Missing You

One year ago I posted on WanaTribe the below. Though the pain has receded and we are coming to accept the losses, we still miss them.

Missing you

What does ‘missing you’ mean? My wife would say it means not being able to make the call to her Mother when she has a concern. Or when she wants to brag on one of her seven grandchildren. Or being able to take a vacation and sit together talking about the cares and joys of life.  They talked almost daily for the last 30 years. Daily life will never be the same for her since her mother passed Feb 2016.

Missing you

My wife would say it is not being able to go fishing with her brother. Or sit with him talking cars, guns, grandchildren, work, people they knew or hundreds of shared experiences growing up. He passed April 2016, about 10 weeks after her mother.

I sat with her today at the cemetery. We sat on a bench monument at the head of her brother’s grave. We overlooked her mother’s grave to the headstone for her parent’s. We shared stories but mostly I listened. When she cried, I tried to comfort her. I found myself tearing up.

The time came to leave. We stood, said goodbye to her brother and approached the parent’s headstone. My wife leaned over and rubbed the picture of her mother engraved there. “Happy birthday, Mom.”

It is cliché to say “They will never be gone as long as we hold them in our hearts.” The cliché is supposed to make us feel better. But it is a poor replacement for seeing the smile, hearing the laugh, or holding the loved one. It can only soothe the hurt in ‘missing you.”

Me, it has been twenty years since my mother passed. I lost two brothers and my father between October 2002 and October 2003. My sister passed in 2011. Some days, when I am experiencing a success I find myself reaching for the phone to share it with my mother. To this day, ‘missing you’ touches me.

May they all rest in peace knowing we are “missing you.”

Are you missing someone? Tell me about them.

 

Save

Save

Save

Posted in Fall of my life | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

RVing and Northern Padre Island

RVing and Northern Padre Island

Northern Padre Island

I told of RVing to Corpus Christi, Texas in our new RV in the last post. We have had four full days visiting with relatives. Read about today when we took our three grandchildren and three of their cousins to Northern Padre Island. Secretly there was concern about going. Last year’s visit to Padre Island in July was ruined by a large amount of rotting seaweed.

The kid’s tolerance for house bound was being seriously tested. Swimming in a home pool yesterday burnt off some of their excess energy. Still there remained enough for a revolution or cataclysmic eruption.

Grandparents in action.

The grandparents mind-melded for something to burn the building energy before it erupted like Mount Vesuvius. Corpus Christi has multiple attractions tailored to tourists. Even though my wife was born and raised in Corpus Christi, we qualify as tourists since she has not lived there in 43 years. The consensus was a few hours at the beaches of Padre Island.

North Padre Island

The young were told the decision and sent forth to locate and don beach attire. Here came the questions. “Where is my suit?” “Did you wash it, I can’t find it?” Grandparents responded with pearls of wisdom such as “Find it yourself.” “How would I know, I don’t wear it?” The children undertook search and find. We grandparents prepped the cars with a cooler for ice and drinks, chairs for the adults and towels for all. None too soon, we were on our way.

ready, set, almost go

Northern Padre Island—White Cap Beach

We drove some fifty minutes to reach the beach. We set up on White Cap Beach in a space between two other families. Our youngsters ran for the water while we sat up chairs for the adults. The plan was ideal. Water and sand, sand and water. Waves for body surfing and sand to make castles. After an hour and thirty minutes of the early afternoon sun, when we were leaving began being asked. Finally, signs that the sun, sand, and surf had accomplished our mission. We gathered the troops and loaded up for the return drive.

ready to go

 

Mission was not a complete success

Everyone was relaxing in the knowledge the grandchildren were showered and quiet in a back room.  Unknown to us, they were gathering energy to be expended in the home pool. As I write this, all of them are splashing away in the pool and have been for over an hour. We are taking bets on who will crash first, them or us. If is me and my wife, we will crash in the RV.

I am wrapping up with that question still open.

Can you compete with a preteen’s energy level? Can you go as long as they can? Tell me how you wear down a preteen.

