Wednesday, December 29, 2004


Yep, I've been looking back, looking at now, and looking at the future. In his painting, "An Allegory of Prudence," 16th century Venetian artist Titian portrayed Prudence as a man with three heads. One head was of youth facing the future, another was of a mature man eyeing the present, and the third was of a wise old man gazing at the past. Over their heads Titian wrote a Latin phrase that means, "From the example of the past, the man of the present acts prudently so as not to imperil the future." With the new year right around the corner, I think we need this kind of wisdom to overcome the anxiety created by our past failures and the fear of repeating them in the future-an anxiety that keeps us from living to the fullest now. Sometimes I try to forget my past and anticipate the future. My memory hasn't been erased but I do feel more free of any guilt I may have felt from some of my past actions. I have to forgive myself, and hope that I have been forgiven by any I may have hurt, but know in my heart I have been forgiven by God. As we close the chapter of 2004, I believe with His help I will be able to live fully in the present and I will gain wisdom from the past and face the future with courage. There's a saying, can't remember where it came from but it goes "Don't ever let your bleak past overshadow a bright future." I like that. I hope everyone has a blessed and wonderful Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

The Harpers

The first picture is the same little kids from the last entry in front of the house.  The second picture is the father from the last entry with all his brother's and one sister.  If you got out a phone book in my home town, Harper would probably be the name that you would find more of than any other name.  My Pepa used to tell me so many stories about his family, they were quite interesting.  It all started with in the picture in front of the house or actully his great grandfather was the first Harper to come to the town I'm from.  His great grandfather was Leonard Harper.

Leonard Harper Sr. is the progenitor of the large Harper Family of
Irwin and Coffee Counties, Georgia. Leonard was born abt. 1735 in
Peas Creek, NC, according to Huxford's Pioneers of Wiregrass Georgia.
To date Peas Creek has not been located but may well be Pea Creek, SC.

According to Huxford, Leonard Harper Sr. came to Liberty Co., GA
(which was later cut into McIntosh Co.), with his son, Leonard Jr., during
the Revolutionary War.* In the Surveyor's General Dept. in Atlanta, GA,
there are four headgrants issued to Leonard Harper and perhaps his
son, Leonard Harper Jr. The claims are:

200 acres - Glynn County - 1798
400 acres - McIntosh County - 1803
200 acres - McIntosh County - 1816
102 acres - McIntosh County - 1819

Upon arriving to survey the ground for one of his headgrants (which
you could receive by paying a a filing fee of 5.00) Leonard found a
house had been constructed and someone was living in it. The man
residing there invited Leonard in, gave him a meal and a bed for the night.
The following morning Leonard rose, pulled the title for the headgrant
from his pocket, and told the hospitable gentleman that the property
now belonged to him.

Life on the new frontier was perilous and indians were an everyday part
of the lives of Leonard and his family. The Creek Indians made a raid on Leonard's plantation in Liberty Co., in 1788. The indians made away with his horses and hogs and, according to family lore, the house was burned and
all of Leonard's tools along with miscellaneous items were taken.
Leonard's wife and children hid in the bushes during the raid. Leonard
later found the tools and other items buried in his field when he was
plowing.  Leonard Harper Jr. filed a claim with the Indian Claims Bureau
on behalf of himself, and his siblings, as a result of this raid. The claim
was paid. (These records can be obtained from the Bureau of Indian
Affairs, Washington, D.C.)

Emily Gray Martin, Gentlemen and Their Ladies - Gray Family History,
states that Leonard fought in the Revolutionary War, participating in
the battles of Troy and Sumpter. It is said that he had the fastest horse
of any, having outrun the British on at least one occasion. With the
British in pursuit Leonard approached a wide gully. He and his horse
jumped, the British came to the edge and stopped.

It is not known who Leonard's wife actually was but it is said that she
was Dutch (according to records found in Irwin Co., GA). Emily Gray
Martin states that " . . . Leonard Harper Sr. met the boat carrying
five females from Holland who came here looking for husbands.
It was told Leonard Sr. married one of them (black-Dutch)."

*I personally feelthat there is a discrepancy in Huxford's work. He
states that the son of Leonard Harper Sr., Leonard Harper Jr., was
born in 1788 in Liberty Co., GA. However, I believe that there was a
third Leonard Harper, b. abt. 1735, and known as Leonard Sr.,
husband of Elizabeth. Elizabeth applied for administration of his estate
on April 12, 1804 (McIntosh Co.). I believe that this is the Leonard Sr.
that Huxford was referring to and that he came to McIntosh Co., GA,
with his son Leonard during the Revolutionary War. Upon the death of
the father the son became Leonard Sr. - this would be the Leonard Sr.
who died in McIntosh Co., GA, in 1822 and was probably b. abt. 1750.
His son, Leonard Jr., born 1788, died in Irwin Co., GA, in 1845. This
opinion is further strengthened by the fact that Leonard reportedly
did not bring a wife with him to Georgia but married a Dutch woman
after his arrival.


The Harper Plantation

This is one of the oldest houses in Ocilla I was telling you about it belonged to my great great grandparents, Henry S.C. Harper and his wife Sallie Vickers Harper.  It is still standing and looks great.  The picture I put in my picture of the day journal is of the back of the house with their entire family home for Christmas.  This picture is of my great grandparents, the little boy in the middle is of my grandfather. 

Monday, December 27, 2004

Christmas pictures

Christmas pictures 2004

My 37th Christmas!

My last entry was about Celebrate the BABY, well I did that this past weekend, plus had a wonderful time with our baby Ethan.  Mike and I went home on Thursday and I showed him around the little town I grew up in, starting with the old Harper plantation, and the oldest home in my town which belonged to my great-great grandfather.  We went by to see Andy, Dena, and the boys, Eli was sleeping, but we got to spend some time with Ethan, both the boys were sick the entire weekend with some kind of bad flu, they were coughing, and runny noses the entire weekend.  Autumn on the other hand was feeling good, she had us running around chasing her and making sure all the attention was on her.  Sherry went all out the entire weekend, beautiful decorations, and the food was excellent, Thursday we had a lasagna party, Dena, Andy and the boys came over.  We rested most of Friday, took care of Autumn while everyone was shopping, we took her too the park to see the Christmas deocorations.  Then everyone came over that night and we exchanged gifts, and ate well again.  We left Christmas morning, and came back to Jacksonville where we went over to Mike's mom and had dinner with his mom and sister and nephew.   Sherry got engaged, and got a beautiful engagement ring.  So there should be a wedding coming up soon.  I'll put more pictures in my next entry.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Celebrate The BABY

I've been going through old baby pictures, my moms, dads, grandparents, sisters, brother, niece, and nephews.  Something about babies, so beautiful.  It's almost Christmas so I started thinking about that special baby.  Jesus!  Why is ist we celebrate Jesus' birthday so diffrently from other holidays?  When it's time to honor historical figures who have a day set aside for them, we don't think about them as babies.  We don't have pictures of cute little Abe Lincoln in his log cabin.  We remember his contributions as an adult.  But I think it is proper to celebrate Jesus as a child.  Think about it, when he was born the shepards and wise men came to honor him.  These people had no idea what Christ would eventually accomplish as an adult.  But they were right in doing what they did because Jesus' birthd was the most remarkable even in human history, if I could go back to one event in history I think that's what I'd want to go back to.  How amazing!  God in human form.  The Creator of the universe visiting this planet.  I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas, I hope we never hesitate to celebrate this baby at Christmas, stand in awe of the tiny baby who had created His worshipers.  Then stepped back in wonder, for the story gets even better.  This baby grew into manhood, lived a perfect life, and willingly died for our sins.  This makes Christmas complete for me.  Someone sent me a nice Christmas card today it said.  "Every time a hnad reaches out to help another... that is Christmas.  Every time someone puts anger aside and strives for understanding... that is Christmas.  Every time poeple forget their diffreces and realize their love for each other... that is Christmas."  I liked those thoughts too!  I've been thinking a lot about the real meaning of Christmas.  Last year me and my friend Ginni went and saw "The Passion of Jesus Christ",  so guess I've also been thinking about how He was born to die.  Guess my mind is full when I start to think about it all, the big picture so to speak.  Bless everyone, I can't wait to get home!

Monday, December 20, 2004

Luminaries, Hayride, and my birthday pics

Last night we went on a hayride with Mike, the music was festive, we were decked out in our Santa hats and fun was had by all.  It was cold too.  The whole area of Avondale had their luminaries around their houses, we went with Mike to a party, good food and drink, but had to work this morning so we made it a early night.  Some of the other pictures were from my birthday, where I had to get up and sing the unicorn song, it's a birthday song that makes you look silly up on stage, but I really had a lot of fun.  Hope everyone is in a fun and festive mood.  Only 5 more days.

Is Four too young?

