing to do,

I’d chuck it all, might lay down and die,

If I couldn’t be the man in your eye.


The man in your eye is happy to be,

Loving you, while you’re loving me.

God blessed me with all that I need,

Me loving you, you loving me.


Gotta be close to see that it’s me,

The man in there is who I should be,

You hold me up so high I can fly,

God so loves, the man in your eye.


The man in your eye is happy to be,

Loving you, while you’re loving me.

God blessed me with all that I need,

Me loving you, you loving me.


When first we met, who was I to be?

A mirror for you, but let’s not look at me,

Didn’t know to ask who I’d become,

But slave to love, and escape there is none.


The man in your eye is happy to be,

Loving you, while you’re loving me.

God blessed me with have all that I need,

Me loving you, you loving me.


Love ya’ babe, Wint …

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You and Me, Yin and Yang

Who is yin, and who is yang,

My protest is muted, yours is bang,

Look before leap, for this I’m renown,

You figure it out on the way down.


Is someone wrong, anyone right?

Is someone day, anyone night?

I know exactly what I said,

I didn’t ask you, before going to bed.


I’ll not be mad later this night,

Love will turn wrong to right.

This will not just go away,

And will return another day.



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