AM I THE ONLY ONE . . . whose feeling patriotic today?

©By: R.L.KingFrom the book Wanderin & Wonderin ©2012

It’s not my job to fight the war, nor did I declare it.
But, the freedom that it brings, well I certainly want to share it.

It’s not my job to train the troops, nor even to recruit them.
But, for the job that they all do, I certainly do salute them.

It’s not my job to arm the soldier, I’m not in uniform.
But I must show my support, as they expertly face the storm.

It’s not my job to fly the planes, nor do I drive the tanks.
But all of those who do, deserve their entire country’s thanks.

It’s not my job to be a warrior. I may not be that brave.
But I have humbly bowed my head at many a warrior’s grave.

It’s not my job to protest while lives are being lost,
nor to mock the freedom, which comes at such great cost.

Ours is the greatest country, we look out for all the rest
and it’s that sense of duty, which makes us the all-time best.

It’s my job to honor my country and in every way I can,
to stand behind her soldiers and fall in line behind the plan.

If I can’t do my job, it might be time for me to leave,
to seek another country in whose constitution I believe.

“When you remove the people’s right to bear arms, you create slaves.”   ~ Author Unknown


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AM I THE ONLY ONE . . . who can get a little flippant now and again?

Every so often I write something that makes no sense at all. (To my son, it’s nearly everything I write) When that happens, I usually don’t throw it away, I just store it someplace and hope that one day I’ll be more enthused about making use of it.  Often, by the time I’m finished with it, there is no resemblance between the finished product and the original thoughts that brought about its existence.  

Such was very much the case with the following poem.  I have no idea what inspired me to write it and it’s not about anyone that I know and yet, it could be about any number of the guys I know.  It just sort of popped into my mind. 

©R.L.King2012 – From the book Wanderin & Wonderin

He was a Minuteman; she, his soon-to-be lover.
T’was more than a title, she soon would discover

A minute to kiss her, a minute to converse,
a minute to convince her then, “Don’t ferget yer purse.”

A minute to the car, ten more to her pad,
a minute in the elevator, this begins to git sad.

A minute to her door, a minute to undress,
a minute to finish, more or less.

A minute to apologize, another to re-dress,
a minute to find the door, at least that’s my guess.

He was a Minuteman, she was his lover.
Twas more than a title, she soon did discover.


Gramps use’ta say
©R.L.King2012 #236

About: Luck

“When it gits right down to the nitty gritty,
…most-times, skill beats luck.


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Family, Humorous

AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO …..who has ever developed a headache after dealing with telephone answering recordings.

By: Donna Hale Chandler


Wouldn’t it be nice if, when you have trouble with a particular company, you could pick up the phone, talk to ONE real person who actually has been trained to take care of you and do-it-right-the-first-time?!?

Some years ago, (maybe A few years ago) we made the decision to move from one TV/ telephone/internet provider to another. It didn’t seem to us to be a major undertaking but once on this road, there was no turning back. Unfortunately, it would take a novel to tell the full story of our nightmare so I’ll try to keep it short and sweet; actually, it’s not very sweet.   It went something like this.

Feeling that we were paying too much for TV/phone/internet service from Company C, we called Company D. After listening to their well-rehearsed sales pitch, we agreed to switch our service. This momentous decision that was to save money was made on February 7, 2012.

The first step was to send an Inside Lineman to our home to make sure we were getting a good signal from the existing wiring. As it turns out, we were NOT. That meant an Outside Lineman had to come and see what was wrong with the line coming from the pole to our home.  The line was replaced (on the second trip) and still no signal. Another Outside Lineman had to check the line from the main box to the pole behind our house.

Are you beginning to get the picture? It is now February 24 and we have, as yet, not had service. For those of you considering switching your TV/telephone/internet service to Company D, let me save you some time and tell you who you need to talk with to make the move much smoother than ours.

Call their 800 number. Be sure you have several hours to spend on hold or being transferred from person to person. Allow time for being disconnected and having to start all over again. Be prepared to have your order confused/delayed more than once and be sure to have a spare phone handy because it is unlikely that you will get through this process on one battery. You will need to talk to Rob, Vicki, Matthew, Ben, Paul, Jimmy, Brian, Ronnie, Ryan, Stephen, Jacob, Ian, Mark, Aaron, Troy, Julie, Valerie, Rosa Jena, Juliana, Cherina, Frank, Amos, and if I’ve left anyone out, I sincerely apologize. I was so silly as to believe that this would be easy and started out not bothering to write down employee names.

You know what? On second thought, if you find yourself thinking about making this kind of change, JUST SAY NO, and fix yourself a bowl of ice cream instead.

Note: In order to not sound as if Company D is a complete and total experience in incompetence. I should also list a few things that they do extremely well. Every single employee, whether on the phone, in our back yard or standing in our living room was very well trained in apologizing. The conversation would start with, “I’m so sorry you’re having a problem,” and end with, “I’m so sorry I was unable to help you.” It appears that Company D excels in training their employees to apologize. Perhaps there are even company workshops stressing this action. I may be wrong but perhaps some training in Getting It Right the First Time would be beneficial.

