How’d you get that name?

This writer, and family, has been doing a lot of running around the past month or so. Have traveled many miles by car and sometimes believe I have put on almost as many miles by foot as I wander around Crosby, Dayton, Baytown and environs since January 1.

Over the past three weeks we have spent a few hours each day working on son David’s lawn and extra lot. We now have it in pretty good shape. This yard worker has been filling those large black contractor’s bags with leaves and twigs. Forty-seven have been hauled away by the trash man since I started. Have a little hedge trimming, weed-eater work and spreading some mulch before I will call his lawn ready for spring.

That kind of work, occasionally doing some housework and writing columns, keeps me out of trouble. Wendell Berry once said, “The soil is the great connector of our lives, the source and destination of all.” Right on!


Driving the three hundred miles through Mississippi (northern border at Memphis to the southern border at Louisiana) I came across a couple of people with what I believe to be unique names. One waitress had a nametag that read, “Myedestiny.” That was a new name to me. I asked her how her parents came up with it but didn’t get much of an answer.

On a later stop in that same state I saw a nametag on a waiter that read, “I. B. Free.” His explanation was that the Free’s chose Ivan, plus a middle name starting with a B that I have forgotten, because they liked what it meant. I don’t think I could hang names like that on a kid. Those names brought smiles to my face.

Was reading the “Greater Houston Weekly” recently and found an article that also intrigued me. It was penned by one Ron Saikowski and concerned the “Purple Possum Winery” out Navasota way. You might be familiar with that winery but the name brought another smile to my face. Where did it originate?

Ron explained the owners told him “One evening a possum got into a pail of purple grape juice and changed the color of his coat. It was months before the possum was no longer purple.” This event named the winery. Makes sense but I am still smiling.

Goldfish training

Every now and then I find myself with time on my hands and look for something to do. However, I have never gotten so desperate that I would follow the suggestion in a recent advertisement of a Houston business. It encourages readers to buy a “Training kit to train goldfish to play basketball.” I have no idea how or why anyone would want to train a goldfish to play basketball. Let me know if you bought the kit and have said trained goldfish. I’m still smiling on that one too.

Such are the people, places and things that have touched my life in my home!