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Posted in Fall of my life, RVing | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Excuses for not writing

No excuse not to write.

Every writer who has written a blog or book on writing invariably notes that a writer knows he or she is a writer by their burning need to write. Anything else is unacceptable. But there are valid excuses for not writing.

Grandma's home on wheels

Today is the first day, since last Wednesday, that I have opened my computer. My writing in the past days has been liking Facebook posts or a quick tweet. I have not written a word on my project, hardly checked email or considered writing a post.

We left Maryland on Thursday and drove until evening in our new recreational vehicle. Not having driven a 30-foot home on wheels, we found ourselves relieved to park it and seek out the queen-size bed. First though, food cooked by my long-suffering wife was a welcome treat.

Plans change things

RVing

 

My wife and I woke early Friday. On the road again. We changed our trip plan to stop and visit family. To our surprise, they had moved and were no longer along our planned route. We enjoyed the visit and have picture to remember the visit. When we left them, we took what we thought was a shortcut to our planned stopping point for the night. The shortcut turned out to be rough two lane roads, one lane each direction, through backwoods Mississippi. The grandkids, my wife and I were getting short-tempered by the time we reached Baton Rouge. I was in no mood to look at my project and barely found energy to check Facebook and Twitter. Email was a quick scan for important messages. Food was of the quick and easy variety. *Nothing like throwing food on the built-in stove, relaxing on the couch and watching TV. It would have been better if my wife and I had been the ones on the couch!*

Saturday was a snap. We reached our objective late afternoon. Now, who has the nerve to break out the computer when sitting with family one hasn’t seen in twelve months? Not I! A few moments on Facebook, Twitter, and email before flopping in the RV’s bed finished the day.

Family first

Tonight, following a day of visiting with family and more family, I found time to get my genealogy account reactivated and write this post.

Excuse not to write

Sometimes events conspire to shove the muse into the background. Life has its curves and one must adjust to them. Although, I want to complete my project, I know there is more to living than sitting in front of a computer.

How many will remain

Life is short as we know. It has taken family members from us since we were here last year. While here, we will enjoy the time with everyone we can. I may write but it will be second to sharing time and life with those we love.

Is writing more important to you than extended family? Have you written when you could have visited and later learned there would never be another conversation with that person? Tell me about it.

There are valid excuses for not writing. #amwriting #mywana #ontheporch #rving Click To Tweet

 

Save

Save

Save

Posted in Fall of my life, genealogy, RVing, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Writing doldrums and Vacation.

writing doldrums

The writing doldrums are upon me.  When I sit to work on my project, Kiliane’s Rage, I end up checking email and my social media accounts. I haven’t looked at my project in two weeks.

The other day, I learned I am not the only one who experiences this problem. One of my favorite bloggers wrote of experiencing a similar problem. Read it at Elizabeth Drake’s Site and enjoy her other articles.

I can blame the doldrums on one of the several things. Work has been long days. The long days compensate for hours I missed. Medical appointments, procedure, and other time-off had to be made up or use vacation time. I could take leave-without-pay, not a preference. Using vacation time is not preferable either. Vacation time is for vacation.

vacation time

Ah, vacation time. We leave for Texas Thursday. I *saved* enough vacation time to allow us to stay gone until 3 August.

Last Friday, we signed for our Class C recreational vehicle (RV). It is a Le series Sunseeker 2850SLE with the amenities of home and a slide out on one side. The “queen size” bed is smaller than queen size. Over the driver’s compartment is a platform the same size as the bed. Stove, refrigerator-freezer, water, air conditioning, toilet, shower, and beaucoup storage. As my youngest grandson called it after receiving the grand tour, “Grandma’s house on wheels.”

Grandma's home on wheels

When we were taking my F-150, two grandchildren wanted to go–both girls. Now my grandson decided he wants to go. We have other grandchildren who for various reasons can’t go.

Anyone not familiar with setting up an RV, let me say it’s an experience. Aside from the amenities I mentioned, it was empty. That didn’t last long though.

