My quick, convenient and easily digestible “3 FOR THURSDAY” edition from the good folks at RIPLEY INDUSTRIES.  They are as follows:

  1. I work retail.  I have for 25+ years.  Middle-management.  I usually get into a store and stay there for years.  I get to know my customers real well, like the guy that comes into the store right after we open in the morning and I’ll have his cigarettes sitting at the check lane for him, or the woman who doesn’t like me to talk to her so I just avoid her grumpy ass altogether (we’re both happiest that way) or the bevy of elderly widowed ladies that come in and toddle around the store once or twice a week to get out of the house, talk with our employees and load up on essentials.  I do my best to make the time to talk to them, give them a tough time or tease them some as they enjoy giving it right back to me.  One of them was shopping the other day and asked me where the toothpaste was located. I replied “Well lets get you out of the laxative aisle and go over here to dental care.”  I paused and said “What would you think of a product that combines toothpaste with stool softeners, Barb?”  She paused and looked up at me and exclaimed “I’D BUY IT!!”  I roared at her genuine answer…apparently I’d struck a chord with her.  I replied “what flavor should I make it?”  And again she shot back “STRAWBERRY!!”  It made my WEEK.  Thank God for little old men and woman. 
  2. We’re empty-nesters, again.  Two of our daughters were on break from college over Thanksgiving.  It was great to have them home, though the house is, again, painfully quiet.  As I was backing out of our driveway Sunday afternoon, with the girls and their stuff heading back to college, I glanced at our kitchen window where my wife Connie stood.  The look on her face was the same feeling that I had in my stomach…we’ll miss our girls and the life and light that they bring into our home whenever they visit.  My throat gets tight and my stomach uneasy as I think about this next phase of our lives.  Now I know how my parents felt all of those years.  I am….my parents.
  3. On a lighter note…I was just getting ready to referee my first basketball game of the 2014-2015 season, a junior high game in late October. Prior to the games that I was to officiate they played a “C game” where all of the reserves and kids that don’t get to play often get to play.  Towards the end of the game I saw a player cup his hands under his mouth and run towards his bench, zigzagging along the way.  I thought that the young man had a bloody nose, but “no”…he was throwing up.  Long story short…that game ended abruptly so that the janitor could clean up the trail of “stuff” that went half the length of the court.  My game was held up as the little guy had covered a lot of ground, leaving his calling card along the way.   Finally the court was cleaned up and the teams warmed up.  Just before tip-off the head coach took one last stroll along the court.  He suddenly stopped, pointed down and yelled to the janitor “I GOT A GREEN BEAN OUT HERE!!” At that moment the principal walked by, looked at my partner and I and said “We had green beans for lunch today.  Nice to know that they’re eating them.” and briskly continued on her way. It’d have been even better if they’d keep them down, in my opinion.

Thanks for reading!  Take care of yourselves and God bless!

R

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