Chutzpah. “ho͝otspə”

The Yiddish word even sounds brash. It’s meaning – supreme self-confidence, nerve, gall, audacity, boldness.

While chutzpah doesn’t fully define Claire, some days it seems close. Her fabulous mother – my daughter-in-law who may carry her own chutzpah gene – recounts. . .

     On our way home today in terrible traffic, I was driving like a boss — only centimeters between myself and the many cars around me coming in all directions – maneuvering to make a near-impossible left turn.

Knowing I was doing a great job, I nevertheless voiced to Claire, “Driving in Kinshasa is not my thing”.

Claire responded, THAT’s for sure – Which left mom questioning with a teasing glint,

“What do I have to do to impress this girl?

Such spunk, tempered by her wise parent’s guidance, could well cinch feats in life for Claire the more faint-hearted may only dream of.



Here, grandpa, I’ll take that inside for you. Grandma, let me carry that. The middle child – and indeed his siblings as well – from early childhood volunteered aid to the seniors come to visit.

With daily livestock duties at the family farm, tending to his restaurant job and his full college load, T.J.’s still keenly attentive to relationships. How ya’ll doing? escapes his lips as much as any phrase.



Saturday – Easter Eve, my wife’s birthday – arrived. While she busied herself in the kitchen with granddaughter and daughters, I sat visiting with my two sons-in-law and grandson, Travis. Our most recently-added son-in-law responded to questions about the small brood of ducklings being nurtured at he and his new bride’s Tulsa home.

Travis, second-born of our grandkids – now married and parenting a fine toddler – ably engaged the discussion,

Hundreds of my baby chicks made it through. The incubator care I gave them made a difference.

Travs’ poultry enterprise began when – in diapers still – he shadowed his mother to the chicken-house, tending to his chirping, feathered buddies. Overseeing the full process fell to him in short order. As did other outdoor tasks, requiring a sharp mind and a ready body.

Three youngsters – Claire, TJ, Travis – all share in the qualities of confidence, warm-heartedness and industry. Yet each one – a one-of-a-kind – in personality and virtues.

As with them, our creator grants us every one, giftings, graces, ways of being. To touch a life, a family, a society – bringing things of good to our needy world.

                                           Variety is the very spice of life, that gives it all its flavor.

                                                                                            – William Cowper (poet)

©2016 Jerry Lout



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