For those of you interested Only in TRAVEL, I (Jack) wrote the blog between March 2010 and October 2010 during our travels west. We saw the most beautiful places and had the best time in our big truck and little trailer. See Blog Archive below.

Sep 27, 2013

Tomorrow Nancy and I are going to Tennessee to camp at Falls Creek Falls. We will camp by ourselves for a week. Then, many of our friends from the camping group are coming. We will have a great time. If the weather is half as good as it has been here, it will be wonderful. I think we may be hitting it at a good time for leaf watching. We can't wait to see all our friends.

It's Susie's birthday, today. We celebrated last night--she took me to the nature center--oh, how I love it up there. So many delectable smells. She's on a little vacation until Sunday. I will miss her, but this will be a good test to see if Nancy can still camp with her back problems. If it goes well, we may get to go west in January! Yeah! Then Susie can meet us a couple of times. Oh, please, please, keep your fingers crossed for us.

I don't think there is cell service or internet where we are going. The campground said it was spotty. Nancy is bringing a booster...whatever that is. It won't work if there is no service, but it might help if there is some signal. Then we can use the hot spot. Otherwise, the lodge in the park has wifi.

Since we are leaving tomorrow, I suggested to Nancy that she might want to hook up tonight. She thought about it for a little while (she was just being lazy) so I didn't think she was going to take my advice. Then she got up and out she went! I supervised her through the door. Pretty good. Didn't take long at all. Now, tomorrow all she has to do is hook up the lights to the truck and unhook from the electric on the house and a couple of other last minute things and of course the ever present "just in case" items she always packs. We ate dinner, and then Nancy got her camera and went outside to take a picture. "Uh, Nancy, it's pitch black out." ::just wants it for the record-rolling eyes:: I don't really blame her, it has taken probably 6 weeks to get ready. She used to be able to do it in a day. You can barely see, but for the record--it's hitched. The trailer was dirty inside from sitting and also because the workmen who put the hot water heater in weren't the neatest if you get my drift. So Nancy took everything out and washed down every inch of the inside and then organized everything. Well, now I know that half the time she'll be looking for things that she organized.
We'll leave between 10 and 11 a.m. It's Saturday so there won't be any rush hour traffic. I think the drive is about 3-1/2 - 4 hours. It's good timing because I generally take my morning nap around that time so I'll probably sleep most of the way. I know there is a lake. Nancy said I could go in the first two days, but then I have to have my heart worm and frontline so I won't be able to get wet for a couple of days. Drat.

Uh oh, here we go. She stood right in front of me and took the camera out of it's case, went out to take a picture in the dark, came back in and the camera case is missing. Nancy's life is full of these little crisis. Well, I'm already exhausted just from watching her, so I'm going to catch 40 winks. I'll be bright and alert for the morning unlike the Nancy who will probably be up 50 times--shes's in a frenzy trying to find her camera case. Good night.

Sep 24, 2013

A Memory From My Son

This is probably unorthodox, but I'm doing it anyway. My son wrote a post in his blog that moved me to tears and I have copied it to my blog. It melted down the years so quickly, leaving me with such a real and visual memory. Rich didn't wear a "derby hat"...that's a twelve year old's memory, and that gave me a chuckle. I do remember the "toss", however. Michael joined his high school baseball team as a senior (I was sure he'd never make it on the team waiting for so long to try out). To my surprise, he was voted "Most Valuable Player". Rich and I would have been proud no matter what, but Rich's feelings (though quiet) did not go unnoticed by me. He was as proud as a peacock. I don't know the name of the hat he did wear, but I remember it. Below is one man's memory of the Father he so adored.

Rich was proud of all his kids. I celebrated my eldest's son's youngest daughter's 21st birthday last weekend. He and his wonderful wife have done an amazing job raising all three of his girls.

Milestones are always double edged swords. I wish Rich could meet her, now. She's such a sweet young woman (had trouble getting the word woman out). I wish he could see all three of his kids, now. He'd be so proud of them, and of his grandchildren. "If wishes were horses, then beggars could ride."

