Morning Chases Night Away

Even as the night goes unwillingly and it’s darkness clings to the remaining hours not even the fumbling fingers of an old man on a keyboard can withstand lightnesses early arrival. I’ll pay for this later I tell myself but laying claim to these early morning routines allows me the tranquility that only me, the birds, and a few moist worms can enjoy alone for our reprieve.

I have had a hint at the news while waiting for the water to boil for the coffee and I won’t be turning that back on. One of my tasks that awaits me is how to disconnect cable while keeping my landline phone and the internet.

Hope springs eternal is still the mantra with the weather though compared to other parts of our country we really don’t have anything to complain about. Playing with fonts and opening size letters are all I can do to keep my fingers moving. Where did the Tiger go that I had planned to feature in this article. Let me go try and find him.

Prattling of an Insane Man.

The excitement of solving WORDLE at 4:30 in the morning is unbeatable. Please don’t worry your pretty little head about what that is if you don’t know what it is. I watched a lot of football yesterday, but the season is over now. A good reason to not watch the SuperBowl would be appreciated. I should put this on my blog, and maybe I’ll do so by the end of this sentence.

I went to church yesterday. Not unusual as it was Sunday. For me however, it was the first time in 3 years. I’m going to leave it at that. To much writing is spent solving problems or at least attempting too. Nothing out of the ordinary happened EXCEPT as I was riding the slowest elevator in the world a woman from the continent of Africa asked me if I was insane. I pondered my response just long enough for Mary to come to my rescue and asked the woman what she said. I’m already hard of hearing so I was allowing that to be what was in play here, when I heard the woman ask again, “Are you insane?” I told her I had been in the past but not currently. Mary figured out what she really was asking was “Are you in pain?” Yes, I am always in pain but how did she know? She alluded to the fact I was making just audible sounds that resembled a moan or something. I agreed to the accusation and said what a pleasure it was to meet her.

Mary and I attended the NEW COMERS class after the service, not that we were ‘new comers’. We had been attending up where for some 14 years. Attendance in a ‘New Comers’ class is a pre-requisite for becoming members. There are a couple of reasons why after 14 years we should choose to join the church but suffice it to say, I have to have some place to conduct my funeral when I die, and based on the number of people we know who have died in the last 6 months I’m cognizant of the fact that I am going to be next, soon, (or not so soon) whatever the case may be. Besides, it gives us more opportunity to evangelize ‘our story’ and meeting your wife in prison is always good for intriguing people who live boring lives.

Black Metal Lunch Box

As I stared out the cell block window, I could see the Court House adjacent to the St. Louis City Jail. With half my life languishing in jails, reformatories and prisons a review of my life was a quick study. I asked myself the proverbial “why me.” None of my friends were going to prison, none of my 9 siblings were going to prison, why me?

As 5 O’clock approached I noticed one particular person leaving the courthouse. He did not appear to be a lawyer, or any number of other individuals who frequent the courthouse every day. In fact, from his dress attire, a dark blue khaki uniform, he looked the part of a janitor, carrying a black metal lunch box.

I thought to myself, ‘now why can’t I be satisfied with that?’ A steady job with a family to come home to every night. As soon as I thought it, I dismissed it as wishful thinking. In despair, I resigned myself to live the rest of my life in prison.

I reversed my initial plea of Guilty to Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity, partially because I thought if I could be sent to a mental institution they might discover what was psychologically wrong with me. Subsequently, they sent me to the U. S. Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Springfield, Mo.

For brevity’s sake to reveal my most unusual gift the story hurries through meeting a prison school teacher who tells me God can change my life. At first I doubt that He could but what if she is right so I accept Christ as my savior and HE DOES. 6 1/2 years later I am released and the school teacher and I are married, (and have been these 43 years). My most unusual gift:


First Things First

First things first, that’s what they always say. What if you don’t know what the first thing is? That’s okay, at my age anything will suffice, just as long as it needs doing. So, let’s get this party started.

I’m ready to start the new year. It’s hard to feel if it’s a new year because the world is continuing to do in 2023 what they have been doing since COVID arrived. See right there I have figured out where to write vs. FB or this blog. I can freely talk about COVID here but not on FB or they’ll flag you if they don’t like what you say. Even harder is figuring out what they like or don’t like. This probably should be the year I let FB go as a casual social medium goes. There are business aspects to it that may yet prove to be useful.

Writing, that is my FIRST thing that I need to move to the front of the line, or class, or list. Procrastination or Resistance is the first thing I must come to grips with. Overcome if you will. I have a grasshopper mentality. All the time jumping from one thing to another and before you know it I have 15 tabs open and I’m jumping from one thing to the next. So I have personal challenges before we even get out of the box.

Let me go and put my days attire on so I can roll up my sleeves, ala Ed Norton and get ready to work.

I need to revive my use of my Simpleology program that helps me organize my ‘to do’ life that enables me to organize my work flow. Peppered among all these activities is fighting the resistance that creeps in there every morning and before you know it all my good intentions are down the drain.

There, sitting on top of the printer is my Stories from GRANDPA, A fill-in journal and family keepsake, that my daughter gave me a few years ago. She has 2 boys and I am sure she was hoping to have it completed in their youthful years so they could know about their Grandpa. Ruth, was over here yesterday, having brought the boys over to make cookies with Grandma (she too has a book) and while sitting in my bat cave/Magic Room, she noticed the book sitting on the piano bench. Opening it she saw that not much had been entered in it and moved it to a more prominent place on my printer. I mention this because its sitting there makes it a distraction, the very sort of distractions that are going to throw me off course of what I want to get done today. But it does have its place on THE LIST.

