2nd Cup of Coffee: 17 WORDS THAT WILL ALWAYS SERVE YOU WELL – 1/21/2020

The 17 words?


















Think about each word as it relates to you, to your present situation. Each one carries a lot of meaning in your life.

Oh, and there’s one more that’s pretty universal:


Loving you, Dan

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The 2nd Cup You’ve Been Waitin’ For – 12/16/19

It read, “Make sure everyone in your boat is rowing and not drilling holes in the bottom.”

Since almost this blog site’s birthing, I’ve had to wrestle with the hosting entity. I thought once I’d paid my dues, I could settle down and focus only on writing. The hosting folks would have my back.

As it turns out, they mostly had their own back. It seemed every time I got my writing groove on and encountered a site issue, their response was, “Sure, we can help with that–for only $_____.”

I’m slow on the uptake sometimes because I don’t like confrontation, nor have I ever liked those who use me. I did, however, finally tumble to the fact they were busily drilling holes in the bottom of the boat when I wasn’t looking. I confess to real disappointment, often bordering on discouragement, for it felt as if everything was aligned against my working on the manuscript for Time Trials – my healing story. Anyway, it got expensive, and I began searching for a new 3 Hour Tour.

I found one. The transferring of my domain to the new hosting site will take a few more days. It’s already paying for itself, saving me irritation and heart burn – and laying my groove down, man. The creative juices will soon be flowing from my fingertips, through my trusty laptop keyboard, onto the screens of devices everywhere.

IF, that is, you dial up my blog address, www.2ndcupofcoffee.com. Hint: my new hosting site has some smooth electronic whozits that alert me when peeps are clicking and reading. It also keeps track of how many, on which days, even preferred posts.

So. My blog since 2013, 2nd Cup of Coffee, has a new host. It’s still sponsored by WordPress, so nothing will look different to you. It’s all going to be different, though; definitely upscale and better than ever.

I’m looking forward to li—- What? Oh. Sure.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Coffee-GIF-Grinch.gif

Granger says he’s got something special in the works as a Christmas gift.

Ah-ah-ah? No Peking.

© Copyright D. Dean Boone, December 2019

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A December 2nd Cup for 12/1/19: ADVENTAGE JESUS

God sends His messages daily; all you have to do is watch and listen.

We know from historical and Biblical record there was a time in the world when nobody wanted to hear it. God’s message, that is. People had gotten a taste of what living a no-boundaries, no-guilt life was like. They decided always having nosey prophets and preachers around shaking fingers at them was archaic. They declared themselves and their culture a no-rules zone.

Yeah, come to think of it. They were a lot like too many are now. The only way anarchists ever get their way is when good, solid, caring people let them.

That’s what happened in the world, back when the Israelites said they’d had enough of those Ten Commandment types always ruining the party by mentioning God and his outdated ‘rules’. They began putting hits on His prophets and trying to ruin the rep of any preachers daring to tell God’s side. And it worked for awhile.


And God said, “All right.” For 400 years they got their way. The Israelites were supposed to show the rest of the world what a nation and people committed to God could be and do. When they balked and sneered at God and His trying to work through them, that example was erased.

The Israelites said, “We can run our own affairs. We don’t need no stinkin’ God tellin’ us what we should and shouldn’t do, because others are watching us and our ‘witness‘ . . . ” What business is it of theirs what we do? It’s not bothering anyone else, and we’re getting along just fine!”

And the entire world found itself morally, socially, intellectually adrift. That’s what happens when God’s people decide to become more like everyone around them instead of keeping their eyes on him through His Word’s guidance. They begin a slow drift that’s always farther away . . .

It wasn’t a good time in Earth history. For longer than the United States has existed, there was no mention of God or of His revealed plan for the world and people He created.

And it showed. Antifa hoodlums trying to disrupt? ISIS plants killing and destroying? Amoral career politicians with soulless eyes and auctioned souls openly defying those they supposedly ‘serve’? Gangs operating freely in the nation’s largest cities, killing any or all for any imagined offense?

They’ve nothing on what Israel looked, sounded, and smelled like during those 400-some years God let the fools be in charge.

