My writings and Rambling enjoy
Government Shut Down

So basically they decided to take off themselves from Oct to Jan enjoy the Holidays and leave the entire ARMED FORCES to suffer without pay through Holidays where some children will not only be away from their Enlisted Parent but the Parent at home with those children will NOT get Christmas on top of Mommy or Daddy being away Working for Our Country The Government can shut down and in the mean time No medicare, Medicaid, SS. So approximately (my guess) 1/4 to 1/3 of the population which I am sure all have mortgage payments, water bill, Gas& Electric, car payments all of course on top of what they owe that they just haven’t been able to keep up with. It just seems like we may be headed for the Hunger Games I don’t see anyway this is good for the economy, Moral, The Frail, Middle Class, Healthcare, Soldiers or the Country. HELP

Old Friend

 

 

I want to write about the loss of an old friend. I don’t even know how  to start. I had known her since the 9th grade and when I saw her I had an instant crush but she was already dating a high school guy. So I guess I sort of flirted with her and talked to her a lot in class but we didn’t  travel in the same social circle outside of school. That was the only year I really got to see her because she left school the next year and got married.

So as will sometimes happen in life things come around and you find yourself face to face with someone you thought you would never see again. I was running around with a friend of mine and one day he said hey lets go hang out at my cousins house. Low and behold his cousin happens to be the guy that married the girl I thought I would never see again.

We became friends and I started hanging out with them a lot. They had a son who by that time was 4 years old. He was great fun too and I was happy to have a new family of friends. I spent several years being an unofficial family member. My parents had moved to a different state and I stayed where I was so they became my family I spent holidays with them and was around for the birth of their second son.

Years passed and we had lots of fun spending weekends at the lake boating, tubing, drinking and just being family. I did eventually  move away but continued to travel on weekends to hang out at the lake with my family. They eventually had a pair of twin girls and the family grew and I was always welcome and still involved in their lives for years.

Also as will happen in life I eventually met the woman I wanted to marry. My new wife was happy to spend time on the weekends with my family but eventually she wanted to focus on our family. 

Life happens and we got busy and we grew apart. We still saw each other occasionally and talked on the phone from time to time but it was never again like it was in the early days. 

The girl I met in the ninth grade that I thought I would never see again. Became one of the best friends I have ever known. Over the last few years I have visited their home many times. She was one person that I just knew I would always see again. So I was completely awestruck when Saturday Morning August 10th I received a call from her husband also my good friend telling me she had died very suddenly and completely unexpectedly. 

The rest of that day all I could think of was the song by James Taylor, I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain, I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend but I always thought that I would see you again!

Walking Dead Finale

Where do I begin. It was awesome for certain. The thing is the entire premise is so foreign that watching it you know you are watching scifi. The writing is so incredible that you are immersed in the plot and the characters. You are completely drawn into the premise. 

Ok the first thing I really enjoyed was when the Gov revealed to Milton that by burning the biters he got 8 men killed. So then you think about Merle who actually turned the Gov’s own plan on him  when he arrived with Walkers in tow.

Then you get Andrea in the chair and you think “shoulda, coulda , woulda had at least 2 chances to kill the Gov and now he has her strapped in the chair. This is perfect for the character because she obviously was the kind of woman who habitually chooses the wrong man and waits too long to leave. But in the Zombie apocalypse this is a fatal move.

Then you get Carl pissed because he is not in the battle he feels he is being placed in the women and children and old folks group and being shunned. Then he has a choice when the other kid runs by and you think he killed him just to show he can be in battle like a kid thinks. Then later he explains his thought process and you see he has become what this world needs, he has seen failure in letting people go. In fact he didn’t kill his mother Andrew killed his mother. I had to think about this and remember Andrew was the prisoner Rick put on the roof and told you better run, who returned opened the gates and let in Walkers and set of the alarms which is why they had to run into the belly of the prison and his moth gave birth without Hershel. 

Then Darrell had one line to let us know he figured out what Merle did. Talking to Carol and she lets us know by saying he gave us a chance. 

My Grand daughter met the Easter Bunny! She did wonderful just 7 months old didn’t freak out at all. I got great Pictures.

My Grand daughter met the Easter Bunny! She did wonderful just 7 months old didn’t freak out at all. I got great Pictures.

