By Charles Towne

(Taken from the somewhat convoluted discourse and happy hyperbole rattling around in the demented mind of a contented traveler from here to there.)

As I was preparing dinner one evening I went to the refrigerator and took out a red sweet pepper. I washed it, picked up the paring knife, and sliced into the pepper, eviscerating it, and… what do you suppose I saw?

Have you noticed that for other than a smattering of ittie bittie, little tiny white seeds, peppers, all peppers, are hollow?

Puzzling as it may seem there is only that smattering of tiny white seeds?  

No intricate machinery, no hissing steam pipes or little whirligigs, no valves, vents or vammadoodles, no tiny, little man in an engineers cap pulling levers, no mysterious glyphs begging to be dechiphered… but then, what the heck did I expect?  The darned thing is only a red, sweet pepper!

I have noticed the same phenomenon with muskmelons!  They are hollow! It seems an awful waste of space!.

Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?  But then, peppers being peppers and people being people, what in the dickens did we expect?

Well, I suppose, peppers being peppers, we can’t really expect them to behave in any other manner than peppers, but people, on the other hand, being people, we expect something different.

My wife is in a nursing home, she has Alzheimer’s disease, with all that denotes.

Some of the nurses and the assistants in the nursing home epitomize all that is gracious, patient and kind, but that is what is expected isn’t it?

Charles Towne is first and foremost a Christian. An octogenarian, author, journalist, wildlife photographer, naturalist, caregiver, and survivor, his life has been and continues to be, a never-ending adventure filled with possibilities never imagined. He has adopted the philosophy that to Live fully, laugh uproariously, love passionately, and learn like there is no tomorrow, is a formula for a long and joy-filled life.


  1. Some people are “in it for the paycheck” as evidenced in the behavior of many in many different occupations. It saddens me to see the lack of compassion in one of the fastest growing segments of the healthcare industry. God help us if the government takes over healthcare…

  2. Well Mike, The answer cannot be found in either socialism, communism or humanism. This has been proven many times over. I have a very dear friend in Canada. My friend has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and has been told that there is a MINIMUM of a three year wait for admission to a nursing home. This sort of medicine makes me think of the futuristic book, Salient Green, where life has very little value and people are processed as food. GENUINE Christianity is our only hope. My friend’s spouse is uncaring and this seems to be the problem, nobody really cares. Please Lord, help us to be what you want us to be in every way. In Jesus name I ask it, AMEN. A friend

  3. Dear Mike, and a friend, WOW! Leave it to you guys to see the big picture! Perhaps the true answer resides in family taking care of family, with all that entails? Thanks so much and bless you both. Chaz

  4. Life is a mystery . . . the Creator is The Great Mystery. We’re blessed by random moments of splendor and challenged by random moments of despair. You’re blessed to be able to focus on the splendor.

  5. Judith, I like that! We all have a choice, Despair or splendor, yeah, it’s our choice. It is sad that some souls focus on the negative. Being able to see the positive in life not only blesses us but all we come into contact with is live changing. Blessings on you and yours my dear baby sister. Chaz

  6. Well, I’ve seen it from both sides of the healthcare picture. There are always some that are in it for the money, and others that really care! That is why I took care of my Betty for 22 years – 24 hours a day at Home – but the last 3 years let the Nursing Home take over. During those last three years I still went in and helped feed Betty twice a day. And took her for walks in her wheelchair. That was what she liked and wanted, and I didn’t want to leave it up to others to do! I saw that most of the CNA’s worked 12 hour shifts and many felt overworked. Even those that cared and tried to give the best care possible had problems with being overworked. In that situation some will always get over looked. It is best when family members can be more involved, but that is not always possible!

  7. Unfortunately Charlie we don’t always get what we expect from people. Myself being an optimist, I believe that there is good in all people and all you need to do is say “Hello” to them and very often the good comes forth. I J ave you been told it “even made their day.”

  8. Donald Young, after watching you lavish your love on Betty for over a year I can only say,you are my hero and i know you made her happy. Bless you pal, Chaz

  9. Interesting, that as many bell peppers as I have cut and eaten,
    or watched my mother slice and dice, I never questioned WHY they were hollow. I guess I just accepted them for the “way they were” Some people act like they
    are hollow also. I have seen plenty of hollow hearted people working with the elderly at nursing homes…just for a paycheck.
    That is so unfortunate, especially for the residents. It breaks your heart!! Let’s all pray God’s favor, mercy, protection and love will blanket the helpless folks in care
    facilities. If we could just treat each other the way we want to be treated, it would change everything. Let us all pray for that and watch to see what happens.
    Thank you, Chuck, and may God bless you and Nancy greatly!


  11. What a strange state of affairs when altogether too often the deranged are placed in charge of the demented? a friend

  12. Those little seeds can amount to something, if given a chance! Keep planting the seeds…and the Master will take care of the harvest!!!
    Your ol’ buddy,

  13. I suppose, dear Charles, that if people and things all lived up to our expectations we’d all be a much happier bunch. However, we are more than often disappointed by our unrealistic expectations of family and co-workers and life in general. We do a good deal of judging by how life lives up to these expectations we take for granted. Living a peaceful and joyful life may look a bit deeper into a grander view of acceptance. If the pepper is disfigured and some un-usable, the best plan would be to use what is possible and be thankful we at least enjoyed some of the pepper. Luv NR(your stories as usual are delightful!!)


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