The last time I went home, Autumn looked at me with this funny little smile and told me "Guess what"  I have a boyfriend and his name is Cade."  I grabbed her and told her she better not have a boyfriend.  She laughed and laughed.  Cade is a family friend.  His parents were friends of my mom and dads, his grandmom's sister was my girlfriend in when I was in school.  Now his mom and dad are good friends of my sister's.  So he's been growing up with her, and they spend a lot of time together.  If anything they are a force to be reconed with.  The both have a lot of energy.  Only 6 days till Christmas.  Wow, hard for me to believe.  I'm ready to get home to see everyone.  Last night Mike and I went on a hayride, I'll put some pictures of it later.  Hope everyone has all their Christmas shopping done.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Me and the old Honda

Here's me in the old Honda, I have had this car for almost 10 years now, it's been good to me, she's getting old now, but she still get's me there.  I've really been lucky, I havn't had much problems in the 10 years I've had her.  Well heading over to friends, I'll write more later.  Tomorrow is my birthday.  I feel a surprise coming on.

Thursday, December 9, 2004


One thing about going home is knowing your going to have to go down a dirt road to see your loved ones. Autumn rode from Dena and Andy's with me back home, Dena and Andy live on one of those old dirt roads, roads that I took every week when I was growing up, and there are about 4 ways to get back home to Sherry's depending on which way you go on the dirt road. Being young sometimes your used to one way of going home, the shortest way or the quickest or just the one that is the least wet and you are not in danger of going in the ditch. Anyway back to my point. I took a way that Autumn wasn't used to taking, I took a right on the dirt road instead of a left. She looked over at me and said with big eyes, "You went the scary road". I asked her what is the scary road? She informed me it was the wrong road, not the one you are supposed to take. Well I've taken this road for years and it is a much longer ride, but I was just enjoying being home and being with her. She started looking worried when the road just kept going. Autumn for some reason gets a thrill out of being scared, she loves scary stories. Anything to make her heart beat a little faster. So I looked at her and said I think we went the wrong way. She looked over at me with her big eyes and said "I'm not scared". Well I am I grinned at her. So she gave me her hand to hold.

I love this story, not sure why but even though I know she was scared she was offering me her hand so I wouldn't be scared. Makes me think of us as humans, sometimes we have to admit that we become fearful-about dying, about cancer, about losing our mind, about losing our job, and my parents favorite was about their chidren getting in trouble, and my new one about getting older. We don't like to confess it, so we may ignore, deny, or repress those fears. But to overcome our fear, we must first acknowledge it I guess. Mike told me the other day that he was talking to someone and they said Derek sure has changed from the old Derek he knew, he goes around quoting scripture. I don't remember quoting any scripture to anyone, I think the only place I ever even mention it is in my journals. I do pray everyday that I can be used in some way. I find it easier to describe His love for us in my journals. Than to spread it in verbal words. I wish I were more verbal. I'm really mostly a pretty quiet person keeping things in. Woops off track again. Anyway a scripture did come to mind when I was writing earlier and for some reason, I was thinking about what Mike had said about someone saying I quote scripture. Anyway here it is. "Whenever I am afraid," he said "I will trust you" I think David wrote that somewhere in Psalms. I like this one, I loved Sunday School. My mom was my Sunday School teacher when I was growing up too. Along with Mrs. Martin and Mrs. Sara Grace, which I think I've written about before. It's a conscience decision to trust God. So the next time I get scared I think that's what I'm going to try and do. I really believe we can conquer our fears. To admid that we are afraid is to admit we are human. But to admit being afraid and then trusting in Him and going forward will take the fear out of fear. I had bad dreams when I was little, and I remember right before I would go to sleep I found a way to stop them. I got on my knees and said "Please God, don't let me have any bad dreams". It worked.

Monday, December 6, 2004

The Five People You Meet in Heaven

I once had a dream I was swimming in the Ocean, underwater I saw a light, and I swam to it, I got close to the light and I came up.  The waves were hitting, and I could only see this light when I was under the Ocean.  So I kept swimming to the light, and I finally reached it, when I came up in the light I saw people around me, we were all waves that swam to the were just currents swimming this light, they were people who were familiar and people that I knew, people that I've lost, and people that didn't even look familiar.  But here we all were all the waves coming together to this light.  I woke up.  Last night I watched a beautiful movie.  Mitch Albom's "The Five People You Meet In Heaven.  I read the book a few years ago.  It had been one of my favorite books from the night I read it.  Last night I watched it and it was just as beautiful.  So it's been on my mind today.  I've always seen myself as part of something connected to a bigger humanity.  Watching this last night I see how this is explored, that we are all connected to each other in ways we don't even realize, and that perhaps, when our life is over, you may find out all the other "waves" in this big ocean that you affected without even knowing it..  The lessons learned from the five people in heaven are meaningful to me.  Yes there was tears, even in reading it I had tears.  Anyone else read this?  Would love to hear what you have to say about it.  I think it would mean diffrent things for everyone.

Wednesday, December 1, 2004


One of my favorite writers is George MacDonald, I've written a few entries on him. One thing he wrote was "God has come to wipe away our tears. He is doing it; He will have it doen as soon as He can; and until He can He would have them flow without bitterness; to which end He tells us it is a blessed thing to mourn because of the comfort that is on the way." This is one of my favorite quotes, it seems like while we wait for that comfort, we can be assured that we will not be tested beyond our ability to bear the trial. My mom always used to tell me that growing up. Every difficult circumstance is times with exact precision. Screened though with His perfect love. We won't suffer one moment more, nor will we suffer more than it necessary. So why am I so hard headed, why does it take me more than one time to learn some lessons, yep that's what's going through my head. Guess sometimes the waters are deep. But deep down I always know that everything is going to be alright. Maybe I just need a good cry. What's the saying, "Tears are often the telescope by which we can see into heaven."

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Thanksgiving pictures

Here's some pictures from Thanksgiving.  I guess, I mean I know I have a lot to be thankful for.

Back from Georgia

Well, I got to see much more of Ethan.  He was awake most of the time.  And guess what he loved his Uncle Derek.  I've never been stared at as much as he stared at me with so much love.  I found a way to make him laugh, it's a little sound I make and he loved it.  I see so many things when I look in his eyes.  First I see Papa, then Dena, and even a little bit of me.  He's so big.  I'll write more later.  Just wanted to post a pic to let everyone know I'm back and had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Many blessings.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Heading Home

It is with much excitement I find myself getting ready to go home for Thanksgiving.  I think back at of all the past Thanksgivings in these 36 years of life, the devotion and fellowship that I've felt and shared with family and friends.  One day I look forward to a Thanksgiving I can share again with everyone I've spent Thanksgiving with in these past 36 years.   That would be one big table, and the table continues to grow.  With one more this year at our table, little Ethan.  I know it will be a blessing.  I will be missing Mike, he's going to be spending Thanksgiving with his mother and sister and nephew.  I hope everyone the best Thanksgiving, full of friends and family.  I find myself full of all kinds of emotions.  Don't eat too much turkey and dressing.  With Christmas right around the corner I find myself getting a bit full in the mid section.  Guess New years resolutions will be right around the corner. 

Monday, November 22, 2004

Contemplating Pelican

Wonder what this beautiful creature is thinking, he's probably just thinking about the next fish that comes along, down on the river.  Sometimes a picture says it all.  This was taken down at Mayport docks.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Smiling Eli

My mom always told me when I was small, that I had the most beautiful smile and everytime someone would see me they would ask me to smile.  Well my nephew Eli has one of the most beautiful smiles, you don't really have to ask him to smile for you either, he just does, he's a very happy little boy.  Missing home much.  I'm missing to many smiles.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Not having the best day

Well I'm not having the best day today, but it's not that bad, i went to the doctor today and found out I have a torn muscle in my back, I've been in quite a bit of pain and am walking like a 80 year old man, I went to Walgreens to get my prescription filled and then when I got in my car to get back over to Mike's so I could medicate and get in bed, my car wouldn't start.  Luckily I'm not that far away and I walked back.  Things like this used to really drive me crazy but today it hasn't phased me in the least.  All will be taken care of in time.  Now I'm going to take my nap.  Feels funny being off on a weekday.  I even watched a soap opera, lol.  And all the same people are doing the same things, only they have children now and they seem to be doing the same things they did years ago.  Ok.  this entry doesn't seem to be going anywhere.  So good night, i mean good day all.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

I'm Rich

I just read what my mom wrote on my last entry, and it made me think of a quote from Abraham Lincoln, "No man is poor who has had a godly mother.  Just wanted to praise the Lord for my mother who not only cared for us children physically but also nurtured us spiritually.  My mom is indispensable!  I think when God made mothers he made something of royalty, something like nobility and Kings and Queens come to mind.  I feel like I could write for days on this subject but I'm at work and I better get back to work.

Sunday, November 7, 2004

Mama and Me

There was always something that felt safe about sitting in Mama's lap, I'm a big boy now, lol, and sometimes I still think about sitting in her lap.  I always felt so loved I could always see it in her eyes how much she loved me, I still can today.  I also love to see her with her grandchildren and how much she loves them.  I guess being a grandparent must be one of the most wonderful feelings in the world.