And then? “When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.” Romans 5:6, NLT.

Fast-forward to now. “Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn’t, and doesn’t, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn’t been too weak, we wouldn’t have known what to do anyway . . . But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him.” Romans 5:6-8, The Message

You know by now I always try to tie my heading into these posts. Nobody knew for sure what to expect at the first Advent. Everyone from high priest and sociopolitical leaders on down had spent so much time bloviating about what THEY thought no one was listening to anyone else. So when Jesus came the first time, it was enough to stun everyone.

Something tells me this second Advent – whenever it occurs – will happen the same way. That ‘something’ is the Bible.

Yep. “That again.”

Adventage Jesus.

© D. Dean Boone, December 2019

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QTM for 11/29/19: YES, YOU DO

“Hey, you know that song?”


“Sorry. That one, ah, Christmas song that says ‘I have no gift to bring’? That one?”

“Sure. What about it?”

“Well, I don’t.”

My permanent sense of humor almost bit, but I heard no lightness or neutrality in his tone. It wasn’t a lure. He wasn’t being dark, not exactly, but bleak, accompanied by knitted eyebrows and slight grimness. I probed.

“Kidding, right?” I’d slanted my eyes sideways to sneak a glance at him. He wasn’t looking at me, but staring off into Someplace In A Galaxy Far, Far Away, a serious mien shadowing his face like happens when the sun is obscured by a cloud. Alrighty then. That’s a nope.

I work to keep learning. One way is to stop saying and/or writing, “I have learned”, because the period after ‘learned’ hints that I think I’ve nothing more to add to what I already know about whatever it is. Back when, I encountered a professor or two who exhibited that kind of arrogance. I didn’t like it then, and sure never want it interfering with my ongoing quest to know and grow more.

One of the things I keep learning is to better ‘get’ my friends. This one was seriously bugged about something. I wanted to know what it was. Therefore, I queried and listened.

“Talking about The Little Drummer Boy, correct?”

“Yeah. That’s the one.”

“And you’re telling me you have nothing to offer King Jesus.”

“Exactly. I got nothin’. Man, I look at all of you ( left arm in a wide, sweeping gesture ) and wish I had just a little of all the talent and ability I see in all of you when you’re worshiping. It’s like you don’t even have to try because it just flows . . .” Here his voice broke and I noticed he seemed to have something in his eye. Both of them.

I mulled, then I thunk a think. While doing that, I team-thought with the Holy Spirit. James says if we’re a bit skosh on wisdom, to ask for more. I did, and God spoke back.

Exodus 4:2.Nice. A little help, here? Exod— OH! I turned to my friend.

“What DO you got?” He looked at me like I’d just sprouted a Klingon ridge on my forehead. “What?

“Do you remember when Moses was doing his best to whine his way out of being the Israelites’ head honcho, and God asked him, “What’s that in your hand? The lesson was, ‘This isn’t about you, Moses. I can work with, in, and through anything and anybody if they’ll let me—‘ His eyes switched from Dull to Interested and he nodded. “Yeah, I remember that.”

“Awright. You have something to give, too. What’s that in your hand?” He glanced down at the booklet he’d been holding in his left hand.

“Oh, it’s a training manual update I brought home to read over the weekend.”

Me: “Training for what?” (His response: “Safety. Security. You know, the usual stuff. There’s always a new wrinkle, because some jackwagon out there comes up with more creative ways to do bad things.”)

Me again: “And why is it in your left hand?” (“Because I’m right-handed and—-” Like a Great Plains wind gust pounding open a door, the light and sharpness popped back into his gaze.

“The little boy brought what he had and freely offered his best to Jesus, without staring at everyone else’s gifts, comparing their really great clothing to his own, and like that.”

“Nailed it. Just goes to show ya, guys like you really can string coherent thoughts together without tripping over them.”

“You wanna wear that piano?”

I grinned as I backed away. That was more like it. As we get up from our Thanksgiving tables and begin the jostling, breathless jog toward Christmas and 2020, remember to extend your gratefulness to include what God’s placed in your hand.

