It’s a Small World…

We have all heard or used the title phrase; maybe upon learning that your next-door neighbor is your second grade teacher’s grandson, or maybe when you realize your new boss is the same Joe Smith you had the disagreement with at the little league ballpark last summer.

The small world I have on my mind tonight has nothing to do with second grade teachers or ballpark rhubarbs.  Although I have always enjoyed watching a good ballpark rhubarb and have even participated in a few.  I am thinking of the world I live in or “my world.”

In my opinion the size of the world isn’t nearly as important as the amount of happiness and comfort found in that world.

Sharyl and I shared a relatively small but comfortable world for many years.  We spent a lot of time with our family and at home together.  We were comfortable and happy; we enjoyed doing what we wanted to do and doing it our way.

Her illness forced a drastic reduction in the size of that world.  We were at home together almost constantly.  I started to say 24/7 but I think that is one of those overused buzzwords.  With a few exceptions we were only out of the house for medical reasons.

Frequent trips to Walgreen’s became a big part of my social life.  If they had such a thing I think I would have been considered for customer of the year.  I can’t say enough good things about the technicians and pharmacists. The techs were always friendly and compassionate, when the pharmacists heard my voice (I know it is easy to recognize) they would always look my way, smile and say hi and they were available 24/7 (yeah I know it’s overused).

I can’t say we were happy in that world, but with the support of family and friends, we were comfortable and did the best we could with the cards were dealt.

Sharyl made me promise not to become a hermit and to venture outside that little bitty world.  I promised but I had my fingers crossed, after all a small world is OK if you are happy.

I have checked the definition and I haven’t become a hermit.  My world is probably a little bigger than the years when Sharyl was sick but much smaller than our good years.  As I said earlier, the size of the world isn’t as important as the amount of happiness and comfort found in that world.  I guess by definition I am comfortable but I am not happy.

Even now I don’t like to admit it but I believe Sharyl was right, I wish I had a buck for every time I said “Sharyl was right” the last fifty years.  I know I need to make some changes, or at least my mind knows that, the heart is still reluctant to jump on the bandwagon.

I am going to drag the heart along and see if I can crack the blinds maybe even kick the walls out a bit; you know make my world bigger and see if there is some happiness.  I’m not sure I know how to do that.  I am sure I need to do it my way and the changes will probably be of the subtle variety.

I don’t go to Walgreen’s very often now so I need to find other social activities and people to fill that void.  I think I can do that.  I have never been a real “people person”, not the life of the party but I can hold my own and find some pleasure in most social environments.

This one may be difficult and may take some time but I need to do a better job of remembering the past instead of dwelling on it.  To do that I probably will need to adjust my writing style, more about now and less about then.  That may be a problem because as you know I kind of like to write and there isn’t much “now” to write about.  Maybe the urge to write will give me the incentive to go do something interesting.

I don’t know whom “they” consist of, but they say the first step in problem resolution is admitting there is a problem.  I have done that and at least have a little bit of a game plan in mind.  I’ll try to take that first step and see if it leads to a bigger and happier world.

So if you see an old man out and about looking kind of lost and confused and like he needs to talk to someone, approach with caution and help him by initiating some conversation.  That old man just might be me.

Please keep me in your prayers.

Good Night and God Bless.

Dave

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One Year.

Four years and a couple months ago Sharyl and I had our world turned upside down.  We suddenly and unexpectedly realized we were at war with this god-awful thing called cancer.

One year ago today that war ended, cancer won.  I know I have said it before and I probably will say it again.  Sometimes it seems like yesterday, sometimes it seems like a very long time ago.  The pain is still very intense and very real.

They say the first year is the hardest.  I don’t know who “they” are so I don’t know if they speak from experience or from the top of their heads. It seems logical that the first year would be the hardest and today wasn’t as difficult as one year ago.  Like a lot of other things, one size doesn’t fit all; each situation is unique.  I know I still love her dearly and miss her every day.

Our family is forty days away from the first anniversary of the devastating and tragic loss of Conner. I hope “they” are right and we do in fact have the worst behind us.  I know I don’t say much about Conner; I can’t, maybe someday.  I love you big guy; I miss you like crazy.  Take good care of your Maw Maw.

I needed to write tonight and I had something totally different in mind.  It didn’t work out and is now in the recycle bin.

I understand what I tried to say.  I hope you do.

