Tuesday, November 19, 2019


    I haven't written here much lately; the fall of 2019 has been unusually busy.  For my literary fans; I am still writing!   I have been pecking away at my latest novel, PRESIDENT HAMILTON; it seems every time I get closer to a conclusion another plot twist inserts itself and I have to add another chapter or two. That's the thing about changing history - it's hard to know when to stop!  Changing one thing changes everything; as I constantly remind my students, history turns on tiny hinges.  But the story is progressing nicely and should hopefully be done by Christmas, or at least by the end of the year.

     What else?  Of course, my teaching job keeps my pretty busy most of the time.  This fall I have five courses that meet every day and one that meets two days a week, plus I am teaching a night class at the local community college on top of that. I teach 7th grade Texas History, 8th grade U.S. History, 9th grade World Geography, 10th grade World History, 11th grade dual credit American History, and a course I created a few years back simply called "Modern America" - it's a survey of pop culture, history, sports, and politics from the 1970's to the present.  I came up with this class because, like virtually every college history instructor I know, it's really hard to cram in everything from Reconstruction to the Present in a single semester.  Most college instructors I know rarely get past the fifties; in a good year I'll get to Watergate - but that still leaves around 45 years of history untaught.  Modern America covers the gap, so I make sure that my high school kids graduate knowing about everything from Iran/Contra to 9/11, from the first Star Wars movie to PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE.  I have a ton of fun teaching this course.  This spring I will be adding 12th grade U.S. Government to the schedule; it's always fun teaching government in an election year, and we'll get to track the primary elections first hand and enjoy watching some of the debates.

    Besides writing and  teaching, my wife Patty and I have found a new church home at First Baptist, Campbell, TX.  After spending almost 25 years in the pastorate, it is a relief to just be a church member again.  Patty plays for the Praise Team, and I have been asked to share a couple of Sunday morning messages by Bro. Danny, our pastor.  But both of us are involved only to the extent that we choose to be; it's nice to know that someone else is in the hot seat for a change!  The folks here are friendly, and the church is just the right size for me - they run around 50 people a Sunday.  Not too big, not too small.  From the very first time we visited it just felt like home.

   But the main reason that I haven't written here much lately is because of the gigantic, life-changing, home-rearranging, bank-account-emptying event that now looms less that two weeks away: MY DAUGHTER IS GETTING MARRIED! 

   Patty and I had twin girls in 1994, Rachel and Rebecca.  Both girls eschewed dating in high school and then acquired boyfriends the year after they graduated.  Both girls stuck with the first guys they dated.  And now both girls are getting married!  Rebecca will walk the aisle and become Mrs. Joseph Reyes a week from this Saturday, on Nov. 30, and wedding preparations have kept the whole house hopping!  Joseph is on active duty in the U.S. Army and is stationed in El Paso, TX.  Rebecca will be moving out there with him right after the wedding, setting up housekeeping in a nice offbase apartment.  Rachel will be marrying her beau, Shawn Grantham, in March and they are looking for a place here in Greenville.

   It's a true season of change for Patty and me.  Both girls have never lived anywhere but home, and knowing Rebecca will move out in two weeks and then Rachel following her in March has thrown us both into a tizzy!  All the usual wedding preparations and accompanying stress are underway; and in addition to seeing both of our girls finally launched from the nest comes the responsibility now thrust upon us of finding home caregivers for my aged mother-in-law.  It's been a busy, stressful time this fall, and the next two weeks are going to be absolutely crazy!  But, that being said, it's also exciting, as change always is.  We will find a way to move on, to take care of the things and people we need to take care of, and continue facing life together as we have done now for nearly 35 years.

   No one knows what the future holds, but we know Who holds the future.  With faith in God and confidence in each other, we continue to move forward.

 I'll keep you posted as to how things work out.