He may never need to ask you to pick up a snake by its tail to impress you about His ability to use anything or anyone. Hopefully, you’ll appreciate in new ways the unique manner in which God pours His grace and ability through your hands. Then, too, it’s really not good for your health record to pick up snakes by their tails.

So, what will you bring King Jesus this Christmas?

Your best. It will be enough.

He’ll see to it.

© D. Dean Boone, November 2019

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~ Paramedics need the Jaws of Life to extract you from the recliner.

~ You find grass stains on your butt after taking a walk, but you never sat down.

~ On your jog Friday morning, you set off three seismographs.

~ Giving end-of-year blood tests yields only turkey gravy.

~ You have 5 flat screens side-by-side to catch all the football games.

~ Representatives from Butterball Hall of Fame have called twice wanting an interview.

~ Your arms are suddenly too short to delete this list.


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2nd Cup of Coffee for 11/23/19: BAFFLED BY GRACE

The older man sat at a table by himself, two fingers of his right hand casually hooked through the handle of a cup of steaming coffee, and he was thoughtfully looking off into somewhere.

His demeanor caught my attention as I laid my stuff down on the table I chose. I’ve been around enough maudlin, lonely, souring old people to know them and promptly back away, but this guy seemed at a glance to be just the opposite. He looked, I don’t know, comfortable in solitude. Maybe even at peace.

I admit I was irritated at myself for letting him or anything else hijack my attention. After all, I’d dropped by Howya Bean to work. To write. Change of scenery, different location, like that. To be alone, unbothered.

To say my mind was occupied is like saying a ravening Kodiak just out of hibernation only wants a snack. I mean, hey all, see this open laptop? See my pen and notepad? Smartphone? These are known as ca-LOOZ which signal Leave Me Alone. Just keep the java coming, and boogie on. Yeah, I know some of you just added, “—Reggae Woman”. I agree that track was catchy. But, see, remembering those lyrics—let’s just stipulate we’re not going there. I digress.

Showing supreme self-mastery, I chastised my errant attention, chased it back into its own yard, and closed the gate. Blogs don’t write themselves, y’know. Where was I . . . ?

Be interesting to know what he was thinking about, though. He’s not scruffy-looking. Doesn’t have that, that aura of “I’m old, cranky, opinionated, have zero patience with anybody, I couldn’t care less what you think of my clothes, and I need to go pee” that seems to be standard equipment with so many old people. He’s . . . He’s cool. Yeah. Collected. Almost as if Central Casting got a call for The Antithesis of Most Whitehairs and sent him.

D’oh! I can’t—-what’s the deal? I’m trying to get something done here, and this guy keeps glomming onto my attention! And the more I try to ignore him like I’m doing fine ignoring everybody else, the more he intrudes! What is WITH that? I’m a blogger, trying to get one posted and published—-what? Oh, great. I must’ve been staring again, and he’s noticed it. Super!

I half-smiled, gave him a miniscule nod, and dropped my eyes back to my own business.

“What are you working on?”

Wait. What? He initiated a conversation. A response is customary. Show some class, ay, as if you’re not self-conscious at being caught. At least I didn’t try a faked shock. I figured someone as put together as this guy had been paying attention to my nosyness.

“Well, I’m supposed to be working on a blog, but I can’t seem to keep my ideas flying in the same formation.” I closed my laptop, sat back, and gave him my full attention.

“Does writing fill a place inside you nothing else does?”

I had to think about that. Of course, the instant answer was yes; but the way he formed his question made me feel I ought to more carefully craft my response.

“I appreciate how you asked that. And, yes, it does.”

He smiled. “Then what you need to write today will be there when you’re ready again. Since I seem to have disrupted your concentration, would you care to join me?” I almost begged off, yet had the sense I needed this break. Loading everything into my seen-better-days blue and faded backpack, I got up, slid my chair in, and moved over to his table.

Extending my hand, I introduced myself. He grasped my hand with the velvet-steel closure of what was once a formidable grip, if the present one was any indicator. “Glad to meet you. I’m Granger.”

