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Letters to Cari, #3 August 25, 2014….

Your only 9 years old and you have done many things to make me very happy and very proud.  As you read these letters you will find they aren’t really in a natural progression, more so as they come to mind.  But I will try to identify as best I can when they happened.  Smiling and trust me, many of our shared moments come to mind open. 

This particular incident occurred at the Christmas Pageant during your 3rd grade year.  Your mom and dad told us you had a part in the pageant but didn’t go into specific detail. 

As normal we (your grandma and I) are quite early, but that did get us good parking. And because of it we got to participate in many of the Christmas activities going on.  In particular you sat and visited with me as I sipped the hot chocolate you had gotten me.  We chatted about numerous things none of which changed the world but I just enjoyed that moment.  By the way you were dressed to the “nines” and looked as cute as you could be (as the below picture attests).

 

3rd Grade Christmas Show
3rd Grade Christmas Show

  

At long last we were advised it was time to move into the cafeteria because the show was about to begin.  Much to your Grandma’s and my great astonishment as we walked into the cafeteria we found we had stepped into a full house.  There must have been 300 or 400 people crammed to the space, everyone was jockeying for the best possible place to take pictures of their beloved children.  Your grandma and I were trying as well, but we ended up be shoved into the corner far away from where you were performing.  The program was simple enough that allowed full participation from your choir.  

Of course I don’t remember the entire program, I do remember the trash can drums, and thinking that was pretty cool.  Then your group came up on stage.  If memory serves you were in the 2nd row, about 5 or 6 right to left across the stage, and I know your mom or dad will be able to tell me exactly where you stood.  Your group performed a couple of songs and I remember watching you from the back 40 of the cafeteria and thinking she is really into it tonight.  

After either the 2nd or third song there as a shift in the performers on the stage. You came down from your perch and took a position center stage before the microphone and waited as appropriate.  When the music again started you began reading your part from the script you before you on the music stand.  I was astonished by how clearly you read your part, the clarity of your voice, how you announced each word correctly, and with the changes in inflection of your voice as you read.  It was amazing to see such a young lady with so much poise. 

I remember thinking when I was your age I could barely say my own name without sounding even more childish than I was.  I also remember how surprised I was with your ease in front of all those cameras, the flash of pictures being taken, and how all the movement around you did phase you at all.  It was like watching a miniature anchorperson going thru the news. This picture shows you looking at the paper on the music stand, but as you “performed” you would look up from your page and make eye contact, a feat I didn’t feel comfortable doing until I was well into my 20’s.  Yet it appeared so normal for you. 

You are extremely photogenic, and it showed in how presented yourself before that large crowd.  Smiling I can almost see an actress in the making, the smiling a leading lady, or the anchor of the evening news. 

Cari, I had seen you perform a few times before this event, and while your were a good and active participate, you seemed to hold back a little. This time you were all in and  your performance was outstanding.  It was so much fun to watch, and even more fun to brag about you later.  Take care, Love, Grandpa 

Folks, as always if you have any questions, comments or concerns please feel free to send them to me.  Take care, Bill  

 
 

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Letters to Cari #2 August 20, 2014

Today is your 2nd day of school.  Your 2nd full day as a 4th grader, I only say this to give you a point of reference when you read this.  Most likely I am long gone, and you have matured a quite a bit, this is just my way of staying a part of your life.

Today I am going to talk a bit about our relationship, and one of the key components of our relationship.  That being trust.  Below is a picture of you and me taking a walk.  It was at a football game. a Hudson High Homecoming.  The red tee-shirt you have is a Hudson High Cougar tee-shirt I believe.  Your mom at the time was the coach of the cheer leaders, and your dad was actively involved in the Home Coming program that would take place at half time.  Your grandmother and I had been invited to come to the game and sit with you as your mom and did their thing.

Grandpa and Cari

Your grandmother took this picture as we began our walk.

At the time this photo was taken you were getting bored, and I invited you for a walk, it was before my disease had taken full force, and I wasn’t on oxygen at the time.  But that is immaterial, we got up from our seats, and began our walk. I reached down, you reached up, and we held hands, you showed your trust in me, you knew I had your best interest in my heart, and you knew I wouldn’t let anything bad happen.  Of course you didn’t say any of this, you were a little over 3 years old at the time, and your communications skills weren’t nearly as refined as they are today.  But this simple act of holding my hand exhibited so much trust.  We walked in the middle of the track, I was about a ¼ step in front, just enough to offer a buffer of protection, as we sundered around the track.  To my mind this was the 1st time you truly showed you trusted me.  You let me lead you, and we kinda chatted, I don’t have any recall of what we said, but I am sure you pointed out things that interested you, and I am sure I pointed out things that interested me.  That day we ended up walking one half way around the track.  They were setting up for the half time show so we decided to turn around the way we came, we stopped in the bouncy room, and then took our seats for the game.

This moment of trust, was the start.  In the coming weeks, months and years, we would  countless times of exhibiting trust towards each other.  Sometimes it manifested itself when we would play “sit on me Grandpa.”  Where you knew I would indeed sit on you, but that I wouldn’t put my entire weight on you.  You would giggle like mad, screaming joyfully “sit on me” “sit on me” “sit on me” as I squished you.  But never were you totally squished.  Else you would be a pancake now.  In other times it manifested itself in the pool, as we played countless games, and I took part it either dunking you or throwing you.  It also showed itself when you were learning to jump into the pool.

As children we are given the greatest gift in the world we trust everyone unconditionally.  We never think anyone or anything will harm us, our trust is so complete.  But as we age, even as children, our trust begins to faultier, we don’t trust that dog down the street as much, we don’t believe that kid is going to be kind, that adult doesn’t quite seem right.

Today you’re 9 years old, you are beginning to develop your own sense of trust, and you’re looking at things with your own eyes, and making your own decisions.   Your mind is setting up the guidelines by which you will soon be making the rules by which you will live the rest of your life.  This is an important time for you.  You are blessed with 2 wonderful parents that are doing everything in their power to ensure you have a good foundation by which you establish those rules.   You have good grandparents that all are trying to help influence you, you have a wide range of cousins helping, and you have your church and the influence it provide.  You have all the tools before you.

As you have trusted me in our childish games, and our quiet times of softly spoken conversations in my office.  I am trusting you to continue to make the good decisions, I am trusting you to grow and be the good person you’re heading towards being.   Cari, again trust me, you will make mistakes, that is a given.  Some mistakes will seem unbearable, others will seem very trivial, and still other times you will be greatly confused by your mistakes.  But Cari, they are all opportunities to learn and grow.

Cari, the growing process never stops.  I am 64 as I write this, and I am learning each day, and yes sweet granddaughter I make mistake, some big some small, and I learn from them just as you will.

Love Grandpa.

Folks as always if you have any thoughts, comments, concerns or questions please feel free to ask.  Take care, Bill

 
16 Comments

Posted by on August 20, 2014 in Letters to Cari, Treasure Box Stories

 

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Handprints

Not long ago Chatter Master wrote a blog titled “Is Will Be What Was” http://bikecolleenbrown.wordpress.com/2014/06/05/is-will-be-what-was/ which inspired me if of nothing else to draw Cari’s (my granddaughter’s) hand superimposed over mine.   If you go to Chatter’s post, you will inspired as well, maybe not to do the handprint thing, but inspired none the less.  Her perspective is a delightfully written little narrative that speaks to generations before and after, now and then and the joys and wonderment that come with it. Something, on even my best of days I couldn’t hope to replicate and this isn’t my intent. 

But I wanted to do something with that visual.  The impact of one generation laid over another.  Hands 2014Here at the Hamilton home we have a “brag wall”.  It is a wall that serves no other purpose that to display family photos. LOL the brag wall is located out of the normal public viewing area of our home, so are friends are not subjected to this on a constant basis. Some of the pictures reflect special moments, but most are of the family at various stages of our lives.  Our wall has pictures that span over almost 40 years of the Bill, Steph and Allison show. But also some of the displayed photos are actually even older because they show me as a child, that alone makes some of these photos 60 + years old, and without doing an inventory I suspect there are pictures there or should be there of our parents with their parents, so now I guess I should say some of the pictures reach back almost 100 years.  If they aren’t on the wall they will be.  

Right at this moment the “brag” wall has only 1 picture on it. That picture was taken last year when we took Allison’s family, on the Disney cruise.  The other pictures were taken down when we had the interior of the house painted, and we were too lazy to put them back up.  One of my missions between now and the end of retirement will be to get the “brag wall” back to its old self.   I want it to be a place that Cari can drag her mom and ask who was this, or who was that, or why do you look so goofy mom.  Because I am sure Allison will have a story or two to share, and if she doesn’t then she can drag Steph into the conversation, between them they can look, smile, giggle, or maybe cry.  Who knows? And then they can explain the picture together while they continue to laugh and giggle.  

The “brag wall” will be part of the legacy I leave behind when the end of retirement comes.  And while she doesn’t know it yet, Allison will be a big player in helping re-establish the wall. The handprints picture will be framed and a place set aside for it in the wall.  Shadow box photos of Cari and Allison (both taken at the approximate same age) which look almost identical will have a special place. The wall will claim its former glory. 

Many of you know I write the bulk of my posts for my daughter and granddaughter’s future enjoyment.  I write a lot about me as a kid, my adventures, my miss adventures, about things that were important (or seemed so at the time), or things not so important, by anyone’s measure. Most of my life history is wrapped up in these words.  These stories will be part of the legacy I will leave behind.  When other children are talking about their grandparents Cari will have her grandmother and these stories to share as she sees fit. 

