Archive for the ‘My Fair Lady’ Category

The Basin Improvement Committee of 1890: it sounds like an exciting group to be a part of, don’t you think? Nestled on the heart of Main Street in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, this marker commemorates the intentional efforts of a small group to make things better and to improve life within the community.

If asked, I would likely say that a basin is a small container of water. According to Dictionary.com, it is that, and more…

1. a circular container with a greater width than depth, becoming smaller toward the bottom, used chiefly to hold water or other liquid, especially for washing.
2. any container of similar shape, as the pan of a balance.
3. the quantity held by such a container: We need another basin of water to dilute the mixture.
4. a natural or artificial hollow place containing water.
5. a partially enclosed, sheltered area along a shore, often partly man-made or dredged to a greater depth, where boats may be moored: a yacht basin.

I must admit, definition number 5 is my favorite. You see, I have a basin of my own, and the improvement committee has been meeting the past two days to make it even stronger. “A partially enclosed, sheltered area along a shore, often partly man-made or dredged to a greater depth…“: it’s called marriage, and yes, it is only partly man made.


To coin a phrase, I might say “those who go away together stay close”. Little Frau and I first visited Eureka Springs in the Summer of 1991. Yes, for those of you young ‘ens keeping score at home, it was indeed last century. The Frau and I had been married all of about two years, maybe a little less. We were young. We were in love. We were broke. Truth be told, we weren’t really broke, we just didn’t have much money to spend, so everything was carefully allocated to make sure we could do the trip and make it home.

The pinnacle of the trip was supposed to be a day at Silver Dollar City in Branson. Like I said, we were young, and traipsing around an amusement park in the heat seemed like the be all and end all of a good time. As we almost ran toward the ticket booth together, hand in hand, a man called out to me. It seems that he and his bride of 20+ years had gone to Silver Dollar City on their honeymoon, and returned each year as season pass holders. With the purchase of their season passes came one pair of single day tickets each year, and each year on their anniversary day visit, they would seek out a young couple to take in with them for free.

Almost in shock (remember, I was the ripe old age of 24), I asked the man if we could repay them, buy them lunch, or something else. His answer? “Do something nice for your wife with the money, and that will be just what I wanted“. We thought about that couple and their request all day. We looked at kitschy souvenirs. We thought about going to a show. Ultimately, we decided to use the money to spend a night in a Bed and Breakfast here in Eureka.

It’s not that spending a week sleeping on the ground in a $19.99 pup tent from Wal Mart isn’t romantic, but we were beginning to feel the trip growing on us. An indoor shower, air conditioner, and a bed turned out to be a pretty nice break in the trip.

A few years have come and gone since that trip. Life and kids have placed a few demands on the days and the dollars. Little Frau and I don’t get away as much anymore, at least for just the two of us. But, courtesy of kids at camp and a mid week July 4th calendar, the stars aligned for a brief 2 day excursion back to Eureka. We were not so adventurous as to desire a day in the amusement park this go round. It seems this Basin Improvement Committee of two finds catching up with old friends, casual dining, a small bit of kitschy souvenir shopping, reading, and napping more the order of the day. And it has all happened at a little Bed and Breakfast just a few doors down and 21 years removed from the last Eureka meeting of our little group.

I think we may not wait so long to reconvene the next time…



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Beach combing. It is a lost art, in this era of digital entertainment, marathon shopping, and amusement parks. I have been amazed on the recently completed trip to see how many “attractions” are built on the way to or even on sight at natural beauty destination spots like the ocean shore.

Or is it a lost art? Little Frau and I, along with our entourage of Kinder, have made a routine out of visiting the coastline every other year or so, and the list of destinations is growing. And we don’t adopt an aggressive agenda while enjoying this part of God’s creation. As Number One Son expressed a few days ago: “we can do that stuff at home – we came to the beach”. Smart boy! And, I might add, he has to sunburn to (dis)prove it.

As we drew nearer to our destination of home today, I sat in a quiet hotel room with sleeping family members and
reflected on beach visits past.