The second action that all employees had down pat is ‘taking your information’. Whether you talk to two or twenty employees, each one must have your complete name, phone number, address, last four of your social security number, your favorite restaurant, mother’s maiden name, how many cups of coffee you had that day and whether or not you had sex the night before. After giving your life history and promising your first born, you must start from the beginning and explain your problem to each and every person you talk with. I’m just an ordinary female with perhaps less than ordinary technical skills but it seems to me, that in this day of amazing technology, information just might be able to be stored and passed from person to person the same as passing along the phone call. Maybe not ……. That would probably be much too simple.

And on that last note, I shall retire and take my newly prescribed blood pressure medication.   Hmmmm, wonder why I suddenly have high blood pressure.


AM I THE ONLY ONE…..who gets into sticky situations?

The Man With Two Sailboat
By: Donna Hale Chandler

I was sitting home alone AGAIN.  Watching TV alone AGAIN.  It had been a little over a year since my husband passed away.  Was I always going to be alone?   Did I want to find someone?  I sat there mulling over these questions in my mind. 

As I sat there so deep in thought, my phone rang.  Caller ID told me that it was the ‘older gentleman’ that we’ll call Jack, who lived in a condo unit near me.  When I answered, he asked if I was busy.

Since I serve on our condominium Board of Directors, I assumed that he was calling with a question, or more likely, a complaint about something to do with the Condo Association.

“I would like to talk with you for just a couple of minutes if you’re not tied up.”

“That would be fine.  I’m not busy.”

“Great, I’ll be right up.”

“What?  What did he say”, I asked myself, as I stood there stupidly holding a phone receiver with no one on the other end.  He’s coming here?  I thought he was going to talk to me over the phone. Oh my, oh my, oh my.

Before I could clear my confused mind, there was a knock on the door.  There stood Jack, all dressed up in what looked like a new shirt and brand new suspenders. 

He made himself right at home on my living room sofa and started making small talk.  I sat across the room in my favorite chair hoping that he would soon get to the point of his visit.  That he would spit out his complaint and I would tell him that I would check into it the first thing in the morning.   

But as Jack continued tell me about himself, about losing his wife, and about wanting to find a nice female companion, I realized that he, as my mother would have said, had come a-courting. Realizing that Jack was at least 20 years older than me, I was polite and smiled at all the right times, while wondering how I was going to get out of this without hurting his feelings. I didn’t want to be ‘courted’.   

Then Jack said something that caught my attention.  He was explaining that he had moved from Jensen Beach and that he missed the beach very much.  He went on to tell me that when he lived there, he sailed every day. This turned my thoughts toward a new direction.  Sailing.  I’d never been sailing.  Would that be something I would like to do?  I can’t swim (which will be the subject of another story) so would I be afraid?  Humm, maybe I’d like to go out on a sailboat IF Jack knew what he was doing. There’s only one way to find out, ask, “So Jack, how long have you been sailing?”

“Oh years, it’s something I truly enjoy.  I have two sail boats.”

Now the little hamster in my head is really running on that wheel making the thoughts swirl faster and faster.  “Really, do you still have your boats?”

Jack very proudly said, “Well, of course.  I could never get rid of my sailboats.”

“Now that you don’t live on the water anymore, where do you keep them?”

Jack appeared confused by my question and answered, “Oh, they’re both downstairs on my back patio.  Would you like to go with me sometime?”

Now the poor hamster on the wheel is confused.  He doesn’t know whether to run faster or stop completely. I hardly even realized that he’d asked me to go sailing with him. “On your back patio?”   I don’t know much about sailboats, so I was asking myself, do they fold up?  No, that didn’t seem right.  How big is a sailboat?  I truly had no clue but I knew how big Jack’s patio was and I couldn’t imagine that it was big enough for TWO sailboats. 

Finally, I asked him how big his sailboats were.  And honestly, I don’t remember his answer but the sailboats he had been telling me about were REMOTE CONTROL BOATS.

I didn’t want him to know that I thought he was talking about REAL sailboats.  Just about that time I was feeling relieved that I had dodged a bullet by not jumping at the chance to go ‘sailing’ with Jack. he asked another surprise question.

“Well, I haven’t had dinner yet. Would you like to go to Dale’s Bar-B-Q with me tonight?”

This was my very first Date Question since the passing of my husband, and was such a huge shock to me, that I leaped from my chair and flew into the kitchen.  It was evidently some sort of reflex action because once in the kitchen, I still didn’t know what to do. I hardly even knew how I had gotten there. But I knew I needed A Plan.  So, I opened and closed the oven door, LOUDLY, walked as calmly as I could back to the living room and said, “That’s awfully nice of you to ask Jack, but I have dinner in the oven for my mother and I.  I was just checking it and it’s almost ready.”  I blundered on by saying something about taking it to her and I’d better call her to see if she was ready and …. whatever else I said is a bit of a blur.  I can remember thinking that I needed to shut up and stop rambling but, just couldn’t seem to get control of my mouth.

Jack probably knew that I was lying through my teeth but I had no idea how to handle the situation. I decided that being alone beat sailing any old day.  And that IF I was going to ‘date’ at some point, I’d need to handle it a LOT better than I had on this night. (My dating disasters continued.  I evidently need quite a large ‘learning curve.’)


