Hello June, Glad You’re Back!

I know June is still a couple days away but, if I lean to the right and squint just a little, I can see it coming around the bend. I am excited; June has always been a favorite of mine.

I took my first breath and shed my first tear on a June afternoon seventy something years ago. I have fond memories, although some of them are a little vague, of the childhood birthday parties with cake and ice cream and maybe a little “Pin the Tail on the Donkey”. That first driver’s license; sitting in a smoky bar in western Kansas and legally buying a beer during my 18th June. I did that again about three years later in Oklahoma as I threw away that fake ID for good.

As I matured and the family grew Father’s Day was added to the June festivities and June kind of became an extension of May. Mother’s Day, Sharyl’s birthday and the day those goofy kids decided to start down life’s highway together all happened to be in May.

In recent years I have looked forward to the arrival of June, not to celebrate another birthday and father’s day isn’t as exciting as it was during the growing years. I have looked forward to June because I wouldn’t need to do May again for a year.

To say May has been difficult is an understatement. I thought I had it under control this year. I had my head screwed on straight; I was focused and busy. I had the support of my family and some very good friends. I almost made it, I have recovered, maybe next May will be just another month or maybe May will always be difficult.

To my family and friends: Thanks for being there, for helping me up when I stumble and for understanding.

To all of you: Thanks for your prayers and for running down the road with me through this silly little blog.

To Sharyl: I love you babe I miss you. Happy Birthday and Anniversary.

Good Night and God Bless.

Dave

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See Ya Later 5th Grade!!

I did one of these about three months ago titled “Turned Another Page”. I talked about attending my final elementary school function; I guess I was a little premature. Earlier this evening I had the pleasure of attending the Cleveland Elementary Fifth grade Promotion Ceremony.

The venue was the Cleveland gym; Dava advised me via text (Don’t you just love technology?) she had seats on the back row. I like the back row; it is usually more relaxed and much better for people watching.

As I made my way to the gym I struck up a conversation with a lady, under the pretense of not knowing where the gym was. Yes in spite of my reputation of being a non-people person I am capable of initiating conversation with strangers. She was going to support her oldest grandchild, me, in support of my youngest. I felt just a twinge of envy, it soon passed, and quite possibly by the time the thing was over she was the envious one.

The place was full; I think the average number of guests for each of the 92 fifth graders was approaching double digits. It was kind of a typical deal, a few canned speeches, and a couple songs; then it became interesting. Each fifth grader took his or her mom a single rose, a nice gesture and it sounds simple but picture, if you will, 92 kids finding their mom in a dimly lit packed to the rafters gym. I think that one kid may still be looking.

The grand finale was the presentation of a certificate or diploma to each kid. The principal asked that we hold our applause until all students had been recognized, probably a good plan, we didn’t need a contest to see which family could make the most noise. I think 89 of the 92 went with the recommendation. I guess two of those three thought the principal meant everyone else and that other bunch, I think their kid may have been the first family member to complete fifth grade.

They had a reception in the cafeteria with cookies and punch. I wasn’t really hungry or thirsty and remember I am not a people person. I was a no show for the reception. I have to look hard but there are a few advantages to attending these things alone, Sharyl would have stayed and helped them clean the place after the reception and she would have probably shamed me into helping. I’m sure her blog about the evening would look nothing like mine.

Earlier today I went to a baseball game at Tull Lake Field, I went to watch a great nephew and a couple friends kids / grandkids play. It was probably the first time I have ever hoped the Shawnee Wolves won a game of anything; they were playing Guthrie in a state tournament game.

It was my first visit to Tull Lake Field, home of the Norman North Timber Wolves, in a very long time. The last time I was there Sharyl was with me and we had two grandsons playing for the Timber Wolves, it was the spring of 2010. A lot of good memories were made at Tull Lake Field, and, yes, the return there was a little emotional.

Although it gets easier, the month of May continues to be a little more difficult than some of the other months. Keep me in your prayers.

Good Night and God Bless.

Dave

‘Bought This Little Book…

I started this bloggin’ thing about five and a half years ago. During that time I have run a few thousand words through this keyboard; those words have formed sentences, the sentences became paragraphs. And there was, or should have been, a lot of punctuation involved.

Misspelled words have always been one of my many pet peeves; I also have been diligent in the proper use of their, they’re, and there; or to, too, and two. I’m sure I have never screwed up your and you’re and that list could go on for a while. Punctuation on the other hand, I guess we all have those things we don’t do well. I have been content to throw in a comma every once in a while or maybe a semicolon; I like parentheses and have probably abused them. I believe admitting there is a problem is the first step.

book (Small)

I guess the second step was buying this little book; it was on sale, only cost a buck. Including the index, there are 330 pages of everything you might wonder about apostrophes, brackets, colons, (this kind : as opposed to the kind that needs a colonoscopy when you get old), dashes, ellipsis points, hyphens, parentheses, periods, question marks, semicolons, slashes, and a bunch of other stuff.

I have a lot of confidence in Mr. Merriam and Mr. Webster and refer to them often for word definitions. This little dollar book did nothing to improve that image. If I open these guys dictionary to “boring and hard to understand” I would fully expect to find a picture of this book. They actually used 21, or should it be twenty-one, pages to talk about commas; that is okay if it is an interesting read, I think they went to great effort to find boring sentences to use as examples.

Part of a typical paragraph

Part of a typical paragraph

I read about apostrophes, brackets, colons, and commas, the first 31 pages, before I found it a place at the back of the desk and went out to watch the grass grow. Yes, it does have good information and I will probably refer to it occasionally.

I don’t know if anyone has written one but I need something with a yellow and black cover titled “Punctuation For Dummies”. The “Dummies” books I have used contain very good information or instruction and it is presented in an easy to read and entertaining format.

I think I will just continue to write and throw in an occasional comma or semicolon; I may even try to find an appropriate place for some brackets. I don’t remember ever using those.

Earlier this evening I spent an hour or so visiting with some great people. I went to the American Cancer Society, Relay For Life at Tecumseh, Oklahoma. This was the third consecutive year I have attended. In 2012 I was in awe of the outpouring of generosity and support, I was there for several hours. Last year I stayed less than an hour and suddenly it was time to leave. Tonight I was there for maybe an hour and suddenly it was time to leave. I think the reason I must go is also the reason I can’t stay. Maybe next year I can stay away and provide my support in a different way or maybe I can become an active and productive part of a very worthwhile event.
Please consider a donation to your comfort level to the cancer research organization of your choice.

On a lighter note: I crossed a new entry off my bucket list. I drove the topless Jeep to Tecumseh tonight. The bucket list entry was to pass someone on the open road and maybe even exceed the speed limit. The Jeep isn’t fast nor is it the most stable vehicle I have owned (can you say understatement), but I got a long downhill run, I got by the guy and yes for just a little ways I was five or ten above the 65 MPH speed limit. It felt good, probably not as good as some of that 100 plus stuff in the old days, but it felt good.

If you think about it please mention my name as you say your nightly prayers.

Good Night and God Bless.

Dave