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Anniversary of a birthday

Sunday, September 26, 2010
Thanks to the people who provided the food and entertainment that made Saturday night so amusing. I knew it would be an occasion of great hilarity - and it's even more of a delight to not know specifically what will cause us to all fall out of our chairs. Just that it will be fun and funny to be with people who are so devoted to laughter. Thanks for making the effort to come and spend the time.

Time, people: that's all we have. Our least appreciated, and most valuable commodity. Time, just give me a little bit of your precious time.

I was reading a book some years ago, that oddly enough was on the reading list for one of my kids, who found it so immeasurably dull she could not make herself finish it - while I was so bored (must have been on a road trip/family vacation of vehicular confinement) I consumed it cover to cover. I think it was an incomplete work by Ernest Hemmingway found in his estate, which someone decided was worthy of printing.

The line I wrote down and still have stuck under a magnet on my fridge from the tome: "If you don't do things for fun anymore, you might as well be dead". I wanted to have that quote sandblasted on my stone after I die, but they reminded me there will be no marble marker, since that defeats the point and purpose of cremation. Therefore, I would like to memorialize it here.

I am continually thinking of things to add to my bucket list, so I guess I better start taking better care of myself in order to live long enough to get all that dare-devil, off-the-wall, totally inappropriate, irresponsible, foolish, crazie, dangerous, unlikely stuff done.

Disclaimer:
I do not look at, participate in, or know anything about Facebook, so if you are attempting to communicate with me through Facebook: don't bother, since I Never, never, never look at it.

a little petty larceny music, please

Wednesday, September 22, 2010
When certain un-named people were in their teens, old enough to be traveling under their own recognizance (is this an oxymoron?), while still young enough to do really stupid things, as they were still being underwritten by responsible adults of the parent-type persuasion: they began living lives that involved petty larceny of public/state/city property.

Those street signs have been languishing in the carport for a number of years as the 'larcen-ees' matured into a semblance of adulthood, moved out and on with their lives. Most of the flotsam and jetsam that got left behind was eventually carted off to various homesteads in Decatur and Chattanooga, but no one would claim the highway signs.

I have been pondering for several months the best avenue for disposal, and finally decided to take them as an offering to the local DOT office. I loaded them in the car, and drove the evidence over there: defending my appearance by stating that I was definitely old enough to know better, and though my fingerprints were all over the signs, I had nothing to do with the fact that they were apparently in my possession. They laughed, and said we are probably all guilty of this type behavior at 'a certain age' and let me unload those homeless signs. If they had been still attached to the metal posts a couple of them came home with, I never could have gotten them in my car, but the posts are planted in the garden, where I was using them for holding wires to support my climbing bean crop.(Does keeping the posts make me an accessory to the crime?)

I admit I would have been guilty years ago, but I could not get the sign loose from the post (wooden poles at the time), so never actually completed the larcenous act.

oh, my: Goodness

Friday, September 17, 2010
I highly recommend adding a big spoonful of peanut butter to the marshmallow glop before you stir in the cereal when you get ready to make a pan of Rice Krispy treats: Oh, My Goodness.

A Day for Remembering

Thursday, September 16, 2010
I was just starting out,at about 10 a.m. on Tuesday morning, walking away from the gate at BWI Airport, trying to keep my two veterans going in the right direction, after having sat for several hours on the airplane, where all had gotten stiff-legged and desperately in need of a potty break. We were heading down toward the charter buses, and I fell in behind someone (not one of our group, because he did not have our identifying 'honor flight' T-shirt on), who nearly made me turn around and ask to be sent home.
He looked so much like my dad from the back, with bowed-out legs, walking like his knees hurt, but determined to plug away and make it to his destination, in a plaid, grand-pa like shirt, neatly tucked in, with thinning hair, and kinda stooped over posture, I thought to myself: "that's somebody's Papa". I am glad I had already put my dark glasses on, so no one could question why I was so teary, since we had just gotten off the flight, and were not even close to getting to the 'remembering teary' part that would make veterans and people who love them get weepy. If there was any way I could have backed out in that instant, I would have told them to Send Me Home, as I did not think I was able to see it through.
But I could not jump on the next flight, and did spend the day with two sweet, agreeable, relatively healthy, completely independent, totally mobile veterans from Albany. We had a good day, and everyone returned safely home about 10:00 last night.
Each time I hve made that one-day trip with the Honor Flight Veterans, I have taken a little rock, with 'TR Fluker, Quitman, GA' written in sharpie, and put it on the section of the WWII memorial that is the column for the state of Georgia. Yesterday my little offering was a smooth, flat piece of oyster shell that was about the size and color of a quarter. I expect that the Park service regularly goes by and cleans them all off - and it is a continual process of gathering up mememtos, just like all the little rememberances people leave at the Vietnam Memorial. But it's important to me. And I will always remember.

A priceless gift...