Saturday, November 6, 2004

The Tree

When I saw this willow tree that stood so vigil over this beautiful lake.  I thought of the shade it had given over the years to all the children who walked under it, the shelter of the neighborhood squirrels.  Then sitting under it, not really meditating, but very much at peace I thought of the first tree-the one on which hung the forbidden fruit that Adam and Eve just couldn't resist.  God used that tree to  test their loyalty and trust.  I've always loved trees, not sure why i'm thinking of all the trees I've loved.  The ones I've read about, and the ones that have been a symbol of His love.  Tree of life, Tree of salvation.  What about the cross?  Would you consider that a tree?  It was a transplanted tree, it was of a sturdy tree once.  Now my mind is wondering has anyone ever wrote about that tree, the tree that held up such  a symbol of love and sacrafice.  I guess that tree was truly the tree of life.  I wish I could see that tree, and sit under it's shade and pray and think.  I bet it was a beautiful tree.

Thinking of Autumn

Sitting here at work on this beautiful day.  I have pictures of Autumn all over my desk, so guess I'm missing her and the boys too.  Well looks like the work just came in.  Be back later.

Friday, November 5, 2004


Ok, I admit it I am a sucker for that Donald Trump show. Greed-it has toppled highly paid executives, brought down giant corporations, and cost thousands of workers their jobs and retirement. I read in the paper that unrestrained corporate greed is a greater threat than terrorism. Greed whispers in our ear that we would be happier if we had more money, more things, and more power. It creates discontent and a growing desire to do whatever it takes to gain position and possessions. And here I am stuck to the tube waiting to see who get's the YOU'RE FIRED. I feel a certain guilt after it's over. I tell myself I'm not going to watch it again next week. So what's the opposite of Greed I'm thinking, cause that's what I want. I guess it's contentment and generosity. I am thankful for what I have, I may struggle but I thank you lord for everything I have. You are my greatest treasure, that is for sure. Next week I'm going to read a book, lol.

Monday, November 1, 2004

Happy Birthday Lance

This is just a birthday note about my brother Lance. Today he turns 25. This entry is just about him. I don't know how often he gets to hear this from me, but not enough I'm sure. Lance is a wonderful guy, and father. He's an amazing guy who has always been appreciated so enormously! He's got a great since of humor, and you can't help but smile when your around him. So oh brother of mine, I thought it might be time to tell you, exactly what you mean and have meant to me. First you were a gift to me, I remember praying on many occasions for a little brother. Twenty five years ago you was our surprise, Mama left while we were trick or treating. I'm sorry we don't talk as often as maybe I'd like to, but I've always felt a closness with you that doesn't need to be measured in miles. If it could be measured for me I guess it would be by all the memories I have of you growing up. You was always a big part of my life and my thoughts and I always wanted the best for you, I'm not sure what I did to deserve such a wonderful brother, but whatever it was, I hope you know that I treasure you so much and I'm so grateful we are family. You have always been the brother Sherry, Dena, and I loved so much, you were and still are very special to us. You have such a positive attitude, and that just rubs off on you. I hope this birthday marks the beginning of a year filled with happiness, success, and all the things you're striving to achieve. You deserve the best and I wish you a Happy Birtday Lance.

Your brother Derek

Here's another entry I wrote about my wonderful brother

Sunday, October 31, 2004

The spooks come out at night

The spooks come out at night, we had fun last night, started by going to a Halloween party, this place was decorated very spooky, we saw some wacky cavemen, Pamela and Tommy Lee, we left there and met our friends George Bush and Dick Cheny.   I was a genie in a bottle, and everyone spent the night giving me their wish requests that ranged from i want to be taller, to peace on Earth.  It's fun being a genie.  Mike had fun in his kilt too, I think everyone wanted to know what a Scot wears under those thick wool kilts.  He decorated his mask and made it look pretty festive.   We enjoyed a fun night with friends. 

Friday, October 29, 2004

Halloween Weekend

Halloween weekend is here.  I'm on my lunch break so can't write to much.  I still don't know what I'm dressing up as.  Mike and are are going to a Halloween party tomorrow, he's got his kilt, but I just can't think of anything that goes with a Scottish Highlander, any ideas.  I'm sure I'll think of something.  Anyway hope everyone has a great weekend.  Pictures will be shared later.  More to come I'm sure!



Monday, October 25, 2004

My Side of the Mountain

Tonight I've been thinking about all the places I escaped to as a child.  Mostly I escaped by the books I read.  I remember reading, "The Island of the Blue Dolphin", and escaping to a beautiful island.  One of my favorite books was "My side of the Mountain", I remember reading this in the 5th grade, where a young boy runs away from home to live in the mountains, he keeps a journal of his life in nature.  He befriends a falcon.  I often fantacized about leaving home to live in the solitude of nature, sometimes I still do.  I loved the way my Papa made me feel when we were off together just the two of us.  What was passed on was truly a blessing.  I think I need to find this book and read it again. 

Sunday, October 24, 2004


I have a love for pictures.  Especially old ones.  Heres a website I did for my family. .  I also love doing scrapbooks.  I love being creative.  One day it will be great gifts for Autumn, Eli, and Ethan.  I remember loving looking at my baby books and the special care my mom took in making ours.  Sure wish I was closer at times, I'd be a baby hog, taking pictures all the time.  Yep that's right folks, Tricia Yearwood is my cousin, lol.

Friday, October 22, 2004


I never saw the movie "The Exorcist", but I do recall its impact on everyone around me. I remember my cousin Jay and how badly it scared him. It left a lasting impression on many people about Satan's power. Even many Christinan began to live in fear, swayed by the vivid images of evil. It seemed as if the devil was as powerful as God. Now there is a new movie that suppose to scare and shock you more, the story before The Exorcist. Is this perspective sound? OF COURSE NOT! God is the Creator, and all others, including demons, are just created beings. Only God is almighty. For as long as I can remember when things seem to be going bad, it's easy to blame the devil. Although he does emit wickedness and sin, we must be careful not to conclude that we are powerless against him. "The holy spirit in us is greater than he who is in the world." So what am I telling myself? Resist, Resist, Resist.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Big Fish

Today was my Papa's birthday.  He's been in my thought very strong the last couple of days.  I watched "Big Fish" Saturday night, which is one of my favorite movies, because it reminds me so much of my Papa.  He was great at telling tall tales, we had a giant catfish that lived in one of his ponds that no one could catch, as a kid I imagined it to be as large as a small boat, from what Papa had told me.  I loved his stories.  On our way to breakfast yesterday, I noticed a older man in his Sunday best walking home from church.  Then I saw him go down, I yelled for Mike to pull over that someone had just fell, I jumped out and saw that he had lost his footing by stepping in a hole where they were working on the roads.  Mike jumped out and we helped him to his feet, shook off the dust on his suit,let him take a few steps to make sure he was ok.  He seemed fine, and God blessed us, we blessed him back and was back on the road to meet friends for breakfast.  I got back into the truck and broke out in tears.  He caught my eye before he fell, because he reminded me of my Papa.  In my heart when I was jumping out of the truck, he was my Papa.  Guess that was God's gift to remind me of Papa yesterday.

Papa's Special Gift

Papa had a special gift

He always knew just what to do
To make his grandchildren happy
And to show he loved them, too.

At the family get-togethers,
He was the first person to look for-
He would entertain us children for hours,
And we always kept asking for more.

You could tell when Papa was teasing
By the twinkle that shined in his eyes-
He was an expert at settling problems,
For he was loving, patient and wise.

His grandchildren always admired him,
Even though they are grown-
They always feel proud and happy
To have had Papa as their own!

He'll always be our big fish

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Dark night

Came home today and ran on the beach while the sun was going down.  The beach is calming tonight, I took another walk this evening, and it is very dark, where's the moon?  Full of thought tonight, but can't seem to get words on it.  It's a good night!

Monday, October 11, 2004

My New Journal

I'm reading Rick Warren's "The Purpose Driven Life",  so decided to start a 40 day journal while I read it.  I think it will be a nice journey for me.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Papa and Mema's grandchildren

Mema and Papa were always so happy and proud when they had a house full of their grandchildren.  Their are only seven of us.  We all have such fond memories of Papa and Mema and the times we spend with them.  It's strange spending almost 33 years every Christmas spending it with them, and now that they are gone, it's like we start our new traditions.   I hope I'm around a long time to spend with my family.

2x4 Challenge

I decided to take smilinmons Friday challenge today, my first visit 2 block and then 4 blocks, I ended up with real 2x4's I call it hole 2x4's missing in the fence.  I decided to try it each way I could, and this is what I ended up with.   Rules for the "2 by 4" Extra Challenge:
1) Keep yourself safe.
2) Start outside your location (could be your home, school, workplace - it's up to you.)
3) Travel two units straight in one direction
4) Turn to your right and travel 4 units
5) Whereve you are, so long as you are safe, your mission is to creatively interpret your surroundings. Bring back and post photographic evidence to your website that you were actually there. Make the absolute best of whatever you find, no matter the subject or how mundane it might seem.

