Retired from the University of Texas and too old to play soccer anymore. Now, in the twilight of his years, time is spent writing in this blog, hiking and exploring Texas Parks, photography, working out, gardening and tending to the five ponds he built .
Category Archives: My Life Story
The story of my life as I remember it starting with my early years
I had to bring my truck back in for a service it was due as I keep driving it around and the miles they have accrued I spend a lot of time on the road sometimes just driving around as I listen to Audiobooks and the stories I have found to be most interesting to me and keep me all involved trying to figure how it will end to get the mystery solved I sometimes listen when I am home but it is not the same as driving around in my truck adding miles that I have gained and so I find myself once more back at the dealership to keep the truck in tip top shape and keep it running slick this time it took a half a day for them to do their bit so I used the time to write this poem using my clever wit.
As we grow old we are sometimes alone maybe through no fault of our own and even in another life we may even have had a wife or two or three whatever the odds and their actions mean we lost the toss and even though they left us to go and we grew too old and willing to roam and had not the urge to pick up the phone instead choosing to live alone along with our pets who are our friends who stay with us until their end both dogs and cats are in that group with one another in an endless loop as such short lives they all do have and when they are gone we are so sad at losing yet another mate whose love for us had been their fate if I had one last request it would be that at my behest when I die and my soul moves on and even if there is no song I want it to be at the very same place where all of my pets at their Pearly Gates are waiting for me and welcome me home and together we will never be alone for the past twenty years my pets and I have looked after each other with the lows and the highs they have been there through good times and bad and comforted me when I was sad and carefully laid their chin on my knee which was their way of comforting me and in return I would stroke their fur and the troubles would lessen with them being there as I grow old with the passing years and know that my end and all of my fears will someday no longer be and I hope then that my destiny once young and vibrant and full of life now old and wrinkled no longer in strife my pets will still have someone to care and look after them as I am not there to give them the love that has been their life and look after them without any strife and even though their lives are short this is one time that I have to report that they could well outlive me as my life fades into history.
I went back to the Vets today as I had a bill I needed to pay for the efforts they made to save my pet as they worked so hard to try to get Gizmo back to his very best health his funny and delightful self and it was no fault of theirs that Gizmo did not respond to their care as they tried everything that they could with skill and loving as they should.
It was a very difficult time as Cindy who was a good friend of mine was retiring after thirty one years and all of that time we had shared many pets of mine both cats and dogs some we saved and others we lost as I stopped by to say goodbye both to Cindy and my little guy as his surgery was for later that day and how it would end we could not say.
As it happened it did not end well although through the surgery my Vet could not tell how it would end even though he survived and was resting and very much alive but his heart gave out and he passed away and for all of us a very sad day sadder for me because of my grief but sad for the Vets whose one belief was that Gizmo maybe had a chance until his heart stopped with his death dance.
Over the years and for most of my life there have been pets of various kinds many dogs and cats of different breeds have shared my life and made me pleased that I could have such wonderful friends who ask for little and in the end give me so much more than I can say love and affection every day and in the end they all pass on as their lifespan is but a song.
In Memory of Gizmo and my thanks to the wonderful Veterinarians and Staff especially Dr Donop who worked so hard and was so kind and understanding in my grief.
It was exactly 52 years ago on March 13, 1967 that I and my family landed from England at New York City Harbor. The trip on the luxury liner, the Queen Mary, had lasted longer than was scheduled due to stormy weather which blew the ship off course and we missed the tide causing it to dock 12 hours later than planned.
The trip had not been uneventful as the beautiful old ship was buffeted around with stormy weather and rough seas. Our family, well the female side of it, suffered from seasickness and spent quite a bit of time in the cabin and only made rare trips for food which was a pity for them as the spread put on for the diners was out of this world. My Stepson and I had no trouble and we more than made up for for ours and their share of the meals. It was interesting to be dining and the ship would lurch and we had to grab the stuff on the table to stop it from sliding off.
We had brought out little dog, a cocker spaniel named Melody along with us and she got to stay in her own little kennel on the top deck along with several other dogs all making the trip to the promised land. We would visit her several times a day just so that she wouldn’t think we had deserted her. America does not have any quarantine laws.
