love, eloise & eric

How’s your first response?


What time is it? That's right, time to come and shake it at “Come and Take it! Y’all enjoy, be safe and have fun. Missed talking to you a couple of weeks ago, but the Inquirer needed to give a big shout out to our first responders, as should we all. I have continually prayed for their safety and well-being. These men and women are out there on the front lines having to see and experience the worst of the worst, while trying to remain sane in the process, so we don't have to. In what I'm sure is often a thankless job, they are the reason most of us can sleep peacefully at night. So, to the police, firefighters and EMS of Gonzales County and the rest of America, thanks for your service, you are appreciated!

Thinking about what to write about this week, I walked outside this morning, coffee in hand, just as the sun was breaking the horizon. Every day Eloise started off saying, “This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it” from Psalm 118:24. Great way to get up and running, my little muse. I do the same, thanking God for all he has done, is doing and will do in my life.

Having lived the first part of my adult (loosely used term) life as a self-serving imbecile, I'm very thankful that God has helped me not to be that guy anymore. As the sun was peeking through the clouds, the vivid colors and majesty of what only God could create was nothing short of breathtaking. It reminded me of a Bob Ross (Mr. Happy Clouds) painting. God designed an awesome and beautiful place for us to live, a gift that keeps on giving. Try to set aside at least a little time every day to enjoy it, it will definitely add to the quality of your life.

Last time, I had just finished remodeling our main bathroom. As it was my first attempt, we were both pleased with the results. As Bob Ross put it, “Talent is a pursued interest. Anything that you’re willing to practice, you can do.” I have found this to be true in just about every area of life. I will say that after attempting (as a child) to parachute out of a tree with a garbage bag, constructing homemade zip lines, made from running old garden hose through a basketball hoop and backboard (garbage pickers anonymous), and then (as an adult) cliff diving and being blown around while atop a 20' by 100' sheet of plastic, as I tried to cover a greenhouse while a storm blew in, I still can't fly! Practice doesn't always make perfect. Yes, I've given some people cause for concern, probably still do.

While stretching our dollars, we tried to refurnish as much as possible, buying us some time while concentrating on larger projects. We decided our main color scheme would be grey and green, it was the “in thing” at the time. I'm pretty sure the carpet in the house was installed by Moses' dad. Yep, they were old and ugly. Owning a carpet cleaning business (installing, repairing, cleaning and dying) had its advantages. After repairing a hole in the carpet (Michaels' successful lamp and magnifying glass experiment), I proceeded to clean and then dye the carpet green, looked good enough to hold us over for a while. I repainted the ceiling fans and appliances black, came out pretty decent. Next up, the walls.

Eloise and I had always liked the look of stucco, and still do. Off to Home Depot for boxes of joint compound, designed for taping and floating drywall, it works great. A word of caution, stucco is extremely messy to sand back off, so you should be fully committed before starting. Being our first attempt, we just started “Icing the Cake”, and that's exactly what it's like. A somewhat slow process, but kind of relaxing and adds a custom touch. After drying for a few days, it was time to paint. It takes a solid coat plus touch ups with a roller and brush, as it's too messy to spray in a fully furnished house.

Eloise always teased me about being a sloppy painter, as I seemed to wear as much as I got on the walls. She said I should just paint myself then roll across the walls, might be faster.

“Oh yeah, I hear you talkin’, but let’s see what you've got!”

A lifelong competition was born, more fun with my honey. We went with a light semi-gloss grey, which when finished, reflected the light coming through the house and resembled an ice castle. People seemed to really like it and were excited to try it themselves. While helping remodel a church in Gonzales (about 15 years ago), we had a stucco party one night and all the kids got involved. Big mess...Big fun! Gotta enjoy the journey.

Writing about our first responders got me to thinking. How we react and respond to situations in our lives says a lot about how healthy our walk with Christ is. If we don't see evidence of change in ourselves when it counts, how much have we really grown?

It's been four months since Eloise passed away, I still can't believe it. After finding her on the floor, Michael and I performed CPR while waiting on EMS. In total shock, I remember quoting scripture and telling her that it was OK because Jesus had her. I prayed to God that he would restore her to full health, but if it was time for him to bring her home, I wouldn't be upset with him, because he knows best, and I haven't been. In the midst of the most traumatic moment in my life, God shone through. After thinking about it later, I was as surprised as I was comforted and pleased. It's proof that God has penetrated my heart and lives within me. All I've done is accept his invitation and try my best to follow, with many failures along the way. Thank you Lord for loving me in spite of myself! How's your first response?

Until next time, love you guys.