Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Thought-Filled Thursday

"Happiness is a choice that requires effort at times."

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Other Side of the Coin

You probably read my rant about WalMart and their Customer Service. Well, the very next day, I went to the True Value hardware store and an exact opposite experience.
I bought a lamp at a garage sale on Friday while I was out running around with Curley. I got it home and found that the little bolt on the harp (loopy thingy that holds the shade) wasn't long enough to go through the hole on the antique stained glass shade that I already had. (That's the real reason I bought the lamp in the first place.) I messed around with it for a while, trying different things I had around the house, to no avail.
Saturday, I took the harp and the decorative finial and went to True Value to see if they had something that could be added to what was already there. This nice young man listened while I explained what was needed. He went to the cabinets of bolts, couplers, etc, of which there must have been thousands. No luck there. He tried different departments, checking thread sizes and I don't know what all. Finally, he came to me and said that he could take it apart, remove the little bolt, put in another longer one, cut some sort of groove in the head of the new bolt so it would fit in a flange and on and on. I sort of knew what he was talking about, so I told him to go ahead. He disappeared into their work room. I strolled up and down the aisles of the store. It's been a long time since I have really perused a hardware store. Wow! The stuff available to us today is mind boggling. Soon, Young Man comes out, shows me what he had done. Just what he said he was going to do. I asked him how much...63cents. Can you believe that? When I asked how much for his time, he said, "Nothing, it's part of the service here, just glad I could help." I thanked him profusely, shook his hand, and headed for the cashier. She was courteous, friendly, and had a smile. I asked her if I could leave a tip for Young Man, and she said that they weren't allowed to accept tips. What a store!!!
I thanked her too, and said it was a shame that they didn't sell groceries!! I will go back there the next time I have a "hardware crisis."
This store is locally owned. I know the owner and his wife. They are both civic minded, and really cool people. Brian is one shop owner that has taken a small business, made it grow, and is even in the process of expanding into the shop next door that closed (another victim of WalMart). With customer service like his store offers, it's no wonder his business is a success!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

What I Read #61,#62,#63

Rusty Nail, Dirty Martini, Fuzzy Navel: all by J A Konrath: I just finish reading all the "Jack Daniel" books that our library had available. There are more! All of these are hilarious, yet fast moving mysteries. Jack and Herb continue to clean up the city of Chicago, catching the bad guys one at a time.
From snuff videos, to porta-potties, the action never ceases. Jack gets into one close call after another. Harry McGlade, the bumbling ex-partner of Jack's, now turned PI, is always close at hand to either lend a helping hand or get in the way.
There is never a dull moment in any of these novels.
Happy Reading,

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Addendum to WalMart Post

I just saw a commercial for WalMart that showed a perky, helpful, and courteous cashier helping a mom buying school supplies. Where are these cashiers in real life? I'm just sayin'...