I love to hear my kids talk about and remember Rich. He was a very, very special man and I'm so glad they had him for their Father even if it wasn't for as long as they would have wanted it to be.

"Throwing the Ball

I am sitting here watching the Atlanta Braves tonight.  For some reason, a funny memory of my little league days popped into my head.  When my dad and I played catch - he would catch the ball in his glove then flip the ball up in the air and catch it with his throwing hand.  Normally, you would reach your throwing hand into your glove because it is quicker and safer.  But my dad being laid back would casually flip the ball into the air when playing catch with me.

Well, as an impressionable 12 year old, I learned to catch and flip the ball from watching my dad.  I distinctly remember my little league coach trying to break me of that habit because my dad's technique took longer to throw the ball to first, so this gave the batter/runner an advantage.

It occurred to me just how much time we spent shooting baskets in the driveway and up at the elementary school.  I walked Bogey up to the school and all of the basketball goals are gone now but the blacktop is still there.  There were 6 separate goals and I can remember the one we preferred to shoot at.  I can remember what the basketball felt like and where we used to park the car.  I remember the noise the ball made when it bounced and how I would run from the car to the blacktop.  I remember how my dad used to dress - he would wear a derby hat most of the time. Those are wonderfully innocent memories our time together."

Michael, today

Michael with his eldest when she was little. I just happened to scan this photo not too long ago.

Michael with his Youngest last year.
On another note, little Mary has had a low white blood count and was running a fever. Test results come back tomorrow. She has an awful fear that the Leukemia has returned even with her Mom's reassurance, her own fear hidden. One of Mary's little friends from the hospital had a relapse, so she is sure it's what's happening to her. I only mention this so that we remember that the end of chemo is not the end of worry. There are the adjustments that take place before the joy of life can begin. My thoughts are with her, of course, and I hope yours will be, too.

What? A post without a picture of Jack? Never happen.:)

Sep 13, 2013


Just received word that Mary's Chemo is finished 3 days earlier than expected! It's been such a long and difficult ordeal for Mary. I am so happy for her, for my niece, Jenny, and her husband John, and of course my sister and her husband (grandparents)

This caught me by such surprise that I am speechless (very unusual). I wanted a record of the date and time I heard...September 13, 2013 at 2:59 p.m.

After seeing all that this little one has been through, I will continue to contribute to St. Judes in hopes of a cure for or childhood cancer. No child and no family should have to endure this awful disease.

Time to begin living life, Mary. You go girl!

Sep 11, 2013

The Shame

We Remember 911
Budweiser Remembers (Link)

We Forgot Benghazi

Taps (song)

A worthy and very appropriate response from Rick Doyle. I should have included the attack on the Marine barracks to begin with, but my mind was concentrated on 911 attacks. My apologies to all those Marines and their loved ones. We will never forget you and, as a nation, should be ashamed that the terrorists who struck in 1983 have never been brought to justice. I will write a special memorial on October 23.

"At 6:39 a.m. on Oct. 23, 1983, 220 Marines, 18 sailors and three American civilians were killed and another 60 were injured as a result of a horrific explosion detonated by a terrorist suicide truck bomb that destroyed the Marine barracks at the airport in Beirut, Lebanon.

The Reagan administration immediately attempted to deflect blame for the attack with a deluge of false statements and misrepresentations. In a televised speech four days after the bombing, the president insisted the attack was unstoppable, erroneously declaring that the truck crashed through a series of barriers, including a chain-link fence and barbed-wire entanglements, and argued that the U.S. mission was succeeding.

On February 7, 1984, 4 months after the Lebanon bombing, President Reagan ordered the Marines to begin withdrawing from Lebanon after the attack on the barracks largely because of waning congressional support for the mission.

While Benghazi was tragic, it pales in comparison to the Shame of the U.S. Marine Barracks bombing."