Good Bye November 2021

I’ll miss you. You granted me some really nice weather, warm and sunny days, the kind I enjoy. You gave me activities that kept me imbibed in red wine which I really loved. You goaded me into starting the Second Annual Lions Winter Coat Drive. I stood outside on the one cold day, and shook my bucket for dollars and cents so my Lions Club could buy Thanksgiving dinners for some people who are down and out. Although I came home frigid I had fun greeting people with a warm smile and a quick quip.

I especially liked the three days when I got to send my kids birthday cards, although it is hard to believe they are adults on the verge of retirement and not toddlers. The visits with my only daughter turned into fun when she and her husband related the activities of their children. I especially love it when they tell me about my grandkids activities and I remember myself doing the same things. My wish is that they are having as much fun doing them as I did.

All month my lovely and I have become more acquainted with specialists who relieve pain by the barbaric method of twisting and crunching the body into conformance, and then treating the same places with electro-stimulation and light therapy. The amazing thing is that it works. This not curing the body, but it is reducing, and/or eliminating pain. This is one type of treatment that I never believed in and put into the same category as Chinese herbs and teas.

Another joy to behold was attending the funeral of a very good Lion friend. He was my mentor. His personality was a little gruff, but underneath he was all mush and kindness. When I asked him about the history of the club, so I might lead them in a traditional way he spent hours explaining how it was when he was President. He was a member of the old guys section and often they became boisterous and obnoxious in their comments about the new guys and their dumb ways. He helped me understand so I was able to steer the ship through troubled waters safely.

Every year I set a goal to read fifty-two books, and every year I get to forty when time runs out. This year, I am currently reading number fifty-one and have two more novels parked on my desk ready to be read. The book I’m reading is the history of Asian immigrants coming into America, and now I can see why the Liberals think we are a racist country, because we were. Their problem is that they believe we are still racist, and they are dead wrong.

Cute smart preschool girl reading books in library or at home. Kids early learning and home education concept.

There were some days when the mere thought of going outside to clean up the garden incited my body into extreme laziness and spasms of muscular pain. Thankfully, I counted to five, took the step, and went outside to dredge the pond, clear the leaves, and cut back all the tall stuff growing around the water’s edge. As I did those things I remembered back thirty years when a much younger Joe loved working in a much larger yard when it was cloudy, grey and forty degrees out. Those days energized me and nourished my soul. This year though, after two hours I came in drenched in sweat, and so tired I never moved another muscle for the remainder, but I still decided I loved doing the work.

Another November project was the annual Christmas Card design. In years past I went to my art file and pulled a drawing that I could work into a card. This year “I had a dream” that my message should involve Morty Angel my cartoon character. The concept involved all new art work so I wound up drawing pictures which took way too long only because I am out of practice and my hands don’t move as fluidly as they did when I drew last. Then, I had to relearn software that I use once a year and which is no longer supported by Microsoft because it is too old.

Tomorrow, I welcome December 1, 2021 with a to-do list a mile long, and even though December has thirty-one days they will pass in a flash and I will be toasting my lovely on New Year’s Eve at 12:00:01 A.M. on the first of January 2022.

An Oldie But A Goodie

THEN IT WAS WINTER – EXCELLENT …

I FIRST STARTED READING THIS & WAS READING FAST UNTIL I  REACHED THE THIRD SENTENCE.   I STOPPED AND STARTED OVER, READING SLOWER AND THINKING ABOUT EVERY WORD.  THIS MESSAGE IS VERY THOUGHT PROVOKING. 

MAKES  YOU STOP AND  THINK.  READ  SLOWLY!   AND THEN IT IS WINTER 

And Its Not Even Here Yet



You know, time has a way of moving quickly and catching you unaware of the passing years.  It seems just yesterday that I was young, just married and embarking on my new life with my mate.  Yet in a way, it seems like eons ago, and I wonder where all the years went.  I know that I lived them all.  I have glimpses of how it was back then and of all my hopes and  dreams. 

But, here it is, the winter of my life and it catches me by surprise…How did it get here so fast?  Where did the years go and where did my youth go?   I remember well seeing older people through the years and thinking that those older people were years away from me and that winter was so far off that I could not fathom it or imagine fully what it would be like. 

