Posts tagged ‘family’

Simple as that…

It takes a bit to stop me in my tracks.

“Excuse me Sir, can I tell you something?” I heard from this 7 year-old kid we had just seen in the Emergency Room. “Thanks for sitting and talking with me when the Doctor put my stitches in.  I was kinda scared.”

I tilted my head, my forehead scrunched and my cynicism melted, just a little. I wondered who had left all the onions out on the counter.

I find it sad that manners and respect are so rare these days that they stand out and deserve recognition.

No, I’m not originally from San Antonio, Texas.  30-something years and about 2,000 miles ago, well north of the Mason-Dixon line, I grew up in Rhode Island.  I was taught, with NO uncertainty, that “please and thank you” and “yes Sir/Ma’am” was expected. My friends were no different and, if you thought you could sass because your parents weren’t around, your friends’ parents were perfectly fine calling you out.

“Yes Sir, point taken.”

We learned by example that, as a boy, doors would be held open for ladies.  When we were old enough to date, you pulled out the chair for her at dinner and when she left the table to go to the bathroom, you stood.

You wanted cash for the movies or to do something?  You worked.

Work sucked.

In San Antonio right now, minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.  At the fried chicken place around the corner from my house, they’re starting cashiers at $10.00 an hour.

In 1983/84, for $3.35 an hour I bused tables, washed dishes and stripped floors at a small restaurant in town. As a trade-off though, I learned to cook and my boss then turned out to be my closest friend to this day.  Alright, there were steaks involved while we waited for that floor to dry.  It was cooking practice!!

When I got out of high school, was money tight?  I never ate Ramen Noodles but Chef Boyardee ravioli was such a regular staple that I still can’t open a can.  I’m sure that Jack still eats his Fruity Pebbles though.

I realize I generalize here but I find it hard to accept the overall unassertiveness, feelings of entitlement, and lack of appreciation I witness almost every day.  Assuming, for whatever reason it seems, that things should just be given to them.  Unfortunately, just like manners, these habits and feelings (insert Race, Religion, Politics or Gender here) are “learned by example”.

I’m not speaking out of turn here when I say all this does affect me personally.  I’ve tried understanding and seeing things through different ‘eyes’.  I’ve gotten frustrated and angry and stood up.  I’m tired of hearing “we’re just different”, “you didn’t grow up where I did”, or “you wouldn’t understand”.  I’m also frustrated by the indifference, thinking these things will just work themselves out.

Perhaps I’m wrong; I’d be okay with that, but I think not.

I shake my head, and drop my hands, and I know that my attitude/feeling now has to be just simple respect. Though I still don’t believe simple ‘manners’ should be different based on geography or politics.

I don’t have to understand.  I don’t have to agree with what’s being said.  I don’t have to agree with your choices.  I just have to; I think, take a slow, deep, quiet breath and simply respect you for what you choose works for you.  Somewhere along the way , trying to find my own center.

By the way, when that young man left our ER that night–he shook my hand!

Who does that anymore?

–Doug Clark

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San Antonio to South Dakota January 2015

The “deep, cleansing breaths” weren’t working anymore. I think it’s time for another ROADTRIP!!

I started a new job a few months ago and, among other benefits, the schedule was 3-on, one off, 3-on SEVEN off.  To anyone who has worked in the healthcare field, this definitely has some mental health benefits!  So, now what, or more importantly, where??

The answer came to me a few days later when I spoke with my buddies wife and I told Stacy, “Pack the cameras. We’re going to South Dakota”!

How many of us are lucky enough to have friends who are more than leaves on the breeze?  Renny was active-duty U.S. Army when we met at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas in the early 90’s.  We met as Radiography Techs in a busy Level 1 Trauma Center and grew close working and hanging out with each-others families.  He did a tour in Germany in the mid-90’s and came back to San Antonio, then Arkansas, and finally in Rapid City South Dakota where his wife, Nancy, took a job as a Respiratory Therapist. We kept in touch by phone or on Facebook, but the last time we’d shaken hands was almost 15 years ago.  It was time.