As I sat down across from him, I said, “First or last?” He faintly smiled and said, “Yes.” Then, as if he’d come prepared for just an encounter as this one, he cocked his head slightly to starboard and said, “During this holiday season, I’m more keenly aware than ever of how blessed a man I am.”

I’ve always had good luck using my ears. I saw doing so now a definite plus. He continued.

“Just this morning I was impressed by how God has lavished grace on me, and keeps doing it. I’m grateful; but it still baffles me.

I’ve learned a thing or two. “Can you help me understand when you say you’re baffled?”

“I’m not the finest, brightest, or best. Yet I’ve felt God’s hand on my life in ways I’d never have anticipated – and in some cases can’t begin to explain. So I have to ask myself why He’d show a regular, normal guy like me the kind of grace and blessing I’ve known throughout my life thus far.”

I didn’t answer because for a few seconds I couldn’t. What he said struck like an uppercut to my spirit. I knew I hadn’t shown a grateful attitude much of late for what God had been doing in my life. And I knew I should have, for God had been very, very good to me and mine.

I was startled, for he’d been speaking. “I’m sorry, Granger. You were saying?”

“I notice your cup’s empty. It would please me to buy you another coffee.”

His syntax, the measured way he spoke, caused me once again to take a split-second to think through my response.

“I appreciate your asking, but I think the subject of this week’s blog just made itself apparent. If you come here again, perhaps I’ll see you, for I’m here a lot. It would please me to take a raincheck.”

Granger gently smiled, dipping his head in silent eloquence. On the way home, I was pondering this divine appointment, thinking As I get up in years, that’s how I want to be. Suddenly, aging looks more like a privilege than something I’ve always loathed. Huh.

As my not so gently aged Honda SUV nosed into the driveway, I was rethinking Granger’s phrase: “Baffled by Grace” . . .

And you know what? Me, too.

Me, too.

© Copyright D. Dean Boone, November 2019

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2nd Cup of Coffee, 11/18/19: GOD’S RABBIT

When the journey has made you weary and you can’t see the way home, it’s comfort to the soul to encounter someone who does.

Captain Golden and I had spent hours in the frigid air aloft over northeastern Montana, doing our best in a trusty little T-33 to dodge and frustrate the efforts of two sleek, beautifully-deadly F-106 interceptors trying to flame us.

As pilot, the captain’s job was to make that little bird juke and dance all over the sky to break those interceptor radar locks before they could get clean missile shots at us. Since his seat back was too high for him to see behind him, he needed a spotter who could. As spotter, it was my job to tell him when to start that altitude- and course-evasive madness.

All of us, target crew, interceptor pilots, and ground control teams knew some things.

We knew we were safely being tracked and controlled by ground radar specialists and that our intercepts and weapons were all computer-generated. We knew it was beautiful flying weather that day at 14,000 feet, with almost unlimited visibility. We knew this was no game: we were practicing the deadliest dance in the air – the interception and possible destruction of an enemy target aircraft.

Those parachutes and helmets weren’t just for show. By the time we all were low on fuel and each returning to our bases, our flight suits were sweaty and our hair matted. We messed up some of their intercepts, and they splashed us a lot. We’d all just been perfecting our lethal profession, identifying possible threats and, when necessary, airborne death.

Captain Golden and I relaxed on the way back to Great Falls, Montana and Malmstrom AFB. We critiqued our evasive strategies, identified an idea or two that might be worth mentioning during mission debrief, and joked about this or that. Though I kept my feet off the rudder pedals, I flew the jet part of the way home.

Visibility being wonderful, we were both drinking in the absolute beauty of flying in those conditions. It was edging toward dusk as we neared our approach fix, and there was one more thing that, for me, made the experience as perfect as anything on Earth can be.

Somebody had turned the rabbit on. The rabbit is a series of sequenced bright strobes situated on gradually-higher platforms, spaced enough apart and somewhat aligned with the glide slope to as to beckon the incoming aircraft from final approach fix to landing. Even in good weather, there’s nothing more satisfying and relieving as seeing those strobes flashing out through the night, saying, “Welcome home, traveler. Come on in.”

