Would Have Been 48….

Forty-eight years ago today two knuckle headed kids stood in the First Baptist Church in Tecumseh, Oklahoma and exchanged wedding vows. Those vows included the typical “I dos”, the “I wills” and the “with this ring” stuff, We also repeated after Reverend Burns; “For better or for worse, in sickness and in heath, until death do us part”.  Those are the words I took very seriously and remembered.

61 (Small)a

We walked out of the church, climbed in this ’61 Oldsmobile convertible, got a deep seat and a far away look. I put it in gear and we started down the road, a journey that would eventually be measured in years, not miles.

I had everything I wanted and I think you shared that feeling.

Along the way we experienced some better, and some worse; we were fortunate the better far exceeded the worse.  We also experienced some sickness and some heath, again we were fortunate, and there was a lot more heath.

For more than forty of those years we never gave that “until death do us part” thing any serious thought.

Forty six years eight months + or – a few days after the old Olds started down the highway, our journey ended just as we agreed it would when we exchanged those vows.

I love you babe and I miss you every day.

Thanks for riding along as the transition from  “we to me” continues.  Please keep me in your prayers.

Good Night and God Bless.


Unexpected Benefit…….

Ten months ago tonight I wrote one of these I called “Willpower, Procrastination, Emotion”.  I talked about needing to lose some weight, improve the appearance of this place I call home and to once again enjoy my time at the lake. The first two can be measured making it easy to monitor progress. The third is a feeling; it isn’t visible and can be very unstable.

I promise I will get back to you on the weight loss deal.  I really will.

I have beaten the lake thing to death in previous blogs and to be honest I am very satisfied with the progress I have made.  I won’t subject you to any of that tonight.

I still have a lot of work to do but I am finally making some progress on the appearance of the place.  I found it easier to find reasons not to attack it than to get off my butt and do what I needed to do.

Cale is back in Norman and he had a little break in what had always been a very hectic schedule.  I recruited him to help me; yes I pay him a couple bucks an hour if he stays busy.  We have painted some things, mowed some grass and weeds, trimmed some trees, cut some trees and burned some of what we cut and trimmed.  We sprayed some Roundup in the flowerbeds; I don’t think Sharyl would like that. One day we even washed a motor home.  Another day we cut some wine bottles for drinking glasses, we need to practice that just a bit.

As Cale starts to pursue some new interest, the time he spends with me will decrease, but I believe he has given me the jump start I needed and I will continue to make progress and one day soon Sharyl will like what she sees.

The previous two paragraphs described the measurable or tangible benefit of Cale spending time at my house; there is also an unexpected but very desirable intangible benefit.

From the first day we had grandkids  Sharyl and I were very much a part of their lives.  Unlike most people we never experienced having a grandkid  we started this grandparent thing with two.  We spent individual time with Rylie, Braxton and Luke, but with a very few exceptions, with Cale and Conner it was the four of us, sometimes just me and the guys or maybe Sharyl and I had just one of them but it was almost always the four of us and yes there are some great memories.

Sharyl and Conner were a little more vocal and initiated most of the conversation.  Cale and I would contribute or maybe just listen.  I went to visit him for a couple days when he was in Kansas and West Virginia. Those visits were actually brief, as his hectic schedule didn’t allow much time for Paw Paw.

The past few weeks have provided our first real opportunity to spend one on one time.  There wasn’t nearly as much conversation as when all four of us were there.  We spent most of the time quietly doing whatever the task was for that day. Our limited conversations included talk of the future, of the present and of the past, we didn’t avoid it but we didn’t dwell on it, I think that is how it has to be.

I don’t know if Cale has thought of our time together in this vein and I don’t really care, I just hope he has enjoyed spending a little one on one with the old guy he knows as Paw Paw.

Tonight I ask you to direct your prayers toward those affected by the tornadoes across our great state; especially those who lost loved ones and those who were injured.

Good Night and God Bless.







I guess I took a little unplanned break.  That is one of the things I like about having my very own blog; it is kind of like being retired.  If I don’t want to do anything I just don’t.

I have wondered how I will know when it is time to quit blogging; I think I have the answer.  I don’t think I will know, someday I just won’t write anymore, I don’t think that will happen any time soon, unless you quit reading, but as I try to transition away from that “bottom of the heart” stuff the schedule may become more erratic.

I kind of left you hanging with my vacuum fiasco.  Update: I now have a new Oreck XL commercial here (I am home tonight) and a nine year old Oreck XL at the lake.  That one saw a lot of action the first 4 ½ years it spent in our home.  The last 4 ½ it didn’t work as often but when it did work it worked real hard.

The Oreck is so simple even I understand it.  It doesn’t pull me if I push the handle nor does it push me if I pull the handle; it has a very simple ON/Off switch.  The floors at the lake are clean, well maybe not real clean but they have been vacuumed.  As soon as I get the old Hoover out of there this whole deal will just be a memory.

I kind of wish I wouldn’t have told you the vacuum story.  Now everyone that comes to my house, especially the lake house will check to see if the floors are clean.