The stories I write about Allison are a way of reverse revenge.  Cari will see what kinda of crap her mother tried to get away with, and either develop a different game plan or search for and find new and unique ways to get over on her mom and dad.  That is a child main purpose in life, to get over on the parents and grandparents.  LOL heck it is a war of wills whenever Cari comes to visit.  She has her agenda, and being a guy (even a grandfather) I for the life of me can never figure out the female’s plan.  But I will admit that I generally lose the war of wills, and in doing so love every minute of it. 

Folks, thank you for allowing me the opportunity to take some of your time. I do appreciate it greatly.  If you have any question or comments please feel free to ask. Take care, Bill

 
 

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How I feel for the week ending 05.23.14

I am getting a late start on this, only because I have been lazy, played cards did some shopping, some games, now as evening approaches I decided to commence work on my weekly status.  Most likely this will be completed sometime tomorrow, because most of the chores are done for the weekend already.  My only doctor appointment this week has been with Doc Head.  As always I find the sessions to be extremely helpful and because I never have an agenda when I walk into her office I never really know how we will spend the 45 minutes.  I can say in all honesty that I have never left her office feeling worse than when I when in.  I also had (so they think) the final conversation with the billing folks at Doc Infectious office.  To say that Doc Infectious billing is FUBAR is really giving them way more credit than they deserve.  I know there is a post there and I will address it separately.  I am rating the week 2.5 for the following reasons, the SOB (shortness of breath), is eating my lunch.  Even inside in an air-conditioned space with minimal activity makes me stop to gasp.  Couple that with the early summer heat and humidity which is on the rise, and is for the next several week, is an unwanted burden on the lungs.  Also sleeping has been a recent issue, I am normally good for 5 or 6 hours a night, of course I do get up a couple of times because nature is screaming in my ear, but recently I have been waking up gasping, and quite short of breath. Because I wake so violently I am tending to stay away longer before falling back to sleep.  All of these elements make the grade a 2.5 for the week. But it is a happy 2.5.  Also you need to understand that I am doing the best I can to keep my head out of my weekly score.  If I were to grade my week mentally I would give it a solid 4.75 out of 5.  The head has been and continues to be great.  Sure there are hiccups, but even healthy folks have hiccups. 

What I said last week regarding my general health still applies Health wise very little has changed, the coughing is about the same, tiredness above normal, SOB seems to be progressively worse than last week, and my energy level seems to be less than what I would consider normal. Also, my respirations are still running at a rate over 20 breathes a minute. I suspect the time of my respirations being less than 20 a minute are gone.

Let get the vitals out-of-the-way for the week ending 05.23.14

  • INR = 2.3 taken 05.19.14 – next test 3 or 4 weeks

  • O2 level @ 2.5 LPM = 93 taken on 05.19.14

  • Peak Flow = 218 taken 05.19.14

  • BP = 100/70 taken 05.19.14

  • Heart rate = 104 taken 05.19.14

  • Temp = 98.6 taken 05.19.14

  • Weight = 268 taken 05.19.14

So ends the technical aspect of my “How I Feel This Week” report for the week ending 05.23.14, moving now to the word of the week discussion aspect.  This week’s word come at the request of Doc Head, she suggested I write about “ACCEPTANCE.” Back in my high school days I would have blown off this homework assignment, but I no longer go to high school, and I have matured a tiny bit since then.  So this week I will talk about “ACCEPTANCE.”  As per usual we will start with the web dictionary definition of the word:

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/acceptance

Sidebar, we have been listening to the likes of the Dixie Chicks, Garth Brooks, AC/DC, Creed, 3 Doors Down, CSN and the Wallflowers so far, this portion of my weekly report has been quite easy….

ac·cep·tance  noun : the act of accepting something or someone; or the quality or state of being accepted or acceptable

Full Definition of ACCEPTANCE  1:  an agreeing either expressly or by conduct to the act or offer of another so that a contract is concluded and the parties become legally bound. 2:  the quality or state of being accepted or acceptable. 3:  the act of accepting :  the fact of being accepted :  approval 4 a :  the act of accepting a time draft or bill of exchange for payment when due according to the specified terms.  b:  an accepted draft or bill of exchange  

First Known Use of ACCEPTANCE – 1574

Acceptance, of all the thoughts that have run through my mind since I was first diagnosed with COPD, and realized the reality that it is a terminal disease. I have accepted that fact. For the 1st few weeks I probably pouted a lot, but I don’t ever remember having the “why me’s” or looking to shift the blame, I have complete acceptance of my outcome.  I had been a heavy smoker (and I mean Heavy), I was probably more surprised to find out that COPD was going to kill me and not cancer.  But (yeah, another one) acceptance does not equal quitting, acceptance does not equal giving up, acceptance does not mean hiding away until it happens, acceptance does not mean stop living. BTW acceptance does not mean go out and max out your credit cards either.  Acceptance really is just an understanding that for whatever reason your life is shorter than you wanted. It also means that you should look at each morning when you wake as a gift, and then thank God for giving you another day to share with those you love.

As anyone who has read more than one of my posts, you know I am never at a loss for words and that I talk about my illness endlessly. I am forever sharing the fact that I suffer from a terminal disease, and that I am dying.  I stand (sit actually) here at my pulpit, and I share with you what I am going thru.  I share my vitals, my symptoms, the medical advice, and hopefully some wisdom as well.  This folks is part of my acceptance, but acceptance goes beyond the just accepting you’re pending end.   Sidebar: we have had a vast selection of music today, breaks, just thinking and other interruptions have led to songs by Seether, Theory of a Deadman, 3 Doors Down, Matchbox 20, Jimi Hendrix, being added to the mix.   

From my own perspective I truly believe it is much easier for the sick one to except their situation, accept they will die much sooner than they wanted or expected.  I am not saying this is a universal truth, it just me I am talking about.  But and it is a large one, accepting that you have a terminal disease is one thing, accepting all that comes with it is a completely different thing.  This acceptance is a much coarser grain to swallow.  While I have accepted my pending end, there are so many other aspects between now and that point that I have not accepted, that I have not embraced, that I still fight.  COPD has robbed me of so many things that if asked I would try to deny it before admitting it conversationally, but I won’t admit to myself.  My physical capabilities have diminished greatly (but I still have some), I am now a 90 pound weakling hidden in a 265 pound body (but I can still carry 8 or 9 bags of groceries), and my stamina all but gone (but I still find ways to get it done, it just takes a lot longer).  But if you watch me pull into the garage, you would see me grab up 8 or 9 shopping bags of groceries and carry them into the house as the garage door closed, you would go WOW! Bill’s doing great.  But you wouldn’t see the struggle, you wouldn’t see me pant for breath, you wouldn’t see my head bowed in submission.  Only a very few very close friends get to see that, hell I did the best I could to hide it from my brothers while they visited. Folks, that’s the part of acceptance I haven’t accepted.  Also, I haven’t accepted the assumption that I may be less of a man.  No matter when the end comes there will just be things I haven’t and don’t intend on accepting. 

Each of us has to go thru the acceptance process, we will make stops along the way, we will forego some steps entirely, and other steps we will embrace.   Each of us has a comfort level, a need level, a desire level, a want level.  At each of these points we will also be faced with an acceptance level. We will come to a point that we know we must accept help when we never expected to, accept care when we thought we would always be the caregiver, and accept the fact that our body  has changed, and does not function as we think it does. And as we reach total acceptance, we will most likely learn that we must also accept a lot more before we reach the end.

As always if you have any questions, concerns, or comments please feel free to bring to my attention, I will answer as completely and honestly as possible. Please take care, Bill

 

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Fifty years of Searching…

On Sunday Easter April 20, 2014, I reaffirmed my faith in God, and that his son Jesus died for me, so I would be forgiven for my sins and poor choices.  It wasn’t an easy choice, yet it was very easy.  It only took me 50 years to get to this point.

I was born on October 25, 1949, the 1st child and son of William and Ila Hamilton. I was the 1st of 5 boys and one girl.  Warren, my third brother died of what was termed “crib death” before he had a chance.

As a child I remember the “church” being a very important part of our growing family, I remember having cloths that I only wore on Sundays for church.  I remember before Easter each year we kids would always get a new outfit for Easter Sunday service.  I remember going en mass to church each Sunday.  I also remember going to Sunday school, I remember going to Sunday evening services, and I remember going to Wednesday evening services.  Also if there were a youth sponsored event, you can count on the Hamilton’s kids being there. If the church had a gathering the family attended in mass, and there were no excuses.

This practice of church attendance started before I had memories of such things.  But I know I was a regular in Church in: Baltimore MD, Easton MD, Reynoldsville PA, Norwalk CT, York PA, Dover PA, Shelbyville KY, and of course Grandpa’s in Waynesburg KY.  I was baptized into the Southern Baptist Church, in a creek not far from the Pilot Baptist Church (before my 10th birthday).

The Southern Baptist Church was the only religious organization I was even remotely aware of until I was 15 years old or so.  Going to a Sunday church service was Hell on earth.  The preacher stood at the pulpit and screamed and pointed his finger at you and told you all the reasons you were going to hell, his voice carried for miles, his rant was always the same. Each Sunday he picked out your sin and screamed at you until he was blue in the face.  The message was always the same, you are going to hell, and you’re going for this reason or that, and the only way you could get to heaven was through the church, and it was a message about being at and in the church so your fellow brothers and sisters could see you for the Christian you were, that without the protection and guidance of the church you were on a direct course to hell.  But by attending church at each opportunity you would be graced with access to God and Heaven.  The message when on still ranting that while Jesus may have died for our sins, he only did so for those that came to church to prove they were worthy.  This was the message that I received from every service until I was about 14.  To this day I don’t ever remember hearing a preacher speak (during this phase of my life) in a quiet tone, speaking of God’s love and the joy one receives from that love.  The pulpit was a place where anger and wrath, a place where condemnation was spewed.  At this point in my life I was tired of the church, tired of hearing what an evil person I was, and tired of the formula for being saved.  But I couldn’t do anything about it because it was a family event.  Dad taught Sunday School (or so I have been told). Being at church was a requirement not an act of Joy.

