Someone once said: "A friend in need is a friend indeed."
That was the time the guy (or gal) needed a friend, and one that would help was indeed a good friend.
Later a wag changed that to: "A friend in need is a pain in the neck."
Makes a difference what side of the need you are on!
I am retired, comfortably retired. (That is not a statement about money but contentment.) I help people sometimes, but when they pull out the checkbook I run. If i like you I may donate some time, but I will not accept money, it messes up my karma. (However Karma figures into all of this.)
And with all of the additional duties I have assumed I do not have a whole lot of extra time to give away.
But a friend called. In all the proper ways I am very fond of her. Her husband is a really specialized mechanic, and his job dried up and the job he got was in another area. Would I come over and give them some advice on fixing their house.
So I went, advised, and offered to do a sheetrock patch that they did not really know how to do. That done I went home (actually any sheetrock work takes about 3 trips, so it was not a quick thing).
As she was on her way out of town she called: "Dave, would you go to the house and repair the linoleum and put the new bath floor in. I will pay you." That last part was poison.
But, they were on their way out the door, and I was cornered.
These repairs look so easy to the ones not doing them, but they are a pain and it will kill a day to do. So, I will delay my trip to Daughter's house by a day. That may put me into a snow storm over the passes, but I have chains and I'll be careful and grr.
And you know I'll somehow forget to even send her a bill!
About now I get to thinking about camping. When Revere came out with this cute little tea kettle, they did not plan for people like me. It has served me well is getting blacker each year and only some parts have melted! When anyone threatens to wash it, I thoroughly resist.
My first summer on a lookout tower, in 1955, a radio station in Spokane, Washington broadcast a baseball game a day.
I quickly became a Cleveland Indians fan. (Probably not something I would bring up with a shrink).
They had a fabulous group of pitchers, who at that time were in the twilight of their careers. Bob Lemon, Early Winn and Bob Feller were the ones I remember.
Feller died yesterday at the age of 92. He could throw a ball close to a hundred miles an hour and owned a good many records in spite of spending 3 years in the Navy in World War II, right during his best years. He became a Major League pitcher at the age of 17, then went back to high school that winter to graduate.
Lefty Gomez is said to remark as Feller blew pitches past him: "That one sounded a little low."
Feller was always outspoken. But it was his ability to throw a ball very fast that made him famous.
There aren't many left of his generation, the generation of my parents.
Almost every time I go camping I am experimenting with a new piece of gear or a new way of doing things.
We are going to daughter 1’s house for Christmas. They have a good sized house, but there will be 26 or 27 people there some of the time. Space is critical.
“Dad, could you bring your camper trailer, the big one.”
The big one is a 1984 model that I remodeled a while back, after Miriam was diagnosed with AD. My thoughts and my reasoning as I rebuilt it was that it would be a comfortable place for me to live sometime in my life, after I lost her. But her disease has progressed very slowly and I have largely ignored the last details.
The trailer is big, though not huge, and there is the thing about a few details and a license, which would cost for a year and be good for about 2 weeks! Hmm.
We could take the teardrop. It is comfortable to sleep in, even in really nasty cold weather. The issues there are getting up at night, and where to put clothes etc. This is not a camp trip, and we may stay for a week or three.
So I am back to experimenting.
I have one more trailer that I have long considered for a simple re-fit as a small camping trailer. It would be comfortable and it is licensed!
My world history teacher was Leon. He had graduated from college a couple years before. He was 23 or 24. I remember his wife as being one of the most beautiful women I had seen -- I was 14. (She was beautiful and still is).
Email last night that Leon had a heart attack followed by a stroke. He was the one who could turn a church announcement into a 5 or 10 minute talk, now has trouble talking. He was listed as in critical condition.
We who knew him well knew this day would come. Not this combination, but that something would get him some day. He was one of those larger than life characters that occasionally pop into our lives. Leon kept doing the ever ready bunny gig. He kept popping back into my life.
Leon and I got on great in that history class. The class would not start until I told a joke. I always liked history and I liked the teacher and I got an A. Though I was capable of a lot of those (I had a steady diet later at the University) I did not often then. It was too easy to be lazy and I was "allowed."
The last time I saw Leon, just before our Thanksgiving trip, I hugged him and told him how much I loved him. He hugged back.
He may snap back, but not as the old Leon, I fear.
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.