But, here it is…my friends are retired and getting grey…they move slower and I see an older person now.  Some are in better and some worse shape than I am…but, I see the great change…Not like the ones that I remember who were young and vibrant…but, like me, their age is beginning to show and we are now those older folks that we used to see and never thought we’d be. 

And  so…now I enter into this new season of my life unprepared for all the aches and pains and the loss of strength and ability to go and do things that I wish I had done but never did!!  But, at least I know that though the winter has come, and I’m not sure how long it will last…this I know, that when it’s over on this earth…it’s not over.  A new adventure will begin!    Yes, I have regrets.  There are  things I wish I hadn’t done…things I should have done, but indeed, there are many things I’m happy to have done.  It’s all in a lifetime. 

So, if you’re not in your winter yet…let me remind you, that it will be here faster than you think. Whatever you would like to accomplish in your life, please do it quickly!   Don’t put things off too long!! Life goes by quickly.   Do what you can today, as you can never be sure whether this is your winter or not!   You have no promise that you will see all the seasons of your life…so, live for today and say all the things that you want your loved ones to  remember…and hope that they appreciate and love you for all the things that you have done for them in all the years past!! 

“Life” is a gift to you.  The way you live your life is your gift to those who come after.  Make it a fantastic one.    LIVE IT WELL! ENJOY TODAY!    DO SOMETHING FUN!    BE HAPPY!    HAVE A GREAT DAY! Remember “It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.”    LIVE HAPPY!    LASTLY, CONSIDER THE  FOLLOWING:    TODAY IS THE OLDEST YOU’VE EVER  BEEN,  YET THE YOUNGEST YOU’LL EVER  BE.  SO ENJOY THIS DAY WHILE IT LASTS. 

~Your kids are becoming you……but your grandchildren are perfect! 

~Going out is good.. Coming home is better! 

~You forget names…. But it’s OK because other people forgot they even knew you!!! 

~You realize you’re never going to be really good at anything…. Especially golf. 

~The things you used to care to do, you no longer care to do, but you really do care that you don’t care to do them anymore. 

~You sleep better on a lounge chair with the TV blaring than in bed.  It’s called  “pre-sleep”. 

~You miss the days when everything worked with just an “ON” and “OFF” switch. 

~You tend to use more 4 letter words  … “what?”…”when?”… ??? 

~Now that you can afford expensive jewelry, it’s not safe to wear it anywhere. 

~You notice everything they sell in stores is “sleeveless”?!!!    ~What used to be freckles are now liver spots. 

~Everybody whispers or mumbles. 

~You have 3 sizes of clothes in your closet…. 2 of which you will never wear again. 

~But Old is good in some things:  Old Songs, Old movies, and best of all, OLD FRIENDS!! 

Stay well, “OLD FRIEND!”    Send this on to other “Old  Friends!”

It Is Time

This evening I spent some time reading blogs of fellow bloggers. One in particular got my juices flowing. The Blog is NUTSROK. Author Mary Beth a retired nurse who writes amusing stories about her family and friends. What I didn’t realize immediately that the last post I read was from 2020. When I see gaps like that I am puzzled. I tried contacting her but it seems the blog is shut down. My greatest fear is that we have lost her. She amazed me with the stories she told about her family and friends. Each one was genuine and her writing told me that. They were poignant, reminiscent, and humorous, mostly humorous.

Then it occurred to me that I had visited my brother yesterday and I thought to myself how many more times will I be able to say that? Next week I will turn 83 and in two weeks he turns ninety. We can’t both be living much longer. Although neither of us thinks about dying, we are just as busy and active as we can be. He showed us around his facility and pointed out the tower of tomatoes that he planted with a group of ladies he went to the nursery with to shop for tomato plants. He wanted four, and planted twenty-four. Each of them wanted to plant, but he was the only one with a designated plot at the residence. From his room it looked like a six by six plot with a six foot high center point. The plants were all headed for the sky and the contest was to see who had the first fruit, who had the best fruit, etc. Then he walked us past his flower garden. Another small plot hidden behind a fence but he had it blooming in bold colors. What every square inch the maintenance crew spares him he keeps on planting, and successfully too.