I talked to Nancy about my ideas and she reminded me about his upcoming birthday. So Stacy and I decided, it’s only a 20 hour drive, let’s just throw the cameras in the Jeep and go! Stacy travels differently than I however, and the next few days had her researching routes and hotels.  It all worked out.

MY preparation was musical accompaniment for the trip.  Along with my standard Eric Stone and Tom Petty I bought some acoustic guitar work. Peter Mayer “Elements”, Jack Johnson “Best of Kokua Festival”, and Jackson Browne “Solo Acoustic 1 & 2”.

We left San Antonio at the end of January and our first leg would put us in North Texas.  I had been talking to one of my co-workers and he reminded me of a restaurant in Amarillo I had seen on “Man vs. Food”.  Sounds like Amarillo and steak is in order.

The Big Texan

The Big Texan

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Stop for the Night

Stop for the Night

They had room for us and even had a place to tie the horse!

The Big Texan’s claim to fame is it’s 72 oz. steak challenge. The steak is free if…someone can eat it, a roll with butter, baked potato, shrimp cocktail, and a salad…in less than an hour. As of April 2015, about 9,000 people had accomplished this.  In fact, as I was looking up background for this piece, a 120 lb. competitive eater from Sacramento set a record when she finished three, 72 oz. steaks, in 4 minutes and 18 seconds this past weekend! Four teams of two split 3 steaks, 3 baked potato, 3 shrimp cocktail, 3 salads, and 3 rolls.

We weren’t that ambitious but the food was excellent!

We planned to shoot the Palo Duro Canyon State Park just south of Amarillo but the light wasn’t on our side so we elected to save it for the ride back and hit the sack with full bellies.

Up early the next morning we headed north from Amarillo a short distance to our first way-point, The Cadillac Ranch.

The Cadillac Ranch

The Cadillac Ranch

Just off Interstate 40, the ranch is a public art installation created in 1974 consisting of cars half-buried, nose-first in the ground, at an angle corresponding to that of the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt.  Nowadays, the spray painting of the cars is encouraged and The Ranch is memorialized in everything from a Bruce Springsteen song to Disney’s film “Cars”.

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Stacy and Wilson

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My only disappointment at the site, and more-so with “people” in general, was the amount of trash and refuse littering the ground, despite the fact that trash receptacles were easily accessible.

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Heading North to our next eventual stop in Sterling, Colorado we passed many interesting, derelict old buildings and, more noticeably, fields of Wind-power generating plants reminiscent of California.

Once again, steak and calamari found us in Sterling that night and we weren’t long out of bed.

The next morning my navigator had us on the road headed north to our next way-point in Alliance, Nebraska.  The easy, rhythmic guitar work of Jack Johnson, Damian Marley, Willie Nelson and others from the Kokua Festival helped move us forward.

Just passing through a little “town” called Bridgeport, running parallel with the railroad tracks, was the first time this trip I had to stop and turn around.  I’m sure this was done as a public safety announcement for their local community, but from an EMS background I appreciated it.

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About 15 minutes further down the road Stacy saw Canadian Geese in a field so we stopped again.

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and they're off!!!

and they’re off!!!

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Back in the Jeep I threw the new Peter Mayer CD in the player.  I knew he had played accompaniment for Buffet and Mac MacAnally, but I hadn’t heard his solo work.  Not only is he a good guitar player, but he tells a thoughtful and humorous story.

I’m not practicing religious by any means, but one track that really struck a chord with me, world politics and religion being what it is, is called “The Birthday Party”. He tells of Buddha rising from his stone altar to make a trek to Jerusalem. He prays with Hindus in India and boards a train with Mohammed near Arabia.  Together they sit and discuss stories of their years before meeting with Abraham who takes them to Christs birthday. I think, basically, this is a well woven story saying to all the fanatics that feel their way is the only way, “Hey, our respective Gods were friends long before us humans got involved.”  It’s on You Tube and, I think, worth a listening.

