Thursday, August 31, 2006

Some Sleuthing

I've spent the past two hours trying to track down the source of a maddening and intermittent "beep" in the apartment. I checked the smoke detectors, but it wasn't them since they are hard wired and not battery. Finally, after shutting off absolutely everything that could possibly make noise, I followed the sound. Now that took a while since it only beeped every couple of minutes. Any idea how long one or two minutes can be when you are waiting for them to pass? Finally I tracked it down -- it was the church pager that I am babysitting while the pastor is away. It was the most maddening couple of hours I've spent in a while, but now all is quiet and I am back to the computer and the TV. Ah, technology!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Real Age Quiz

I should know better than to click on a link that I don't know, but this "Real Age" quiz sounded intriguing. There's a whole bunch of questions, the answers from which these"experts" determine your real age adding to or subtracting from your actual age to determine your age qualitatively rather than quantitatively. I thought, "This should be fun," until I got my results and they determined that I am 66.7 years old instead of my actual 58.1. Of course, if I would eat responsibly, exercise, and take a bit better care of myself, I could be "years younger" in as little as 90 days. Hmmm, better hit the gym and lay off the junk food. Take the quiz; it might intrigue you!!

A Year Ago

One year ago today the world watched in shock and dismay as Hurricane Katrina bore down on New Orleans and the surrounding area. Lives were torn apart and homes were destroyed or severely damaged. New Orleans and its residents will never be the same, and frankly neither should we be unchanged after what happened. Blame has been laid for slow responses, political games have been played as one side "one up's" the other. What really matters is that we continue to display what is commonly called the American Spirit == that stick to it, persevering, bucking up and moving forward that has marked this country through crisis and tragedy for centuries. Take a moment tonight to remember the survivors of Katrina as they try to rebuild their lives either in New Orleans or in new locations. As we observe this anniversary Hurricane Ernesto is bearing down toward the Florida coast. I hope and pray for the people in the paths of these storms -- they can be brutal. It is imperative that people prepare for the storm and pull together taking care of one another to get through it. I don't have anything really profound to write here tonight, but I didn't want the day to go by without comment.

Monday, August 28, 2006

A Great Weekend!!

It's been a while since my last post. Ben came over on Friday afternoon and we spent the weekend together just enjoying one another's company. Sunday we spent most the day at church -- the two of us in church together for the first time since we've been together. Several of the church folks hadn't met Ben yet, so he was kind of "on display." We did a little shopping, some walking, lots of TV, and some stuff that is not getting posted here (Every couple has to have their little secrets, right?). It was kind of fun cooking dinners and just making sure that we were both comfy. Then came today -- and Ben had to head home, so the apartment has a pretty empty feeling. I did manage to do a little work around the building, paid some bills (a seemingly endless task), sent out a couple of resumes, and generally took it easy. Here's hoping that every one of you had as nice a weekend as I did!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Is This Sick?

Someone please tell me -- Is this WTC commemorative coin that's come out to remember the five year anniversary of the tragedy of 9/11/01 just a little bit sick and ghoulish? I don't know anyone who was directly affected by 9/11 butI am offended and bothered by this blatant attempt to make a few bucks off the emotions of a nation which, in many ways, is still dealing with the effects of that day five years ago. I have dropped an email to the company who is producing these coins expressing my shock, hurt, and disappointment. Oh yes, they are donating five dollars of each sale to 9/11 related charities, but what is the profit on each coin? Who knows? What has the world come to when things like this are allowed to happen? Am I making too much out of this? The TV spots for this coin make my blood boil!! Someone PLEASE explain this to me.....

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Drama Continues

In a post last week, I talked about my boss coming by and doing my job while I was out of town, effectively ripping me off for hours and pay. Well, today I had a call from the big boss who asked for my "side" of what went on. I admitted that I had perhaps left some things undone that needed doing, but that I thought it really rotten that instead of telling me about stuff, the boss just came in and did the work. There was no "supervision" in his actions, and the big boss agreed. I may still be in some trouble for stuff not done, but at least my opinion and perspective were considered. I guess that's some consolation. I surely hope that a new job is on the horizon -- this one is bringing me way down.