We bought chemicals for the waste tanks, hoses to drain them, and a surge suppressor at an RV parts store. We bought pots, pans and assorted items at Walmart. This was worse than when we set up a house after getting married. Then people contributed, now I pay for it.

The reason for my writing doldrums is not medical procedures or long work days. It is the anticipation and preparations for vacation. Of time on the road. *I enjoy driving and what sightseeing it provides.* Thoughts and preparations for vacation pushed writing to the background.  The doldrums are receding as preparations near completion.  Here I am getting a post together! That qualifies as writing in my humble opinion. And I am packing my computer for moments when the muse rears her head while in Texas.

This is my experience with the doldrums. Don’t forget to check out Elizabeth’s great article and spend time with her.  Have the doldrums affected you? Are you feeling the call of vacation? I enjoy hearing from you on these or other topics. Comment, please.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Posted in Fall of my life, RVing | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Defining a Great Weekend with Writing, Carpentry, and Fireworks

Defining a Great Weekend with Writing, Carpentry, and Fireworks

fireworks

The great weekend, four days off work, began with watching the wife work a celebration at Fort Meade, Maryland Friday. I spent the evening before the fireworks watching the crowd gathering. It was amazing the number of people who came out to enjoy the bands, the free rides, and evening culminating fireworks. I forgot to mention the long, long lines of those wanting to sample the many types of food available from some of the local vendors. *I heard one vendor sold out. They had not anticipated the huge crowd.* Of course, the fireworks were super.

Saturday started as a down day. Shopping with the wife followed by an afternoon of movies. Logan was a well-made movie but I was disappointed with the story line. I didn’t care for the ending or the events leading up to it. Still I would give it a five star rating if asked.

With hours remaining before “sack time,” I called up my work-in-progress and started revising it. On a whim, I went on the WANATribe website and found Kristen Lamb online. She and I sprinted three-40 minute sprints. I got a chapter revised and part of another. It is always easier writing, sprinting or not, with a partner. A visit to Facebook and Twitter rounded off the day.

Amateur carpenters, meaning men and women, who undertake a home improvement or repair will recognize today’s, Sunday’s, experience. I planned a project to update a set of banisters lining the lower part of the stairs. I bought the shortest newel post Lowes stocked locally. I bought the red oak board for the base and a set of balusters. I removed the old parts and cut the base. That is when it all came to an unsatisfactory end. The new newel post and balusters were too long. There was no way to cut them to fit. I had to reinstall the old post and balusters. Special order appears to be the only way to get the right size materials. Saying I was disappointed would be an understatement.

lacrosse

My grandson is #3

The day was saved in the afternoon and evening. We were invited to a professional lacrosse game. The Bayhawks defeated the Rattlers. *My Son’s boss owns the Bayhawks so figure who we routed for?* Country star Craig Campbell performed a concert and there was a grand finale fireworks display.

Rounding out the day with this blog post. *Smiley face.* Two days of my four day weekend gone. What will the other two bring?

How has your weekend gone? I look forward to hearing your weekend story. Tell me in the comments.

An interesting two and one-half days of a long weekend. Some failed carpentry, writing, and lots of… Click To Tweet

 

Save

Save

Save

Posted in Fall of my life, lacrosse | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Father’s Day 2017, national holiday to honor fathers

father's dayFather’s Day, the celebration recognizing father’s originated in Spokane, Washington in 1910. A daughter asked her pastor to honor her father in a sermon in June. It did not catch on until the 1930s when different commercial entities recognized the opportunity to sell products targeted as gifts for fathers of Father’s Day.

It was inadequate to gain the day recognition as a national holiday. Although Mother’s Day was declared a national holiday in 1914, Father’s Day languished as a celebration. After multiple attempts over the years to have it declared a holiday, President Richard Nixon signed the law making it a national holidays in 1972.

