Monday, April 25, 2016

Going For A Ride

Wouldn’t it be nice to be a kid again? Just forget about the daily grind, the concerns and responsibilities that go along with being an adult. To laugh, to play, and relax. To just have fun.        

Had the opportunity to join my two-year-old grandson at a carnival this past weekend. My family, me included, love the rides. Even after I got older and the bumpy, jarring effects punish my body, I still like them. I just don’t get to go on them as much anymore. But, back to the grandkid.

His mother and I took him to ride the rides. He was so excited; he could hardly stand to wait in line. And when we got on the first ride, the Berry-Go-Round, he sat waiting for it to start with a serene look of happy anticipation. “This is going to be SO fun!” he said. And it was. As were the rest of the rides. We went on several. And no, he didn’t want to leave. Truth be told, neither did I, but with the high cost of amusement these days, we couldn’t afford to stay all day and night. See, there I am being an adult again; worried about paying for our adventure!

On our way back to the car, we saw, or actually, the grandkid saw, they were giving pony rides. Of course, he wanted to ride and yes, we let him—with grandpa walking alongside in case he forgot to hold on or suddenly decided something on the ground was more interesting. He was fine but you never know, the kid is only two after all.

It has been a few years since I’ve been to a carnival—my kids are no longer small and thus, I lost my excuse to go—and I’d forgotten how much fun it is. I’m not sure who had a better time, the grandkid, or me. (His Mom may just have been in the running too). But more than being fun, it was relaxing—and exhilerating at the same time. Rejuvenating. And, rather refreshing to forget about everything else and just have a good time. In a way, I guess I was a kid again—for an hour or two anyway! ~

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook at www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS and paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.

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Sunday, April 17, 2016

Fire Starter

I think I’m going to have to quit my job—so I can stay home and keep an eye on my wife. It may be the only way to keep my house intact. I might be only half serious but that half is what concerns me.

Got a call from her the other day and she told me she’d started another fire. Now, we don’t have a fireplace or a wood stove. The fire she started was in the oven. Problem is, we don’t have a wood cook stove either—just a normal electric range. And this was an actual fire. Another problem is, this isn’t exactly a new phenomenon. Over the years, she’s had a habit of creating some of the most unusual fires; for instance, the time she caught a pot of water on fire. Yep, water.

It had been a while since her last episode and I thought perhaps her firebug tendencies had abated. But, no. The bug had apparently just been lying dormant. Until the other day.

The fire in the oven was the element. That’s not good. Elements are, by design, not supposed to burn. The makers of our stove obviously haven’t met my wife. This one was definitely burning, she said—with flames.

At first, I thought it was probably only grease or food that had collected on the element and then burned off. But no, the element burned up and no longer works. So, I spent a few minutes finding the model number and then ordered a new one. In a few days, the stove will be good as new—and all ready for my wife!

I shouldn’t really be surprised, at her preclevity for burning things I suppose. After all, her name is Brenda, which means “firebrand.” I always assumed that was figurative and referred to her demeanor or readiness to “discuss” things passionately. But obviously, with her it is quite literal!

To be fair, she didn’t burn anything else and she got the fire out but, well, I’d still feel better if I could find a way to make money from home. It may not be safe to leave her alone! ~

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook at www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS and paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.

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Monday, April 11, 2016

Overweight, Again

As regular readers of this blog know, I am a truck driver in my “real” life. I haul bulk garbage from the city to the desert in a semi, usually around 70,000 pounds per trip. And just in case anyone is wondering, that is a LOT of garbage. Fortunately, I do not dump it, or load it for that matter. All I do is drive the truck, drop the trailer, and then go get another load.

Due to sudden braking or other driving-related causes, the wet garbage can sometimes shift, and over the years, I’ve had my share of overweight fines. Normally, the loads are pre-weighed and legal—we don’t have to scale the truck, we just drive. If there is a problem, the company pays the ticket, since the driver has no way of knowing if the weight is legal or not. Because the company pays and the ticket doesn’t go on the driver’s record, we don’t really get too excited about it. The only thing I don’t like is that it costs me time. For some reason, the DOT is never concerned with my time, though.