Monday, September 13, 2010
I am going tomorrow, Tuesday, September 14 for the third time with a group of WW II veterans on a one-day trip to Washington. They are going to visit the memorials. I am sure some have already been to see the WWII Memorial, as well as the others that are on the itinerary for the day, but I am equally sure that this will be the only time many will have the opportunity to go, and to visit not only 'their' memorial that was built to honor the men and women who served in Europe, Africa and the Pacific, but also to see the Korean and Vietnam War memorials and visit Arlington Cemetary.

My first trip was about a year ago, with a man who was nearing 90, and has since died. The second time, back in the spring, was with a man who lives down south of Ft. Benning in Cussetta. Both of those men were so wobbly I pushed them in wheelchairs the entire day, from getting off the charter flight at Baltimore airport, until they were reunited with family members when we got back to Columbus about 9:00p.m.

Tomorrow, I am responsible for keeping up with two veterans: they both live in Albany, and will be going with a half-dozen other vets from that area. I told them I am very thankful they are both fairly mobile!

When I was driving up the interstate north of Atlanta on Saturday morning (9-11), I went under an overpass where there were several people standing waving huge American Flags - and I hope it went on all day long: great big, bright red and white stripes and brilliant stars. And then traveling farther north, passed through a little town in the hill country of north Ga where the whole courthouse lawn was covered with rows and rows of the stars and stripes. So we won't forget that Freedom is not free...

It will be a sweet day of thoughtful remembrance.

River 'tubing in Not Tubes...

Sunday, September 12, 2010
Went with Paula and her 'posse' (in-laws) on the Hiwassee River in TN 'tubing' on Sat., but we did not actually get in 'tubes, though it was inflatable: a canoe? Yes, an inflatable canoe! The parents-in-law were in one, Paula and Chad were in one, and Uncle J. and I were in the third.

I thought we might want to try the kayaks, but thankfully got outvoted: I saw lots of people overturn, dunked along the way, when they went over shoals and lost control, mostly because they were sitting on top, precariously perched on the hard plastic, with a too-high center of gravity to be easily managed when the water was not smoooooth and traveling slooooow and eaaaasy.

There were several times Paula reported looking over at me and seeing cartoon words: "*&%@" and "!@##" coming out of my mouth, though they were across the water too far away to actually hear them, she knew precisely what I was saying, from the shape of my mouth was making....when we got to the part that you would look up and not be able to see where you were going next - a drop off, that looking ahead you could not tell how far down you would 'drop' until it was 'way too far to change your plans/approach. Kinda like those maps you used to see that would just taper off into nothingness at the edge of the known world, with the words 'There be dragons here', since no one knew what comes next!

The water was not nearly as fast, chaotic, lumpy, bumpy, too high, too low, too cold, too exciting, too stressful, freaking-me-out as the trip in July on the Ocoee when we were white-water rafting with six of us plus a River-guide guy. So the speed and excitement, activity were just about right for what I was prepared to endure, and now that the summer's mostly over, and it's too late to try to go again for this year, I'm ready for more fun...

he's on the move....

Monday, September 6, 2010
The guy who had a new knee joint installed three weeks ago today is out in the streets. He said he was tired of being confined, has decided he is o.k. to drive. I told him I would take him anyplace he wanted to be, but that was not suitable. So, he took himself - mostly just to prove he could? And certainly to prove that no one else could tell him what he could or could not do...

When we were on the way to church yesterday, we had a conversation that went along the lines of him saying he thought he would go to hang out with his little group of Bubbas on Sunday afternoon, and me saying that I did not feel he was ready to drive, does not have the flexibility to have regained the reflex strength necessary to manage brake and acceleration. Plus I know how much he still groans when he has to bend that joint to get in and out of the door/front seat of the car.

I am fairly sure he did not go out yesterday (while I was working at Publix and not available to keep an eye on possible juvenile behavior). But apparently far more time has passed since we had that conversation on the way to church than I realized, because the 'rules of recuperation' have changed dramatically since Sunday morning. I can't imagine how he thinks that there is an enormous difference/change between now and 24 hours ago.

But he decided he is o.k, and even more importantly, decided he is ready. So there he goes. I do not want to think about what he will be like if the time comes when he is really told he needs to give up his right to drive.... reminding me of tellling teenagers that the act of getting behind the steering wheel is actually Not something that is mentioned anywhere in the Bill of Rights: it is a privilege, and yes, it can be revoked if the time arrives that it is not done in a circumspect and orderly manner. But I will not be the one telling him that...

kinda funny

Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Since we are the proud owners of a new knee, he is benefitting from the assistance of a folding aluminum walker for additional support. A couple of times since he has been discharged from the hospital, he has encountered dogs that have found the walker to be Very Attractive.

It is apparent that the canines think the tennis balls, placed on the legs of the walker to make it slide more smoothly on the floor, are for their entertainment. They cannnot quit sniffing and licking, pawing with great enthusiasm, trying to get the tennis balls in their mouths. Someone has trained them to believe tennis balls = toys, so they apparently think that every bright green tennis ball they see is there for their amusement.