But it all came to a stop when we moved to Louisville KY.  I do remember the 1st couple of months of going in mass, but the Church wasn’t convenient to our home, and soon as a family we stopped attending.  I am sure there were other factors involved, but for me to even speculate would be pure fiction on my part.  But I remember the great relief I felt, no more screaming, no more blame, no more belittling, that was a pure Joy.  In my mind I knew there had to be a gentler God, that Jesus was a kind soul that lifted your spirit. But I thanked God for putting the family in a position were going to Church was not convenient.

Our house in Louisville was located about 150 yards from active railroad tracks.  For the next 2 years, whenever I needed alone time I would go walk the tracks. During these walks I would get my head straight, I would sort out what I needed to sort, and I would pray.  I prayed for family and friends, I prayed for good results on upcoming tests (those never came thru until I learned to study), having recently being quite ill prayed that didn’t happen again anytime soon (that one was answered), and I just spoke to God and Jesus, addressing each or both depending on the conversation.   Sometimes these conversations were in my head, but usually I spoke out loud in a conversational voice.  It was a comfort to speak to Jesus.

During these walks I watched a new Baptist Church being built right on the other side of the tracks from where I lived, and that I could access the Church by existing pathways, and it was no more than 7 or 8 easy minutes away by foot. One summertime afternoon I got the courage up to visit that Church.  I was ready to become an active member of a Church. This place was new and fresh, my memories of the sermons I heard were not as pressing as they had been a couple years earlier, and I really wanted to join a group of fellow Christians. I walked into the Church and followed the signs to the Pastor’s office.  I gently knocked on his open door, and asked to speak to him.  He smile, bid me to enter, introduced himself and asked all the appropriate questions about me.  We were all smiley faced.  Then he said where do you go to church now.  I told him that I had not actively gone to church in 2 years, but that I had spent that time talking to God and Jesus right there on those tracks behind his church.  And like every other Baptist Preacher I had or remembered hearing he when right into the spiel that as a Baptist you needed to be at church every week, you needed to be seen there, and you needed those in attendance to witness your love of God and Jesus.  I looked at him and said something like “no sir, I disagree; I believe God and Jesus listen to me as I walked the tracks.”  His face got red, his voice got louder, and it was like being back in the country.  His finger pointing and screaming just exploded.  I got up and walked from his office with him screaming at me as I did.  I left the church, and I walked away from the church for the next 50 years.

While I was away I visited a variety of churches and listened to a variety of sermons.  None really set with me.  Sometimes it was the rituals, sometimes it was the message, but mostly it was the people in the church.  As Forrest would say “Stupid is as Stupid does.”  I have seen a lot of hypocrites at the churches I have visited over the years, and these were all reasons which in my mind justified my feelings.  That I believed strongly in God and Jesus, but I didn’t believe or trust the church to have my soul’s best interest at heart.

But this started to change about 5 years ago, my wife had joined the First Presbyterian Church of Brandon Florida.  Kicking and screaming she got me to attend more than just the Christmas and Easter services.  I had the opportunity to listen to the Pastor Rebecca and the Associate Pastor Tim.  They preached of a caring loving God that didn’t find fault, who didn’t activity seek out fault in his followers, and his son who is nothing but Love and Kindness.  There was never a raised voice, always a warm smile.  And from where I sat it was genuine.  They did care. Over the next 5 years I believe I have met about 100 different people, actually closer to 200, and to a one, they are what I have always expected a Christian family to be.  The message preached each Sunday is of a loving caring God, the scriptures are to the point and make you think and feel.  Rebecca has moved on to preach at a church closer to her children and grandchildren, and First Presbyterian has an interim Pastor Lucian, whose message is similar and as powerful as Rebecca or Tim.  These three have delivered the message without screaming, or pointing fingers, or blaming the fellowship of the Church. They along with the members of the church have made me feel the way I thought I should feel at church. My belief in God and his Son has never wavered.  This church made me feel I belonged not only to the Lord but to the church.  

I had decided to join the Church before I found out my end of retirement date had been pushed forward.  At first I was hesitant to join because I didn’t want to appear to be the Church going hypocrite I had seen all too many times during my search.  But I overcame that because of the folks that make up this Church, and I knew in my heart, it was where I belonged.  April 20, 2014 I stood before the congregation and reaffirmed my faith.

 As always thank you for taking the time to read my post, if you have any questions, concerns or comments please feel free to ask, I will answer.  Take care, Bill

   

 

 

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How I Feel for the Week Ending 05/09/14

For the week ending 05.09.14 this report will undoubtable be late, but it will be coming from my home and under the influence of my music.  Sidebar, it is one of those days, and I started the music with Vince Gill’s “Go Rest High on the Mountain.” Smiling I am in a Country Music kinda mood, so we have moved on to Big & Rich’s “Why does everyone want to kick my ass”.  We are out of the hotel, and have been since Wednesday evening, and Lord to I appreciate being home, in my own bed, my own shower, and my frig!! It is so refreshing to be home.  The wife is tickled to death with the new floor, and we all know happy wife = happy home.  The oral surgery went well (on Tuesday), and the offending tooth pulled, and have only a slight bit of post extraction pain, so little in fact I have only taken one pain pill in the last 24 hours.  If I live to be a 100 I might end up with dentures. LOL LOL. The only other appointment I had this week was with Doc Head, it is nice to have someone who you can completely bare your soul and inner thoughts without fear of repercussions.  Oh it appears that Hospice day will be on Thursdays.  They will come once a week to check me out, they take all vitals, make sure all my prescriptions are up to date and that I have enough to get thru the weekend at a minimum, ask several questions regarding my general health, and then out the door.  Hospice will take care of all my medical needs that I need that relate directly to my COPD.  They won’t supply medicines that may deal with other medical conditions.  Sidebar, we just listened to Toby Keith’s “I’ll never smoke weed with Willy again.” Smiling, fun song. All things considered, tooth pulled, living in a hotel, managing the contractor replacing the floor, and putting up with the Florida heat and humidity I am going to give the week a very solid 2.75.  The other reason the week gets a 2.75 is because very little else has changed, the coughing is about normal, tiredness about the same, and the respiration’s are staying above 20 + breathes a minute, which makes the heart work harder.

Let get the vitals out-of-the-way for the week ending 05.09.14

  • INR = 2.1 taken 04/08/14 – next INR reading scheduled for 05.12.14

  • O2 level @ 2.5 LPM = 95 taken on 05.08.14 – I would say spot checking my O2 level this week has found on average about 91/92 range.

  • Peak Flow = 215 taken 05.08.14

  • BP = 122/64 taken 05.08.14

  • Heart rate = 122 taken 05.08.14

  • Temp = 98.7 taken 05.08.14

  • Weight = 268 taken 05.09.14

So ends the technical aspect of my “How I Feel This Week” report for the week ending 05.09.14, moving now to the word of the week discussion aspect.  This week we are going to talk about Expectations.  We all have expectations that we impose upon ourselves and those others have in us, today I would like to talk about those expectations.  As normal we will start with the web dictionary definition of the word:

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/expectation

ex·pec·ta·tion  — noun  1. the act or the state of expecting: to wait in expectation. 2. the act or state of looking forward or anticipating. 3. an expectant mental attitude: a high pitch of expectation. 4. something expected; a thing looked forward to. 5. Often, expectations. a prospect of future good or profit: to have great expectations

Of all of the definitions I have drawn from the Internet to use for this part of my post, this definition is one of the clearest to date.  It is safe to say that each of us with a life threatening disease face two prime points of expectations. One; those expectations that come from within ourselves, those we think and feel when we look in the mirror or set about doing a task, or two; those expectations that others have for us.  This second group of expectations is a whole big can of worms in and of itself and I will talk to that next week.  But the simplest way to address those expectations is to say FUCK THEM, but I will get into that further next week.

As kids when we do something successfully, we anticipate being able to do that again and again and again.  Once that accomplishment registers in our head it stays there forever.  We from that day forward, always have the expectation that we will always have that same level of success whenever we attempt that activity. Experience and effort, coupled with a level of success establishes expectations in our head. Sidebar: we have been listening to Travis Tritt, Trace Akins {(This ain’t no) thinkin thing}, Dixie Chicks, Lucinda Williams (Change the Locks), Garth Brooks (Friends in Low Places), and Gretchen Wilson, to name a few. The problem is that sometimes I listen and sing instead of typing. We experience in so many things, from school work, to sports, cooking, yard work, building things, carrying or lifting different levels of weight, and on and on.  Through our accomplishments and experience we find that doing things will take this level of effort and this amount of time.  That activity could be doing the laundry, cooking dinner, doing the dishes, cutting the grass, folding cloths, walking down the street, yard work, and all other manner of daily household chore or projects.  Again success breeds expectations. 

Soft smile, the aging process is a marathon not a sprint.  As we age, we gracefully and gradually come to conclusion that the process does impact our expectations, but because acceptance happens steadily over an extended period we softly slip into a lower level of self-expectations. This in my opinion is nature’s way, the way it is supposed to be.  We turn around and look the majority of our counterparts and we see the same process is taking place in them as that we see in the mirror, and because of this we collectively are okay and accepting of the process.

