Jun 30, 2007

Because I'm in a sharing mood....

Yesterday (Friday) was Tyler's first All-Star baseball game this season. We were down 1-5 in the 2nd (or maybe 3rd) inning. Then, we were down 2-6. We rallied back and were ahead 10-6 in the 6th inning (the last inning of regulation)!! Unfortunately, the other team loaded the bases and... Smacked one out of the park for a grand slam... 10-10 going into the 7th inning. Oh, I should let you know that we would have been ahead by one more, but one of our runs was disallowed because one of our players (who was a forced runner) slid head-first into the plate. A big no-no in Little League (though it LOOKED awesome!). Anyway, we tried to rally, but no doing. Two outs in the bottom of the 7th, and the other team scores the winning run.... It was a tough loos, but it was a lot of fun! As soon as I get pictures transferred from video to stills, I'll post some... :-)

Now, for the sharing part.... For the sake of posterity, or because I think I should share my self-inflicted baseline-burn with the world, I offer up the following picture (taken Friday night after a good cleaning):

Still more to post, but I'll do that later tonight... Mom is supposed to be released today! YAY! And Tyler has another game! Going to be a busy day around the old homestead.... Though, I think Shan gets the award for "sticking it out" for yesterday... Between trying to find the sports supply shop (which, it turns out, is located in the middle of a NURSERY! Who thinks, "Hey! I need a tree...and a helmet..."??), fighting the lawn mower, dealing with her limp-along husband, a four-year old, sewing patches on a baseball uniform, and many other things all in one day, she pulled it all together... As the songs says, "And I thought I was tough......"

More to come...

Jun 28, 2007

A(nother) trip to the hospital and a Trip (literally) Around the bases...

We were awakened around 4:00am Tuesday morning. Mom was sick - bad sick, and she wanted to go to the hospital. We got her loaded into the car and I drove her to the closest hospital, in Hope. It didn't take long for them to start talking transfer. Could she be transferred to Texarkana? Nope, to her surgeon in Shreveport we must go - to the hospital.

Mom gets the "royal treatment ride" (loosely translated - Ambulance) and I head back to the houses to grab stuff for the next couple days... Though, really, I expect we will be there for a few hours and be on our merry ways.. WRONG-O! Luckily, I had packed enough for three days...

She is doing better, though is still checked in. Hopefully, she will get to go home on Friday!

Fast forward to tonight (Thursday). I came back to Prescott because Tyler had a 'parents vs all-stars' game and I wanted to play and I knew he wanted me to play. I was really worried because many of the 'baseball dads' really (seem) to know what they're doing, and I am a hack... I do not say that as a negative thing.. I am a geek/nerd/whatever, and I accept that role in life - not a sports person (well, not a very good one anyway).

So, we get the game going and only by sheer luck, I am walked to first base. The next batter gets out, and I am still on first. The batter after that gets up, and HE gets out. Finally, I decide to make a break for it. So, with two strikes on the batter, the pitcher winds up and throws his pitch. As the bass crosses the plate, I take off. I slide into second and look to see the ball roll into mid-center, so I get up and turn for third.....

The following details are sketchy at best, as I have very little recollection as to the actual events as they transpired. That said, here is what I *think* happened... I take off for third, most likely pulling one of several muscles in my right leg. For some wacky reason, I turn to look over my shoulder as the ball is heading for (what seems like) my head. Now, when I slid in to 2nd, I did it fairly correctly... Whatever steps are involved in a 'correct' leg-first slide suddenly left my being at the sight of the ball coming at me. Then, suddenly, my right foot hits a rut, a hole, something and I feel my right foot being tugged behind me, followed by much of my right leg. The rest of my body, however, continues toward third. I truly have no idea what happened next, as the next memory I have is that of sitting on (or near, maybe) third base with my arms raised. The crowd was laughing hysterically, and I had all kinds of pain in my left leg. I looked down, and sure enough, I left much of the skin of my left shin on the field, replacing it on my leg with dirt.

Oh, and did I mention, the batter had struck out, so the whole thing was for not?