That said, his next track is “Scatterbrain”. Jokingly referencing the man who forgets what he’s supposed to be doing or looking for his glasses…that are on his head.  Not that I can relate to ANY of that…

Our next artistic way-point is “Carhenge” in Alliance, Nebraska.

Carhenge

CarhengCarhenge is a replica of England’s Stonehenge formed from vintage American automobiles.  Built in 1987, and dedicated at the June Summer Solstice, by Jim Reinders as a memorial to his father.

This IS my happy face!!

This IS my happy face!!

Carhenge consists of 38 visible, grey spray painted automobiles (and three cars that are buried) with a 1962 Cadillac serving as the heelstone, In a circle about 95 feet in diameter, some are held upright (trunk down) in 5 foot deep pits with others welded on top.  Carhenge will be in the path of the Solar eclipse of August 21, 2017.

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Also on the site are a few artistic works by various artists.

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“The Ford Seasons”

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Waiting patiently

Waiting patiently

that's my smile

that’s my smile

Legs stretched, we were ‘forced’ to stop at an Arby’s for lunch.  I really dislike franchise-chain food while traveling but this seemed to be the lesser of the evils. It also got us back on the road quicker.  We had about 5 hours to make Rapid City and pull off this surprise!

Along Hwy. 385 we saw the beginnings of the Black Hills, stopped for a few images.

View out the right window heading North on Hwy 385

View out the right window heading North on Hwy 385

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Comparing notes later, I guess we both had the same composition ideas with the fence and barbed wire.

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Then we were off again.  We caught I-79 into Rapid City and found the hotel Stacy had gotten us reservations at by about 5:00pm.  All things said, it DID make a difference having a concrete destination to rest our heads.  The room had a full kitchenette and a living room/seating area.

We hung out there until Nancy got out of work and met us there around 6:00.  After hugs and tears, and welcoming Stacy into the family, we strategized. Renny, like me, is kinda a big guy and not one to sneak up on.  He’s also a country boy and very comfortable around a gun. So we agreed to the K.I.S.S. principle and kept things simple.

We followed Nancy a couple to miles down to road to their house, up a ways off a dirt road.  We stopped the Jeep in front of their neighbors house, and Nancy went in, faking a headache, to “just lie down for a bit”.  I gave her almost 5 minutes, I was pacing like a little kid, before rolling quietly into the yard and calling him on the phone.

“Whatcha doing man?”

“AHHH, just trying to get boxes packed.  Catherine wanted dinner and Nancy just got home. What’s up with you?”

“Just taking a walk outside, trying to decompress.”

“Yeah, at least it’s warm enough to do that in San Antonio.”

As we’re talking I was trying to get around to the back porch and up the steps without the dogs hearing me.  I saw the doorbell and it all fell in place.

“You’re right.  What’s the weather like in Rapid…  Hang on.  Someone’s at the door.”

I reached for the bell as he repeated MY last sentence.  The curtain pulled back and the look of utter confusion on his face was priceless.  His phone fell to the floor as Nancy reached past him to open the door, and bear-hugs were had by all.

I told him, “You’ve been got” as I walked into the house. “Couldn’t have done it without Nancy’s help.  You wanna tell your daughter it’s okay, it’s Uncle Dougie?”

We sat on the floor and laughed, looked at pictures, and traded stories for an hour or so.  He called their other daughter and passed me the phone. “Are we gonna get a chance to see you and the new baby this weekend?”  She was speechless and I handed the phone back to her Dad so he could assure her that it really was ME.  We made plans for Renny and Catherine to pick us up at the hotel the next day.  We were promised a guided tour by Catherine of her two favorite places (and another I’ll share later).  It was a good night.

The next morning they met us at the hotel and came up to check out our room.  The simple itinerary was The Noses (Catherine’s word for Mount Rushmore) and to see the “Buflo”, the wild buffalo at Custer State Park and take pictures.

15 years later and just a little less hair

15 years later and just a little less hair

Stacy grabbed some poor tourist to take this image and had it posted to FB within minutes.  The first comment was from their daughter Renee who finally realized we WERE here, “Holy Crap! My Dad is smiling!!”. Stacy echoed “Holy Crap! My husband is smiling!!”