But when you are terminally ill this process seems to be in overdrive.  Tasks that we would have done without breaking into a sweat 2 or 3 years ago (longer or shorter depending on you), we now have to take break after break after break to accomplish. Some tasks we don’t even bother with because we may not have the breath or stamina to complete. Some of us (especially me) are embarrassed easy when we (I) don’t have the ware for all to complete a task. Sidebar: for all my great Canadian friends, I have switched gears and now have Nickelback blasting in my head LMAO, because I try to keep my posts at the PG-13 level I can’t even tell you the names of most of my favorite Nickelback songs LOLBut I am here to tell you we need to get over it, and we have to acknowledge the fact that we do need to lower our personal expectations.  We need to come to grips with the fact that our diseases have robbed us of the capabilities we once had.  To acknowledge this doesn’t mean we send out the invitations to the pity party.  It means that if we had the expectation to complete a task in 15 minutes and it now takes 30 minutes, then damn it, it takes 30 minutes. But by completing the task we have met the expectation, and this my friends is a moral and physical victory. I started this post last night around 11pm.  It is now Saturday, but since I started today I have, made the bed, emptied the dish washer, when out to breakfast, and stopped at the grocery store. Not even mentioning a bunch of little crap kinda things. I will admit that I am a bit tired, but I met my expectations.  Years ago I would not have budgeted as much time, and I sure would not have inserted as many breaks into the completion of these tasks that I have.   

Changing your personal expectations is nothing to be ashamed of it’s no reason to hold your head down. It is terrible unfair of you to hold yourself to self-imposed expectations that will disappoint yourself when you don’t complete them. BTW everyplace you see a “you” I am talking about me, if it applies to you, apply it.  COPD has robbed me of many things, and it will end up shortening my life by many years.  But I will not let self-imposed expectations which I fail to meet drag me into a deep dark hole.  I would suggest you don’t let it drag you into a hole either.

Next week I will talk about the expectations other TRY to impose upon us.  I suspect it will be just as emotional as this. 

As always if you have any questions, concerns, or comments please feel free to bring to my attention, I will answer as completely and honestly as possible. Please take care, Bill

 

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It’s a matter of Sense …. A Grandpa Tale

Most of us have or should have the 5 basic senses, some of may not be so fortunate.  They are sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch.  For the most part these senses are all self-explanatory and don’t really need to go into them.  But to further the explanation I am calling on Wikipedia (in part) for a slightly fuller definition.   

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_senses 

A broadly acceptable definition of a sense would be “A system that consists of a group of sensory cell types that responds to a specific physical phenomenon, and that corresponds to a particular group of regions within the brain where the signals are received and interpreted.” There is no firm agreement as to the number of senses because of differing definitions of what constitutes a sense. Sidebar;  the music today is being brought to you via my IPOD being featured today include, Alice in Chains, Stone Temple Pilot, Gemini Syndrome, Van Halen, and Puddle of Mudd, I almost forgot yes, Nickelback is pounding away too!!!!

Smiling, I am done with definitions (at least for this post), I want to talk about that 6th sense, or the 7th sense, or and 23rd sense. It’s the one each of us have, that is not recognized as one of the common senses (nor is it common sense).  Some of us know when to hit on 17 at the blackjack table and are successful more times than not (especially if they are playing 5 decks), others wouldn’t know if they had a guide-book. Some will hear a phone ring and answer it knowing who is calling.  Some of can sense when a friend is sick or needs us from thousands and thousands of miles away.  Others of us know when not to get on an airplane.  Some of know when it is really the right time to give that beggar something more than a dirty look.  Moms are extremely good at knowing when their child needs a tiny bit more attention, and even more importantly when their child truly needs to be left alone.  Some of us dads can figure it out with our daughters, but have more issues trying to figure it out with a son.  These extra senses don’t stay with us a lifetime, sometimes they are only one time events, but that event stays with you the rest of your life,  you remember your little miracle, you remember that special time and it gives you a good feeling, it does warm your soul. Sometimes these extra senses, come with maturity, and are honed as we age.  Yet other times they happen for no definable reason, at no particular age. Case in point: the young man who found the 20 dollar bill in the Cracker Barrel parking lot and felt it was the right thing to do by passing it on with that now world-famous note to the soldier, who has in turn passed it forward. 

I think that another word we need to consider is premonition. It is exactly like a sense only different. But just like that oddball sense you from time to time I am sure you have had a premonition.  You know that feeling you get just before a storm hits, or a view just outside of your vision that something bad is going to happen. Notice the 2 examples I gave for premonitions were negative, but being honest I don’t remember having a good premonition.  If I thought I was going to fail that math test, it was a pretty foregone conclusion I was going to fail that test. But what about your premonitions, have the outcome always been bad?  

 I suspect you’ll are awaiting my announcement as to what my special skill or talent may be, or if I have some superpower I haven’t shared with you.  Oh and I do have one, but I am not going to share it with you (at least not yet). 

Yet be it a premonition or an extra sense.  I do believe we all have one or more.  Some stay with us for a lifetime, others only for an incident.  I also think a person can talk themselves into having an extra sense, and by the same token talk ourselves out of a special ability.  In my opening sentence I stated that most of us have or should have the basic 5 senses, and that others might not be as fortunate.  Let me be very clear, I truly believe that the folks that do not have those 5 basic senses, utilize the senses they have to a much finer degree than we do, they hear better or see better or smell better or have extremely good taste.  But these folks also have special senses and utilize them much more so than us burdened with the basic five. They are not handicapped, they are empowered. 

This post while playful is also somewhat serious.  Please take a moment to think about yourself, and if you’re willing please share with us your special ability. 

As always if you have any questions or concerns or if you have a comment please feel free to ask or post it.  Take care, Bill.

 
27 Comments

Posted by on April 24, 2014 in Grandpa Stories, Humor, Ramblings, Uncategorized

 

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The Difference between Rich and Poor People

A friend on AOL shared this with me, and I felt it was simple and good enough to share with you’ll.  Most have probably seen it, many probable live a life with these appreciations.  I know I try, sometimes I am much more successful than others.  Take from this what you wish, I am just offering it because I liked it. Take care, Bill
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Shangrala's Rich VS Poor
Shangrala's Rich VS Poor
Shangrala's Rich VS Poor
Shangrala's Rich VS Poor
Shangrala's Rich VS Poor
Shangrala's Rich VS Poor
Shangrala's Rich VS Poor
Shangrala's Rich VS Poor
Shangrala's Rich VS Poor
Shangrala's Rich VS Poor
Shangrala's Rich VS Poor
Shangrala's Rich VS Poor
Shangrala's Rich VS Poor
Shangrala's Rich VS Poor
Shangrala's Rich VS Poor
Shangrala's Rich VS Poor
Shangrala's Rich VS Poor
Shangrala's Rich VS Poor
 
17 Comments

Posted by on April 15, 2014 in Grandpa Stories, Observations, Pictures, Ramblings

 

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 It’s a Matter of Music…. A Grandpa Tale

Good morning folks, I hope your Wednesday is starting off great, mine has.  Per my normal daily habit I was up and about at 6ish this morning. I was nebulizing this nebulizing that, and taking the rest of my morning medications.  As usual during this morning ritual, I was scanning my email accounts and Facebook. As I was scanning Facebook, throwing out some likes, I stumbled upon a post by a dear friend (Huntmode). She shared the following YouTube video.

http://www.thisblewmymind.com/street-musician-tipped-girl-happened-next-blew-whole-city-away/?fb_action_ids=10201782776426970&fb_action_types=og.recommends

Of course it was one of those staged flash mob video’s which I truly enjoy, because they just make me so damn happy.  So I am nebulizing and blasting this flash mob video, it comes to an end I am smiling, already it’s a great day, and I begin to explore.  Originally my intent was to find some more orchestra (flash mob) video’s and just sit and immerse myself in some classical music. So I jumped on YouTube, and immediately encountered the 2 Piano Guys, which if you haven’t discovered them I would strongly suggest you give time a listen. I just wasn’t in the mood for the Piano Guys this morning, but…… if you have spent any time on YouTube, on the right side of the page is a column of what could be related or similar video’s kinda if you like this you may like that…   Well I was going down the column and there were a bunch of 2 Cello video’s available, I had never heard of 2Cellos, but I recognized the title of one song from the get go, “Thunderstruck” by AC/DC, and for those that know me, know that AC/DC is one of my favorite bands (maybe you didn’t know cause I do have hundreds of favorite bands), so of course I had to give it a view, and from that view grew this post.

I have attached (besides the inspirational video from Huntmode Facebook post) 5 additional videos from 2Cellos.  Two are from AC/DC, one from Guns & Roses, one from Michael Jackson, and finally one from Jimi Hendrix.  I know as sure as I am sitting in a black chair, in my office, that some of you can’t stand any of the bands I just listed, some of you love all of them, some of you are too young to appreciate Jimi Hendrix, and some of you are a mixture of all of the above, or for that matter none of the above. I know I now have a new appreciation for Guns and Roses LOL.  But if I could beg your indulgence, please do me this one favor and watch the “Thunderstuck” video. Angus Young (lead guitar for AC/DC) must be beside himself.

If you have any level of vivid imagination you can see the roots of rock: hardrock, grudgerock, acidrock, puckrock, in this video and besides it’s just fun, considering the setting, the music and most importantly the audience.  If this is the direction that elevator music is taking, I may ride elevators the rest of my life.