I put on my best face and hobbled my way over to the water spigot to wash off the dirt and assess the damage. I won't lie - it's ugly. Not as bad as it could have been, I'm sure, but it is one big long ugly scrape... I finished the game, which it turned out some of those 'baseball dads' didn't even get on base... Amazing what psychological traps we can put ourselves in, eh?

I got home and rinsed my leg. Can you say HOLY FRIGGIN COW!? Then, I got into the shower to clean off the dirt and stink and to clean off the wound... Can you say HOLY FRIGGING COW!? After my shower, I knew I needed to put some peroxide on it. Ahh, the nice cool feel of the peroxide running over the wound...and then POW! Can you say HOLY FRIGGIN COW!? After that, I put on some antibiotic and every so often feel the sharp pang of an exposed wound on the cool night air... HOLY FRIGGIN COW!

I have more to tell you - things I read while at the hospital, but those are still at the hospital since both Shan and my Mom were worried about me driving back to Shreveport so late at night. I will leave here in the morning to see Mom, and everyone (well, except for maybe the doofus that decided to demonstrate how NOT to slide into third) will sleep better tonight..... :-)

Jun 24, 2007

I'm a hot toe picker....

Well, the presentations at Hot Springs went better than expected. Of course, we had more people show up than I had ever expected. That's good, I suppose, but I can tell we are definitely going to have to polish our act if we are going to keep presenting about Share Point and the Distance Learning portal! :-)

Been back for a few days from Hot Springs. Friday, I hung out with Mom as she continues her recovery from the surgery. There are bandages to be changed, chores to be done (since she is not allowed to do them, and she better not until the doc says it's okay!). Saturday, I took Tyler to baseball practice. He did really well, though the whole All-Star team seems to have forgotten how to play as well as they did during the regular season. Rumor has it that the adults will play the kiddos later this week... Should be fun! :-)

While at Mom's, I decided to work a little on my baseball card collection. Well, while sorting through some cards, I noticed that the program indicated I did not have some of the cards I was looking through. I knew that wasn't right, because even with 4000+ cards, I have a tendency to remember certain cards/certain years. Turns out, everything I had entered for the year 1992 was no where to be found! AUGH! Further inspection revealed that CERTAIN cards from 1996 were no longer in the database either! What freaky little gremlins are responsible for this fiasco!?

So, the only thing I can do is go back through the binders and compare what cards I have in there with what the database says and re-enter the missing cards. Luckily, the binders still only contain the cards that were initially entered into the system. So, if they are in a binder, they are (or were or SHOULD be) in the computer... What a nightmare... It's a lot like Wal-Mart suddenly realizing they had stock on the shelves that was not being reported to their inventory system. Or, like you having deposit slips in your wallet but the bank saying you never made the deposits.... [sigh] Well, no rest for the weary...or the wicked, which is it?

I'm a hot toe picker! Have you seen this cartoon? "It's HOT in To-peee-ka!" The kids have been walking around for weeks saying "It's HHHHot in TOOOOO-PEEE-Ka..." And, of course, it is cute and annoying at the same time, so I asked about it. Turns out it was a bit from "Foster's Home...." on Cartoon Network. It is one of the funniest things I have seen! So, now we (well, the kids and I anyway) go around saying, "I'm a hot toe picker!" It even made it onto billboards around the country! (See below) I love America! :-)

Oh, before I forget, I finally took a picture of the plaque on my Mom's deck:

Been watching the news lately:
  • Man shoots wife, three kids in SUV. Shoots himself in leg
  • Man kills pregnant girlfriend, calls High School friend to help bury her
  • Paris Hilton to be released from jail
  • Bomber kills 4 in UN force attack

Now, let's play a little "Electric Company" and ask ourselves, which of these things is not like the other... Which of these things does not belong?? Yeesh.

I'm adding "I'm a hot toe picker" to my scrolling license plate... :-)

Jun 19, 2007

Hanging Out

Well, Wal-Mart did not have any cheap wireless keyboards, nor did the wired keyboards have USB connectors.. Yeesh... So, John suggested a cutting board. We found a cool folding one that happens to also serve as a 'tabletop' for the Q1! Of course, it is still very weird typing on this soft, flexible keyboard... But hey, it beats typing everything out with a stylus!!