The site, and the museum especially, was quite impressive.  The collected photos and printed work that chronicled the building of the monument were just amazing! When you thought of the technology available at the time…

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A lone Birch. I liked the lines of the bark against the rough stone and the green shoot of color against the white bark

A lone Birch. I liked the lines of the bark against the rough stone and the green shoot of color against the white bark

Back into the truck we piled and Renny drove us into Custer State Park in search of Catherine’s elusive Buflo.  Many twists and turns later, through beautiful landscapes, we turned a corner and sat right behind a heard.

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Giving us the raspberry sticking out his tongue

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These are some of my favorite images, watching the buffalo slowly walking away through the mist.

Slow procession...

Slow procession…

...and away...

…and away…

...they go...

…they go…

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As we were leaving…  I said there was a third place Catherine wanted to take us to.

When Renny asked her, in their own special code, her face lit up with smiles and she was squirming like a puppy!!

Burger King was IT!!! Do you REALLY think someone's gonna tell me to take the crown off??!!

Burger King was IT!!!
Do you REALLY think someone’s gonna tell me to take the crown off??!!

After lunch we went our own ways to nap and agreed to meet for dinner later and see Renee’s new baby, Serenity.

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After a fun dinner at TGIF we all headed home.  It was Superbowl weekend, the snow had started and things were getting messy.  We agreed to play it by ear the next day and see how the weather held.  By 10:00 the next morning the roads were passable and our guides picked us up to head toward Fort Meade and Sturgis.

Fort Meade was beautiful from an artists eye.  Just point your lens and shoot…

Unknown to us at the time, this was Nancy's grab shot.  Very well done!!

Unknown to us at the time, this was Nancy’s grab shot. Very well done!!

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Thanks Nancy!!

Thanks Nancy!!

Alright...enuff already!!

Alright…enuff already!!

And then Sturgis, on a non-bike rally month.

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On the way back for lunch, Renny found a city park with some moving water to play with.

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We met the kids for lunch at one of their favorite home-cookin’ places

We were talking about the buffalo sticking his tongue out. Catherine was giggling so hard she snorted.... She and I were off after that!!

We were talking about the buffalo sticking his tongue out. Catherine was giggling so hard she snorted…. She and I were off after that!!

and we stopped at Walgreens and I picked up something to thank Catherine for showing us around.  Back at the hotel and,YES, I snorted in her ear as Nancy was taking our picture!!

“Tiger” was her thank you gift

It was a great visit with old friends and new memories!!

We headed out the next morning and went south on I-79 until I decided to detour at Hot Springs.  Supposedly there were wild mustangs on the premises and I wanted to see what we could get.

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We were able to watch a group in the distance traverse the rock

and go up over the hill.  Our glass wasn’t strong enough to bring

them in any closer.  Beautiful to watch though.

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We headed south to pick up Hwy. 71 for the LONG FLAT drive to our next stop.  The mind-numbness finally got to me around Fort Morgan, Colorado so we found a room and some food.  Loading the Jeep the next morning we heard the geese playing on the pond behind the hotel.  Nice to not have a time table.

playing with reflections

playing with reflections

incoming...

incoming…

and down.

and down.

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Breakfast at Burger King…just because…and we headed to our final way-point.

Just southwest of Amarillo was Palo Duro Canyon State Park that we had missed the light on on the way up.  Stacy found a hotel on the other side of town, closer to the park, but we STILL drove back to The Big Texan!  When in Rome…

Palo Duro is the second largest canyon in the United States, is almost 70 miles long and averages 6 miles in width.

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Formed by a fork of the Red River, it shows evidence of human habitation going back 10-15,000 years, and is believed to be inhabited to the present day.

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The first Europeans to discover the canyon were said to be members

of the Coronado expedition in 1541.  The U.S. military mapped the

canyon in 1852 and the land remained under Native American Indian

control until Colonel Mackenzie was ordered in 1874 to remove the

Indians to reservations. (A good read on this is “Cities of Gold” by

Douglas Preston).