Thunderstuck – AC/DC – as covered by 2Cellos  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uT3SBzmDxGk

Jimi Hendrix – Purple Haze – as covered by 2Cellos https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ae23y2D8VSI

Welcome to the Jungle – Guns and Roses – as covered by 2Cellos https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3V7EugoweM4

Highway to Hell – AC/DC – as covered by 2Cellos https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfGggAGITwg

Smooth Criminal – Michael Jackson – as covered by 2Cellos https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mx0xCI1jaUM

Sometimes as adults when we listen to the music our children enjoy we scratch our heads and know exactly why the world is going to hell in a hand basket. Other times we are filled with joy, the fact is, it’s their music.  If for every Foo Fighters, we discover a group like the Piano Guys or 2Cellos, we are all gaining and we are all part of the every growing metamorphosis of music.  I know when I was a kid, my dad had a conniption fit whenever he heard us play the Beatles, or the Rolling Stones, or SteppenWolf (Dad destroyed my copy of their album when he heard the song Pusher Man).  I know I looked at my daughter in sheer wonderment when I found out she enjoyed rap, and even gangster rap, music I detested then and even now, though I will admit I have become a fan of Kid Rock.

Quickly jumping down from my soapbox. The point is I am offering you six videos for your enjoyment, if you don’t like any of them that is your business your choice, and I completely appreciate it.  I get it, I am just saying discovering 2Cellos has made my day, and has satisfied an itch.

As always if you have any questions or concerns please feel free to ask them and as always your comments are greatly appreciated.  Thanks Bill

 

 

 

 
29 Comments

Posted by on April 9, 2014 in Grandpa Stories, Humor, Music, Observations, Ramblings

 

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My Sunshine Award Nominations

I have been nominated for the Sunshine Award which I graciously accept without reservation from Huntmode.  In my past I would have blown off such an award because I felt undeserving.  But I have come to recognize and acknowledge the fact that if you are nominated for such an award, the sheer fact that someone else thinks you’re worth it, indeed does make the award and nomination worthwhile.  

So thank You Huntmode, thank you very much for the nomination.  I am and will take it seriously. 

Hunt did all the research and leg work, and has provided simple instructions for accepting and going forward.  I won’t change a word of those instructions.  But if you want, you can make slight modifications like I have.

  • Ø Rules of the Sunshine Award  (as provided by HuntMode)

  • Ø Post 11 random facts about yourself

  • Ø Nominate 11 bloggers

  • Ø Answer these questions eleven questions:

1. What is the first thing you do as soon as you wake up in the morning?  Take off my cpap mask, and turn on the light (if wife has already left for work)

2. What is your greatest fear?  My greatest fear is of open heights. I have a story about the Grand Canyon and heights.

3. Do you have a new year’s resolution for 2014?  If so what was it? I did…and it was to be here for 2015, only a little worse for wear.

4. What is your favorite song at the moment?  Stardust by the Gemini Project.

5. What is your favorite childhood memory?  When I won 3rd prize at an art show, when I was in the 3rd grade.  I was competing against adults.  I won 10 dollars for my prize, and that was a lot of money in 1957

6. What’s your favorite social media platform and why?  What is a social media platform?? LOL LOL, if that means AOL, then AOL, and the reason is simple it was the 1st one I really tried and understood.  I am still getting used to Facebook, Kir and some others (like WordPress LOL).

7. What did the last text message you received say?  Someone advising me their email address had changed.

8. What bugs you the most?  I will borrow the person answered these before me answer– stupid behavior and bullies.

9. What do you consider to be the most important appliance in your house?  Without a doubt my desk top computer, second my Nook.

10. If you could have one song that would play whenever you entered a room, what would it be?  I have about 1800 songs on my IPod, anyone of them would be good, but I don’t need “making an entrance” music.

11. What’s your favorite movie quote?  From Forrest Gump “Stupid is as stupid does.”

 

Sunshine Award looks like this:

 sunshine-award-2[1]

 

10 little known facts

  • Ø My favorite number is 55 (worn on my JV Football Jersey);

  • Ø I am the runt of my family, but the oldest;

  • Ø My 1st car was a 1960 Buick LaSalle

  • Ø I only lived in Louisville KY, for 5 years, but it is the place I am from

  • Ø Every woman that meets me loves my hair;

  • Ø I believe that everyone has a purpose, but not all of those purposes are good;

  • Ø I have had only 4 male best friends, so far, during my lifetime;

  • Ø I believe you can love with all your heart more than once in a lifetime;

  • Ø I was totally bummed when the Colts moved to Indianapolis and because of that have become a complete and total Washington Redskins fan;

  • Ø I drink at least 6 to 8 (16.9 oz.) bottles of water a day, plus other liquids and wonder why I have to pee all the time. LOL LOL that’s the TMI fact of the day.

Thank you Huntmode for nominating me for the Sunshine Award.  This award is given for “bloggers who are positive and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere.”  I am so very honored chose me and I thank you. 

These are my nominees for the Sunshine Award, each tugs at my heartstrings and makes them sing.  My rules:  Accept and play; Accept and choose not to play – and know that my nomination of you is genuine. 

The following are those blogs who have inspired me in some very real manner, that have touch a core element in me, and have allowed me to use them to bounce ideas off and to gain further inspiration.  Each of these folks deserves to be recognized for the outstanding image their blog presents to the community.  Therefore I am very happy to nominate each of them for the Sunshine awards

http://kiramoorescloset.wordpress.com/about-2/

http://jmgoyder.com/about/

http://benzeknees.wordpress.com/

http://kate1975.wordpress.com/about/

http://tidbitsandtreasures2011.wordpress.com/

http://bikecolleenbrown.wordpress.com/

http://clowiescorner.wordpress.com/

http://friendlyfairytales.com/

http://clanmother.com/

http://ladyornot.com/

http://thepersecutionofmildreddunlap.wordpress.com/

http://chasingrabbitholes.com/author/huntmode/

The key here is that while all of these may not strike a chord with you, they did with me.  Each of these bloggers have helped in some way to shape my blog, each have shown me something, has presented a way to express an idea, or has given me a glimpse of a world I didn’t know existed.  Combined with the total has better allowed me to express myself, and I thank each of them.

If you have comments or thoughts you wish to express please do.  Take care, Bill 

 
24 Comments

Posted by on January 26, 2014 in Grandpa Stories, Observations, Ramblings

 

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My Education, if I Only Knew….. a Grandpa tale

I sit here today a bit over 64, being somewhat reflective (not!), thinking about what I wanted to share with you today.   I have George Thorogood’s “Bad to the Bone” slamming in my ears, but I know this post wasn’t going to be about music. In fairness I have been kicking the thought of my education and all the time I wasted in high school and even in the military schools I attended, and what could have been had I actually applied myself way back then.  In part this post also came about because yesterday I sat with Cari at the kitchen table practicing her multiplication tables.  Cari is in the 3rd grade and has not yet committed these to memory. We sat for over an hour practicing, we me giving her little lessons, and offering math truths as I knew them. And basically had a good time, I wouldn’t allow her to quit, and I wouldn’t allow her to just guess.   I know the truths (about math) I shared with Cari were correct because my wife (the math whiz) didn’t correct me. It was enjoyable to just sit with her and help. 

But this story is really about me, so let me get to it (btw Nickelback is pounding now).  When I went to school (1st grade thru 12th) I would have been the poster child for ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), but that term hadn’t been invented.  If my grades had been a touch worst I might have gotten to ride the short bus (very non PC) to school. I was probably only a stupid smile or two away from being called retarted (extremely  non-PC), but the simple truth is that school really didn’t keep my attention. It wasn’t interesting enough, it didn’t stimulate me in a way that made me want to excel.  Throughout my entire education process, the classes I found interesting and stimulating I did extremely well.  You could look at any given report card and find I got an F in “English” but I got an A in “Reading.” (3 Doors Down’s “Kryptonite” now blasting away) Another example would be that I got “C’s” in Math but “F’s” in Algebra.  I had found out early in the educational process that I did not have to apply myself at all in order to get just barely passing grades, so I didn’t. And there was no penalty at home, sure I got yelled at, and I got “grounded” all the time. But it wasn’t enforced and I had a job outside of the house, so that kinda took the wind out of being grounded. Also, the folks didn’t know my hours or my schedule so it was easy to get around being grounded. I cruised thru the first 13 years (I did the 3rd grade twice) of school without putting in a lick of work.  But again, the classes or components of classes I liked I did great.  So as a result, I became an extremely lazy student.  (Garth Brooks “Thunder Road” is now slamming) I only (studied) when it was absolutely necessary.  The day before a paper was due, or the night before a big test, I was the poster child for cramming. Imagine that, a student with ADD trying to cram. LOL LOL. Sometimes it worked mostly it didn’t.  But I did graduate high school, it took a summer school English class, and Mom begging, but I did graduate.  In my HS class were approximately 283 kids, I was something like 265 in ranking.  It is hard to imagine that many students who accomplished less in HS than me. 