The television is on though we aren't really watching it. Turns out it is wrestling and apparently,they would have you believe that Vince McMahon was killed by a car bomb.... Here's the rub: No matter what the show says, at least one reporter contacted the local 911 and the whole thing was a stunt. Gotta love entertainment....

Ever wonder what your kids are saying when they're chatting or texting? Try
http://www.teenchatdecoder.com/. Just start typing an acronym (like POS) and the site will show you what the 'decoded' phrase is...

I saw a commercial for a new movie "1408" based on Stephen King's short story by the same name. The story is one of the freakiest ones I have heard, and sounds very creepy when you listen to King read it himself... I hope the movie does the story justice. But, I recommend you listen to it before you see the movie!

Trying out a new keyboard

Okay, I am sitting in the hotel iHot Springs trying out a new fleible keyboard. I have decded not to edit anything that I type so that I c see how well it works. The keybord is resting on a phoneboo because it doesn't work well if I try to useit on my lap! TOO flexible!! :-)

I will say that you have to press REALLY hard t get the keys to produce letters on the sceen. It's not too bad, but I think I amgoig to try a bluetooth one instead. Once I order it and it coes in, I'll let ya kow...

Post more lter, if y figers are't too tired!! Yeesh... Good in theory ayway...

Okay, I am trying something different. I put the keyboard on the Gideon Bible since it is hardbound. Not too bd, but since we are runnig to wal-mart later, i think i'll just get real keyboard and the heck with this mess!


Before we hit the road for Hot Springs, I thought I would write a little during lunch. I'm not sure if I am 'allowed' to do this using the work computers during my own lunch hour, but I figure it's worth a try.

At work, we have new rules... Well, they aren't new so much as 'being enforced.' We (the Technology Dept) had to come up with a list of acceptable software that people can use, and refine our 'surfing' policy. I reviewed the policy several times at "blogging at lunch" was not on either list, so I'm going with the "no news is good news" policy on this one... :-)

I have officially entered all the cards in my Indians 3-ring binders for years 1970-2002 (the last year I had put them into binders). The total so far is just over 3800 cards. Technically, I should offer up a few disclaimers (which only serve to explain to myself why the number may not be where I think it should be):
  1. The total so far does NOT include cards for which no set exists in the database i am using (meaning I have to add the set in order to put the cards in it),
  2. The total does not include card that are in my "Autographs, Stickers, and Oddballs" folder,
  3. The total does not include cards that are in boxes and are otherwise scattered around the home-office (the scattered cards are much to the chagrin of my wife!),
  4. The total does not include cards that may be inadvertently stuck in my "duplicates" boxes (accidentally placed there because I *thought* they were duplicates, but may not actually *be* dupes...),
  5. And, finally, I keep buying cards, so the total will grow and grow (though at present I am trying to get a handle on how many cards I had *before* my latest card-buying spree).

You're probably wondering why I keep you updated on my baseball card collection... Well, okay, maybe you're not wondering... LOL... Who knows why... Look at this way - it gives you something to roll your eyes about when you stop over... :-)

I have been invited to join the State Technology Coordinators for dinner (that is Supper for my southern readers). I used to be a member of that group, so it will be fun to hang out and catch up on things, generally make a fool of myself, and my wife can smile - thankful she is not there to have to witness it all... :-) I'll let ya know how it goes....

I saw this and had to show you... Look very closely... It is a photo from a SPELLING-BEE CONTEST!!

Jun 18, 2007

Random Stuff

I can't remember if I told you this story or not, so I'll tell it now. If i have told it, just chalk it up to 'sometimers...'

A couple weeks ago, I had picked up the phone to call my Mom. I dialed the number, and out of habit, looked at the phone to make sure I dialed the right number. I believe I had. Then again... the conversation went something like this:

Girl: "Hello, this is "
Me: "Excuse me?"
Girl: "This is "
Me: "I am really sorry, but I can't make out what you're saying. I can't hear you."
Girl: "This is the hotline for the deaf and hard of hearing..."
Me: "I'm sorry, I have the wrong number. Though, it is ironic, isn't it?"
Girl: "Yes, sir..."

