A trip to town used to be an all-day experience

The odds of one making a journey around the sun seem insurmountable as we face untold dilemmas making our direction a bit hazy. Yet, we each one makes this trip on an annual basis. Often celebrating the completion of that trip with birthday cake and candles! 

We come to realize that our problems can be solved using our faith, persistence, time, and help from outside forces. Problems have solutions, but we often must rely on our own inner being to convince ourselves that nothing is impossible! 

First you must believe and have faith that any crisis can be overcome. You may reach out to family and friends, and you may ask God for help. Many times, you will find a solution doesn’t work, so you try another direction. Or you may find that there are multiple solutions to a problem requiring you to decide the best course of action to bring about a successful finish. 

Believing in yourself and trusting God will help you conquer any problem. Now this is a lesson that most of us must learn, and some are more successful than others. I grew up in a time when money was short and a trip to town was an all-day experience. 

By that, I mean that when you took out time to go to town you would tend to all your business that had piled up since your last visit. Now I said that so you would understand that when something broke down or quit working right, you did not just run to town to get what you might need. No sir, you fixed it as best you could with what you had on hand. And that meant being creative and sometimes innovative. 

Usually that meant using a lot of baling wire (duct tape was not around yet.) Years ago, there was a TV program called McGyver. He was an innovative tinkerer. My young bride’s Daddy was the best I ever knew when it came to making solutions happen through McGyvering. 

He could take an item and repair it or transform it into some other useful object. He had piles of discarded materials, that were just waiting for the right circumstance when it would prove to be just what it took to fix that blankety blank thing that was broke beyond repair! 

That’s how he kept things going and very likely invented an item or two. I have many discarded materials in my junk piles, so, just know that I am anticipating fixing anything that goes haywire. Now, as you may have guessed, I have developed quite a collection of discarded materials that I am certain will be needed in the near future. And therein lies the rub, when I develop a need for a particular piece of saved materials, I have an extreme lack of memory of its exact location. 

This often results in an extended search that may run for days until I give up and go to town to buy the identical piece that I am certain resides in one of my many collections. As my Ol’ Daddy was known to say, “You can always tell a packrat…but you can’t tell ‘em much!”  And my Mama would remind us of this Bible verse.  Mark 10:27  And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.


The Tinkerer


Times were tough an’ money was short,

So, he hitched the mule to his cart,

He chose to follow the tinker’s art,

Ramblin’ through the countryside.


He’d had instruction from his Grandpa,

To repair things with hammer an’ saw,

No sir, he would not hem nor haw,

He’d meet folks an’ do his job with pride.


There’d be no job that was too tough,

He’d stand tall an’ roll up his cuff,

He’d prove to folks he was good enough,

If it couldn’t be done, they’d know he tried.


Folks said that he kept everything,

Odds an’ ends or a piece of string,

Even a bell that would not ring,

Without a doubt, he was well supplied.


Oh, he had stuff from days gone by,

To patch an’ build an’ satisfy,

Would be appealing to the eye,

No matter how he modified.


There’d be times when folks could not pay,

Yes, barter and trade would be okay,

This was how he made it through the day, 

His tinker’s skills would be applied.


He found that folks most all agreed,

His kind of work would fill a need,

An’ folks would flock to him indeed,

His confidence was amplified!


So, he would bring the news, fix, and build,

Until their needs had all been filled,

And all the people had been thrilled,

And he was pleased that he could provide.


His reputation grew through the days,

His prowess never failed to amaze,

An’ he remembered to give God praise,

For He was the one to be glorified!


So, he bowed his head and thanked his Lord

For all the blessings He had poured,

As he plied his trade with one accord,

The Lord’s blessings were multiplied!

©  Ol’ Jim Cathey


God Bless the McGyvers of this world and God Bless America!


The Marlin Democrat

251 Live Oak St
Marlin, TX 76661
Phone: (254) 883-2554
Fax:(254) 883-6553