God’s rabbit, His Spirit, has never failed to offer that same comfort and guidance to the human spirit. Every time I’ve found myself worn in body, mind, or spirit – or all three – the Holy Spirit always turns on God’s rabbit.

It can be a Bible verse or passage. It’s often a song, or some prose from another believer. In some cases, it’s been the timely visit and encouragement of a Christian brother or sister. Whatever the case, God’s rabbit does the same thing as those sequential strobes do at each end of almost every runway.

They reassure you somebody’s been watching, has turned on the lights for you, and are waiting to welcome you home.

© Copyright D. Dean Boone, November 2019

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Saturday 2nd Cup for 10/5/19: BETTER? NOT.

He awakened to the familiar discadent drum section warmup. A Fall overnight thunderstorm was his alarm, and he laid there for a few extra moments, listening, sensing, absorbing.

The knowing is optional; the coffee essential.

The Columbian Supremo he’d prepared the night before was ready. So was he.

As he poured the fresh, steaming java into his big white Perkatory mug, he glanced around his basement family room. The fireplace drew immediate attention, for he’d fixed a small fire, and had a log burning there, it’s pleasant light making soft shadows weave into their happy dance of morning welcome.

This morning, he’d chosen some light classical music softly playing in the background. Telemann. Verdi. His eyes retreated into middle distance as he grinned at some friends who’d frown at it.

“I thought you liked smooth, soft jazz. You’re forever writing about it, and whenever I come over, that’s usually what you have playing in here.”

There were a few other close friends who understood his eclectic musical tastes . . .

He then sat, embracing the pleasant solitude, sipping coffee with each thought, occasionally jotting notes to himself.

He was dressed in what he jokingly called ‘lounge lizards’ – actually Adidas activewear. Comfort being his object, he had begun his day as was his habit. Slanting his eyes over at the Bibles on the loveseat, he wryly grinned at the three separate translations laying there, two of them open.

Granger often lost himself in his reading.

Finished with that morning’s bit of social media encouragement to someone, maybe several someones, whom he may never know, he refilled his mug. He scanned the morning’s inbox for anything perhaps requiring his attention.

1813 -Battle of Thames in Canada; Americans defeat British . . .

1978 – Over 30 nations ratify the Environmental Modification Convention which prohibits weather warfare that has— (Great, more of that drek…)

Townhall Daily – “Biden makes one thing clear—” (That’ll be the day…)

Granger quickly shuffled all surrounding him into some semblance of disorderly order. He’d foregone the normal first-thing shower, and it was time. By the time he dressed and was presentable for the normal Saturday morning breakfast at Jimmie’s Diner, he knew there’d be plenty of Facebook chat, some of which would require some thoughtful response.

And respond he would.

He knew such literary activity was part of why God had restored him to life. He knew he’d always generate deep satisfaction from such online interaction. He knew his coffee had become tepidly undrinkable.

Shower. Fresh refill. Jimmie’s. Nope; Better? Not.

© Copyright D. Dean Boone, October 2019

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QTMs for 9/28/19: From Humility To Excellence

Humility is one of those things we may find confusing to define, but I believe we all agree what humility’s absence looks like.

Definitely. Espresso grind.

I recently read that almost everyone you meet claims to be humble. Yet even while making that claim, they have their eye on the Trinity just in case there’s a vacancy.

QTMs is my own shorthand for Quiet Time Musings. At one time I sent at least one such post each morning, and its practice became more habitual than enjoyable. That’s one of the reasons I stopped writing them. Two others are that I’m continuing work on the manuscript for my first book, which takes time. The second is that I’ve been forced by my web hosting site to switch to new servers. There’s more to that than meets the checkbook, so suffice it to say I’ve been slowed down and distracted. Frustrated, evUN. (Some of you read that in Snagglepuss’s voice. I heard you.)

No matter where I’m reading during each morning’s quiet time, I always find good, worthy counsel in Psalms and Proverbs. This year I’ve been reading out of the English Standard Version, and the subtle differences are always instructive. I love to learn new ways of understanding and applying what the Bible has to say.