Friday, August 26, 2011

Another Unbelievable WalMart Experience

Today, after a wonderful breakfast at a local eatery, my good friend Curley and I set out for our WalMart. We strolled around the whole store. I didn't really want to spend much more money this close to the end of the month, and I didn't have anything I needed except a loaf of bread. Curley didn't have a list, but needed to stop in the yarn department, then electronics. Then we traversed to the grocery department where we picked up a few things, checked the price on booze, laughed over a shopper pushing his cart backwards down an aisle, and generally had fun just being goofy. That is until we got to the checkout. I sometimes think the entire gene pool of our checkout staff would fit in a shot glass, but today just cemented that thought into reality. Being the typical WalMart, only 6 of the 22 checkout stations were open. And of course, they were all busy. So, we stood in what had to be the slowest line. I have experienced this cashier before. He is so slow, it's like watching a slow motion film seeing him check out merchandise. But I digress! Finally, it was our turn. I only had 3 items (why didn't I use the Express Lane...DUH!) So I went first. No problem, except for Slo-Mo. He was just slow!!! Then it was Curley's turn. She stood there as Slo-Mo checked out each item. I watched him and he sort of caressed each item as he checked it through the scanner. That was just weird! He said an amount, and my eyes got wide, but it was Curley's stuff and she was paying with her debit card, not mine, so I just stayed quiet. She said to Slo-Mo, that she thought he made a mistake, charging her $92.35 for a package of day old cookies marked $1.94. He gave her a superior look, and said that she would have to take it up with Customer Service since he had already rung up and cashed out her merchandise! Well, I was pissed!!!!! As we walked towards the customer service area, I was ranting and raving about Slo-Mo's stupidity, his ineptitude as a cashier, his ugly "S" shaped posture, and especially his just being an asshat!!
We waited our turn at CS and finally got to see a CS rep. Curley explained to her what had happened. She was very apologetic, and proceeded to take care of the problem. I was still ranting and said that Slo-Mo was a blight on WalMart, which was already blighted in my opinion, but was the only general merchandise store in town, and what choice did we have, and on and on. Then, the CS rep couldn't get the computer to do what it had to do, for when Slo-Mo rang it up, he screwed up the UPC code some way or another, and the CS computer wouldn't pick up the same thread, or some such lingo. Curley, who has plenty of patience, suggested that they just refund the mistaken money, and resell her the cookies at the regular marked price. I was really getting hot about this time and just started to rant again, and Curley turned to me and very nicely said, "why don't you take the cart and go sit on that bench or, you could wait in the car if you want to." I shut up, took the cart, and went to sit on the bench at the edge of the CS area. Fifteen minutes later, here came Curley. She was still smiling and wasn't upset. Just glad she got her $92.35 back. We went on to the car, put our stuff in and sat down. Curley said she thought they gave her back too much money. Turns out that the cookies are a non-taxable item because they are food, and when they refunded Curley's money, they also refunded the 7% state tax on $92.35!! Curley said that maybe she should take it back in. I said, "Hell no!" put the car in gear before she could change her mind and got the heck out of there. She has to go back on Sunday for her regular grocery buying, and knowing her like I do, she will probably cave in and take the receipt and the extra money back. I would just consider it a service charge.
I needed to chill out and relax,so we went to McDonald's and I had a sweet tea!
I am not done, I am composing a letter to WalMart Corporate to tell them about this whole affair. Slo-Mo better watch his "P's and Q's" because I am out to get him. I am just so tired of being treated like crap at their check out counters. I think WalMart sends their cashiers to "Nasty School" before they can become a cashier. I have already shifted my prescriptions to another pharmacy just because of their service at WalMart pharmacy. Kroger Pharmacy has the same low cost prescription program, and are a lot more friendly and efficient.

Rant over, but steam still rolling whenever I think about it!

Peace, (well maybe tomorrow)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thought-Filled Thursday

Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

What I Read #60

Bloody Mary by J A Konrath: Jacqueline Daniels, officer with the CPD, is again faced with finding a psychotic murderer who is wreaking havoc on the city of Chicago. Enlisting the help of her partner, Herb Benedict, Jack begins the manhunt. When tragedy strikes very close to home, Jack is bound and determined to find the killer. While trying to do her job, she is also trying to get her love life in order, and deal with her mom, a former cop herself.
Told in a manner that will bring smiles to your face, even a laugh now and then, this story is still a spellbinder, and some passages are not for the faint-of-heart.

Happy Reading,

What I Read #59

Whiskey Sour by J A Konrath: The first in the Jacqueline "Jack" Daniels mystery series. Jack is a lieutenant with the Chicago Police Department. She is in her mid forties and feels like she is missing the best part of her life being "married" to her job. Her ex-husband left her years ago because she spent too much time on the job, not in the home.
There is someone stalking and murdering women on the streets of Chicago. It is up to Jack and her partner, the always noshing Herb Benedict. Together they begin to put the pieces together that are needed to catch this psycho.
Told in plain language, with generous helpings of humor, even the most serious reader will find moments when he or she laughs out loud.
This is one series that I think I will enjoy. In fact, I have begun reading the next in the series. They are all names after bar drinks, which in itself his humorous.