About a week ago, I was thinking that it had been a while since I’d had a ticket. I shouldn’t have been thinking, I guess, because last Friday, I had the privilege of getting pulled into the scales on the freeway and then told to park and bring my papers—like I was in a foreign country or something. Once inside the building, I got to chat with the guy about how I was (apparently, single-handedly) responsible for the rutted condition of the roads. Nevermind the fact that if my company, or any company, wanted to haul more weight all they have to do is pay a little more money and the extended weight permit is amended to allow for whatever weight they want or need. So, it’s not really about the roads, but as most things with government are, it’s the money.

Okay, I’ll get off my soapbox and back to the story... Turns out, my entire truck was not overweight, just the drivers—the wheels on the tractor—they were 2,300 pounds over the limit. The trailer was about 3000 pounds underweight, which meant the load had obviously shifted. I was given a citation and instructed to legalize my load before leaving. Great! There was just one problem with that.

Most semis have the ability to move the weight around using sliding tandems or fifth wheels. The trucks at my job have neither. Which meant the only way for me to legalize my load was to back up as fast as I could get going and then slam on the brakes. This technique is sort of frowned upon by the DOT. Not that they care about the truck or the load, they are only concerned with the damage it may do to their lot! That didn’t concern me much; what I was concerned with is getting home on a Friday night. But as you can imagine, this method of moving the weight around is far from a scientific approach. It took several re-weighs before I was legal. Finally, an hour after pulling into the scale I was on my way.

But then, just before hitting the freeway, I HAD to hit my brakes—pretty hard too. And I felt the load come rushing back to the front of the trailer. So after an hour, and a citation, nothing had changed; I was right back to being overweight on the drivers! But I wouldn’t have done that on purpose—would I? ~

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook at www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS and paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.

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Monday, April 4, 2016

My Happy Birthday

By the time anyone reads this it’ll be over but as I’m writing, it’s my birthday. My 49th birthday to be exact. Not that the number is too important. It’s not like a big milestone or anything.

I should preface this with clarifying that I had a good day and I really didn’t mind the events as much as this post might make it sound...  It started with being awakened by my two-year-old grandson. When he learned it was my birthday, he was ready for a party and extremely disappointed when we told him I wasn’t having one. “I will give you a party,” he said. I explained that after people get older they really don’t get gifts and have a party; that we do that for kids. The look he gave me said he thought that was not a very good plan but he went with it.

Later, one of my daughters, and an “adopted” daughter, announced their plans to take me to lunch. But first, my wife wanted to make a quick trip to the store. Everyone—except me—went with her; I stayed home to wait. That was taking quite a chance, women and shopping, you know!

But true to their word, they returned just a few minutes later. It was then I learned how my day was going to go.

In the back of the vehicle was a big box. Apparently, my wife had found a deal—a motorized kid’s car. The price tag said it was regularly $149.99 but it had been on sale. And at just $37.00, my wife couldn’t pass it up. She was happy she’d been able to make the purchase.

But me, I saw immediately what was printed on the box: “Contains 71 parts. Requires assembly.” The reason it was so cheap because the rest of the husbands had gone with their wives to the store and said, “Don’t buy that.” But I wasn’t there to issue the words of caution.

So, after a nice meal, we returned home and I set to work. The task went about as expected for a Made in China product; deciphering directions, figuring out what they meant by phrases like “the fastener,” and then figuring out how to really put it together when what they had didn’t work.

The process took about two and a half hours! But I did get it done and yes, it runs! Unfortunately, my grandson had to leave before it was finished. He’ll be back Monday evening and I’m sure he’ll be running the battery dead—about four hours according to the specifications. The bad part is, I’ll be at work. The good news is, my wife will be home and it will fall to her to chase the kid driving the car, until the battery gives out—in an estimated four hours! But maybe then she’ll reconsider next time she sees something to buy that requires assembly!

Oh, before my grandson left he felt compelled to inform me that even though I’d said I wouldn’t be getting presents, I DID get one—the car! I said the car was his. He so sweetly replied, “But YOU get to put it together!” Yeah. Happy Birthday to me! ~



Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook at www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS and paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.

