Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Calling

The other day I received news that the Mother of my neighbor, Bill, passed away. The calling was at a funeral home in a small town near here. It's a small place, but very nice. The owners are a couple that live with their family in the back. They take care of everything between the two of them.

With larger funeral homes you have to say the name of the deceased so the door person can direct you to what room they are in, but with this place, there is usually only one there at a time. So I just walked on in when the Mrs opened the door. It wasn't hard to find everyone there. Lots of townspeople were there, as well as a few relatives of mine.

I made my way past the groups of people gathered in spots along the way to the room where the viewing was and found Bill. He had a beverage in his hand, and I walked up to him, and gave him a hug. I was kind of weird, as we just pass banters back and forth across the road, and help one another out sometimes. Just idle chit chat for the most part is the extent of our conversations. So here we are, in a funeral home, with his family and friends, and his dead Mother.

These things are so awkward. What in the world does one say. You can't harldy begin the conversation with "hi, how are you," as it's obvious that they aren't that great. So, I said hi, I'm so sorry, and kind of grabbed both of his hands. You could just tell he needed more than that, so I gave him a hug He said thanks for coming, and off we went to where the body was. I just hate that, and I could tell most everyone does too, as everyone was gathered outside or at the very edge of the room she was in. But then, when you think about it, we aren't all there for the body, we are all there for each other. So it makes sense.

I learned a few things about his Mother; she was 93, and he said she was really ready to go. Then, he starts talking about how hard it must have been to raise him, and his brother. I guess they were quite rowdy, and liked to get into trouble when they were young. You could tell he was running through events of the past in his head.

After a short while, I told him I was on my way to work, and needed to get going, so he started to walk me to the door. He put his arm around me, and his eyes started to get red and well up, and his voice got all shakey and said "Thanks for coming. It really meant a lot to me." I was doing so well up to that point. I lost it and started to tear up.

You know, we don't always realize how much a person can touch another. Everyone gets so busy, and we all have people we talk to often; but don't really talk to. You know what I mean? All of the people you see every day and say hi to, and fire off a quick "how are you?"

I guess in the years of hollering back and forth across the road, and the short chats about the weather, and our mole problems in the yard, and noting the small changes around the house and yard, can really mean more than a person thinks. Over the years, it turns into kind of a sense of a family, in a way.

A New Color!

I was looking at the Easter candy yesterday, and found these! Green Peeps! I wonder if they are just as good as the others. I only like the yellow, and white peeps, as with the pink and purple, I can taste the red food coloring. Yum

Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Car Wash

I took my car to the car wash today to get some of the grime and salt off the car. I haven't been paying too much attention to washing the car, because I don't want all of the paint to come off the car just yet. It has been a sore subject with this paint peeling business. The manufacture won't honor the recall for this car. Anyway, I had a coupon for a free car wash and decided to use it. This particular car wash loves to hold up a menu wanting you to upgrade your wash to some deluxe feature, including a wax. I dared the kid to ask if I wanted a wax for the car, but he knew better. Instead, he asked if I wanted the "wheel bright" treatment. Now I ask you, what point is there to having shiney tires with a car that looks like this... Bless his heart for trying.

Monday, February 19, 2007


I just hate change. Blogger has caught up with me with the new changes they have made, and already, I don't like it. Yet another name and password, and more new things I can do without. I must be old fashioned, as I don't see a need to "new and improve" every little thing in my life.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Why I Don't Do Puzzles Very Often

Marcie's Valentine

Marcie absently stared out the window while she did the dishes. She had quite a pile to be washed; she had been in a slump and hadn't felt like doing much lately. "Another Valentine's Day, and here I am at home doing dishes," she sighed out loud. She heard the dog barking out by the driveway and noticed a big white limousine pulling in. A Tall woman in a driver's uniform stepped out.

As she walked out to meet the driver half way, she thought to herself, "Surely this isn't the house she wants."

"Is this the home of Marcie Stumps?" asked the driver.

"Yes it is," replied Marcie with a puzzled look on her face.

"I have instructions to take you to the city. There is no need to change; everything is being taken care of. I'll wait for you in the car."

At that moment, all kinds of things raced through Marcie's head, but the thought of a ride in a nice limousine sure beat doing the dishes. She wiped her hands on the towel that was draped over her shoulder, gave it a toss into the yard, and hopped into the car.

