Man Time In The Country

Iron sharpens iron.

— (cf. Prov 27:17)


What do two, aging guys (brothers in the faith) do when they get together out in the country? If they collectively have 150 years (or more) of life on this planet, mostly they just reflect and tell some stories.

They talk about their families. And they pray.

Neither of these two old friends probably ever thought they’d have a day like they recently had, although they both certainly hoped for it. We’re talking about Earl and Rom, of course. That’s how it was for these two old characters.

This little story happened at The Shabby recently. Mostly, it took place in the North and South Pastures near The Red Barn. And also where The Poustinia quietly awaits praying visitors.

At first, the old guys didn’t seem to remember how to have some fun together. But rest assured, they figured it out before nap time (which usually occurs some time after lunch).

Let’s talk.


Earl and Rom had been planning this impromptu “get together” far longer than either geezer might admit. Both had looked forward to the fellowship, but neither ever forced the issue to make it happen.

“Let’s get together for a time of prayer out in the country,” Rom would say. “Maybe we can do lunch too,” Earl would say.

“Yeah, let’s do it sooner than later,” they would chirp in harmony.

They even agreed to have a beer together too. Only recently, they had both become connoisseurs of non-alcohol beer — or “NA Beer” as they called it.

Yes, they both agreed on man time out in the country. But then, stuff just always seemed to happen.

Of course, there were all those wonderful family events. And there was the covid too. And the doctor appointments — they were the worst! And there were lots of other things along the way also. As you get older, life has a way of occurring while you’re looking in the other direction.

The good news is, these two old guys finally did do it. In between Rom “painting the barn” and all those other unscheduled events, they finally got together for that “Man Time in the Country”!


The day was sunny and beautiful, but brisk too. It was one of those days where you needed to “layer” the clothes, but you didn’t want to bundle much because — well, the sunshine might just warm things up.

Earl and Rom walked around The Shabby admiring the many “construction projects” that had helped give this land its charm over the years. Rom recalled the many friends who had stopped by and the many years of prayer that had taken place on the land too. It was holy ground, to be sure!

Down by the pond, they told tales about fish and beavers — and alligators too. It turned out that the holy ground was also story telling ground too.

It wasn’t long before Earl began to understand that his buddy Rom, who lived in a swamp not far from the banks of the North Edisto River, was also a “mildly eccentric” artist whose creativity included a passion for building.

But that’s another story we’ll save for another time.


The brothers from different mothers soon settled in The Poustinia at the far end of the South Pasture. From their vantage point, they could see The Red Barn, the fields beyond, and the wood line at the edge of the pond too.

“How’s the family?” one would ask.

That’s a trick question old guys use to get conversation and prayer started. Both men were blessed to have their wives with them still. That made it an easy entry ramp for the man time “conversation highway.”

It didn’t take long to do a “drive by” on their adult children and to get to the heart of both men — the exploits of their grandchildren. Grandchildren conversations always put old guys in a sentimental mood, which is perfect for prayer (SPOILER ALERT: Hard hearts don’t work well when you enter the presence of God).

They thanked God for their many blessings, reflecting on a few, and then they shared a rosary together.

Boy! The rosary is a powerful prayer, especially when it’s prayed out loud by a husband and wife or by two brothers sitting together in a Poustinia out in the country.

When they finished the rosary, they talk out loud to Jesus — one at a time. There was nobody there to hear them except God and the little black cat who quietly listens to everything you say.

That’s also another story.


Eventually, the Poustinia time concluded, and they headed off to a restaurant to share a pizza and a salad. Afterwards, it was time for each man to return to his home and his everyday role as an ordinary, old man. It was time to return to their wives who would, no doubt, interrogate them, hoping to satisfy themselves with the knowledge that her husband had a good time with his friend.

“How did it go with Earl (or Rom),” one wife would inquire.

“Fine,” the guy would respond.

“Is everything alright with him,” she would probe.

“Yeah, he’s doing pretty well — for an old guy, I mean,” the husband would reply.

“Did you do anything special,” she might politely wonder.

“Well, not really. We just sat and talked,” he would say. “We prayed a little too,” he would surely add.

“Well, I’m glad you two had that time together,” she would offer.

“Me too,” he would say. “We’ll probably do something together again soon.”

And then he would add the inevitable.

“Oh, yeah, Earl (or Rom) said to tell you hello.”


Well, ladies, although the guys in your life generally accept the “peculiarities” of the women they love, they’re not aware of their own strange behaviors. So we need your understanding. We realized that somewhere between The Red Barn and the Poustinia.

And as an old Canadian philosopher named Red Green once said, “We can’t help ourselves. We’re men.”

That’s our story, and we’re sticking to it.

Vivat Jesus.


Click on the link below to LIKE this page.

And please click on the link in the sidebar just to the right of this article to FOLLOW our blog so you can keep up with new caricatures and updates.

These days, blogging and the internet seem to be about “algorithms.” Your LIKES and FOLLOWS help others find this page.

And tell your friends about what we’re doing here. It might be just what someone you know needs!

2 thoughts on “Man Time In The Country

  1. God’s Little Acre is a location where the Spirit visits when the desire to be thankful for the blessings we live with every day. Men have these spots given them by their choices and gifts from God. Sharing these little acres is a glimpse into the life of your Brother and the opportunity to share his life. It’s a very private place that becomes a hallowed acre that rests forever in the mind’s eye of the blessed visitor. The Shabby is a place where love abounds and the hand and mind and heart of Rom create numerous caricatures and and stories birthed and blessed by sincere listening to the voice of God. I have been blessed, thank you Jesus, amen 🙏

Leave a Reply