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Monday, March 28, 2016

Not That Bright?

I think I might be getting old. Some days, my brain doesn’t seem to be what it used to be. And apparently, light fixtures ain’t what they used to be either. Yes, the two are related. I promise.

For the second time in a month, I had to buy a new light fixture. (No, not because I blew it up or anything). First, it was the outside porch light. The wires were so corroded and badly deteriorated that the light would not work. Since one of my self-assigned trades is that of electrician, I fixed it myself. And yes, it is still working!

Then, this past week, the living room light went out. Thinking it was just a blown bulb, I started to change it. But the moment I touched the fixture, the light made a sizzling pop and then came on. So, since I do not relish the idea of loose wires shorting out and burning down my house, I made another trip to Home Depot on Saturday.

I was planning to replace the fixture Sunday afternoon. I had everything ready and started to go turn off the electricity—not too keen on wiring live wires—when I realized my wife was busy sewing. The plug she was using, as well as any others in the room, was on the same circuit as the light. No big deal, I thought, I’d just wait until Sunday night.

Only one little problem with that idea. Not only was the plug my wife was using on the same circuit as the light, ALL the lights and plugs on that end of the house are on the same circuit. That would seem to make it difficult to see while re-wiring a fixture—at night. I did realize this before actually turning the electricity off, and said something to my wife about her husband not being too brilliant. The bad part is, she agreed. After having a good chuckle at my expense, she gave me a rolling-of-the-eyes look, and then her fitting words were, “Lights are on, nobody’s home.”

Yeah. Sometimes she has a dark side. Maybe I’ll have to start relying more on her brain to help me out, since mine evidently isn’t what it used to be. ~

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook at www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS and paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.

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Monday, March 21, 2016

Lights Out

I’ve never been a fan of the “lights out” rule. Church camps and other places I went as a kid always seemed to have this rule, as well as at my dad’s house. It’s not that I was afraid of the dark, but the fact that the real intent of this rule was to force me to go to sleep. Not a fan of sleep either and for the same reason I don’t like the “lights out” rule, I can’t get much done.

When I lived at home, I solved the problem by using a flashlight to read, or as I did once, by wiring about six night-lights to a switch near my bed. If I heard my dad coming up the steps, one flick of the switch and I was in compliance! Of course, that meant trying to convince him that I was asleep when he came to check and that was not always too successful.

When I was a teenager, I attended a church youth camp where, once again, they had a lights out rule. The Camp Counselor, who stayed in the dorm with us, was of the persuasion that “lights out” actually meant lights out, and shared his opinion with us in the form of a lecture. There were no exceptions, he said. He’d turn the switch off and after waiting a few minutes for things to cool down, took the bulb out of the ceiling—the only bulb—and didn’t replace it until the next day. With no other lights in the dorm and without a flashlight, the first night, I had no choice but to lay there in the dark.

By the next night though, I had a plan.

Outside the cabin was a security light. The fixture directed the light away from the dorm but I saw that could easily be changed. So, waiting until everyone was involved with other activities, I “wandered” off and returned to the dorm. It was a simple matter to climb the short pole and bend the fixture, aiming it right at the big window on the side of the building. Then, inside the dorm, I took down the curtain and hid it.

No one seemed to notice anything until the call came for lights out. The Counselor turned off the switch, but the whole place remained lit up. Not as bright as before but enough. Well, all the other campers thought it was great but the Counselor wasn’t so easily impressed. He demanded to know who had done that to the light. Me, being unassuming, and not liking to make my presence known, I said nothing.

Then came the fun part. In order to look for the curtain, or something to cover the window, the Counselor felt he needed more light and turned the switch on. And I promptly turned it back off; reminding him that lights out meant lights out—no exceptions. Several of the other campers echoed my “friendly” reminder, which was nice because it then wasn’t so obvious that I had been the guilty party!

Eventually, the guy found the curtain and covered up the window. But by this time, everyone was riled up and it was a few hours past our lights out curfew when we finally went to sleep. The next day, someone had fixed the security light and, once again, at lights out, we were plunged into darkness.