On the way home I asked myself why do I not visit him more often? He is the only one I know who knows more about my parents than I do. He is the resident guru of the family history. We share the same stories about our mother and father, except his begin seven years sooner than mine. That means he can teach me a lot about my genealogy. Another thing I thought about today was what did he do for me as a kid growing up? At first, I thought, nothing. Then I began to remember the letters he sent me from Germany while he was stationed there and I was recovering from my polio. They were a Godsend. I wish I had them now to recall how positive he was and how encouraging he was to keep me going forward. I’ve also heard stories about how he was in charge of me in the buggy when Mom needed some time alone. He was charged with watching me and Sis.

Although that was sixty-eight years ago, I think it may be time to say thank you.

Brother Bill and Mom

Dream On

There are a couple of things on my mind this morning. First, I feel like my computer is punishing me for the essay I posted yesterday about zero-day problems. I normally write directly into my WordPress blog site Grumpajoesplace.com. Today I am forced to write in a word processor because when I opened WordPress it asked me for a password which I could not remember. I am traveling, and left all of my password card files at home. I have tried so many times with failure that I’m sure WordPress has locked me out for my own good. This is why I hate passwords and security features. I, the owner am locked out, but any hacker can bypass those same barriers and get into my site to pillage and steal. I will post this article later today, even if it means cutting my respite short to do so.

The second thing that I need to write about is a dream I had in the wee hours of this morning. In this dream, I found myself wandering around inside the massive manufacturing building of my former employer. The owner was paranoid about security and had all departments compartmentalized and secured with locks. Only those with properly coded pass keys could enter the compartments. If you needed to be in a specific department to do your job you had access. If you didn’t need to know the information generated therein, you were locked out. Information was granted on need-to-know basis. Over the years I told people that the biggest secret we kept inside our company was that we didn’t have any secrets.

I wandered around the shiny floored hall between departments skating along in my stocking feet. I love doing that even when not dreaming, skating that is. I used my pass key to open a door and found the cell empty, I mean completely empty, void of all furniture, people, paper anything, but the lights were on. Strange I thought, and skated to the next cell which I remembered as the cafeteria. There was a steam line with food, and a few people behind the counter serving, but there were no other people there. Something distracted me and I left to go to another cell. I encountered the same strange phenomenon, it was empty. I decided to return to the cafeteria by another entrance and much to my surprise it was empty, whereas a few seconds ago it had a steam table and some staff. I left in a panic and found the entire fifty-acre complex was empty. Then in my sleep I was overcome with sadness. The sadness was real and I felt like the world had abandoned me. I couldn’t shake the sadness by remaining in the dream, so I woke up to go to the bathroom.

The strangest thing about this dream is that I have been gone from this job and this building for over twenty years. The building itself has been removed from the site. The only vestige that remains is the cyclone fence that surrounded the property and the concrete slab floor. Why in heavens name did my brain do this to me? What provoked such a vivid experience in the subconscious mind? I’ll never know. I do know that once I woke up the sadness disappeared thank God. I never felt such a real sadness in my life, conscious or not.

I’ve been thinking about that world which was so integral to me for forty years. The many people I worked with, some who became genuine friends, but more who were acquaintances only. I have lived without them for half the years I lived with them and the building which I watched grow to the size it was. All gone, with only a few tenuous connections remaining to the few I call friends. This might be a good source of a theme for a story about being left alone, the last man on the planet. What would I do, how would I cope, or have I been experiencing those exact emotions all along? At what point have I passed from one life into another? I left the company and lost my life partner almost at the same moment, and I know that life experience forced me to begin anew. Fifteen years later I lost my second life partner and I found myself alone again. Now, I am on a journey to another new life with a third life partner. This time the journey is quite different. My partner is grieving the sudden loss of her only child, and I find myself being drawn into her sadness. That could quite possibly explain my dream. As I experience these new lives I find myself drifting further and further away from a reality that formed me as a person. My life feels like me in the dream skating from room to room, to find them empty, but still I continue to search for a single soul I can call friend. How many more new realities will I be forced to live through before I finally find the one that is God? I am sad again. 

