“It hurts when they’re gone. When they’re gone, the world turns upside down, and you’re left holding on, trying not to fall off.” – Walter Mosley
I taught Sue to dance in the late 1980s, and she loved it. She played in the High School Band and also mastered the piano, flute, folk harp, and other instruments. If a tune was playing, her feet were moving, just like me. We began dancing in earnest in 1987, taking classes for almost fifteen years. We danced at Disneyland Saturday nights for ten years before we joined the private dance clubs. We would still be at Disneyland if it weren’t for getting old and the marble floor, which was killing our feet. I loved holding her in my arms and watching her twirl and twirl with the music! She especially enjoyed the waltz and the polka as we moved about the floor quickly. While I am anxious to get back to dancing (for the exercise) and have some concerns about dancing with others, Ed Roberts said he would be my wing-man. Everything will be OK. I love you, Sue!
As I walk into the house and turn towards the office, I have my unique pictures given to me by the “little ladies” down the street. I am sure Mom did the lettering, but the two images are just incredible. I put them in a frame and posted them where I could see them all the time. They give me a lot of joy to know that the little ones saw the love Sue and I shared! Thank you, girls!!!
Good news for me, the bathroom scale whispered 196 pounds this morning! I checked it twice, and it was right on 196. I celebrated with bacon and eggs. The 190-pound destination is not too far in the future now!
I was thinking about you a lot today. Today I spent most of the morning moving Sue’s clothes, which I packed carefully into boxes, to a spot under the eves of the garage getting ready for pickup. They are going to an agency that specializes in women returning to or just entering the professional workplace and in need of business-professional clothing. I understand now what you went through when Dad left us in 1970, and I remember you showing me the closet where Dad kept his things.
I realize now that you wanted me to take a lot of things but I did not as they were too big and not quite my “style”. This helped me understand why there was not a lot of interest in Sue’s clothes with the people I mentioned it to. We do get wiser as we get older, I chalk it up to experience now!
It was pretty emotional, but Sue and I had talked a lot about “what if something should happen” as we were getting up in years. I was so sure that, like Dad, I would be first, so removing stuff would be easy for Sue. The guys would empty the garage in a flash, and my clothes could be sent to the Volkswagon dealership to be used as car covers. (Well, maybe I was not quite that fat!).
I had always thought that I would be first to go. Going through her clothes just brought back so many beautiful memories. I thank Aunt Kaye for being there with you during that time in your life. You know, Kaye is still with us, and she is rapidly approaching 100 years of age.
Just an update, Aunt Helen passed last week and I know this because Colleen, your granddaughter, talks to our family a lot. She found out from Chelsea, Aunt Helen ‘s granddaughter. I am so pleased that Colleen is making these connections as I am sure you would be. Colleen brings the family together! She is also friends with the Mall’s. Not only that, but I also talk to Paul David Mall, my second cousin, almost every day. Like you, I love family!
I was blessed to have you as my Mom and Sue as my partner in life.
Since I changed insurance companies, the AAA folks wanted to do a virtual inspection and get some photos of the house, so I decided I had better get the garage in order. I moved all the boxes I recently packed outside and put them under a heavy-duty tarp, all twenty-two boxes. Tomorrow I will work on the last of the garage cleanup, which includes stacking some wood and arranging some ladders. The Grey Ghost is happy; he can live in the garage again!
By 2:00 PM, I was tired and hungry, so I checked the refrigerator and decided baby back ribs would hit the spot. Listen t me! I sound almost like I know what I am doing. I got out the baking pan, stoked the oven with three more logs, went to the smokehouse and grabbed a rack of baby backs, and cooked them suckers right up.
Did You Know? Since baby back ribs start at the spine, they typically are quite short, with the shortest only measuring about 3 inches. The most extended baby back ribs are about 6 inches though these measurements depend upon the size of the pig. They also taper with the shape of the pig’s rib cage and are curved. Spare ribs are substantially more massive than the baby back ribs. They are flatter and usually contain more bone than meat, but they can also have a higher fat content.
A rack of baby back ribs typically weighs approximately 1.5 to 2 pounds while a rack of spare ribs generally weighs around six pounds.
I wanted a vegetable, and I looked inside the freezer first, and then, I remembered, I have a large vegetable garden! Duh! English shelling peas! I picked them, shelled them, and boiled them for a few minutes with a little butter, and I was ready to go!
The little fat ones were picked first, brought into the house, and individually shelled.
I added a little butter and a shake of salt. The peas were a perfect addition to the baby backs!
Since I was outside already, I looked around and found out that I had better get my butt in gear and pick the blackberries as they are going bonkers! The crookneck squash is within a day or so of being ready, and I have some super plans for them!
My fellow gardeners were outside quacking orders as I walk around. While I like these little guys, my pool man suggested they stay away as they do tend to leave little surprises in the pool!
The “Staff Meeting” was scheduled at 5:00 PM today. What staff meeting? Well, A few of the folks who I worked with and myself decided to get together once a week and say hello and share stories. Top to bottom, left to right: Robin, me, Pam, Kelly, Jane, Kyle, Tom, and Teresa! We laughed and giggled for over an hour, sharing stories and updates.
After the staff meeting, I needed to walk even though I had already done two miles around the house. I decided I would walk incognito today. Well, that failed because I could not find “Cognito,” so I just walked around the hood.
The chalk artists have been busy again, so I stopped, whipped out the iPhone, and got a snapshot of the “Lady In Blue Pants”. Unfortunately, while taking the picture, I accidentally captured her soul, so tomorrow, I will have to return to the scene of the crime and figure out how to reverse the process. I plan to look in the yellow pages and see if I can locate a shaman to assist me in the process.
Deciding not to capture any more poor souls, I aimed the trusty iPhone at the brightest berries I have seen in a long time. I am suspecting that the birdies will be visiting this tree shortly. Someplace in the dark recesses of my mind (and there are a lot of those), I remember being with my grandfather and using this kind of berry as bait when we went fishing back in Arkansas.
If you noticed the map, there are a lot of “squiggles” along the path, and that is because, being a true gentleman, I left the sidewalk whenever people came in my direction, especially if they had kids or dogs with them. The Friday evening walk is a favorite time for dog walking. I was not walking recklessly nor under the influence of cranberry juice!
As soon as I got home, I called Colleen, and we talked for a while. She was under “Tornado Watch” for the next two hours. I read about that earlier in the day when I got an alert on my watch. She was OK, but the rain and hail was coming down hard, and the lightning was so bright, it lit up the room even with the curtains drawn. It sounded pretty scary to me.
I watched the TV for a while, but by 10:30 PM I was fading fast. Tomorrow I am having some company as Mike & Bridgette are dropping by about 3:00 PM along with Ed Roberts and Irene. Then on Sunday, the BRanders and Marianne and Craig are joining me for lunch on the patio about 1:00 PM. Not quite the busy social engagements of months ago, but at least we are seeing each other! We will sit in the patio and have a few drinks and talk about dancing.