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In 1934 the upper section of the canyon was purchased by the

State of Texas, turning it into a 20,000 acre State Park.

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Looking up...

Looking up…

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As always, Thanks for joining us on the ride!!

Images are ours, mistakes are mine

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By the way, Catherine had so much fun watching her Mom and us taking

pictures that we made an investment.  We found a beginners digital camera

that’s tough enough to handle bumps and dumps and connects via USB to

their computer.  I’m told it’s never out of her sight and that every time her Mom raises the lens, Catherine is never far behind.

I can live with that.

Doug Clark

22 April 2015

Mark Mulligan

Coming from a “heathen” like me, if you’re looking for a thoughtful, powerful read. An aquaintance of mine, Mark Mulligan, published a book titled The Three Miracles.
It’s well worth your time

Old Year’s Eve 2014

…and while I’d love to be spending it with Starshine at Foxy’s on Jost Van Dyke, we’ll be here watching out for the knuckleheads coming into the ER. I’m okay with where I’m at.

The Gang...minus the Photographer

The Gang…minus the Photographer

 

Midnite Ladie

Midnite Ladie

Angel Baby

Angel Baby

 

 

 

 

 

My Life has changed directions quite a lot this year.  We got married, bought a house, enlarged and are trying to grow into our “Brady Bunch” family, and now have a new granddaughter.  Yeah, the times they are a changin’.  I even, grudgingly, traded my 13 year-old Jeep in for a new ragtop.

2014 Jeep

2014 Jeep

Starshine

Starshine

Starshine, you are the love of my Life (yeah I know, extra insulin for the sweetness), but I mean that.  I never expected to trip over you and I know I’m not the easiest person to live with (hence “The Bear”), I’ve been “doing it my way” for a long time.  Thank you for putting up and tolerating and taking the time to try to understand “me”. (Though I still think you’re writing a thesis or something!)  Every day seems to bring us new challenges but, I’m learning, “That’s Life”. and it’s all what we make of it. You make me happier than I’ve been in a long, long time.

Bear and his Daughter

Bear and his Daughter

 

 

Alexis, my daughter and my “best buddy”, you’re still that and so much more.  Almost 17 years old now but I can still remember you standing with your hip cocked out, posing in front of the shrubs in the front yard with your brush in your hand. Nevermind that you had about as much hair as I do now!   These last few years have been a learning curve for the both of us but I’m glad things have come full circle and I’m able to reach out and hug you.  I love you so much, and I always will, that doesn’t just fade away.

Joseph and Tyler and Alex, Jenn and now Kali…it amazes me how fast and how large things have grown.  Like I said, it’s a learning curve for all of us and slowly, we’re making it work.

 

First attempt at dying my beard

First attempt at dying my beard

         

Final attempt at Santa???

Final attempt at Santa???

         

 

 

 

 

 

Alexis and Kali

Alexis and Kali

 

A Motley Krew wishing you A Happy New Year!!!

A Motley Krew wishing you A Happy New Year!!!

       

I wish all of you the best in the coming year, and if the “best” doesn’t happen, make the best of what you have. 

Be Safe 

Bear

 

Kick Some Butt!!!

I’m an old dinosaur, and I’ll admit to that.  Case in point, I wrote this piece on a legal pad, sitting in the parking garage at 10:30 at night before shift. “Social Media” is still foreign to me, but I’m trying.

 

Bear

Bear

 

I got the “Bear” nickname for a couple of reasons.  Second was a quadripalegic patient who couldn’t remember my name from previous visits, but insisted that ‘no one would move him unless “The Bear” was present’.  The first reason though, is my almost obsessive want (for lack of a better word) for privacy in my life.  Rather than be rude, at 6′ 2″ and almost 225 lbs, I found that just by looking–and growling occasionally–it kept most at a distance.  I had a Doc once ask me, “Just smile for a minute cause you just standing there scares the crap outta me.”

I needed to say all that to bring you to understand all of this. 

