You Remember When …

DSC00382There is a well worn phrase or title for sure. This morning I had Valentine’s Day and my A-B-C’s on my mind.  I chose this subject matter.

The Valentine’s post can wait.

Here it comes, are you ready?

Warning: Contains nothing, absolutely nothing of literary value. As most of you already know.  My blog’s major thrust today shall be, complaining, guilt and regrets. I will try not to let good writing get in the way.

 You Remember When?”  Continue reading

Almost Christmas

Christmas time, end of the year, another one in the bag, and I am wondering where it is that the time has gone?  Summer is now just a faded memory and long since removed from my landscape.

Another observation that is recent, is the grandkids.  They seem to be leaping ahead in years, and of course, I am not prepared for it.  I sat the other day and studied intently the mannerisms and the actions of two of our grandchildren, and all I could think of was “they grow up too fast.”

It seems just like yesterday they were my little dinkers and now they are morphing into youngsters and soon to be teenagers.  I wonder if they will even like me, when that rite of passage happens?

Joshua one of our grandchildren is ten now.  It does not seem possible, but it is true.

I still remember the day I met him, he was a “preemie” came out of the chute in Fort Worth, Texas weighing less than a five pound bag of sugar.  Real small, I had never saw a baby that small before.

But he turned out just fine.  He is a handful, great little kid.

Not long ago I walked into the kitchen, and there he sat, little red head facing down towards the table, feet just off the floor, and I thought to myself, “They grow up so fast.  Soon he will be a teenager and we will not have this time with him.”  And now sadly, that day has come upon me, and of course, like I said, I am not prepared for it, I am not ready.

Allowing my mind a little time to unwind, I can still see him as he was before.  The day I walked into the kitchen and found him there.  Little Josh sat at that table, intently working on his letter.  Oblivious to just about everything in the room, he was deep into his ritual.  He was intently hovering over his piece of yellow paper, the kind with the “big lines” on it and I asked him “Josh, what he are you doing?” and he said, “writing a letter to Santa Claus.”

Carefully, unknown to him, I studied him intently.  I watched him labor with “his letters” as he refers to them, working diligently with each stroke, with care, with his big #2 pencil, he put his thoughts down on the paper.

Who knows?  Possibly for the very first time.

So I slowly walked over to the table and I peered down on the sheet of paper, curious to see what it is that he was so diligently working on and I saw:  “Dear Santa, I can save you some time this year, please skip my sister.”  So I asked him about that, did he think it was right, did he think it was the “proper thing to do?

And he didn’t quite have an answer for me.

Josh, you know about the naughty and nice rule, right?” and he shook his little head and said, “Yes.”

“Do you think this fits in that area?  Naughty or nice?

He thought about it for a minute and then said, “I dunno.

So then I said to him, “I can get you off the naughty list, but it costs a buck?  You got a buck?” and like a rocket, he shot out of the chair, ran into the TV Room and said to his dad, “Dad, can I have a dollar?”

Lord help us.

And yes, there isn’t anything better in the world than being a registered Grandfather.


New Arrival

Johnny, our youngest kid, just turned 40, time sure has a way of sneaking up on you.  First thing you know, it has as the bible says, “like a thief in the night” robbed you of what you hold so dear.  Time.  This morning I am thinking about the youngster, not the man, not the father or the devoted husband.  We received an email this week that announced to us the arrival, or rather impending arrival, of another grand baby.  This makes #4 for Johnny and his wife Lily.  He always told us when he was younger he wanted to “have at least eight children” and it appears that he is now half-way there.  So today’s post is not about Johnny the father, but rather,  Johnny the kid.

Back in the day, when Johnny was a young lad, I used to work for the worst boss in the world, well he might not have been “the” worst boss in the world, but he was definitely in the top five.  He used to adjust my attitude on a daily basis, and I have to admit, it worked.  I would not only adopt the attitude, but I would bring it home with me.  It often didn’t take a whole lot to have me chasin’ my own tail by four o’clock in the afternoon.

Working for this moron was not the high point of my day, too many days that I care to remember.

One particular day, I came home with a bad case of attitude and really found myself not to be good company to a man or a dog.  Johnny who was just being a kid, doing what kid’s do, irritated the fizz out of me and I unloaded on the boy.  I made it unmistakably clear that I wasn’t having any of it and he was not helping matters much by contributing to my discomfort with life in general.

In other words, I mounted the kid pretty bad.

The next day at work, I got to thinking about what it is that I did, what it is that I said, why it was, that I found myself so hopelessly wrong.  So when I got home, I asked the boy, “You wanna go see a movie?” and he eyed me rather suspiciously and said, “What kind of movie?” and I said, “Uh I dunno, I am sure I can find something.”

We then loaded up and headed out to the theater to see a flick, leaving Mom at home.  Just the two of us.

Unfortunately, the childrens fare was not all that good that particular day as I remember it, and we had to settle for something a little bit more mature and adult in nature.  Afterwords, we went to the local Ice Cream eatery and we chowed down on a Banana Split with extra cherries, extra nuts, we basically shared “the works” the boy and I.