Figuring I had won—at least a small battle—and made my point, I was content to leave things alone the rest of the week. And for the rest of the week no one said a word about the incident to me. However, when it came time to leave, the Counselor pulled me aside and handed me a flashlight. “This will save you some trouble the next time you need some light.” That was all he said. But it was enough to let me know my little prank hadn’t left him in the dark! ~

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook at www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS and paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.

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Sunday, March 13, 2016

Social Studies

No, this post has nothing to do with school, and it’s not about social media either. But instead of continuing the list of subjects that I didn’t write about, maybe I should just tell my story. Okay, here goes.

My wife and I dined at a Chinese restaurant the other day and as is the custom, received our fortune cookies at the end of our meal. Though it’s tradition, fortune cookies are pretty much pointless. While some may actually believe in such things, I’m certainly not one of them. What’s printed on a little piece of paper inside a cookie obviously has no validity nor any ability to predict or control my fortune. It’s just a cookie. I don’t even like eating them. But it is kind of fun to see what they say, sometimes—usually, to see how wrong they are.

After smashing the cookie, I retrieved the little slip of paper and read: “You have great social charm and grace.”

Really? Me? Anyone who knows me is probably laughing while reading this. I may be a lot of things but possessing social charm and grace is most assuredly NOT on the list. Perhaps the cookie was meant for my wife!

I’m NOT a sociable person. It’s not that I mind talking to people. In fact, I love to talk. But a social function, and interacting with everyone? That’s not me. But, I have a wife who seems to enjoy it. And, she knows that while I do love to talk, there are some people I just want to avoid. So, she runs interference for me! She talks, and I escape.

This past weekend, we had a retirement party to attend. As usual, my wife was making her rounds, visiting with everyone. Me, I just ate some food, talked briefly to a couple of people I knew and was ready to leave. I learned a long time ago to drive my own vehicle to these things. That way when I’m ready to go home, I can.

On my way to the door, I saw another person who I knew didn’t really enjoy social gatherings. She was wishing she could leave but “protocol’ dictated that she stay. I told her I felt her pain but not enough to stay and suffer with her. And then I remembered what she’d told me at the previous function we’d attended. She’d said, “You may say you don’t like these events but you’re so good at being social. You have a certain charm and that helps.”

Has this woman has gone into business writing fortune cookies, I wondered? That’s not likely so apparently, my wife and I just have everyone buffaloed—I attend these get-togethers, she talks, and everyone thinks I’m sociable. Hey, works for me. I knew I married her for some reason! Give the lady a cookie! ~

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook at www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS and paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.

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Monday, March 7, 2016

Faster Is Better, Isn't It?

I drive a lot. And see a lot of things. And having a dedicated run, I see mostly the same things every day. Every week, month, and year, I’m looking at the same scene that I’ve seen many times before. But, this past week I saw something I hadn’t seen in years. Since 1974 in fact.

What did I see? A 70 mph speed limit sign in Oregon!

I know, for some of you—a lot of you, actually—this is no big deal. Most states raised their speed limits to 70 mph and higher long ago. But not Oregon. Oregon has been stuck at 65 mph (55 mph for trucks) for what seems like forever.

Back in 1974, when the national speed limit was set at 55 mph due to the supposed gas shortage—we still haven’t run out, by the way, and we’re driving more vehicles a lot more miles—Oregon took down all the 70 mph signs. And disposed of them, I’m sure. They should have kept them because here we are a “short” 42 years later, and the signs, or rather, new signs, are going back up. And the truck speed limit has been raised to 65 mph! That’s the first change for trucks since 1974!

You’d think that being a truck driver, and driving 700 miles a day, this would perhaps save me some time. But it doesn’t. My truck is governed at 62 mph just like it was before. Unlike old governors, which could be bumped, the computerized version actually limits the vehicle speed. The only way to make the truck go any faster is to let it roll down the hills. I do this of course, but it only works when I’m loaded. And for exactly half of my day I’m empty.

There is another reason the new posted speed doesn’t save any time. And that is, typical of a government venture, the new speed limit doesn’t apply in all of the state, only the eastern portion. The dividing line is about the half way point of my run. And of course, most of the hills are in the western part of my drive!

