Sunday, August 31, 2008

Have a Good One

Happy Labor Day

70 Years Together

Congratulations to Jo and Gib Gosline of Burgess who recently celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary in the newly renovated Burgess Civic Center. By any standard that is quite an achievement. As Gib said they have had only one fight in all that time, " started 70 years ago and is still going...".

Commercial Sunday - Edition #7

Saturday, August 30, 2008

An Item Of Import Regarding The 101st Airborne

We have been told, unofficially, that Brendan's unit is scheduled to return from deployment in Iraq, on or around November 11th. They will fly into Ft. Campbell and he will then have a month's leave around December 10th. Another emotional Welcome Home Ceremony (find the description somewhere in the list of blogs, its worth it) I know I'll have my box of kleenex with me to help others who may be unprepared. All this, of course, is fluid, but, by God, we are certainly getting closer to having him back in the U.S.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Bathtime In BFE

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These guys were having a good time in my front yard pothole yesterday after a rainy day. Kind of refreshing to know that kids still wallow in mud, or at least they do in BFE.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

We Even Took a Thousand Mile Bus Trip Together

Michael left us a short while to live in Florida. We received a call from his Mother wanting to know if I would come out and meet her in Virginia to bring Michael back home with me. She wanted to spend a little quiet time with her new husband, Brendan, who had graduated from Boot Camp earlier and was at his secondary training school.
It took me about 15 minutes to round up a few things and head down to the bus station. It was grueling trip that encompassed Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, and Washington D.C. But those were just the transfer stops. In between were stops in Peoria, Columbus, Wheeling, Harrisburg, King of Prussia, and Richmond, among others.
The above depot is in Petersburg and that is where I picked him up. I remember him racing around a bench at the dimly lit place, and a friendly bus station employee who liked Michael and talked to him a bit.
I told Michael we were going on a bus and of course he liked that idea. That is until it arrived. It pulled up under the canopy in the back and seemed to engulf the entire place. It was loud and it sure enough scared him. Here I was boarding with him flailing in one hand and a car seat, and duffel bag in the other. He kicked and screamed all the way down the isle and I'm sure he hit some passengers. He even knocked my watch off my wrist and it went flying. And scream, if anyone was asleep, they weren't after being introduced to Michael Nathanial.
But Grampa worked his magic and before long he quieted and we had a great trip. I also recall not having any wipes and he was still in diapers. That was a bit dicey at times. We would transfer at dark dingy depots and oddly enough we got along just great. He would play on the floor and we would explore parts of the stations. A bus station is pretty lonely at 2 or 5 o:clock in the morning.
And the funny thing is I didn't take my camera. One of our great adventures and I never recorded it.
And, yes, we missed out transfer in Pittsburgh and ended up in Indianapolis without a way to get all the way back home. Thankfully my sister-in-law Patti rescued us and Nancy came out to get us.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

And He Rode His 4-Wheeler All Over Galesburg...

...with Grampa dutifully following behind. He wore out two tires and that machine really got him around well. We got two extra batteries to assist after an unfortunate trip left us without power and poor grampa hauling it back home. Without a doubt one of the absolute all-time best purchases I've ever made.

First day after I got the Raptor for him. We went out to Lake Story and let him ride in the nice big park areas.

We Took Bus Rides

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Clydesdales In Galesburg

On Friday night the Budweiser Clydesdales delivered beer to 11 downtown businesses.
Here they are on Seminary Street about to get on Main. I could use a couple of them to help me with some yard work here in BFE.

Commercial Sunday - Edition #6

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Michael & I (And Brendan) - Part 2

I think we dream so we don't have to be apart so long. If we're in each other's dreams, we can play together all night. ~Bill Watterson, Calvin & Hobbes

Friday, August 22, 2008

Good God!

Send in your captions for this picture. This is the future Mr. and Mrs. Blythe. Damn long-haired hippies.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Oh, Michael, I Miss You So - Part 1

"A dragon lives forever but not so little boys

Painted wings and giant rings make way for other toys."

Today marks the birthday of my grandson's 6th birthday. Michael Nathanial and sis Alhanna left to live in Oshawa, Ontario Canada last summer. He was 4 then about to turn 5. I have not seen him since. I will highlight our time together since he arrived at our house in Galesburg at the age of 2 1/2.

