THE OLD PARTY LINE

Do you remember phone party lines? If you’re old enough to remember how could someone easily forget? If you wanted to make a call somewhere you didn’t just pick up the phone and start dialing. You picked up the receiver and listened first to see if anyone else was on the phone before you started dialing. Today I simply push a button on my phone and a voice comes over and ask me what can they help me with. I would say call so-and-so and it would say, “Calling so-and-so.”

I used to be a walking phone book. I could remember phone numbers like the back of my hand. Those days are slowly slipping by though. Now we look for a persons name and hit the call button. I have to constantly ask my wife and son what are their cell phone numbers when I have to write it down on something.

I’ll never forget in my younger years when I was much more mischievous than I am now. Err, I mean when I used to be mischievous. I would pick up the phone and if I heard anyone on it I would put it back down so they would know that I’m not listening in on their conversation then I would ever so slowly and softly ease it back up and listen in on their conversation.

You could learn a lot eavesdropping on a party line. I was never so sure that someone was ever eavesdropping on me and my friends as well as we talked about what we were going to do over the weekend or who was going to spend the night with who. Or how good-looking Becky Thatcher* looked in her outfit that she wore to school that day. But I definitely heard more than what I should have as a youngster.

One thing we learned about the party line at one place we lived; after every hard rain if one person was getting a call then every one on the line was getting the same call. If one phone on the party line rang then they would all ring. My father had to learn that the hard way when old “Mrs. Johnson” was calling one of her children. She wouldn’t hang up after a few rings she would let the phone ring and ring until someone answered. Finally daddy would pick it up and answer it. To his dismay “Mrs. Johnson” wasn’t really calling any of her children, she just needed someone to talk to and daddy was always the first one to pick up the phone after it would ring fifteen or twenty minutes. After about thirty minutes or so of Mrs. Johnson talking and daddy listening he would finally tell her he had something on the stove and he had to go. That would pretty much be it. She either forgot about calling any of her children or she just changed her mind because the phone wouldn’t ring again for the rest of the day.

Kids and young adults today will never get to enjoy the perils of being connected to a party line. I remember one time I was talking to a friend on the phone and he not being raised as Christian as myself was using his choice words in the conversation. A few days later mama and daddy wanted to remind me that we need to set an example for others to follow and if one of my friends just happen to be using ugly, slang curse words then I should remind them not to be talking like that over the phone.

I’ve always wondered if it was brought up in one of those long conversations that daddy and “Mrs. Johnson” were having. It also made me wonder if someone had been eavesdropping on me and my friends conversation. Why else would mama and daddy pull me aside to scold me for something my friend had said over the phone line. Or should I say the “party” line.

I’m a lot like my father. Even today I still don’t care much for talking very long over the phone. My loving wife has to constantly remind me to call someone.

Now I know what my daddy always said about the “Good Ol’ Days”. There wasn’t too much good about those days. We had some good times and we had some good days but them days don’t compare to the comfort people have today. And of course I’m enjoying more comfort than my father and mother did and they enjoyed more comfort than their parents. People today are living in the good old days, and another generation from now if the good Lord tarries, this younger generation will be telling the next generation the same thing.

There are a lot of things I do miss about those days but the party line ain’t one of ’em.

Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?” For it is not wise to ask such questions. Eccl. 7:10 (NIV)

*If you were wondering who Becky Thatcher was I would suggest reading Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”.

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WHY DO YOU DO WHAT YOU DO?

On January 1, 2018 I did something that I had never in my life had done before.  I had just turned 50 years old the day before (12/31/17) and there was only one crazy thing that I wanted to do in all my life.  I have always watched people take what they call ‘The Polar Bear Plunge’.  I told my loving wife years ago I would love to do that just one time.

Well, Monday, January 1, 2018 was that time.  I told her if I didn’t do it this time I would never do it at all.  She was a real trooper because she hates the cold weather, but she chose to go and support me in my endeavor or quest or whatever else you want to call it. I called it my one-thing-bucket list.

