Today In Former Years

This section of my website traces a day, or related set of days, from my diary over a span of years. Each change to a different year is marked by a yellow highlight. -- jwc

Excerpts From John Cowart’s Journals:

August 28, 1992 to 2003


John W. Cowart

Friday, August 28, 1992:

Worked on Glog manuscript.

No check.

During devotions, we got to discussing diaries and journals. It turns out that Donald, Eve and Patricia all keep journals too. We each read suitable portions to the rest of the family and had great fun talking about our records of life. I read them sections from my 1982 journal -- sections which concerned each one of them personally.

About 4 p.m., my brother David called to announce he's coming to spend the weekend with us. He arrived about 9 p.m. and took me grocery shopping to buy food for all of us to eat over the weekend.

Later, he and Pat and I shrimped most of the night at the dock.

August, 1993

A friend invited me out deep-sea fishing.

We went about two miles offshore at the mouth of the St. Johns.

I baited my hook with a tough squid tentacle and it was only in the water about five minutes when a fish struck. The monster fought whipping the line from side to side and running. I reeled him close then had to let him run to the length of the line again and again. Finally he broke the surface. Magnificent!

For 45 minutes the fish battled, thrashing and running and pulling till at last he got close enough to net and lift into the boat. It was a type of sea bass called a red snapper and he measured 39 inches long!

He felt like a swimming refrigerator!

I had no idea that God even made fish that big!

The sides shimmered silver with the dorsal scales shining with a reddish tint. Huge eyes, bright and proud. Fins like delicate Chinese fans. The biggest, most beautiful fish I have ever seen. During the day I caught four similar fish and the boat weighted in 56 additional pounds of other varieties of fish…. Also this year I had one book published and a tv talk show interviewed me for an hour.


Sunday, August  28, 1994:

              Slow, do-nothing day.

Monday, August  29, 1994:

Helped Donald and Eve get stuff ready for college. Donald bought us $178 worth of groceries on his credit card.

Tuesday, August  30, 1994:

This evening I borrowed the van from church and used it to move Eve and Donald's stuff to the University.

After I got the kids moved in, I decided to use the van to go shrimping at the place off the downtown River Walk where I caught so many with David last year.

It was after midnight when I was free to go and downtown I discovered the Main Street bridge was closed for repairs so I used the Acosta. On a street corner near the bridge approach a black man waved me down; poor bastard was trying to get home in Southside and no busses run that late. In spite of all the recent news of car jacking and muggings, I decided to drive him home. I feel acutely aware of how hard life is without wheels and I also wondered if this good deed might be the reason God allowed me to borrow the church van. But I drove the man home without any strong witness to him and without incident. I drove back to the shrimping spot...

A pox upon all yankee carpetbaggers! The bastards have posted no shrimping signs all along the boat landing area! Blocking the best spot to shrimp in Jacksonville. A pox upon them.

I decided to see if perhaps the Northbank River Walk might do for shrimping and crossed to the other side of the St. Johns. No signs posted but nobody out there shrimping either.

I saw a police car parked on Water Street and decided to ask the officer. He gave me directions to a spot near the fire boat dock where many people shrimp. Then he asked, "Say, what is that written on the side of your van?"


The policeman jumped from his patrol car as though I'd stuck him with an electric cattle prod; I mean he popped straight up out of that car.

"I've been sitting here all night thinking about God," he said, "And I've got some questions I want to ask you."

The man seemed starved to know about God. He had a Bible in his car and had been marking it as he tried to reconcile the horrors of pimps and prostitutes and drug dealers and child abusers he confronts every night with the message of forgiveness he reads in God's Word.

We'd talked for almost an hour when his radio gave a call -- a shooting on Davis Street. He dashed for the car yelling to me, "You stay right here till I get back; I've got more questions."

He squealed away siren blasting and blue lights flashing.

He returned shortly and our conversation about God's forgiveness and the sureness of salvation resumed.

Again the radio called him -- domestic disturbance. Again he begged me to wait.

