Monthly Archives: November 2011

Sport Coat Pockets

According to the The Style Guy in GQ magazine “Pockets are functional. Generally, the pockets of suit jackets and sport coats are intended to carry discreet, nonbulky cargo and are not for hand-warming purposes. JFK was often photographed with a hand shoved in his suit-jacket pocket, apparently because he had a cigar in it. His pockets were like ashtrays.”
We didn’t find a cigar in those sport coat pockets (much to Thom’s dismay) but, oh what a variety of items we did find!  Five or six of the seven days each week my Dad wore a sport coat.  Navy blue, black, camel hair, leather, wool, seersucker, etc.  He wore them to work and to church. He wore them to weddings, funerals, fancy dinners or social gatherings. He looked good in a sport coat.
As we were up early getting ready for the yard sale at my Mom’s house this past weekend it just hit me like a ton of bricks. There was a rack with all of his sports coats.
Evidently he was the only man in our immediate circle that wore his size. We tried to find someone to give them to that could use them. All of our men family members and friends are evidently bigger, smaller, shorter, or taller than he was. So, the next best thing is to try to sell them and get a little pocket change.  I was very tempted to keep them all. I thought about bringing them home and just hanging them in a closet. But, then again, I am not one to want to house a museum. So, we must move on.  
When cleaning out these pockets we found that he was certainly consistent!  Each coat had hand sanitizer, a black pen, a yellow hilighter (how MANY times will I reference a yellow hilighter?) a handkerchief, some moist wipes, eye glasses cleaner,  and some papers.  Mom found the piece of paper  that he wrote the attendance count from his section of the church on Easter Sunday. (the last day he attended church) I found the bulletin and order of service from the Maundy Thursday service. (the last time I we attended church together)
Who knew that his coat was like a little mini survival kit? He might need to fight some germs, write something down, hilight something, wipe his nose, clean his sticky hands, clean his smudgy glasses, or make a note. Go figure that he was always prepared. Please also note that this was the man that thought you had committed a federal crime if you left home without your wallet. (In hindsight, we probably should have buried him with that wallet. He might have needed it at the pearly gates)  He also made my brother and I have summer homework of memorizing our social security numbers one year. When we were children we even had to have our military ID card in our pockets when playing outside. He always wore a watch, carried 2 cell phones and 2 beepers (don’t ask) and didn’t think you should go anywhere without at least SOME cash. (this always worked in mine and Thom’s favor) Oh yes, The Colonel was prepared!
I thought about this for a while and it reminded me of this:
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.  For  we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against  the rulers, against the authorities, against  the cosmic powers over  this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil  in the heavenly places. Therefore  take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore,  having fastened on the belt of truth, and  having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all  the flaming darts of  the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,  praying at all times  in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.”  Ephesians 6:10-18
God tells us in scripture what we should put on or carry every single day. I am challenged by this to not just have my phone, my wallet, a little bit of cash, hand sanitizer, and my keys.  Those items are so trivial compared to what we really need to survive each day.  I should be making a conscious effort to put these things on every time I leave the house. We sure do battle dark powers at every turn. God gives us the exact protection we need for them. We just have to remember to use them and take them wtih us.
I am off to check my Dad’s Bible. I am pretty sure his said “yellow hilighter” after the sword of the spirit. (just kidding) Thanks for the continued reminders Dad!



Home. You read that word and something immediately came to your mind. More than likely it was a place. But, it could have been a “feel” , a memory, a smell, or a sound. 

Many people come home as babies to a house that is theirs until they become an adult.  They work their way through school grades, birthday parties, long summer days, Santa visits,  growing out of one set of clothes and into new, watching puppies turn into old family dogs, and seeing the pictures on the walls yellow all while being in the same house.

Others have many houses throughout their childhoods and formative years. Some because of a transient lifestyle or job changes. Some because of broken family situations or economic hardship. Some because of just being ready to “move on up to the east side”.

When you say “home” to an adult it is kind of a “toss up” as to whether or not they visualize their current house or the one they grew up in. Or maybe both.

I have memories of lots of different houses in my 40 years. We moved a lot as we followed the military path God had for our family.  I can recall some addresses, can remember cool features of some of the houses (and some not so cool), can remember some neighbors’ names, can think of some of the cities I would like to visit again, and am just as happy to never visit some again.

When you move a lot you quickly learn that “home” is not the shell of the building structure you abide in. “Home” is the people and traditions, the furniture and the pictures, the books and the linens.  Take all of those things to another city, another state, another country and you can still have “home”. It can quickly look like home. It can quickly feel like home. It can even sound and smell like home.

I have had “home” on my mind a lot lately as this week approaches the first weekend I will be “home” since my Dad died. (which still to this very second doesn’t seem real to even type, much less say) 

 Now before you go thinking that I am not going to win the award for being “daughter of the year” for my lack of visiting Columbia please hear me out. It is football season and I have been with my Mom at my home (near Clemson, GO Tigers!) many weekends. We have also taken some fun trips together. Mom and I have spent a lot of time together. There really hasn’t been an opportunity to go to Columbia until now. So, don’t go thinking that I haven’t seen my Mom since I started back to work.

With that said, I hadn’t really thought much about what it will be like. Until this week. I am trying to be very deliberate in reminding myself each day that it will be different. I have to think about the things that I just take for granted when going home. I don’t want to be caught off guard. I guess I think I can be prepared for such a thing. I know that Dad won’t be coming home from work on Friday to change his clothes and us all head out the door to dinner and a movie. I know if I fall asleep on the couch he won’t be there to say “Somebody is sleepy and needs to go to bed.” I know that he won’t be there to watch college football with on Saturday. I know that he won’t be there to make an ice cream float and “clank” that spoon against the side of the glass getting the last of the whipped cream. I know that when I wake up I won’t hear the low rumble of CNN (or was if FOX news? I think he got “put out” with CNN)  I know that he won’t be ushering in church on Sunday.  There won’t be cut out newspaper articles that he saved for me.  He won’t ask me about work or be there to ask me about my friends.  He won’t carry my bag to the car on Sunday evening when I get ready to leave.

So, one would wonder why I look forward to it? The first obvious reason is because I get to see my Mom! (see? I am in the running for “daughter of the year”!)  But, when I think about home it is all the stuff that comes with it. It is the comfy beds (a “Bettie bed” as my sister in law calls them), the family pictures on the walls, the birds in the backyard, the blankets and the coffee cups. The stories we will tell and the laughter that comes with them. The silly habits and traditions.

Sure. It will be hard. I don’t think I can prepare myself enough. It almost makes me catch my breath. But, it is just another sign of life passing and changing as we know it does. It is a good reminder to me that this earthly home is so temporary. In a literal blink of an eye we can be ushered to our eternal home.  John 14:2 says…”My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? “

I think when we get to heaven we might get a glimpse of what “HOME” really feels like.  Our Father is preparing a place for us at this very time. This place is tailored just for His own.  Makes me think of one of my favorite songs…