Gas Price Update

Hey folks -- just a quick post to rejoice in the "lower" gas prices. It's down to between 2.65 and 2.70 a gallon -- lowest it's been in a while. Maybe the companies are waking up to realize that record profits don't sit well with the driving public. But isn't it interesting -- we think of 2.65 as cheap gas! A year or two ago no one ever heard of such ridiculously high prices. Ah well, I guess we should enjoy the price break while we have it. With Labor Day coming up, any bets on what the prices will do?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Back to the Grind

Well it's Tuesday and my first full day back from vacation. Of course I am missing Ben since I spent most of the past ten days with him. The weekend is coming and I will probably spend it with him so it's okay. Today was spent doing banking, billpaying, resting, and starting to look at some church related projects for the coming weeks. Tomorrow I will head to church to work on the sound system and then the grocery store. Thursday the dog goes to the groomer. All the usual chores and routine. And in all of it I continue the job search that will yield the opportunity that will take me out of this hell position I am in now. If you ar a praying person, keep Ben and me both in prayer as we are both searching for what to do next. If you happen to be an HR rep and have any good openings, let us know. And of course if you should have the winning lotto ticket and want to share it, ... Well one can always hope. Anyhow, boys and girls, have a great day and hug someone special.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Another Wonderful Weekend

I dashed off my last post while I was home for a day in mid-vacation. As I finished that post I was getting ready to head to Ben's for the weekend . It was a wonderful time of being together and included "together" time, eating out, cooking and eating in, watching TV, relaxing, and even job hunting. It also included the first time that we attended church together - real accomplishment for two pastors. We went to a local Episcopal church and were quite underwhelmed. From what I could gather, the priest who brought the message must have had about two hours warning. His "sermon" was to read to us (and not very well either) the first chapter of "In His Steps" by Charles Sheldon. I didn't feel as though I had really been to church, though we did both receive Communion. Episcopaleans use a higher liturgy than I am accustomed to - not a bad thing, just different. The weekend also included me giving Ben a haircut--he wanted me to shave his head so that's what we did . I think the end result is okay (It looks better than I expected), butI miss his beautiful baby soft hair. He will probably grow it back but I want him to enjoy his new look for a while first. Now it's back to the job and the church ministry for me. Why are vacations so short? Anyhow, it was a wonderful week and I am relaxed and ready to face the week's challenges. Hang in there and hug someone -- it's good for both of you.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Home Again - for a moment

Hey everyone....It's been days since I posted anything. No I haven't fallen off the planet, but Ben and I had the opportunity to disappear for a few days of R & R. We spent a few days at a friend's cottage on a nearby lake. While the weather was nice, it wasn't great lake weather, so we took advantage of the location and headed out for a couple of day trips. Our visits included a couple of Lake Michigan lighthouses including Big Sable Lighthouse where we took the tour which included the 130 step climb to the observation deck this after the mile and a half walk to the lighthouse). Thank you to the wonderful volunteer who was headed toward the parking lot as we were leaving. He offered us a ride back to the parking lot which we readily and gratefully accepted. We also did our obligatory shopping (Isn't that what all gay tourists do??) and visited a couple of out of the way lakes and parks. We spent a little time using the paddle boat (me -- the Olympic NON-swimmer -- on that little boat in twenty foot deep water with no life jacket -- DUMB!!). We spent our evenings sitting in front of a roaring fire that Ben built. As I watched him build and work the fires, his obvious pleasure brought one word to mind -- pyromaniac (just kidding.. The greatest part of the whole experience was just being together, able to relax from the pressures of the routine and from the stress of all that Ben has been through in recent times. This was the first time that we have been somewhere that wasn't his or mine or that we didn't have to think about running off home to go to work or stuff . I know that for me it was a wonderful time of discovering and experiencing. Also, he was wonderful about helping with cooking and dishes. Neither of us took the other for granted. There are many other tales from the lake that I could tell here, but suffice it to say that it was a wonderful time.