During our visit to Shreveport, we stopped by IHOP to grab a bite to eat. Nothing special or spectacular, but suddenly our waitress gasps (evidently in excitement). "Where did you get that shirt?" She asks as she points to the black-and-white shirt Shan is wearing. It reads, "got kids?" Shan explains that it was custom made for her school, etc etc, and the woman is just dying, and explains that she is part of the River Cities Chapter of BACA (Bikers Against Child Abuse) and that there are 40 or so of them who like to travel together and wear the same shirts. She disappears and returns with a pamphlet for BACA (these are some very organized bikers). She asks Shan to pass the info along to a guy named "Chewy" and that we should be sure to let him know that "Sketch" sent us... On the back of the pamphlet are three names: Prowler, Chewy, and Mongo.... So, we passed along the info to the shirt-maker, who was eager to get the contact info (we are talking 40+ shirts here!). I probably shouldn't say this, but the shirt-maker referred to herself as a "T-Shirt whore" who would make shirts for any state.... Just when ya think you know someone... :-)

I mentioned earlier that I would be in Hot Springs this week. I will be presenting a break-out session at the Hot Springs Technology Institute (HSTI, usually pronounced "hissty"). John and I are tag-teaming a couple sessions, which we discovered today will be offered during the lunch hour.... So, I'm guessing we'll get.. umm... 10 people in each session, maybe... I'll keep ya posted...


For the sake of saving space, allow me to summarize the past week:

Monday afternoon the family loads up to Shreveport for Mom's surgery. We stay at the Best Western Chateau Suites. Sounds fancy, doesn't it? It is located in what was one the heart of downtown, I'm sure. Now, it is the last building (or might as well be) before the rat's maze of Interstate interchanges on that end of the city. In fact, when coming back East down I-20, you cannot even turn left into the parking lot! You have to go about 3-4 city blocks, make a few left turns, and then 'circle' back to get into the hotel! UGH!

Tuesday, we get Mom checked in... at about 8:30am... At 2:00pm, we are told that she was taken back to surgery FIFTEEN minutes ago! WHAT!? Well, turns out the person before her in line had some complications... After the surgery we went up to her room and spent most of the rest of the week there. Tyler left on Tuesday evening because he had baseball games. Each night, I took Shan and Em back to the hotel then stayed in Mom's room.

I will say that one of the coolest things that we saw was a film crew shooting a scene (or scenes) for "The Great Debaters" - a Denzel Washington film. In fact, we're pretty sure we saw Mr. Washington directing while we drove by. It was very cool!

On Saturday, my sister-in-law came to stay with Mom and Shan, Emily and I headed home.

Late Sunday morning, we got the word - Mom had done what she needed to and was heading home! She is there now with my sister-in-law watching over her. My brother is coming down tonight and will stay a couple days while shan is at workshops and I'll be in Hot Springs presenting...

I've got more I'll post about later, but for now, that's all I got.. :-)

Jun 9, 2007

A plaque, a pitcher, and a song (or two)

Mom received the plaque for her deck - the "Jerry Henderson Memorial Deck." Of course, I haven't taken a picture of it yet, but I will, and I'll post it here. Brian and I hung it, and yes, we actually used a level and a measuring tape... Who knew my Uncle would have such an impact on us.. :-)

Tyler was the starting pitcher for his most recent ballgame. Considering it was the first time he ever pitched, I'd say he did well. A lot of balls hit the dirt, but some of that was the catcher's fault. He threw several strikes, and only hit one batter. I say 'only' because our other pitchers have hit plenty of batters, sometimes in one game alone! I talked to the coach this afternoon, and he said he was proud of the job Tyler did. He said Tyler threw about 55 pitches over two innings, and any time the catcher talked to him, Tyler was willing to modify his stance, throws, etc. The coach said he couldn't say that about most of his pitchers. Tyler did very, very well, and we are ALL very, very proud of him! I videotaped the game, so I'll grab some vidcaps (that is - video stills) and post 'em up here, too... :-)