I did a little more than just vacuum at the lake.  I spent a little time on the water, I didn’t catch any fish but I think you need to actually put a hook in the water.  I saw a pair of Bald Eagles, although sightings are becoming more common it is still very exciting.  These were in a willow tree at the water’s edge; we watched them for a few minutes from about 200 yards. They are beautiful and impressive birds.  I’m proud Ben Franklin wasn’t successful in his attempt to make the Turkey our national bird.

I enjoyed my time at the lake (except for the sweeper) this time and for the first time in forever questioned my decision to come home as soon as I did.

I know Mother’s Day has come and gone since I was here last.  To say I had a quiet one would be an understatement; I think that is exactly what I needed this year.  I better be careful I’m getting close to the heart and I don’t want to go there tonight.

The next two weeks are going to be a little difficult, so if you don’t mind, I could probably use an extra prayer.

Good Night and God Bless.


I’m NOT Afraid, Really I’m NOT……….

Last week I talked about housecleaning at the lake and I think several months ago I made some comments about my relationship with vacuum cleaners.  We are going to dig into those two things just a little deeper.

I am a seventy-year-old redneck and I am not afraid of vacuum cleaners, really I’m not however the things have always made me just a little bit uncomfortable, actually they have made me very uncomfortable.  I don’t think Sharyl knew about the issues I had with sweepers (I hope you don’t mind if I use sweepers instead of vacuum cleaners it is sure easier to spell) she never said anything if she wondered why I went outside even if it was 10 degrees and snowing while she ran the thing.

I keep the home presentable but I will admit the sweeper has a much easier life than before Sharyl’s illness.  Two of the things she took to extreme were vacuuming the floors and laundry.

I started cleaning the lake place last weekend but for some odd reason I got sidetracked before I ran the sweeper, imagine that.  I think everyone takes the old stuff from home to the lake, beach, or mountain place, I know that is what we do; not just sweepers, I’m talking furniture, dishes, clothes and the list goes on.  I have some thoughts about that process, but not tonight.

The lake sweeper is or was a big old upright Hoover, one of those, if you push the handle it pulls you around the room and if you pull the handle it tries to run over you.  Sharyl kept it in the master bedroom closet; I think I will put it in the spare bedroom closet maybe I will sleep better.

I had waited as long as I could so Saturday morning I got the thing out of the closet.  It really is big and heavy.  I did a little preflight inspection; I checked under it I don’t know what for but I checked, I opened the cover to make sure the bag wasn’t full.  I really wasn’t stalling or looking for a reason to not turn the big ugly thing on.

Everything appeared to be OK so I turned it on, god those things make a strange noise.  I probably did an area about 4 ft. by 4 ft. and it just didn’t seem like it was doing a very good job but I continued.  Then suddenly with absolutely no advance warning the thing just exploded, the cover that goes over the bag compartment flew across the room.  The bag was then exposed and it looked like a hot air balloon preparing to take flight.  When I regained my composure and built up enough nerve to get close to the thing it was obvious it would never clean another floor.  I had mixed emotions, I kind of wished I wouldn’t have been alone with the thing but on the other hand I’m sure proud no one was watching.

I left it at the lake, after all I was in my SUV I didn’t want it in there with me.  I will take it to the trash when I am in the pickup or I may take a trailer to haul it in.

You guessed right, I bought a new one for home and like we always do I will take the old one to the lake.  I am still reasonably confident that sometime this summer I will vacuum the carpet at the lake.  I won’t enjoy doing it.  I won’t be afraid but I will probably be just a little bit uncomfortable.

Keep me in your prayers.

Good Night (I’m sure this time) and God Bless.



Check’s In The Mail.

About a year ago I attended my first Relay For Life.  I went because I needed to.  It was a very moving, emotionally rewarding and enlightening experience.  A couple days ago I went to my second.  This time I went because I wanted to.  My respect and admiration for all those volunteers reached new heights, the weather was a little crappy this year but spirits remained very high.  My only contribution was a monetary donation.

Through the efforts of volunteers like these, scattered across this great land, I think someday and maybe someday soon we will see a cure for this devastating disease.

Last year I stayed for six or seven hours, this year I was only there for maybe an hour and a half.  The weather was not a factor in my early departure; It was just time to go.

I think the difference is; last year I was still very much an emotional “basket case” and the recent cancer experience occupied most of my thoughts.  Sharyl and I had forty something very good years and a little more than three extremely tough years.  I have spent the past year trying to allow the memories of the good years to suppress the memories of those last three years.  I don’t want those memories to ever go away, because it was special time we had together, but I prefer to concentrate on the good times.

During the opening ceremony I started to relive the bad times.  Suddenly it was December ’08 again and we were facing the daily challenges of radiation, chemo, scans, pain and side effects.  Then we would start the cycle all over again.  During the survivors lap I was happy for all those participating and would not have wanted Sharyl to replace anyone but I somehow felt we were cheated because she couldn’t join them.

I pointed the old Chrysler east on I 40, looked at some white line, regained my composure and will be OK.  I know there will always be reminders and there will be good days and bad days but I see no reason to intentionally put myself in those situations.

I love you guys and I love what you do but next year, I know you have heard it before; my check will be in the mail.

Thanks for being there and for listening.  I have a lighthearted one spinning around if it is one of those nights when sleep won’t come it may make it to that side of the keyboard tonight.

I know I don’t need to say it but please keep me in your prayers.

Good Night (I think) and God Bless.