Super Blessed
Off The Wall, July 22
, 2011

I’ve been telling people all along that I want to go for the gusto this summer and do all that I’m capable of doing. As we are aware, none of us know what the future will bring. It’s a proven fact that God knows our hearts. What I am about to convey is just that – He hears my thoughts and delivers my desires sometimes ten-fold.

It’s another known fact, I love to fish. Anyone who has ever done it as a means of recreation knows that the sport can be an addiction. It has been that way with me over the years, and it seems right now, there is no cure in sight.

Just recently, a friend asked if I would lend him a rod and reel. He would provide his own bait. I thought that was fair. One day the gent who I’ll identify as Willie, invited me fishing every evening for a week to the area lakes. How can an addict such as I resist? To me, it isn’t so much how big a fish I catch, but more so, just getting out among God’s creations and enjoying the great outdoors.

I had a friend named Mike who used to take me weekly to the Conamaugh. I miss him very much. He died last year and our companionship has left a void in my life. He and Willie have had something in common. I always caught the most fish, both of them the biggest. Even though I’m very competitive, I enjoy seeing people happy, and seeing both gents grin from ear to ear made me feel good inside.

To me, there’s nothing like attending baseball games at PNC Park in Pittsburgh. It’s crazy to say, as a retired person, that I just don’t have time to sit around watching nine innings of activities here at one of the parks in the Greater Latrobe area. But to visit the “burgh” and sit on the upper deck and look at the buildings in front, the boats gracefully being propelled up and down the river and the perfectly manicured playing field just below, some distance away is a spectacle to behold.

This year, I have blessed by being invited to not one but two baseball games. Special seating was on the second deck in perfect view of the goings-on. As I have told a number of people before, it’s not a matter of whether “our boys” win or lose, but that we back them. If we just go to the games to boo the professionals’ mistakes, then we might as well stay home. Booing and being supportive is hypocritical. Either people are for their team or against it. But don’t say the Buccos are your guys, but then show this disrespect.

Anyway, to the second trip to PNC Park, I was escorted to WS1927, a box belonging to Giant Eagle. That was an all time first experience for this country boy. I walked in and found that there was as much food and drink as I cared to ingest, two television sets that I could view the game if I chose, and an incredible view of the proceedings of the competition. Outside accommodations consisted of comfortable seats, a built in tray to place my edibles and front row seats to the most fantabulous fireworks show I have ever seen in my life. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, it did. If my chin could have dropped any further, it would have landed in my lap. One of those photos I snapped of the “bombs bursting in air” now appears on my desktop (the screen on my computer that shows selections in forms of icons).

The following day, my son and I decided to walk down to Paddy’s Hole in Latrobe. It would be a chance for both of us to take part in a photographic expedition. He captured “then and now” pictures, taken comparatively from when he grew up. Since it was one of my favorite paths (for the exclusion of dead brush lying in full sight that takes away from the beauty of the surroundings), I snapped flowers (some people would call them weeds. Weeds are just flowers out of place (an old saying)). Maybe in the future, I will do a story on the flora along path for my “Inside the Outdoors” column.

Back to a previous statement I made about God knowing one’s heart, He always listens, even from those who want to win the lottery, but somehow never do. People presuppose that God is turning a dead ear to what is being thought or even asked. In reality, He will only do what is best. I have thought about many things I would like to do this summer, and done most of them. Thus, I not only feel super blessed, but praise Him for the goodness He has rendered.

By the way, for the longest time, I used to put the letters “S.B.” after my name on my checks that stood, of course, for “super blessed. I felt if doctors could write M.D, I could convey my message. Oh, about inverting those letters? God, please deliver me from committing this bad habit. I have a feeling you don’t like your children talking in such a manner. I don’t want to commit these acts. Thank you, Lord, for hearing my thoughts.

- Paul J. Volkmann
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