Archive for the ‘Blog – Advice from an Aggie’ Category

Advice from an Aggie : “Who Moved My Golf Ball?”

Monday, June 13th, 2016

aggie blog pic 2015 170x300 Advice from an Aggie : Who Moved My Golf Ball?I won’t forget you, I promise.  In fact, with part of my riches, I’m making provisions to provide you your own copy.  Too, if I have time, I will personally sign that copy.  Of course it will make that one just a tad more valuable with my signature but I digress.  Hmm, what I really need to do is have a signing day at Eagle.  Free with your purchase that day will be a copy of my next book.  Wait, what am I talking about?  I haven’t written one yet, let a alone “my next one”!  Right… so, free that day will be a copy of my book.

What I haven’t decided yet is the cover.  I’ve asked Jordan Speth if he would like to grace the cover.  We are batting around some ideas but haven’t decided on anything.  The other option is yours truly.  I’d probably go with a classy maroon and white Texas A&M golf shirt with a nice pair of pressed (of course) khakis.  Backdrop being somewhere on a local golf course, definitely with water in the background.  You get the picture…sunny day, the well groomed green grass of a golf course, classy dressed guy.  Wow, what a book cover.  And now for the title brandished across the top, “Who Moved My Golf Ball?”  Oh I see the dollars pouring in now.  One will buy it just for the cover alone!

“Who Moved My Golf Ball” will be an awe inspiring book everyone will want.  Fit for graduation gifts, birthday gifts, Father’s Day gifts, and those random stack of books found in people’s potty rooms.  Risinger, huh?  Have you lost your marbles AGAIN?  Nope, just my golf balls.  See, Betty Knighton taught me more about life than she ever did as my math teacher all four years at Lindale High School back in the day.  She was a super sweet lady that had the gift of teaching and impacting student’s lives like crazy.  When someone would hide the projector bulb (some of us remember what those were) and nobody would fess up to it, She’s still find a way to teach and not yell at us.  …wont say who that was.  Or when a group of kids moved a cord of firewood from the side of her house to in front of her garage door, she’d bring Rice Crispie Treats the following Monday.  …wont say who was in that group either but Todd Lane was sure a good lookout.  Many years later, I realize she loved us kids more than she loved her job!  Wow, what a teacher.

In was in that great spirit of appreciation for her that I felt obliged to help her game of golf those early Saturday mornings.  See, Mrs Knighton loved golf and I loved working on the golf course where she profected her game.  Shoot!!!! Come to think of it, maybe hitting that little white ball with all her might was her way of releasing her frustration for us? Nah!!!!  Back to my story.  So as her morning would go, here’s how mine would go.  She’d hit her t-shot or second shot or lay up to the green and just as soon as I saw it was her, that helpfulness that I so exude would compel me to move her ball.  If she were in the trees, I’d have to toss it to the middle of the fairway.  If it was short of the green, I’d help it make its way up a little.  In the sand, not after my little kick.  I so enjoyed “helping” Mrs Kington and then running to the trees to hide.

Though I intended one thing, what I witnessed was something totally different.  What I saw in Mrs Knighton was such a joy as she played the game of golf.  Thought I’m sure she knew I was “helping” her game, just the interaction of hitting the ball….moving the ball….her reaction as she found her ball was all worth it.  As her game improved, her joy increased.  Though I am sure she knew I helped her “game”, the joy I saw in her as she played will never be forgotton.

“Who Moved My Golf Ball” is a book that should be written.  Truth be told, that’s not how it all started.  Mrs Knighton’s first shot that first morning didn’t go as the last “improving” shots would go.  The first line drive down the first hole somehow ended up in the opposing fairway.  I will never forget her walking up to the ball and exclaiming, “Who moved my ball?”  probably knowing all to well I was hiding in the trees.  But, again, the joy she displayed as I was pulling my practical joke stuck.  And from there on out, her game of golf would improve and my mornings with Mrs Knighton would too.

And therein lies my blog, don’t let the golf ball movers in your life rob you of the great joy you could have.  Do what Mrs Knighton did that day, exclaim “Who moved my golf ball?” and have fun with it.  Not every ball move is detrimental and bad.  I think we’ve, somehow, come up with the mindset that when things don’t go our way or turn out like we like, we have to get upset.  We have to throw our arms in the air as our club goes sailing vs. smiling and taking the next swing.  As I conclude and depart, I say we all take a lesson and allow the balls in our lives to be moved and be reminded of the joy those moves can bring!