Then I got home only to discover that my boss was here all week doing what should have been my job == had I known it was my job. No details here, but I was effectively screwed out of about twenty hours of work and pay and I was made to look like a horse's ass in front of my tenants. Ah the joys of working for this company! Where is that new job?

Anyhow I am home for tonight while Ben takes care of another obligation, and then tomorrow I will be at his place for the weekend. Until then, hug someone and tell (and show) them that you love them.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Transitions are Tough

As I mentioned in a previous post I learned this week that a dear friend passed away unexpectedly a few weeks ago at the age of 43. Upon hearing this news I was in a state of disbelief, shock and denial. Those feelings were soon accompanied by an overwhelming sadness at the thought of never seeing Mike again or hearing him laugh or hearing his words of positive encouragement and prayer. I've been thinking a lot this week about transitions and their impact on our lives. People and things are in our lives for a season and often for a reason. Part of the problem of transitions is that we've become comfortable with those things and people -- they are familiar to us and we are somehow lost when they are no longer in our lives. In these cases, the sadness and loss of the transition is not so much about the thing that we've lost or the person we've lost, but about us -- How can I go on without_____? Why was he taken away from ME? And so on. Another part of transition (especially those involving someone's death) is that we must then face our own mortality. Mike was 43, I'm 58. When my brother died several years ago, he was two years older than me and I was sure that I would soon follow him in death. The truth that none of us really wants to face is that we don't live forever and that none of us gets any younger. Life is fragile -- people die from illness and accidents all the time without regard to age or station in life. That means that life is precious and needs to be lived to the fullest. We dare not put off telling our loved ones that we love them -- they or we might not be here tomorrow to share that news. We dare not put off visiting those who are indeed ill. I did that once and learned the hard way that it was the wrong choice. I never got to say good bye in that case.

Relationship transitions and job transitions sometimes have similar effects on us. We feel lost, at odds, in need of healing or comfort. There is a flip side to this down part of transitions -- they signal not only an end or change, but also a beginning, a time of renewing, an opportunity to grow. It all depends on how we address the transition. Is it a bad thing? Sad perhaps, but not necessarily bad. Looking again at Mike, I believe that even though we are sad and lonely, he was ready to go to be with Jesus. he knew that he knew and I believe that going when he did made him a happy angel. Job losses are frightening, but often give the encouragement and opportunity for new career paths. Relationship changes can open doors to our individuality that we didn't know or had forgotten existed.

I don't know how to conclude this post. I think what is best is to say that I hope that each of you reading this post may face your life transitions in a positive way seeking the good that can occur rather than falling into depression, sadness, hurt, and stagnation. Nothing but the love of God is forever. Cling to God's presence and promise and He will see you through the tough times.

Life is Like a Merry GO Round

Gosh, what a couple of days it's been. When last I wrote, I was dealing with computer issues. Since then it's been dealing with losses, health issues, vehicles, and such. I got an email that my dear friend Mike from Knoxville died suddenly last month at the age of 43 -- what a shock. I'll write more about that later on. Yesterday I learned that two ministries in which I was involved a couple of years ago are ceasing to exist -- another loss. Yesterday I had a minor medical procedure done and am healing from that. And last night -- oh my. Ben came over and we decided to go do a quick picnic in the park. The first park we went to was very pretty but was lacking any grills for cooking. So off we went to another park a few miles down the road. The setting wasn't quite as nice, but at least we were able to cook and have dinner. The weather was beautiful and a good time was had by all. On the way home we stopped to put air in one tire. When Ben got back in the vehicle to start it, NOTHING happened. After a few minutes of fuming he called road service . During our hour long wait for the tow truck several folks stopped by with helpful advice or to offer us the use of their phones. Thank you to all of you. My friend Dan who lives nearby where we were stranded happened by and offered some help and some company as well. Part way through this ordeal, the wife of the tow truck driver (who lives a block from where we were) came by to tell us that her husband was on his way. Along with Dan, this very nice woman and her friend, Ben and I had a pleasant time in what could have been a miserable situation. The tow truck finally arrived (He had to come about 50 miles), we hooked up and towed the truck to a local mechanic and went home for some much needed sleep. This morning, we headed back to the mechanic to arrange for repairs and then on to the clinic for my follow up visit. I finally got taken care of after sitting for nearly an hour and a half in the "urgent care" waiting room. By the time I was done so was the vehicle repair which thankfully was relatively minor both in scope and cost. We are now back at my place getting ready to go to the lake tomorrow after church - can't wait. Right now Ben is napping and I am doing some odds and ends around the house. If you are a praying person (and I hope that most of my readers are) keep Ben in your prayers as he participates in his last service at the church where he serves. It's a difficult place to be -- a state of transition and leaving -- another incidence of loss. All of these transitions are difficult and stressful. Anyway, that is about all for this post, so hug someone, tell them you love them, and be happy. See you in church.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Is There a Computer Jesus?