Happy Reading,

Friday, August 19, 2011

What I read #58

Wildcrafters by Sky Kathleen Moody: Venus Diamond, a Fish and Wildlife Service agent is on her honeymoon. She is called back to work when a small child goes missing on an Indian Reservation in western Washington State. Clues tell Venus and her crew, that little Paris Nighteagle was taken by a wild animal. But those in the area that know that animals are creatures of habit, think differently.
While delving into the mystery, Venus encounters those of the native tribe that are "wildcrafters," or people who harvest the natural products, including herbs, and wild mushrooms, and sell to the outside world. It seems that someone is harvesting more than that on the reservation.
Wildcrafters gave insight to a little known craft of the woods. One that has been passed down from generation to generation. Ms Moody tells the story well, and lets the reader learn as they read. I give this one a definite "thumbs up."

Happy Reading,

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thought-filled Thursday

The world will pass away, but love and beauty will remain.
~ Scottish proverb


Friends I Have Never Met

In this age of technology, I am constantly amazed at the things we can do with computers. But, the most amazing thing is getting to know people from other places.
Many years ago, my late wife Tilly got connected to a "chat room" called "Neverland." It was one of those chat rooms with rules you had to abide by or the monitor could kick you off. No swearing, no slam dunks to others, no racial slurs, etc. She would spend hours after supper on there visiting with people from all over the world.
There were Bub and Glint. Bub and Glint were a youngish couple with the desire to see America. They lived in New Zealand. They had three pre-teenage children. One summer, they hired an aupair to care for their children, refinanced their home, and flew to America, where they rented a car, and traveled the USA visiting all their friends that they had made on the internet. Yes, we opened our home to them for three days and nights. We took them on a tour of the historical sites around our area, out to eat, to visit the rest of our family, and generally had a good time. What a leap of faith for all of us. They could have been "axe murderers" for all we knew but then, we could have been scary, too. We heard from them after they got home, but then life sort of got in the way, and we ceased to keep in contact.
There are also Gary and June. They too live in New Zealand. They are my age, retired, and living in Wellington. The nice thing about Gary and June is that, after all these years, we still keep in touch. I know what they are doing, and how they are doing. They don't have grandchildren, so are always anxious to hear about mine. When Tilly passed away, Gary and June were on the list of people whom I felt a need to notify. They were indeed saddened, and sent a beautiful card of condolence. I know Gary likes to garden, and has beautiful flowers. I know that June likes to bowl and has trophies. She also likes everything Christmas, One year we sent her ornaments for their tree from here. Stuff they cannot get there. We also sent her a catalog from Bronner's Christmas Wonderland in Michigan.
As a matter of fact, I just got snail mail from Gary yesterday bringing me up to date with his recovery from a stroke and consequently, brain surgery. He is doing well. Their computer crashed some time ago, and they haven't replaced it, so we use snail mail quite often to keep in touch. We exchange pictures, so it's like having relatives in another land.
Then there is Mellodee. Mel and I have been blogging buddies now for most of 2011. She and her hubby are about my age. They live in Austin, TX. Mel and I have so much in common, that we laugh about being twins separated at birth. We blog and comment on each other's blogs, and we also send e mails to each other. I know that Mellodee is not her "real" name and she know that I am not really "Jimmieearl." (Who would actually name a boy that, anyhow?) I know that no matter how I feel about a subject, I can always say what I think on Mel's blog and she will not be upset with me, and vice-verse. We have even talked about meeting for coffee sometime when I am in Texas. My brother only lives about 3 hours from Austin, so it is a possibility.
I have about 35 followers on my blog. Most of whom I don't know. Some comment, some don't. But it is nice to know that out there in cyberspace, there are some people who share the same interests or hopes or dreams that I do.
Yes, a computer is a marvelous invention. It has made our world so much smaller. It has made living easier, and friends and relatives closer. If I can find any fault, it would be lack of actually writing a letter, and that I spend way too much time sitting in front of a computer screen. But, on the other hand, oh gee, I'm retired and have the time to spend!