16th Birthday

My daughter, Alexis, turned 16 about a month ago.  Her Mother and I have been divorced for a while now and, while not always agreeing on everything, we’ve always tried to put Alexis’ best interests first.

 

Got Cake??

Got Cake??

   

 

Mom, Alexis, G-Ma

Mom, Alexis, G-Ma

 

 

Stacy, Alexis and Laurie

Stacy, Alexis and Laurie

 

 

 

 

 

I know I’m her Father and the rules say that I have to Love her regardless.  In Alexis’ room is a drawing we got, at the Purple Cat in Rhode Island, by Brian Andreas that says, “There has never been a day when I have not been proud of you, I said to my daughter.  Though some days I’m louder about other stuff so it’s easy to miss that”.

Maybe it’s time everyone knows how proud I really am.

Alexis started bowling about 7 or 8 years ago on a Saturday morning league, and loved it.  I loved it because this is San Antonio, Texas and my kid likes something inside in the air conditioning!  That lead to Road Runers league on weekends and Monday nights leagues…and then she hit High School…

 

Freshman Year

Freshman Year

 

She thrived in her Freshman year but most importantly–no pun intended–she had a ball on the bowling team!!  At that point she was bowling at least 9 games, plus high school practice and matches, a week. 160 or 170 scores for games were not unusual.

 

Sophmore Year

Sophmore Year

 

 

MacAurthur Squad

MacArthur Squad

 

Now in her Sophmore year, with a 180+ average and bowling games over 200, she seems to have found her groove.  As a 16 year-old High School sophmore she, and 4 or 5 other girls, have won the right to represent MacArthur High School (which has almost 3,000 students) in the Texas State Bowling Competition in Fort Worth, Texas this weekend!!

I know where I was ‘at’ at 16, so I can understand how hard she’s worked and what she’s given up to get here.

Alexis,

   I’m so proud of all you’ve accomplished with school, bowling, and just as a young lady.  This weekend, Auntie Laurie would tell you to “Kick Some Butt”!!!  Me, Stacy, and Mamma will be there to tell you the same thing.  No matter what happens this weekend though, I’ve put it out there and now the whole world knows what you’ve accomplished and how proud we all are of you!  I Love You

                                                                                                                            Dad

 

 

 

Washing the Kitchen Floor…

     God knows, you can choose your friends but you can’t choose your family.  With the way “the times” have changed, so too have “families”. When you make the choice to merge into one big unit, you may discover some choices and challenges you hadn’t counted on.

     I came home yesterday morning from an unusually hectic night in the Emergency Department with one simple goal… I wanted to wash the kitchen floor with this new steam cleaner we’d just got, before the Benadryl I took to knock myself out, kicks in.

     To start with, I’ve never used this steam mop before and, as a rule, I’m not real mechanically inclined. I am though, not imposed to reading directions (but I’m not giving up my ‘man-card’).  So, I sat my butt at the kitchen table and put my reading glasses and read the owners manual.

     Across from me sits Starshine’s slightly hard-of-hearing, 94 year-old Grandmother (MaMa) drinking her morning coffee and reading the paper.  She just arrived yesterday, after a long plane flight, to hang out for a few months. We met when she came last Summer for a high-school graduation but never had the chance to really chat.

     She pushed the paper aside and took a sip of her coffee… “Whatcha think your gonna do?”

     “I just wanna get some of these spots and animal fur off the floor.”  With two dogs, three cats and kids, it can get a bit…fluffy.

     Okay, page 2 of the 4 page owners manual says, water in here, plug into electric socket and wait 30 seconds. Now place the mop on the floor and pump about mid-shaft on the handle for steam to be released.  Hey, even I can do this!

     Glasses off, water in and plug into electric socket.  Wait 30 seconds and pump… Where…?  There’s a little flip handle here–nope, that takes the handle extension off.  Put the handle back together and look again. This other piece is just decorative.  Where the hell is the piston-looking thingy?