And to Mrs. Knighton, thank you for not just being a super teacher but being a super special person and teaching me to take joy in the ball moves of life!

Advice from an Aggie : Potty Talk

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

aggie blog pic 2015 170x300 Advice from an Aggie : Potty TalkAt the onset, I must apologize.  There is no doubt I will offend you this month.  In fact, were my mother still with us, I’m sure she’d want to wash my mouth out with soap.  Or since this is in print, make me scrub my fingers extra hard.  See, she did that every time she caught us using “potty” language.  Though I never possessed a sailor’s mouth, there were always a few forbidden words that would slip out for which we’d have to eat soap.  (Huh, I guess she’d be in trouble if she did that these days.  Wait, that’s another blog…) This month’s blog topic is nothing but pure potty talk.  Though you won’t find me picking a side, I do ponder these things.  So please forgive me but do, read on.

Though I pride myself in extra clean bathrooms, as of recent, there has been much more to say about public restrooms than the quality of toilet paper or its cleanliness.  Yes, the bathroom at Eagle Hardware stays clean.  That is a must.  There is nothing worse than using a dirty restroom.  Though I may not be OCD, I am picky about our bathroom.  I’m sure you appreciate that.  And though we may not have triple-ply extra extra pillow soft tissue, we certainly don’t offer newspaper either.  But the cleanliness of how we keep our bathroom at Eagle has so little to do with what I wish to share this evening.

You know where I’m heading…

It is not that I don’t get the debate or care about the debate; it is just that I find myself amazed at how much time and energy folks put into issues as such.  On one side, there are those who are of the opinion gender based bathrooms are offensive and on the other, there needs to be only gender natural bathrooms.  Wow, how did I ever make it in life without pondering which bathroom to enter?  But again, before you start a petition to boycott Eagle Hardware, understand, I am not picking on the two sides this evening; I am only pondering the potty debate.  Maybe what pricked my potty pondering was when I went to read about the death of Navy SEAL Charles Keating IV in Iraq, I found more about those boycotting Target than about this young man who gave his life so that we could even have such debates to begin with.  None the less, I had to began grabbling with the issue.

Maybe it is because we have only one bathroom and there’s not much room for debate.  (Pun so intended.) Or maybe because I feel obligated to have a more positive outlook on the things I can control and make a difference on which I choose to focus.  So hats off to those who choose to expend their energies on the potty parity debate in the United States but as for me at Eagle Hardware, I hope you’ll be OK if I don’t hang a sign on the door or pass an ordinance one way or the other.  Shoot, I’m just happy to have customers that choose to walk in our door, shop with us and ask if we have a bathroom.

So in conclusion, as you continue to read about, hear about, see picket lines and the such, do a favor for me, simply ask, What is important to me at this moment?  And then go act upon it.  I’ll bet the answer to that question will have more to do with loved ones, your family, friends and greater things in life than where one needs to potty. Which brings me back to Keating.  WOW!!!! So as much as I’ve read about the aforementioned debate, hear me say, my heart goes out to his family.  And though they may never read this, “Thank you!”  Thank you for the sacrifice of your son so that I may do what I do and others may debate what they do. His life did matter.

Advice from an Aggie : Christie Brinkley, Farrah Fawcett or Julie from The Love Boat?

Thursday, April 7th, 2016

aggie blog pic 2015 170x300 Advice from an Aggie : Christie Brinkley, Farrah Fawcett or Julie from The Love Boat?Seeing how I like to air my confessions via my monthly blog, please be forewarned this month is no different. Please, take a seat, hold on to something.  I need to share something that has been a part of me since I was in junior high.  And as you prepare yourself for some riveting new, believe you me, I am preparing myself for the onslaught of comments both in what I am about to share and the later ramifications for today.

I… I… I really had a huge crush on Julie from ABC’s The Love Boat. Please stop. Before you read any further take a deep breath, breathe. Please do not be so devastated that you don’t read any further.  Yes, while my brothers were both enamored by Christie Brinkley and Farrah Fawcett, I was stuck on a never ending cruise ship.  But boy was she ever hot!  And talented!  Julie always had a way of finding encouragement in all the crazy scenarios she’d find herself in week to week.  She and Gopher were always up to doing something to make something wrong right again.  Come to think of it, funny how the whole premise of the show was to go from broken to fixed in the different lives that boarded the boat that Saturday night. I liked that. In fact, I still do like that. Funny how TV shows have changed.