Monday, August 15, 2011

What I Read #57

Deeper Waters by Mary Morgan: Attorney Noah Richards is renting a beautiful home on the shores near Seattle. He is thinking seriously of buying the house until a Native American's body is washed up on the beach near it. Noah had just met this young man earlier that day.
What he finds as he investigates the young man's demise is a mini civil war between the developers of the Seattle coastline and the Native Americans.
Without adding a lot of extraneous detail, Mary Morgan develops her characters and their places in the story.
I enjoyed Morgan's writing style and story-telling ability.

Happy Reading,

What I Read #56

Breach of Trust by David Ellis: Criminal Defense Attorney Jason Kolarich returns in this suspense filled novel. A novel of political corruption and action, it is guaranteed to be thrilling to the end. You won't want to put it down until the last sentence is read.

Happy Reading,

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Thought-filled Thursday

Oops! I forgot about this, so I am posting this late:

“To live in this world, you

must be able to do three things:

to love what is mortal, to hold it against

your bones knowing you own

life depends on it, and when the time comes

to let it go, to let it go.”

Mary Oliver (American poet)



Tuesday, August 09, 2011

To Dog or not to Dog..That is the QUESTion!

Since I was a child, except for brief respites, there has always been a canine around the house. When I was very young, we always were getting a new puppy, because we lived in the country, next to a state highway, and our dogs were always escaping the confines of the fenced-in back yard, and running away, or meeting their fate, unfortunately, under the wheels of fast-moving vehicles.
We had several breeds, but the one that comes to mind is the Boston Bull Terrier. Cute, loveable, and well behaved. We had two of that breed, one after the other; the first one living over 16 years.

When I married, I talked my new wife into getting a Border Collie. That was a fun dog. Intelligent, again loveable, and a good watch dog. When we moved off the farm and into town, we gave "Brandy" to some friends who lived in the country so she wouldn't have to be confined to our small back yard. She lived a long time, finally succumbing to old age. We then owned a Poodle, who hated me, a Schnauzer who didn't like Kiddo being around, and finally a Pug. The Pug was Tilly's dog from day one. And, strangely enough, about six weeks before Tilly passed away, she decided to find the Pug a new home. She interviewed several families, and finally settled on one. I still think Tilly had a premonition that she was going away.

Since then, I have been dog-less. I keep saying, "I don't want a dog. I don't want the responsibility of house training a puppy. No! No! NO!" But in truth, as I grow older, I think I wouldn't mind having a pooch around. Now, that being said, I am still in the thinking stage. I KNOW that I don't want some tiny, yappy, "wannabe" dog. What I want is a Black Lab. I am thinking a female, who has already been "fixed" and is house trained. I don't want to begin in the puppy stage again. I have new furniture, and carpets and I don't want them ruined, so house-trained is a must. I want a dog who likes to walk with me on a leash. Yes, that might take some training, but I would be okay with that.

The big thing, and this is a big thing, is what to do with said dog when I travel. The last thing I would do to my brother and sister-in-law is take a dog into their home. I fly many of the trips, so taking a dog along would be either out or too costly. As long as Prof is still living with me, she would probably be willing to care for a dog, but she doesn't particularly like dogs, so I would hate to ask her, and Lil Bro has two children, going to school, a home of his own, and a full-time job, so asking him to dog sit is completely out of the question. I have a friend who runs a kennel and k-9 training school in a nearby city who would be more than willing to keep my dog, but that's another expense. So the quandary continues. Do I go ahead and adopt a Black Lab when one comes available, or do I remain dog-less? If I do get a dog, I will name her Bernice!