Emily had a double-header on Friday, and she did great! I got a lot of video footage showing her doing what she does best - playing in the dirt! :-) It is hilarious (and, yes, I'll post some stills from that). The double-header postponed our trip to Wal-Mart, though, so we had to go today (Saturday). When we got to Wal-Mart (after a trip to Mickey-D's for lunch and a trip through the car wash), I had turned off the van, and Shan asked if we could put the windows (power) down a bit (it was 90-friggin-degrees-plus today!), so I turned the key and "Good Directions" was playing on the radio. The whole van was singing along, so I left it playing until it ended... Somewhere Simon Cowell sensed a disturbance in the Force, I'm sure... :-)

Speaking of songs, while Emily was helping Shan make dessert for Sunday, she was singing "Girlfriend." I don't know why, but it amazes me that a four year-old knows the words to songs. Not just one or two, but lots of songs that we hear on the radio or from one of our MP3 players.... Of course, she often has her own lyrics, which makes listening to her sing all the cuter... :-)

For those of you keeping score, the Indians are STILL in first place in the A.L. Central. Talk about cool! :-) My Indians baseball card collection has been catalogued from 1970-1996 thus far, with at least 2600 cards logged. I say "at least" because that is how many are in the computer. I have a stack that are not in there yet form those years because the sets the cards belong to are not in the database I have. That means I have to find out what the sets are 'called' or 'named' and then create those sets in the program... Ah, the darker side of organizing a card collection.... :-) Emily has been helping out - she likes to put the 'stickers' on the folders. I printed out address labels with the Indians logo and the year on them, and then she and I stuck the labels to the 3-ring binders that hold the cards for that year. I am looking forward to logging the cards from 1900-1969 and my 'oddball' cards, but that is going to be a chore, since most of those cards either do not have the year printed on them, or they are made by far-out companies and the sets aren't in ANY database... :-)

We ate supper with the Hartmans tonight at Pizza Hut. The kiddos and I spent a fair amount of time spitting straw paper through straws at each other. When it comes right down to it, I'm pretty much a big kid at heart... Much to Shan's chagrin sometimes, I'm sure... But, hey, I got it honestly - my Dad was the biggest kid I ever knew.... I know Greg and Michelle's girls think I am totally weird, but I'm hoping it's things like shooting spit-balls at each other that stick with them (and our kids too) when they get older and think back to their school-age days...."Remember the time Dave was spitting paper at us in Pizza Hut...." :-) Of course, their oldest likes to make sure I don't get a big head about things... She made a point to discuss my grey hair and my bald head.... Ah, doncha just love kids?

Jun 7, 2007

Stand By Me...

I've decided to intermittently swap out pictures of my Dad.... So, I will change out the picture on the right every so often....

Here's how my mind works: I'm driving along, heading to work. I have the MP3 player going, and I am bopping along. The song "Wonderful World" comes on. Halfway through the song, "Stand By Me" floats through the jukebox in my head. That, naturally, leads my mind to wander to one of my all-favorite movies - "Stand By Me." And, that, leads me to thinking about some of the more memorable quotes:
Teddy: I am acting my age. I'm in the prime of my youth and I'll only be young once.
Chris: Yeah, but you're gonna be stupid for the rest of your life.

Milo: Chopper, sic'em, Boy!
The Writer: Now he said, "Sic'em, Boy", but what I heard was, "Chopper, sic balls!"

Teddy: Did your mother have any kids that lived?
Vern: What do you mean?

And my personal favorite, which happens to come at the very end:
The Writer: [typing on computer] I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone?

Dodge has various "flavors" of its Ram Pick-ups... The two 'local' special editions are the "Big Horn" and the "Lone Star." I'm playing with the letters to see if I can come up with a cool or funny saying that I could put on my truck as the "whatever" edition (you can buy the lettering on eBay for little money). I don't have to use all the letters, either.. Just something different... I'll keep ya posted.... I'm not the lettering is 'close enough' to mix and match....

Maybe it's just me, but doesn't Edwin Hall (the suspect in the Kelsey Smith abduction) look a lot like a non-smiling, clean-shaven version of Chris Richardson (American Idol singer)?

Jun 6, 2007

A slight change of plans....

Woke up this morning with a plan to clean my office area and catch up on some organization at work....

At 8:00, the light bulb goes on above my head and I remember that I am supposed to TEACH A WORKSHOP today! Holy crap! Of course, I had been told last week about it, but did I read the Facilitator's Guide!? Nooooo, I forgot all about it! Luckily, I was just the 'helper' for this one, so I did a crash-course review and winged it... Normally, that's not a biggie, however this workshop was "Multiple Intelligences and Technology Integration." I know what technology is... The rest was lost on me, as I am not an educator, per se...

Good thing I dressed decently today... :-) Well, okay, most days i do, since it kind of our 'dress code.' Today was Black-n-Gold (er, yellow-gold) day for me! Black slacks, golden yellow polo shirt. Why am I telling you this? Why, it popped in my head, of course!

After the workshop, I got to play 'plumber' with the men's room toilet... Oh the duties (no pun intended) I've had over the years.... :-)

Brian and Carla gave the kids their birthdays presents early - way early - this year. Em got a new cheerleading outfit and Ty got a HUGE Hummer remote control truck that has engine sounds, lights, a horn, and even a 'chirp' button that puts the thing to 'sleep' until you push the button again to wake it up. It's very cool, and will be a nice addition to the 8-10 other remote control vehicles he's received over the years - most of them from his uncles, I might add....

Here's a couple pics:

I read a news story today about a girl who was learning how to drive... Her and her father were in the local High School parking lot... Evidently, she took a hard right turn, ran up over a sidewalk and decided that adding a drive-thru to the school would be a great idea. Can you say $50,000 worth of damage to the school!? And the SUV? How about $3500! Talk about an expensive driving lesson....

Jun 5, 2007

Summer Hours

At work, we are on what we call "summer hours." This means we get Fridays off! YAY! It also means we work from 7:30 in the morning until 5:00 in the evening... Long days ahead...

One of the current "favorites" that the kids like to listen to in my truck is Avril Lavigne's "Girlfriend." The first time I heard the song, I heard the "radio edit" version, in which they simply silenced the "M-Fing" part of the song. next, came the "Clean Version" in which they changed "M-Fing princess" to "the one and only princess," which was better, but the song still used "damn" and "hell" more than I cared for the kids to hear. Enter "Audacity." (The same software I used to record those hypnosis tapes I talked about a while ago) I brought the song into Audacity and edited out the cuss words into what I call the "Squeaky-Clean" version. There is one bad skip because I got tired of trying to make it perfect, and it is near the beginning of the song, so you forget about it as the song plays on... But, it works for me! :-) What i want to do is take some of the 'remix' songs I have and edit them to my taste. For example, I have a cool extended remix of "Take on Me" (by A-Ha, may be before your time...). The remix only uses the "Take on Me" part... As in, NO lyrics at all! UGH. Sorry, I am too old school for listening to the chorus over and over and over again without any lyrics to go with them! So, I will take the 'normal' version of the song and blend it with the remix to make a version *I* like! :-) And I am going to try to use Audacity to do it. I'll keep ya posted, I'm sure... :-)

The Tribe (that would the Cleveland Indians, for those of you who are not sports/baseball fans) are number ONE in the American League Central Division at the time of this writing!! WAHOO!

Speaking of the Cleveland Indians, I have a MASSIVE (well, massive to me anyway - I have nothing to compare it to) collection of Indians cards. I have been an Indians fan/follower since I was a tyke back in the VERY early 1970's, and have been collecting off and on ever since. When the World Wide Web was born, and eBay soon followed, I discovered a wonderful (read: addictive) way to enhance and expand my collection. It is now so expanded and enhanced that it is out of control. The cards have been in binders for years now, but I have had many false starts in actually ORGANIZING them. For the past few weeks, I have been putting the cards into a database (The Card Collector) so I could a handle on which cards I have, which cards i need in order to complete team sets, and just how many I have... I decided (for reasons not quite clear to me) to start with the 1970 cards and work forward until I had all the cards up to my most current ones entered. Once that is done, i will go back and enter the ones I have starting with 1900 and work up to 1979. Yes, I have a few that are 1909 T-206. Those cards are almost 100 YEARS old! How cool is that!?! :-)

My best guess for the number of single, non-duplicated Indians cards I have is about 5000. But, I am probably way short on that estimate, because from 1970-1990 alone, I have just over 1500 cards. It's been fun 'looking back' at the players I watched growing up and seeing players I have no recollection of.. :-)

My ultimate goals are these (not in any order, and I prolly forgot a few):
  • Complete as many teams sets as possible,
  • Have at least one sample of every brand/style/etc of Indians card ever made,
  • Scan all the cards I own to create a 'digital collection,'
  • publish an exhaustive/comprehensive book of Indians cards for other collectors,
  • Sell the entire collection immediately following a Cleveland Indians World Series win.