And we talked, I mean really talked.

We sat there in the booth and we laughed and in one of those rare moments, we shared a little of each other.  I apologized to the boy and told him about life, how you had to contend with certain people in order to make a living and told him that what happened the day before was not his fault.

In detail, taking pains to make sure he knew what had transpired, I explained that it was MY fault, not his, that I was just having a rotten day and that he was just being a kid.

The boy in his gracious nature said, “Aw, don’t worry about it Dad, it is okay.”

On the way home, sitting next to me in the car, he looked up and he said, “Hey Dad?” and I said, “Yeah, what John?” He said, “I really liked that movie Dad, but it would have been a lot better if it didn’t have all that dumb sex in it, huh?”

Every now and then … You can learn a lot from a nine year old.

Start the week off on the right foot, when you come home today from the nine to five that has a tendency to “eat your lunch.”   Stop, reach down and grab your kid, give ’em a big hug and tell them you love them.

Kids need that in their lives … and you do too.


Modern Day Trappings

This week has been interesting to say the least, I am finding myself somewhat intrigued by this Facebook thing, is it going to go under or is it going to stay?  Are those die-hard Facebooker’s going to survive or are they going to melt down into some kind of sniveling mass of humanity?

Some of us are “people kind of people” we enjoy other folks, conversation with strangers, friends, and sometimes, relatives (but not often).  Facebook serves one purpose if anything and that is this.  It is a shinning example of how remote and disconnected we have become in the age of communication.  It is awful hard to be a people-person in today’s world.  Call Waiting, Voice Messaging, Text Messaging, that is the cat’s meow as my Grandmother used to say. A post card in the mail, unheard of in the 21st Century.

“We are so busy we cannot come to the phone right now”
“At the tone, leave your message.”
“We are so busy OD’ing on Vitamin E we cannot come to the …..
Well, you get it dont’cha?”

I don’t understand why they avail themselves of all this technology only to ignore it in the end. It has reached a point where people no longer have time for people. So busy out making a life, that they miss out on life completely. I believe Brad Paisley has a song about it all, it is called “Living On Fast Forward.”

To coin a phrase, “Stop the World, I want off.”

As you age, change is inevitable and in my case, hard to adjust to. I guess, unlike the typical Okie, who lives in a fast-paced, experience-driven, multiple-option world, where choice and personal values pale beside the possibility of exposure to the latest, the biggest, the fastest, the most prestigious, and don’t forget ……. “the best” ……. or the most expensive. I am out of touch. Everyone around me is zippin’ down the Information Highway and I am here, stuck on the on-ramp waiting for a break in the traffic.

The other day, our grandson Kyle, the “teenager” (groan) was over here, and I swear, that kid got more telephone calls, text messages, than I have had in say, five years? Yeah, that wouldn’t be so unreasonable to say. He has 1,500 songs on his I-pod thingy, who in the world has time to listen to fifteen-hundred songs? He said he was streaming live something or rather, and has downloaded his upgrade five times ….. give me a break.

Surround yourself with modern day trappings, and you in the end, still have what everyone else has, not much. Never before have there been so much transmission of information and so little true communication. Innovative communications methods and machinery have been developed and embraced in the past decade, yet the human beings for whom those tools have been developed have increasingly lost touch with the art of personal communication.

One of the very reasons that the Internet took off like it did, was the bare fact, that you could do it all “anonymously” and did not have to inter-relate with anyone. Communication with total strangers and NO commitments.  Face it, communication has taken on an entirely new meaning these days.

Tailor made for the American Psyche. A new American lifestyle … Cocooning … burrowing into one’s home/car where comfort and entertainment replace contact with people outside the immediate family. That is when they are not on a cell phone or some other gadget with lithium five year batteries.

Every time I return a business call, I get this line, “I am sorry, he is with a customer right now.  Can he call you back?” so I give them the number and then I wait on the return call.  More often than not, the call isn’t returned and the afternoon is wasted.  The thing that gets me, is every time I go out there (to the business itself) someone will jump up from a desk walk across the room and inquire, “Can I help you?”

What’s the point?  People don’t seem to have time for you, unless you have a dollar in your hand, that is.

“I gotta go Grandpa, I have this telemarketer on my other line. I will catch you later.”

Don’t bet on it.


The Hereafter

A friend of mine sent me this thing, about how much life has changed since 1955 and what struck me odd about it all, was that “it didn’t seem that long ago, but it has been quite sometime.”  This is what happens to you as you grow older, and life sneaks up on you.  Mama’s little boy, becomes a Daddy Baby, and then of course, you age and fade off into obscurity.

Antoinette Bowser of Virginia isn’t having a good week; she began her driving test by backing into a parked car in the parking lot of the DMV.  If that wasn’t bad enough, now the DMV is suing her for $75,000 to cover the instructor’s workers-compensation claim and now is trying to recover from her.  Some days it appears that it doesn’t pay to get out of bed.

