Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Dad Would Have Been 92

Dad would have been celebrating his 92nd Birthday Today (April 1st).  The picture above was taken two years ago at Sandy and Arny's house.  It was a Sunday, Easter Sunday.  It was the last birthday I would have with him because last year my son graduated from a Chiropractic College in Missouri and we just could not make both.  I wrote this in the blog back then pertaining to his 90th Birthday:
Easter has fallen on Dad’s birthday only four times in his lifetime, 1934, 1945, 1956, and 2018…and will do so again in 2029, but dad says he does not want to be around ‘that’ long…which is understandable. 
Well, he did not even make two years...and I KNOW he does not mind, although many of us do because we miss him so much.

Dad was musically inclined with his voice, but playing any instrument just wasn't his thing...but he did enjoy fiddling with a Ukulele now and then.  I think it got put in, and taken out, of more than one yard telling what ever happened to it.

Dad had one brother, Leroy...we affectionately called him Uncle Red, even though his red hair turned white a long time ago.  Above is a picture of Leroy (right) and mom and dad before they got married.  Dad was in his navy uniform.  My guess, it was 1947, perhaps 1946.

Both dad and Leroy were very jovial, even to the point of being jokesters.  Leroy was the king of the two, older child and all...he dished out many a good joke...and was the receiver of many too.  Dad, well, being born on April 1st, had many a joke played on him just because he was born on April Fools Day.  As a young child I remember someone at church giving him a large, nicely wrapped box for his birthday.  By the time he got down to the sixth or seventh box (open the big box, a slightly smaller box is found, open it, and another slightly smaller box is found, etc) each nicely wrapped, he got down to the last one which was the size of a ring box...just to open it and find a piece of Bazooka Bubble Gum.

I couldn't wait for him to open it just so I could read the short little Bazooka Joe Comic found on the inside of the wrapper of each piece of gum. 

On June 5, 1948 mom and dad married in San Jose by candle light at 7 pm.  Grandpa Burdick performed the ceremony, and that is him standing behind mom and dad.   Uncle Red was at the far right.  Mom's sister Aunt Mary was next to mom, and on the far left is future Aunt Mary Lee, who later married mom's brother Kenny.  I 'think' everyone else in the picture has passed now except for mom and Mary.  Others in the picture were friends of mom and dad.

My brother Bob sent me this picture the other day.  It is the wedding of our cousin Marlene, around 1950.  That is mom standing to the left of the bride (Marlene), and Bob's first mother-in-law, Anne, is standing next to mom.  The interesting thing is...the wedding dress that Marlene is wearing is mom's wedding dress...and the dress mom is wearing is one of the dresses her bride's maids wore...most likely the one Aunt Mary wore.

This is, I think, the last picture that all of us were in together.  It was taken December 2017.  Look at that smile on both mom and dad's face!  A very precious moment.  FYI: Back Row L to R - Jim, Roger, Dave (me);  Middle Row: Patti, Sandy, Bob; and Mom and Dad in front.

Four years ago, on dad's 88th birthday, Mom decided to give up drinking, and was handing her Bud Light to Arny.  It was about time, we were all getting worried about her!  (Honestly, neither mom nor dad drank or smoked...she was teasing Arny who had left his beer sitting around and she grabbed it while he was not looking...I just happened to have the camera ready to get the shot.)

I am so thankful for the many times over the past ten years that Marcia and I were able to celebrate things like Birthdays, Father's Day, Mother's Day, 4th of July, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving,  Christmas and of course, Wedding Anniversary days with both Mom and Dad, let alone other times that we gathered at Sandy and Arny's for a meal or just a good get-together.  For a few years mom and dad lived right next door to Sandy and Arny, so when we were 'Backyard Camping' it was very easy to visit them.  

The irony is, had dad been alive now, there is no way we could have made his birthday this year.  CoronaVirus prevents "group gatherings", and right now mom (and dad had he survived) is in total facility lock-down.  "IF" a resident leaves the facility grounds for any reason, even a doctor's appointment, they will be under strict 14 day quarantine in their apartments to be sure that they don't spread the virus if they caught it.  So far, the entire facility is virus free...thank the Lord!  Of course, we wouldn't even attempt to drive to California right now...with our luck, we would get in the middle of west Texas and have some State Trooper make us park and sit it out.  (Actually, have not heard stories of RVers being stopped, but many state and federal parks are closed, as are some commercially owned parks.)

So today (April 1st) I will miss my annual phone call, won't be able to visit, can't celebrate a wonderful day with we will just have to celebrate it without dad.  In a way, he will be there, in the hearts of each child, each grandchild, each relative, and especially a spouse who loves him so very much.  Happy Birthday Dad...this one you get to celebrate with your mom and dad and brother and countless friends and relatives who we also miss so very much.  Have a nice Heavenly Birthday!

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

The Virus Life

Those who KNOW Bubba KNOW that Bubba is NOT a Lap Dog.  So 'IF' Bubba is on a lap, it is either he is scared, or was forced...I mean...coerced into sitting on a lap.  Here is Bubba sitting on my lap, so 'either' the virus has scared him...or I forced...I mean...coerced him to sit on my lap.  YOU DECIDE!  (OK, I coerced him...told him I would give him an extra treat when we got home if he let me hold him like I would hold Skruffy.  Unfortunately, he is so tense, his tummy has an obstruction that Skruffy did not have [think boy vs girl], and all he wanted to do was get down while all Skruffy ever wanted was more love.  Oh how much do we miss that little squirt...)

