June 27, 2011

I love this time of year

I love the Fourth of July and I love the American Flag. Nothing can get my heart stirring and lips trembling quite like the American Flag. Oh yeah, the Lone Star Flag moves me too, but when I see the American Flag, my pride manifests inside me like Old Faithful and I always end up watering my cheeks. I always think of the men and women that came before us, that lost their lives in order for all to remain free and to be able to hoist Ole' Glory when and where we want to.

I live close to Keene, Texas and this pic is one of two impressive flag displays the city never fails to erect for a national holiday.  This particular picture is on US Hwy 67, just out of Alvarado and near the Keene city limits. The other display is on the main boulevard going into Keene, for over 3/4 of a mile, there are flags erected every 15 or 20 feet. Dozens and dozens of flags on both sides. An impressive display for sure.

We are a week away from the Fourth of July celebration and it's my favorite patriotic holiday. Of course after faithfully serving my country for 23 wonderful years with the United States Navy, I naturally love Memorial Day and Veterans day, and Flag day. But we wouldn't be able to celebrate any of those days if it had not been for a bunch of rag-tag men, largely outnumbered by a superior force with better training. But during the Revolutionary War, an army five times larger than the American army would not have been able to defeat the will of this fledgling group of men dedicated to ensuring this nations freedom. It was Gods will that the United States of America be born to show the rest of the world what can happen when a nation puts God first and then the people, in that order.

My wife and I are participating in a small parade on Monday in Keene. Several cute little girls are going to be sitting high and waving to the crowds from the back of the convertibles or from the bed of a large pickup truck. I try to go to at least one Fourth of July parade each year, because I always want to remember the sacrifices the early patriots made to ensure I could go. So I feel it's my duty to show my American pride. Yeah, it'll be hot, steamy and miserable, but you know what? What about the men that followed Washington across the Delaware River on Christmas Day in 1776, frozen to the core, some with nothing but rags to cover their feet? Or not having the modern conveniences of heat or those handy little hand warmers to keep the frostbite away? I can't even begin to understand the misery those gallant and brave men endured on the way to victory and freedom for our wonderful nation. So it puts a bustle in my hedgeroll to hear people say "It's too hot to go to a parade today. I'm just gonna sit here in the house under the a/c and watch a parade on TV". In the words of Forrest Gump, "That's all I have to say about that".

So on this Fourth of July, please make an effort to get out and support our heroes from yesterday and to cheer on the little ones that will be excited to be running, riding or walking down the road, because their sacrifices shouldn't be taken in vain either. I challenge each and every one of you to go out on Monday and enjoy the parade of your choice. Take pictures, lots of 'em, post them on your website, Facebook, MySpace or what ever other social network you might be a part of. I promise, someone will tell you "thank you".

As I sit here writing this short note, I can feel myself welling up inside. I keep a small, desk-sized flag in my office, right in front of me so everyone can see it when they walk in. My pride and love of country is sometimes more than I can take and I often lose control of my emotions. Each time I hear the Star Spangled Banner or America the Beautiful or any patriotic song that we all grew up singing in grade school, I feel a deep sense of pride and belonging. I love my country and I love my flag and I love that by the grace of our living God, that I was born and live here in the United States of America.

God bless you all and have a fantastic Fourth of July!

The Impulsive Texan

June 24, 2011

Reflections of another year gone by...

June 24, 1958...10:07 a.m., Hendricks Memorial Hospital, Abilene, Texas...well, that's when and where I greeted the world for the first time. Fifty-three years ago today, I was welcomed by my mother and father,  Evelyn Estelle and Edward Charles Dueboay. That was well before anyone was allowed in the delivery room except for the doctor and the delivery staff.

I can picture my dad pacing frantically back and forth in front of the Delivery Room Door when the doctor busts out and says, "Mr. Dueboay, you have a healthy 6 lb boy and the mother is doing fine"...

Fifty-three years or 636 months or about 19,000 days. That's a lot of time for memories to be made and a lot of moments to reflect on. So what do I reflect on, on this day, my fifty-third birthday? Well, I remember sweltering summer days riding bikes from sunup to sundown, chasing horny toads and painting their backs with nail polish. I remember swimming at the pool during summer break, sitting across the aisle in the theater from the girl I had a big crush on, hoping she'd notice me. I remember buying canteloupes from the farmers on the square downtown and eating them in the shade of a big old oak tree that to this day stands on the square in my home town.

I remember my first day in high school and how terrified I was to be a "frosh" and in the crosshairs of upper classmen hell-bent on making my life miserable for the first couple of days or weeks. I remember my first true love and how alive I felt each time I was with her. I remember standing onstage at the county fair, being sworn-in by the Navy recruiter in front of hundreds and hundreds of friends and family and how proud I was at that moment.

I remember high school graduation day and getting married and then having to leave for Navy bootcamp and how out of place I felt in a city of over one million souls and just coming from a small town of just 3,500. I remember boot camp graduation and coming home and the family greeting me and the party we had after my arrival.

