Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Wednesday April 27, 2005 Dad

Dad is now in his fifth set of 20 years, close to crossing into his 90s. It appears that the mind is willing but the flesh is weak. His health has been slowly fading over the last few years and it isn't fun any more. You want to be able to do things for yourself, but can't. You are forced into relying on others and it takes patience. Your own body fails you when you try to do things that once were easy. You become frustrated. Parts of your body decide to quit functioning properly and you are embarassed and feel lessened. People start to treat you differently once you get a bit older - they talk around you or about you but not to you. They seem to think that a weaker body somehow implies a weaker mind. It isn't true, you know. The mind is amazing - it retains a wealth of information and experience and it keeps on going long after your body retires.

Dad can't see as well as he could and his motor skills are less than perfect. His balance isn't what it used to be and he has lost a lot of his strength. He has lost the freedom to get out on his own now and he misses being independent. He still cares about his friends and his relatives and wishes that he could write or visit, but it's difficult when you can't see very well. The world has closed in on him and all we can do is offer him as much comfort and love as we can possibly give.

My dad has been the pillar of strength in our family and we all have come to rely on that strength and wisdom. He has been my hero throughout my life and has set the example of the kind of man I would like to be. Age takes a lot away from us eventually, but it doesn't take away our character or the history of what we've done and how we've lived our lives. As the years pass and our lives fade, we are left with our memories and we can see in others the effects of how our life touched others and perhaps helped make their lives better.

My dad can be proud of the life he has lived.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Sunday April 24, 2005 It's been a while

It's been a while since writing to this. It's not that I haven't had many thoughts, it's just that I've been lazy about taking the time to write them down. Several people have mentioned that they keep an eye on me by way of my blog - It's nice to know that people care.
Anybody who knows me knows that I am a gadget guy and I've been playing with my latest accumulation of gadgets these last few weeks. I got a dvd recorder that will record old videos onto dvd and and also record from TV to disk. I've done a whole lot of each. I also got some software that helps me record bits and pieces from various sources onto dvd - very handy - but very time consuming. It keeps me off the streets.

Among the many passing thoughts I've had recently, I've really noticed that time in our lives really varies as we pass along.

The first 20 years of my life were so filled with learning and events and discovery and achievements that the time passed very slowly and I was able to savor each and every moment, emotion, discovery as they passed. I passed through grade school, boy scouts, high school, college, girlfriends, marriage, getting out on my own. Years tuly filled with memories and emotions.

The next 20 years passed by much faster with events and memories more spaced out. I passed through establishing a family, a home, a career, a divorce, getting to know myself and learning what I really cared about.

The third set of 20 years flew by without my hardly noticing them. The events were momentous, but spaced out so that each year tended to blend into the landscape of all the years.
I passed through leaving my job for 2 years to travel around the United States then going into business for myself for a while. I eventually went back to work at Builders Steel for awhile until leaving to go out on my own. Then I found a new career being a Cad operator before finally finishing out my career back with Builders. During this time my girls finished their college educations and found their marriage partners. This time was well spent, but passed so very quickly.

Now I'm in my fourth set of 20 years and I'm learning how to deal with the trials and tribulations of growing older while enjoying the time to contemplate and to follow some of my interests. If the pattern continues, I'm sure that this time will fly by before I notice.

What you have to carry forward through each of these periods of time is your memories of previous events. It's really up to you to find the joy in the moment to carry forward in your memories.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

A bright and cheery morning.

How are you this bright and cheery morning?

It's a glorious spring day and the red bud trees are budding and the fruit trees are blooming. The sky is blue and there is a cool spring breeze passing by. The grass is spring green and the trees are just taking on a tinge of green as the buds are breaking forth. It's good to be alive on a day like this. The birds are back and the woods are full of new life. The whole world celebrates a new beginning as spring arrives.

It's been a long cold dark and dreary winter, but it's over. Celebrate!