Upon entering she couldn't help notice another woman sitting across from the seat she was sliding on. The woman said, "My name is Maxine and I am to give you a manicure and do your hair on the drive. There are some clothes hanging over here you are to wear."

Marcie's eyes slowly took in the beautiful black dress hanging neatly on the hook, and resting in the corner of her seat, a pair of sheer hosiery with a seam in the back and a pair of black pumps. She picked up a shoe and inside was a jewelry box with a pair of simple diamond earrings and necklace.

"Your admirer thought of everything," said Maxine as she buffed Marcie's nails. "When I am done with your manicure, I will fix your hair and apply your makeup for you. We should have just enough time to get it all done before we arrive, and I'm sorry but I can't answer any questions you have, I was given strict orders to keep quiet."

The limo pulled up in front of Joey's, the finest restaurant in town. The driver got out and opened the door for Marcie, admiring the dramatic change since first seeing her in the yard with a towel draped over her shoulder.

Marcie got out and was directed to the door where the waiter walked her to a table where a striking woman wearing a black jacket and white blouse sat waiting. There was Champaign chilling beside the table and red roses at her chair.

"You may not know who I am, but we talked for a while a year or so ago from the personals in the paper," said the woman.

Marcie searched her mind and remembered this wonderful woman she had talked to that seemed to have just disappeared.

"My name is Judy, and I have been in love with you since the day we said hello, and I have been overseas all of this time on business. I would like to know if you would go back with me and spend the rest of your..."

All of the sudden Marcie heard a crash. The pile of dishes toppled over and snapped her back to reality.

"Maybe next year," Marcie sighed as she wiped a lone tear off her cheek and dipped her hands in the dish water.


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

I spent the day watching the snow blowing outside, thankful that I don't live in a cardboard box, or a teepee, or a log cabin with no heat. I walked into the kitchen, looked out the window at the bird feeder, and there was a bluebird eating. A rare sight!

I am a happy camper.


The "some accumulation" the first weather guy said in the last blog is now an official blizzard. I have milk, bread, and all I need to sock in for a few days.

On another note, last night at about 10:30, my brother calls. He was passing through on the train, and said he would be going by in about 10 seconds. I hung up the phone, went outside to hear the whistle. Sure enough, I heard "shave and a hair cut" singing from the whistle of the train at every crossing. That has to be hard for the engineer to do as it somehow has to be one continuous blast in order to be regulation. A few minutes later, the phone rings again, and it's my brother, laughing. "I heard it!" I told him. Then he said I love you and hung up.

I went to sleep smiling last night.

Sunday, February 11, 2007


I just have to take a minute and complain about our local weather forecasters. This morning when I came on line, I checked the weather forecast, and noticed there was an alert. So I clicked on the details and it said something like "possible heavy amounts of snow coming starting Monday." I turn on the local news, and the weather man said "we may get some snow, even accumulation." Not even saying a ball park amount, or even saying it's a storm. So I turn on a different station, and this guy is saying there is a winter storm warning and we may get the heaviest snow amount so far this year, and then puts up a map. 6-10 inches. Now what I want to know is....WHERE did the guy on the other station learn his weather forecasting skills?

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Same Ole, Same Ole

I have been kind of in a state of hibernation the last month or so, only coming out for the Super Bowl, and only going out for work and errands. It has been so cold these last few weeks, that the only place I want to be, is in my toasty warm house. The jigsaw puzzle is out on the table, being worked on from time to time, and that's about the highlight of the month.

It has been below zero every night for the last week, and not a whole lot warmer during the day. The weather people had said that towards the end of the week we would have a warm up and it would be almost 30 degrees, but it never happened. The icing on this ice cake, is that the thermostat on the car is taking a dump, and it isn't heating up. I haven't been scraping the ice of the inside of the windshield yet, but it's close. Monday, I hope to have that fixed. Fine time for it to go out isn't it? Thankfully it has been sunny, so it seems warmer than it really is, if you happen to be by a window somewhere.

I enjoyed my drive home today, the ice is finally frozen enough for people to go out on, and in one town I drive through, saw some boys shoveling snow off a big square of ice. I see a hockey game coming soon for them. A group of children had sleds, and were headed home with their dog, all covered with snow, their cheeks bright red from the cold. I see some hot chocolate coming their way soon.

I remember when I was young, not even noticing how cold it was, and spent most of the winter at the park ice skating or sledding. It seems now days, it is rarely cold enough for kids to enjoy the winter like that for much more than a few days out of the Winter.

