Posted tagged ‘welcome’

Weddings and Funerals

July 22, 2018

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                          July 22, 2018



I traveled back to Frankfort, Kentucky for our nephew’s wedding this weekend. Other than his crazed belief that God created Ohio State football, and all others are poor attempted copies of God’s perfect gift, Thomas Wolfe is a great young man. Thank God he married a woman who is a University of Kentucky follower. It had to be true love! Jessica was even able to get him to go to a Kentucky football game!

Gathering for their wedding celebration also allowed me to see a couple of my cousins. John, a retired surgeon, who I’ve always known as John Jerry, taught me how to play chess. His mom, my Aunt Cynthia, was the aunt who would always try to sugar me up with candy, pie, ice cream, and then inconspicuously place a folded up dollar bill in my hand before I left. My first understanding of the concept of inflation was related to Aunt Cynthia when the dollar bill suddenly changed to a folded up five dollar bill. Years later she was putting “Jackson’s” in my kids hands. 

Seeing John Jerry and his wife Debbie is a step back to a time in my life when the roots of family were going deeper into a soil rich in stories and traditions. How I view life now has the imprint of those days upon it. 

Matthew Helton was one of the few cousins I had who were younger than me. Since I was the tail end of our family there weren’t many afterthoughts following along behind me. Now a high school teacher, he’s a guy I wish I could be a student of. With a great voice and a depth of information, he is fascinating to be around, much like his father, my Uncle George. I missed his sister, Kelly (always Michelle to me!), who could not be at the wedding. She, also, is a fascinating person!

Weddings and funerals. The last time I saw John and Matthew (and Kelly and Annette!) was at my dad’s funeral back in February. The time before that may have been my mom’s funeral a few years before that. Living in Colorado, I didn’t make it back for the funerals of Uncle George, Aunt Cynthia, Uncle Bernie, Uncle Doc, or Uncle Junior. I know, however, that my brother and sister were there, often filling the role as chauffeur for my mom and dad. 

We come to a point in life when our own family way- our spouse, kids, and grandkids-  trails off from the old highway of our roots. It’s like what I’ll do this afternoon after I leave Frankfort. I’ll be traveling back to Paintsville, Kentucky to visit the cemetery where my parents have been laid to rest, as well as most of my aunts, uncles, and grandparents. BUT I won’t take the road that we would travel back in the 50’s and early 60’s from my birthplace city, Winchester, to Paintsville. That road would require an afternoon and Dramamine. There’s a new way that does not resemble my three-year old granddaughter’s attempt at drawing a camel. 

OR maybe I will go the old way! Why not? It will give me a lot of time to remember the old days! Although there is now a faster way to get there, it isn’t necessarily a BETTER way! 

Learning Apple

July 5, 2013

I broke down and bought a new MacBook this week. “Broke” describes the before and after- “broke” as in my old computer was “over the hill”; and “broke” as in describing my bank account a month from now when my credit card bill has to be paid with attached “new laptop” as one of the itemized expenses.

I knew it was getting to be that “time”, as a result of the computer tech’s bemused facial expression the last time I took my old Dell in for service.

“Don’t see too many of these any more!” was his quote. Laptops are like cats, they don’t have nine lives. My old Dell was the ripe old age of seven.


So I went for the Apple! More expensive, but my shoulder problems will soon be disappearing. I didn’t realize how heavy my Dell was until I picked up the MacBook. Good Lord! I should have taken my Dell to Weight Watchers!

Yesterday I went to my first one-to-one training session at the Apple store. For thirty minutes I kept saying one word: “Wow!”

I didn’t realize all the things this little machine can do. If it had an app for a “burner” it could cook dinner. I got home and Carol asked me what I had learned. 

“I don’t remember! All I know is that I kept saying “Wow!”

It’s like learning a new language. “Thingamajig” and “Do-diddy” have been said quite often the last two days. If there’s a need for a verb that is “appleistic” in usage I just pause and look dumbfounded.

Pausing…I’m good at!

Why did I buy a MacBook? Actually Carol and I went to Best Buy, but after standing around for fifteen minutes and no one taking a hint that there were two clueless consumers in their midst, we left! Upon entering the Apple store we were immediately welcomed by “Jordan” who guided us to the laptop that fit my needs, and then handed us over to Sammie to talk about data transfer and training. It was seamless!

It has made me ponder how we welcome people at church who are guests for the first time. A few Sundays ago a visiting young woman had to use the restroom in the middle of the service and didn’t know where the ladies’ room was. She went out an exit door to the outside and after ten minutes navigated herself back into the sanctuary.

She and her husband filled out a visitor form with all the information. I wrote them a nice note, but they never came back for a second visit. I’m assuming here, but I think the hunt for a restroom did her in.

Apple stores are marvels to visit. They take much of the apprehension about technology out of the equation and entice you to come deeper. Pretty soon you’re hooked…and they know it! They expect it. They plan on you entering their world and being so infatuated that the old Dell look’s like your Dad’s old Chevy!

I didn’t do very well in Hebrew class back n my seminary days, but this week I’m taking a stab at another new language.

Tim’s Place

March 28, 2013

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                                March 27, 2013


Carol and I had a unique experience this week while we were in Albuquerque. We went to a restaurant called “Tim’s Place.” (“”)

“Tim” is Tim Harris. He was born in 1986 with Down’s Syndrome. His life could be characterized as one that continues to exceed expectations. Tim was voted Homecoming King of his high school in 2004. He was voted “Student of the Year” by his school administration and faculty. Friendliness is his gift. The slogan of Tim’s Place is “Breakfast. Lunch. Hugs.” Tim is the hugger. He roams the restaurant chatting with people and giving hugs. A digital counter on the wall keeps track of the number of hugs given. When we were there it was registering around 88,000.

Carol, who has a heart for kids with special needs, watched Tim carefully as he gave attention especially to little kids, children, and senior citizens (We aren’t quite there yet!). He took the role of host, conversationalist, chuckler, coffee refiller, and whatever else needed to be done.

Carol heard about Tim’s Place from watching a feature about it on NBC’s Today show. The restaurant was started by his mom and dad, who were looking for a way to help Tim experience success. His ability to make people feel welcome was evident from working at a Red Robin restaurant in prior years.

There was something special about the restaurant. The lady who waited on us seemed happy…joy-filled. In fact, everybody who worked at Tim’s seemed in good spirits.

Oh, that more of life was like Tim’s Place! Unfortunately it seems to be more of an oasis in a desert of self-centeredness. A day after we were there our youngest daughter called to say that her boyfriend’s house in another part of Albuquerque was broken into in broad daylight and the thieves made off with a few items.

That’s how our world is! Hugs here, hoodlums there!