Hell of a Guy
No legacy is so rich as honesty - William Shakespeare

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

How do you Spell Relief…


I am overwhelmed this morning with a sense of relief as I have never felt in my entire life.  In words I never heard my father use, I feel fucking wonderful!!!

Yesterday I received a notice from Social Security letting me know my monthly stipend is to be increased by 3+ percent or something.  The Nancy had opened it as she opened the other mail and handed it to me.  The first paragraph outlined the increase.  The first was followed by the second paragraph, and what I read caused me to nearly toss my dinner.

When I begin junior high school back in February 1956 I was placed in a remedial reading program.  Reading was not my thing, and I always thought I hated reading, but now know why.  My reading comprehension level was very low then, and still is.  I recognized early on I am a visual learner and a lazy reader.  I tend to skip over words and even complete sentences.  Very often I when reading I have to re-read sentences to understand what was said.  Very frankly, it’s a pain in the ass.  This held true last night.

As I read the second paragraph of this notice I began to choke up.  What I read led me to believe I was going to have to give back to Social Security every nickel it paid to me over the last two years, bringing on a pounding heart and instant nausea.  My evening was ruined as these thoughts ruminated over and over in my simple mind.  I couldn’t hardly get excited as the 49’ers whooped up on a team I love to see lose, the Pittsburgh Steelers, on Monday Night Football.
This morning I picked up the notice with the intent of reading every word of it one more time.  I read the first paragraph.  A-Okay!  I began to read the second paragraph where it explained what I thought I read last night.  There is a limit on the amount one can earn in the year the individual reaches full-retirement age.  What I read last night pertained to someone reaching that age in 2011, and that ain’t me.  I am safe.  I reached that age almost two years ago.  “R-e-l-i-e-f!” Yippee, on being old enough to fart dust.  I cannot put into words the relief I feel this morning.

Now I can get back into the Christmas spirit.

And that is all I have to say about that…

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Driving Miss Nancy…


The title reflects about all I really have to do these days.  Well, that is, except for breathing, eating, brushing my teeth, bathing and occasionally slipping into the bathroom for a needed personal relief moment.  My life has surely changed, but I have to say, unequivocally, I love it.
As for driving Miss Nancy, aka The Nancy, I really don’t do that much any longer especially since the gas money is coming out of my pocket and not that of my former employer.  It is funny how quickly I began paying attention to the price of gasoline once the cost of it was to be borne by yours truly.  In fact, now that I have joined the ever growing ranks of aging Americans subsisting on a limited income I find myself looking at the cost of a lot of items, but just looking.  I still spend like a drunken sailor, hoping I might just spark a turnaround with this economy by spending my children’s inheritance.  At the very least I am making a valiant stab at it, much to the chagrin of my wife.
Notwithstanding what I said earlier I have found myself to be rather busy these days.  As retirement approached I was very concerned with how I might fill my daily dance card, I have found it simply isn’t that hard to do.  I am not a list maker, but I do choose to keep a short running list of possible projects securely anchored within my ever rapidly atrophying cerebellum.  This way should I forget something I know it will one day pop again in my conscious thoughts and I will think of it as a brilliant, albeit, new idea.  This is aging at its finest.

Speaking of my “To Do List,” this week I made a trip to the local landfill and dumped off all the old company files and crap I could not part with while I was employed but now view as merely superfluous clutter, this was the first item on my list.  I also plan on, at some point, no hurry, to clean out my 1/3 of our walk-in master closet (The Nancy took the rest for her stuff).
There are suits and sports jackets hanging the closet I have not worn in years and ties so old and wide you could land a bi-plane on them.  Much of what is on my side of the closet will make someone else very happy, I hope.  These are gently worn, good quality clothes, just not worn any longer.  Actually I probably won’t have need of most of what is in there.  Five or six suits, five or six sports jackets, slacks, dress shirts and many pairs of shoes, all adding up to way too much stuff I won’t ever wear again, and have no need to wear again.  One of the last suits I purchased is (very) jokingly referred to as my “burial suit,” though don’t anyone get your hopes up, I am here to stay.  I need to be a burden on my children.  So you can see I do have things to do, right?

At this very moment I am sitting in the parking lot of a hotel in Charles Town, West Virginia waiting on “Miss Nancy” to get out of a meeting so I can drive her back to our home some fifty miles west.  This is the only item on my dance card for today, well, that is, except for my nap.

And that is all I have to say about that…

Monday, December 12, 2011

Santa Claus is coming to Town…


Can it possibly be that time of year already?  Where did the year go?  I seem to have missed a couple of months.

Other than spring, this has to be my most favorite time of the year.  I love everything about Christmas.  I love the pomp and circumstance, the seasonal potpourri, the decorations, the music, the traditions, the cookies and cakes and I especially love the looks on the faces of children.  Christmas is all about children, and as we all know Christmas is the result of a child’s birth, and there ain’t no getting around it, this is a children’s holiday exactly as it should be.

It bugs the crap out of me there are those among us who would have Christmas removed from the calendar.  Don’t take me the wrong way, as Christians go I am probably in the very lowest ranks.  I do not attend a church regularly which means very close to not at all.  I think this year I may have gone twice, but only truly remember onr time clearly.  However, church does not a Christian make, I think we all know that, as well, but I do live by Christian ethics.  Having said this, my church attendance doesn’t mean I cannot love the Season.  This one carries a message every human on this planet should hear and practice – Peace on earth, good will toward men.
“Glory to God, and on earth peace, toward men of good will” (Luke 2:14) is actually how it goes, but I kind of like the way we have always heard it.

This year as I brought out the faux Christmas tree (I would love a real tree but totally impractical for our circumstances) I got the brilliant idea, even though we live a half mile off the hard surfaced road, to put candles in some of the fifty-one windows we have in our habitual abode, just to dress the joint up some.  The Nancy and I are the only ones who will ever see the lights in the windows, but what the hell, it’s Christmas, right?  Deck the halls and all that stuff!

Since we are now captivated by the Season, yesterday in preparation for the big day we did a little shopping shortly after having had some lunch and a couple of beers.  We spent a shitload of money partly because we had some lunch and a couple of beers, but were more than thrilled with what we think we purchased.  Once done, we hurried home had a little something to eat and a couple of more beers, watched a little football, bought the Green Bay Packers and joined the elite ranks of NFL owners.  What?  I am not sure what I was thinking when I heard we could own a piece of the Packers, but, what the hell, it’s Christmas.  So here we are, owners of a professional football team.  Who would have thought it?  I now know why we are advised not to make purchase decisions with a buzz.

Merry Christmas to us and Go Packers!!!

And that is all I have to say about that…

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