I think that there must be a computer Jesus -- I spent yesterday in computer hell, but somehow during the night CJ (computer Jesus) must have descended to computer hell and brought out those computers trapped there. This morning I got up and my system had restarted itself and everything seems to be running as normally as it was a few days ago. Go figure! It will still be nice to have data backed up (It's amazing how a computer scare will remind one to do that), but I am now freed from the really tough jam in which I found myself yesterday. Praise to the Computer Jesus!!!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Computer HELL

Well, it's been one of those days. For most of the day I have been wrestling with the computer from hell.It has bogged down and refuses to open several programs and files. I have scanned everything I know how to, have defragged, deleted, rebooted, shut down, cussed and cried and to no avail. At least I have been able to offload most of my data files and have located the system disks for the system (they are in Tennessee and will be heading this way tomorrow). My internet connection is working reasonably well -- for the moment -- so I can post and check email. If I lose the internet connection, howI will pay bills, communicate, or even exist? At least for most everything else, I can dig out the other computer and limp along for a few days. We become so dependent on computers -- how do we get by without them? Hopefully, this will be a minor inconvenience and I won't have to find out long term. I think I will cut this short since I am just about ready to throw the machine out the window. Maybe a night's sleep for me and some down time for the computer will make tomorrow a brighter day. I hope so.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Tuesday Update

Well, when last I wrote I was heading out for church and Ben was about to deliver the parting sermon. Both of those events took place with a minimum of difficulty and Ben headed over to see me Sunday afternoon. We hung out, watched TV, ate dinner, rented a movie and just kind of kicked back on Sunday. Monday morning I had to wait for the bug man to do his monthly treatment and my boss dropped by for a few minutes. Once those annoyances were out of the way we headed out for breakfast and some shopping. After we left the stores, we took the scenic route toward home. We found a really nice park with a beautiful lake where we kicked off shoes and waded a bit. Then we explored the woods for a little bit and got on the way toward home -- again by the scenic route. We saw a sign for the public access to the Muskegon River, so off we went down yet another side road. Finally we found the access point to the river and once again got out and looked and just enjoyed the outdoors and each others company. By now it was time to head home so that I could get ready for my church meeting and Ben could head home to get ready for his last week at the church. I finally got home for the evening about 10, and chatted by phone with Ben for just a few minutes --we were both pooped.

This morning started out with one of my tenants complaining that the yard looked crappy and this from a woman who is legally blind - go figure. I will concede that we will never show up in Better Homes and Gardens, but it's not as bad as all that. The grass is cut, and stuff is pretty well picked up. I never claimed to be a horticulturalist as anyone who knows me can attest. Besides, t hese days I am doing just enough on this job to keep the job. A year and a half in this position with the constant criticism and bitching is just about all I can bear. If people are bitch whether I do the job or not, why expend the effort? No matter what I do, it seems to wrong in someone's book. I have been sending out bunches of resumes again in search of that perfect position, but I am a 58 year old man caught in that gap between employability and social security. Besides that, the job market in Michigan (to put it politely) sucks. The auto industry is pretty well in the toilet and all the businesses that support that industry on the the slope too. So I maintain the part time position managing the senior complex in hopes that it won't last too much longer. If any of you reading this know of any decent positions in Michigan (or really great positions anywhere else) drop me a comment.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Sunday Morning