He came back to the same spot by the river behind the old jail and again we talked about forgiveness but this time we talked not about how God could forgive all those bad guys the officer meets every night but about the wonder that He can forgive those of us who are not outright criminals. I pointed him to the scripture about the Pharisee and the Publican -- God be merciful to me a sinner -- and to the words where Jesus says he came not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.

 While the policeman questioned about how God could forgive the pimps, prostitutes and street scum, he'd apparently never related God's forgiveness to his own sins. It seemed to open a whole new world of thought to him.

The radio called him again at about 4 a.m. and I had to leave without having even wet my nets.

So, when I got to my own shrimp dock near home I decided to try for an hour before daylight drove whatever few shrimp there might be away to deep water -- in an hour and a half, I caught and headed as many shrimp as I usually get in a whole night's casting! Large shrimp. Fine ones. Swarms of them every cast... Do you suppose God's hand was somewhere in this?

Summary of August, 1995

Right before Easter last year, our fortunes sank so low that I took a job as night janitor at Good Shepherd Episcopal Church where we have been members for about 20 years. My duties consisted of cleaning toilets, mopping floors and setting up for meetings.

While Jim Dannals, our rector, was away in England for four months on sabbatical leave, he asked me, the church janitor, to teach his Bible class. We studied the Gospel of Luke. One of the things I discovered in scrounging around for visual aids for teaching this class was that out of 25 stained glass windows in our sanctuary, 16 of them portray scenes recorded in Luke. I took our class on a tour of our own church one Sunday morning and presented the entire Gospel from the angels appearing to the shepherds to the Resurrection using quotes from Luke and scenes from our own windows.

Another high point of this time of janitoring happened one night during a violent rain storm. Good Shepherd's AIDS support group was scheduled to meet but the leaders had canceled the meeting.

Six people with AIDS showed up at the church. They knew the support group normally met there, but since none of them had ever attended before, they did not know about the cancellation. Other people showed up also till the group numbered about 30 AIDS patients or their relatives.

Betty, the parish nurse, and I called all over trying to locate a leader and finally I contacted Tom Smith, an associate priest. He said to sent the people home and tell them to come back in two weeks.

Betty and I felt that if the need was compelling enough for these people to come out in the storm, they ought to be given something. So the two of us, who had also never been to an AIDS meeting, led this group of dying people. I presented a gospel message from Luke and Betty facilitated the discussion.

One of the persons in the meeting was a male dressed as a female: the first time -- that I know of -- when I've had a transvestite in my Bible class.

The group was so taken with what we were doing that they lingered for close to four hours before they left for home.

The following Sunday, the transvestite (dressed as a male this time) and one other from the AIDS group attended my Sunday School class on Luke.

Within two weeks, two people who attended the impromptu AIDS group were dead -- one of aids; the other, a suicide.

By and large, the highpoint of my being janitor at the church lay in two areas: virtually every night I used the huge wooden floor of  Worsham Hall to practice aikido, and virtually every night, I used my pass key to open the pool and swim alone in the dark.

On Friday nights, Ginny would go in to work with me and we'd bring in supper and picnic in the courtyard by the fountain for our Friday Night Date, a custom we have kept for years.

The main difficulty was living with a foot in two divergent worlds. I was at church as a servant, there to clean toilets; at the same time, I served as a church leader, vestryman and teacher. Keeping my balance between these roles proved harder than I thought it would.

Incidentally, my pay as janitor was $4.25 an hour, the minimum legal wage.


September 29, 1997

Dear Jim,

Settled in from the move to your new home yet?

Even though we've lived here for close to two years now, I'm still pawing blank walls for where the light switches were in the old house!

Every time I do that I say a prayer of thanksgiving for you and how you spearheaded getting this home for us. It has made such a difference. Thank you.

I'm sure that Ron & Genia (the old guy and the stroke victim) also give thanks for you and the way you helped them get established in that apartment on College Street. Their place is appalling but a tremendous upgrade from where they were. They have started attending Good Shepherd for worship and Sunday School; he pushes her around in the wheelchair. They appear to be very happy in the new circumstances you made possible.

