Grief Made Me Do It

The Great Last Time Around Tour

One of the things I have done recently that I consider to be productive is to come up with an idea that would take my mind away from grief. This one is fabulous in my mind and my friends get excited for me when I talk about it. I sat at my desk one day and began to think about all my friends and relatives that live outside of the Socialist-Democrat bastion of the mid-west. I started a list. I finally ran out of gas at twenty-four. I’m sure there are more, but I would have to change the rules to include a wider span of friendship and relations. What if I were to visit all of these people on one big trip around the United States? I am also hankering to see some of my favorite sites again, like Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, Glacier NP, Redwoods, Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore, and of course Crazy Horse Mountain. The last time I saw Crazy Horse it was just a scratch on the side of a mountain in the Black Hills. If I remember right, the original sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski was still alive in the seventies when I was there, blasting this mountain-sculpt by himself. As I continued to envision the trip it expanded more and more, and the miles began to add up. Hell, I might even have an excuse to buy a new car for this idea.

The next step I took involved Google Maps. I could plan the trip from person to person and city to city in a way that didn’t waste too many miles. I lost faith in Google Maps when I ran out of space to enter more cities at about Phoenix. Hell, so much for all this wonderful technology that can only go so far. I’m sure if I were still eighteen, I would have figured out how to make it all work. As it was I just started a new map and charted the second half of the trip on a second map. After looking at the route on the two maps I realized I missed a huge part of the country by skipping the northwest and northern states. That’s when I decided I wanted to see the Tetons, Yellowstone and Glacier again. Another idea came back to me. As long as I’m driving all around the USA why not visit the four corners. I been to two of them(Key West and Washington) but I missed the point in Maine and the one south of San Diego. The problem with the four points route is that I would miss the entire center of the country. Missing so much started me to thinking of revising the whole idea to one where I visit every state, including Alaska and Hawaii. I don’t have friends in every state but I could fix that by making some.

As I write this I am reminded that Peggy and I traveled extensively in Canada. We took several driving trips. She wouldn’t fly nor take a boat so I said okay we’ll drive. It took three separate trips but we made it from Quebec city to Vancouver. I loved those trips and I wouldn’t mind exploring all the Provinces by car. One of my work acquaintances, Myles Murphy, migrated to the USA from Labrador which is still somewhat primitive compared to New York or Chicago. He often told me some funny stories about his relatives whom he visited yearly. He drove and then boarded a ferry. One of his stories involved his mother. It seems she got into his suitcase out of curiosity and found a grooming mirror. She picked it up and held it to her face. She saw the image of a woman, and said to herself,  “look at the ugly old woman he is carrying on with.”

The bottom line here is that the trip I routed on Google maps involves driving for 130 hours over 8500 miles. Since I am only physically able to drive five hundred miles a day or eight hours which ever comes first that amounts to seventeen days. If I spend a minimum of three days at each location that would add another 75 days. The whole trip would last three months provided I live through it.

Least of all I had to name this venture. I call it “The Great Last Time Around Tour.”

. . . and I still haven’t touched Alaska or Hawaii.

Wisdom Shared

I love when friends send me stuff. The wisdom being passed around on the internet is amazing. All we have to do is separate the facts from the fiction and we are safe.

“SIX LITTLE STORIES” –

 

{1} Once all villagers decided to  pray for rain  On the day of prayer all the people gathered, but only one boy came with an umbrella.

That’s FAITH.

 

{2}  When you throw babies in the air, they laugh because they know you will catch them.

That’s TRUST.

 

{3}  Every night we go to bed without any assurance of being alive the next morning, but still we set the alarms to wake up.

That’s HOPE.

 

{4}  We plan big things for tomorrow in spite of zero knowledge of the future.

That’s CONFIDENCE

 

{5}  We see the world suffering, but still we get married and have children.

That’s LOVE.

 

 {6}  On an old man’s shirt was written a sentence ‘I am not 80 years old; I am sweet 16 with 64 years of experience.’

That’s ATTITUDE.

 

Have a happy day and live your life like the six stories.

When I was a child, I thought nap time was punishment. Now it’s like a mini-vacation.

 

“GOOD FRIENDS ARE THE RARE JEWELS OF LIFE. DIFFICULT TO FIND AND IMPOSSIBLE TO REPLACE!

Remember When?


Children of the greatest generation

Born in the 1930's to the early 1940's, we exist as a very special age group.

We are the smallest group of children born since the early 1900's.

We are the last generation, climbing out of the depression, who can remember the winds of war and the impact of a world at war which rattled the structure of our daily lives for years.

We are the last to remember ration books for everything from gas to sugar to shoes to stoves.

We saved tin foil and poured fat into tin cans.

We saw cars up on blocks because tires weren't available.

We can remember milk being delivered to our house early in the morning and placed in the “milk box” on the porch.

We are the last to see the gold stars in the front windows of our grieving neighbors whose sons died in the War.

We saw the 'boys' home from the war, build their little houses - Jones Park?

We are the last generation who spent childhood without television; instead, we imagined what we heard on the radio.