Monday, August 08, 2011

Technology Overload

Okay, this is just my opinion, and my complaining, but after all, it's my blog, so I can whine if I want to. (Brings back a song lyric, "it's my party, and I'll cry if I want to..")
The school where I taught, a middle school consisting of grades 6 through 8, has written a grant and gotten money to allow each and every child who enrolls to have a lap top computer. Along with the purchase of said computers, came the software and hardware the school needs to run the entire program.

This all sounds well and good, doesn't it? And since I am no longer there, I am out of the loop. But, I do know, and I can see it at my own house, that already kids spend too much time in front of a computer screen. I read recently that by the time a male reaches age 21, he will have spent over 10,000 hours just playing video games. I don't know who did this survey, but that is some scary stuff. (I don't know what the girls are doing, this specifically mentioned guys. Girls are probably texting and spending Facebook time!)

My big concerns are that we are making our students lazy. They no longer will have to "write" anything on paper, trips to the library will become less frequent, for there is all the research material they need right at their fingertips. Homework can be emailed to the teacher, etc, etc. And speaking of the teachers, I talked to a few who were complaining about having to spend so much of their summer at school rewriting lesson plans, learning how the new system is working and so on, but what they neglected to add was that they were getting paid handsomely for every hour they were there, above and beyond their usual salary.

Another thing, though the parents had to sign a user contract, and so did the students, I have seen students, especially my "special ed" ones have melt downs and throw their books across the room, and have a "tizzy fit." What happens when they throw the laptop across the room. Oh, there is insurance for damage, and the most a parent can be responsible for is $100.00! Well, since over 50% of our kids are on free or reduced lunch, and tuition, and lots of them have never had to pay anything at all, and have even had library fines excused, how can the school expect them to come up with a damage payment. How about having them pay a $400.00 refundable deposit at the beginning of the school year? Sounds good to me.

It will be interesting to sit back, at home luckily, and see what happens. I have heard of other schools that have had great success, and I really hope this goes well. I hope the teachers take the ball and run with it. I saw "smart boards" come into the classrooms while I was there, and was amazed at some of the teacher's attitudes of not wanting to learn how to use them. Lots of money wasted there, and I sincerely hope, in this day of reduction of spending on education, that these same teachers will at least take advantage of this opportunity. I have seen lots of teachers lose their jobs around our area and across the nation, and I wonder if this "grant" money could have been spent more wisely at this time.

Okay, enough griping, I will shut up now!


Lots to Choose From

Last week I changed my carrier service for my internet, cable, and phone. I can't remember when my late wife and I subscribed to the one we had, but past billings showed that over the years, the price had nearly doubled. So it was time to go cheaper. It's the only utility that I can have any say-so on how much I am charged.
I called a new provider in town, got a quote, and made the change. After I was all connected, the technician handed me a sheet with items circled. The items circled was what came with my new cable package. Wow! I didn't even know that many channels existed out there on the air waves. I can watch all kinds of cooking shows, numerous sports channels, lots of movies and of course, my favorite, Create, a channel for crafters, gardeners, and cooks, with some travel thrown in. I even have this new box included in my package that lets me record stuff automatically. A DVR. Wow, again!
Now I have to figure out how to run a new remote, and where to find my most watched channels. CBS, my favorite, is no longer found on channel 2. It is now on 15. I haven't even found the Fox network channel yet, but have to do that before the new season for Glee comes on. I did find lots of Major League Baseball games on Saturday. Wow! Once again!
I can even watch old Country Music videos, and listen to all kinds of music. My brother will be in "bliss" the next time he comes to visit, for now I have the Western Channel.
Lots to learn, and for a person who watches very little TV, maybe it's over the top. But, hey, it was the cheapest, on special, deal they had, and the price is locked in until January, 2013. Who knows, maybe they won't raise the rates even then. Yeah, right. But until then, I can enjoy all this and more, and be saving $35.00 a month in the process. Go me!

Technically challenged,

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Did I Say"Crochet?"