So, this past week, I’ve been getting passed a lot. Cars, pickups, and other trucks go zooming by. I even thought a bicycle was going to overtake me the other day! We were already known as the slow guys. Wonder what they’ll start calling us now? Oh well, I really don’t need to save time I guess. After all, what’s 13 hours out of my day? And what could I possibly do with an extra hour or two? Well, it’s just a thought but maybe have time to go see something I haven’t seen before? ~


Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook and paperback on iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords.  Amazon Profile - www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.

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Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Road To Somewhere

Today is a unique day that doesn’t happen often. No, I don’t mean leap year. After nearly five years of asking my wife to write a guest post, she has finally agreed! Yay! Take it away, Brenda.

The Road To Somewhere

Recently my husband wrote a blog about taking a drive, but here is the rest of the story.

I was to attend a meeting for my job. The location of the meeting was Young Life Ranch located in Central Oregon. Due to prior commitments, I was unable to travel to the destination with my co-workers on Monday. I was a little apprehensive about traveling to the middle of nowhere, but I figured if I asked my husband he would be willing to take a Sunday drive and I could become familiar with where I will be traveling alone in the days to come. Unfortunately, he was not willing. 

His unwillingness was not a problem. My friend and co-worker had given me a book with the phone number to the ranch and had written out specific directions; and my deferred departure would benefit the group, as I would be responsible for purchasing and delivering lunch for Tuesday.

Late Monday evening before my departure, I was browsing through Facebook and received a few messages from my boss. The first message said the road was very muddy and I should probably drive a company car instead of my own. I had already decided to use the company car as I thought it would have a radio. Later, I would realize it did not. The second message said there was no cell phone service.

Tuesday morning came. The lunchmeat was purchased. I made my way to my place of work and transferred the lunchmeat and my personal items to the company car. I started the car and noticed the low tire indicator was illuminated. My first stop was the tire shop. After all tires were aired to the recommended psi, I hit the road. 

After driving a little over two hours, I reached the small town of Shaniko, Oregon. I pulled out the directions and followed them exactly. Except I misread a preposition. I read the word “to” instead of “through.” I was supposed to go through the town of Antelope; instead, I started tracking miles when the sign indicated to Antelope. This is where things began to go south.

The sign on Highway 218 says Antelope/Fossil. My directions said go 3.7 miles and turn right. Go 4 miles, and then turn left. So, I drove 3.7 miles and saw a muddy road to the right. I thought this couldn’t be the correct road. There was no road sign. So, I went past the road. I reached mile marker six and thought, “I have missed my turn.” I waved down a car headed in the opposite direction and asked them where Young Life was. They were new to the area and did not know. But they informed me there was another turn-off a ways down the road. Since I thought I was already past my turn, I turned around and headed back to the muddy road.

There were fresh tire tracks in the mud, so I assumed others had recently traveled this road. The road was horrible. I was unfamiliar with the vehicle and could not find how to engage the four-wheel drive but basically, I was four wheeling. I am not a fan! One puddle completely covered my car in mud. The windshield wipers smeared mud, making it hard to see. After four miles, I saw what appeared to be a marker ahead to the left. However, the road between the marker and me was in worse condition than what I had already driven. I realized there was no way I was going to make it any further down this road. I needed to turn around. My conundrum was how to turn around. If I went off either side of this narrow ranch road, I would be stuck. I backed down the road, but realized I could not see and did not have control of the vehicle. I succeeded in getting the vehicle facing the right way, but then I was stuck—in the middle of nowhere.

I did not know where I was going, but I did know where I was. Remembering the message my boss sent to me regarding no cell phone service, I didn’t even look at my phone. I just threw it, my purse, and notebook in my backpack and grabbed the lunchmeat. I knew I was four miles out this muddy road and 3.7 miles out of Shaniko on Hwy 218. I could walk back to Shaniko, make a call and someone could come to get me and lunch would still be delivered.