This morning some things Psalm 25 has to say about humility’s link with learning grabbed my attention. My habit is to point out what I’m learning, rather than to bore you quoting Scripture. The section of my focus, however, is verses 8 through 14. Get yourself a refill of java and let’s think together.

God “instructs sinners in the way”. Okay, we sort of expect that. It’s what follows that interests me. He “leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way”.

Yeah? So? Repetitive, right?

Nope. Only one who is teachable can be led. Only one who wants to learn can be taught. Note the difference between “God instructs sinners” and “He leads and teaches the humble”. There’s a stark difference between, “Okay, goofoffs, listen up!” and “Come on over here and take a load off; I’ve something to share with you.”

I just read this morning of a Port St. Lucie, FL 8th grade teacher who was fired because she refused to give lazy, impudent students at least 50% for not handing in their required work. They weren’t interested in being either led or taught, so she was restricted to only instructing them.

This passage reminds that in times when these Scriptures were written, teachers often walked along, speaking as they walked. Those wanting to learn from them walked along with them, both to hear and to bounce questions off them.

It reads that “all the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness” toward those wanting to follow after Him. That implies a close, growing relationship between teacher and learners.

Think back. Who were your favorite teachers in school? Your favorite profs in college or grad school? What made them so?

This Psalm says those same things apply, albeit perfectly, to God’s desired relationship with you. Weren’t some of your most memorable times with friends those times when you walked along together, sharing thoughts and ideas? The promises here indicate that kind of closeness between God and anyone humble enough to want to read (hear) what He has to teach.

Your humility – remaining curious and teachable – is your pathway to excellence.

Check out verse 14. Really? Friendship with God?

© Copyright D. Dean Boone, September 2019

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G’mornin’. Writers can and often do find inspiration in just about any setting. You may or may not ever again see your morning coffee in quite the same way; yet I hope this little bit of fun involving java will help make your Friday a little easier to take. Enjoy.

“I was on my third cup of joe. It needed something, so I dumped sugar, cream, and a little caramel in it. It was better.”


“The coffee was good and I knew it could only get better. It already had a mysterious dark side the first cup barely revealed, so I poured another, listening, sensing the eager liquid flow into my almost empty mug.

“Sipping now where before I’d intemperately quaffed, I allowed its spicy richness to linger as it hesitated over seeking taste buds. Nutty? Fruity? Exotic? The intense smoky brew was all that and more. Soon my mug was again empty. I knew I must have more. I knew another cup with what I would add was pushing it. I knew my finger was stuck in that stupid little handle.

“Gently extracting my finger, I began yet again to pour out that dark, warm elixir of life. Ah, but I stopped before the faithful mug was full. This time I introduced a spoonful of sweet sugary granules, each briefly sparkling as they dove into the heated depths of the waiting coffee. Did I say one? No, one would not be enough. Another sweet spoonful disappeared into the swirling, heady mix.

“Cool, thick, steadying cream was next. Enough? NO. More. As each wonderful ingredient was added, the level of coffee in the mug rose slightly, it’s now-fawnlike shades roiling, luxuriating like a stretching, yawning lioness as the sweetness and lightness gently eased through the entire cup.

“Last came smooth, comfortable, sleek caramel. Where the cream had quickly lightened the shades of my waiting cup, the easy-squeezy of caramel reversed the trend, tanning, then umbering the mug full of sweet, heavy java.

“Lifting the brim-full mug of caffeinated bliss, I first tested the temperature of heat rising from the heady mix on my lips. Hot, yet not too hot. It was time to taste that third cup for which I’d waited . . .

. . . . . .

“There were no adequate words. My tongue bounced and laughed as the first sip of coffeaque spread liquidly smooth toward waiting tastebuds. My tonsils, now a cranky 66, even gave grudging assent, although warning the creamy, smooth java to stay off their lawn.

Everything breaks but the HANDLE?

“I knew nothing would ever replace each morning’s first couple of cups of rich, black, piping hot coffee. I knew nothing would ever keep me from the heady joy of sugared, creamy, caramelized amazingness that would surely follow. A-a-and I knew my right forefinger was again stuck in that cute, metrodiner mug handle.”

© Copyright D. Dean Boone, August 2019

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