I love a story I once heard.  I don’t know who the original writer was or whether it was just a made up story or a real story but I love the meaning behind it.  It goes like this:

A young man and his new bride was cooking the Thanksgiving meal for the family.  He noticed before she put the ham in the oven to bake she cut big chunks off each side.  He asked her why she done that and her reply was that it was a tradition and her mother always done it.  At the dinner table curiosity got the better of him and he asked his mother-in-law why she always cut big chunks off each side of the ham before baking it in the oven.  Her reply was that it was tradition and her mother always done it.  Now that everyone was talking about the strange tradition all the attention turned to the grandmother.  “Why did you always cut big chunks off the sides of the ham before putting it into the oven to bake?”  Someone asked.  Her reply was, “Because my pan was too small.”

My wife and I met several families down there that had made it a tradition on New Year’s Day to take the plunge.  I saw people as old as seventy, eighty and probably even into their nineties and children as young as eight, nine, ten or eleven braving the elements to do something few people venture out to do in a lifetime.

Why do we do what we do?  If the Lord doesn’t come back anytime soon and I’m here twenty, thirty, forty years from now I want to tell my grandchildren and maybe my great-grandchildren about my polar bear plunge.  Who knows, maybe one day they’ll want to do it and I would want to be a part of that, even if it was nothing more than being a spectator.  I have seen way too many people say they wished they had done something when they were younger.   Sure, we’ve all done stupid stuff when we were young and some people would even say those that take the ‘Polar Bear Plunge’ is stupid or crazy for doing it.  One of my worst fears in life is that if I didn’t do it would I look back years from now with regret?  How many things are we going to look back on with regret in our golden twilight years wishing we had done differently?  Or done at all?  I look back on some things I did or didn’t do with regret now.  I certainly didn’t need or want another.

Now some of those people who said I was crazy and wouldn’t do it with me are now telling me they want to do it with me next year.  I didn’t say I was going to do it again but I’m not going to say I won’t either.  It remains to be seen.  I will say this: I have never felt more exhilarated since I took that plunge in the Gulf of Mexico back on New Year’s Day. Maybe it was something I was so excited to do with a bunch of other people that my adrenalin hasn’t worn off yet.  Helen Keller once said, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”

Do something spontaneous in 2018.  Do something because it’s out of the norm for you. Nothing illegal of course but live life a little and enjoy it.  Don’t sit around when you’re too old to do anything enjoyable and think back and wish what could have been.

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1 (KJV)

Will You Celebrate The Victory Tomorrow?

The Iron Bowl is over and the Auburn Tigers won the game;
The Crimson Tide went down like a house in flames.
The victory is sweet, bragging rights for an entire year;
They’ll start rolling Toomer’s Corner as they celebrate and cheer.

Fans storm the field as number one was taken out;
“There’s a new number one in the state!” they boast and shout.
The winners are exuberate, the losers are feeling sore;
The defeated quickly leave, making their way for the door.

Will you stay up and out too late to celebrate or complain?
Will you have a headache tomorrow or have other aches and pains?
Will you be too tired from all that transpired today?
Will you stay at home so you don’t have to hear what others have to say?

Will you go to church tomorrow, wearing your team colors with pride?
Will Sunday School consume what someone said on the other side?
Will your thoughts be on the game and not spiritual food you’re being fed?
Will you be too tired and sleepy to hear what the minister said?

Will you celebrate the victory, the victory you can have tomorrow?
Will you celebrate a victory of life, a life without sorrow?
Will you shout just as loud, like you did for your team?
Will you stay away from church and not want to be seen?

Will you celebrate just as much tomorrow for a greater cause?
Will you leap to your feet, clap your hands in joy for it all?
Will you go to church to enjoy and celebrate the win?
I’m not talking about celebrating a ball game, I’m talking about a life free of sin.

Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. ( 1 Corinthians 9:24 KJV )

Have You Ever Welcomed The Struggle?

Some of you that know us know the struggle that we’re facing right now. But the first thought that came to me was that I’ll welcome this struggle with open arms because it is far better than any alternative we could be facing.

I once heard someone say several years ago, “Don’t get angry when you are awaken in the middle of the night by a call that is the wrong number. Be thankful it wasn’t the right number.”

On Monday morning, August 28th I had just gotten to work and settled in for a hard days work when I got a call. Sadly it wasn’t a wrong number it was the right number. The young lady on the other end had a soft, mellow voice. “Mr. Tadlock, this is ——-, a nurse here at DCH Hospital in Tuscaloosa. I wanted to let you know that your son, Josh was in an accident but his injuries are not life-threating. He is alert and talking.”

