Defining Who We Are

WASN’T THIS US? 

A little house with three bedrooms,

one bathroom and one car on the street.

A mower that you had to push

to make the grass look neat.

In the kitchen on the wall

we only had one phone,

And no need for recording things,

someone was always home.

We only had a living room

where we would congregate,

unless it was at mealtime

in the kitchen where we ate.

We had no need for family rooms

or extra rooms to dine.

When meeting as a family

those two rooms would work out fine.

We only had one TV set

and channels maybe two,

But always there was one of them

with something worth the view.

For snacks we had potato chips

that tasted like a chip.

And if you wanted flavor

there was Lipton’s onion dip.

Store-bought snacks were rare because

my mother liked to cook

and nothing can compare to snacks

in Betty Crocker’s book.

Weekends were for family trips

or staying home to play.

We all did things together —

even go to church to pray.

When we did our weekend trips

depending on the weather,

no one stayed at home because

we liked to be together.

Sometimes we would separate

to do things on our own,

but we knew where the others were

without our own cell phone.

Then there were the movies

with your favorite movie star,

and nothing can compare

to watching movies in your car.

Then there were the picnics

at the peak of summer season,

pack a lunch and find some trees

and never need a reason.

Get a baseball game together

with all the friends you know,

have real action playing ball —

and no game video.

Remember when the doctor

used to be the family friend,

and didn’t need insurance

or a lawyer to defend?

The way that he took care of you

or what he had to do,

because he took an oath and strived

to do the best for you.

Remember going to the store

and shopping casually,

and when you went to pay for it

you used your own money?

Nothing that you had to swipe

or punch in some amount,

and remember when the cashier person

had to really count?

The milkman used to go

from door to door,

And it was just a few cents more

than going to the store.

There was a time when mailed letters

came right to your door,

without a lot of junk mail ads

sent out by every store.

The mailman knew each house by name

and knew where it was sent;

there were not loads of mail addressed

to “present occupant.”

There was a time when just one glance

was all that it would take,

and you would know the kind of car,

the model and the make.

They didn’t look like turtles

trying to squeeze out every mile;

they were streamlined, white walls, fins

and really had some style.

One time the music that you played

whenever you would jive,

was from a vinyl, big-holed record

called a forty-five.

The record player had a post

to keep them all in line

and then the records would drop down

and play one at a time.

Oh sure, we had our problems then,

just like we do today

and always we were striving,

trying for a better way.

Oh, the simple life we lived

still seems like so much fun,

how can you explain a game,

just kick the can and run?

And why would boys put baseball cards

between bicycle spokes

and for a nickel, red machines

had little bottled Cokes?

This life seemed so much easier

and slower in some ways.

I love the new technology

but I sure do miss those days.

So time moves on and so do we

and nothing stays the same,

but I sure love to reminisce

and walk down memory lane.

With all today’s technology

we grant that it’s a plus!

But it’s fun to look way back and say,

Hey look guys, THAT WAS US!

PSA-180208-Philosophy 100

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A newlywed young man was sitting on the porch on a hot, humid day, sipping iced tea with his father.
As he talked about adult life, marriage, responsibilities, and obligations, the father thoughtfully stirred the ice cubes in his glass and cast a clear, sober look on his son.
“Never forget your friends,” he advised, “they will become more important as
you get older.”
“Regardless of how much you love your family and the children you happen to have, you will always need friends. Remember to go out with them occasionally, do activities with them, call them.”
“What strange advice!” Thought the young man. “I just entered the married world, I am an adult and surely my wife and the family that we  will start will
be everything I need to make sense of my life.”
Yet he obeyed his father. He kept in touch with his friends and annually
increased their number. Over the years, he became aware that his father
knew what he was talking about. Inasmuch as time and nature carry out their designs and mysteries on a  man, friends were the bulwarks of his life.
After 75 years of life, here is what he learned:
   Time passes.
    Life goes on.
    Distance separates.
    Children grow up and become independent; it breaks the parents’ hearts,
but the children become separated from the parents.
   Jobs come and go.
   Illusions, desires, attraction, sex … weaken.
   People do not do what they should do.
   The heart breaks.
  The parents die.
   Colleagues forget the favors.
  The races are over.
But true friends are always there, no matter how many miles away they are or
for how long. A friend is never more distant than the reach of a need,
intervening in your favor, waiting for you with open arms or blessing your life.
When we started this adventure called LIFE, we did not know of the incredible joys or sorrows that were ahead. We did not know how much we would need
from each other. Love your parents, take care of your children, and keep a
group of good friends too.

 

In Memorium

The first day of spring came and went with a whimper. The weather was cool and somewhat grey. It was a good day for me, I finally wrote another chapter of my book British American Colonies. I washed some clothes, and did a few house chores. I am still reeling from the dry wall dust stirred up when Miguel fixed my disaster in the living room. At eleven pm it was time to check out and go to bed. As I always do, I plugged my phone into the charger. The screen lit up and I noticed a message from my son in Texas. I couldn’t go to bed without reading what he had to say. I read it and cried. I’ll share his message with you here:

Today was the first day of Spring as well as Rooke’s last day with us. We took him to the vet about 5pm and put him down. HIs condition, degenerative myelopathy really kicked in this week. He was on daily watch this week, and (we, sic) made the decision to take him today while everyone was home. We were all there except for Abbey, she opted out. He went peacefully with his family right next to him. He’s in a much better place now. Rooke (a.k.a “Rookis”, “Blue”) was the best dog I’ve ever had. His character, mannerisms, temperament and loyalty were truly amazing.