These bad habits continued into my Navy career but really stopped while I was in Radioman “A” school. My class at NTCC San Diego was the last class of radioman school to teach and require a level of skill in Morse code.  I was lazy, and I was just getting by, all the other components of being a Radioman had my interest, and I did well in those aspects. But if I flunked out of Radioman “A” school I would end up on the deck crew as a boatswain mate, which equated to really really hard dirty work, that I knew I wanted to avoid.  The minimum standards (in 1969) for graduating from Radioman “A” school in Morse code was to be able to receive 12 words per minute (wpm) and transmit (6 or 8 not sure which) wpm with no more than 5 errors, over a 5 minute period.  On the last day of qualifying I could transmit 8 wpm, but I was still hung up on receiving the minimum 12. Test after test I failed. Each test was a different message using all characters on the keyboard.  But the light came on, and the dots and dashes became songs and I qualified 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18 and 20 wpm in separate tests over a 2 hour period. I went from the slowest code reader to the 3rd quickest in the class, and graduated “A” school in fine shape.  BTW I never in my Navy career actually copied a real Morse code message.  I really didn’t have much of an issue with class room training the rest of my Navy days, and all things considered did quite well during my active duty time.

When I got out of the Navy, it was suggested that I might want to go to college.  It seemed like a good idea, and an easy way to make some money.  I did have the GI Bill working for me.  So a few months after I got established in my job, I enrolled in Northern Virginia Community College. Because I had been out of HS so long I was required to take a college prep math and English classes.  These where were a snap, and I pretty much aced both of them.  Thus I started my college career.  I started with the same attitude and study habits that I had 10 years before in High School. The 1st couple quarters were easy because I chose classes I wanted to take so I put the effort in. But the next quarter I took classes I was required to take and did very poorly.  So poorly that the VA counselor called me to his office and said “Bill, if you don’t pick you grades up, you will have to pay the government back all the money you have received to date.”  That equaled about $1,800 over 6 months, folks if you don’t have 2 nickels; $1,800 is a crap load.  LMAO, folks I took a 1.69 GPA and converted it to a 3.27 over the next 3 years.  I never had to pay a penny back, and I loved college.  My favorite courses were those that required reading and comprehension, and simplistic math courses. I aced Accounting I, II, and III.  The math was simple; it was just knowing and understanding the rules. Economics for whatever reason was another class I loved and did extremely well.  The science classes gave me issues, and required every bit of effort I could muster to get thru.  Business Law was another class I found to be easy because it was all about reading and understanding the rules.  But my most favorite courses were the political science classes.  It allowed me to be opinionated and I was graded pretty much on my ability to be opinionated LOL. How cool is that. 

One of my favorite college stories involved an English Literature course.  It was mid-term time and the test consisted of 10 questions. We used “blue books” to complete the test.  The kicker was that each question started off “In your opinion” blab blab blab.  The next week the test came back and I got a B+. I was so pissed. I stood up and questioned the professor how my “opinion” was only worth a B+, she was quite shaken that anyone would question her, and was even more put off when she couldn’t successfully tell me my opinion was only worth a B+, and I demanded an A instead of a B+ and suggested we take it up with the Dean of English at NVCC.  The professor decided that maybe my opinion was indeed worth an A.  As soon as she said she would change my mid-term to an “A” most of the class stood and made the same demand.  And while she stared at me with daggers in her eyes she gave anyone that asked a better grade, (who answered all ten questions with something other than BS)  based on their opinion she gave them the better grade. 

But the professor won in the end.  When finals came around, it was the single most difficult test I have ever taken, period. But, while it was difficult it was fair. Also the word opinion was not on the test in any form. LOL LOL. (“Boom Boom” by The Animals is playing now) I killed myself taking that test, and barely had it turned in on time.  The next week I got the test results and I got a “B” for the test, I stared at the B and said quietly to myself “Thank You God!  I ended up getting an “A” for the course, but it was the hardest “A” I ever got. 

College was a wonderful experience, but my career started to take off and I made the decision to concentrate on being a Dad and my career.  Two of the best decisions I ever made.  I love being a Dad and granddad, and I had a great career. 

I rarely do could’ve, would’ve or should’ves.  It makes no sense to try and second guess myself all the time. I of am of the mind that if I changed one thing, that action then ripples thru the rest of my life, making slight or large changes in every aspect of my life from the time of the change forward, for the rest of my life. I have so much to be thankful for that, I don’t want risk any of it to change any one thing.  But as successful as I have been, I can only wonder how much more successful I could have been had I applied myself way back then. (Melissa Etheridge’s “Refugee” is playing now and almost seems appropriate) I am not going to speculate, but, damn I don’t think there would have been a mountain I couldn’t have climbed.  I hope this is a lesson Cari learns early, and takes to heart. 

Thank you for indulging me as I took this trip in the wayback machine.  Education is so very important, and it doesn’t have to be college, our world requires all manner of folks, with all manner of skills. Yes some of those skills are learned in college, but in this day and age, that is not the only place to get an education that you can build on, that you can support a family on, and reach all manner of success. 

While writing this I have listened to at least 25 songs. Each song has provided some level of influence.  The artist included: John Lee Hooker, Eric Clapton, Garth Brooks, Brooks and Dunn, Seether, AC/DC, Five Finger Death Punch, Nickleback and Marilyn Manson to name just a few.  It has been a very enjoyable afternoon.  I hope you have enjoyed yours as well.  Take care, if you have any comments, suggestions or thoughts you wanted to share, please do.  Bill

 
21 Comments

Posted by on January 20, 2014 in Grandpa Stories, Observations, Ramblings

 

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Rules for Being Human

I got this from Chasing Rabbit Holes, and found these Rules for Being Human to be truthful and informative. I will be printing this and posting on my desk as a constant reminder. Take care, Bill

Chasing Rabbit Holes

RULES FOR BEING HUMAN

1. YOU WILL RECEIVE A BODY. You may like it or hate it, but it will be yours for the entire period of this time around.

2. YOU WILL LEARN LESSONS. You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called Life. Each day in this school you will have the opportunity to learn lessons. You may like the lessons or think them irrelevant and stupid.

3. THERE ARE NO MISTAKES, ONLY LESSONS. Growth is a process of trial and error: Experimentation. The “failed” experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiment that ultimately “works.”

4. A LESSON IS REPEATED UNTIL LEARNED. A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. When you have learned it, you can then go on to the next lesson.

5. LEARNING LESSONS DOES NOT END. There is no part of life…

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Posted by on December 18, 2013 in Grandpa Stories, Observations, Ramblings

 

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It’s All about Thank You

A few days ago I was given this lovely Blue Ribbon Blue-Ribbon-small                      and after taking way too long to thank the individual that gave me the ribbon, I finally sent a thank you to the individual, in which I spoke of how undeserving I was of such a reward, and how I down played it.  But, I took that same blue ribbon and passed it on to several specific individuals, again downplaying my worthiness for such a ribbon while spending a significant amount of time saying why these individuals deserved it so much more than I. 

 

So far numerous comments have been made on this post and all of them have been very positive and extremely supportive, and to a one, spoke to my worthiness for such a blue ribbon. I have wonderful friends online (many of whom are also offline friends), I know some very creative people, and have encountered a wide variety of styles of communicating. And I appreciate each for what they offer, and how they offer it. Each individual offered grateful thanks for me passing such a ribbon on to them. These comments and the gratefulness of the thanks I got, made me realize what an ass I had been.  

 

The fact that a single individual thought enough of me, of my writing, of my need to get the word out about COPD, of my being as supportive as possible to those who suffer as I do, and of my Blog, to give me a blue ribbon made me worthy of the ribbon.  I should have been grateful and gracious at that very moment.  I should have been thankful that someone actually reads my blog, and takes the time to comment. The fact that I poo pooed the idea, made me wrong, and taught me a lesson.  A lesson I am not likely to forget. Be thankful for the praise (spelled it right this time) you get, and understand that is given freely and from the heart.  I have about 200 folks that follow my Blog, they follow me for a reason that is important to them, by poo pooing the blue ribbon I was being disrespectful to those that follow my blog, when in fact I am so grateful to have a forum from which to speak. And have people who follow what I say, and appreciate me for saying it.

 

I would like to take a moment and properly thank Huntmode.  Huntmode was kind enough to give me the blue ribbon in the 1st place, to place a personal value on my Blog, and to give me credit for it.  THANK YOU Huntmode, I really appreciate the praise and shout out you sent my way. It is folks like you, and all my other followers, that make my Blog worthwhile.  Again thank you! Take care, Bill

 
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Posted by on December 18, 2013 in Grandpa Stories, Observations, Ramblings

 

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On gay hate and freedom of speech

I don’t know the Roger’s, I don’t know any of the story beyond this post. But there is enough here to share. There is enough here, to make folks aware of the continued hatefullness, and ugliness that goes on around us daily. Maybe a post like this will open one set of eyes that were closed in the past. Maybe a tiny touch of awareness will come of it, but for me the bottom line is to continue to make folks aware, and pray there comes a time when we as a people are accepting of the differences of others. Take care — Bill

 
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Posted by on December 11, 2013 in Observations, Uncategorized

 

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The Last Cab Ride

This was shared with me by a friend. I have read it before and it has caused a tear to form quickly in my eye.  I have no idea who wrote it originally, but I thank them.  It is the season for these types of Posts.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.  I would like to think I could have been driving that cab.  Take care Bill

Last Cab Ride

I arrived at the address and honked the horn. After waiting a few minutes I honked again. Since this was going to be my last ride of my shift I thought about just driving away, but instead I put the car in park and walked up to the door and knocked.. ‘Just a minute’, answered a frail, elderly voice.

I could hear something being dragged across the floor. After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 90’s stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940’s movie.

By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets. There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.

‘Would you carry my bag out to the car?’ she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman. 

She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb.  She kept thanking me for my kindness. ‘It’s nothing’, I told her.. ‘I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother to be treated.’

‘Oh, you’re such a good boy, she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address and then asked, ‘Could you drive through downtown?’  

‘It’s not the shortest way,’ I answered quickly.. 