My first thought was that he was going to need a ride home so I might as well get ready to go up there and meet him. Even though the nurse told me not to do anything until I hear back from them I was preparing to make the hour-and-a-half drive to T-town to pick up my son. I called my boss and told him that something had come up and that I had to leave. I stopped and topped my truck off on fuel and headed out. I wasn’t quiet halfway to Tuscaloosa from Montgomery when the nurse called me back. She said they knew I was on my way up there (I knew I was on my way but how did they know I wondered.) Anyway, she told me there wasn’t anything to worry about but he had injuries in his lower extremities and they needed a orthopedic surgeon to look at him. She told me they didn’t have the surgeon nor the equipment there so they were flying him to the University of Alabama hospital in Birmingham.

So originally I was only an hour away from home when I first got the call, now I’m almost two hours away from home and another three hours away from UAB Hospital. Thanks to a good friend I was able to meet my wife and future daughter-in-law closer to Montgomery and we were able to make the trip to Birmingham in a lot less time. Of course my wife, his mother, was visibly upset but I told her not to worry, “God’s got this.” (Thank you Tamatha for that phrase.) Being a loving parent you can’t help but worry. I told my wife not to worry, but I was telling her not to do the same thing I was doing myself. It’s the emotions I had to keep in check. I knew I needed to be strong for them.  I didn’t tell them they were flying him to Birmingham. I knew if I had told them that they would have been more distraught than they already were. I simply told them they were transporting him to UAB. Not until we got to the hospital that my wife and future daughter-in-law found out that he was flown in.

Well, his injuries were four broken ribs (two on each side), a fractured pelvis, fractured femur, and a broken and dislocated hip bone and joint. Our son had hardly ever been sick except for some sinus problems from time to time. He had a torn ACL his senior year of high school and some other minor injuries playing football throughout the years. He has never had a broken bone. The last time he was in the hospital was when he was about two years old and he had pneumonia. Now he was getting more than what we call a ‘double-whammy’ of it all.

Even though his injuries weren’t life threatening his nerves were becoming another issue. He couldn’t slow down his breathing, even though they kept telling him he needed to, it was causing his heart to beat way too fast. They finally decided to move him to an ICU unit and sedate him until at least after the surgery on his hip.

Well surgery went well and they kept him in ICU for a few days until they got him off the ventilator. He was moved to a room then to rehab. By then he knew what he needed to do and it was all up to him as to how bad he wanted to get back on his feet though the healing process would be slow.

We knew it was going to be a long drawn out thing from the very beginning. Considering the circumstance I wouldn’t trade it for all the gold and silver in the world and I welcome it with open arms. He has a great testimony that he started telling from the time he was able to start talking. After contemplating the situation of what could have been we all know he is very blessed to be alive. There is no such thing as “Luck”.  Every time someone tells us he was lucky we tell them he was blessed.

On August 28th I didn’t have the usual morning conversation with my son like I did most every morning. I always tell him I love him and to drive careful. That’s why I encourage everyone to look at the positive things in life. I encourage it in myself, my family and all those around me. That’s why I try to tell everyone around me that I love them all the time.

Through this whole ordeal I quickly realized that I couldn’t do what God did. I too only have one son and it’s hard to bear to see the suffering he is going through. God could have intervened in his son’s suffering but he didn’t. The Son could have stopped it but he didn’t. And it gives me a lot better perspective of the pain and hurt, not from the son’s view, but from the Father’s view. I am thankful every day. I am thankful that God’s ways are better than our ways and His thoughts are better than our thoughts. I am thankful every day that He is still in control.

If you don’t get anything else from this, know this one thing: Always welcome the struggle before you as it is sometimes better than the alternative.

“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9 (KJV)

Our First Children’s Book

Birthday Surprise Bookcover1
We are excited to announce the publication of our first children’s book.  Birthday Surprise can now be purchased through Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  All proceeds go towards the Crenshaw County Animal Society.
You can get it by clicking the link below.

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/birthday-surprise-david-tadlock/1126975607?ean=9781974501908

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1974501906/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1502760284&sr=8-2&keywords=david+tadlock

COMING in JUNE 2017!

mistaken identity cover2

After a busy weekend Adam and Thaddeus was ready for a nice quiet day to sit back and relax. But the day of relaxation quickly turned into a situation of trying to help a brother in need. How much do you love your brother?