As we all like to brag, with no TV, we spent our childhood "playing outside”.
There was no city playground for kids. Soccer was unheard of.

The lack of television in our early years meant, for most of us, that we had little real understanding of what the world was like.

On Saturday afternoons, the movies gave us newsreels sandwiched in between westerns and cartoons that were at least a week old.
Telephones were one to a house, often shared (party Lines) and hung on the wall in the kitchen (no cares about privacy).

Computers were called calculators, they were hand cranked; typewriters were driven by pounding fingers, throwing the carriage, and changing the ribbon.

The 'INTERNET’ and ‘GOOGLE’ were words that did not exist.

Newspapers and magazines were written for adults and the news was broadcast on our radio in the evening by Paul Harvey.

As we grew up, the country was exploding with growth.

The G.I. Bill gave returning veterans the means to get an education and spurred colleges to grow.

VA loans fanned a housing boom. Pent up demand coupled with new installment payment plans opened many factories for work.

New highways would bring jobs and mobility. New cars averaged $2,000 full price.

The veterans joined civic clubs and became active in politics.

The radio network expanded from 3 stations to thousands.

Our parents were suddenly free from the confines of the depression and the war, and they threw themselves into exploring opportunities they had never imagined.

We weren't neglected, but we weren't today's all-consuming family focus.

They were glad we played by ourselves until the street lights came on or Mom called us for supper - by hollering!

They were busy discovering the post war world.

We entered a world of overflowing plenty and opportunity; a world where we were welcomed, enjoyed ourselves and felt secure in our future.

Although depression poverty was deeply remembered.

Polio was still a crippler.

We came of age in the 50s and 60s.

The Korean War was a dark passage in the early 50s and by mid-decade school children were ducking under desks for Air-Raid training.

Russia built the “Iron Curtain” and China became Red China.

Eisenhower sent the first 'Army Advisers' to Vietnam.

Castro took over in Cuba and Khrushchev came to power in Russia.

We are the last generation to experience an interlude when there were no threats to our homeland. The war was over and the cold war, Muslim terrorism, “global warming”, and perpetual economic insecurity had yet to haunt life with unease.

Only our generation can remember both a time of great war, and a time when our world was secure and full of bright promise and plenty, we lived through both.

We grew up at the best possible time, a time when the world was getting better, not worse."

We are “The Last Ones”.

More than 99 % of us are either retired or deceased, and we feel privileged to have “lived in the best of times”!

PSA-171117-Philosophy?

♦ The reason Mayberry was so peaceful and quiet was because nobody was married. Andy, Aunt Bea, Barney, Floyd, Howard, Goober, Gomer, Sam, Earnest T Bass, Helen, Thelma Lou, Clara and, of course, Opie were all single. The only married person was Otis, and he stayed drunk.

♦ I find it ironic that the colors red, white, and blue stand for freedom until they are flashing behind you.

♦ When wearing a bikini, women reveal 90% of their body. Men are so polite they only look at the covered parts.

♦ Relationships are a lot like algebra. Have you ever looked at your X and wondered Y?

♦ America is a country which produces citizens who will cross the ocean to fight for democracy but won’t cross the street to vote.

♦ You know that tingly little feeling you get when you love someone? That’s your common sense leaving your body.

♦ Did you know that dolphins are so smart that within a few weeks of captivity, they can train people to stand on the very edge of the pool and throw them fish?

♦ My therapist says I have a preoccupation with vengeance. We’ll see about that.

♦ I think my neighbor is stalking me as she’s been Googling my name on her computer. I saw it through my telescope last night.

♦ Money talks … but all mine ever says is good-bye.

♦ You’re not fat, you’re just easier to see.

♦ If you think nobody cares whether you’re alive, try missing a couple of payments.

♦ I always wondered what the job application is like at Hooters. Do they just give you a bra and say, “Here, fill this out?”

♦ I can’t understand why women are OK that JC Penny has an older women’s clothing line named, “Sag Harbor.”

♦ My therapist said that my narcissism causes me to misread social situations. I’m pretty sure she was hitting on me.

♦ My 60 year kindergarten reunion is coming up soon and I’m worried about the 175 pounds I’ve gained since then.

♦ Denny’s has a slogan, “If it’s your birthday, the meal is on us.” If you’re in Denny’s and it’s your birthday, your life sucks!

♦ The pharmacist asked me my birth date again today. I’m pretty sure she’s going to get me something.

♦ The location of your mailbox shows you how far away from your house you can go in a robe before you start looking like a mental patient.

♦ I think it’s pretty cool how Chinese people made a language entirely out of tattoos.

♦ Money can’t buy happiness, but it keeps the kids in touch!

♦ I read that 4,153,237 people got married last year. Not to cause any trouble, but shouldn’t that be an even number.