I began my trek in the mud. As I walked I was thankful that it was not raining, it was not too cold, I was wearing boots and not shoes, I was not hurt, etc. Then I saw what appeared to be dog-doo. I realized at my location this excrement was more likely from coyotes than dogs. Oh, the places one’s mind can wander. 

After walking awhile, I finally decided to stop and check my phone to see if perhaps I did have service. Amazing! I had five bars of service. I made a phone call to the ranch and asked for my friend. They did not recognize the name. Eventually, they understood which group I was with. I told them I was out of Shaniko stuck on a muddy road. They assured me it happened all the time, and they would send someone to rescue me.   

After 10 minutes, someone called me back. During the course of the conversation, they realized I was not where they sent people to look for me. I was on a totally different road, at least 40 minutes drive time from them. But, someone was on their way.

I walked around a corner of Hwy 218 and saw the sagebrush mountainside and the long road ahead of me. I was carrying six pounds of lunchmeat and could smell it. My mind wandered to cougars. I was walking unarmed in their natural habitat and carrying meat!

Fifty minutes passed and still I had seen no one in my “nature walk.” Finally, a car drove by. Once the driver assessed I was not a threat, he backed up to where I was. He offered me a ride. It was a kind gesture, but I was taught not to take ride from strangers. And my mind was thinking if Search and Rescue had to come looking for me, at least if I stayed on the road they will have a reference point. If I got in a car, they would have no way to track me. I declined, but asked if he could tell me how far I was from Antelope. I was about three miles. As I neared this town carrying meat, my mind began to imagine guard dogs at residences in this community. This did not look promising.

After about ten minutes, another vehicle slowed down as it came toward me. I could see there were two men occupying the vehicle. I was apprehensive as it pulled to the side. The occupants were from Young Life Ranch and they had arrived to help me. Side note... the customer service of the Young Life staff is phenomenal!

My task was to deliver the lunchmeat for lunch that day. I wanted to make that happen. They assured me that lunch was covered and they were going to take me back to my vehicle to see if they could help pull it out. So, we returned to the muddy road. 

These two individuals were two young men. One was twenty-three and the other was in his late twenties. They wanted to drive down the muddy road; I did not want another vehicle stuck in the mud. Eventually, we decided to walk the four miles down the muddy road to where the vehicle was located to see if we could get it out. They appeared to be delighted with the adventure of traipsing through the mud. One even found a wild boar’s skull. We finally reached the Durango and they tried various ways to remove the vehicle from the predicament of being high entered. We were unsuccessful. You guessed it. We had to walk the four miles back to Hwy 218 where we had parked their truck.

The young men were confident they could pull my rig out with their four-wheel drive. It was decided once they got it pulled out they would drive it back to the ranch and should be there around 3:00 pm. Things do not go as planned.

My boss came to give me a ride while they tried what they could. Around 3:00 pm, I inquired as to whether or not the vehicle had arrived at the ranch. I learned the young men were not successful in their endeavor and a tow truck was called. The vehicle was towed to Maupin, Oregon, which is not near Antelope.

Hmmm... my suitcase was in the vehicle. The only clothes I had were the ones I had worn all day. I made a comment to my friend that I would just wash my clothes out in the sink and let them dry overnight. She let me know we had access to a laundry facility and she had an extra pair of pajamas that I could borrow. Great, but I am not comfortable walking in front of a dozen or more people in pajamas. She understood and graciously offered to wash my clothes and return them before morning.

Early the next morning, 4:30 to be exact, I was wide awake. I noticed my backpack sitting right inside the door. Might as well get ready for the day. Took the clothes out and noticed the underwear were missing! I guess I was going commando for the day. This was going to be one long, uncomfortable day for me. My prior supervisor would have said, “pull up your big girl panties, and move on.” Unfortunately for me, they were missing!

I made my way downstairs and waited for my friend as I didn’t know where the laundry facility was. When she came out of her room, I thanked her for her kindness in doing my laundry, but asked if she realized the bare essentials were missing. We made our way to the laundry room to locate the missing drawers in the washing machine—still wet.