BROTHERLY LOVE

COMING in JUNE 2017!

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY

I want to take this time to wish all the mothers out there a very happy and Blessed Mother’s Day weekend.

I could sit up all day and night and tell you stories of things my mother had said or done but I’m sure you could too about yours. One thing that will always be etched in my mind was when my father pastored a church in Thomasville, Alabama and my mother worked at a convenient store in Camden.

Camden was several miles and across the river from Thomasville (Google Map it sometime). In September of 1979 Hurricane Frederick was barreling down on the gulf coast and my mother had to work the same night that the hurricane was to make landfall. She closed the store up and drove to the place that was the designated storm shelter in Camden but she didn’t see anyone. But the thing that mattered most to her was her family and home. And these are the words of how she told it that night.

“I put my Bible in my lap and prayed, ‘Lord, I’m going home one way or another. To one place or another. Either way before the sun comes up and this storm passes I’ll be at my earthly home or my heavenly home but I’m going home.’ I started heading home in the middle of the storm. When I got to the bridge crossing the Alabama River I drove in the middle of the road and the wind and rain beat down so hard on the car and rocking it I stopped in the middle of the bridge and prayed again. ‘Lord, I’m going home one way or another.’”

I remember quite well waking up in the middle of the night and getting up and walking into the living room. The power had went out several hours prior and all we had to see with was oil and kerosene lamps. I saw the flicker of a lamp in the living room and walked in there while the storm was raging outside and there sat my mother with her Bible in her lap reading by the light of an old kerosene lamp.

One of the greatest visual sermons my mother ever preached was the story of the ten virgins and how they “trimmed” their lamps. She demonstrated that if you will trim the wick on the lamp before lighting it you’ll have a brighter glow and a cleaner burn.

Okay, now wipe your eyes and let me tell you about my “other” mother. I was born December 31, 1967. My oldest sister was born September 14, 1956. So naturally when both my parents had to work to make a living it was Barbara Ann who took care of us younger ones. By the time she was 11 years old, when I came along, she was able to cook full meals and have them on the table when our parents got home from work. She was the one who got up with me in the middle of the night, changed my diaper and gave me my bottle and rocked me back to sleep. I was always told when I was stubborn she would take me outside on the swing on the front porch and swing me and sing to me. She has told me on several occasions that my favorite song was “Daydream Believer”. She said I would go right back to sleep every time she sang that song to me.

I later found out that Daydream Believer peaked at number one on the Billboard charts in December 1967. I still love that song and know every word to it. Right before Barbara passed away I sat next to her bed and sang that song to her.

One of the funniest times I remember was when me and my best friend Jacob would go with our older sister’s to the grocery store, and of course we would always try to embarrass them. We had done it to Jacob’s sister once and she turned blood-red from embarrassment. The story would go something like this.

We’d get to the register to check out. There would be people standing in front of us and people standing behind us in line.

Jacob: “Mama, can I have some candy?”

Me: “Mama that wouldn’t be fair. If he gets some candy I want some too.”

Jacob’s sister: “Be quite. I’m not your mama.” Blushing.

Jacob: “Mama, why are you so ashamed of us?”

Me: “I told you that she was embarrassed and ashamed of us.”

Of course it worked so well embarrassing Jacob’s sister we decided we would try it on Barbara.

Jacob: “Mama, can I have some candy?”

Me: “Mama I want some candy too.”

Barbara: “No! shut up and stop asking or I’ll whip both of you right here in front of everybody.”

Yep, Barbara got us that day. We both knew, and there was no denying the fact that we were not going to embarrass my sister. But in reality she really was a mother to me.

And of course I can’t forget the mother of my son.  My loving bride that has been by my side for the past 30 plus years.  There is not a day that goes by that I don’t tell her that I love her, even when we get frustrated with each other (more like when she gets frustrated with me).  I may not have another chance so I want to remind her every day that I love her.

So if you still have your mother call her, visit her and tell her how much you love her, not just on this Mother’s Day weekend but call and visit every day. One day she won’t be there, and like my mother before she passed away, she may forget who you are. So it’s very important to tell them now. Make and keep those memories and share them with your children and grandchildren so that it can be passed down from generation to generation.

And again, to all you mothers out there. I pray you have a wonderful, joyous and happy Mother’s Day!

Love you all!

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