Good morning all! It is Sunday morning and time to get ready for church. Yesterday was an ordinary and uneventful day. Aside from pulling a few weeds and running some laundry, about all I did was play on the computer, watch TV, and generally goof off. While I will be at my own church this morning, my heart, thoughts, and prayers will be with Ben as he delivers his farewell sermon on this his second to the last Sunday there. I know he's worried about being too emotional and not being able to get through it, but he will do fine. After we both get done with church stuff, he's on his way over here so that we can have some "us" time. After having both dealt with our lives in transition for a year or more, I sure wish things would calm down and allow us to get on with our lives and to explore the "us" factor a bit more closely. Anyhow, it's time to go get dressed, so I will leave you with this:
1) It is great to be alive
2) It is a beautiful day
3) God is awesome
4) I love you all
5) You are in my prayers today - how about yours?

Hope to see you all in church -- it's a great start to a week.

Saturday, August 05, 2006


A word to the wise -- Do not run through the house barefoot. If only I had taken that advice yesterday. Anyhow, I was sitting in the living room when the phone -- laying in the bedroom -- rang. I jumped out of my chair and headed around the corner to the bedroom doorway where I obviously misjudged the angle and crashed my toes into the doorframe (it didnt' budge either!!). Have you ever tried to talk on the phone when pain is shooting through you? It's not easy - the pain of that ow-ie took my breath away. The picture with this post is not my toe, but it gives you an idea of what I did. Just a month ago I sprained my left ankle; now I've broken a toe on the right foot. Keep this up and I will not be able to walk right ever again. Anyway, the phone call was from Ben (I knew that from the ring) , so I got lots of sympathy. I must be a slow learner though -- today I am still going around barefoot - I am not running though 'cause it hurts to try that. This too shall pass and soon I will be as good as new, and hopefully a bit wiser. Hope you all are having a good Saturday.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Where Were You When the Lights Went Out?

Well, actually I was sitting at the computer about 9PM tonight when the AC stopped, the computer blinked, the lights went off, and it got eeriely quiet. It is now 11:45 PM and the lights came on a few minutes ago, so it wasn't too bad. Not like last time anyhow when we had no power for nearly two days. I dug out the trusty flashlight, checked the building, and grabbed the cell phone to call Ben. It is really weird not being able to watch TV, run the computer, play music, turn on lights, make coffee, etc. About 10:30 I laid on the couch and went to sleep (nothing else going on), only to be awakened when stuff clicked back on. I guess we are lucky -- rumor has it that there are thousands without power due to high heat and the storms that blew through (missed us of course). Here's a very special thank you to the guys and gals at the power company who brought us back on line as quickly as they did. Anyhow, the lights are on, I've checked mail and posted this, I've reset the bedroom clock, and now (ironically) it's gonna be "lights out" and sleep for me. Sweet dreams everyone.

This CANNOT be Right

Here's another of those fun quizzes and this one cannot be right -- can it?

You Are Most Like George W. Bush

So what if you're not exactly popular? You still rule the free world.
And while you may be quite conservative now, you knew how to party back in the day!

What Song Should You Strip To?

Hopefully this little quiz wasn't too accurate -- scares me!!

Your Stripper Song Is

Closer by Nine Inch Nails

"You let me violate you, you let me desecrate you
You let me penetrate you, you let me complicate you
Help me I broke apart my insides, help me I?ve got no
Soul to tell"

When you dance, it's a little scary - and a lot sexy.