Please consider a donation to the cancer research organization of your choice and if you don’t mind could you say a prayer for me.

Good Night and God Bless.

Dave

Do You Need A Laugh????????

I know I was just here last night and I am back again.  This isn’t the “from the heart” stuff I referred to last night. In fact it is far from it.

If you remember a few weeks or probably months ago I talked about having car fever.  The reason for that fever belongs in the “from the heart stuff”, so I won’t go there tonight.  A few weeks ago I cured the fever the only way I know how.  I traded the Chrysler Pacifica that had served me well but no longer fit my game plan. My daily transportation is now a ’08 Chrysler Aspen (I’ve been a Dodge/Chrysler guy for many years); the Aspen is a full size SUV. I have had two incidents, since I started driving the thing, that are too funny not to share.

I have a locking mailbox; I keep the key on the ring with my car key.  A procedure I have used many times the past few years is to stop very close to the mailbox just like the mail carrier.  I then turn off the ignition remove the key, unlock the box, get my mail, lock the box, start the car and pull up the drive.  A simple process and the old fat guy doesn’t even have to get out of the car, unless he is careless and drops his keys.

Yes, I dropped the things, I could see them lying beside the car but I was too close to the mailbox; the door wouldn’t open wide enough for an old fat guy to get out. There was just one option; simply get out on the other side. Some vehicles have a console that flips up or at least is not much taller than the seat, not this thing; it doesn’t flip and it isn’t short.  Even when I was young, flexible and 50 pounds lighter climbing over it would have been a challenge.  I made it without breaking anything (me or the car).  I now had the key but was still too close to open the door.  I had to crawl back over that console.  If any of the neighbors were watching they didn’t laugh loud enough for me to hear.

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A couple evenings ago I stopped at the grocery store to pick up a few things.  When I came out it was raining. I just had two small bags so I jumped in the front seat and about half tossed the bags into the back, one of them turned over and the stuff was now between the seat and the right back door.  If I opened the back door from the outside the stuff would fall some of it would break, some of it would bruise. This one would be easy; I got out of the front and got in the left back. I closed the door because it was raining.  I retrieved the stuff and got it back in the bag. 

I also discovered the previous owner of my Chrysler had kids; no I didn’t find crayons or French fries.  You know those childproof locks; my back doors wouldn’t open.  I couldn’t get out.

I just thought crawling across that console was tough.  I think I would like to have video of the old fat guy getting between the seat backs and over that console to the front. I made it without breaking anything.  I deactivated the locks in the rain before I went in the house. This time it was dark and raining, I think my neighbors have enough sense to stay in out of the rain. I hope so anyway.

This afternoon it occurred to me that I could have reached in the front turned on the ignition and rolled down (we don’t really roll them down anymore do we?) a rear window and opened the door from the outside.  Oh well I guess I needed the exercise.

Just another example of why I need your prayers.

Good Night and God Bless.

Dave

Sweating The Petty Stuff…….

I took a little unplanned break.  Since I did that goofy New Years Eve thing I have had no desire to approach the keyboard; I am not sure I could have written my name.  That is the good thing about blogging, no schedule and no pressure.

I am in a writing mood tonight and have two completely different things in mind; one “from deep within the heart” and one “right off the top of my head” kind.  I think I’ll go off the top of my head; I really need to corral my thoughts a little more on the other thing.

I stopped in the grocery store last week just to grab a loaf of bread.  Sharyl fed me enough wheat bread that I now prefer it to the white stuff.  My favorite brand is either the first one I see, or if I have time to squeeze them, I get the freshest one.  This time I got one that advertised 45 calories per slice.

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I thought of Sharyl and how proud she would be that I am eating healthy.  I threw a couple slices in the toaster, I figured out how they reduced the calories, they made the slices thinner. The 20 oz. loaf has 26 slices; a normal 20 oz loaf has 22 slices.  That stuff didn’t make good toast or sandwiches; I think the birds were OK with it.

 

I don’t know if your town has these “share the road” signs.

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My town is kind of a bicycle town.  I understand what share the road means and I am courteous to the two-wheelers and don’t have a problem sharing with them.  Some of the cyclists apparently think it means, “If I am on the road it belongs to me.”  I frequently encounter them on a narrow hilly 2 lane (my normal route to “town”).  I think we should all obey the same traffic rules, some of them don’t agree.  Example: I patiently follow the bike until it is safe to pass, shortly after I pass I stop at a stop sign, he passes me on the right, runs the stop sign, regains the lead and we get to start the process all over again.

