Posted in Life

Get to know your neighbors

I now have a pretty good idea where the best parties are in our neighborhood.

I was out walking the day after Christmas when I spied with my little eye a beer keg on a front porch. Smiling to myself, I remembered changing out many of those in the fraternity house. We were always on tap. That’s one of the reasons you joined a fraternity in the 70s in Pennsylvania. A keg like that holds about 7 cases of beer. That’s not so much for a house full of guys watching football on a Monday night. But it’s a lot of beer for a Christmas gathering at your home!

Less than half a mile down the road, I saw a second house with a keg out front by the garage. I felt like I was walking down College Avenue across the street from Franklin and Marshall College, basically a fraternity row where each house had a few empties out on the front porch. No “bah humbug” in my neighborhood. Just like a post-dream Scrooge, these folks know how to keep Christmas!

Now chuckling to myself, I thought, “That’s why you want to get to know your neighbors!”

Walking on, I thought, “Why don’t we get to know our neighbors?” I know a lot of mine because I’ve been in our house for over twenty-five years and been out walking a dog (or two or three) just about every day. But it hasn’t been easy. Most people pull in the driveway as the garage door opens, and walk into the house as the door closes behind them. Unless I’m there at the right moment, I never see their faces or have a chance to say, “Hello.”

Or, if I leave an empty keg out front, I’ll bet I get to know them better.

Posted in Stories

What’s on tap?

Photo by Fábio Alves on Unsplash

We were on our way home to Florida from Dallas after a wonderful visit with my son and his family. Though we usually stopped for the night in Jackson, MS, we decided to press on a little further to Hattiesburg, for a lighter second day of travel. We dropped off our stuff at hotel and headed out to find a place to eat.

It, was, however, Super Bowl Sunday. Might be a little crowded, but we weren’t in a hurry, just hungry. Yelp helped us find a couple of places worth trying. The first, a little Mexican place had a sign on the door, “Closed for the Super Bowl.” Interesting. I thought this night was pretty important for the restaurant business.

We headed across the street to our second choice, O’Charley’s Restaurant and Bar. The parking lot wasn’t crowded here either. But the lights were on, so we headed in. The hostess asked if we wanted to to sit at the bar. That was the only TV with the game on. We weren’t there to watch, so we just took a booth in a quiet section.

As we looked over the menu, a very nice waitress stopped and asked if we would like to start with some drinks. Absolutely. I asked, “What do you have on tap?” “Hold on,” she said, “I’ll go check.” A few minutes later she came back to let me know, “We don’t have any draft beer.” Really? At a bar? OK, I pointed to one of the bottled beers on their list and said, “How about one of those?” “And a glass of red wine for me,” my wife added. “Great,” our server replied and headed off.

A few minutes later, a man wearing a manager name tag told us they didn’t have any of the beer I had ordered. So I asked, “OK, what do you have?” He said, “I’m not sure, I’ll have to go and check.” Interesting. I guess that’s why they weren’t all that crowded on what should have been a busy night.

I think I ended up with a Corona. To be fair, the food was pretty good and we enjoyed a quiet place to rest and eat. And our server did tell us that she usually worked take out rather than table service, so she was a little out of the loop. I thought all hands would be on deck that night. But I’m not in the food biz.

Posted in Food

One of these things just doesn’t belong.

I did not stage this. I would never do that to ice cream or beer. But this sight at Publix made me think of few story nuggets…
  • With a cart chock full of food for the family for the week, there was room for one more item. The ice cream aisle is so long and looks so good. Why not? Grab a 1/2 gallon. But then you turn the corner and you think to yourself, “I may have made a mistake.” However, it’s one you correct. Abandoning the ice cream, there is just enough room in your cart for something from this beer aisle that is just as long and looks oh so good.
  • You made the mistake of bringing the kids to the store with you. The non-stop whining for this and that finally got to you. At first, you agreed to some ice cream. But the pleas for more didn’t let up. That’s it. No treats for you. But there will be a treat for me!
  • Uh-oh. Here she comes. I can’t let her see this. I thought I could slip it into the cart between the spinach and the eggs. I’ve got to ditch this somewhere. Whew, that was close.
  • I hate it when the ice cream is so hard that you can’t scoop it out of the container. I’ll just let it soften up in here for a minute.
  • “I already got some double-chocolate fudge brownie turtle swirl sundae. Put that vanilla back, and let’s go.” Yeah, like I’m walking all the way back there. This freezer is good enough.
Posted in Grace, Life

Flagler Beachfront Winery

photo (16)










Lisa and I headed down to the beach for supper tonight, and parked right across from the Flagler Beachfront Winery just a few blocks north of the Golden Lion on A1A. We never noticed it before because it has only been open for a month or so. So we wandered in to see what they had to offer and discovered a great place to sit and have a glass of wine made right on the premises, a pint of beer (they had some craft beers on tap) and a nice cheese plate. Sitting outside on a beautiful night, the ocean had calmed from the high waves of the full moon just nights before. We’ll definitely be back to sample some more of their wines!