Old Bubba is a creature of habit.   During certain times each day...once or twice in the morning, once or twice in the afternoon, and two or three times in the evening he waits near the kitchen.  What does he want?  His morning treat, morning breakfast, afternoon treat(s), evening treats and dinner, and finally, his ice cream.  THANK GOODNESS for Rebel Ice Cream!  A 'PINT' of Ice Cream is only 4 to 6 carbs.  It cost around $5 per pint, but I only have 1/3 of a pint each day, Marcia typically relies on Atkins Candy Bars for her treat each day.  Of my 1/3 of a pint, Bubba gets a couple of tablespoons.  I love it, and Bubba LOVES it (thanks Arny and Sandy for spoiling him with ice cream all these years!)

I try to get him to the doggie park each week...either on Saturday or Sunday, although I took him this past Monday.  As we pulled up, Bubba looks out, then looks at me.  "Where the 'HECK' is everyone???   I tried to explain to him about the fears of the CoronaVirus, and he just gives me that look like, "Just let me out of this car!"  Sure enough, no other doggies in site during our 30 minute visit.  Dogs REALLY have a sense of where they soon as I get within 1/4 mile of the dog park, he perks up, sits up, and by the time I stop he can't wait to get out of the car.


The new cell tower at the RV Storage Lot is taking shape.  It does seem to be active, and they decided to decorate it as a pine tree instead of a palm tree.  I guess they thought they were in the mountains somewhere and not in Florida!  I was really hoping for a nice big Palm Tree at the end of the Storage Area.

Last week I saw how low gas prices had gotten, and decided to fill up the motorhome while it was so cheap.  WOW, $1.159 per gallon???  Well, that is only with the 80 cents discount I got from my Winn Dixie points.  Still, $1.959 is pretty cheap!  Can't think of how long it has been since I put 20 gallons of gas in for $23.00!  Wow, that was nice.

On the way back from filling the motorhome, I then filled up the car.  Over 10 gallons for $21.00, even that is not bad...but I put twice as much in the motorhome nearly the same money with that 80 cent discount!

This is the largest parking lot in the Docks Area of Tarpon Springs.  Normally this lot is full of cars and sometimes a few RVs this time of year...lately this is the norm...hardly any cars, no RVs.

Tarpon Springs Docks is like a Ghost TownTarpon Springs Docks is like a Ghost Town

These pictures along the docks was taken around 1 looks like it is 9 am.  Businesses are hurting, hurting, hurting.  Restaurants can only serve "To Go" orders.  Bars that sell food can also sell bottles of beer and wine (but it is hard to beat the price of liquor stores or grocery stores).  This view can be seen all across America, with different rules in different locals. It is like Christmas Day, except it has been a few weeks, and it is going to be a number of weeks more. At first they allowed restaurants to seat every other table...but that did not work out especially where Spring Breaks kids congregate.  Beaches are mostly closed, but it is left up to the individual counties to make that decision.  Some cities and counties are in full lock down, but most of Florida is not under a lock down.

Just in case you had not heard, the Salt Lake City had a major earthquake, just 15-20 miles west downtown...which means just 15-20 miles away from my daughter Stephanie lives.  No one really hurt, only minor damage for an earthquake of that size, but WOW, I am sure we did not have to live through it, and how Stephanie managed to get through it is beyond me.  There were many aftershocks in the high 2's to 4.5 range, and those were not easy to deal with either.  It looks like the last aftershock was just 4 hours ago today, so this is something they are still dealing with.

CoronaVirus as of 3/25/2020 at 7:06 pm ET 
World Meter Link     |     By Country Meter Link     |     USA Meter Link

Update on family in regards to "THE VIRUS".  As far as we can tell, no family member has been infected.  Ryan and Kaelyn's wedding has been postponed until late July..which means we will be here in Florida at least through May, perhaps through June.  Aunt Mary and Uncle Jim gave up on Assisted Living life and moved back to their safe haven in the Modesto California area.  Mom's facility is pretty much on total lock-down.  In fact, sister Patti went by over the weekend and mom through her laundry over the outside balcony down to Patti.  (Of course, Patti could have walked in and got and left real quick, or mom could have handed out the back exit door which is close to her, but hey, tossing it down over a balcony down to the ground some 30' below is more fun!)  

On a sad note, the guy who came out from Missouri to do Dad's Memorial Service has been diagnosed with the Virus.  From what mom said yesterday, Kevin is feeling fine, but due to recent travel and contact with a son who was showing signs of the illness, he decided to get tested, and he "won the CoronaVirus Lotto".  We sure hope that he has a mild case, and perhaps he is one of the real lucky who has it, and never shows any symptoms.  I have read a number accounts of people who have gone through the illness.  In its bad, evil form, it is something that no one wants to go through.  One man, in his early 30's, thought for sure he was going to die, and asked the doctor to give him the "Malaria Drug" that a relative told him about.  They consented and gave him Hydroxychloroquine and he tells about how painful it was for about six hours, and suddenly he wakes up and wonders what was wrong with him.  He credits the drug with saving his life, but he said that he went through hell getting there.  My prayer and hope is that none of my family, none of my readers, none of my friends have to go through this...

Finally, I went to Sam's Club yesterday, just two weeks from my previous visit.  WOW, what a change.  The meat area was pretty much bare of beef, but they had pork, chicken, fish, and lots of hamburger and lots of beef briskets...but no normal steaks, no roasts, and the cuts of chicken and pork were numerous, but the fish was limited.  Want Lamb?  Sorry...  Want a good steak?  Well, if you want to pay $30+ for one of those huge Ribeye with the bone which are 2-3" thick, well you are in luck.  Want a good roast?  Nada...  I was able to get everything else I needed...but I forgot the coffee.  Well, I'll get a container from Winn Dixie down the street later...I don't plan to go into Sams for another two weeks.  As for the crowd, there was not a huge crowd.  I did notice the Deli as you leave was closed down, as was the tire shop that I typically park near.