The first sign and the realization of what we were about to do really hit us as we pulled into New York Harbor and saw the Statue of Liberty in all of her Glory there to welcome us. Up to that point, it was just a fun trip, except for the seasickness of course, with no idea of what exactly we had committed ourselves to do.
When we finally pulled into Pier 22 in New York Harbor, and after collecting our dog, we had to wait on the Pier before we were allowed to meet up with my Mother, who we could see behind the barricade. She was with a friend from Fort Plain who she had persuaded to make the 200 mile trip from the little village in the Mohawk Valley. That and the fact the he had a station wagon which at the time, was the biggest car I had ever seen. In all of the hurly burly of landing, we knew we were in America as everyone had a strange American accent. More than anything, this really brought it home. We collected our luggage and the couple of trunks that we had brought with us, loaded everything onto the carrier on the roof of the car and proceeded to drive back to Fort Plain at night and in the snow passing and being passed by huge tractor trailers, some hauling double trailers and travelling at 70 plus mph. I had never seen anything so big on any road before in my life. As I was not driving, I didn’t have to worry about it.
That night, it snowed 13 inches of wet messy snow. I had never seen anything more than a couple of inches before and to see that amount all at one time just added to our mixed up thoughts of what we had let ourselves in for.
That was 52 years ago and a lot has happened since then. Many in my family from that time have passed on including my Mother and Stepfather, one of my Step Daughters and my Brother. My wife of that time that made the trip with me, recently passed on. Unfortunately, we were divorced 10 years after landing, another casualty of such a huge upheaval in our lives. She was so homesick for the old country and went back. The rest of the family is spread all the way from New York State to Florida and California.
Do I regret making that trip? In some ways I would have to say yes. From such a simple beginning living way out in the English countryside to the hustle and bustle of the American way of life is a huge change and hard to get used to, all of which added to the rigors of married life and keeping the family together. On the other hand, it is great to be a part of this huge technological period which we are going through and for all of its faults, America is a very forward thinking country with all manner of “stuff” available to just about anyone. I made a good living and was able to retire quite comfortably even if it is only me and 4 little dogs. Would I make the same decision if I had to do it over? I think not. I think I would have stayed and put up with the incessant rain and bloody cold weather and lived a quiet life out in the country living in the past and to hell with technology and modern living.
Oh yes, I have never been back not even for a vacation.
Thinking about days gone by sometimes makes me want to cry remembering things from the past of all of the times that did not last as memories are just what they are a fleeting moment like a shooting star a tick in time in our busy lives lasting as long as the mind survives each one replaced by something new created each moment as our minds construe slipping along from thing to thing understanding what out eyes do bring back to the brain a very safe place and another memory is now locked in space for how to describe what memories are records of our past viewed from afar the problem is that we have no choice on what to remember we have no voice so happy and sad good times and bad are all there before us to drive us all mad as we torment ourselves as we wonder why if only I had, a recurring cry but we cannot change things in the past and can only hope that our memories last for time has a habit of clearing the mind and memories fade and we no longer can find as the years pass by it is hard to recall though the memories we have are so plentiful.
I was talking to a neighbour as we had both come out to our mailboxes at the same time. We were just passing the day as neighbors sometimes do and he noticed that I was wearing what he thought were clip on shades to my glasses. I proudly showed him that they were actually held on by little magnets hardly visible to the naked eye. He seemed interested enough that he might consider getting a set for his own use.
We went our ways both back indoors and I decided that I needed to get out the riding mower to trim both the front and the very small back areas which are about the only areas that have any grass in or outside of my yard. The rest of the space is taken up with the five ponds. The sun was shining bright and the temperature was a very nice 85 degrees, would you believe. Pretty amazing for the time of year as after all, technically it is still wintertime here in Texas. Being the very attentive person that I am on listening to the advice of my Dermatologist, or more probably afraid of her lecture for not following her instructions, I went back indoors and slathered my face, neck, arms and legs (I wear shorts year round) with suntan lotion. I noticed that for some reason, the lotion, which was nearly empty anyway, had turned very runny and was more like oil than ointment. I continued to use it not giving much thought to the consequences.