Me and blue eyes

I love this picture of Sherry and I.   This was taken on Christmas Eve, and we were so excited about Santa coming soon.  We never could sleep on Christmas Eve because we were so excited.  Now it makes me think of all the whippons I used to get because of Sherry.  At night we slept together, and she just wouldn't go to sleep, she would talk and talk, and then daddy would come in and say if he hears us talking anymore he was going to come spank us.  We always got those little spankings because we just couldn't go to sleep.  My favorite story about a spanking Sherry caused me to get.  When she was about five, her front teeth were getting kind of loose, and for some reason unknown to me she decided to bite my shoe, and looking down I see to human teeth stuck to my shoe.  Into the house Sherry flies, blood coming out of her mouth, and she tells Daddy that I kicked her in the mouth.  Out comes Daddy with the belt, I don't really remember the spanking, but I do remember she smiling with her two front teeth missing and saying "He really didn't kick me, I bit his shoe".  Then looking down at my shoe there are these two little teeth marks in the white plastic of my shoes.  My only proof of my Jaws attack.  To late, I've already got the whippon.  A few whippons here and there, not so bad.   I sure was crazy about ole Sherry.  Something about the way those blue eyes.  I think I'd done anything.  I think that's one of the things I'm so crazy about Autumn for, she reminds me so much of that little blue eyed girl I grew up with.


Saturday, October 9, 2004

One of my first memories

This picture was taken at my Nana's shortly after I was attacked by a dog.  You can notice my how swollen by eye was.  I'm not sure why I like this picture but I do.  Being attacked by our neighbors dog was one of my first memories, guess sometime those traumatic things just seem to stay in our memories.  I remember running from the dog, and trying to get over the fence, one of our neighbors had put me in their yard, which they weren't supposed to do.  I remember screaming for my mom, and then the next thing I remember was riding in the back of a car with people holding me down and trying to keep me calm.  Then the doctor's putting a sheet over my head with a hole cut in it that fit right over my eye, so they cut stitch me up.  I bet I wasn't a pretty sight.  I guess being a parent must be a pretty scary thing.  And even harder when their little ones get hurt.  I'm still trying to figure out why I love this picture so much, maybe because I loved it out at my Nana's.  Her farm was so calm and peaceful.  I also felt like someone was watching over me in the picture, not sure why though.

My mom just emailed me, she got this in her mountainwings today, thought I'd share it as well.

Learning to Run

The two-year old likes to run.

It warms my heart when I see his funny movements as he runs.
It also scares me because young children have a tendency to fall
very easily.

I was out shopping with my sons when the two-year old started to

He fell.

If you are a parent, you completely understand the phrase,
"it hurts you more than it does them."  There is something that
pains worse than physical torment to see your little one hurt.
He skinned his knee and elbow.  He cried for a few minutes and
finally with the soothing of Daddy, quieted down.

We are like my two-year old.

There are so many areas of life where we must run:
some by choice, some by the force of circumstances.
There are so many new things.
There are so many times when our steps are unsure and we are not
experienced runners.

The older I get, the more I understand how a Divine Father can
let us go through some things and fall.  I was tempted to stop
my son when I saw him run.  I knew that sooner or later, if not
that day then one day, he would fall.

I also knew that if he was to ever learn how to run, he must
fall, and often I had to watch him do it.

I fell in business several times before I was able to run.

I fell in relationships several times before I had sense enough
to stop looking for perfection and know that we all have faults.

Even your second child is reared differently from the first
because you learn some things from falling with that first one.

I fell off of my bicycle.
I fell off of my motorcycle.
I fell on skates (roller and ice).
I even choked a few times while learning to swim.

We often fall when learning to run the things of life.

Too often bruises stop us from ever trying to run again.
We are afraid that we will slip and get hurt.
We are afraid of the pain.

My son runs much better now.  I still wince when I see him run
on a hard surface but he won't stop running.

At only two, he has one of the keys of life.

He won't stop running just because he fell.

Your bruises will heal, you will get up,
and the path will still be there.

Though at times you may not think it so,
The Divine Father is still watching over you.

He just knows that he has to let you fall,
If you are ever to learn to run.

Monday, October 4, 2004

Janet Leigh

'Psycho' Actress Janet Leigh Dies at 77.  I always loved Janet Leigh.  That scream from "Psycho", will live on for a long time.  I always thought she was such a beautiful woman.

Hitchcock compiled the shower sequence in 70-odd takes of two and three seconds each, for which Leigh spent seven days in the shower. Rumors circulated that she was nude, but she wore a flesh-colored moleskin.

Although tame by today's standards, the scene was shocking for the time for its brutality.

Leigh wrote in her 1995 book ''Psycho: Behind the Scenes in the Classic Thriller'' that the filming was easy until the last 20 seconds when she had to express total horror as her character was being slashed to death.

She often said she hadn't been able to take a shower since the movie. ''It's not a hype, not something I thought would be good for publicity,'' she insisted. ''Honest to gosh, it's true.''  I had my own scares of taking showers after that movie myself.


How often do we sit around and think about what we don't have, when we completely ignore what we do have.  I am really blessed and I need to think about that more often.  Things could be much worse.  I have my health, I have close friends.  My family is in good health.   I have someone special to share my life.  I'm enjoying defining my story.   I'm enjoying my story too.  I could go on and on.  But I'm going to wrap it up and just say.  I'm thankful for this life!

Saturday, October 2, 2004

Visit to Asher

Just taking a break letting my sauce simmer.  Mike took me to meet his little nephew Asher and just wanted to write what a nice time it was spending with his nephew and mom.  It was really awesome to see someone as crazy about their nephew as I am my neice and nephews.  He was really good with Asher.  We took him for a walk in the rain, gave him a fidgy pop as you can see his chocalate lips in the pictures,  played airplane, and went out and had a nice dinner.  I really enjoyed it.  Tomorrow I have to work, not something I usually do on Sundays, but tomorrow I have too.  Got to make some more money somehow.  Well now I'm just relaxing, had a nice day went and had lunch with Mike and James some friends of ours and just enjoyed the day.   Well got to run and check on the sauce. 

Thursday, September 30, 2004

My adventure

Tonight I walked down to the beach and looked at the beautiful moon.  Just let myself unwind and be thankful for all my many blessings.  This week has flown by can't believe it's already almost Friday, and I'm happy about that too.  I've been putting a lot of questions out there it seems lately.  Trying to figure out life.  I guess life is not a problem to be solved, it's just an advenure to be lived.  I love my adventure!

Three of Faith

O.k. I've been praying for deliverence from all my problems, most of them self inflicted, and most of them being financial. I wrote about my Sunday school teacher of almost 30 something years ago. After I wrote her name I started thinking about her and her Sunday School classes. The old country church I went to was small, and for my age group there weren't any other kids my age. So I was the only one in Mrs. Martin's class. Mrs Martin was a classy lady with bright red hair like my Nana. She was soft spoken and if you got to loud she would say "you don't run or get loud in God's house". I was crazy about her and looked forward to each one of my classes with her. We started with a prayer, then she would have our lessons, usually she would bring in a pictures from the bible, those old famous paintings, and she would tell me the story. Then I would draw after that, and end with snacktime. One of the pictures I still remember after all these years and thinking about my old Sunday School classes was of three young men standing in fire with angels behind them. The three young men were Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, not sure if that's spelled correct. As a child of 5 or 6 this picture scared me but the story I liked, and I'm sure I had plenty of questions for Mrs. Martin after she told it. Anyway this story now reminds me of much that I'm going through. In the lesson if I remember it correctly it was "to love God in spite of our circumstances." Loving God is easy when He grants our requests and provides what we desire. Loving Him in difficult times tests our faith. Those three men made a life and death decision, to worship the golden image, they could live, if they refused, death. These men were full of faith. Is God able to deliver us from all our problems? Yes I think so, Does God always deliver us from our difficulties? No. I guess we may not fully comprehend His purpose in our difficult times, but we must contiue loving HIM. We must trust HIM and hope in HIM in spite of the trials that seem to be overwhelming us at times. I remember when I was a little boy when I said my prayers at night, I would ask for faith. Not sure when I stopped praying that prayer, but I think I need to start again.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Back to Narnia

Have you ever re-read a classic book from your childhood? Last night I revisited one of my favorites, one filled with with fantasy, of a family of two brothers and two sisters, just like my family. I think I got more out of it now as an adult than I did a child. C.S. Lewis's "Chronicles of Narnia" is the book I'm talking about. What comes to mind for me after reading this again is the ability to tell between good and evil. We do this by the things we focus our spiritual eyes on. If we set our eyes on money, for example, we may have the good life for a while, but our judgement will become clouded. We'll make choices that defy our own values-choices that may devastate our families and destroy us in the end. What am I saying? I guess don't love money. Back to the book, Edmund's lust for sweets leads him to betray his beloved brother and sisters. Eustace's desire for the dragons gold eventually turns him into a dragon. Greed overcomes Prince Caspian on Deathwater Island as he dreams of the power its magic water bring him.

Food, money, power-whereever we focus our spiritual eyes determines what we desire, and whether our lives are filled with light or filled with darkness. "The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light" I remember Mrs. Martin in Sunday School quoting this. I quote everyone in my journal, thought it was time I quote some JESUS!