Well, the post birthday day was kind of a drag. I did spend the early half of the day connecting and installing my new 4 in 1 machine which thankfully does work. I haven't figured out all the bells and whistle yet, but at least the computer knows the machine is attached. After my run in trying to install the phone software package, I think this is quite an accomplishment. I hit the grocery store for Wacky Wednesday specials and came home striving to stay comfortable in the AC. The heat, coupled with the physical and mental strain of a four hour church board meeting the night before made me unfit company for anyone -- except the dog who wanted to be right on top of me every minute. Go figure. When Ben called about 9 PM, I wasn't very talky though I did go outside trying to improve phone reception. I discovered that the weather was changing and it was quite comfortable -- a nice breeze in anticipation of the promised storms that never really amounted to anything around here. Today is supposed to be a cooler day with a high of 81, and tomorrow and Saturday it's back to the high 80s. I did manage to get about 8 hours sleep last night, though it was somewhat broken -- still woke up tired this morning but in a somewhat better frame of mind.

I discovered some folks with I share my birthday -- Francis Scott Key, Jerry Garcia (does this account for a diverse musical taste?), Dom DeLuise (God knows I'm always quite the comedian too), and Henry "Yves" St. Laurent (Henry?? Who knew?? -- but from him I get my divine sense of style LOL). The most important person with whom I share my special day is my "middle aged"(?) daughter .

Hopefully today will be a better and brighter (and cooler) day. There's not much going on today, but I should have time to get some work done around the building and some stuff done for church. And Ben -- if you are reading this (and he does) -- I will try to be in a better space to chat with you later.

That's all the scoop from rural west Michigan this morning. The big news from here is that the corn fields are looking healthy. And you wonder why my mood isn't always the best. LOL. Hug someone and tell 'em you love 'em.. It will brighten their day and yours.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Gas Watch

It's interesting to watch gas prices rise and fall. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to what happens. Recently it's been great to see the prices fall a bit more. The most recent lowest price I've seen in my travels is 2.91 for regular. While that might not be as cheap as we'd like, it sure beats the 3.14 and more it was not long ago. Yesterday, I saw prices as high as 3.05 as I was heading out in the afternoon, but even those stations were under three bucks by evening. I wonder how long this "lower" pricing will last. Get it NOW!!

Birthday Follow up

As you can see by the time stamp on this post my big day is now history and I am into my 59th year of life (it was my 58th birthday, so now I am building up to 59 and then --O MY GOD -- it will be the big SIX-OH --but not yet). Anyhow, my birthday celebration stuff with Ben is posted below, and today began with just me and the dog -- how exciting. Of course, when I opened the door to take her out to potty (even on birthdays) I found a package that one of the neighbors got me -- a homey and somewhat tacky picture frame (it's okay, they don't read this page HA HA). It is the kind of gift that screams to go to the next grab bag gift exchange. I did receive some birthday greetings from the other neighbors (some with dead president portraits too). After cleaning the public bathroom in the building and spraying the dumpster for bees, wasps, and or hornets (It was so hot that the spray steamed when it hit the metal.) I headed out to do some church office time. Did that stuff and then ran a couple errands including buying myself a new toy (Now get your minds out of the gutters, guys) -- a new 4 in 1 machine -- printer, copier, scanner, fax -- final cost after rebates and such -- about 60 bucks. Then got taken to dinner and then back to church for the monthly (felt more like month long) board meeting. I finally made it home about 11:30 or a little after. I am so glad that Ben and I had the time to celebrate before today. Somehow bees and board meetings are not birthday fare. The folks here at the complex will celebrate all the August birthdays one day next week, so it will be Happy birthday once again -- this time with cake LOL.

And to all who sent birthday greetings, thank -- you make life special. I love you all, and especially one particular reader (you can figure it out). Well it 's just about time to try to sleep. I cannot believe that after midnight it is still 83 degrees. Thank God for an AC unit. Try to stay cool and hug someone. G'night all!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Thank You From Lakeway

A few days ago, I posted a link to the story of the Lakeway Hotel in Meade, KS where the owners are proudly flying the rainbow flag. This morning I received this thank you email. Let's all try to find ways to show these folks our apprecation and gratitude for their courage and convictions. Email text follows --

Robin & I can¹t even begin to come up with words strong enough to convey our appreciation for all of your support and well wishes. Especially to those of you that have booked rooms and even just sent money to help pay our bills. Your the best.

