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Location: DownByTheRiver, Central Iowa, United States

Husband of the world's most wonderful wife, father of the world's four most brilliant children, grandfather to the world's eight most beautiful granddaughters and two handsomest grandsons

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Ranger Reading

The RRR tells what he's currently reading...

On the left side of the recliner... Shelters, Shacks, And Shanties by D.C. Beard

“In 1887, when the writer was himself a bachelor, he went out into the wilderness on the shores of Big Tink Pond, upon which he built the log house shown in the sketch. At first he kept bachelor hall there with some choice spirits, not the kind you find in bottles on the barroom shelf, but the human kind who love the outdoor world and nature, or he took his parents and near relatives with him for a vacation in the woods. Like all sensible men, in the course of time he married, and then he took his bride out to the cabin in woods. At length the time came when he found it necessary to shoulder his axe and go to the woods to secure material for a new piece of furniture. He cut the young chestnut-trees, peeled them, and with them constructed a crib; and every year for the last eight years that crib has been occupied part of the season. Thus, you see, a camp of this kind becomes hallowed with the most sacred of human memories and becomes a joy not only to the builder thereof but also to the coming generation.”

On the right side of the recliner... magazines and catalogs including, The American Rifleman, Uplook, Fur-Fish-Game, Wilderness Way, The Back Up... Campmore and Sportsman's Guide.

By the computer to read during long downloads.... Knights In Athens by Edward H. Smith.

“As the night wore on, I found it increasingly difficult to differentiate between nightmares and reality. Reality could be a nightmare on occasion.”

On the kitchen table... The Holy Bible, King James version.

“And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge; they people shall be my people, and the God my God:”

On the left end of the couch... Great Days With The Great Lives by Charles R. Swindoll.

“We desperately need role models worth following. Authentic heroes. People of integrity. Great lives to inspire us to do better, to climb higher, to stand taller.”

Under my side of the bed... Bible Questions Answered by Pettingill.

“What is the purpose of 'the new earth?'.. It is believed by many enlightened teachers that the new earth will be the permanent home of redeemed Israel. The promise to Abraham was 'that he should be the heir of the world' (Rom. 4: 13)”

Beside the throne.... Tortured For Christ by Richard Wormbrand.

“Once the communists came to power, they skillfully used the means of seduction toward the Church. The language of love and the language of seduction are the same. The one who wishes a girl for a wife and the one who wishes her for a night in order to throw her away afterward, both say, 'I love you.'”

This list is not exhaustive. It does not include the catalogs and magazines by the throne, nor the mystery novel hidden in the file cabinet by my desk at work or the adventure novel under the seat of the car or the spy novel in the pocket of my coat... but you get the idea.

Monday, December 04, 2006

A Gift From Malaysia

Visithra, who often comments on this blog published the following poem after the death of the Littlest Ranger.... Thank you.

"For Shamgar

God bless the little angel and all of you.

By Rabindranath Tagore
It is time for me to go, mother; I am going.

When in the paling darkness of the lonely dawn you stretch out your arms for your baby in the bed, I shall say, "Baby is not there!"--mother, I am going.

I shall become a delicate draught of air and caress you; and I shall be ripples in the water when you bathe, and kiss you and kiss you again.

In the gusty night when the rain patters on the leaves you will hear my whisper in your bed, and my laughter will flash with the lightning through the open window into your room.

If you lie awake, thinking of your baby till late into the night, I shall sing to you from the stars, "Sleep mother, sleep."

On the straying moonbeams I shall steal over your bed, and lie upon your bosom while you sleep.

I shall become a dream, and through the little opening of your eyelids I shall slip into the depths of your sleep; and when you wake up and look round startled, like a twinkling firefly I shall flit out into the darkness.

When, on the great festival of puja, the neighbours' children come and play about the house, I shall melt into the music of the flute and throb in your heart all day.

Dear auntie will come with puja-presents and will ask, "Where is our baby, sister? Mother, you will tell her softly, "He is in the pupils of my eyes, he is in my body and in my soul...."

The Parable

The RRR appreciates the sentiments and support his family received during their recent loss. But the wheel keeps turning. Life goes on. The cold has come to Iowa. It is 19 F... well under 0 C. The days get shorter and shorter. Today I received a humorous story I must share....

An elderly American lady decided to go on a photo safari to Africa. She could not bear to be separated from her also elderly French Poodle. So she spent the necessary money for him to have all his shots and inspections and took him with her. Soon they were out on the veldt. As dogs are wont to do, her poodle wandered off. Suddenly he realized he was being stalked by a young leopard. Thinking quickly, he leaped onto a nearby pile of bones and began chewing them enthusiastically. "Ahhh..." he said, "that is the best leopard I ever killed and ate." The young cat slunk away, grateful to have escaped death from the jaws of this strange interloper. But a monkey watched this with disdain. He went to the leopard and told him how he had been fooled and asked that he be rewarded with part of the meal when the leopard took his revenge on the poodle. Infuriated, the spotted predator allowed the monkey on his back and loped back to where the poodle was sniffing new odors. Taking the situation in at once, the poodle stood looking around disgusted. "Where IS that monkey?" he demanded loudly. "It's been an hour since I sent him to fetch me another leopard!".

The leopard fled in terror, but soon dined on monkey.

The moral of the story?

Don't mess with old dogs... age and treachery will always overcome youth and skill.