Coffee Percs

He got to his feet and walked over to the chuckwagon for the coffeepot.  Coolly, he filled the man’s cup and then his own, putting the pot down by the fire.”
–Louis L’Amour

Well, pard, this is it!  The last day of December, the last day of 2016.  Yep, come tomorrow, a new year is upon us.  Made the coffee hot and strong this mornin’ just to get us through the last day.  Reckon we will, for we made it through 365 days, plus that extra one in February.  Whooeee, doggies, it was a year.
New President coming to the country; that’s always interestin’ and this year just might prove to be more so.  One thing I do know, even an ol’ fence post can see this, is that things are becoming ready for the Lord’s return.  Say, pard, now don’t spill yore coffee, but this might be the year.
Keep yore eyes on the skies and on the situation in the Middle East.  Oh, and ifn I were you I’d sure keep my Bible read and my gun handy.  Hope to have you drop by in the days ahead; coffee will be perking.
Now don’t go gettin’ careless the last day of the year like so many fools will.  You stay sober and check that cinch.

The Saga of Miles Forrest

Running to the cabin I slowed as I neared.  I didn’t want to rush into a situation and at least not know the layout.  I peeked in the window.  Close to the fireplace was this ugly looking, very large man holding Lucas with a knife to his throat.  Molly was next to the bed, the large man from time-to-time would point his knife at her, and there was another man not too far from the door.
There was the danger that Lucas could be severely injured or killed if I barged in, but on the other hand this was no time to tip-toe and politely knock on the door.  I held the Greener in my left hand; this was not the time to be using it in close quarters. 
Pulling my Schofield I eased on up to the door.  “Lord,” I whispered.  “Be with Lucas,” and I went through the door.  Swinging my pistol and thumped the man standing close to it on the head.  He dropped with a thud and I pulled it up and cocked it aiming it at the large man.
“Better not be too hasty, Forrest,” he barked.  “I’ll slit the boy’s throat.”
I could see the knife touching it drawing just a little blood.
“Lower your gun.  I said lower it!”
For the most part, he was totally hidden behind Lucas.  I lowered the gun; figured I could get it back up pretty quickly.
“Now drop it!” he barked again.
“Not going to happen,” I replied.
“I’ll cut him!”
“And I’ll put a bullet between your eye-balls.”
There was a faint laugh. “Worth the boy’s life?”
“Worth your life?” I retorted.
“Forrest, you’re worth a sum of money to me.  The way I figure it right now, I’m in the best place in the bidding.”
He stood up, keeping Lucas in his arms.  I could see Lucas try and struggle and the man pressed the knife to his throat, drawing a little more blood.  “I’m walking out with the boy.  I’ll release him when I get to my horse.”
“Think I’ll join you on your little stroll.”
He laughed again.  “I don’t think you trust me.  Tell you what.  I’ll leave him here if I have your promise not to come after me for thirty minutes.”
“I might be tempted not to keep my promise.”
“Tempted yes, but you’ll keep it.  You’re a God-fearing man.”
“What do you go by?” I asked.  “I don’t recall your face on any posters.”
“Go by lots of things.  You can use Dreg,” he paused.  “I’ll be back Forrest; you’re worth some money to me and my boys.”
“Come after me; leave my friends and family alone.”
“Not what I was paid to do.  I was paid to hurt you.”
“I’ll shoot you on sight next time.”
There came the laugh again.  “You won’t see me next time.”  He tossed Lucas on the floor and was out the door.
There was a little gasp from Molly.  “Miles, what are we going to do?”
“Tomorrow, we’ll get a tree for the eatery and trim it.  Maybe I’ll eat a piece of one of those Christmas pies you’ll make.  We’ll plan a party for Christmas and get ready to look to the One who came to this earth to redeem us.”
“You’re not afraid?”
“Not for myself.  I’m a mite concerned for you, Lucas, and my other friends.”  I went to her and held her.  “I trust in the Lord and He’ll help us, and I’ll not let anyone harm you.”
Lucas was holding his neck.  “Senor Miles, I didn’t cry.”
“Yur becomin’ quite the man.  Let Molly bandage that up.”

The Daily Paine

Maybe Christmastime isn’t the right time to bring it up, but guess I will anyway.  I saw more of the snowflake bellyachers.  They were now complaining that they had to pay their debts.  It seems that somewhere in the poor, enriched (is that possible?) minds that they should not have to pay their college bills, but that society owed it to them.  Now, you or I don’t pay our bills, what happens?  Yep, their turn off the electricity, they turn off the water, they repossess.  What do they think, they are a special brand of cupcake or something?
Perhaps the worst of it is that many of them are, well, they call themselves Christians.  Seems to be the Word of the Lord is very plain about owing debts.  Paul mentions it in Romans 13:8, “Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.” (NKJV)  Hmmm, let’s see if I’ve got this right.  “If my lender loves me he forgives my debt.”  But doesn’t it work both ways?  A good study in money management is found in the Book of Proverbs, so you poor, enriched little snowflakes go read up on it, and quit expecting a handout.  We’re not socialist–yet.
     Wish I had space to write “There’s Nothing Like Nothing” by Waddie Mitchell here.  Sometimes we get to feeling poorly around Christmas.  I don’t mean that in the way that we are poor because we spent too much, but that we think we are poor because we can’t give.  We just get ourselves in and down-and-out way.  Anyway, here are a few stanzas from the poem.

          “‘Twas their fourteenth (46th for us) Christmas together
           ‘Cept for the kids, didn’t have much to show
           For the life he’d spent ridin’ for cattle
           And he was feeling especially low.

           For if ever a wife was obliging
           If ever a woman endured
           Then surely she was at the top of the list
           And a gift from her man was deserved.”

The story goes on and he bemoans his fate.  The wolf seemed to be at the door or there were always bills to pay, and as for retirement, that was a laugh for the work he did there wasn’t nothing put away from the past.  But here are a couple of more stanzas toward the end.

          “She smiled and put her arm ’round him
           Said, ‘You’ve worked yourself into a stew
           There’s nothin’ like nothin’ for Christmas
           When I get to share it with you.

           So don’t worry ’bout presents for Christmas
           And listen up, he-buckaroo
           There’s nothin’ like nothin’ for Christmas
           When I know it’s comin’ from you.'”

So be happy and recognize your blessings this Christmas.  Look up to the One who gave the greatest Gift to the world.  That will never be equaled.
So from this ol’ fence post to all of you out there reading this.  Have a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!