Friday, September 24, 2004


My mom jokes me about writing a book on our family all the time.  Well one day I just might.  Today is my mom's birthday.  Happy birthday mom.  I read somwhere about an interview with a mother it went something like. "Do you think all children deserve the full, impartial love and attention of a mother?"  "Of course", said the mother.   "Well which of the children do you love the most?" he asked hoping to catch her in a contradiction.  She answered, "The one who is sick until he gets well, and the one who is away until he gets home.".  I thought this was cute.  My mom would always and still does write us little notes and letter, and at the bottom, she would always write,  I love you the best!  It always made us feel special.  It was also kind of fun, especially when we would happen across a letter she had written to my sister,and I would open it up and there at the bottom,  I love you the best.  She loves us all, kind of like God's love for all of us.  "God loves every one of us as if there were but one of us to love." St. Augustine  Mama thanks for all the prayers you've whispered during the worst moments of our lives, and the many hopes for our success in all that we dreamed of.  Thanks for the kind wishes that would make us happy and fullfilled and the gentle words of encouragement that were meant for strenthening us.  Thanks for your acceptance, your ability to understand and your friendship that always gave us security.  Thanks for your wisdom of all the lessons you taught us, and the meaning behind "unconditional love".  Thanks Mama for everything you've done, your the best mom in the world.  I love you the best.  Happy Birthday!



Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Ms. Bette

My friend Ms. Bette came over tonight.  It was so good to see her.  She is such a good woman.  I sure have missed her.  Surprise visits are always the best.  I'm very lucky to have the friends I have in my life.  I sure feel blessed.  Nice having angels in my presence.  She came over when I was writing about my quiet times.  So I finished up after she left.  After she left I've been thinking more.  I read what I wrote and it sounded like I'm trying to make myself more disciplined, but I don't want that to be the point.  Like I said earlier it's the connection.  I can't imagine my life without this source of ecstasy and happiness.  I think I would be in real danger without it.  This journal has become a place I can bare my soul at times.  It has been so good for me.  I've talked about this journey and battle.  Everyone's messages and emails have been so helpful almost like I'm not in this battle alone.  At times I think I was headed for isolation but now I know I'm not. 

Quiet time

I've been asking myself tonight what brings me back to my heart.  I think we have a two dimensional version of this which we call our "quiet times".  I find it hard at times to find my quiet times.  Sometimes it's about as hard to find my quiet times as it is to floss my teeth.  I need to do that too.  But when I do find my quiet times, I realize the greater picture.  I need my quiet times for survival.    I think at times I give a halfhearted attempt at the spiritual disciplines when the only reason we have is that we "ought to".  But I'm becoming more and more convinced I have to have it.  Time each day with God isn't about academic study or getting through a certain amount of scripture or any of that.  It's more about a connection for me.  Maybe it's His heart I'm trying to get back too.


What brings you back to your heart and the heart of God?

Monday, September 20, 2004

Winds are Strong

The winds are strong.  I just walked down to the beach.  They blew the imposter right away, and left me with  ME!


The wind blows strong at the beach tonight, I'm sitting here a little meloncholy thinking of the weekend.  It was a beautiful weekend.  Mike and Abby spent the weekend here with me at the beach.  I cooked a candlelight dinner, my first candlelight dinner in many years.  It was a wonderful feeling, just being excited about it, and having someone to cook for.  I cooked italian, so by the time he got here I had a little of a wine buzz.  The weekend flew by as all my weekends seem to do now.  I'm back on getting back in shape.  Working out and such.  It's been a while since I hit the gym, but just started back.  Hope to see the results in a few months.  And maybe say goodbye to some unwanted inches in the mid section.  Tonight my mind wanders.  Goes back to a time long ago.  Yes, I have a therapy visit coming up Thursday.  Years ago I created an imposter so to speak.   From the place of our woundednesss we construct a false self.  We may even find a few gifts that work for us and we may try to live off them.  I'm not sure how old I was but I was young, during that time an imposter was born.  The imposter within whispered "Derek, don't ever be your real self anymore because noone will like you as you are."  Invent a new self that everybody will admire and nobody will know!"  What was I thinking?  It's not easy growing up and having the feeling I had as a teenager,  I havn't talked much about this subject.  Growing up gay!  I tried to be anything other than who I was.  I was good at it too.  I was the actor in the plays, and pretty darn good at it, all the way through college.   Tonight I'm asking myself how much of that imposter is still alive today.  Not as much as then, but still there.  I'm still very hard on myself, always have been.  Not quite sure why?  What do I think about my plan then now.  I may have had all the greatest of intentions, it shielded me from pain, I thought, secured me a little love and admiration, but the false self is a lie, it's built on pretense.   A trap I walked right into without looking both ways.  I'm glad God has taken me out of that place.  A picture of me flashes,  one of me in a mirror with the mirror shattered.  A shattering of the false self.  Now I think about what hasn't been going well in my life, and how does that threaten me.  My mind is starting to race, maybe I just need to go listen to the wind and take a time out.  I think I'm still letting pieces of that ole imposter go.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

How Art has Influenced My Life

Judi is having a contest that she is sponsering on How Art has influenced my life.  So couldn't resist participating.  I havn't written an essay since college, but here goes.

Check it out here

Art has influenced my life, but life has influenced my art. Art has always told a story to me.  The first artist I remember was my mother, who drew beautiful women all the time.  I loved these drawings she drew for me, and I found myself drawing lovely women myself.  My love for beautiful faces was born. As a young boy I escaped life by drawing, most of the images that I created told a story.  As a young boy I drew pictures of people looking in mirrors.  I wanted to express a concept of what life is like looking into a mirror, which obscures what is really there. It is practically impossible to know someone from a self-portrait, but I've always been fascinated with faces.  Mirrors helped me show something else.   What the faces were really feeling, or maybe what I was really feeling.  Artists seem to be very busy revealing bits of ourselves, from piece to piece that we create. Looking at several of my drawings you'll see not only things and people I love, but also things I find disturbing.

I grew up on a peanut and corn farm in South Georgia, lived almost every waking moment outdoors, playing and working with my family. Plants and animals seemed much more real to me than people.  So nature was my first influence in art, nature gave me my start and my basis from which to grow.  It also grew with my nightmares, I had some terrible nightmares as a child, and with each nightmare came more drawings.
My love of art grew as I grew, I read and studied everything I could but my influence was from nature and trying to capture the beauty of our fellow earthlings.  I think of how very similar to the rest of nature we are.  What purpose could my drawings possibly serve, if not some spiritual service? Art is the illumination of life in collaboration with the creative Spirit. What a blessing it is to experience the Blue Planet, to walk or swim or climb along and see so much life here! I pray that we'll always be able to enjoy these moments of shared existence.

When I was a teenager, one of my teachers noticed my love for art, and took me to the city, Atlanta, Georgia to visit museums, and art galleries.  Places I'd never seen before.  I loved it, and couldn't get enough.  I loved writing also, and something about drawing and capturing images was almost like writing, drawing telling a story without the words, but expressing those images that are mental and spiritual.  I found something that made me diffrent from others.  Symbolism of my own childhood and life are usually in my art.
The practices of artist is informed by the theories on arts that we as artists may have.  We can take our personal theories and apply them to our art.  I was self taught and I don't know if I follow any real genre in art.  We create our own totem so to speak.  Theories are an integral part of an artists decision making or practice, that goes with each and every artwork that an artist produces.



Brother Bear

What a beautiful story of man's bond with nature.  I wasn't expecting this movie to touch me as much as it did, but had to write about it since I loved it so much.  Havn't had a movie grab me like this one in a long time.  I even cried a little bit.  I love cartoons!  There is a lot of symbolism and metophers in this beautiful movie, and the artwork is super.  Every go rent now you hear.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Finding my heart

I am here to tell you that you can get your heart back.  But your going to have to fight for it.  I want all wounds healed and strength restored.  I'm a fighting. Today I've been sitting with my thoughts, ever changing thoughts.  Sometimes thinking of the pain, but then something just saying let go.  Don't hold onto the pain, just let go.  I read Barb's journal yesterday, about seeing what is in front of us and being thankful.  Things may get hard, but seeing what we do have and being happy with that.  I am happy and I have faith things are going to even get better.  It funny how some days I feel so lost in my journey and other's I feel like I'm right where I'm supposed to be.  I've let my past hold me back so much.  Not liking the person I was at one time, blaming things of my dad for not initiating me into life and my journey.   But my heavenly father is taking me on that journey and  providing for me what was missing.  A hope seems to be rising up in me one that wishes I could draw something or paint something to show that feeling like my friend Judith.  I don't want to dismiss this hope I want to do something wondeful with it.  I think I have some pretty good things I can pray for tonight.  I wonder if I have enough quiet times, I surly need my quiet times, in the early morning, or late night to think and pander about life.    I've been whining lately, why me, why can't I get out of this hole I'm in financially.  But maybe there's a lesson, maybe God is trying to teach me something.  God I have faith in you and what your teaching me, I don't love you because I want you to make my life easier.  ( Althought I do have those selfish prayers at time) 

What questions have you been asking?  Question to self, Have I been asking the right questions?