At the end of the meeting, one of my co-workers kindly gave me a ride back to Maupin to pick up the company car. My bosses stopped at the tow company to thank them and to view first hand how filthy the car was. One told me to take it to the car wash in the morning. When I got back to town that evening the car wash was still open, but I was told I could not go through it, as the rig was too muddy. But, if I sprayed the vehicle down thoroughly I could receive a $2.00 discount, which I did. And after that adventure, I am completely washed-out.

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook and paperback on iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords.  Amazon Profile - www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.

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Monday, February 22, 2016

'Tis The Season

Season’s Greetings! Tax season that is. Yep, it’s THAT time of year again!

I know it isn’t April 15th yet (actually the deadline will be April 18th this year) but I never liked waiting until the last minute to do things so, this past weekend I did my taxes. It was, as they say, taxing.

Not that it’s difficult; it’s just involved. And it takes quite a few LONG hours to sort through all of the receipts and other papers of the previous year.

Used to be, I could have my taxes done and mailed in about an hour—and that was before computers, when I had to actually fill out the papers by hand. But then, I didn’t make a lot of money back then, and didn’t have any deductions either. Filing taxes was more of a formality in those days.

Things are a bit different now; my taxes are far more complicated and time consuming, with emphasis on the time consuming! And to think I used to LIKE doing taxes! But again, that was back when I made no money and thus didn’t have to pay any taxes.

And that is the whole problem with taxes—paying them. The fact that I spend hours figuring, just so I can discover exactly how much I owe is annoying. It would help if I had some dependants again. But if I remember correctly, that involved raising kids, and I think that portion of my life is now dormant. At least I hope so!

Sometimes I think it would be easier to just opt out of the tax system. Not pay anything. Of course, doing so would no doubt automatically enroll me in another governmental system—or two; the court system and then the prison system.

Since I like living in my own house, being able to move freely about the country, and making my own decisions regarding, well, just about everything, I choose to go through the hassle of filing a return. That doesn’t mean I have to like it though! Thankfully, the dreaded chore is now behind me. I’m done! At least for another year—or so. As I said at the beginning, I don’t like waiting until the last minute to do things even things I don’t like. 

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook and paperback on iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords.  Amazon Profile - www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.

 Dead Broke

(Lana Denea Mystery Series #1)

Now available on Amazon


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Monday, February 15, 2016

No Longer Alone

For years, when my parents lived in the same town as we do, our family would go to their house on Sunday afternoons for lunch. Quite often my mom would make tacos, authentic American tacos, because, well... we like tacos—and they are quick and easy to prepare. I soon developed a habit of saying, “Thanks for the tacos,” as we left their house to go home, even if we’d had something else to eat.

Yes, my kids thought I was crazy but I think they thought that for a lot of reasons, not just because I was thankful for non-existent tacos!

Somehow, over the years, this became a favorite saying of mine. Anytime we’d visit my parents’ house and eat anything, I’d say, “Thanks for the tacos.” Eventually, I began repeating the phrase for things that weren’t even food related, and sometimes for nothing at all. At times, it didn’t even make sense and still, I’d say it. And yes, my kids still seemed to think I’d lost it somewhere long ago!

But my mother never even questioned it. She’d just respond with, “You’re welcome.”

This past weekend, since my father is currently out of the country, my mother came for a visit. Yesterday after church, we had her, along with all our children and their kids at our house for lunch. My wife and I made... tacos.

Oddly enough, I wasn’t even thinking about my saying. That is, until the end of the meal when my mom said, “Thanks for the tacos!” We all laughed a bit at that. But one of my grandsons didn’t see any humor in it. Obviously to him, it was quite normal to say “Thanks for the tacos” when we had, in fact, had tacos. I tried to explain it to him but he just shook his head and gave me, and everyone else, a strange look. That he included everyone else in his eye-rolling moment is what made me smile; my kids are now viewed as slightly deranged by the next generation. Welcome to my world! And, “Thanks for the tacos.” ~

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook and paperback on iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords.  Amazon Profile - www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club


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Monday, February 8, 2016

According To A Two-Year-Old

Today I noticed my grass is starting to grow and my rose bushes are budding! Spring! Finally! I guess I shouldn’t complain, we’ve had only a couple of snows and the temperatures haven’t been too cold this year but still, I’m ready for spring. For a lot of reasons, one of them being the need for a coat.

