Four Score and Five

years ago a thirty-four year old lady from Hungary, and living in Chicago gave birth to a boy. He lived. Back then many new borns died at birth, but this boy survived. His father who was also from Hungary named him Joseph. Two years earlier this father lost his first born son Joseph Junior, age six, to scarlet fever. This new son was a replacement for his namesake and first born.

The sadness associated with these circumstances has always placed a damper on my birthday celebrations, and throughout the years I have spoiled many a celebration on this day with my sullenness and refusal to show a hint of happiness. This year seemed no different, even though my friends came, and we drank wine, and we had a seemingly great time. I shifted my paradigm however, by claiming it was not my birthday because my birthday was the next day. Instead I told them we are celebrating a going away, I am leaving 84 behind and going toward 85.

My three kids all called me to wish me a happy birthday and that made me happy. My oldest son has reached the age at which I had retired from my job to live happily ever after with my wife Barbara. He will not be able to retire yet for a number of years, and it is the same with my daughter and youngest son. They all live lives raising their children and working like we are all supposed to do. My grandkids are all responsible citizens, and that makes me very happy.

With each passing year I develop a new sense of urgency. As my time on earth shortens, the fire to complete my goals increases with intensity. Like my current intarsia art project burns inside me. I keep telling myself that I can’t leave the planet with an unfinished pile of wood pieces which my kids would not know how to deal with. At least a completed work could become a reminder of who I was, but a pile of wood?

The next project on my list before I start a new intarsia work is to complete the manuscript for my first novel, Space Rod. As with many projects I put writing a book aside when my second wife Peggy needed my help to negotiate Alzheimer’s dementia. She has been gone for four years now, and I either have to finish the work or find a new reason to use for not doing so. Unfortunately, finding reasons to blame are a whole lot easier to come up with than putting in the hard work and time to finish. My story line has had a lot of time to fester and I’ve had many ideas for how to change the story, but in the end I think I will proceed with my original line of thinking. I always thought it was a good story idea so why should I change it now. I can’t rest until I send the manuscript off to be published.

So many things to do, and so little time.

Narcissistic Old Man

With the weather being nasty the past week I have not gotten to the library to pick new books. I was so desperate for something to read I began a search of my book shelves. There in my secretariat, on the lower shelf, I spotted the familiar white cover booklet that I made. It’s been fifteen years since I wrote and bound my vignettes into books. It was time to open the covers and to relive the moments of my childhood that I cherished enough to spend considerable time to record them. I titled the work “Jun-e-or, Recollections of Life in the Nineteen Forties and Fifties.” The title is also part of me. My parents who were very European spoke very broken English until the day they died. I also had an older brother named Joe after our father. Brother Joe tragically died at age seven from scarlet fever. My Dad didn’t have a middle name and neither did my brother. To differentiate which Joe was being addressed in conversation Dad was Senior and brother was Junior. Yep, you got it, they didn’t pronounce junior as junior they pronounced it as jun-e-or. A few years after Joe Jun-e-or died I was born, and named after my father. My parents called me Jun-e-or for the remainder of their lives. Everyone in the neighborhood knew me as Jun-e-or. I wasn’t just plain Joe until I left for college.

There are three volumes to this story. Each is a collection of vignettes about my earliest recollections up until college. I suppose I could have continued with additional volumes to cover the years in between volume three and today, but frankly I don’t have that many memorable memories from that period of sixty-seven years. Sad, isn’t it? Finishing the story about those years is a good project for my bucket list.

The book I picked up to re-read was volume three which describes life as a pre-teen, my toys, my hobbies, school, and neighborhood activities. I actually enjoyed reading these short stories again. I kept looking for ways I would improve the writing if I had to, but honestly, except for one story, I wouldn’t change a thing. Because it was all about me and my interests it kept me awake, I’m not sure what you or my friends would say. Except I do know what a few of them have said. I have on occasion loaned a single volume out to friends, and they have commented that they enjoyed the nostalgia of reliving in the old neighborhood. They saw the old places and saw themselves in some of the stores and places I described.

I’ll finish reading the remaining two volumes in reverse order. The second book is about my time on the farm with my mother’s father. The strange thing about this work is that I totally left out anything that happened with my brother and sister. It is as though they didn’t exist. That worries me because it implies that I am self centered and narcissistic, and I hate that in other people.

If you are at all interested in reading one of these volumes it is available on Amazon for free. Click on the book icon on the right side of my blog and it will take you right to it.

121212-Sunday Evening Memes

PSA-210110-First Advice of the Year

PSA-170205-Philosophy 101

Philosophy 101

As we grow older, and hence wiser, we slowly realize that:

Whether we wear a $300 or $30 watch – – – they both tell the same time.

Whether we carry a $300 or $30 wallet/handbag – – – the amount of money inside is the same.

Whether we drink a bottle of $300 or $30 or $3 wine – – – the hangover is the same.

Whether the house we live in is 300 or 3,000 or 30,000 sq. ft. – – – the loneliness is the same.

And we realize our true inner happiness does not come from the material things of this world.

Whether we fly first or economy class, if the plane goes down – – – we go down with it.

Whether we fly first or economy class, if the plane reaches its destination – – – everyone arrives at the same time.

We should realize that when we have mates, buddies and old friends, brothers and sisters, with whom we can chat, laugh, talk, sing, talk about north- south-east-west or heaven
and earth — that is true happiness.

Six Undeniable Facts of Life

1. Don’t educate your children to be rich. Educate them to be happy, so when they grow up they will know the value of things, not the price.

2. Best wise words: “Eat your food as your medicines. Otherwise you have to eat medicines as your food.”

3. The one who loves you will never leave you because, even if there are 100 reasons to give up, he or she will find one reason to hold on.

4. There is a big difference between a human being and being human. Only a few folks really understand that.

5. You are loved when you are born. You will be loved when you die. In between, you have to manage.

6. If you just want to walk fast, walk alone; but, if you want to walk far, walk together.

Six Best Doctors in the World

1. Sunlight
2. Rest
3. Exercise
4. Diet
5. Self Confidence
6. Friends

And, finally: The nicest place to be is in someone’s thoughts, the safest place to be is in someone’s prayers, and the very best place to be is….in the hands of God.