     Unplug the steamer and put it up on the counter.  Nothing looks like a handle.  Dammit, no glasses on!  Nothing looks like a handle anyway!

     I turn to the table to get my glasses (which unbelievably I haven’t misplaced) and discover that I’m more interesting than the newspaper. With the most smart-alec smile I’ve seen in a while,  MaMa just sat there with her arms crossed…looking…

     Cmon’. I’m 44 years old and 220 lbs. trying to stare down a 94 year-old 80 lb. lady. “What?”

     She said, “My daughter has one of those.  Her 15 year old niece cleans with it.  Does a pretty good job…”

     Alright, now I’m gonna do this!  Glasses off, plug in and wait 30 seconds.  I put the mop head on the floor–and just pushed down on the top end of the handle.  I can’t see anything but I can hear a hiss of steam!

     Behind me I heard, “Hmmmm”.

     Not a word! I turned back to the table and grabbed the stupid owners manual…and realized I didn’t have my glasses on.  MaMa sat looking at me, and pushed them across the table.

      I put them on and, yup, there’s definitely a piston-looking thingy mid-shaft on this handle that I should be moving.  Now I’m standing there in my scrubs looking like a bad audition for that “Shake Weight” commercial!

     30 seconds later I gave up.  I put the mop head on the floor and pushed the whole handle down…and there was steam!

     With as much pride as a medal winner at the Olympics, I finished the kitchen and was even able to get some dropped jelly that had adhered like “super-glue” to the tile. I gotta tell those kids to pay more attention!  Right…the kids…

     I sat down at the table with MaMa, who still had her arms across her chest.  She looked over the room from her chair and declared non-chalantly, “You did alright” as she nodded her head and smiled at me.

     Relationships, Love and merging into an extended Family at 40+ years old takes some hootspa–but it does have it’s rewards. I guess it also means though, I’m gonna have to start watching behind my back for an audience!

that’s LIFE…

as much as my Boss would like to believe that I should be at the behest of my employer at any given time…that just isn’t the truth.  I’ll be the first on to admit that, in the recent past, most of my off time was spent in my hammock with a firm grip on a bottle of chardonnay.  It’s amazing how something as simple as a high school bowling team could change all that.

 

Alexis and Stacy

Alexis and Stacy

 

and that lead to random discussions and talking about everything from our kids to our love of photography and, without any conscious thought, I found something more comfortable than my hammock.

 

Big Bend

Big Bend

 

Early Spring found us making images in the Chisos Mountains and relaxing and learning…

High in the Chisos Mountains

High in the Chisos Mountains

 

Mandron Tree

Mandron Tree

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clouds over the hillsBig Bend National park

Clouds over the hills
Big Bend National park

 

and the jackets for bowling came in…

Check this out

Check this out

Can't touch this...

Can’t touch this…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and we celebrated birthdays…

Storm Troopers

Storm Troopers

 

and we went to Kemah, Texas to practice our night photography (and NOT act our age).

Crossing Guard

Crossing Guard

Hula Hoop

Hula Hoop

Clearlake Lighthouseand Boat

Clearlake Lighthouse
and Boat

               Fireworks

 

Boardwalk Ferris Wheel

Boardwalk Ferris Wheel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then we decided to take our photographic exploits to Rhode Island…

RI 2012 351

Starshine adn Bear

Starshine and Bear

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Playing with Their Food

Playing with Their Food

 

That's Life

That’s Life

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love Emergency Medicine, and I still love Radiology. There are times I DO miss my hammock, though it lies in the shed awaiting it’s time.  “Work”, whatever it may be, will always be there. “Life”, for me, are those I consider family and those that make me smile.

The rest will work itself out…

Waiting to be fed...

Waiting to be fed…

Bowling Beauty

Bowling Beauty

                       

Starshine

Starshine

 

I’m the first to say I don’t know what I’m doin’

  and I’m not gonna preach what I don’t know…

I ain’t no deep theologer, no PhD psychologer

  I’m makin’ all this shit up as I go.  –Pat Green  “Footsteps of our Fathers”

 

Bear

Bear

 

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