So from Gilligan’s Island, Brandy Bunch, The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, Mork and Mindy too, oh let’s pick one, Real Housewives.  Wow is TV viewing so different.  So in 30 years we go from laughing at fictional situation before us to full blown brawls between two educated females in a restaurant.  BUT hear me say, it’s not just this TV show, there are plenty out there.

What got me to pondering about TV viewing (since I have so much time to ponder), was tonight as I watched a group of 10 men and women try to out play, outwit, and outlast the other 9 on a remote beach on the other side of the world.  As the 10 crawled and fought for the reward of the week, ice cream (I’d ask for Blue Bell chocolate), there was as much physical jockeying for position as there was personal interaction between contestant.  I found myself appreciating the “Survivor” in a new light.  What was before me was not the shoot ‘em up drama of a murder mystery or that of a few figuring out who the bad guy of the week was. Nope, it was about people interacting with people.

So as in months and months that I’ve done that which I’ve done (writing this) and you’ve now done what you’ve done (reading this), I leave you with an assignment, one I’m gonna do too.  The next time we sit down to watch our favorite fictional drama, figure out the time you’ve just spent watching the flat screen and make a note to self, go then and spend the same time with somebody.  Go do something with a friend, your family, a neighbor, just somebody.  Go get a cup of coffee, sit on the porch with them or do what many of you do, just hang out at Eagle Hardware and visit with your neighbor as they walk in.  Just do something with someone, anything.  TV is entertaining but your involvement in someone’s life can be inspiring, encouraging, helpful, a blessing…you see my point.

So go!

Advice from an Aggie : 3 Days is a Long Time to Be Dead

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016

aggie blog pic 2015 170x300 Advice from an Aggie : 3 Days is a Long Time to Be DeadThere once was a time where I lived in a city with well over 5 million inhabitants. To get to the city central, one had to take the public transportation; too many cars. I traveled by plane, train, and cars for years. Now I live on the farm. Long past are the days of suitcases and boarding queues. Know what? I am just fine with that. No I take that back, I am thrilled about that. Where years ago my neighbor was a cogiddy city taxi driver, now my neighbor is any one of the 30+ bovine beasts roaming the pasture next door. Oh sorry… bovine is a cow. But I love it! I did enjoy the hustle and bustle of the city.

I love the experiences living on the farm too. One’s senses get the full extent of farm life each and every day. Shoot, just yesterday a new little calf was born in my very back yard and I got to SEE it. How cool is that? The sounds of cows mooing, the chickens down the road and even the dogs off in the distance are welcomed. But there just one sense that I was reminded of a few weeks ago that isn’t so fun to have, that of smell.

Yep, the oratory factory of my nose before me is quite exceptional. I guess it always has been. I can sniff the best of them. Sometimes it’s a good thing, a few days ago it was not. See it was just the other day that I knew something wasn’t right, I smelled it. It was a foul stench of the dead kind. Something was no longer alive and what was now left of the creature was in its decaying stinky rotten state. Living on the farm wasn’t so pleasant for a moment as I discovered a baby calf had recently departed our parts of creation for cow heaven. What was left STUNK! It was dead dead dead and stunk stunk stunk. It got me to thinking, dead things stink and the longer something is dead the more unpleasant that smell becomes.

I found myself trying to determine how long the carcass had been there. To the best of my recollection, three days. In three days, nature had taken its toll and now nature was burning my nose. Three days is a long time to be dead. Huh, got me to thinking more… I’ve read about a man who was dead for three days and then was alive again. I bet you’ve heard about the same man. Funny thing is, three days is a long time to be dead and then to be alive again. As I ponder this for a moment, I do not find myself pondering the perfume of death but the reality of this man walking, living, breathing and spending time with tons of folks after those three days. As crazy as it seems and mind boggling to consider, it really happened. Some 2000+ years ago there was a man who many liked, but many despised, died on a cross yet three days later and for many days later was hanging out with his buddies and friends. Know what? Three days is a long time to be dead but I’m sure glad those three days didn’t turn into four, five, six and him stay dead. In fact because he was only dead three days, the whole world is different! Lives are forever changed.

In just a few weeks we get to celebrate that he’s not dead anymore. So I hope and wish you and your family a wonderful Easter! Just like Jesus is the reason for the season (at Christmas), he’s the reason for the season at Easter Too!

Happy Easter!