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Running from Frances

Last week during Hurricane Frances, Mike and I left the crazy weather of Florida to visit my family in Georgia.  It's been a long time since I've brought someone home that I cared about to meet my family.  First stop was Dena and Andy's to see my nephews, Eli and Ethan.  When we went in we were greeted with hugs,  Eli looking at me and smiling saying hey Derek.  Then over in the corner in his little swing was Ethan just falling to sleep.  He was so beautiful laying there I just stared for a long time, It was a wonderful day being a baby hog.   Mike was really good with the kids too, kind of shocked me, Eli was really crazy about him too. Then we went to Sherry's and Mama came over and we played with Autumn who was in rare form when we got there, very energetic.  Later Dena and Andy and the boys came over and we all had dinner and spent the night together.  Me playing with the kids mostly.  The whole weekend was really nice, especially letting my family get to know Mike, which they all really enjoyed him and seemed very happy that I'm happy.  The weather home was really bad for a couple hours, but we made it back to Jacksonville in one piece.  I had not damage at the beach.  Mike was without electricity until Thursday so he stayed with me until then.  So we've been spending quite a good bit with each other.  It has been wonderful.  We've had a nice weekend.  Watching movies Friday and going out with friends for dinner last night, and just spending a lazy day together today.  All is well!  Hope everyone out there in J-land is happy and well!

Thursday, September 2, 2004

I'm Wild

As everyone may know Cousin Francis is out there swirling and wild.   I live right on the beach.  Not sure where it's going to hit,  I pray it's not here.  There's sure to be flooding so it's probably going to be wild.  If you have any doubts as to whether or not God loves wildness, spend the night in the woods...alone.  Take a walk out in a thunderstorm.  Go for a swim  with a bunch of killer whales.  Go out in a field with some bulls like I did as a child.  Whose idea was this anyway all this wildness?  The great reefs with it's sharks, the wolves in my dreams, the jungles of India with it's tigers, the deserts of the Southwest with all those rattlesnakes-would you describe them as "nice place"?  Most of the earth is not safe; but it's good

After God created all this, He pronounced it good, for heaven's sake.  It's His way of letting us know He rather prefers adventure, danger, risk, the element of surprise.  This whole creation is unapologetically wild.  God loves it that way.  So do I. 

Do you love wildness?  How much of your life are you trying to control these days?

Wednesday, September 1, 2004

Big Brother welcomes Ethan with a kiss

I've said before how sweet Eli is, well he was very happy when his little brother came, he even watched the entire event, and wanted to give him a kiss after they had him all cleaned up.  I thought this was a beautiful picture.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Welcome to the World little Ethan

Uncle Derek loves you and will write more later.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Warrier with the Wolves

A couple of weeks ago I had a dream I shared with Judith Heartsong  I think looking at all her beautiful paintings made me dream of one.  Anyway this beautiful woman took me on a journey to a hillside and when we got there I saw two ferocious wolves, that looked as if they could tear me apart, in fear I took off running, when I heard the woman tell me not to be afraid that they were part of me.  I stopped and looked at her and she was smiling, then I looked at the wolves right as they were about to leap upon me, but instead of tearing me to shreds they just jumped into me.  They were part of me.  I've been meditating like she and Virginia had said, and I do believe somehow they are helpers.  When I went home to see my family I was shocked to by how much Eli had grown, Dena asked me how I liked his tshirt, it was one I had given him a year ago that he'd grown into, and on it was little wolves that I had gotten him while I was In Washington.  Guess these wolves have been a part of me longer than I realized. In my meditations I've been seeing myself as a warrier.  Above all else a warrier has a vision; he has a trancendence to his life, a cause greater than self-preservation.   The root of all woes and our false self was this;  We were seeking to save our life and we lost it.  We are being called beyond that I believe.  The quality of a true warrier is that he is in service to a purpose greater than himself; that is, to a trancendent cause.  Kind of like the heart of Jesus.  Wow would I love to have a heart like that.    Guess in my meditations I've been wondering what qualities of a warrier do I possess.  Have you ever asked yourself that question?


P.S. Pictures of my new nephew Ethan Zane will be added soon.  He was a healthy 8lbs 4 oz's little boy.  Eli welcomed him with a kiss.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Happy Birthday Eli

Happy Birthday Eli, my nephew is really a blessing to all of us, he had a wonderful birthday party, with ice cream and cake.  Made me think back of all the old video's of me as a child.  Eli's baby chair is the same one I ate from as a child.  They make such a beautiful family.  This has been a wonderful visit.  Never quite long enough though.  Seems like yesterday Autumn was two.  She's such a big girl now. 

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Home at last

Well looks like my family is actually living in the 21st century, I was surprised they had the internet hooked up on the ole computer so I can actually make some journal entries.  I'm home for the new addition.  They are going to induce labor tomorrow morning so Ethan will have the whole family here welcoming him,  We all went over to Andy and Dena's today.  You should feel that little fellow kick.  I couldn't quit rubbing her belly.  I picked Autumn up after school and we spent part of the day together before going over to Dena's.  Eli has gotten so big, I can't believe I've gone so long without seeing him, it won't happen again.  Even if I have to hitchhike home.  He's so loving and sweet.   Autumn and he were doing gymnastics tonight, while watching the Olympics.  The night ended with the two of them on my knees as I read night stories to them.  I sure love these two.  I'm looking forward to the new addition.  Well I'm beat and my brother Lance just got in from work, so going to catch up with him.  Keep my family in your prayers.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Quote from Hawthorne

"No man, for any considerable period of time, can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the truth."

----Nathanial Hawthorne


Do you ever confuse the truth about yourself with a facade?  I keep telling myself I have what it takes.  I  want a deeper knowing though, there is knowledge about and knowledge of, when it comes to the two I think it is the latter we need more of.  Sound to me I'm still trying hard to find the real me.  I know I'm here.  I was thinking the other day, how close to the real me is this journal, I think if some people who read my journal that really know me, may be surprised I have all this in me, I've got diffrent sides to me.  Usually I'm a pretty quiet person, but there is always something going through this big taterhead of mine.  Mostly I'm thinking of who I am, and where do I go with this question, well I write in my journal, I pray.  I know my true name can never be taken away fom me.  There is something very deep in my heart.  I know where I've come from, I like to say I know where I'm going, but that's not all together true.   I'm still being tested every day, I'm not that crazy about tests either.  I know I have to face my Enemy.  Wow where is this coming from, kind of scares me again.  Am I still becoming a man?


Sunday, August 15, 2004

A wise friend of mine had this observation about life, it went something like this.  Have you ever considered that you have (whatever it is) exactly what you want... right now... I believe that is true for all of us...if we wanted more, badly enough, we'd have more   and another thought: whatever we have, its enough...   though those two thoughts might seem to be in opposition to one another, they are not think about it.   I've been thinking about it, and right now it holds true for me.  I've had a very nice weekend.  Hurricane Charley wasn't very bad here at all, was a little worried.  All and all the weekend was filled with getting to know someone a little better, and it has been nice.  I think Dena is about a week off of having the baby, sure hope it happens on the weekend so I can be there.   Well all hope your having a wonderful weekend, and enjoy the Olympics tomorrow.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

How many of you have spent any time around horses.  Close by the house I grew up in there was a pasture, that used to be full of horses.  I've only ridden horses once, but there is something beautiful about these wonderful creatures that God blessed us with.  They are beautiful and strong and if you watched them like I did growing up you can see they have a mind of their own.   Sometimes I see things with great strength as a thing of beauty.  I wish I were stronger.  Strength is what makes heroes.  Slavery was stopped by the strentgth of men, at a terrible price to them and their families.  And the biggest strength of all, and have we forgotten- the Man who let Himself be nailed to Calvary's cross.   Then there are the ladies, nope I havn't forgot about you. I know many heroic women to.  Most of the strong people in my life were women.  I'm looking for my strength.  Has it dawned on you that this world and our God need our strength?  What are we waiting for?  Who are some people you think of with great strengths?

Monday, August 9, 2004

Scary subject

In the course of our daily lives does the reality of the Devil enter your mind?  Are you unaware of his schemes.  I was thinking about Barbs entry the other day about the worrier, the critic, the perfectionist, the victim.  The devil no doubt has a place in our theology, but do we even think about him in the daily events of our lives?  Has it ever crossed your mind that not every thought that crosses your mind comes from you?  The burst of anger I've experienced driving to work in rush hour traffic, in the midst of everything else that may be going on in my life.  We are being lied to all the time.  Yet we never stop to say, "Wait a minute... who else is speaking here?  Where are those ideas coming from?  Where are those feelings coming from?  If you read about the saints from every age before the Modern Era- this pride-filled age of reason, science, and technology we are throughly educated in- you'll find that they take the devil very seriousely indeed.  So I guess I'm just saying maybe when these thoughts enter our minds, maybe it's just the devil telling us lies, making us think things that are untrue about ourselves.  In all that is going on in the world, makes me think of the spiritual battle I'm in.  What do I need to do I ask in my prayers.  Am I doing it?