We are getting so many emails every day that we barely have time to read them let alone respond to each of them in a timely manner. So I thought I¹d send out this Big thanks to everyone and then do individuals as time permits.

First of all, reading your letters at the end of a long day makes it allot easier getting up the next day. So a BIG thanks for that!!!

As you know our rainbow flag was hung outside of our hotel because we dearly miss our son. It signified to us that he is just over the rainbow and as soon as we can we will all be together again. When my good neighbors told me to take it down, I assure you there was no hesitation. It will not come down. Last night, July 30, 2006 some "person" cut it down, well most of it anyway. Robin & I want you all to know that as soon as we can get a replacement here, the rainbow will proudly fly again.

My son¹s Rainbow flag is gone, cut by the very closed minded bigots that we sent him home to get away from. Our new Rainbow flag will serve a different purpose, it will stand for the very thing that THEY (the schalooses) wanted it to stand for. Gay Rights, Gay Pride, Human Rights, Equality of the Sexes,Equality of the Races, Diversity, Unity, Peace, The International Co-operative Alliance's, The Inca banner, The Flag of Cusco, Peru, The Wizard of OZ, God¹s Gift to Mankind, and everything else that the homophobic, bigoted, ignorant ... people of the world fear.

Our new Rainbow flag will fly as a reminder to my son, never to back down to prejudice and tyranny no matter the cost, because once you do it will never stop. Money and business is one thing but peoples dignity is much more important.

Before we bought the Lakeway Hotel a gay couple looked at it and the same good christians that want my son's rainbow flag down told the bank, "If you sell to those gays, we'll all pull our accounts." They'll never be happy, and their hunger for control will never subside. Never!!! They change scripture to suit their purpose. They are spreading ignorance and bigotry one child at a time. Not my son.

Our new Rainbow flag will wave :
At our friends that never made it to their 30th birthdays, Jim, John, Jimmy, and Richard.

At the group I counseled in High School who I vowed I would never reveal their names or what we talked about.

To my 7th and 8th grade teacher who taught me that gay people are just people, and who the kids that called him a fagot behind his back eventually named as their favorite teacher of all.

To the two retired teachers Ruth and Madge who still reside in this old brick Hotel, playing jokes and helping me see, I don¹t know if they were really a couple, but if they were, good for them.

To the gay and lesbian people of Meade and elsewhere, hiding in closets and garages, letting you know that someday you¹ll just be able to be you.

To all of the people traveling on hwy 54 who are afraid to stop in these hick towns because they don¹t think they¹ll be accepted or worse.

To Shawn and all the other people in the world that had the terrifying and heart wrenching task of telling their parents that they are Gay or Lesbian.

To Shawn¹s dad, my good bud Robert, who although probably didn¹t want this for his son, hugged him, loves him and is very proud of him. I wish all parents were like him.

But most importantly our new Rainbow flag will wave in the face of Hatred, Bigotry, Ignorance and the people who embody these traits as a constant reminder that they can¹t control everyone or every thing. That god loves every one the same. And that hate is a much bigger sin, than 2 people loving each other ever could be.

George Washington once said that the thing that separates the American People from all other people of the world is that we will die on our feet before we will ever live on our knees.

I think it¹s time that we get up off our knees and stand together for what¹s right. Even if we are a bit squeamish about what the right thing is.

We might not be able to fix stupid,but it sure is fun taking it apart!!!!;)

A BIG Thanks Again to All -- we¹ll remember you, long after you forget us

JR & Robin Knight
Lakeway Hotel - Bed and Breakfast Inn
115 N. Fowler, Meade, Kansas 67864
PO BOX 1029, Meade, Kansas 67864-1029
[Phone Numbers Deleted for Blog Publication - Nick} -