Sunday, April 10, 2005


Make good memories for yourself. After all else is gone you will still have your memories.

Deep within my mind lie memories of a distant youthful world in which I once dwelt. The events and places have all disappeared from time and space, yet the memories are there for me to view whenever I feel the need. Some memories are tinged with flavors of regret or happiness. Details have faded from some memories, yet they leave an image in my mind like an abstract painting with long forgotten feelings touching my soul. Some memories are sharp and vivid and still bring to me the feelings I had at that moment. I can still feel the loss, the love, the regret, the loneliness, the joy, the fear that once I had. They all will fade with time and we will be left with golden memories, remembering the good times and forgetting the sad times, until at last we will remember no more.

I hope to leave pleasant memories behind for others to occasionally enjoy.

Sunday April 10, 2005 Opinions

It's Sunday and the sunday morning television is full of news commentators telling you their version of what's going on. Each person's view is shaded by his or her own opinion and the real truth is somewhere to the left or right of their statement. The democrats have absolutely no praise for the current administration and feel that every move made has an ulterior motive that is directly opposed to the good of humanity. The republicans love the current administration and praise each and every thing done, but still hate Clinton and the democrats. If you can pull back and observe from a distance, as though watching an old time movie, it can be quite funny watching both sides and their antics. The truth is somewhere in between the extremes and hopefully time will heal all wounds. Perhaps it would be better to watch Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Thursday April 7, 2005 The things we take for granted

My grandfather came to America in 1884. He, his sister, his mother and father were leaving the refined city of Berlin to find a new life away from the increasingly militarized country of Germany. Here are some exerpts of his memories that he wrote in 1957 about that trip. Can you imagine the great adventure these people took upon themselves to come here. They left their friends and family and all familiar things to come to a strange land with people who spoke a strange language - all for the sake of personal freedom.

Part of his memories - he was 8 years old at the time:

Oh, I can remember very well when we left Berlin in 1884, and the trip we took over here. Berlin was not a bad looking city at that time. There were some very nice parks there. The streets were all paved, as I remember mit Asphalt und Stein. The streetcars were drawn with horses, (not mules as they were here). I remember taking the tickets or transfers from the passengers as they got off the horse cars, and using them on my kite tail string. I remember Dad making the kites or buying them, and taking me up to Tempelhofer Feld and flying them. (Feld means field.) Dad must have liked me, as he always took me to the parks and shows. He stuffed his pockets with cigars and off we went. I do not ever remember him taking Emma or Mother.

Well, father left Germany about six months before Mother, Emma and I left. But the trip I remember very well. We got on the train and went to Hamburg. From there we took a German ship, I believe, over the North Sea to England. This was the first time in my life I saw negroes. From England we went to Scotland and laid over for a week waiting for the Atlantic ship. It was the Anchor Line. We were two days crossing the North Sea and two weeks on the Atlantic getting to New York.

Here is something I will never forget. When we were crossing the ocean, I got to playing with some girl about my age on deck, but somehow or another she hit me in the nose, and oh my, how the blood did fly! I went to the railing of the ship and I can see the blood running down the side of the ship. Then a sailor came along and showed me a little place on deck where I could wash my face. I do not remember seeing her again until we got to New York. We only looked at each other and laughed. Well anyway, when we got to New York as I remember, we got on the train and went through many towns, exchanged trains, and finally reached Kansas City, Kansas, which was called Wyandotte, Kansas. We got off the Missouri-Pacific train at the foot of 5th Street at about 9 o’clock in the evening, and Father had a man to take us to his home. When we got near the home, I heard Mother say, “There is where he lives, I can hear him playing his accordion.” Well, when we got in, after a few kisses and hugs, I heard Mother say, “What a Godforsaken country!” You can imagine us coming from a large city to a small town without any street pavement, but lots of ground.

They had to start from scratch and build a whole new life here. We take for granted what our forefathers struggled so hard to give to us.