210502-Never Mind!

Today I experienced an example of how when I rely on the Internet for information it can lead me into a dead end. A few weeks ago, I married for the third time. The lady I chose for Mrs. Grumpajoe the third(GJ-3)is six years younger than Grumpajoe himself. The first Mrs. Grumpajoe-1 and I were the same age while Mrs. Grumpajoe-2 was five years older than he so the experiment here is to see if the younger Mrs. GJ-3 can out live him. Surely, I don’t want to see her fail and die a miserable death as 1 and 2 did, but I digress. 

Mrs. GJ-3 loves old stuff. With the great COVID close down of 2020 lasting into 2021 she has been shut out of one of her favorite past-times i.e. flea-marketing. Last Thursday she sprung a surprise on me by announcing that we were going to visit her grandson who lives in a town seventy miles from here. She had the days mapped out and this morning we were to go flea marketing. Generally, there are some very large markets that are open on the first weekend of the month. Today was the first weekend. Guess where we were going?

I had to search the internet to locate Gurney, IL which I remember having a huge market. They are also known for their large Outlet market place. My search didn’t find the Gurnee flea-market. Evidently, it was a victim of COVID. The nearest market was shown to be in the town of Grayslake. There was something odd about the way they listed the hours, and dates. Today’s activities were shown in a light blue text, while at the bottom of the listing were two more dates shown in bold-black in November, and December. Hymmm.

Mrs. GJ-3 and I got up early and hurriedly drove to the Lake County Fairgrounds home of said flea market. The parking lot was crowded and people were streaming forward in controlled lines, one-way in and others coming out in another lane. What was really strange was when we entered the building a nice young masked lady asked if we had an appointment. “Appointment for a flea market?” She laughed and said we should proceed and to tell them that we were walk-ins. We passed through the next door into this huge open space, and all I saw were people in orderly lines heading toward tables where other people were asking them to roll up their sleeves.  There were lines of unoccupied wheelchairs parked all around the lines. Then it dawned on me, we were in a COVID Vaccination site.    

We quietly backed out, but not before being given a hard sell to get a free vaccination while we were there. My argument was the CDC doesn’t recommend getting a third shot so soon after the first two. 

The ride home was much longer than the ride out. Our disappointment was showing on our faces and attitudes. Mrs. GJ-3 continued to search the net for information about Gurney only to learn first-hand that there was nothing, she found the same for Grayslake. That seemed to calm her down a little.

Burning gas is one of my least favorite things to do unless it is for a purpose. On the return, we passed through Mundelein and I turned into Grand Dominion a Del Webb development which has haunted me for twenty years. When I wintered in Arizona I stayed in Del Webb communities. Sun City, Sun City West, and Sun City Grand are all magnificently planned to support active life styles for old geezers like me. When I heard they have a community in Illinois north of Chicago I’ve always wanted to see what it was like. This morning I got to realize that idea. I can’t call it a dream, because it is nowhere close to a dream. The impression I got was it reminded me of Gateway an over fifty-five manufactured home community in Frankfort. Except the homes don’t arrive on wheels. They are nice size homes with what looks like PVC siding, and are spaced close to each other. The back yard is a postage stamp. The side facing the street is mostly a concrete drive way. In Arizona the homes are a few feet further apart, but the back yards are much larger to space people away from each other. At this location, the premium lots are on a small lake affording a lake view. In Sun City, the nice lots face an emerald green golf course. 

There is a large clubhouse near the entrance which I didn’t visit. It most likely houses the sales staff, swimming pool, some club rooms and a restaurant. The Old Dominion website lists all the amenities they provide. In the Arizona locations they have several community centers located throughout. These sites have sport and craft-activity rooms to house the more than three hundred hobby clubs that residents can amuse themselves in.  Overall, I was not impressed with the Illinois community. The homes didn’t impress me nor did the community layout. At least I saved a dead-end adventure and satisfied a long-time desire. Mrs. GJ-3 was not impressed at all, and dozed during my tour. Her dream is to live on a five acre lot with a large garden and a small forest separating neighbors.  

 

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