As I stated in “A Former Life”, there are many reasons why I will be heading south the day my maker comes calling. But should you need further evidence, here you go…..
As it goes with four kids, three dogs and a wife with an insatiable drinking habit, our schedule on the weekends is quite hectic and eating out can rarely be avoided. Often to the displeasure of those around us, our meals are typically filled with colorful conversation; oftentimes loud, typically inappropriate, but always entertaining. Take last weekend for example. Squid 3 (age 10) pipes in: “So dad, do you know why lesbians shop at Sports Authority.” “No, why?” “Because they don’t like Dick’s.” Laughter erupts and beer spit about and all eyes turn to our table. To my right, a good Christian family with a look of disgust. To my left, an old blue hair with a look of confusion. Of no concern to us, laughter continues.
I must deviate from my original plan, but all for good reason.
Too often in life, we wonder around this silly little world trying to figure out who we are and/or what we want to be. But, ever so often, you happen across someone who is quite comfortable in his skin and always true to himself. Regardless of the situation or circumstance, this unique character embraces his nitch in life and everyday he is thankful for it. I can think of no one more befitting this honorable description than Mr. Jim.
With a name like Stratbucker, it is no wonder that Mr. Jim was stubborn as a mule. Steadfast in his beliefs, no expert could convince him otherwise……”You,you,you see, yooou, see ….that’s not the way we do it in Nebraska.” And trust me, if it “isn’t the way they do it in Nebraska”, then by God, it wasn’t the way.
But as stubborn as he may have been, his kindness had no equal. Never in it for the attention, Mr. Jim was always quick to serve and there to lend a helping hand. Be it tending to the orchard, digging a ditch, or re-plumbing a “pressure tank”, Mr. Jim was always there ready for the task at hand.
This past week, we lost a great man. I can only imagine that he left this world with a grin on his face and a hoe in his hand, busy at work preparing the path we will one day travel. God speed Mr. Jim, you will truly be missed.