I fast forward through all of the years in the Navy, the places I visited the people I met and all of the things I did...and those that I never should have. I remember May 4, 1989, the day my dear mother passed away and how empty I felt inside and the thoughts of "who am I going to talk to now" about those things that men need to talk to mama about. I remember December 1, 1998, the day my Navy career was over and how scared I was to be walking back into a world I had left 23 years prior.

Events, places, tears and laughter were a big part of my life. And most of those couldn't have happened without people in my life. So, I reflect on wives and old girlfriends, buddies, enemies and friends...all special in their own way and a big part of my memories.

So on my birthday today, I want to send out a big thank you to anyone and everyone that has crossed my path, for good or for bad, for better or for worse or that entered my life for a moment, a generation or for a lifetime. Life is about the people IN your life, how they affect you, what they bring to you and what they bring out in you. I am grateful for each and every one of you, whether you are here, gone forever, across the nation or around the world, my friends and family mean everything to me, for I would be a much lesser man without you.

June 23, 2011

Burn baby, burn....

As a fifth-generation Texan, I am very passionate about spicy foods. My two favorites being, of course, Mexican from my mothers "Texas" side and the other good ole' Cajun from my daddy's side. In the years that I've have enjoyed spicing up my food, over the spice that's already in the dish, I've become somewhat immune to the heat that folks of lesser abilities might call hot. I put Tabasco and Franks on just about everything that hits my plate. I just love the extra depth of flavor the sauces add and the nice little "kick" it brings to the dish.

Today I was wondering what I was going to do for lunch. I didn't really want to go out so I dug in the bottom of my desk and found a can of Progresso Chicken and Sausage Gumbo Soup. MMMmmmm...before I had it opened it was tantalizing my taste buds. So after I heat up the soup, I go back to my desk and pull out my little red bottle of Louisiana Hot Sauce. I keep at least five different brands in my desk for all types of foods...Louisiana Hot Sauce, Franks, Iguana Deuces, Louisiana Supreme and one called "Bull Snort, Texas Tongue Torch". All of them are really well-flavored with a nice kick that isn't too extreme.

I said a little prayer of thanks and cut up a small tomato a co-worker had brought from her husbands garden and seasoned it with salt and black pepper. I, LIBERALLY sprinkled the Louisiana Hot Sauce all over the top of the savory-looking soup and picked up my spoon and dove in. Within seconds, the follicles on my skull begin to retreat and take the hair within it back into my scalp like a Moray Eel retreating into its den. My tongue broke into a native fire-dance all over the inside of mouth trying to escape the fiery inferno.

I frantically looked around for something to drink and duhhhhh, I didn't bring my ice water back from the kitchen! So, I begin to shove golf ball sized pieces of tomatoes in my mouth hoping to quell the furnace that's burning out of control in my mouth. But nothing is working. I didn't want to run through the halls so I sat there and took the fiery heat. At this point, I'm feeling sweat bead up on my upper lip, my forehead and of all places, my bald spot. I reach up and touch the spot where my head is poking through my hair and it's literally wet! Not damp, or moist, but there are actual sweat drops beading up and running down the back of my head.

One good thing about habanero's, the burn, mercifully, doesn't last as long as a jalapeno'. So when I finally gathered my wits and quit bouncing up and down in my chair, I thought, to myself, "Why is that hot-sauce so hot?" I've always been able to use any amount of Louisiana Hot Sauce that I wanted. I picked up the bottle and immediately saw my dilemma. Just below the title of "Louisiana" there was a little eight letter word... "HABANERO", I'm thinking that literlly translates into English as "Blood of the Devil". I had sprinkled three big table spoons of  Habanero Hot Sauce into my soup. It was a new bottle and I hadn't bothered to look at it when I bought it a the neighborhood dollar store.

I pride myself in being able to handle pretty much any hot sauce there is, but once the Skovill Heat Units surpass 100,000, I morph into your average wimp and choose not to partake into that level of torturous burn.

So, the moral of this little story is, when you're shopping for your favorite hot sauce and right before you sprinkle three heaping tablespoons onto your plate, READ THE LABEL!!!

The Impulsive Texan

June 22, 2011

Hero of the Week

These types of stories always get buried in the back of the newspaper, deep out of the way places on the internet and are broadcast at the end of the local newscast. But they always make my heart sing. I hope it makes yours sing too.


June 21, 2011

Coming soon...

I know it's been a while since I've posted on The Impulsive Texan, but I've been working on a new project. I can't say what it is right now, but hopefully it will take wing and I'll have it completed within 60 - 90 days. It's a long and detailed process, but I believe everyone will really enjoy what's hopefully coming later on in the year.

I'll try to keep you updated on the "happenings" as they occur, because a full-fledged deployment of this project is still a while away. Pray that it's successful and a good idea!

Hang on everyone, more news to come!!!!