Father’s Day with a Dad in the Navy

I don’t remember many years my Father and I celebrated Father’s Day together. He made the U. S. Navy a career and spent most of the year gone. I never learned why the decision to locate us in Illinois while he did his tours of duty at sea and shore far from us. It was always a treat when he took leave, sometimes 30 days in a year, at home. When he deployed, he sent many letters and gifts from exotic places such as Thailand, Japan, Singapore, and others I can’t remember. We sent him letters and cards to let him know how much we missed him. We signed every letter with love.

my father

My Father Francis Leo Knott

Dad at Great Lakes

In the early 1960s, Dad was transferred to Great Lake, Illinois just a three to three and half hour drive away. He came home the standard 30 days a year plus at least a weekend every month. His presence this often gave me contradictory feelings. As the oldest, I was the man of the house except for those 30 days. Dad relieved me of that responsibility year round since he came home often enough to influence events throughout the year. Thinking back, I resented the demotion. His tour at Great Lakes lasted three years before he received orders to the USS Kearsarge (CV33).

1966 – 2002

I joined the Navy in 1966. Either join the Navy or let the Army draft me. I spent boot camp in San Diego, California. I spent a few days with my Father there visiting him on the Kearsarge. He gave me a tour of the ship. I transferred to Treasure Island, California for school and transferred to Great Lakes for his last assignment before retiring. He and I were rarely home together even after he retired in 1970. Things turned around with me have 30 days or less with him at home.  Things changed after I retired in 1992. My wife and I and two children settled in Maryland. I long drive enabled us to spend many holidays. These short visits brought us closer together than any of the longer 30 day leaves ever did. I lost him on Thanksgiving Day, November 28, 2002.

My Father-in-Law

I met my Father-in-Law in 1973. My wife and I had dated a few times before she introduced us. To say he intimidated me is an understatement. I was 160 pounds on a spindly 6-foot frame. He was an imposing man, big framed, confident, and well versed with firearms. The later I learned when he talked of the shooting events he had won.

my father-in-law

My Father-in-Law, James Alexander Cameron, Jr

He exuded confidence while I shivered in his presence the first few times we spoke. In time, I became comfortable in his presence and enjoyed the conversations we had. But I remember the first time he called me a “Damned Yankee” shook my timbers. He appeared angry but wasn’t. I thought he was angry that I, from Illinois, and a sailor dated his daughter. In time, it became an inside joke we shared until he passed in 2007.

Father’s Day today

My Father and my Father-in-Law were men I spent far less time with than I now wish I had. They left indelible imprints on my life. Men of integrity who honored their commitment to family and country. This holiday was created to honor men such as them.

To the millions of fathers, may you have a wonderful and memorable Father’s Day!

Let us not forget women who are, both, mother and father to those in their lives.

mothers on father's day

Do you have a favorite memory of your father? Tell me using the comments form.

 

 

 

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Posted in Fall of my life | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Pennsylvania Dutchman Bowling Tournament

 

Have your ever competed in a bowling tournament where you wished it had been one game less or one game more. The Dutchman was one where I wished for one less game.

The Dutchman is held in two different Pennsylvania locations. The singles-doubles competition is held in Palmyra at the aptly named Palmyra Bowl. The team event is held at Clearview Lanes, Mount Joy. Singles and Doubles are three game events while the team event is four games for a ten game tournament.

I bowled the singles and doubles on Saturday. Singles was first and I had a respectable 649 for three games. We changed lanes and I had a, still acceptable, 604. My entering average for the tournament is 198. I was over average for both events. I was happy with the day.

The team event was early Sunday. I started slowly and by the end of game three had worked up to a 606 total. If the tournament had ended then, I would have had a nice 1859 for 9 games, 209 average.

Dutchman

But the tournament didn’t end and my last game was a disaster. A missed spare, three splits and no doubles resulted in a 149 game for a 755 team event. I had 2008 for the event’s ten games. The 200 average was over my entering average but, just one more game, dropped it by 9 pins.

Many tournaments I have wished for more games to give me an opportunity to improve my score. This tournament I wished for one less game. Have your done either, wanted one less or one more?

Save

Save

Save

Posted in bowling, Fall of my life | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment