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I headed for the sun porch when I got home from work yesterday. That is a significant departure from my regular routine. I purposefully opted not to head toward my home office. Don’t get the wrong idea. The office isn’t anything fancy. Calling it a home office is really an overstatement. In reality, it is a very small room that can only be accessed by walking through the laundry room. I’ve got a built-in desk and bookcases, but it is relatively small. Consequently, it is a humbling experience every time I walk from one room into the other. I always feel like I should be folding laundry, but it isn’t often that the General asks: “Would you like take care of the laundry?”  For that, I am grateful. I hate to fold laundry.


Instead of following my regular routine, I purposefully chose to ignore the unopened emails or even think about my need to chronicle a thought for the next day’s blog. I needed the ambience and sense of serenity associated with the back porch. I still call it a porch even though we had it enclosed about three-years ago. The enclosure does not spoil the view. The room is primarily glass with cedar and rock accents.


It is an effective place to orchestrate a sense of calm and contemplate the creativity, presence, purposes and wherewithal of God. I guess you could call it my war room (aka – prayer room). I needed the quiet time. In addition, the view is amazingly incredible and it is all achieved in air-conditioned comfort. It doesn’t get any better than that.


As I took delight in the change of pace, I had the thought: “This is a room with a view.” Registering the phrase in the thought processes of my brain reminded me of the movie: “Room With A View.” I thought the movie was thoughtfully done. Wasn’t it one of those: “Sometimes we opt to settle, rather than hang-on to our dreams” kind of movies.  Fortunately, before this one concluded, you get the sense girl was finally with the right guy and they lived happily ever after.


Thinking about movies reminded me of the weekend visit with my grandchildren. The youngest walked into the sun porch, looked at me and asked: “Granddad, Do you think we could watch a movie?” Without giving me an opportunity to respond, he said: “I bet you’ve got a copy of “Tea With Mussolini”.


Immediately, I knew his father had somehow put him up to that even though he had not seen his father for the past week. The kids had been with the General in Odessa. Yet, how else would Jake have known about tea time? And “Yes”, for the record, I thought the movie was well done. Obviously Craig and Becky did not. In fact, when it comes to movies, most of my family (under the General’s influence) think I march to the beat of a different drummer.  On the other hand, what do they know?


Craig watched Lonesome Dove enough to memorize every line. He maintains that there is a line in the movie for any set of circumstances one would ever encounter. My only rebuttal is: “If you have to watch a snake swimming in the river to know what to say, I will remain speechless”.


Have you ever stopped to consider how the movies you saw during childhood impacted your view of the world? I’m not talking about the “made for children” movies, but movies with adult themes? When I say “adult themes”, I’m not talking about the kind of movies you’d be embarrassed for your mother to know you saw, but the real life portrayals of stories that highlighted emotions and relational connections.


Someone posted a picture of Audie Murphy on Facebook yesterday asking: “Do you know who this is?” Without having to think twice, I had an immediate flashback to watching the movie: “To Hell And Back” in my early childhood years. I think it was about the time I started to school. The movie starred Audie Murphy playing himself. It was his life story and featured his heroic efforts during World War II as a soldier in the U.S. Army. Following the movie, my brothers and I started playing combat soldiers instead of cowboys and Indians. The movie was impactful.


I am not sure how the question was raised in Sunday school this week, but the teacher asked: “What was the “first” most disturbing line articulated in a movie? Without giving anyone else a chance to answer, I blurted out: “Frankly my dear I don’t give a …”. I couldn’t bring myself to finish the sentence, but people got the drift. In addition, I had answered correctly. Write it down! It is not often I answer a question in Sunday school and am credited with having the right answer.


I can’t remember when I first saw the movie, “Gone With The Wind”, but it was at least 40 years following the movie’s release. I don’t remember being shocked by the line: “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.” But the line reportedly was scandalous when the film was released in 1939.


Though I don’t generally use street talk language, I guess it fell under the category of how much drama can one man endure? Rhett Butler already had more than his share. As I recall, Scarlett O’Hara had proven herself high maintenance during the 2½ hours of the film. The theme was ingrained in the core of her being.  High maintenance is not a descriptor I’d ever use to describe the General.  She is far too independent for that.  Toward the end of the movie, when Scarlett tearfully asked the questions: “Where shall I go? What shall I do?”, Rhett’s answer seemed succinctly fitting.  Please don’t tell the General I said that. It could get me in a lot of trouble.


All My Best!






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