Blogs, random thoughts, travel

  • Remember When?

    Remember when we used to talk to people on telephones?

    It used to be that we just dialed a number and waited for somebody to answer.  If it rang fifteen or twenty times, that meant they probably weren’t home.  Because even if they had been in the bathroom, they would have made a mad scramble to reach the phone.  After all, it could be important.  But as the one doing the calling, we’re imagining them picking up the receiver just as we hang up—so we let it ring another three times, just in case. 

  • Easter Egg Hunt

    In my childhood, I recall that on the Saturday before Easter Sunday we would take a basket or box, line it with fresh green grass from the lawn and a few wildflowers from the pasture (but never bluebonnets because we were not permitted to pick them).  These baskets would be lined up in the hallway of our utility room and on Easter morning we would check them for chocolate bunnies and other sweets.  Sometimes there would be a few dyed eggs to find in the grass outside.
  • The Ledger

    When we emptied my parents’ home, there were large piles and tubs of photos and historical family documents.  You see, they had gone through this same rite of passage with their own parents.  My siblings and I did the best we could to sift through everything but in the end I can remember on the final day scooping up several old photo albums, putting them in a large Rubber Maid tub, and telling myself I would sort through them ‘one winter day’.  
  • Leftovers

    “If you don’t eat this, I’m going to have to throw it out.”
  • The Last Time

    The last time I held my son’s hand while walking around an amusement park came without realizing it.  And it makes me wonder when will be the last time my granddaughter gives me a hug and a “pat-pat-pat” on the back.
  • Routine

    I’m not sure if others felt the same, but between the Thanksgiving-Christmas-New Year’s holidays and various illnesses in our household we seemed to lack any kind of routine the past couple months.
  • The Longest Night

    Have you ever made plans to watch the sun rise?  If so, you know to do so you have to get up while it is still dark.  When I was employed, I caught the sunrise most mornings on my commute. Many were glorious and actually made it worth my time to go to work. Sometimes (many) it was the ONLY thing I enjoyed about my workday!  I must admit that since I retired and put away my alarm clock, I see way more sunsets than I do sunrises.  
  • Christmas Cards

    One of the most difficult tasks of preparing to send cards is going through last year’s list and updating it for those who have passed away.  It is bitter sweet.  We grieve all over again for the loss, we think about the survivors and how different this year will be for them, and we remember sweet memories of the deceased. 
  • Good Timing

    A refrigerator repair should never be undertaken without first having coffee.  The clicking off and on continued while Jenni and I had our coffee, but did slow considerably.  By the time we had finished breakfast, it was no longer an issue.  (I prefer repairs like that!).  We vacuumed under the front of the unit and said a prayer it would last through Thanksgiving.
  • I'm a Worrier

    Camped somewhere in the forests of Wisconsin I worried that the banjo-playing young man with a large chained dog, whose camp we used for a U-turn, would walk through the woods and find us while we slept.  I’m not sure if I was concerned what harm he might do to us or if he would just play his banjo all night. 
  • Border Crossings

    Eventually a woman leaned out of a window and waved me forward.  I asked if I did something wrong at the scanner but she ignored my question. I handed her our passports showing we were US citizens.  She still asked where we were going and did we have a reservation for tonight?  (I’m thinking: ‘I’m an American, does it really matter where I’m going?’ but of course did my best to come up with the name of a state park we were going to camp in that night.)  Then she asked ‘was this a camper with a bed and was anyone sleeping in the back?’  I replied it was just the two of us.  I was not about to let her know there was a passenger with Chihuahua Mexican-heritage, without a passport, snoring on the floorboard between our seats! Annie may have lived on the streets for a while, but she could not have survived serving time in a border holding cell at this point in her privileged life. 
  • Radio Reflections

    When I was a preteen, I discovered KTSA which played “Top 40” music.  I still remember it was 550 on the AM dial.  You could call in requests via a TOLL-FREE phone number IF you were willing to dial eleven digits on a rotary phone and then, IF the call was answered, stay on hold for 15-50 minutes.  People will say that Country music also existed at this time, but I’m not sure anyone in my family was aware of this.  I was also probably in college before I realized there were FM stations available on the radio dial.