I understand that Florida is now considering re-marking all of their highways and changing the signage along same, for the aging population in that state. As we grow older, we seem to not see so well.  Rule of life, everyone ages, we all get a turn. I am at the point in my life now, that as I age, they make me “pay up front” for a three minute egg.  It is pretty bad, when you reach a point in life, and they have discontinued your blood type at the local hospital.

My generation is now approaching the time of life, when they should be reaping the harvest. Aging baby boomers are quickly approaching retirement age, although I have been retired by an act of fate, some seventeen years. My grandson asked me just the other day, “Grandpa, how did you get to be so tough?” And I thought about it a moment and then I said, “Son, it is all that Dinosaur hunting I did when I was a kid. Hell, the decoy weighed six tons, draggin’ that thing around all day and uh” ……. Well, you get the picture, dont’cha?

What is it they say about us “Generians.” (latest nickname for Old Geezers like me). Old folks are worth a fortune. Silver in their hair, gold in their teeth, stones in their kidneys, lead in their feet, and gas in their stomachs. Here. Present! Yo’! as Hawkeye Pierce would say (Mash). I am beginning to note that I start every sentence with “I remember when” and end each one with “Bless his/her heart.”

You know how to tell if you’re old? …  I mean, “really old?”

When you get out of the shower, and you bend over to wipe down your ankles with the towel. Do you think to yourself, “Is this all I have to do while I am down here?” If you think that … well, you’re getting old.  Sorry. Often the truth is hard to take, and believe me, I know.

Baby-Boomers are reaching a point in their life when they ought to be giving serious consideration to the hereafter. Believe me, I am. Just the other day, I found myself standing in a room, clueless, searching the room with my eyes, all the time my brain was saying …… “What are you here after?”

Over and over, like a tape with no end … Where is it? Where is it? My brain is running down the mainline like a loose caboose … And the eyes, they are not helping, they are saying … What is it? What is it?

They are going to love me at the home.

I am the captain of my spirit, the master of my domain. My ship of life is still in the water, unfortunately I think I have lost not only my sails, but also my rudder. My aches and pains, they drive me up the wall, but here is the best blessing of them all.

“Of all my trials, and tribulations, I can proudly say Congratulations! Of all my problems, troubles, and limitations. I can say this. Thank God, I still have my Oklahoma driver’s license.”

I will leave you with this random thought this morning: “If you look at something long enough, it will eventually lose all it’s meaning.  I believe my grandson refers to that as “zoning out?”  Have a great weekend. (Bless Your Heart)


Old Geezers (video)

old-manMy grandchildren think that I am old geezer.  And I suppose to a certain degree, they  are right.  I am older than dirt on most days, I can still remember an episode of Saturday Night Live that was actually funny, I did vote for Nixon.  The weekend of Woodstock is still ever present and fresh in my mind.

Since I am pretty sure none of you receiving this are even close to being a certified “Old Geezer” (we do not have any documentation on our reader base … maybe we ought to do a survey?) so as we assume that none of you are card carrying Old Geezers, we are sending this on to you so that you might be able to spot them in your midst.

Geezers (slang for an old man) are easy to spot.  At sporting events, when the National Anthem is played, Old Geezers hold their caps over their hearts and sing without embarrassment.  They know the words and believe in them, they do NOT have to be told to remove their ball-caps, they already have done same before the music started.

And Old Geezer will get up on the bus and offer his seat to you.  And Old Geezer will stop and wait patiently for you to back up out of your space, he will not roar down on you and then lay down a generous amount of horn.  An Old Geezer will sit down with a small child and really listen to him/her, hold their hand, and give them a hug.

Real Old Geezers remember World War I, that would be an ancient Old Geezer, or perhaps a charter member.  Plain Old Geezer’s remember the Depression, World War II, Pearl Harbor, Guadalcanal, Normandy and a dude named Hitler.

The new baby Geezers remember the Atomic Age, the Korean War, the Cold War, the Jet Age and the Moon Landing, not to mention Viet Nam.

If you bump into an Old Geezer on the sidewalk, he will apologize.  An Old Geezer will call a cop “sir” even though the kid is only 23 or at best 24.  An Old Geezer will always tip his cap to a lady, and get the door for her, regardless.  Old Geezers tend to trust strangers, and are courtly to women.

Most Old Geezers take off the ball-cap or their Cowboy Hat when they sit down in a cafe or restaurant to eat a meal.  Most Old Geezers are not ashamed to dip their head and pray over their food before they eat it.

Old Geezers hold the door for the next person, and always, when walking, make certain the lady is on the inside for protection.  Old Geezers get embarrassed if someone curses in front of women and children and they don’t like violence and filth on TV or in movies.  Old Geezers I guess you would say, have moral courage.  We do not suffer from jet lag, job burnout, dishpan hands, wrestle-mania withdrawal.

Most Old Geezers seldom brag unless it’s about their grandchildren.  It’s the Old Geezers who know our great country is protected, not by politicians or the judicial system, but by the young men and women in the military  serving their country.

This country needs Old Geezers with their decent values.  We need them now more than ever.  Thank God for Old Geezers, of which I believe, I will be a charter member of too soon.

Have A Great Weekend.