Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Only Love

A Valentine’s post? Why not.

The theme of the week always comes from a complex ritual of eastern Buddhist meditation, reading of tea leaves, Gregorian chants, and the direction of the wind. Just kidding. Whoever texts first with an idea wins. If it’s Monday without an idea we start to get a little antsy and resort to creativity-on-demand.

I have no idea why, but Wynonna’s “Only Love” was running through my head for days, and I downloaded it last weekend. Nineties country. I lived in the south for most of the nineties, so there you go.

I tend not to be sappy and sentimental. I was raised to be fluent in sarcasm. But I like Valentine’s gifts as much as the next girl. Bob Russell has a great post on the subject. Note that he backs me up on my theory that a four foot teddy bear may not be the best gift. Dust mites! Clutter! Ack!


If you are celebrating next Sunday as Singles Awareness Day (i.e. SAD) don’t lose heart. Jesus was single. It worked for him. I’ll be playing two services in the morning and probably watching a Hallmark movie later in the day.

Sometimes you have to kiss a lot of frogs.

Not that I’m any role model for dealing with stress, but I see too many people stressing over too many in-my-humble-opinion unnecessary things. Relationships or lack thereof. Politics. Miscellaneous meanie-poopoo-heads who aren’t going to change because someone vented about them on the social media. Don’t even get me started on the memes laying out how men should treat women. If you need to post a snarky meme about how your man should treat you … are you with the right one? Are YOU the right one? How do you treat him when not on the interwebs?

Sure there are reasons in all of that for stress, but let’s keep some perspective, people.

Only love. Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:8. My favorite verse. I’ve heard it whispered by the holy spirit many times. Even at times when I’d rather not think about it.

I’ll spare you the agape versus logos versus romantic love yada yada yada blah blah blah sermon … go read the whole chapter if you’re not familiar. To me it comes down to this …

Love God. Love people.

Love your neighbor. And who’s your neighbor? Yeah.

Many moons ago I was working in West-by-Gawd-Virginia. It would have been around 1999 – and I was probably still listening to country – because every electrical and controls engineer and their brother and sister and cousin including those at our contract engineering firms were working on the Y2K Project. Except me. I was part of the leadership team on a project where we were going to actually build something. For the young’uns among us … the Y2K Project was all about checking every computer, copy machine, coffee pot, and pretty much anything with a chip in it … to evaluate whether, when the year rolled over to 2000, cyberspace would become confused and something would blow up. I worked at a chemical company. It behooved us to be prepared. You see, back in the dark ages when Al Gore first invented the internet, it was common to use a two-digit field for the year. Soooo … when the clock changes from ’99 to ’00 … will that coffee pot think it’s 2000 or 1900?

Oh the humanity.

So I was doing this dance where as lead control systems engineer I single-handedly supported two dozen process engineers split between West Virginia and Texas. I visited my manager’s office almost daily to ask, “When am I going to get so-and-so? What about this other person? Anyone? Beuller?” I started visiting my buddy the acting manager once our mutual boss was also sucked up by Project Y2K.

So my coworkers and I were a little busy. On my project we would do drawing reviews every few weeks or months as we worked through the design. The core team would take up residence in a conference room for a week or two, and we would parade the other engineers and their drawings through, checking for consistency, catching any problems, and getting questions answered. Lunch was ordered in, and sometimes dinner as well. I recall at least one time when there was a power outage at our usual tech center location, giving all tech center employees the day off. Never fear, we found a conference room at the nearby plant and worked anyway.

One of the process engineers was a contractor named Ronnie. From his accent I’m sure he was a native West Virginian. Seriously, put me around him and my Appalachian twang would come back immediately. He was super nice and patient, but he really needed the manufacturing rep and me to go through some design questions with him. The manufacturing rep and I were so busy we once chose to carpool to a nearby engineering firm so we could talk through some of our “to do” list on the twenty minute drive.

“Come on, show me some love!” was Ronnie’s mantra. He was hilarious. I will never forget that phrase. Show me some love! Give me some attention. I need your time over here.

We made time for him. Only slightly very overdue. “Thanks for showing me some love!”

Who do you need to show some love to?

My mailman needs some love. A+ for MacGyverness. F for effort on a day when it's 19 deg & snowing.
Nope. No. Don't do it.

For more on “Only Love” from my writing partners, see Sue Bowles at and Leisa Herren at

I have sailed a boat or two
Out on the wild blue
Yonder to dreams that rarely come true
As far as I can see
From the island of green
I can put my trust in just one thing

And only love sails straight from the harbor
And only love will lead us to the other shore
Out of all the flags I've flown
One flies high and stands alone
Only love

Peaceful waters, raging sea
It's all the same to me
I can close my eyes and still be free
When the waves come crashing down
And the thunder rolls around
I can feel my feet on solid ground

And only love sails straight from the harbor
And only love will lead us to the other shore
Out of all the flags I've flown
One flies high and stands alone
Only love

~ Wynonna Judd’s “Only Love”

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