I went back to work on the mowing and managed to finish the front area which, incidentally is the largest of the two areas. I have already mentioned that it was a rather hot day and consequently I started to sweat although I didn’t notice it too much. Then my eyes started to sting just a little and being so engrossed in what I was doing, thought that it was probably some pollen or dust that had got in.
By this time, I had driven the mower back inside the yard and to the back area which as I said before, is the only area that has any open space. The reason for the space is that the name of my street is called Murmuring Creek and the creek in question is created anytime we get a gully washing downpour, the kind that drops several inches of rain in a very short space of time and it runs out of the 24 inch drainage pipe which runs under the road, under my fence and then through the back yard. This is the lowest spot for several hundred yards around adding to the amount of water coming out of the pipe and then under my fence. I have a half acre lot and I have had it flood as far as halfway up the garden in years gone by but with some clever manipulation and strategic placement of several railroad ties, I have managed to keep the water to the very lowest point. It still floods my yard but only for about 20 odd feet or so.
By now, I was sweating profusely and my eyes were really beginning to sting. I kept stopping and wiping them and adding eye drops which I always carry. It was getting hard to see but I was determined that I was going to finish the damn mowing which I eventually did. I drove the mower back out of the backyard and into my garage which is where I keep it. By the way, this is the first year that I have not had to take the mower and get it overhauled like I have in the past forever Springtimes due mainly to the fact that I remembered to start it up every 3-4 weeks this year and so keeping it in running order.
Only when I walked back into the house did I realize that I no longer had the dark clip on shades on my glasses, the ones that my neighbor so admired. Fearing the worst and with my eyes still smarting from the mixture of sweat and sun lotion, I went back out into the yard to look for them. Sure enough, I found them at the spot that I inadvertently knocked off my glasses to wipe my streaming and very painful eyes. The problem was that I had mowed over them and I could only find one half, the other is probably miles away with the force of the mower blades.
That was that so sore eyes and minus sun shades, I decided that I really needed to go to the Supermarket to stock the larder. Here in Texas we are in the habit of carrying our own shopping bags into the store in an effort to cut back on the amount of plastic in the landfills and as is the case with plastic bags, on the fences and hedgerows along the side of the road. I grabbed two of my bags and placed them in my shopping cart only to discover when I eventually checked out, that I only had one bag still in the cart. Somewhere on my way around the store, the other bag had fallen out and I had not noticed. I finished checking out and made a quick walk around doubling back on my tracks but to no avail as there was no sight of the bag. I donate to a lot of charities and have shopping bags from them which I am proud to use and display and this particular bag was brand new having never been used. It was from Doctors Without Borders and was the first that I had from them. Oh well, as long as someone is putting it to good use and is advertising for them, it matters not who.
I got back into my truck and sat there for a moment thinking about the days events and how they come in threes in my case sun lotion in my eyes, running over my shades and then losing the bag. At least there was nothing wrong with my Grande Latte from the next door Starbucks.
Another birthday has come and gone just as it did last year I hope that I can carry on and next years will also appear for each birthday represents a date of time that is passing away never ever to be regained time lost with each passing day I suppose that lost is not the right word as memories we have gained in all of those years that are now gone none have ever been the same each giving us a glimpse of wonders good and bad as we go through life some happy and others sad I have been on this earth for eighty three years with all of it’s ups and downs and I would like to see so many more before the end is found how many more birthdays will I see how many years to add how much more of Nature to enjoy and memories both good and bad of one thing I am very sure no matter what the end the life I have lived is mine alone and for this I would like it extend if I could ever do it again many changes I would make but only in the way I lived not the person to forsake for that man turned out alright the best that he could be just an ordinary working guy enjoying life’s mysteries.
Stories about family, faith, friends and funnies. Pull up a chair. Grab a cup of coffee and laugh, cry, ponder and inspire about ordinary events of this wonderful, ever changing, bubbling pot that we call "every day life".