Sunday, February 13, 2011


I have not been blogging since Groundhog Day. My year did not start off too well, but I'm back and things will get better.

For those who have not heard, I've had some serious underground plumbing problems at my house. I have not been able to do any laundry here since before Christmas. I'm getting tired of the laundromat and the cost. Finally, it will get fixed tomorrow (if all goes well). The first plumber started the job, accidentally caused the problem to get worse, and never finished the job, nor returned any of my phone calls. The second plumber found the "accidental drop" of the first plumber's flashlight down the clean-out pipe, however his price to start from scratch and do the job was way too high. The third plumber, who I have used several times in the past, agreed to fix the problem and is knowledgeable and professional. I believe he knows what he's doing. Tomorrow will be an interesting day.

My second problem was the brakes on my truck. Before Christmas I was able to get the rear brakes changed. The front brakes were also very bad. During the repair attempt, a mechanical problem manifested itself and the front brakes were not able to be changed. Tuesday this week this problem will be remedied. Tackling one problem at a time!

My third stressful situation started on New Years Day. I received a call that my one-and-only (and favorite) Aunt was in the hospital in very bad shape. I spent two weeks visiting her less than two years ago. She has lived in Texas for the last 55 years or so. I called the hospital and was able to talk to her, thanks to a helpful compassionate nurse. She was not able to respond except through grunting sounds of acknowledgement. She had been diagnosed with Cancer of the mouth and throat a few months prior. She was a very heavy smoker all her life. My attempts to warn her to slow down fell on deaf ears. It was her only pleasure, she said, and she was not giving it up.

I was thinking about trying to go see her, but something was holding me back. I did not understand the situation at the time, but I learned later that my decisions were divinely guided from above. On January 24th, I received the dreaded phone call from her grandson that my aunt passed away that morning at the age of 89. The resulting irony of it all was very emotional (that blog to follow). My travel plans then came together and I knew I had to go to the memorial service. I spent four days traveling and five days at her house in Texas. My aunt's grandson inherited everything, as it should be, but she left a list of certain heirlooms that previously belonged to my grandparents that she wanted me to have. After the service, all those items were found and I packed them for travel home. They will be added to my china hutch and curio cabinet with pride. My grandfather's iron ashtray stand will find a place here, clean and free from any ashes because no one here smokes.

It was an emotional visit, but something I felt I HAD to do. I saw and met many of her friends and former co-workers, and the young grandson I remember has grown into a man, who turns 30 in April. His mother died when he was four years old. It was a traumatic event for my aunt to lose her husband and her daughter, both in 1985. I always tried to stay close to my aunt since then; we were close from the very beginning, because she lived with my parents when I was born.

My decisions and timing were good; I left Texas one day prior to the snow storm that swept the southern states, and I had dry clear roads all the way back. Of course, if it weren't for my son John, I could not have made the trip. He also took care of the house while I was gone. I am home, feeling better emotionally, and taking things as they come, one day at a time. NASCAR is back on TV today with the qualifying for the Daytona race; the sun is out melting the rest of the snow on the grass, and the temperature is warming up. These are all good things - enough to put me in a great mood today.

Looking forward to Spring and doing more blogging.