Saturday, August 7, 2004

Saturday night

Well, I've had a very nice weekend, havn't been writing as much it seems lately.  But my mind is still full.  Just got back from the movies with Mike.  We went to see the "Bourne Supremecy".  It was pretty good, action packed for sure.  Walked on the beach, stormy weather, beautiful though.  I should have took some pictues.  I find myself at times letting go, and just having fun, and at other times find myself being a little reserved.  Not sure why.  No great words of wisdom tonight, just relaxing and having fun.  Hope everyone is having a great weekend.

Monday, August 2, 2004

Tree of Knowledge

Ok everyone, I finally got some good sleep!  I had a very nice weekend.  Friday night my friend Mike came down to the beach and we walked on the beach and saw a pretty amazing Blue Moon.  Nice getting to know someone so interesting and caring.  So what is going on in my mind tonight?  Actually I'm quite calm and relaxed.   No worries, no fear.  Just me coming alive, and being happy.  No more sabotaging my strenghts, no more settling.  I'm a cunning, visionary warrier with a great mission .  I have a mission.  I've been thinking much of the past.  I've been tested so much in my journey.  There is still a bit of a struggle I feel.  Am I willingly turning away from my false self, or am I clinging to it?  I feel I'm being myself.  Guess I'm just fighting for my heart.  Does any of this make sense?

Thursday, July 29, 2004

I can't sleep

Can't seem to make myself go to sleep tonight, my mind is full as it is so many nights, I walked down to the beach and looked at the beautiful reflection of the moon on the Ocean, it calmed me some.  I can't seem to get into words all that I'm feeling tonight.  Am I sad?  No far from it.  Am I happy?  Yes, very but, does there always have to be a but.  Am I scared?  Yes, I'm terrified.  What are you scared of?  Me.  Who is this me that is trying so hard to get out, so hard to be known?  Am I lonely?  I have Baby here with me tonight so not really lonely.  Ok maybe now I know a little more of what I'm feeling.  Baby is laying in the bed, waiting for me to come back to bed.  I think I can sleep now. 



Tuesday, July 27, 2004

What makes you come alive

I've been asking myself this question a lot lately.  If you had permission to do what you really wanted to do, what would it be.  I'm not asking how, that will cut your desire off at the knees.  My life as an adventure.  Sometimes I think our desires are buried deep and it takes some unearthing to get to them.  I think we should pay attention to our desire.  Sometimes the clues are in our past, in the moments when we found ourselves loving what we were doing.  The details change as we grow, but the  themes remain the same.  I love reading everyone's journals and reading about the things they love.  With Judi it's her art, it makes her alive, and just looking at her art makes me feel alive.  What a wonderful gift.  With Carol, , it's her love for life and her family.  Peachy, her love for writing and letting you escape and be brought somewhere wonderful in her writings, an adventure just in everyday life, through her love for her family and all of mankind.  Barb,, and her letters to heaven that speak to our soul, she brings inspiration to my life everyday.   I could go on and on.  I love these journals they speak to my heart everyday.


What did you always dream of doing or being.... and is it still alive in you?

Monday, July 26, 2004

Remembering You

By Derek

The depth of this realm is simply to vast.
Once I tried to maneuver people.
Now I use that power to manipulate words.
How bright will my light be?
How long will the aches of the past last?
I will go on and shine in doing so.
The respecet that I show myself
The good deeds that I do for others
My dreams

Why does one want what he can't have?
Is it the bite of denial that entices us?
I am strong in saying it was never just lust.
Why did yout touch the beat of my heart?
I struggle to hold onto my grace...
While lying in the dark.
To forget would be the ultimate sin.
You were given to me...if only for a while
To aid in my to always remember your smile.
This is what's happening when I'm
Remembering YOU.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Last day

Autumn and i just got back from a walk on the beach, the moon was beautiful.  We started talking about Mema, she said Mema is in Heaven, and I said yep and I bet she's looking down on us smiling.  And she yelled, I love you Mema.  I was thinking the same thing.  I'm actually getting a little sad tonight is their last night here.  I've enjoyed watching her tonight while Sherry and Mark go out on a little date.  I'm wore out too.  How again do you guys do this every day.  God bless all the parents out there.  What an awesome job you have!

Just woke up

Well boy do I have a house full.  But I love it, Sherry's boyfriend Mark grilled some of the best salmon I've ever had.  Jerk Salmon over a bed of rice, with a nice salad on the side.  Sherry made a yummy lemon pie for dessert, I'd be as big around as a house if they were here long.  Autumn is as sweet as ever.  She really knows how to work Uncle Derek, she'll change the pitch just one octive and say P-L-E-A-S-E and that is all it takes.  Those big blue eyes of hers doesn't hurt any either.  Wish I had the day off so I could spend with them, but it's off to work I go!  I had some pretty awful dream last night, kind of weirded me out.  Maybe I need to write Jojolona see what she thinks.  Tonight I get to Autumnsit, while Sherry and Mark go out on the town.  Looking forward to that, I can hear her now, "Tell me a story"

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Day at the beach

Well it was nice taking the day off and spending it with my brother, sister, niece, and Sherry's boyfriend Mark.  We had a nice day, spent most of it on the beach,  Then Mark grilled chicken and dogs,  it was very tasty.  Had a great time.  I'm pooped, just got home and tried to pick up some, they are coming to spend tomorrow and Thursday here with me too.  I'll write more later.  Don't let the bedbugs bite!

Monday, July 19, 2004

I feel a long entry coming on

How often of the day are you being true to yourself?  Can you say yes, when you mean yes, and no when you mean no?  Why is Derek asking so many questions today.  Well I had a aweomse weekend.  My friend J came down from Atlanta Friday, and we had a wonderful time catching up, and talking about life, and having fun on the beach.  One of our conversations was about love, and he mentioned how confusing it was to him.  And he wondered if he really even knew what it was.  So the last couple of days I've been thinking about it.   A lot I guess.  Thinking of past loves, memories, mistakes, trying to be sure not to make the same mistakes again.   I don't write a whole lot about what I feel about love, but maybe it's time I share some of my viewpoints.  They may be a little diffrent, but maybe not so diffrent after all.  Seems like love is on everybodies mind these days, mine included.  Everyone has that need to connect.  Ok, I have met someone, it's just been recent, I really havn't dated or anything in the last year and a half, so this is all pretty new again to me.  But it feels good.  Scary at times but all in all it feels good.  Notice I said scary at times.  Seems fear is always the enemy no matter what subject we are talking about.  I think the pain we suffer in relationships are because of staying faithful to our fears and to a past that no longer serves us.  Our unwillingness to grow is the painful part.  I wrote that poem the other day to myself.  I want to get it right for a change.  We have choices, a choice between freedom and fear, drama and passion, lust and love.  A long time ago I thought everything was kind of left up to chance or fate.  I think Love is up to us.  Scary for me to even say the word sometimes, much less write about it.  When J shared his thoughts to me about love, I just told him, I think it's up to us, the love in our lives depends on how we perceive ourselves.  We need to be accepting of ourselves.  He then took a little bit of a defense and replies with how we have to protect ourselves, watch our backs.  I told him I understand him feeling that way, we've all been hurt.  There's so much to love to me.  One of the most overwhelming feeling to me about love is desire.  I don't want to let in blindsigh me, I've done this before in thepast.  This is not really a subject I talk about much, so changing the subject.  So why all the talk about love and relationships.  Guess I'm just happy and scared, and you know what it's ok to be.  I have met someone I'd love to get to know better.   I'm not going to run into it with my blinders on.  I'm happy to feel this way.  Just take it day by day, that's about all I can do.  Love is messy don't you think.  It's rarely what we think it should be, and we are rarely what we would like to be when we are in love.  On one hand we want love to be enough, yet on the other hand, we are rarely satisifed with the love we have, so fear and love battle it out.  For me I've become silent when i wanted so to connect,  I've jumped in fast when I knew I must slow down.  I've acted cool, when i really was hot.  I smiled on the outside, when I was angry on the inside.  I've put on an act, then worried I wouldn't be loved for whi I really was.  We reach out. We shut down, We cry, We run, We doubt.  But you know what we can't live without it.  I've gone with out love for a year and a half.  Now I'm happy to say, i'm sure not going to run from it.  Ok, do you think I've over analyzed what it's all about?  Be honest!