Alhanna was born in Galesburg in October and then left shortly after so I don't have the history with her that I had with Michael. For two years Michael and I were inseparable. This is our story.

They all arrived from Florida via a Trailways Bus. Brendan, Lindsay and little Michael. He could barely talk and was quiet. Certainly not love at first sight. In fact I think I referred to him as a "friend of a friend" when discussing our little man who moved in with Nancy and I that cold winter night. Brendan saved Lindsay and Michael from a tough situation and we were more or less pleased to help him and his new family. I wasn't sold on the deal at the time, being a bit of a grump when "change" comes knocking. But I decided to do the best I could and welcomed them with gifts and smiles.

I don't know when it hit me. It wasn't like an apple falling on my head or a great epiphany. It was more subtle, more insidious. It happened over time, with a few words, a few gestures, a few pats on the head, and a few rides on the back. It happened. I became a grampa, and I haven't been the same since.

Happy Birthday, Michael

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Speaking Of Missy

Mackenzie and Brendan: As you guys know, Missy is beginning to show her age. She is 12 now and has reached her expiration date. She is still bouncy on walks, hungry constantly, and sleeps much of the day away, but she is hard of hearing and has cataracts. She loves the piggy tug-of-war toy and the Grinch toy she got last year for Christmas.

She went in yesterday to get her nails done and I noticed a new cyst on her side. This one concerns me because it is different than the soft cysts on her tummy. Her appetite is good but she seems to be losing weight, or hair. Her check-up is in October and I'll ask the Doc about them. If I thought she was in pain or uncomfortable I'd take her in but she seems just fine.

For those who are not aware of Missy Marie she is Kenzie's pound dog and one of the most loveable dogs you'd ever want to meet. Of course she lacks many of the qualities really great dogs possess, but she makes up for it in other ways. Missy has not an ounce of courage in her entire body. Crisis situations tend to make her incontinent. She'll never make the paper for her bravery. But she is loyal, loving and back in the day when she could hear, she'd bark at unusual noises. She also yodels, which I think is unique for dogs. This usually happens around suppertime when the food isn't placed in the bowl at the speed she appreciates.

Just thought you'd like to know. Kenzie you picked a great one and we remain crazy about each other.

Less Time At BFE

Blick Art Materials is offering me additional hours. Instead of 2-6 I will now work 3 hours at the Warehouse starting at 11:00 a.m. "packing", then at 1:30 head over to Central to process Fed Ex packages. This is a good thing for me, not so good for Missy. She'll just have to squeeze in another nap till I get home.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Nice Vacation

Somewhere out West seems like a great place for the old family vacation. You gather the kids and sell it by saying, "The West has scenery and hiking trails. Go where few have ever gone, and enjoy the Big Sky, no traffic and unimaginable vistas."

Then you get out on one of the trails and you see something kind of interesting, perhaps something to explore.

You get closer.

And closer.

I don't know about you, but if I make it back to my car, and hotel, and laundromat, vacation is over. Sure hope the kiddies and wife can move as fast as I can.

Imagine What It Is Doing To You

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Great Sunday Morning Breakfast

My brother and sis-in-law invited me over for breakfast this morning and had biscuits and gravy. I have discovered that a lot of people enjoy breakfast food(s). Many prefer breakfast and like almost all of the wide variety that breakfast offers. I am no different, and biscuits and gravy may be my favorite. Nancy and I went to a cool place in Clarksville for breakfast and they had B & G that was to die for. A small ma-and-pa type place that we took the kids and everyone liked because the decor was a cobbled mish-mash and wasn't the least bit stuffy.

But I digress. Brother Phil is the hardest working person I know. He travels constantly, has to catch flights and has long weeks that sometimes goes into the second. He has to "on" for his contacts and has to manage a large staff. Tough work. We have worried at times about a diversion in his life that may allow him to slow up a bit and relax, unwind and get his mind off work. I have been trying to get him to buy an old car so he could go to cruise-ins or shows and take it easy on weekends. And someday he just might. I told him he needed to find a hobby. He tried apparently to collect gas containers:

Perhaps it lost its appeal with the high gas prices. He found something else, however, to take his mind off work. This is a sweet '08 Chevy Corvette. Much nicer than gas cans, and faster too. It is once nice ride with over 400 horses under the hood and smooth riding.