A Streak Ends…

There was no standing ovation, no victory trot around the stadium, no fanfare of any kind. A streak quietly ended at my house today. I don’t know for sure when it started; we don’t keep that kind of records; I know it was more than five years ago.
During Sharyl’s illness the one constant request in my nightly prayer was for the strength and health to care for her as long as she needed my help. I didn’t get the answer I wanted to most of my prayers during that time but that one request was granted and for that I will be forever grateful.
Disregarding a minor “back tweak” a few months ago that slowed me a little I didn’t have a down day. The streak ended today. I am sick, nothing serious, just a case of what I call the crud. I am not needed much anymore but if someone would have needed me today they would have been out of luck.
I am kicked back in my recliner doing this on the iPad. I just don’t have the energy to take the four steps over to a real computer and keyboard.
I’m not complaining about today, just taking a different approach to express my appreciation for the five good years. The elderly aren’t usually so fortunate.
I should be back on my feet in a day or two. I have one of those “from the heart” things spinning. I sure don’t want to attempt it on the iPad. If I don’t misplace my notes maybe I can get it to your side of the keyboard when this crud goes away.
Good Night and God Bless.
Dave

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Nothing Much….

I started to name this thing “Quietly Positive” or “Positively Quiet”.  If you are bored and have 30 minutes or so to spare sometime check those two words in the dictionary.  I became confused and just called it “Nothing Much”

I really haven’t broken the blogging habit.  Since I wrote that “Line in the Sand” deal and challenged myself to concentrate on the positive.  It has been mostly positive but quiet at Dave’s house and that is where I’ve been.

Summer has slipped away and early indicators point to a short fall (shortfall sounds a little like my budget) or early winter. Fall is my very favorite season.  The only downside is those gray days, like we had last week, serve as a reminder that winter is approaching.

Fall is a great time of year to fish, piddle around outside, run up and down the road looking for or at foliage or maybe even burn a brush pile.

Awe; I did have a little excitement.  Last time I got home from here, yes I am at the lake again.  My homeowners association had busted me for having a brush pile in the yard.  I thought they were a little picky and used a very broad interpretation of that covenant; it didn’t talk about brush piles.

I didn’t argue or make an issue of the notification; at least I haven’t yet.  I am not in contention for yard of the week but I didn’t intend to leave the brush pile there.  I have probably burned more brush piles than most of those guys have seen.

There is a way and a time to burn them and there is a way and a time not to burn them.  To me burning one is more of an art than a science.  You need to let the stuff dry, it doesn’t burn good when it is green.  You definitely pick a day with little or no wind and in Oklahoma that is a real problem especially when you like to fish on those kinds of days.  When you light it you don’t go do something else, you baby-sit it.  There is always some adjusting to do.  When the thing finally burns out I don’t want to see a piece of anything bigger than a tennis ball unburned.

It was strictly coincidence but a couple days after the notification the weather cooperated and the biggest remaining piece of the pile is no bigger than a tennis ball.

Using that tennis ball reference reminded me of something I have always found interesting and kind of amusing.  The references used to define the size of hail and the size of tumors.  Little bitty hail and tumors share “pea size”. When they grow just a bit hail is compared to coins i.e. dime size, nickel size until it gets as big as a ping-pong ball, then tennis ball, baseball and softball size.  I hope I don’t ever hear about basketball size hail.  Fruit is the standard for measuring tumors larger than pea size.  I have heard of grape, and then we seem to use the citrus varieties lime through grapefruit size and occasionally some as large as melons are discussed.  I have never heard of lemon size hail or a tennis ball size tumor.  I wonder why that is?

I made my routine semi annual or is it bi annual (I go every six months) trip to the doctor this week.  He was at a loss for words as he usually just tells me to lose some weight and get more exercise.  I have done both of those things so he was a little confused; I took advantage of the situation and did most of the talking.

I had to go to the lab for some routine blood work. The phlebotomist was a friendly and attractive young lady approaching her 30th birthday. I don’t know how her birthday became part of the conversation.  She had a difficult time pronouncing the name of my street; I think it was because she had this big pin thing through her tongue.  About the time she finished drawing the blood (she was very good at that) she asked if I had ever done any Public Address announcing.  My voice is a little unique, so I field that question from time to time.  I told her, many years ago I did some rodeo.  She got excited and told me she is a barrel racer.  My last rodeo was more than a year before she was born and I don’t think barrel racers had deals in their tongues then.  There is a bond even if one is old and gray and over the hill and the other has a pin in her tongue and other visible body piercings. I don’t think her next patient was as excited about this common interest as we were.  We talked for a few minutes.

If you are still reading I’m not going to ask if you think the title fits.

Please keep me in your prayers, just because I didn’t mention the tough days don’t mean they don’t exist.

Good Night and God Bless.

Dave

Willpower…

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I’m doing this on my iPad. I hope we see a picture of a loaf, minus one small piece, of Banana Nut Bread to die for. If you were here with me you would see one of the greatest exhibitions of willpower you have ever witnessed. If not for that willpower the pic would be of a plate with maybe a few crumbs.
My neighbor is one heck of a cook and she likes,to share some of her specialties, one of which is, you guessed right, Banana Nut Bread.
During Sharyl’s illness she frequently appeared at our door with an assortment of good things to eat. She is probably directly responsible for at least 10 of the 40 or so pounds I gained during that troubled time. She sent her husband with the bread this evening, just as I was browsing for just a little something to top off a dieters dinner.
One small piece and a cup of coffee kind of topped off the dinner. I think if I write long enough I will forget about wanting another small piece.
While I am here and talking about food I guess I should give you an update on my little attempt at losing some weight. I think it has been almost 3 months since we visited about that. There is a little good news and a little bad news. The bad news. I haven’t lost any weight the last three months. The good news. I haven’t gained any. I am trying to convince myself it is all part of the plan; to relax and eat a little of the good stuff to see if I can stay at my present weight. The truth is I need to gather the willpower to get tough and lose another ten or so pounds.
I better go back to the kitchen and make sure I put that Banana Nut Bread away.
Too early for Goodnight so God Bless and pray that I leave the bread alone.
Dave

A Line in the Sand!!!

No, I’m not challenging you.  I am challenging me.  The challenge is to learn to write about the routine good or fun things that are part of my life.

My introduction to blogging came at the worst of times. I cut my teeth writing about medical diagnoses, physical pain, medications and treatment plans.  As I became more comfortable at the keyboard I started to include some of the personal experience or emotions I faced helping the love of my life battle to see one more sunrise.

Lori and I did about 300 of those during the next three years.  It was somewhat routine, but it wasn’t about good things or fun things.  Maybe that style became a habit.

Still under the heading of the original blog, “Mom Life Cancer”, I did a short series on the forty something years Sharyl and I spent together before cancer.  I think I would enjoy doing that now.  At the time I did it nothing was fun.  I think those of you who read it enjoyed it and the therapeutic benefit I received was valuable.

I took a short break and about a year and a half ago I started this thing I call “Random Thoughts”.  I thought I just had a writing habit and needed to write.  In retrospect I realize I hadn’t even scratched the surface of the grieving process.  Most of the early stuff I wrote was from deep within the heart.  I think sharing it with you through this old keyboard was my way of dealing with the grief.  If I didn’t write it might still be down there. Thanks again for listening.

I have written about shopping carts and cream gravy and dogs named blue and some other very random stuff.  But I still have a habit of writing about the not so good days.  I can have four good ones and one bad one and the blog will center on the bad one.

I owe it to my old friends, new friends, close family and extended family that have helped me get better, maybe not good yet, but better. I need to share my thoughts on the fun things that are again part of my life.

I’m not planning to start a daily journal.  I’m not going to tell you I changed my oil, cut the grass and did some laundry today and tomorrow I get to buy groceries and wash the car.

I’m going to tell you I spent a little time with some of those extended family members one of them is a precious 89 year-old.  She had just come in from four hours on the lake.  We had some Red Velvet cake and sugar free ice cream and some conversation.  I think she was ready for me to go so she could get back on the water.

I’m going to tell you about spending a couple hours on the water alone.  I didn’t catch any fish but I had a heck of a good time and I fully expect to catch some fish next time I go.

I’m going to tell you about a trip to a fast food place with one of those new friends.  We just wanted a salad.  If you are wondering, some fast food places make a pretty good salad.  It is one of those “you had to be there” deals so I won’t give you details; just believe me when I say it has been a while since I have participated in that kind of fiasco.  It has probably been even longer since I have had that kind of a belly laugh. I had forgotten there are two kinds of tears and how good tears of laughter feel.  We did manage to get out of the place without embarrassing ourselves.  I don’t think the staff even knew there was a fiasco.

I think those last three paragraphs were a step in the right direction.  Maybe I can meet that challenge.

This is the third consecutive night I have pounded the keyboard.  I probably need to give the thing a break but I will be back.

Thanks for all you do and please say a prayer.

Good Night and God Bless.

Dave

 

Thou Shalt Not Text!!!!

Is it OK if I vent?  Allow me to rephrase.  I am going to rant; after all it is my blog I don’t have to ask.

This morning I was driving close to the posted 50 mph speed limit near a school.  An older guy, not as old as me, driving a large SUV passed me.  He was doing at least 10 to 15 mph above the posted limit.

He had a few of my pet peeves (bumper stickers) on the bumper and rear window. The big bold one that got my attention said “TEXTING KILLS”.  I got news for you buddy; speed also kills.  I didn’t see a sticker condemning excessive speed.  I didn’t see any reference to eating, reading, shaving, emailing, playing on Face Book or Twitter, putting on makeup, combing the hair, slapping the kids or sleeping.  All those things endanger others, why did this guy single out texting.  Maybe he couldn’t find a bumper sticker for any of that other stuff.

It has become extremely popular to raise hell about texting while driving.  I think it is a form of age bias; the naïve believe that only kids text and drive.  I sometimes speed and yes occasionally text a little bit.  The difference between me texting and my granddaughter texting:  She does about 30 words a second and it takes me about 30 seconds to do a word.  I have probably been guilty of doing most of the things I mentioned in the previous paragraph.

We shouldn’t need laws to prevent those things, common sense should cover it, but we are talking humans here.  There are specific laws for speeding; the other things are covered under one called “inattentive driving” or something like that. Inattentive driving is a secondary offense.  It is only enforced if you are detained for another reason.

The legislative bodies in several states, Oklahoma included, already have or are considering laws to make texting a primary offense.

When those laws are passed and the policeman stops me for texting, I just explain to him I wasn’t texting I was updating my status on Face Book or answering my email or maybe in my case writing a blog post. He apologizes and sends me on my way.

I think those elected officials should step up and make inattentive driving a primary offense, but then my senator would lose my vote because I would need to shave and eat breakfast before I got behind the wheel. He thinks the kids that text aren’t old enough to vote anyway.

Thanks for listening; I feel better.

Good Night and God Bless.

Dave

Twenty Two.

I needed to write last night.  I wanted to write last night.  I did write last night.  What I wrote just didn’t make it to your side of the keyboard; if I didn’t empty the recycle bin it may still be in there somewhere.  What I wrote was a little too personal and probably invaded the privacy of some people I love very much.  I did one of those from the bottom of the heart things that probably would have filled a total stranger’s eyes with tears.

I think I’ll take a second and empty that recycle bin; we don’t want that thing to get out of there.

You see, yesterday marked the 22nd anniversary of Sharyl and I becoming members of one of life’s greatest fraternities.  We became grandparents.

A year ago I spent number 21 with Cale in Morgantown, West Virginia.  I think the 1,000-mile separation helped shield me from the emotional impact.  I felt it full force yesterday.

Last year as I left Morgantown the following 3 paragraphs were part of my blog:

 Wednesday morning I looked in the rearview mirror as I merged with traffic on Interstate 79; I didn’t see the hilly town with the crooked and narrow streets.  When Morgantown became a city it wasn’t about north, south, east and west.  It was about following the terrain and getting from point A to point B, that practice has continued.  It really is a pretty town.

I saw a reflection of the past 21 years.  I saw the good times and the other times, a lot of smiles and also the tears.  I saw a young man of whom I am very proud.  He was on his way to class to continue his education, then to baseball practice to pursue the dream, and maybe some dinner about 8:30.  I said a little prayer thanking god and his mom and dad for the young man he has become.

I looked through the windshield, and yes I saw the Appalachian Mountains, the fall colors just beginning to evolve, but my focus was on the future.  I saw a family; a very close-knit family beginning to regain their emotional balance and footing and learn to walk again. With god’s continued help I am confident we will be OK, never the same but OK.

We have made some progress.  The road hasn’t been smooth, there have been bumps, detours and dead ends but our balance and footing are better than they were a year ago.  As I said last year: With god’s continued help I am confident we will be OK, never the same but OK.

Everything I said about Cale still applies.  He now attends class and throws the baseball at Oklahoma City University.  Sometimes eight months rest for a tired arm can work wonders. This appears to be one of those times.  I would like to say “Go Chiefs” but I guess I better be politically correct and current and say “Go Stars”.

I looked at a bunch of pictures yesterday.  I hope it’s OK if I share a couple.

Fight

Senior

As always, please remember me in prayer.

Good Night and God Bless.

Dave