Okay, the last one has been a "goal" of mine for years. but, could I really sell my collection as soon as the Tribe pulls off a World Series win?? Hard to say, and judging by their team history, I won't have to worry about it for a long, long time... :-)

Jun 4, 2007

Some Pics from the weekend

Best laid plans...

Well, the original plan was to update my previous post right after opening the boxes from Kuwait/Iraq. As you can see, that didn't happen... Time just got away from me... So, here's a little catsup... (It'll come to you eventually....)

Opening Dad's boxes was not as traumatic as we anticipated. For whatever reason, we opened the boxes, removed the contents (mostly clothing), looked through paperwork and his things, and we were okay. The next day was different for Mom when she received Dad's retirement paperwork. For the same reason opening boxes DIDN't seem to affect us, getting that letter DID affect her. It's little things, out-of-the-blue things, that set each of us off in different ways at different times. I know I've said it before, but grief sucks.....

After we went through the boxes, Shan, Emily and I went to Wal-Mart for groceries etc. On the way back, as I pulled into the yard, there was that stupid armadillo... right in front of us... So, I gunned the gas and ran him over. That was that. Or so I thought... As we pulled in front of the house, the crazy armadillo ran out into the area lit by the headlights. He danced, spun in a few circles, leapt into the air, did a backflip (no lie!!), then keeled over. It was a death scene right out of your favorite spaghetti western.... I saw the whole thing. Shan saw none of it. She had her eyes covered, only wanting to know if the show was over. It was, so we waited a minute or two before getting out of the van. Shan was convinced it would roll over and charge her. But, it didn't... Call me the "Armadillo Hunter." Or something...... :-)

Saturday was a full day! Took Tyler to baseball practice at 9:00 (yes, that is AM on a Saturday!), then Shan and I (with Emily) went to the school to move things from Shan's "old" room to her "new" room. Around 10:30, we dropped Tyler off at the "Chicken and Egg Festival," ran to the ATM, and headed back to the festival. I'll post pictures later...

On Sunday, my Mom came down to the house so we could all go to church. She pulled a watch out, ran her thumb across the face a time or two, and asked if I would like to have Dad's watch. I don't think I even let her finish the question before saying that I'd love to have it. When we were going through Dad's boxes, we came across it, and I thought about saying something then, but if Mom wanted it, I wanted her to have it. I wore it all day Sunday until it was getting close to bed-time. I already know that wearing it will bring up raw emotions - it already has, and sometimes I fight them.... But, I wouldn't trade the watch for anything....

Shan and I ate at the Texas Roadhouse Sunday evening. We've decided that in the future, we would be just fine with ordering a salad and layered cheese fries... Who needs an entree!? :-) Notice I said, "in the future..." Let's just say we had a couple of to-go boxes.... :-)

Jun 1, 2007

The hard part

Not long ago, I received word from Shan that the UPS delivery person delivered the boxes from Iraq and Kuwait that contain my Dad's belongings. As I write this, it is 2:45 in the afternoon and I am at work (apologies to my bosses).

On one hand, it should be fairly straight-forward, I would think.... Open the boxes, sort what's inside... On the other hand, because we don't know what we'll find inside, we don't know what to expect. He could have things in there that he was going to take to give to Mom, or us, or the kids. If there is a camera in there (I think he took his digital, if I remember - or Mom sent it to him maybe?), what pictures are on the camera that we haven't seen yet? What 'trinkets' will he have?

The hardest part, I think will be the knowing... The knowing that these are the last of his belongings. He's been gone for more than a month, and it still doesn't seem real some days.... This will be all TOO real.... Just as 'real' as the first time we saw him laying there, his life and spirit gone.....

I will update this later, after we hold on to the things he last held himself....