I grew up in a small, isolated, California desert farm town called Blythe. Some people called it Blight. Along with other Blythe escapees, I have a serious reputation for being an unsmart bumpkin.

Last week, after our failed attempt to bribe our granddaughter’s way into college, the entire family got together to comfort ourselves with a Blythe seven-course dinner. That’s a six-pack and a taco.

By the time my wife and I arrived, cousin Elmer had already started eating. We were concerned when we saw a lot of little holes in his chin and lips. Aunt Mable said, “Don’t worry, he’s just been trying to eat with a fork.”

I no longer live in Blythe, but am still in California, now living in a slightly larger small desert farm town. (The nut doesn’t fall far from the tree.) Thankfully, the almost continuous rain of the past three months has officially ended California’s five-year drought. Our usually semi-ugly brown mountains are now luxuriously green and covered with golden poppies, the California state flower. The spectacular wildflower display is known as a “super bloom”, and it’s been almost fifteen years since the last one.

This past weekend, my wife and I went for a romantic hike through the famous Walker Canyon and its many miles of flower-coated hills. Just me and her. And 14,000 tourists from all over the world. (That was the official estimate.) The Highway Patrol shut down two freeway exit ramps and the City of Lake Elsinore provided shuttle buses to Walker Canyon. The line to get on a shuttle bus was two-and-a half hours long.

At one point, I assumed doctors and nurses from the nearby hospital had taken a break to come see the flowers while still wearing their surgical masks. Nope. Japanese tour group. I still don’t understand why the place is called Walker Canyon. The terrain is too rugged for anyone using a walker.

I took this freeway photo with my phone. The green and gold mountains are so rare that many hundreds of motorists just pull right off the freeway to take snapshots. Many don’t care about pictures. They just want to pick flowers. Lots and lots of flowers. Heroin is made from poppy seeds. It’s no wonder poppies are the California state flower.

Don’t worry. You can’t get high eating poppy seeds. But you can actually fail today’s highly-sensitive drug tests by merely eating a poppy seed bagel. This is a true thing. Be careful out there.

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My wife is a school teacher. For decades, California school districts have required drug tests for teachers. Now, the many changes in California law have made recreational marijuana totally legal, and the use of many illegal drugs, merely a misdemeanor. California is becoming a state led and loved by druggies. Some California school districts now no longer require drug testing for teachers. It gives whole new meaning to higher education.

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            Here’s an interesting religious conundrum for you: Did Adam have a belly button?

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            Oops… almost forgot. With the officially-sanctioned radical left witch hunt now complete, I need to use this email to send out a couple of personal messages (below).

TO: New York Times / Washington Post / MSNBC / Communist News Network

We don’t want to miss it, so please tell us the date and time for your special report when you will apologize to the American people for your two years of lies.

P.S. — A legitimate journalist should know that “anonymous source” is not an acceptable synonym for “lie”.

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TO: Madame Secretary Hillary

Don’t be sad. I’ll visit you in prison.

P.S. — I’m still deplorable.

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Off to the right, a forty-something black man dances by himself on the floor in front of the stage. His fist-bumps and hip-thumps swoosh in time with the music. He grabs his baggy jeans to keep them up. Under his gray hoodie he wears a Los Angeles Angels baseball cap. He wonders if I’m related to baseball superstar Mike Trout. I never give him a straight answer because his continuing wonderment is fun.

Four rows in front of my wife and I, a young, single white woman holds her infant son. Her hair is purple and her tattoos are longer than her leather mini-skirt.

I wear my standard ensemble … a Hawaiian shirt, khaki multi-pocketed cargo pants, and slip-on deck shoes … because that’s comfortable for me, and there is no dress-code.

A distinguished-looking elderly Hispanic couple sit across the aisle from us. The gray of the man’s three-piece suit matches his hair. They’ve been in love for fifty-eight years.

Three generations of an Asian family sit together in the row right behind us. Though not as boisterous as many in the crowd, the whole family, nonetheless, claps to the beat of the rock music. The oldest generation laughs at the jokes when their younger generation translates.

The thirty-something gay man who arrived late and sat at the back of the auditorium feels welcomed because he was.

The twenty-two-year-old man on our left is from the local Native American tribe. He looks to be solid muscle from head to toe. What an angelic singing voice! His voice doesn’t really fit the persona, because he is built like a brick wall. (Oops. Is wall a four-letter word?)

Sitting to the far right of the auditorium, the young Arabic couple watch, listen, and absorb. They are keenly curious, because they read that Jesus was born to a virgin, healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, and resurrected the dead. They read that in the Qur’an.

The entire auditorium is filled with respectful, loving, peaceful humans of all ages, races, conditions, and problems. When the pastor says, “All lives matter” the building erupts with cheers, claps, whistles, woo-hoos, and “Amen brother!”

 True diversity. Not government mandate.

My wife and I love our church.

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