The Cars

1978 a totally new sound hit the air waves, the sound was empirical and young minds were touched. There were many sounds before some magnificent, others miraculous but this sound was unique. Young Men , boys really were coming of age and this sound drove them. 

The night begins with a song aptly enough called Let the Good Times Roll. The young men rolled in a 1968 Mustang and they rolled with rice paper. The times rolled on and the song was Just What I Needed and the sounds were immaculate. Time swam and the songs began to repeat and another paper was found. This from the Purple Dragon factory. This was a thirsty paper when it hit the tongue it absorbed all the saliva and spread it’s thirst throughout the body. Vivid sights and sounds and brilliant colors were abundant the radio blared the song All Mixed Up! 

The night continues and the times roll and the young men are making memories even though they don’t know they will ever have them.  In truth some of them won’t ever live long enough to have them. Memories were made nonetheless and they were grand.

Our trip was inconsequential but our Journey was tremendous. The song was Moving in Stereo and we thought we were.

 Invincible dauntless incorrigible  immortal. Young men that had very little intelligence and very limited experience. The song was I’m in Touch with the World and we believed we were. 

Trains

My father was a Railroad engineer for most of my life. I know he was a fireman first and I think he was still a fireman when I was born but then advanced to Engineer. When I say Fireman I mean for the railroad as well not a public servant Fireman. I don’t know as much about the operation of trains as I probably should. My understanding of what my father did is pretty basic I believe each crew had an Engineer a Fireman and a Brakeman and I believe the conductor for freight trains worked in the yard. I really don’t what the job description was for each but I know the Engineer runs the train. I asked my father once if he drove the train he explained that you don’t drive a train because it is on tracks so it is going to go where the tracks lead but he ran the train by controlling the throttle and the brake. I am sure there was much more to it than that but I was a kid and he kept it simple.

Some of my earliest memories are of trains when I was young because my father worked for the Rock Island Lines he could get discounts on train travel through Am-Trak. My mother was originally from Texas near Austin and she met my father when he was in the Air Force stationed in Austin. When he got out of the service he took her back to Oklahoma and married her. When we went to Texas to visit we would ride the passenger trains from Oklahoma City to Temple Texas where her parents would come pick us up.

My fondest memory of riding the train though was one time when I was five and it wasn’t the passenger train but when my Dad took me to work with him and let me ride in the engine and  help Run the train. I was so amazed by everything it was so large and my Dad was the one in charge of all of it. I know he did two different kinds of jobs. One was a straight haul taking a freight train from point A to point B depending on the length of time it took from A to B he might just change trains and come right back with a train going back the way he had come. He also did switch engines in the yard. Of the two he preferred the long hauls. Switch engines are the trains that make everyone mad at railroad crossings, you have been there I am sure. You are the crossing and the train is passing the it slows finally to a stop then starts backing up. The reason they do this is to move the cars around and re route cars from one track to another. Working in the yard on a switch engine was a long tedious day. They hook up to a number of cars then pull them forward past a switch, which one of those things you see in movies that make the train go to another tack. They would pull past the switch then wait for the switch to be thrown then back the cars down the side track out of the way so they could move other cars up to attach to correct train for each destination. All day long moving cars around the yard to get them all on the right tracks and to the right engine so they could be taken where they need to go.

The trip I went on though was freight train from El Reno (my hometown) to Waurika OK. It took about four hours and it was pretty straight forward. We would have to pull over if an express train was coming. We would pull onto a siding and wait till the other train passed then continue on our way. I was young and found it all very exciting. When we were getting close to Waurika we were getting low on fuel and Dad was worried we might not make it to the yard there. We had pulled over for three or four trains so while we were sitting on the siding we burned fuel that was necessary for the trip. so we were still a mile or so out of the yard and Dad was babying it along at a crawl to try to make it. He went out on the engine I guess try to adjust the bleed or something, but I thought it woud be better to go full speed so we would get to the yard faster because we were going to run out of gas I though we would coast further going faster. While we had been on our trip he had shown me the basics of running the train, so when he went out I went and pushed it to full throttle. Dad came back in in a hurry when we accelerated probably thinking the Fireman had thrown the throttle but I was standing there and he said “what did you do?” I told him I thought we would coast further going faster and I put it full throttle. Now my Dad was a reasonable man but he could also be pretty stern so it was a toss up if I was in trouble here. He looked at the Fireman who was sort of laughing and then he said “well ok Boy I guess we’ll try it your way.” For that last  mile we all stood looking out just waiting to see the yard come into site. When it did Dad got on the radio and told the dispatch that we were coming in empty of fuel and we were going to try to make it to the fuel tank. We didn’t quite make it the engine stopped right in front of the shipping dock but apparently that was ok Dad was not pissed and all was well. 