Another pet peeve associated with the road is the large number of drivers that have forgotten a simple procedure they were taught and demonstrated prior to obtaining a license. It is amazing how many people turn left or right into the wrong lane.  It is real simple just turn into the same lane you are turning from, left to the inside, right to the outside.  It isn’t a “woman driver”, “old people” or “kid” thing; no gender or age bias on my part, just a petty gripe.

The last place I’ll go is age related.  Frequently I see an old couple with their shopping cart on one side of the aisle, the two of them on the other side, one of them has the 28oz size the other has the 42oz size.  They are oblivious to the world around them as they try to decide which size is right for them.  It really doesn’t  upset because they are blocking the aisle. It isn’t just the shopping cart, I frequently see an old couple walking together, sitting in a restaurant, or maybe one of them helping the other get in the car and the list goes on. I know it is another of the things I need to get past, it goes way beyond petty; I sometimes feel cheated and actually get mad because Sharyl and I didn’t have the opportunity to get old together.

Thanks for listening and say a prayer for me.

Good Night and God Bless.

Dave

 

 

 

 

’13

You know my normal writing style (style may be a stretch) is “from the heart” or serious with an occasional attempt at humor.  This one is from the top of my head, nothing serious and it remains to be seen if there will be any humor; just some random thoughts.

It is New Years Eve and I am home alone. I believe that is a first; oh I have spent a lot of them at home but not alone.  Although it wasn’t uncommon for Sharyl to say goodnight about 10 o’clock and leave me to bring in the new one however I wanted as long as I was quiet and didn’t try to include her in my little celebration.

You notice the title is simply ’13.  I think it is time to quit saying twenty thirteen or, heaven forbid, two thousand thirteen. I guess it is okay to write it, but don’t say it.  If it were still last century we would just say ’57 or ’72 or ’91.  I’m not going to talk about it but I think the Y2K fiasco deserves a mention. A hundred years from now I can just picture one of my great or great great grand sons griping because people are saying twenty-one thirteen instead of just ‘13.

I’m back; I had to put the black-eyed peas in the crock-pot.  My mom and Sharyl always fixed those for New Years.  I think they were supposed to bring prosperity for the coming year.  I’m not sure they worked, but I’m afraid not to eat some.  I really don’t much like the things; I can’t stand the ones that come out of a can.  I’m cooking the dry kind, and will put enough other “stuff” in them to disguise the pea taste.  I hope that “stuff” doesn’t affect the prosperity thing.

I had a call this week from a technology challenged relative.  They were not home, I guess they are advancing because they do have a cell phone; they wanted me to look in my phone book and find an address for them.  I hadn’t seen a phone book, much less used one in a year or two.  Against my better judgment I complied with their request instead of using my trusted source, the computer.  I gave them the wrong address; the place had relocated a few months ago, I should have used this.  I hope they don’t read what I write; I don’t think they even know I write.

I am also technology challenged, recently Braxton helped me with Instagram and Rylie helped me transfer my music from CDs to my IPOD, but it isn’t because I don’t try.  I honestly don’t know how I would have made it through the last four years without my computers, IPAD and cell phone.  I must be careful here or I will get into some of that “from the heart” stuff. I promise I won’t go there tonight.

I have used this thing for everything from medical research, to shopping for hard to find stuff, to just killing time.  I even learned to blog a little bit and when it became necessary for me to learn to cook I could look here for recipes:

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Or I could look here:

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Thank god for Google; I couldn’t find anything in those books and most of the time I didn’t understand the instructions anyway.

I think I need to upgrade my word-processing software; spellchecker didn’t recognize Google.

I just looked at the clock; I think this is the first time I have “blogged” in a New Year; anyway “HAPPY NEW YEAR”

Thanks for helping me get ’13 off and running and forgive the goofy mood. I promise, the strongest thing I have had to drink is a Pepsi One. There has been a little bit of George Jones, Loretta Lynn, Willie and some other Country Legends blaring in the background, I’m surprised you didn’t hear them.  I’ve gotta mention one of my old favorites, Roger Miller, talk about marching to a different drumbeat.

Keep me in your prayers.

Good Night and God Bless.

Dave