‘Oh, I don’t mind,’ she said. ‘I’m in no hurry. I’m on my way to a hospice.  I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening. ‘I don’t have any family left,’ she continued in a soft voice..’ The doctor says I don’t have very long.’ I quietly reached over and shut off the meter. 

‘What route would you like me to take?’ I asked. 

For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator. We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds. She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl. 

Sometimes she’d ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.

As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, ‘I’m tired. Let’s go now’. We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico.  Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her. I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.

‘How much do I owe you?’ She asked, reaching into her purse. 

‘Nothing,’ I said

‘You have to make a living,’ she answered. 

‘There are other passengers,’ I responded. 

Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly. ‘You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,’ she said. ‘Thank you.’

I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the dim morning light. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life. I didn’t pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk.

What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away? 

On a quick review, I don’t think that I have done anything more important in my life. We’re conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments.  But great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

PEOPLE MAY NOT REMEMBER EXACTLY WHAT YOU DID, OR WHAT YOU   SAID ~BUT~THEY WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER HOW YOU MADE THEM FEEL.

At the bottom of this great story was a request to forward this – I deleted that request because if you have read to this point, you won’t have to be asked to pass it along you just will…Thank you, my friend…

Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance.

 
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Posted by on December 9, 2013 in Grandpa Stories, Observations, Ramblings

 

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My Music….

When Cari reads this she is going to have to dig deep into her own UTube source to find out what I was thinking.  The week before last I shared with a few a music video by a new version of the Boogie Woogie Twins.  I have watched that video at least a dozen times since I shared it, but it got me to thinking about the music I truly love.  My wife gave me an IPOD for Christmas about 5 years ago. I painstakingly loaded over 1800 songs from our CD collection.  And just as painstakingly I whittled down that list of sounds to approximately 1250 songs.  Over time I have made a few dozen purchases.  So I am now well over 1300 songs.

I am going to list the 20 most played songs on my IPod, and then I am going to talk about some of my favorites, and give a little personal history. (Like you didn’t think personal history would come into play)  If I considered a song to be among my all-time favorites it will be in bold.  Here goes;  1) Statesboro Blues by the Allman Brothers, 2) Next Contestant by Nickelback 3) Boom Boom by The Animals 4) Animals by Nickelback 5) For What it’s Worth by The Buffalo Springfield 6) Mr. Tambourine Man by the Byrd’s 7) Changes the Locks by Lucinda Williams 8) Call Me the Breeze by Lynyrd Skynrd 9) Whipping Post by The Allman Brothers 10) Thunder Struck by AC/DC 11) Bad Company by Five Finger Death Punch 12) Save a Horse Ride a Cowboy by Big and Rich, 13) Follow you Home by Nickelback 14) Hoochie Coochie Man by Eric Clapton 15) Good Time Gone by Nickelback 16) Country Song by Seether 17) Personal Jesus by Depeche Mode 18) Lowlife by Theory of a Deadman 19) Time of the Season by The Zombies and 20) Go Rest High on That Mountain by Vince Gill.  Some of the songs that didn’t make the top 20 played but should have are: Southern Cross but Crosby, Stills, and Nash, Crossroads by Clapton, The Dope Show by Marilyn Manson, Steam by Peter Gabriel.  Hell I need to be careful or I will list all 1300 songs on my IPod. This list by no means represents my favorites.  But on my IPod, I have a playlist called “Walking Music” which when I was going the respiratory therapy came in real handy.  Then center pumped o u t some rather sedate music, which I couldn’t use to motivate myself. I created this list to get me going, to fire up my motor, and it worked.  I could do 40 mins on the treadmill at 2 miles an hour listening to this music.  When my treadmill time and distance were thru, I shifted to one of the different “Blues” lists to listen to while doing the weight training.  The point is every time I went to PT this Walking Music would play and then selections from other lists.

When I was doing the PT’s I didn’t mind sharing my music.  With the music blasting in my ears and head, my heart racing, my BP okay, my O2 sinking, and my heart rate on a roller coaster, the music work for me, yes I knew there was some overflow from my headset, but again, I didn’t mind sharing my music, but alas, apparently my taste in music might have offended some of the others, so I had to tune it down Damn it!!  Which I did, and that is the end of that story, though I was asked time and again why (at my age) did I liked that music, the simple answer was because it worked.  It helped me put forth the effort necessary to get the most from the PT’s. Besides I love music especially LOUD music.

I want to spend a few words talking about my favorite song.  If you had asked me two years ago to name my favorite song it would have been impossible.  My love for music spans fifty plus years and at any given point I would have had a favorite.  So when I was asked that question I gave a short list of 2 or 3 songs depending on my mood.  But now I have a favorite song, and I know it will stand the test of time. It is Go Rest High on That Mountain by Vince Gill, if you haven’t heard it (and are interested) it just type it in the search box on your internet home page, it will take you to many an opportunity to hear it.   The first time I heard this song was at my Mom’s funeral, it is such a sad, and joyful, and passionate, sorrowful song and every time I listen to it I cry and smile at the same time.  Because it is now playing I have to take a break.

Back, with Go Rest High On The Mountain is top of the list; I have a ton of songs that would be tied for 2nd place depending on when you asked me. On my list of most played you will find several of them and I will add a few to this paragraph. So here goes Superstition by Stevie Ray Vaughn, Crossroads by Clapton, With Arms Wide Open by Creed, Tattoo by Van Halen,  A Warrior’s Call by Volbeat, In your Eyes by Peter Gabriel, Tobacco Road by The Nashville Teens, Beer for my Horses and How Do You Like Me Now by Toby Keith, this list could go on and on but I am going to stop and list some Bands and Artists (not already listed) that are important to me: Roger McGuinn, Jimi Hendrix, Aretha Franklin, Matchbox Twenty, Buddy Guy, BB King, Bo Diddley, John Lee Hooker, George Thorogood and the Destroyers, The Kinks, Disturbed, Evans Blue, Crosby Stills Nash and Young, Brooks and Dunn, Neil Young by himself, Travis Tritt, Cream, Linkin Park, Melissa Etheridge, Marilyn Manson, Nickelback, Kid Rock, Genesis, Garth Brooks, lord have mercy I am suffering from SOB just writing this list, needless to say it’s an even longer list. It is a quite diverse list of the music.  There is only period of music that I am hard pressed to say I have a favorite from, and that’s the Disco era.  The worst (saddest) part of it is I had the white platform shoes, the wide white belt and 2 polyester leisure suits (lime green and day glow orange).  And I actually went in public dressed like that.  Thank God there is no photographic evidence of this.  I know I couldn’t live it down.

I have a short story to share and a comment, then the abuse of your senses is over for today.  When I was a kid I wanted to be a ROCK & ROLL hero, I could not play an instrument and I could only carry a tune in a basket.   So I figured the closest I could get would be to manage a band (Cari cover your eyes) cause they got laid too.  Me and a friend spent 100 of hours and I mean 1000’s listening to albums from the Who, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and other big bands of our time, and painstakingly copying down the lyrics of every song on every album we could get our hands on so we could provide this wealth of knowledge to a local band we were trying to hook up as their manager. Back in the old days, they didn’t put the lyrics on the album jacket, you had to buy it, so we thought we were doing someone a big favor, well, we didn’t know how to manage poop, and we knew even less about the music industry, and less on what bands wanted in the way of a manager.  Every band we approached 1 had a manager, and 2 had already paid for the lyrics and sheet music to the songs they needed.  My career as a band manager came to a screaming halt before it even got off the ground, but I did meet some cute girls.  So it wasn’t a total failure.  I had become friends with a band member, and because of that friendship, I did get to hang around with the band and that was my hall pass. LOL LOL.

This is wordy enough I hope you enjoyed the trip thru my head regarding my likes of music.  BTW my vehicle has XM radio, I listen to Octane, and the Blues Channel 99 percent of the time when driving about by myself.  When the wife is in the car, for some strange reason we listen to whatever she wants.  LMAO but as soon as she is out of the car, the volume goes back to 7 or 8 and I turn on the music I want LOL.

Oh Lord, I almost forgot the comment I was going to make, I know you just said “damn it he remembered”.  I am the self-proclaimed world’s best air guitarist.  The key is the self-proclaimed part here LOL.  I will make another comment, I still can’t carry a tune without a bucket, but when I am sitting in my house with no one here, I sing every song that plays, I rock and roll, I have all the rock star moves, and it gives me great pleasure to strut my stuff, just thank God there are no witnesses. Take care, Bill

Folks please take care, if you have any questions comments or thoughts regarding my choices in music I would love it is you shared them. Also if you choose to respond please include one or two of your favorite songs, I promise I will go check them out. Please take care, Bill.

BTW I am in better spirits this week.  Take care

 
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Posted by on September 6, 2013 in Grandpa Stories, Humor, Ramblings

 

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A Case of Mistaken Identity…. A Grandpa Tale

A picture of Santa?

A picture of Santa?

Imagine if you will the man pictured to the left having much longer white hair, and a much thicker white beard.  Just think about that a moment.  I realize of course that this is August, but if it were early to mid-December? Heck for that matter it could be July. Imagine him being quite, and I do mean quite, heavy.  Imagine his cheeks are almost a bright red.  Yes, I think you’re finally getting the picture.  Personally I don’t see the resemblance, but I have been mistaken for Saint Nick, the Jolly One and of course Santa at least a half-dozen times since I hit the age of 45.  I was asked during the cruise if I were Santa, which brought back to mind some of the other occasions where little ones had a case of mistaken identity.  Years ago (before Florida), I kept my hair significantly longer than today, also my beard was a lot longer and thicker than today, and when asked to describe myself I admit to being a short fat white guy, with white hair and a white beard.  Fifteen years ago I was a lot heavier, and being jolly by nature I completely understood at Christmas time might be confused.  I never burst their bubble, sometimes with the encouragement of a parent I even played on their confusion.  Giving them a confirmation with a smile or wink, sometimes I even exchanged words with the little one beyond answering their question.  I would like to relate a few of those incidents of cases of mistaken identity.