Have you ever heard the crowns we wear in heaven must be won on earth.  This is the thought or thoughts that were in my mind when I wrote that last poem. Sometimes I wonder how many times will I have to do some things to learn a lesson.  Quitting smoking is harder than I thought it would be.  I do good for weeks, and then boom, I'm back to killing my lungs.  Not just quitting smoking, there are many things I've done before that I've told myself I would never do again.    There's a story I remember about three men crossing the Sahara on horseback.  They approched a dry creek bed, and heard a voice tell them to pick up some pebbles, put them in their pockets, and not look at them till the next morning.  They were promised if they obeyed they would be both glad and sad.  They did what the voice said, mounted their horses and went on their way.  As the sunrise came at dawn, they reached in their pockets to find the pebbles had transformed to rubies and diamonds.  They realized the significance of their promise that they would be both glad and sad.  They were happy they picked up the pebbles but sorry that they hadn't collected more.  Looking up to Heaven the other day on the beach, I only saw it peeking out of a hole in a cloud.  Do we get that feeling when we all get to Heaven, like the song.   We will be happy for the treasures we have in Heaven, but maybe regretful that we didn't do more to serve HIM when we had the opportunities.  That poem I wrote meant a lot of things to me.  Sometimes I want so bad to have someone to love and someone to love me.  But for now I'm happy to have friends, and know that someone up there in Heaven loves me, and that is enough.  I'm happy most of the time, so maybe it's not so bad, but when I after I finished the poem, I felt kind of sad.  Guess we just got to make the most of our opportunites here on the big blue marble, so that we'll be more glad than sad.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Revelation by me

 When you find yourself doing

What you said you would never do

Then you have lost your sight

And are searching to hard

Outside of you

For someone to complete

What really only you can do

Find the one inside

And be happy

With what is you


When you're hurting others

For your own protection

It opens in your wounds

That does't heal with words

Or sorrow filled expressions

For you can't take back

The damage you do

In a moments indiscretion

it stays in the memory

to continually abuse

It makes you realize you're someone

No one would want to be

Leading to shock and disbelief

Anger, frustration and self-pity

And you think, pretty righteous, I am me


And what direction you take

(after revelation)

Will determine the one you will be

Make the effort to change - or

Disappear into self

And be a bane to society.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

I want my heart back

Well sister Anna decided not to come, guess she's going to wait and come some other time.  I need prayer guys, my neck is really bothering me.  Derek and pain just don't go together.  I know it could be worse and i'm thankful for all my blessings, but I know all the prayers I could get would help.  At times I wonder if the pain is really physical or mental.  It did pop when I was swimming the other day.   I've been thinking lately in the last year and a half I've really been searching for my heart.  Yes I want it back.  I know i never really lost it.  But back to those old wounds.  The wounds we've taken in our lifetime were leveled against us with stunning accuracy.  Have you ever wondered why there's been such an assault?  I think the Enemy fears us.  I think we are dangerous to him bigtime.  If I ever really got my heart back, lived from it with courage I'd be a big problem to him.  I'd do a lot of damage....on the side of good.  I guess we just have to remember how strong and  effective God has been in the history of the world.  We are a stem of his stalk.  Have you got your heart back.  I know it can be done.  But I also know something else, and i try not to let this scare me.  We have to fight for it.  When I was a little boy, the one thing I feared was having to fight, i could talk my way out of just about anything.  I guess our wounds won't heal and our strength won't be restored until  we fight for it.  Doesn't  this make something in you  want to live?  Then I hear in another voice, urging caution, wanting me to dismiss all I'm thinking alltogether.  Derek's being melodramitic as always.  Ok folks, ok Derek are you up for a fight?  I was born with bruises, and I'll go out punching, lol!  :)

Monday, July 12, 2004

Mountain to the Sky

Have you ever dreamed of a moutain that would take you straight to Heaven.  I know why it's called God's Country in Washington.  I feel it calling me, strange feeling.  Guess it's time for a vacation to the mountains.  I love the Ocean, but these mountains felt like home.  I've only lived in the mountains once, right after college for a short while, it's one of the few times in my life, that I was right where I was supposed to be.  Funny how nature can give you that feeling.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Sister Anna

My stepsister is coming to visit this week.  Anna is coming to visit Tuesday and is going to be here till Thursday.  Can't believe she's all grown up now.  This is a picture I drew of her this past Christmas.  Seems like yesterday I was meeting her at Christmas when she was a little girl, soon after Mama and her dad had started dating.  Anna has grown into a smart, sweet woman.  She's very talented, and artist also, very talented painter.  She our little hippie chic as we call her.  Then I've got a friend coming from Atlanta on Friday and staying till Sunday, followed by my sister and her boyfriend coming the following Monday.  It's going to be a full house for a while.

Rev. Richard Murphy Tucker

Well it's time again for my weekly celebration of one of my ancestors.  As a young boy I would look at this painting of my ancestor.  He looked mean to me when I was young.  But life was not easy in those days and hardships they did have to endure.  There's a show that comes on PBS where people of today relive the colonial time period, It's called "Colonial House", even Oprah made an appearance on it.  Can you imagine living in those day?

Rev. Richard Murphy Tucker of Georgia was a minister, a farmer, and a soldier.  He lived in Laurens Co., GA and moved after 1827 to Irwin Co. He drew land in the 1827 land lottery. He lived in the 5th district. In 1856 Irwin Co was split and their home area became part of the new Berrien Co. He had a home near the community of Gladys in North Berrien Co. He was licensed to preach 27 Jan 1838, fully ordained 22 May 1841. Preached at Young's Meeting House (Brushy Creek Church) 1847-1870. 1850 census Irwin Co. shows land value of $1000 with sons Jacob, Elisha, Elijah and John A. helping farm the home place.

Birth: 18 Mar 1801 in Montgomery Co, GA.
Death: 6 Oct 1874 in Berrien Co, GA.
Burial: Oct 1874 Tucker-Purvis Cemetery, Gladys, Berrien Co, GA.

Married Mary "Mollie" Vernell Paulk in Wilkinson County, Georgia in 1820, she was the daughter of Micajah Paulk and Mary Catherine Young.

Richard Murphy Tucker is the son of Henry Crawford Tucker and grandson of Henry Tucker b: 14 Sep 1652 in Port Royal, Bermuda.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Rolling Down the River

Well I'm pooped, but just wanted to make a quick entry.  Will probably write more tomorrow.  Went down a river of my teenage years today.  Hadn't changed much.  The wildlife still as beautiful and captivating as it was those years ago.  The great cedar trees were large and beautiful.  Should be getting another roll developed later this week.  I felt as peace on the river.  Just wanted to stay there a little longer, or for the day to last a little longer.  I'm pooped, will write more later.

Thursday, July 8, 2004


I'm not one to usually read my horoscope, but funny today i was emailed my horoscope.  It was interesting to say the least.  "Look at every path closely and deliberately.  Try it as many times as you think necessary.  Then ask yourself, and yourself alone, one question.  Does this path have a heart?  If it does, the path is good, if it doesn't it is of no use."   Actually it hits home.  I seem to be playing out many roads or paths for myself.  Wondering at times which way to go.  This is one of those moments when heaven comes all the way down to earth, when an invisible allies from the other side of the veil make an appearance, when age-old secrets briefly show  what they're really made of.  Come on Derek pick a path and no straying.

Wednesday, July 7, 2004


Aunt May says it best, "I believe there is a hero in everyone of us".  I finally went to see Spider-Man II and I loved it.  Graphics were awesome, and what a great story.  I felt the little boy in me get excited again.  An adventure, I always feel that in the movies, it was my escape when I was growing up.  I could escape whatever was going on for a couple of hours and enter into another world.  It's still that way for me, time stands still and I'm transported somewhere else.  I love it.

Tuesday, July 6, 2004

Man's Search for Meaning

I read Victor Frankl's "Man's Search for Meaning", wow very powerful book, it's an amazing story of survival and the story of one man's spirit that is remarkable.   Guess we are all survivors.  One powerful line in it is "We need to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life-daily and hourly.  Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its  problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly set for each individual."  The human spirit is a powerful thing.  My mind is still kind of full, so guess I need to sit with it.  :)

Monday, July 5, 2004

Thought on a Monday Evening

As many of you may know I've been revisiting some old wounds.  I try and keep my journals happy, but sometimes happy is not exactly what I'm feeling, tonight I've been thinking about the strength of mine that my wounds targeted.  How can I learn about my strengths and identity from my wounds?  Sometimes I feel i came into this world kicking and screaming, I was breach, and a part of me feels I wasn't quite ready to come back, I think i was enjoying where I was before.  The scene's we're living is no sitcom, it's a battle at times.  These blows we've taken, they were not random accidents at all, they hit dead center I think.  The thing I was meant to be seemed to take the hardest blows.  I've always had a gift of imagination, and writing words,and my art.  But my wounds always told me I wasn't good enough, or I was too diffrent.  I needed to be more like everyone else.  Those wounds tried to take out what I was meant for.  I was told many times I shouldn't go into art because I wasn't good enough.  I am good enough.  If it's still my dream I can go after whatever I want.  On and on it goes, the wound is too well aimed and far too consistent to be accidental.  It's like an attempt to take us out; to cripple or destroy our strenght and get us out of the action.  I am so thankful for my supporters, my mother who always believed in me.   A friend years ago when I started drawing again, made me feel talented and framed my work like they were works of art.  The internet friends I've made through my journals that keep telling me tomorrow is a new day and I can make of each new day however I like.  Your all blessing to me.  Thank you!