Now that there is ice, I hope for the temps to come up just a bit so that I can go ice fishing. I have only ice fished once, and it was a 45 degree day after several weeks of zero temps so there was plenty of ice. The only thing that got cold were my feet. I loved seeing what fish came up out of that small hole in the ice, and I don't know what it is about fish caught below ice that makes them taste so much better, but they do.

That's the news from this neck of the woods. Over and out.

Sunday, February 04, 2007


We won! We won!! I think I'm going to sleep in my Colt's t shirt tonight.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

The Not So Super Bowl Sunday

Every year when Super Bowl Sunday rolls around, I can't help but think about one that I had experienced several years ago. My friends had built a brand new home, and the targeted moving date was to be on Super Bowl Sunday. We would move everything in, get it situated, then watch the game on their brand new huge theater sized tv. We would make a day out of it.

We all arrived early and loaded up the truck, and started the back and forth process, and finally at around 5:00 we had finished. The television was turned on, and we discovered that the local channels weren't coming in, as it was hooked up to a satellite, and it didn't include that. So my friend flipped a switch to get some local television. It wasn't coming in very well, so I volunteered to climb up the attic stairs in the garage to move the antenna around until we could get a clearer picture.

I pulled down the hatch in the garage, climbed up the wooden stairs and peered around up there until I found the antenna. The builders had only put a wood floor directly around the top of the stairs, and the antenna was sitting over a ways, where there was no wood flooring. I tip toed from rafter to rafter until I got to the antenna, and moved it around until I heard someone holler from inside the house that the picture was good. Satisfied that I had my mission accomplished, I gingerly started hopping from rafter to rafter until I got to the wood flooring, except, I didn't see a pipe that had boardered the planking until I had tripped over it.

Do you ever notice how when a bad thing is about to happen, things start to move in slow motion? This is one of those times. I stumbled, trying to keep my balance as I was falling, trying to keep on the rafters and then it happened. My foot slipped, and down I went between the rafters. Do you know that dry wall isn't very strong? BOOM, right through the dry wall ceiling I went catching myself with both arms resting on the rafters before I dropped clear through. There I hung, legs dangling from the ceiling, arms propped on the rafters. Once I got over the shock of the fall, the very first thought that went through my head was: Oh My God! How can I hide this?

The second thought I had, as I realized that there was no way I was going to be able to hide a 3 foot hole in the garage ceiling, and particals of dry wall, and debris, and since I was stuck, and needed help to get out of this mess was: "C" and "A" are going to kill me! They haven't even spent the first night in their brand new home, and I have ruined it. I love them both but they are perfectionists, and 2 of the most particular and controling people I know, and they are going to have a kaniption fit. So I kind of hung there for a few moments to prepare for the fireworks that were to follow. I even thought if I let go, and fell on to the cement floor, that maybe I could break an ankle or something, and with all of the calling an EMS, or going to the ER, that might buffer things, and keep them too busy to get too upset over the ceiling, but I nixed that idea pretty much right away, as I already had bruised ribs, and a scraped thigh, and was in enough pain. I didn't need any more, especially pain that would last 6 to 8 weeks, and require crutches or something.

So, I started to holler for help. First one out the garage door, was "A" and she took one look, turned around, marched into her bedroom and slammed the door. She didn't take to stress too well, and what with all of the moving, and commotion of the day, that was the straw that broke her camel's back and so she locked herself in. I think it was to protect me from being killed by her or something. The second one out the door, was "C." She is the more level headed of the two, and she stood there a minute, looking at this pair of legs dangling through the ceiling. She sprang into action, finding another ladder to pull over to where my feet were, and I could get some footing and get myself pulled up. Lordy! What an ordeal!

I was apologizing like crazy, and "C" was trying to calm me down, saying accidents happen, and it wasn't my fault. Come in, sit down and let's watch the game. "A" didn't come out of her room until half time to join the rest of us.

I don't remember much of that game, who played, who won, or anything. I was too worried about what I had just done, and the effects of it. They both were gracious after everything calmed down, and a little time had passed. I think it was a lesson for all of us. For "C" and "A," I think it was a lesson for them in that things aren't always going to be perfect, and no matter how careful or well planned things are, there will be times when things aren't so perfect and stuff happens, and things go wrong.

For me, it was a lesson in that it is okay to do something wrong, accidents happen, and I have forgiving friends that love me anyway. They never let me go up in to the attic again, though.