Griffy a year ago. Eighth grade graduations are unique in so many ways. The girls are getting close to their adult height, the boys are often a lot shorter. The girls are beginning to look quite beautiful, the boys just look. Some look (and even act) quite grown up (this group was better behaved than their family and friends in the audience!). Some have a ways to go, but they are on their way. The town is very proud of their grade and middle schools, but they do not have a high school, so the graduates will be scattered around a dozen or so area schools. I cannot help but wonder how they will all look in 4 short years.
Then there were awards. A dozen and then two dozen and then hundreds and then thousands. Or so it seemed. It took 30 or 40 minutes to give out award after award, mostly to the same dozen or so students.
But down toward the end they honored a mother (OK she was not a mother she was a grandmother). She is called D, simply. For complex reasons she took on the task of raising her 3 or 4 grandkids. She was single and was working at the local post office.
When soccer season rolled around, D would make sure the kids were all registered and their fees were paid. When it was time for Cub Scouts, same story, and summer baseball, same again.
A picture was circulated showing about dozen of the guys in the graduating class, but the picture was take when they were in grammar school, 5 or 6 years ago. The picture was of the boys at soccer practice. My grandson Griffy was among the group.
I doubt any of them ever won anything remotely close to a championship, but they learned so much about life and living and it would not have happened had it not been for this grandmother who was raising her grandkids and along the way raising half of the neighbor kids as well.
D, you are fabulous and the ovation you received today does not begin to tell the whole story or the tanks we all owe you.
Thanks for all of what you have done for the kids, boys and girls.
Fifty four years ago this evening! My mentor and our dear friend Dean was the MC at our reception. Dean was a genuine good guy. Miriam was beautiful. We were both so young, but were and are very devoted to each other.
Fifty four years ago this evening, I married sweet Miriam.
In most ways we were too young to really know what we were doing, but we did it any way and we have been in love always.
Time goes faster than we might think. At this point I look back over so many happy moments and thoughts.
It has been good to be married to Miriam.
Yesterday we drive 600 miles from our home in Idaho to Dea (daughter 3) in San Francisco. The last few times we have drive but half way at a time, sleeping in the teardrop trailer or a motel. This time we did neither.
We will be here for about a week. Griffy graduated from 8th grade this week. Dea and Curtis are going to be gone for a couple of days, leaving us with the boys. Punishment, I know.
It has been wet and cool in SF this spring. Today the sun is shining and it should be fabulous.
I spent a fair amount of time trying to get a good paint job on an old hunk of metal. It is not easy. This paint job, on this show car, represents hundreds of hours of hand sanding. There is no shortcut, no magic machine, just long and tedious work with a sanding block. This rig is kinda dumb really, a milk truck with a cobra engine, but it does show that some people still have too much money. And since I paid to see these cars, maybe I do too!
Cell phone, of course, though that last bit is not as obvious as it might have been.
A long time ago I decided that I had to have a cell phone to operate my business, and that I did not have to have a land line, so I kept the cell phone.
I used to buy a phone that was tough and simple. Those are not available any longer at my local cell phone store.
What I got this time seems to work well. It is smaller than the last one, but the screen is a bit larger. It has an outside window that I can actually read the numbers, and when opened, it give me the information I need.
But, it seems it is also like a small town speed trap.
Of the 7 or 8 options on the main menu, 4 of them involve spending more money with the phone company. It seems that if I were to push the wrong button, I could spend a hunk of money pretty fast, and my retiremen budget does not go for surprises.
And, as it usually happens to me, when they transferred that magic little chip/card from the old phone about half of my phone numbers are gone. So now I have to email friends, and ask them to call me so I can get their number back on my phone list.
Of course, I could use the built in white pages directory (for another fee).
I know the friend pretty well, but the mother a lot less so. Mom is 90, is in horrible health but she does not want to let go. My head spins.
On one side, there sure isn't any quality of life left, and she is wearing her family down, making inroads on their health. But she is entitled to live, or is she?
When friends Dad was asked about DNR (Do Not Resuscitate), he readily agreed and signed the form. Mom is not wanting to admit that it might be a good idea. He died last year.
None of this sits well on my head or my friends for that matter. Someone said once, that heroes know when to die. The possibility of a LOT of bad memories, really bad ones is real. My mom went from health to death in about 6 months. She had cancer, as did Miriam's mom.
Mom did pretty good until the last two or three weeks. All of her kids were here and we spent lots of time with her. I regret nothing and I have no bad memories, other than loosing my mother and friend.
I remember reading a western one time. Don't remember much of the story, but the hero went out into the wilderness and died. The author said it “was a good death.” I have never been sure of why the author wrote it that way, but that line has haunted me for decades.
Maybe when it comes our time, and we look death in the eye and don't flinch (much). We only go that way once and there is no dress rehearsal.
We all hope to die in our sleep at an old age, but we don't get our wishes, often.
This blog began as a spot to vent about my life with Miriam and her time with Alzheimer's disease.
She was diagnosed in '99 and her decline has been quite slow. In fact some of our best years of our long marriage have been these recent years.
Alzherimer's, at least her version is a disease of waiting. One shoe drops and it can be a very long time before the other one drops.
So life goes on.
At the beginning of this blog I told the story of our courtship and marriage, about out family and our personal journey with this disease. The part that scares the most is the anticipation as the disease slowly progresses.
So, I will touch on that subject from time to time, but the entries will tend toward comments on life. I'll leave politics and religion for others to worry about, not that I don't have strong opinions!
I have my hands full just looking after my wonderful Miriam.
We met when we were 6, began dating at 15 and have been together since. We will have our 56th anniversary this June.
We have four wonderful daughters. Smart, independent, awesome. They have given us 7 grandsons and 4 granddaughters. None of them are little any more. The oldest is 28 and married, the youngest is 14.
Until this last fall we lived in a hosue I designed and built in the '70's and it is pretty weird and wild, but very comfortable. Last summer the girls came to the conclusion that I really did need help dealing with Miriam. Now we live on a couple acres with daughter 1.
Life has been good. There is not much I would do different even if I could. We are rich beyond belief but chronically short of cash!
And, unless stated otherwise all the photographs are mine.