The adult Bible class finally finished Judges. Since we began in February, we've studied such fine biblical topics as assassination, mutilation, betrayal, sexual bondage trips, genocide, murder, stealing, human sacrifice, religious prostitution, idolatry, etc. During the final lesson when I asked "What did you get out of our study of Judges?" one perceptive Bible scholar replied, "Now we know what to do to an enemy if we decide NOT to turn the other cheek!"

A few weeks ago a dirt-eating plant which Ginny and I have had for about 25 years, a thing called a Night Blooming Ceres, finally decided to bloom. Late at night it sprouts spectacular huge fragrant flowers which open fast enough to see the movement, but the flowers die when touched by morning light. About 8:15 that night I began calling members of the Bible class and a few neighbors to come watch it with us: (long list of names), et al.

Our first guest arrived at 8:30.  A bunch of people brought cameras and video recorders to film the event; several called friends and relatives to come over too. Soon 21 people gathered on our back porch to sit in the dark (if you shine a light on the flowers they begin to close up), enjoy milk and cookies, chat and watch that plant grow. Ginny and I went on to bed at 2:30 leaving the die-hard plant lovers to lock up; our final guests left at 6 the next morning. Wild night-life at the Cowarts!…

I have resumed work on the church library: the new display in Craig is GET A LIFE! -- a collection of biographies ranging from Pontius Pilate and King Herod to Billy Graham and Mother Teresa. I'm also helping a bit with WESCO, trying to get them settled  in a new location (borrowed, alas; not their own building) so we can distribute food baskets by Thanksgiving.

My writing progresses at a snail’s pace. While I have sold a couple of revamped magazine articles, the book for the IVP contract on following God's will proves beyond my ability to ether live or write about. When you pray that old BCP prayer for “Those in mental darkness”, please insert my name among those others you remember. I'm just totally bogged down with this ms.

On top of that, as I think I may have told you,  my former literary agent has closed up shop and moved on from books to the movies. So if you happen to have an agent or publisher in your new congregation, I'd like to get in touch with them.

Our kids seem to be doing well: Donald continues studies in Gainesville; Jennifer continues to take care of AIDS babies; Eve expects to begin teaching locally next week while her applications to teach in Germany are being processed. Patricia has resurfaced alive and healthy; Gin & I are not killing any fatted calf yet, but trying to treat her with love tempered with caution…

Ginny's temp work moves on from day to day; Twice she went in for her last day at work to the point of packing up her coffee mug and desk stuff, and twice at the end of the day they asked her to remain for one more report, or one more audit. One of her accounting reports apparently recovered close to $60,000 from last year's program for them so they seem ambivalent about letting her go altogether, but they still don't have a permanent job for her. So while the work is temporary and could end today or tomorrow or yesterday, they keep finding things for her to do. Good, but nevertheless this shaky situation keeps us off balance.

O well, all this stuff helps us take comfort in that  Scripture we seem to live by – you know, the one where Jesus said, "Don't let your right hand know what your right hand is doing"  -- or something like that.


John Cowart

August 26, 1998

Busy day. Up at 4. Made journal entries. Walked Gin to her bus. Bought a roast for supper.

Called FOLIO editor Bob Snell: we discussed the earthquake article and the possibility of my writing a monthly historical column for FOLIO.

Called several book stores to track down a copy of T. Frederick Davis' History of Jacksonville.

Called Barbara and asked her to pick up a copy from San Marco Books and bring it to me.

The manager of Blockbuster Videos, called asking for help with Titanic materials to promote release of the movie video next week; I promised to send him xerox copies of one of my articles. If I'd been thinking, I may have made some money out of this commercial venture; but I was thinking in terms of a tract for witnessing to Christ (he plans to give out a couple of hundred copies of my article with the video promotion) so I did not even ask for payment.

Barbara brought the Davis book and we ate lunch at China Beach. After she left, I put on the roast to cook and researched historical events associated with the earthquake. Barbara lost her house key and had to return for it.

Picked up Ginny, had supper. After watching a little tv, we sat on out deck for a couple of hours talking and watching three blossoms on our night blooming Ceres open till midnight -- a wonderful evening, the best part of our day.

Thursday, August 27, 1998

Up and to work at 4 a.m. Walked Ginny to bus at 7: we were late but the bus driver saw her walking from about two blocks away and waited at the corner for her -- they always wait for pretty girls.

Hazel and Bobby came by at 9 to give me a new wooden box.

I dashed to the bus at 9:30 and arrived at the library at 10.

Spent a delightful day hunched over a microfilm machine with a magnifying glass held to my nose trying to read hundred-year-old fine print which would have been difficult to read the day it was printed.

I discovered the source material for two incidents to go with the 1886 earthquake to expand the article as Bob wanted.

More importantly, I remembered that ten or 15 years ago I'd once seen some crumbling bound volumes of old magazines in the stacks. I traced these down to where they'd been moved in the basement to see just how old they are... They date back to the early 1800s -- and each one contains magnificent engravings of newsworthy events of the time!!!

Here's a copy of the Sept 11, 1888, cover illustrating the yellow fever epidemic:

I am so excited by these. I plan to use them to illustrate any future historical articles if Bob Snell accepts my proposal for a regular historical column.

As I entered the library this morning I ran into Patricia. She has registered at FCCJ and is taking seven hours this semester. It was nice to see her. She works processing books for the library and Ty works there also. I went to lunch with them at Jacksonville Landing.

Patricia took several huge, bound magazine volumes upstairs and xeroxed them for me on a quality copier reserved for staff use only. I'm delighted!

Met Ginny at 4:30 (she was late and I fussed at her for keeping me waiting while she fooled around with that lame-duck job) but we soon made up and rode the bus home together. Ate supper and watched football.

There was a phone message for Michael Galleon on our answering machine. He's the young artist I met by chance months ago while going through trash in front of his house. I saw a few of his paintings. They impressed me. I got one of his cards and called a friend with the Riverside Fine Arts Association about his work. She told me she would have John Bunker, former curator of both the Jax Museum of Contemporary Art and of the Cummer Gallery, call this young artist to see if his work made the grade for an exhibit.

Bunker had called my answering machine thinking it was Michael Galleon's, so I called Galleon to relay the message... Nothing may come of this or perhaps it will give the artist the break he needs to advance his career. I certainly hope so...

Because of my being a catalyst in all this (unknown to all parties directly concerned) perhaps I can now think of myself as JOHN COWART, PATRON OF THE ARTS. But because my roll is so insignificant that title is a trifle vain; however, maybe I can realistically identify myself as an art elf.

Friday, August 28, 1998

Up at 3 a.m. (can't blame that on a hidden alarm clock). Made journal entry and started work on revamping earthquake article. Walked Gin to bus then returned to work sorting all those tiny, tiny-print microfilm copies. Coloring the copy with yellow highlighter pens brings up the print enough to read it with a magnifying glass.

Talked with the editor: he wants me to work on revisions this weekend; he will come by and pick up the revised  article early next week; he will pay an extra $50 for my locating photographs & illustrations – that comes to about $10 a day for this extra work. But, since in the past they haven’t paid anything at all for my research, I guess I come out ahead.

Cleaned pool. Took a 30-minute nap. Gin walked home by herself because she had to give out paychecks to the site aids and did not know what time she would get off work…

I love her so much. She is the best thing that ever happened to me in my whole life.

We are both concerned about her job ending soon without prospects of another one. She brought home an engraved award trophy they gave her for being an outstandingly dedicated employee; but they have not worked out the details of hiring her full time yet. That certainly sends her mixed signals.

Today she used an obscure computer software program to track down some state papers which may mean the program's getting paid for 196 sites which they would otherwise have to pay for themselves thus saving the program thousands and thousands of dollars. The others in the office had no idea the computer program even existed. Who is going to know how to reclaim money for the agency like that if Ginny is not there next year?

And beyond that, today she went to all kinds of extra effort to track down monitor paychecks which (another agency) had sent to various delivery sites all over hell and gone. Gin worked the extra unpaid hours to ensure that the poor minimum-wage workers got their pittance and could buy food for the weekend. Having been poor for so long ourselves, Ginny is keenly aware of how much having a paycheck on time means to the workers, so she makes every possible effort to get the money into their hands.

All these things she sees as her normal Christian duty and she does it, whereas other people I have seen in positions similar to her's dismiss such problems with a wave and tell the workers to "call back next week". Boy! I wish Ginny had been working in the offices which screwed up my paychecks so many times in the past. Most of those workers project the attitude that they've got their's so why should they worry about your's.

Saturday, August 29, 1998

Began revision work at 4 a.m. and wrote till Ginny got up at 9 and fixed us a full breakfast of bacon, eggs and home fries (wonderful!)

Then she worked on plants and flowers in the yard while I continued to write the earthquake article till 2. We took frequent smoke breaks together in the shade and thoroughly enjoyed being "together" in this way all day.

Afternoon snuggle and nap. Walked to grocery store. Read and snuggled all evening.

Today's mail brought a rejection from Fantasy ¢ Science Fiction for "A Preliminary Report On The Bluegill Mound". The editor views it as an episode instead of a story. It is one of my favorite pieces…. I'll try F&SF with "Hard Sell" next.

Saturday, August 28, 1999: (On vacation in Maryland)

After our morning walks, Alva drove us to a large community thrift store where I bought a grotesque statue of a dead Mexican dog.

In the afternoon we attended a community picnic sponsored by some civic group Jack and Alva are active in. We ate pot-luck covered dish suppers with plenty of burgess made from vegetable protein (the community is very health-food conscious, fanatically so).

We  all enjoyed a free boat ride out on the Potomac for a close-up view of Mount Vernon.

After the picnic and boat ride  There was a drawing for door prizes and as a joke every prize winner received a tomato (the area has experiences a bumper crop of tomatoes and everyone has too many to eat, sell or can; gardens overflow with them). This caused a great deal of laughter as the tomato prizes were awarded to supplement the other prizes: bottles of wine, movie passes, hand-woven baskets, etc.

The highpoint of the event was when the judge drew the ticket stub of a five-year-old boy whose win thrilled him. He dashed forward to the girls handing out tomatoes and snatched his, clutching it to his bosom and dashing back to show his mother -- without waiting to get the real prize! The judge and his mother wisely decided to pass on to drawing another ticket stub so they would not spoil the little boy's sense of triumph in winning his very own tomato.

The entire event reflected authentic rural Americana. People gathered at a park for a picnic where their only ties are that they all reside in the same community. Little else in common.

This was held at a colonial replica farm sponsored by the community. The private water-front park I visit every morning is community owned and maintained by residents with no government involvement.

Sunday, August 29, 1999:

After my morning walk, Gin & I attended Faith United Methodist Church with Alva. The church youth group led this morning's service putting on a skit based on the life of Moses. The pastor chose today for a time of answering questions from the congregation: What is the roll of women in the church in the light of Paul's prohibition of their teaching men? Is there really a Heaven and Hell? etc. The questions revealed a spiritual depth to the people that I had not suspected. At a recent Good Shepherd class a woman who has attended all her life asked me how to find the gospel of Matthew in her Bible!

I donated a box of 60 copies of my book on prayer to the church's ministry to the homeless; the pastor asked me to autograph a copy for him.

After service Gin & I drove around the Capital Beltway to New Carrollton, Md., to visit Fred and John. They appear to be doing fine although Johnny has lost an unhealthy amount of weight. We also met Johnny's girlfriend, Stacy, who identifies herself as a practitioner of wica. A number of people attended the feast and she dispensed a number of herb remedies among them.

Fred cooked a gourmet meal of roasted chicken and a barley & lintels dish which tasted delicious. After the fire which gutted their old four-bedroom house, the boys re-designed their present home into two huge bedrooms with fireplaces and an enormous bathroom with a monster huge tub. A full basement consisting of a massive single room with no supporting pillars under girds the whole house.

Fred refurbished the kitchen to include a commercial gas range and every sort of state-of-the-art kitchen utensil imaginable. The boys gather a group of eight or ten friends, all computer geeks, each Sunday afternoon to watch camp movies and dine of Fred's gourmet cooking.

We did not experience much private conversation or intimacy with Fred or John, their friends acted as a buffer, but it was a pleasant experience nonetheless.

Monday, August 30, 1999:

Jack and Alva took us to the Nature Center where they do volunteer work. Jack constructed a massive model of a standing turtle for the museum there. He leads geology studies there while Alva teaches basketry. Both have helped with many of the exhibits.

The four of us walked a trail around a nearby lake which is inhabited by beaver and I picked up some logs gnawed by the rodents to bring home for our garden path.

At the nature center Jack and Alva have contributed greatly to the establishment of a butterfly garden. I'd read of such things but this was the first one I've ever seen. On the banks of a stream, they fenced off an area and planted a profusion of plants which especially attract different species of butterflies. Some plants are for the caterpillars to eat, others support cocoons, and others flower for adult butterflies. It was lovely.

Back at the house Alva took us on a plundering tour of their garden. She dug out many plants for us to carry home. Jack broke out his seed box and labeled envelopes of seeds for us. We ended up with a car full to transplant. Great fun…


Sunday, August 27, 2000:

Bishop Jecko spoke at church this morning. At my invitation he also attended our Adult Bible Class and appeared to enjoy Wes' teaching.

After church, Gin & I again visited the estate sale on Acosta Street which we'd been to yesterday; we have been debating the wisdom of buying two bedside tables and a hassock which caught my fancy. But again, we chose to buy a few kitchen items only because of the expense ($55) of the furniture and the hassle we'd have transporting it home without a car.

After brunch, Ginny lay around reading and spending time alone in her office while I moved dirt. I raised two flower beds in the back yard and tore out some termite-riddled garden logs in front. The project took lots of dirt.

Gin came out later and transplanted some impatiens and roses into the new beds. We worked till it got too dark to see what we were doing…

Jennifer came by bringing us a pool vacuum and hose and taking the $100 and some odds and ends to Eve.

Monday, August 28, 2000:

Gin & I walked to Winn Dixie to do our grocery shipping then again discussed the furniture on Acosta Street. We decided to walk back down there browsing in the boutique (what other people call dumpster diving)  as we strolled. No one was at the house so I left a note asking the ladies running the sale to call me.

Gin again lounged reading and relaxing while I did odd small chores; I did finally get Barbara's birdbath repaired.

The lady from the sale called in the afternoon and I'm to take her the $55 and pick up the furniture tomorrow around noon…

My, but we've enjoyed this vacation time.

As we watched tv news we heard a loud noise outside our window and looked out to find Rex on a ridding lawnmower cutting our grass as well as his own. He appeared to be having a ball. In ten minutes he mowed our yard, a chore that takes me about three hours to do with the push mower.

What a good neighbor!

Slowly but surely our garden is taking shape again after all the debris of pool repair and that massive dirt pile. The Cowart construction site is disappearing and in a few weeks our garden will again come to light.

Tuesday, August 29, 2000:

Walked Gin to her bus then came home to work: I wrote five pages on the will of God book using the scheduling techniques Burns teaches in his cognitive therapy books.

It feels good to be back writing!

I'd begun to think I'd never write again.

The estate sale lady, called last night and I made arrangements with Barbara to drive me to pick up the two bedside tables and the green hassock. Therefore, I had to move furniture and clear room for the new pieces and vacuum the floors, etc.

All I've done in the way of housework recently is to track in dirt from the pile I've been moving; but today I gave the whole house a once-over.

After withdrawing our last few cents from the bank and picking up the furniture, I treated Barbara to curry at China Beach and paid her back the $13.39 She lent me last week at Cal's when I'd lost my wallet.

When she left, I polished (sort of) our two brass lamps and the new furniture. One of the bottom drawer handles on an end table was loose and I put is somewhere so I would be sure not to lose it...

I did.

I can't find the thing anywhere.

We're talking about an eight-ounce chunk of brass here.

O well, it will turn up. Or it won't.

When Ginny got home we rearranged furniture reducing the clutter in our home greatly. These three new pieces replace five old pieces which are destined to ... Gin says they are too shabby to give to the mission. Hey, we gleaned them from the trash ten to twenty years ago in the first place, so they have been thoroughly recycled by now.

I talked with Donald this evening; he and Pandora do plan to divorce. He is ready to file the papers now but she wants to wait till December because she is still covered by his medical insurance till then…

Gin & I feel so sorry for these two good kids and we grieve for their pain.

But sometimes things just do not work out. 

That's life.

We think they are both honorable, decent people and will do the right thing as far as circumstances allow.

We plan to ask Donald if he'd like to spend some of the Labor Day weekend with us to relax.

Wednesday, August 30, 2000:

Last night Gin & I decided to take the Christian Life & Witness course offered by Billy Graham's team to prepare councilors for November's crusade. We'd planned to discuss this at length but found an immediate consensus. We decided to volunteer to drive the church van transporting any church members who wish to attend the course.

Therefore, during my prayer and exercise walk this morning I stopped at church and conferred with Ken Kruger and the pastor about dates, times and logistics. All systems go.

On my walk home I noticed a starving, ribs-showing dog tied in the backyard of a house on Willow Branch where some drug addicts hang out; the sight gnawed at me as I think the Lord reminded me that the righteous man regardeth the life of his beast. So, once home, I felt compelled to dig in our trash can and retrieve a dog food bag we'd thrown out when we stored Sheba's food in the metal can, and I refilled the bag and walked back to the house.

The lady who answered the door appeared apprehensive, thinking I intended to fuss at her for some reason, but she turned all smiles when I told her that our dog did not like this brand and I thought her dog might eat it. She explained that she was "out of dog food" but had tried to feed her dog white rice.

This project took about 45 minutes out of my work schedule but I suspect God wants me to have some contact with these people.

I actually wrote for another three hours today, producing another four or five pages!

Thanks Be To God!

After 2 p.m. I did some long-delayed yard chores then shaved and cleaned up to go meet Gin.

As we returned from the bus stop, we talked a minute with Dolly & Bubba; I asked them about the lawnmower they had for sale last summer. Bubba said he'd given it to his brother... but five minutes after we got home, Bubba appeared at our door saying his brother brought the mower back and we could have it! The blade needs sharpening but it appears to run fine. I'm delighted with this blessing.

I have hated to borrow Rex's all the time: I worry constantly that I might break it.

Anyhow, I'm happy to have access to my own mower, via Bubba's charity, so that I can time mowing at my convenience instead of working around Rex's schedule. I plan to let Rex know about the mower so he can borrow it from me when he needs it while his is in the shop.

Called Donald and he will come for two days over the holiday weekend.   

Thursday, August 31, 2000:

I did not write any today. I woke out of sorts and remained so all day rebelling against the thought of writing.

Tuesday,  August 27,  2002 Through Friday, August 30th:

These days were devoted to helping Barbara move, to helping Eve get organized for her trip to London, and helping Jennifer & Pat get off for a trip to Atlanta. I don’t remember what Gin & I did for ourselves… On Friday, Eve finally boarded her plane at 3 in the afternoon; and Jennifer and Pat caught their flight at 7 that same evening. Ginny and I had use of Jennifer’s Nissan Xteria for the weekend, but that involved going to Jennifer’s house three times a day to take care of her yapping dogs, poor neurotic little things. But eventually they stopped cowering beneath the sofa and let me feed them.

Thursday, August 28, 2003

I spent most of today working on material for the web site. I’ve been excerpting journal materials for the “today in years past” feature.

This evening Adam came over and installed a Nero CD Burner on my computer. He disassembled then reassembled the whole thing. Amazing; I’m scared to touch it! Now I will be able to save my files to a CD disc as backup copies. I have been riding barebacked in that I have no backup of my work since I transferred materials from the Amstrad!


Besides, with hurricane season upon us, if we have to evacuate, CDs are a lot easier to carry than the whole huge computer...



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