I took many trips over the next several years in Passenger trains the only other time I went to work with my Dad was on a switch engine which for a young boy was pretty boring so I didn’t do that again. Of all the trains I have ever ridden that was the most fun and most important one. I had one of the best times I ever had with MY DAD!

Sitting on the back porch of our Vacation cabin blogging

Sitting on the back porch of our Vacation cabin blogging

Vacation

A new place new things new adventures. At least twice a year my wife and I get away from real life for a while and enjoy being who we really are. We are married 16 years now and have two daughters that are 20 and 22. Yeah I know the math ain’t right, she had two lovely, confused little girls when I met her.

Vacations in the early days we/I decided the first year of our marriage that every year on our Anniversary we would vacation just the two of us. That is why we take two vacations a year. During the summer we take family vacation and go somewhere new. When this started you might think that two girls ages four & six would love to go and see something new. Unfortunately we had issues! My daughters are lovely and they were always beautiful on the outside. As step children though they were not happy with their new Daddy. To be fair I am not a natural father and had no parenting experience except my upbringing. I was by no means abused by my parents, my mother is possibly the sweetest person on the planet but my Dad was no nonsense/strict and punishment was corporeal. So my parenting style was modeled off my father who I loved dearly but was very scary. Which I of course became to my daughters who already had good cause to fear men. Suffice to say our family vacations were never what you think of as restful or rejuvenating. My lovely young daughters were frightened and resentful and stubborn.

  Let me just say looking back now it is a wonder my wife stayed with me and she has the patience of a Saint. Let me start by taking my share of the blame for all things crazy. I have mentioned I was not a parent prior to this and had no skill base but believed my way was the right way. As the new father I was determined to have my daughters act the way I felt they should and behave. Truth be told they were always very well behaved in public and well mannered. In the car or at the Motel room however it seemed that they just could not bring themselves to agree with me on anything. We were unable to make a plan that everyone was happy with EVER!

My two daughter are very different in style and always have been. The older Brittany is very strong minded (read stubborn) and the younger Courtney was always her mothers shadow but by no means docile. If either one of them did not want to do what we had planned they made no bones about making that fact known. Brittany’s style was outright defiance “I won’t and you can’t make me” where Courtney was more “I don’t want to I’m not going to”! Both lead to constant rivalry between first myself and the daughter then by way of intervention my wife. Which then usually lead to me demanding I am right we are doing it!

The first place I ever took our little family was San Antonio and the River-walk. They had never been anywhere and we lived in Texas and we were newly married and on a pretty tight budget but we were going for one week. We started by visiting my Grandparents near Austin staying overnight then on to San Antonio for four nights in a decent Motel with a pool. We naturally wanted to go to the River-walk and ride the water taxi take the little tour. Well not all of us Courtney was afraid and did not want to ride on a boat. We still have the picture I took after we were underway and you can still tell she had been crying and her sister was pissed because we/I was mean to Courtney by makinieg her go. We took a family vacation though every year regardless.

Anniversaries though it was just Deanna and I. The tone was by comparison very relaxed.  The first couple of years weren’t very lavish. In fact I believe the first year it was a weekend in the Governor Suite Motel in OKC which is where we lived. The next year year we got as far as Tulsa again for a weekend. What I learned though was that when the kids were not in the mix we actually had a lot of fun and enjoyed each other immensely. So it has been my goal that I work at least enough and save enough to go on these vacations. I got better locations over time as we became more stable financially. We have been to many places some of them more than once (Las Vegas) but we continue to enjoy our time together and cherish it.

Now the girls are grown and we both still work and have all the daily grind. We still try to take two vacations a year one in the summer one on our Anniversary. Now we are taking them together though just the two of us. In our sixteenth year of marriage we are enjoying getting away together more than ever!