Yes I did! Last winter I was bored, and housebound much of the time, simply because it was too cold to get out and to much snow to get about. So, Curley taught me to crochet. Does this make me a sissy? Oh, I don't think so.
In my research about crocheting, I found it interesting that there really isn't much history about crochet. But I did learn that in earlier times, while women actually did the spinning of the wool into yarn, men would crochet the yarn into usable cloth and clothing. Those beautiful Irish sweaters were often knit by men, too.
For centuries fishermen have mended their own nets. Yes, they use a shuttle-like bobbin instead of a hook, but the basic series of loops and knots they use are the same as the "fillet" stitch used in crochet. I wonder if that is why it is called "fillet." Interesting.
I wonder why our society puts so much stock in what is stuff that women do, and what is stuff that men do. I also do laundry, cook and clean. So why do I feel like I need to keep the fact that I can sew, and crochet a little quiet? Might someone think lesser of me? Maybe, but at my age, I shouldn't care. And, really I don't.
Word is getting out, though, because I have donated several pieces to my church's prayer shawl ministry. I also have made them for friends and family.
This is an interesting hobby, not too expensive, and one that is pretty rewarding when I see the finished product. I do find it hard to stick to a set pattern. I want to change little things along the way. Creative and fun! What more can an artsy ask for!!

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Rain and Other Stuff

It rained last night. I have no idea how much, but there are puddles out there! The lightening was beginning to flash as I turned off my bedside reading light, and I struggled to stay awake to see if it would rain. But, alas, I fell asleep and missed it. (Good thing though, because last evening I told my daughter and grandson that if it actually rained, I was going out on the back step and sit in it in my underwear...without an umbrella!) Things look a little greener, and now the weeds will continue to grow. Maybe the grass will too.
Right now it is gray and gloomy and I am hopeful that we might get a little more of the wet stuff. I am getting a new internet, cable, and phone provider today, and I don't know if they are too keen on getting on the truck lift to string wire if there is lightening in the area. I know I wouldn't be.
I am fighting another ear infection, or what feels like one. I can hear the "thump thump" of my heartbeat in there, and it snaps and cracks, and has some drainage. I have a new med that I am suppose to use at the first sign, so maybe this will be the one that works.
I am not looking forward to the biopsy that is coming up in just 14 days. Guys that have had them tell me that the discomfort is minimal, but that doesn't allay my fears too much. More, I am concerned with what the Dr. will find once he gets there. That is the scary part. I correspond regularly with an old friend who is wife to a physician. She talked to him, and he passed along the advice that this type of test is the only way to be sure there is nothing wrong with the prostate, and the PSA blood tests are not always accurate.
We must all be careful out there on the streets now. School is beginning in many areas, and kids are once again afoot. They seem to think that the crosswalks and signals and signs are for everyone else but them. So, please watch out for the kids!
I continue to crochet. It is a good pastime for sitting in the AC, and we all know just how much time we have spent in the AC this summer, and my recent electric bill, which I received this AM reflects it. Ouch! I want to say that it is worth every penny of it, but those are mighty precious pennies. The utility companies have us all by the short hair in this day and age. But that's fodder for another blog, another day.


Tuesday, August 02, 2011

What's Wrong Out There?

