love, eric & eloise

Snake in the grass


Hey y’all, hope everyone has fully recovered from “Come and Take It.” For several years, the church we attended ran a food booth and our church band played there, we all had a great time and a lot of laughs. We came but we forgot to take it, but did all get to take home the leftover chocolate-covered frozen bananas and Bunuelos (or Boon-way-lows, as I like to say).

As I sit here writing, the rain literally couldn't come down any harder. My poor mowers tongue is hanging out. Feels like I've put a 100,000 miles on it so far this year — I’m thinking about installing a TV. Seems I wore out my butt button (a safety cutoff switch, located under the seat) and had to make some repairs, but no worries, we're back in the saddle again.

Reminds me of the time Eloise and I returned from the store to find Matthew, who was about eight at the time, cutting our front lawn with a pair of scissors. As we were asking him what he was doing, the neighbor from across the street (a tall attractive blond woman) walked over. He explained that he just wanted to surprise us and didn't know what else to cut it with. Her reaction: Poor baby, I guess I'll just have to take you to the movies as a reward. His reaction: OK, I like blondes. Way to go Matt, always the attention hound!

Last episode (previously on Love Estes), we had stuccoed the walls and painted them a semi-gloss grey. We continued on throughout the house, hitting the ceilings as we went. Ever try rolling an old popcorn ceiling? What a mess, and I will say that it was some of the worst popcorn I ever ate.

We decided to paint the trim green as to match our temporarily dyed green carpet. Putting up the molding between ceiling and walls was next, thankful that God gave me enough common sense to paint them first. On to the doors and jambs. As Eloise and I continued with our who's the better/neater painter competition, I feel (she might disagree), that I clearly won the better category while she took home the prize for neater by a mile.

This house, while being just short of 1200 sq. ft., was a four-bedroom, two-bath floor plan. It was decided that the smallest bedroom, in the back of the house, would be turned into our office. As the floors in that room were a wood parquet, I decided to just refinish them. Staining them an oak color, then putting on three coats of high gloss acrylic floor finish, made them pop.

Eloise said she might be interested in starting some sort of internet business, so buying a new computer, scanner and printer was next on the agenda. With technology in its infancy, fax machines still being fairly new, we ended up purchasing a Micron computer so powerful it wasn't even on the open market yet. With a whopping — are you ready? — 4GB hard drive and 512MB ram, we were concerned about causing a neighborhood blackout. Next I built a 14-foot, L-shaped desktop made from Formica butcher block countertops from Home Depot. It worked well for holding our computers and scheduling my customers.

The house was slowly coming together, and mama was excited. She had been waiting years for this to happen. Making her happy, made me happy. Little did I realize that I was developing a lifestyle that would carry on for decades. I just figured that God had put me in this family to take care of, protect, love, teach and encourage them the best I knew how. Still fairly new at the God thing, I was trying my hardest to “walk the talk.” Now, after all these years of trying to walk the talk, while often hard to do and with many failures along the way, it's been worth every step of the journey. Someday I'll be standing before God, as we all will, and I don't know about you, but I'd much rather hear “well done” than “who are you?”

The other evening my dogs started barking, seems one of the neighbors calves got out and was hollering in the front yard. Being almost dark, I grabbed my new giant flashlight (EE phone home) and walked it down the road and through the gate, into its pasture. It wasn't too tough as he was more than ready to be back with mom.

Walking back home, it came to mind that I've seen very few snakes this year. As I was entering my front yard I almost stepped on a small rat snake slithering through the grass, so I picked it up, played with it, kissed it on the lips and sent it on its way. Hey, do snakes have lips? Time for some pondering. It made me think about how Satan, in the form of a serpent, deceived Eve in the garden resulting in the fall of man. Proverbs 26:24 says that Enemies disguise themselves with their lips, but in their hearts they harbor deceit. Satan started the ball rolling and man has been running it into the end zone ever since. Mankind has been putting each other down for eons, through direct contact, gossip and every form of media available, resulting in a global inferiority complex. Don't believe the lies, God created you (custom order), and you ARE absolutely as worthy as anyone else! Growing up, I heard, many, many times, that I was so stupid, I didn't know how stupid I was. Being always the optimist, I thought, well then, that’s a good thing isn't it? It all boils down to what you are willing to believe. You just being here is proof of God’s love for you, and you know what they say, God doesn't make any junk. You are capable of achieving anything you want to if you're willing to do what it takes, so hold your head high, and beware of the snakes in the grass.

Talk to you again soon.

Love you guys,