Saturday, May 31, 2008

interesting tidbits about my dad

He loved his job -- all his life. What a special gift.

Both of his grandfathers fought in the civil war.

He was friends with James Dean when he was a kid. (Dad was older.) Dad was into motorcycles, as was James Dean. Dad hung out at a place called Carter's Motorcycle Shop and James Dean did, too. Dad bought his first Indian from Carter's. Dean lived just down the road from Carter's. Dad always told us he taught James Dean how to ride. I would imagine it was him, along with others. James Dean also went to high school with my uncle.

Dad loved Indian motorcycles. He had two in his lifetime. He rode from Laramie, Wyoming to Indiana when he was young. In February. On a motorcycle.

Dad and I both shared a passion for family history. Dad took me to countless cemeteries in Indiana and we found our ancestors together. (Well, with my sister, her kids and Thomas came, too.)

Dad was a brilliant carpenter. He built his own house in Wyoming. He built many wonderful treasures. The last big thing he made was a harp for my sister.

Dad had a really great sense of humor. He cracked a good joke the night before he died.

He was a fountain of knowledge. He could answer any question. He gave excellent advice. He was very non-judgmental.

Dad was big-time into unions. He fought for the underdog. He served as a chairman for his local union for quite a few years.

He was a life-long democrat yet registered as a republican. When I asked him why, he said it was because he wanted to get mailings from the republicans so he could keep abreast of what they were up to.

When I was a small child, dad used to use the word dope instead of information. I'd hear him on the phone saying, "Get the dope to me and I'll look it over." I was mortified. As a kid, I knew what dope was, and in that generation it did not mean information.

Dad loved his grandkids. He was a great grandpa. He had a special bond with Thomas because Thomas loved trains.

Dad was a very equal and fair man.

He loved to eat, and he loved vegetables. His last real meal was spinach my sister brought him.

Dad was a marine. He quit school his senior year at 17 and joined up. He proudly served his country. (And may I add, the VA proudly served him in his final days. His death was met with great dignity.)

I could go on and on, but I won't. I am just in the throws of mourning, here, and want to scream to the world how great my dad was. Because he was.

I miss him.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Woe is me

One thing after another, lately. Bob had a medical emergency Monday which required an emergency room visit, 10 stitches and in the future, advanced dental care to the tune of 5000 - 7500 bucks. Hoping insurance covers this.

I was so hoping to get back to normal -- but I forget what that is.

For some reason, my life seems to be riddled with worry. No control over anything. Time to search for a new normal. I'd try it, but I just don't seem to have the energy yet.

We have a date set to go back to Colorado and clean dad's house out. As sad as it is to close down a home, his home, I'm so anxious to get it done and over with -- steps toward that new normalcy.

On the school front, I need to order Thomas's yearly standardized test, a requirement of the state in which we live. We will do math, grammar, writing and reading for the summer. Thomas is not pleased at all, but we simply must.

My house is a mess. My finances are a mess. My life is a mess. Baby steps -- getting school back up and running will a huge step in the right direction. Getting caught up on the bazillion loads of laundry will be another.

In our town, the private schools are done for the year and the public schools finish this week. It hardly seems fair that we'll have to keep going -- especially since we're emotionally drained. That's why I chose to do only the things of most importance.

If I were rich right now I'd:

1) Hire a tutor. Something I've *never* thought of in the past.
2) Hire a cleaning lady.
3) Hire a cook.
4) Hire a gardener.
5) Have a spa treatment.
6) Find a box of Calgon and use it.

Instead, I will luxuriate in the aroma and beauty of the bouquet of flowers my good friends the Georgia Peach and Heath surprised me with yesterday. Thank you so much -- you can't imagine how much that lifted my spirits. It's things like that which remind me of how rich and fortunate I am.

Laundry and math call . . .