The 1st time I was clearly mistakenly identified as Santa was on December 24, 1991.  I was working at the GSA building in downtown Washington DC.  It was shortly after noon, my office was on the 7th floor, and I had to come to the 1st floor to meet with my bosses boss briefly before sending everyone home for the holidays.  I was dressed for the season, I had on a white shirt with a brightly colored Christmas tie, my red Santa suspenders and a lapel pin that light up and had Santa going down a chimney. I was in my Christmas garb to the maximum.  I had the elevator to myself for 1 floor and then it stopped on the 6th floor and a Mom and her 5 or 6 year-old son got on. I immediately smiled and wished them a “Merry Christmas” and the young man looked up to me and his eyes got as big as saucers.  He tugged at his mom’s arm and looked her.  You could see the question in his eyes as he looked at his mom.  The Mom and I exchanged smiles and knowing looks, but no words.  Over the next couple of minutes I asked the young man if he had been a good boy and had he listened to his mom over the last year.  He continued to tug at his mom’s arm saying to her, tell him mom, tell him mom.  At which point, she again turned to me and smiled, letting her son see she was smiling, you could see the relief on his face.  The elevator quickly got to the 2nd floor (their stop), and as they started off the elevator, the young man looked up to me and asked “Are you Santa?”  While I didn’t confirm or deny that I was or wasn’t Santa, I did smile broadly and wink at him.  He smiled back and as the doors to the elevator closed he turned and told his Mother, “Mom, that’s Santa!!”

A couple years later, again during the Christmas season I was out and about on a Saturday afternoon.  I was dressed in blue slacks a red shirt and I had on my Santa suspenders.  My hair was at its longest and my beard really needed to be trimmed.  I had completed all the chores I had, and was at the supermarket picking up a few odds and ends for Steph.  I was in the baking aisle, picking out food colorings, and Christmas sprinkles, Steph as making some cookies and she needed this to decorate them.  It also happened that Giant (the supermarket of choice at the time in Northern Virginia) was running a special on wrapping paper, so I had some of that in the cart already.   I noticed coming towards me were a mother and her son, he pointed at me and asked his mom a question, I heard neither question or answer, but I saw the exchange.  Because he had pointed in my direction, and because he asked his mom a question, I was prepared when they came abreast of me and he asked me if I were Santa, I looked to the mom for direction and she shrugged her shoulders so I just knotted my head, he went on to asked what I was doing at the grocery store, to which I explained that Mrs. Claus asked me to pick a few items for her. He then asked why do I need wrapping paper to which I said so we can wrap the gifts for the elves.  And I went on to tell him I was getting frosting and sprinkles for the cookies Mrs. Claus was making for our Christmas Party.  Having satisfied his burning need to know what I was doing in a grocery store, when went on tell remind me what he wanted for Christmas, said good bye and followed his mom into the next aisle.  I did the best I could to avoid that young man the rest of the time I was doing my shopping.

The final story I want to share with you regarding a case of mistaken identity happened in April 2001.  At the time of this incident I was on my annual golf vacation.  Myself and 7 of my best friends got together each year, rented a condo, and played golf for 7 days.  Over the years we had vacationed in Florence SC, Myrtle Beach SC, Edsito Island SC, Maggie Valley NC, and the Orlando FL area.  The group started as 4 and quickly grew to 8, at the time we ranged from 35 to 70 and many points in between.   We had completed our round for the day, returned to the condo got cleaned up, and headed out to dinner.  We were in the Kissimmee area and decided on an upscale Steak House off of SR192.  I sat at the head of the table because I was left-handed in a right-handed world.  We were enjoying our 2nd drink and the conversation focused purely on golf.  How we played that day compared to the day before, and wondering about the course the next day.  At times over the years this group could get loud, but we were civilized.  A family of three had the table right next to us.  No more than 5 feet away, it was a mom, dad, and a very cute little girl, maybe 7 or 8 years old. As in the past I noticed the exchange between the Mom and daughter regarding my identity.  Their conversation continued and I noticed the Mom looking at me, I just knotted at her, and she told her daughter she thought I might be Santa, but she the little girl had to ask.  I had looked away before the little girl saw me watching the exchange, but listening I knew she was making her way towards me.  I felt a tap on my arm, I turned and smiled at this little lady, and as bold as you please she said “Are you Santa?” I replied “Yes I am.”  She immediately jumped onto my lap, put her arm around my neck and pulled me close and said “Thank you Santa for last Christmas, I got everything on my list.”  I said something to the effect that she had been a very good girl that year, and that I hope she was continuing that good behavior, to which she responded that she was.  She then looked at the guys (who had been paying close attention to the our conversation) and asked me who they were.  To which I responded “They are my elves.”  To which she said that one is kinda big, to which I said he handles the big stuff, which met her approval.  She then turned her attention back to me completely and began talking about all the things she wanted the coming Christmas. I gently told her it was too early in the year to begin accepting orders for the coming Christmas, and that she should sit down with her Mom or Dad later in the year and put together a list and letter.  She smiled and said okay, to which I reminded her that she needed to be a good girl all year, and she insisted she would.  She then slide off my lap, and started to walk back to her mom when she turned to me and in a very serious tone asked “Why are you in Orlando?” I smiled back at her and said, because we are on vacation.  To the group she said “I hope you guys have a great vacation” the guys lifted their glasses to her and said “thanks” in group.  And that ended that encounter.   The Mom and Dad did smile and acknowledge what transpired and the dad mouthed “thank you” to us.

The reason I am sharing this post now instead of waiting for the Christmas season, is because during the cruise, I was sitting alone reading and looking out the window as my family was visiting the turtles, and this young man broke away from his dad and came right over to me and asked if I were Santa.  It was July, we are in the Gulf of Mexico, on a Disney Ship, having the Disney time of our lives, and this one little man asked if I were Santa, I knotted a conformation and that’s all it took he went back to his dad and said something like I didn’t expect to meet Santa on the cruise.  But he warmed my heart.  See this was the 1st time I had been asked if I were Santa since I started using oxygen 24/7.  I hadn’t realized how important those cases of mistaken identities had been to me.

As always your thoughts and comments are encouraged and welcomed.  Take care, have a great day.  — Bill

                        

 
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Posted by on August 7, 2013 in Grandpa Stories, Humor, Ramblings

 

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January 1, 2013 …. Resolutions

Happy New Year, welcome to 2013.  The time has come to consider all of the New Year resolutions you and I made last night and even a couple of days ago.  Before I get to mine let’s talk a moment about resolutions.  This is the 1st year I have made a resolution in many years.  Over the years I have made resolutions to, quit smoking, be a better person, to lose weight, to be a better spouse, to think before I spoke, and on and on and on.  To some degree I have been relatively successful in some of these, and total failures in others.

I truly believe that resolutions are made in all sincerity.  You look at yourself, you evaluate yourself, you like some of what you see and you see stuff you don’t like, or you recognize things that you know you need to correct or change. Sometimes it’s a resolution to grow closer to your family, or to start going to church more often, to lose weight, or quit smoking, or even to eat less cake, on a more serious side it maybe to stop drug use or drinking.  After all the thinking about it, the fretting about it, the wondering if you can.  After all that, you join the zillions of folks who every New Year’s Eve makes at least one resolution to better themselves, or the environment you/they/I live in.  Over 20 years ago I made one resolution, it had been one I had made again and again for several years, and one that usually lasted no longer than January 3rd, or a week at most of whatever year I made it.  But one year I yet again made the resolution to quit smoking, I lasted as usual until January 2nd before I broke the resolution, but unlike other years, I revisited this resolution during the year and I did in fact stop smoking.  That resolution is one of the most significant I have made over the years that I have managed to follow thru on and keep.

Last night we had several folks over to celebrate the New Year, as I was grilling the steaks for dinner and I was relaying the story to a friend of my resolution about smoking.  My friend smokes, he smokes a lot, and he has had a recent health scare, significant enough to him to consider quitting.  He now is making an effort to quit. The effort started last night.  I think he has made progress. Yes he smoked last night, but so so much less than he would normally.  That alone is progress.  I wish him all the luck in the world and applaud his effort.  Stopping smoking requires determination and to a degree luck.

Maybe someday I will make a resolution to lose the extra weight I insist on carrying around.  Who knows, maybe I won’t.

Now on to my resolution for 2013, my resolution is quite simple.  I resolve to be here on December 31, 2013 to make a resolution for 2014.  Because of my continuing health issues, I don’t make this resolution lightly, and it’s not made tongue in cheek.  To this end, I will do what I can to be successful.  I will continue my workouts, I will visit my doctors on a regular basis, and heed their instructions and I will try to live a healthier lifestyle.

To those of you who have made resolutions for 2013, I wish you all the luck and determination necessary to keep yours.  I wish you success in your efforts.  As we all know resolutions are easy to make, and very hard to keep.  If you need encouragement send me a note, and I will offer additional encouragement.

Thank you for taking the time to stop by and reading my post, I do appreciate the time you spend with me.  Your comments and suggestions are always welcome.

Take care, Bill

 
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Posted by on January 1, 2013 in Humor, Observations, Ramblings

 

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