There was the first family visit, celebrating the first wedding anniversary for LF and myself. It was her first time to see the ocean: any ocean. Remember, she is a West Texas girl, born and raised. She just stood at the water’s edge for what seemed like an eternity, but not going into the water. Her first two statements about the visit still stick with me: “The water goes on forever”, and “Do you see any fish flying the Portuguese flag?”. (that would be a Jellyfish, for those who are beachcomber novices). Little did she know that, one day, Number One Son would be a multi repeat victim of said Portuguese warriors, and she a supplier of the “home remedy” antidote.

As I conclude today’s post, the following two lists are of the beaches that God and career of provided us opportunity to visit over the past 21 years, even if just for a 30
minute stroll while passing thru, and a handful of beaches I would put on “The Bucket List”:

Visited (hopefully, in order):

Virginia Beach, VA (pre family)
Panama City, FL (pre family)
Galveston Island
Frau/Family visits:

Corpus Christi, TX/Mustang Island
Jacksonville, FL/Amelia Island
Sea Island, GA
Hilton Head, SC
San Diego, CA
Cannon Beach, OR
Galveston, TX
Miami/Key Biscayne, FL
and now, Gulf Shores, AL.

And the bucket list? Maybe the eastern coast line of Japan, the beaches of Normandy, France, and, of course, Hawaii. Maybe, someday.

In the meantime, we have the memories, and maybe some
sand in a few places we have yet to find…


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Pearly shells
From the Ocean
Shining in the sun
Covering the shore

When I see them
My heart tells me
I love you
More than all
Those little pearly shells

Those pearly shells.


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In this “Switch” moment, I’m reminded of Charlie Sheen, the famed crazed film star who has quite possibly ruined his career, if not his life. Charlie may not choose to “Switch!” for the better, but his employer network certainly has. CBS has made the switch, and they are moving on without him. It kind of makes you wonder if all the crazy acting in “Hot Shots” and other projects was really acting at all.


And it got me to thinking. Sorry to spoil the fun.

Sherry has Rheumatoid Arthritis. We’ve covered it all before. One of the greatest blessings of living in the 21st Century is the advent of new medications. But, can blessings and curses come from the same needle? Quite possibly. Quite possibly.

You see, there are the side effects. Aside from that, the drugs don’t always work. No scientist or doctor has ever cracked the code sufficient to tell you how a unique human being’s body will respond, act, and react. “Hot shots”, indeed.

Things are not working so well, medicinally. Unlike the picture above, Sherry’s no chicken. She is a brave trooper, and is searching for the best right path. A “Switch!” is in order. If you, dear reader are a friend and acquaintance, or not, please be in prayer that this switch will be the right one. A few weeks to go, and we should know soon enough.

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My fair lady

I received a $10 gift card e-credit from Amazon the other evening for participating in an online survey about something.    In scanning the choices for how to use this newly acquired prize, I ventured into the world of “Musicals”.     Sherry and I, many years ago, went to Casa Manana in Fort Worth and saw the son of Rex Harrison reprise his father’s role as Henry Higgens in My Fair Lady.    And there it was, the perfect choice.   We love that musical, and I can’t wait to watch it with the kids soon.  

One of my favorite songs in the show reminds me of my favorite person around, but she’s no mere flower girl:

I’ve grown accustomed to her face.

She almost makes the day begin.

I’ve grown accustomed to the tune that

She whistles night and noon.

Her smiles, her frowns,

Her ups, her downs

Are second nature to me now;

Like breathing out and breathing in.

I was serenely independent and content before we met;

Surely I could always be that way again-

And yet

I’ve grown accustomed to her look;

Accustomed to her voice;

Accustomed to her face.

….But I’m a most forgiving man;

The sort who never could, ever would,

Take a position and staunchly never budge.

A most forgiving man…. (editorial comment: only because she has showed me how it’s done!)  🙂

But I’m so used to hear her say

“Good morning” ev’ry day.

Her joys, her woes,

Her highs, her lows,

Are second nature to me now;

Like breathing out and breathing in.

I’m very grateful she’s a woman

And so easy to forget;

Rather like a habit

One can always break-

And yet,

I’ve grown accustomed to the trace

Of something in the air;

Accustomed to her face.

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I love my wife dearly.   The photo montage is but a glimpse of the many windows into the soul that is S.A.B.    She truly is MY fair lady.


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