Rooke

Rooke, May 2005-March 20, 2015

 

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

When I first met Rook ten years ago he was the cutest little pup one could imagine with floppy ears, a cocked head and a dynamo of energy. Rook grew quickly and became the meanest looking German Shepard I have ever seen. His black color and wide powerful chest gave him an air of intimidation. People stepped aside when Rook walked his Master. Trust me, no one would ever even think about harming a family member when this jet black patrol dog was on duty, and that was 24/7. The only white color he had on his body was the white of his eyes. As you can tell by the photo the white of his eyes were not visible very often. There is no way in hell I would have tested him by entering my son’s house in the dark.

What no one except us knew about Rook was his gentle side. He was a pussy cat with all of us. He loved to walk, and took his master’s for a three to five-mile walk nearly every day. When he wasn’t pulling them along with his chain link leash, he loved to chase a ball and play fetch. His favorite game with me was to bring a rubber toy, and drop it by my feet. Then he stared at that toy until I quickly kicked it from under his nose. Every time I kicked the ball he picked it off  within inches of my toe. It wasn’t until last June that I beat him a couple of times, and made him turn and run, but still he had the damn thing within six feet. He prided himself in not losing the ball, ever. He never tired of the game, and could play non-stop for a day, but I couldn’t.

Rook is the first dog I ever fell in love with. My family has owned and cared for many dogs of many different breeds, but Rook is my all time favorite.

 

Home Schooling circa 1950

Family (mother, father, son, daughter)

Family (mother, father, son, daughter) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ever since the calendar flipped the page to month eleven, and daylight savings time gave me an extra hour, my want to blog has waned. I procrastinate instead of writing and  Santa subjected me to his workshop under his whip. SO, this afternoon, after escaping, I am reading e-mails and the blogs I follow. Then it happened. My Lion friend Mike sent me a list of wisdom which I have seen many times before, but I must share with the blog-o-sphere.

I can attest to having heard many of these admonitions from my parents, and I must confess that I have used many of them on my kids too.

1. My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE. "If you're going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning."    
2. My mother taught me RELIGION. "You better pray that will come out of the carpet."     
3. My father taught me about TIME TRAVEL. "If you don't straighten up, I'm going to knock you into the middle of next week!"    
4. My father taught me LOGIC. " Because I said so, that's why."    
5. My mother taught me MORE LOGIC. "If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you're not going to the store with me."    
6. My mother taught me FORESIGHT. "Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you're in an accident."     
7. My father taught me IRONY. "Keep crying, and I'll give you something to cry about."   
8. My mother taught me about the science of OSMOSIS . "Shut your mouth and eat your supper."    
9. My mother taught me about CONTORTIONISM"Will you look at that dirt on the back of your neck!"    
10. My mother taught me about STAMINA . "You'll sit there until all that spinach is gone."     
11. My mother taught me about WEATHER. "This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it."     
12. My mother taught me about HYPOCRISY. "If I told you once, I've told you a million times. Don't exaggerate!"     
13. My father taught me the CIRCLE OF LIFE. "I brought you into this world, and I can take you out.."    
14. My mother taught me about BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION. "Stop acting like your father!"     
15. My mother taught me about ENVY. "There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don't have wonderful parents like you do."    
16. My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION. "Just wait until we get home."    
17. My mother taught me about RECEIVING. "You are going to get it from your father when you get home!"     
18. My mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE. "If you don't stop crossing your eyes, they are going to get stuck that way."    
19. My mother taught me ESP. "Put your sweater on; don't you think I know when you are cold?"
20. My father taught me HUMOR. "When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don't come running to me."    
21. My mother taught me HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT. "If you don't eat your vegetables, you'll never grow up."     
22. My mother taught me GENETICS. "You're just like your father."     
23. My mother taught me about my ROOTS. "Shut that door behind you. Do you think you were born in a barn?"     
24. My mother taught me WISDOM. "When you get to be my age, you'll understand.     
25. My father taught me about JUSTICE. "One day you'll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you!"

The Gift-Part 8-Birthday Party

The Gift-Part 8-Birthday Party

Morty’s tiny house glowed with the tree and the nativity. The birds sang in anticipation of the party. Morty and Rabbit danced a circle around the room.

“My friends Max, and Gracie are coming to celebrate,” he said. “They will be late. Gracie is with Ben, and Max is with Jenna. They must stay until the kids say their prayers, and are asleep.

When the guardian angels knew their kids were dreaming of sugarplums and fairies, they slipped away to Morty’s house.

Max and Gracie arrived with their halos turned on, and shining brightly. Their angel wings glowed and fluttered when they saw Connie for the first time.

“Wow, what a beautiful tree,” they said. “Jesus will love you Connie.”

“I have a new tradition to share with you,” said Morty.

“What is it?”

“It is called breaking bread.” Morty gave Max and Gracie each a slice of unleavened bread He held his own piece up and stood in front of Gracie.

“Hold your bread up like I am doing.”

“Like this?”

“Yes.” Morty pinched a piece of Gracie’s bread and said, “I wish you peace.” He tore another piece and wished her love.

“Now you do the same and make your own wishes for me.”

Gracie followed his example.

“What a beautiful tradition. Where did you learn this?”

“On my last visit to heaven, Brad, Ben, and Jenna’s Grandma showed me. She asked me to keep the tradition going in her family.”

The three angels shared wishes for each other. Each of them broke bread from the other, and made a wish with each piece.

When the bread was all gone, they made one final wish.

“Merry Christmas.”

Without another word, Morty, Gracie, and Max, knelt quietly before the crèche, the birds, and the rabbit at their sides.

They said prayers for their children, for peace in the world, and for goodwill toward all men!

The End . . . MERRY CHRISTMAS BLOGGING FRIENDS

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