January 17, 2022

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If you say the word "garden," I immediately think of my friend Mel. Man, he has one of the best-kept, most productive gardens I've ever seen. I've eaten some of the fruits and vegetables of his labor. Growing up as I did in an apartment in Chicago, I've got a lot to learn about gardens, believe me. I'm horticulturally challenged shall we say. Well, Mel taught me a lot. I mean, one section of his garden is dedicated to his grapes. And when those vines start growing, He does something that looks very strange to a city-slicker like me. He goes after those vines with pruning shears. He starts cutting away branches - a lot of branches. Of course, it's called pruning.

January 14, 2022

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"So are you planning to go on a cruise sometime soon?" It was the guy checking me out at the drugstore, and he was pointing to the newspaper I was buying and sort of asked that with a wry smile. Because on the front page was this haunting picture of that capsized Italian cruise ship that went aground a few years ago now.

January 13, 2022

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For many years I lived in New Jersey where we were blessed with a heavy dose of Italy. There were so many Italians in our area, it should come as no surprise that we had so many Italian restaurants. And what's their favorite dressing on a dinner salad? Of course, Italian dressing. Actually, I didn't know what Italian dressing was for much of my life. I always heard it called by the ingredients that make it up - vinegar and oil. And frankly, I'm sure glad they put them together. Can you imagine a salad with just vinegar dressing? You'd bite into your salad and your salad would bite you back! But then I couldn't get very excited about a salad that just had oil dressing on it either. That slimy covering...that's not going to be very appetizing. Vinegar without oil, oil without vinegar - not very appealing. But put them together, hey, you've got a pretty tasty combination there!

January 12, 2022

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It was the early winter of 1994. It was when the Sanitation Department of New York City would not forget for a while. Much of the East Coast got hit big time with this parade of snow storms and ice storms. And at one point, they were coming about every other day. You take a hard freeze and frequent storms. It just created layers of frozen precipitation on the ground. Kind of like geological strata except slippery. Olympic skaters could have practiced on Broadway or Fifth Avenue.

January 11, 2022

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Maybe I'm just too sensitive, but I always feel a little sheepish when I walk into a store, knowing I'm not going to buy anything. I'll just be browsing and, you know, some bored salesperson stands up and starts moving my direction. Maybe what makes me feel bad is her look of hope, of expectancy, of "at last I can justify my existence" - "at last I can accomplish what I'm here to do." So the salesperson pleasantly asks, "May I help you?" To which I answer with the two most hated words in the life of a salesperson, "Just looking." I am such a disappointment.

January 10, 2022

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Our grandson used to love to play "hide and seek." I didn't tell him I was pretty much onto his favorite places to hide in our house. But he figured out the best places to become totally invisible when I'm looking for him.

January 7, 2022

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I had to make a 6:30 A.M. flight. My dear wife was the lucky one who got to drive me to the airport. As I staggered to the car about 5:00 in the morning, I said, "Where's the sun?" Obviously, the sun was on a later flight that morning. But what made the drive really challenging was not the absence of sun, it was the presence of fog. I'm talking thick fog all the way to the airport. Our visibility was really limited. The traffic reporter on our news station said that it would be difficult even driving roads you knew like the back of your hand. And believe me, the road to the airport is one we knew all too well. As we traveled toward the turnpike exit that leads to the airport, the fog got really thick and disorienting. We were in the right lane with almost no sense of exactly where we were, when suddenly we saw the sign - "Turnpike." That was our turn, but we were practically right on it when we realized where we were. So, my wife turned just in time, and I even made my plane. As we got on that ramp, she said, "It's a good thing I didn't trust my instincts. It just didn't feel like we were at the point we were." She only had a second to decide whether to trust her instincts or the sign. I'm glad she trusted the sign.

January 6, 2022

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Several years ago I thought they were talking about my grandmother storming up the East Coast. Actually, it was a hurricane with her name - Irene. Oh, and I know what that name means. It means peace. How ironic.

January 5, 2022

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Our daughter and son-in-law inherited our big red van. Let me describe it to you. There were two seats in the front, there's a bench seat in the back, and in-between nothing but open floor - carpeted open floor. It was always challenging to talk in there. In fact, it was almost impossible when the windows were open.

January 4, 2022

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The image of a burning candle on an iPad. That's actually the way that many people paid tribute and honored Steve Jobs' death and life. How appropriate. I mean, he was that inventive genius; the innovative marketer who brought the communications revolution from the "geekosphere" to something you could actually hold in your hand.

            

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Ron Hutchcraft Ministries
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Harrison, AR 72602-0400

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