Since becoming a member of Facebook, it has been interesting to look at the Facebook walls of some of my former students. I like to look at the pictures they have posted and marvel at how much they have changed since Middle School. I also like to read what they have to say. Most of them don't hold back either. They simply tell it like it is, at least from their point of view. I wonder if their parents ever read what they have written. I think they would be amazed at just how mature these kids act and how knowledgeable they are about a lot of stuff. Some good, a lot, not so good.
I am finding that there is one thing that almost all of them have in common. They want to get out of this town. They hate it here. Now I have to ask myself just why this is. No matter where they live, kids always say, "there's nothing to do." Well, maybe our town "fathers" should listen to what our youth are saying.
We have a new "Y." It is a beautiful facility with all the trappings. A huge pool, work out facilities, etc. But membership there is prohibitive. I belong just because they recognize my "silver sneakers" privilege on my medical insurance. But the average teen cannot afford it, nor can their parents.
We have a wonderful, outdoor swimming pool. Well maintained, but overrun with elementary and smaller kids all day long. It has become a "cheap" baby sitting service, and I know that there are parents who drop their kids off there at noon and pick them up when they get off work. Teenagers don't want to hang out there because of the smaller ones, who get in the way and are inconsiderate. Cost is another factor. It's expensive to go with the daily rate, and season passes are expensive, too. And, it closes at 7:00pm. Now, on these hot evenings, who closes a pool at 7:00 pm? That's just plain stupid.
The kids have a skateboarding thing (not sure what it is called) but the people who came up with it, put it in a place that isn't too desirable. And it is not monitored by an adult, so there is an undesirable clientele who hang out there and word has it that drugs change hands there frequently.
We have a beautiful city park. Again, it is designed for the wee folk, and unless you are in little league and can utilize the many baseball diamonds available, the only thing you can do there is hang out and get into trouble. It is not well lit at night, so it closes at dark. Again, it lacks adult supervision on a regular basis.
Our town is blessed with lots of "fast food" places. The kids love to hang out at them, but the owners all have posted the "city ordinance" which prevents the kids from just parking and gabbing like we used to do at one of the filling stations after it closed in my town.
Our sports field where adults and older teens play community service baseball all summer long is half a mile out of town. On a state highway, making it treacherous walking or biking to and from it. It used to have a mini golf, and some other activities available there, but again, the owner priced the games so high, that the kids couldn't afford them, and he finally had to close them down. The ball diamonds still flourish, though.
So, now that I have made a list, not complete by any means, of some of the things available, yet unreachable for most teens, is it any wonder they hate it here, and want to "get outta town?"
I hate to tell them, but they would find the same thing, even in NYC or Chicago. There are things to do there, but they are expensive, or restricted, too.
One of my former students, a beautiful girl of, maybe 15, stated recently on her post, that she wanted to go to Las Vegas and marry a male stripper. Now, I am thinking, that maybe we do need to find these kids more to do with their time.


Monday, August 01, 2011


August is a month for remembering. On August 2, 1969, I took the one and only stroll down the aisle and got married. A marriage that lasted 38 years, 1 month, 22 days, and 6 hours. It was a hot, sunny day, much like today. The church was packed with family and friends who were brave enough to get out in the heat and into a sanctuary that was totally void of air conditioning. Neither my lovely bride, nor I were nervous. We had memorized our vows, much to our pastor's chagrin. He was afraid we would forget midst ceremony. But we didn't. My new mother-in-law was nervous enough for both of us. She lost it when the soloist sang "Sunrise, Sunset" during the ceremony. (Laugh, but that was a real popular wedding song 42 years ago.) Our reception was held at a local Community Center, which was air conditioned. We served cake and punch, mints and nuts to over 300 people, and had a great time.
Another August memory happened one year later on August 1, 1970. Our first born was stillborn. We don't know why; he was perfectly normal, had all toes, and fingers, no cord wrapped around his neck, but sometime during the birth process, his little heart just quit beating. A heartbreaking event for a newly married couple? Yes. It could have made our marriage a rocky one, but it didn't. It could have shaken our faith in God, but it didn't. If anything, it strengthened us. This tragedy made us closer to each other.
Other things have happened in August, like lost jobs, and lost money, but those things only made us stronger yet.
Watching our children start school each August was fun. I remember Tilly walking the route with a determined Prof for two weeks before her first day of Kindergarten, so Mom wouldn't be walking with her. Little did she know that Mom followed her, at least part of the way that first day, just to make sure she got there okay. When it came time for Lil Bro to go to school, Mom had to practically haul him kicking and screaming out the door and into the school building. He didn't want to go...ever. Still, at age 16, we had to bribe him to keep him in school.
So, as another August begins, it is cause for remembering, Some memories not so fond, some, very nice to remember. It's those memories that have made life interesting and worth living every day.