For me, writing is like swimming, and swimming underwater. I have to come up for air and just now I veered off course and spent a couple of minutes looking at a new writing course that I will be taking. Writing With Confidence: Writing Beginner To Writing Pro. Now to some, the veering part, will be a distraction, on the other hand, it’s me coming up for air.

In another part of my 78 years I could write, long hand, feverishly across 12 pages of legal sized paper, a letter to a loved one. both sides mind you. Now most of my activities are interrupted with nothing more than boredom. I can get bored quite easily. This too, is resistance and as stated earlier I must over come.

So why, at 78, am I taking on new/old routines as if I have discovered the fountain of youth and I am set off to write a best seller. WHY NOT? I am retired, actually I am tired all the time. I have no obligations minus the death and taxes thing I was told about a long time ago, so, again WHY NOT?

I’m going over to my emails and see what’s come in, and then stop by and look at what if any news has happened in the last hour since I started this, and perhaps another look at one of the 2 minute videos that goes to the Writing With Confidence: Writing Beginner To Writing Pro course. Call this FIRST THINGS FIRST an opener in a poker game. I’ll be back for the next hand.


We already know we don’t follow the same calendar as you folks do so don’t let that trouble you. I think I have just about got the handle on this NEWS blockade. You see, I am an addicted news junkie. Every hour or so it seems I am checking MSN, FOX, CBS, to see what the latest events are being churned out at an ever increasing speed. And if you want to quit a bad habit you have to cut it off at its head. That’s the way I quit smoking, In one weekend, cold turkey. I haven’t looked back. Same thing with drinking, it wasn’t like I was addicted and believe me in the past I have put away some liquor, maybe it was a bad habit or nothing, its just a waste of money.

Some of the benefits of banning the news is that you are not cluttering your mind with murder and mayhem, nor are you listening to infuriating politicians lying to you constantly evoking rage within you. Doom and gloom is not deterring you from going out of your house in fear for your life. Even the weather and traffic can have deleterious effects on your well being. So in a very real sense it is freeing to rid yourself of the junk coming into your life.

There are some other things I am going to look at this year but they are not like I MUST do them. If I do, I do, if I don’t, so be it.

ANNIVERSARIES: On January 13th, 1978 (Friday) I will be acknowledging 45 years since I left the Federal Prison system and at the same time entering a new life at Reba Place Fellowship.

On April 12th, (1980) Mary and I will celebrate our 43 Wedding Anniversary.

March 1, 1978. I moved into God’s Promises household, where I would live for 4 months.

September 1, 1978 I would move into the Sherman/Madison Bldg. where I still live today.

I once spoke to a class of prospective lawyers at DePaul University about prisons and what not, and also what I had been doing since my release, when an attentive student raised his hand and said. “WAIT A MINUTE?” “On the one hand you have told us how you lived this life of crime and prison and on the other hand what you are doing since you left prison. {And using his hands to demonstrate, one to another} “How did you get from this hand (prison life) to this hand. (A life of freedom) Therein lies the crux of the story. How did I?


No News for the third consecutive day has proven to be a blessing I hadn’t counted on. Sure, at my age I can guarantee there has been murder and mayhem but they have not touched these doors\

We’re still celebrating the quietude left over from the festivities and look for more in the next two weeks as our grandchildren have 2 weeks of free time to spend with the grandparents.

Boxing Day

I don’t know why this Canadian Holiday is called Boxing Day. It just is

As you can detect, Mary went to church Sunday along with our Daughter Ruth and her family and Mary ended up in the paper with our Grandson, Dominic. Dominic doesn’t like his picture taken even by us so it’s no surprise he isn’t to pleased with this picture either. This appeared in one of Evanston’s papers, The Roundtable.

MERRY CHRISTMAS and a happy new year!

For ‘little johnny thomson’, that’s me, Christmas is the last day of the present year and tomorrow begins my NEW YEAR. 3 months into my 79th year I have discovered what resolutions are for. Resolutions are to write about. Experience has taught you that you’re not going to keep your New Year’s Resolutions but at least you can write about them. If you post them on Facebook, MEMORIES is going to come along the following year and remind you of what you didn’t accomplish.

So, let’s begin, and importance is not necessarily in the order as they are written. We could measure what we DID DO last year and scratch them off the list. 1)NO NEWS, when ever possible. Most of the time that will prove to be impossible. Another measure of age and all the past resolutions you didn’t keep is the truth that, ‘come on,’ after all these years of inactivity you are going to ‘start exercising, start walking, lose weight (?) eat healthier, (you started this morning with a cookie and a glass of milk, what did you do, just come down the chimney with a HO HO HO)

The beauty about ‘Edit’ buttons is that you can come back and add to the article without posting another post. It’s proving to be at least a week before all of the 4 people who are going to read your published work of art to actually read it. That’s okay, you get more reminders of folks birthdays who use to be on your list than actually who are on your list. So many people have died of recent vintage I have to check and be sure not wish someone a Happy Birthday who has already passed away. Even though, many folks do wish birthday greetings to folks who are in Heaven.

Add another friend to Mary’s list of newly acquired friends Mary has made this year. The most recent being Angel, who is from India and Miriam who is from Haiti. These are real people in real time and not on FB. Add these to Mary’s friend Eysha from Turkey, Savannah from Syria and Emma from Florida and you have the makings of an International gathering for next years Thanksgiving celebration.