I really hate wearing a coat but since I also do not like being cold, I suffer through and wear one—the same one I’ve worn for about twelve years. Why? Well, I’d have to go shopping and spend money to get another one. Neither of which is appealing to me. So, I just wear the worn-out one and figure it’ll get me through another winter. And so far, it has!

Last weekend, out of the blue, one of my grandkids told me that I needed a new coat. When I asked why, he said, “’Cause that one’s old.”

“Well, that may be true,” I said. “But so am I, so...”

He nodded. “I know,” was his simple answer.

Well, that was a little funny, until I realized I’ve now reached that age where my actions and peculiarities can be dismissed and forgiven simply based on my age. But hey, wait a minute! I’m not that old... yet. I said as much to my grandson.

He gave me a long solemn stare and then with a thoughtful look said, “Yeah... you are.”

I suppose to a two-year-old, forty-eight does seem old.

But he wasn’t finished. “That’s why you need a coat, to stay warm.”

I guess in his own way, he’s looking out for me. Doesn’t want me to get cold or sick as I’m sure in his mind only OLD  people do. That’s nice of him. I think.

But according to the weather forecast, and my grass and roses, the current warmer weather will continue. So, for now, that’s solved the problem—I just won’t wear a coat. Unless it turns cold again. Then, I’ll have to bundle up. ’Cause, you know, I’m old. Just ask my grandson! ~

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook and paperback on iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords.  Amazon Profile - www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.


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Monday, February 1, 2016

Maybe Next Time

So, last weekend on Sunday, my wife wanted me to take a drive down to Antelope in Central Oregon. She had a meeting for her job in the small town on Tuesday and not being familiar with the area, an area that is mostly void of civilization, she was a little apprehensive. She wanted me to show her where she would be going so she could find it on her own with no problems.

Well, I wasn’t feeling all that great and a two and half hour trip, one way, didn’t sound too appealing. Besides, there is only one main road down there so I didn’t think she would have any trouble. But then, I grew up around here so what I think is normal appears desolate and inhibiting to her. For those who may not know, Central Oregon looks a lot like Wyoming, and she’s used to Wisconsin where every square mile is populated.

On Tuesday morning, I received a series of texts. The first one said she’d gotten stuck in the mud on the wrong road far from her destination. Of course, phone service is very limited so I couldn’t call her. The next text said someone was supposed to be coming to help her. And eventually, I got one that said one of the officers from her office had rescued her.

Since the place she had traveled to had no phones or cell service, I had to wait until Wednesday night to find out the full story. Apparently, she had turned too soon, on a very muddy dirt road. She drove until she didn’t think the vehicle would make it and then tried to back out but had gotten high centered. And there the vehicle remained.

Thankfully, she didn’t panic. Grabbing a few items from the vehicle, she stuffed them into a small backpack and started walking. And walking. Turns out she walked about fifteen miles total. Eventually, she found a spot with cell service and was able to make a call. Not to me of course, since I had proved rather useless in this regard already!

Being that she works for the Sheriff’s Office, I guess I can understand why she would call them. Besides, a couple of the officers were also attending the meeting so they weren’t that far away. It would have taken me about three hours to get to her.

Several hours later, after a tow truck had hauled the vehicle out of the mud and to another town a few miles away, she made it to the meeting—without her suitcase. It was still in the vehicle. That meant no change of clothes, no amenities or, probably the worst of all, NO DIET COKE!

Now, I’ve only hit on the highlights, or lowlights in this case; the saga was much more drawn out than it seems here. And a little scary for my wife, who, although she was raised in the country, has decided she is now a full-fledged city slicker. Finally, Wednesday night, she made it home safe and sound. Needless to say, she wasn’t real happy with me.

Yes, I have apologized but that doesn’t really help much now. And I doubt she will be letting me forget this any time soon, if ever. So, next time my wife wants to take a drive, I think I will, um, I don’t know, take a drive? ~


Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook and paperback on iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords.  Amazon Profile - www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.

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