Hell of a Guy
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one. - Albert Einstein

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

He Called Me Bro…


This past weekend The Nancy and I had the pleasure of a visit with our two youngest grandchildren – Vivienne and Henry.  It is always a consummate joy for us to be together with these two, they make us happy, they make us laugh.  These are typical, perhaps mega-typical 21st century kids…they are “connected” in many, many ways.

Vivienne is a “tweener” at age 10 and is maturing physically faster than she is mentally.  Henry, on the other hand, is a kid, all kid.  He is very smart and very alert.  He misses little and catches on very quickly.  His reply to questions is often punctuated with the word “actually” as he thinks through his answer.

The highlight of Vivienne visiting was when she and I headed out in The Nancy’s Jeep Cherokee for a driving lesson.  We drove up the driveway to a flatter terrain, and Vivienne took control of the vehicle.  All in all, though visibly nervous, she “manned up” and did it.  She piloted the car like a pro.  I was proud of her, and I think she was, too, though a little too proud to be exuberant. I wonder if she will share her adventure with her friends.

Henry loves to ride in the Jeep Wrangler we keep here on the farm.  It’s a fun vehicle, especially in the warmer months when the doors come off and the top comes down.  I think Henry would have ridden in it all weekend, if he could have.  I took him out several times and so did his dad.  There are a number of winding, bumpy trails through the fields and woods, and Henry loves them all.

He spoke of going fishing a lot Thursday night when he got here, and we went Friday afternoon for a while and again Saturday Afternoon.  Now Henry is not a fisherman.  He won’t touch the bait and, God forbid, he touch a fish, let alone eat one.  He wanted to keep a couple of those we caught and I told him we could as long as he ate them.  He wanted no parts of that idea, and decided he had had enough of fishing and was ready to return to the house to watch Sponge Bob. 

On the trip back to the house on Saturday we drove very slowly when we saw a large hawk-like bird neither The Nancy nor I had ever seen before.  We slowed the Wrangler and watched as the bird soared low to the ground in search, I suppose, of a little something to nibble on (later we learned the large black and brown bird was a Golden Eagle, and that made it even more special).  Henry, thought the bird was neat, too, and he let me know by telling me, “That’s pretty cool, Bro!”  It brought a broad smile to my face.  My grandson just referred to me as his “Bro.”  What more could I ask for?

Anytime I get to spend time with kids is a very special time to me.  Henry is the youngest of our six, who range 18, 16, 14, 12, 10 and my man Henry at six years.  I will dearly miss having grandbabies around.  Soon, as time seems to move exponentially faster with each passing year, these six will be grown and perhaps produce a few babies of their own.  My dream, my ultimate dream is to live long enough to hold each of their babies.  Maybe one of them will call me “Bro.”

And that is all I have to say about that…

Sunday, August 11, 2013

An Anniversary to Ponder…


Seventeen years ago today at about 4pm I stopped at a Burger King restaurant in Grantsville, Maryland just off Interstate 68 at exit 22.  I was on my way home to Richmond, Virginia from spending a weekend with The Nancy at her home in Grafton, West Virginia, and I was hungry.
I drove into the Burger King with my usual expectation of what I was about to consume, that being no expectations at all other than to purchase something to quell the rumbling in my stomach.  My order was placed at the drive-in window – Whopper with cheese, an order of fries and a Coke (probably Diet).  Order in hand, I got back on the interstate heading easterly and ate the sandwich, scoffed down the fires and the drink and satisfied my hunger.  It wasn’t too many miles down the road I got that old feeling.  Prior to this occasion I had had many episodes of gastrointestinal distress.  I am not saying there was anything wrong with the food I bought at that Burger King, but it did trigger a reaction within my guts I had experienced at least once a month for nearly four years, and I was tired of it.

This distress began as a mild cramp in my abdomen.  As time passed the cramps would intensify and this went on for up to eight to ten hours.  At about the time the cramping would bring tears to my eyes I would involuntarily, to put it nicely, empty the contents of my stomach.  Once regurgitation was accomplished the cramps would subside and within a half an hour or so I was back to normal.  It was a nutty time.

This particular day as I continued my drive back to my habitual abode the cramps worsened as they always did, and as they intensified I decided I would stop eating animal flesh – bovine, porcine, fowl and all seafood.  At first I thought it would be tough, it wasn’t.  After the first month or so I rarely thought about meat, and now it has been so long I have forgotten how most of it tastes.  I can tell you on those occasions where I have had a chunk of meat in my mouth I can tell immediately by the mouth feel of it, and I can also say the mouth feel of meat is not a pleasant one for me.

People ask me from time to time how I could have given up eating meat.  Then they tell me they could not, and to that I simply tell them if eating meat made them throw up, they could work it out.  I also tell them the last time I threw up was on August 11th, 1996 at about 9pm.  End of story, over and out.

And that is all I have to say about that…

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

The Pain of the Day…


What you are about to read will sound to you as if I am complaining.  I really am not; this is merely an observation of my present state of fitness   Oh, and by the way, it sucks.

At this very moment I am sitting in my favorite chair in my favorite room doing one of my favorite things – writing bullshit.  I sometimes think I am much better at BS than the more serious topics.  The serious stuff gets my emotions going and I often miss the point I initially had hope to make.  Hence, bullshit is easy.

I ache!  I have more pains these days than I can count.  Each day seems to bring on another and is added to the numerous layers of aches and pains of days past.  I think the first aggravating pain I suffered came on back in the late 70’s.  Back pain, and it has been with me ever since then.  All I need do is any kind of lifting or stand for long periods of time and my back aches.  Muscle aches come and go depending on the type of work I am doing, but are to be expected to bother anyone who does manual labor.  These aches are becoming more common than not, it just doesn’t seem to take much to make me sore all over these days.

Lately, though, these aches and pains have spread, I suppose it too is a consequence of aging and I am beginning to hate it.  Both my knees seem to be weakening and I find myself pondering knee replacement surgery (Ouch!) at some point down the road.  My left knee aches at night and the pain often wakes me and causes me to assume a partial fetal position to gain relief.  I don’t think I sleep well but maybe I just don’t believe I sleep well when I really do sleep well.  It’s all bullshit.

This morning I awoke with a pain and thought I might have pulled a muscle in my back, but the pain seems to be emanating from my left kidney (this is what old people do) and so my mind is going nuts thinking about all the causes of this kind of ache.

I am going to see an ophthalmologist tomorrow because of a periodic pain I get in my right eye.  An optometrist I saw gave me a simple explanation; however, I want to hear a complicated, this-is-serious, explanation.  It is the kind of guy I truly am. 

A shooting pain just shot across the top of my head.  What can that be?

So, folks, I am seeking answers to these perplexing issues with my body.  What the hell is going on?  Is all of this happening so I have something to talk about with my rapidly aging family and friends?  Does this happen so we geezers can have conversations and make comparisons with our buds?  Whatever!

Okay, here’s the good stuff.  I am loving life.  I am loving getting older even with all that comes with it.  The world is changing so fast I sometimes think it is slowly leaving me behind, and I suppose that is exactly how it is to unfold.  I don’t mind it all.  Today is The Best Day Ever, and I am going to live it just that way even if my ass falls off.

And that is all I have to say about that…