Am I THE ONLY ONE. . .  who entertains himself by writing?


I’m a writer.  At least, I now consider myself as such. For some time, I knew deep down that I wasn’t.  My very first book was basically my life story told mostly in rhyme.  I didn’t intend it that way when I started writing my poems.  After my wife died, I tried hard to make it look like I was OK and that I wasn’t struggling.  But I got lonely.  I missed her so much, but I knew she was never coming back, and I had to go on. 

I’d known her death was eminent and I’d attempted to prepare my mind for it.  I didn’t cry, instead, I started writing to her.  Even after I began dating again, I wrote to her. Terrible stuff in the beginning, just talking to her memory,  but eventually, I began to speak to her in rhymes.  And not only to her, but more and more I spoke about her. 

Then I began to write about my childhood in rhyme.  After a while, any little thing that came into my mind, I’d make a note of and eventually all of those little independent notes and thoughts began to come together and merge into poems. It was long before I had a computer to store my stuff on and most of what I had to say at that time is long lost.  That’s probably a blessing to us all, I wrote some terrible stuff, that seemed to me to be just a way of expressing myself to myself.  I had absolutely no thoughts of ever sharing my writing with anybody else.  I was just passing the time, and jotting down thoughts.  Sometimes a jotted down thought would sit there for several years, then show up and make its way into a poem. 

Eventually I began to write some of those poor poetic attempts to a lady friend.  Over the years, I had several lady friends until I met my sweetheart.  Whichever one I happened to be in love with at the time would be the beneficiary of my poetry.  Not that I would send it to them, but I would write it to them or about them.  For the most part, I was still keeping the things I wrote private.  Most of that stuff is also long gone, I didn’t save that sort of stuff after moving on.  Who needs the reminders? 

One day, something that I wrote to Judy, my wife’s best friend since 8th grade, caught her fancy and she told me that she liked it.  So, I told her I had more.  She asked to see some of it so I sent her some of it, (probably way too much) but still she said she liked it.   Oh, I know now that she was just being kind to a good friend, but I didn’t figure that out until much later.  By then, I had lost some of my reluctance for someone else to see my writings.  The writings weren’t a whole lot better; I’d just became more comfortable sharing it with others.  Eventually I put a lot of that stuff into my first book.

I got my first computer in 2000 when my son moved his family to Florida and went into business with me.  He felt I needed one in the business, even though I didn’t know the first thing about a computer.  So, I began playing on the computer, learning new things about it, and finding writing to be so much more enjoyable and way, way easier.  I spent more and more time on my computer, listening to music and writing a lot of bad poetry. Wow!  This is so terrific; I can copy and paste.  I can delete and move; I can save and store.  Then I can go back to it weeks later, months and sometime years later and make little improvements to it.  It’s just so much easier to write this way.   So, I wrote more.  Sometimes I’d be up listening to music and typing into my computer until 3 or 4 in the morning.  I began sorting through all the junk I had written and selected those that I considered to be worthy of someone else reading.  I started typing the better one’s into my new computer. 

When you’ve just ended a relationship with someone you really cared about, country music can be very soothing, but it also seems to lend itself to bad poetry.  I continued to write more of it.  However, every once in a while, I’d write one that seemed to me, to have a little promise.  Eventually, I had enough poems to consider putting out a book. 

Our mothers taught us all that if you don’t have something good to say, don’t say anything at all.  Well, just like you never tell your lady she’s heavy, you never tell your friend, who thinks he’s a poet, that his poems suck.  Eventually, though I tired of writing bad poems and wrote my first story book.  It was a children’s book, about my cat, Gizzy. 

Long after Gizzy had died, I decided to see if I could write a children’s book.  Donna, and I were now living together.  So, as I began writing this new book, I began to rely more and more on her help with phrasing.  In addition to the actual publishing of all of our books, she was also doing all of my proof reading and helping out with story line suggestions as well as suggesting photo’s to be considered.  I decided she was as responsible for the story as I was and we shared authorship of this book, and quite a few others since then. 

After the children’s book, we decided to write a murder mystery novel.  Well, it was a mild murder mystery, probably more love story, titled; THE CROW’S NEST.  We followed it with a second story in what we now refer to as the crow’s lake series, titled; CROW’S LAKE.  Together, we’ve since added six more books in that series.  

We have also jointly published two books in what we refer to as our STONY JOHNSON series, titled CLOSED CASES, (Stony Johnson, P.I.)  Somewhere along the way, we’ve also managed to put together two books containing over 2700 helpful hints.  Those books are titled THE HINTS BOOK ALMANAC, books one and two.

Although we haven’t put any effort into marketing our books, and it’s likely we never will,  we’ve found the writing of them to be a rewarding experience.  Additionally, when you hold one of your new books in your hands for the very first time there is quite a feeling of accomplishment.  Each of them is very precious to you.  We are both very proud of the progress we have made as authors of novels.


Gramps use’ta say
R.L.King2012 #233


It ain’t what ya collect
that makes for a memorable lifetime,
….it’s what ya scatter.

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