Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


Cricket Town

Louis L'Amour

Louis L’Amour (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Louis L’Amour used to be my favorite writer. For a time in my life, his books were all I read. In those books, he had a saying he used several times. It was something like, “Don’t kill that cricket. His friends will come and eat your socks.”

Guess what? Someone must have killed a cricket in C-Town.

Yesterday, I went with one of my nieces to watch her little sister play softball. (I’m so glad we have school sports for girls these days!)

On the way to the softball field, my niece told me they were having a problem with crickets at school.

And, she said, if anyone started to kill one of the little bugs, her best friend would rescue it and shoo it out of the school.

So I quoted Louis. “She must know if you kill a cricket, his friends will come and eat your socks.”

“But I don’t wear socks, Aunt Susan.”

The girl reminds me of her mama. A lot. LOL. She went on to tell me how many crickets they’re seeing at school. Took me back to when C-Town had a real cricket infestation.

I don’t know why we had so many of the critters living and loving in our town, but they were here by the billions.

Mom owned the dress shop back then, and I worked there. It was in this building, in the front of the main floor. When I’d get to work every morning, the long wall you see would be black with crickets. The sidewalks were covered with crickets. The streets were covered with . . . well, you get the point.

And when I unlocked the door and walked into the shop each morning, I heard the unmistakable crunch of bugs smashing under foot, because the carpet was covered with crickets. Dead crickets, mostly, since we had a bug control guy spray the store each month. The first thing I did was grab the vacuum and sweep up all the little black carcasses.

Even little dead crickets start to smell after a few days, so we kept emptying the sweeper bag every day or two to keep the odor down. One morning, I noticed that dead cricket smell. Gag! I emptied the vacuum bag and took the bag outside along with the trash. The odor was still there.

I hoped I was the only one who could smell it. None of my customers mentioned it, but when my help came in that afternoon, she didn’t hesitate. “It stinks in here. We need to change that sweeper bag.”

“I did change it, and it’s outside. I don’t know what that is.”

The hunt was on. We checked under racks, behind the jewelry counter, under the check out stand and in the office. Nothing. Then she had a spark of genius.

The building we were in was an old bank building. The entryway had two doors to pass through, which was supposed to keep the wind from blowing directly into the main room. (I guess that was so the bank’s stacks of money wouldn’t blow all over before they got it in the vault.)

When the building was built, they made a little indention in the floor in that entry with a scrape-the-mud-off-your-feet-here grate in it. Beneath that grate was a graveyard of dead crickets, sending their perfume into the shop. We got them out of there, fast! Thank goodness, the crickets moved on not too much later.

And now, some of them are back and hunting down my nieces so they can eat their socks. 😉

And the ball game? I didn’t stay for the whole thing, but when I left it was 5-0. We won.

Looks just like me, doesn’t she?


Trackin’ Jesus

Back when I read mostly Louis L’amour, I learned all about tracking from him. He talked about how every creature has a track or footprint that’s as individual as a fingerprint or snowflake.

I studied a few tracks and got where I could identify my dad’s, G-Man’s and #2 son’s footprints very easily.

I don’t know if everyone understands it or not, but in Okie-World, all cousins (2nd, 3rd, 4th, once or twice removed) are referred to as simply cousins.

One of my favorite cousins, Sharon, got this in an email today and shared it on Facebook. I enjoyed it so much when I read it, I told her I was going to rip it off to share here. She was happy for me to.

I don’t know if you remember the old story about footprints in the sand, but I always thought of that as “Trackin’ Jesus”–following His footsteps. (And that’s where I got the name for this blog.)

This is almost just as Sharon posted it–  

GOD IS GOOD! This new version of the “footprints” story really caught me off guard at the end… What a blessing & I wanted to share with you.
Imagine you and the Lord Jesus are walking down the road together. For much of the way, the Lord’s footprints go along steadily, consistently, rarely varying the pace. But your footprints are a disorganized stream of zigzags, starts, stops, turnarounds, circles, departures, and returns. For much of the way, it seems to go like this, but gradually your footprints come more in line with the Lord’s, soon paralleling, His consistently. You and Jesus are walking as true friends!

This seems perfect, but then an interesting thing happens: Your footprints that once etched the sand next to Jesus’ are now walking precisely in His steps. Inside His larger footprints are your smaller ones, you and Jesus are becoming one.This goes on for many miles, but gradually you notice another change The footprints inside the large footprints seem to grow larger.Eventually they disappear altogether. There is only one set of footprints. They have become one. This goes on for a long time, but suddenly the second set of footprints is back. This time it seems even worse! Zigzags all over the place. Stops. Starts. Gashes in the sand. A variable mess of prints.You are amazed and shocked.

Your dream ends. Now you pray:”Lord, I understand the first scene, with zigzags and fits. I was a new Christian; I was just learning. But You walked on through the storm and helped me learn to walk with You.””That is correct.”. “And when the smaller footprints were inside of Yours, I was actually learning to walk in Your steps, following You very closely.”. “Very good. You have understood everything so far. “When the smaller footprints grew and filled in Yours, I suppose that I was becoming like You in every way.”. “Precisely.”. “So, Lord, was there a regression or something? The footprints separated, and this time it was worse than at first.

“There is a pause as the Lord answers, with a smile in His voice.”You didn’t know? It was then that we danced! (Don’t you love that?)

“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: A time to weep, a time to laugh, a time to mourn, and a time to dance.
Ecclesiastes 3:1,4.

Spread the Word and give thanks to the Lord for He is good!

It’s not WHAT you have in your life, but Who you have in your life that counts…. Think about that.

I asked for a flower, He gave me a garden. I asked for a tree, He gave me a forest. I asked for a river, He gave me an ocean. I asked for a friend, He gave me “YOU.”

And keep on trackin’ Jesus.


Old West, Again?

Could Oklahoma’s be reverting to the Old West?

At one time in my life I read only Louis L’amour books, so my take on this might be just slighted skewed. 🙂

The news this morning told about a couple of non-lethal shootings–and neither of them were drive-bys. Now I realize there may be a lot more to these stories than I’ve heard or understand, but go with me on this.

#1–According to TV, a man kicked in the back door to a house (a beautiful big house!) then kicked in the master bedroom door and (surprise!) was shot by the homeowner.

There was a rumbling about a girl friend/ex-girl friend also being in that bedroom, but why would anyone think they had the right to kick in a door and barge into someone else’s house? What’s up with that?

Sounds like the Old West to me.

#2–A man was in an SUV in an apartment parking lot. A security guard thought he looked suspicious, so he pulled his gun and walked toward the vehicle. The driver saw the guy coming at him, got frightened and threw the car into reverse, and hit the guard’s vehicle.

The guard thought HIS life was in danger and started shooting. He hit the driver in the leg and sent him to the hospital. What’s up with that?

More Old West shenanigans. 

 And finally, a group of students at one of the big city high schools is raising money to build a house as the youth part of Habitat for Humanity. They showed pictures of them working together on the first house they built. It looked like a real, old fashioned barn raising–neighbors helping neighbors–just like they did in the Old West. Honestly, any idea what’s up with this?

Maybe what we need are ideas on how can we get more of this and less of that.

Do you have any suggestions?