 

PSA-170414-Wisdom

Andy Rooney was a very wise man. Every week I looked forward to his reports on Sixty Minutes. Usually, he said in five minutes stuff that was better than the previous fifty-five.
Here are some of the things he offered us.
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I’ve learned….That the best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person.
—-
I’ve learned….That when you’re in love, it shows.
I’ve learned ….That just one person saying to me, ‘You’ve made my day!’ makes my day.
I’ve learned….That having a child fall asleep in your arms is one of the most peaceful feelings in the world.
I’ve learned….That being kind is more important than being right. 
I’ve learned….That you should never say no to a gift from a child.
I’ve learned….That I can always pray for someone when I don’t have the strength to help him in any other way.
I’ve learned….That no matter how serious your life requires you to be, everyone needs a friend to act goofy with.
I’ve learned….That sometimes all a person needs is a hand to hold and a heart to understand.
I’ve learned….That simple walks with my father around the block on summer nights when I was a child did wonders for me as an adult.
I’ve learned….That life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.
I’ve learned….That money doesn’t buy class.
I’ve learned….That it’s those small daily happenings that make life so spectacular.
I’ve learned…That under everyone’s hard shell is someone who wants to be appreciated and loved.
I’ve learned….That to ignore the facts does not change the facts.
I’ve learned….That when you plan to get even with someone, you are only letting that person continue to hurt you.
I’ve learned….That love, not time, heals all wounds.
I’ve learned….That the easiest way for me to grow as a person is to surround myself with people smarter than I am.
I’ve learned….That everyone you meet deserves to be greeted with a smile.
I’ve learned….That no one is perfect until you fall in love with them.
I’ve learned….That life is tough, but I’m tougher.
I’ve learned….That opportunities are never lost; someone will take the ones you miss.
I’ve learned….That when you harbor bitterness, happiness will dock elsewhere.
I’ve learned….That I wish I could have told my Mom that I love her one more time before she passed away.
I’ve learned….That one should keep his words both soft and tender, because tomorrow he may have to eat them.
I’ve learned….That a smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.
I’ve learned….That when your newly born grandchild holds your little finger in his little fist, you’re hooked for life.
I’ve learned….That everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.
I’ve learned….That the less time I have to work with, the more things I get done.

I Love You So!

During America’s Bicentennial celebration in 1976, I was the Scoutmaster of Boy Scout troop number 1776 from Alsip, Illinois. I proudly led the troop to Owasippi Scout Reservation owned by the Chicago Area Council near Whitehall, Michigan. Going to scout camp for two weeks was a big adventure and during the bicentennial it was even more so.

At the final ceremonial campfire the older scouts led us in song. It is then I heard for the first time what I consider to be one of the most beautiful songs I ever heard. The Senior Scout taught us the simple lyrics and melody. He divided us into groups and then led the song in round. The camp fire, and the starry night sky, created an ambiance of pride in America. We left the campfire in silent reverence after singing this stirring song. I am sorry that I could not find a video or recording to feature, but here are the lyrics.

Happy birthday America.

America, America,
How can I tell you, How I feel?
You have given me many treasures,
I love you so.

America, America,
Land of hope and liberty,
Freedom rings from every mountain,
From sea to sea

Take Outs

This morning I opened my email and found this gem from an engineer friend. For those of you who are close to my age, you will appreciate this wisdom, and for those of you too young to know what it means to live with all of the things that you have taken away from life, good luck. I wish you success in the enjoyment you have brought upon yourselves.

Grumpa Joe

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YES, THIS IS US!!
Senior citizens are constantly being criticized for every conceivable deficiency of the modern world, real or imaginary. We know we take responsibility for all we have done and do not try to blame others.
HOWEVER, upon reflection, we would like to point out that it was NOT senior citizens who took:

The melody out of music,
The pride out of appearance,
The courtesy out of driving,
The romance out of love,
The commitment out of marriage,
The responsibility out of parenthood,
The togetherness out of the family,
The learning out of education
The service out of patriotism,
The Golden Rule from rulers,
The nativity scene out of cities,
The civility out of behavior,
The refinement out of language,
The dedication out of employment,
The prudence out of spending,
The ambition out of achievement or God out of government and school.
And we certainly are NOT the ones who eliminated patience and tolerance from personal relationships and interactions with others!!
And, we DO understand the meaning of patriotism, and remember those who have fought and died for our country.

5063130-Senior-couple-having-fun-playing-video-games--Stock-Photo-elderly

)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

SENIOR CITIZEN!

I’m the life of the party…..Even if it lasts until 8 p.m.
I’m very good at opening childproof caps…..With a hammer.
I’m awake many hours before my body allows me to get up.
I’m smiling all the time, because I can’t hear a thing you’re saying.
I’m sure everything I can’t find is in a safe secure place, somewhere.
I’m wrinkled, saggy, lumpy, and that’s just my left leg.
I’m beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.

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Yes, I’m a SENIOR CITIZEN, and I think I am having the time of my life!

mobility-scooter-hire
Now if I could only remember who sent this to me, I wouldn’t send it back to them. Or, maybe I should send it to all my friends anyway.
They won’t remember, even if they did send it.
Spread the laughter
Share the cheer
Let’s be happy
While we’re here.

MAY GOD BLESS US
AND MAY WE
CONTINUE TO THANK GOD !!

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