rancherwriterpoet

Poetry, musings, reflections, life

Archive for the tag “friends”

Dad’s Day, 2020

June 21 is Father’s Day 2020. I am a father. I have been a father since October 1959. Age is not creeping anymore; it is fast tracking. I have three remarkable children, six wonderful grandchildren and five amazing great-grandchildren and lest I forget a delightful stepdaughter. My fatherly life is full. I am so blessed.
Frank Sinatra sang; “regrets, I’ve had a few”. Have I made mistakes, absolutely! During my lifetime, there have been ups and downs, some periods even went sideways, so, yes, one could say “regrets, I ‘ve had a few.”
Being a father is not necessarily the same as being a “dad”. The first is a biological event; the second is an emotional one. I would never regret being a “father” however, I do regret not always being a “dad”. But then, one cannot go back in time and change the past.
So, to all my family, on this Father’s Day, 2020, I will strive to be more of a “Dad.” Please know that I love all of you and am proud to be your “Dad”, your “Stepdad”,  your “Granddad”, and your “Great Grandad!” To all the Dad’s in our family, I hope this “Dad’s Day” is meaningful to you.

And from an era gone by, this about my “Dad”.

Lewis Stewart was my stepfather, entering my life at the brink of my becoming a teenager. But he was more than a stepfather. He became my “Dad”, not necessarily in name but in every other aspect. He was my “Dad”. He went to his heavenly home on June 7th, 1984. My “Pop” was and still is a loving memory for me. I pay tribute to him in this poem I wrote in 1992.

The March of Age

Silver strands of wispy hair adorn
The head of this old man,
His eyes seem tired and he grows weak,
He does the best he can.

Age has caught the life of him
Whom age could never touch.
At least not him who’s big to me,
Whose hand I reach to clutch.

The years have fast raced on to reach
This one who could not fall.
The yesterdays are now but faint,
This fate must touch us all.

When grown men cry so deep inside
That words can ne’er explain,
There’s reason for the tears we hide,
Redeeming love without refrain.

So, age will search for others now,
Not knowing what it had.
For age does not discriminate,
I know, it caught my Dad.

Pete Robertson
© 1992

HEROES…REMEMBERED

Today is an honorable day. Memorial Day! A day we, as Americans, have come to celebrate as the first day of summer. That means we will be off to the beaches, to the mountains, to the lakes, to backyard barbeques and homemade ice cream. This year is different. We will obviously be observing the precautions brought on by the pandemic virus. This adds a completely new dimension to our celebration. We have been beset with guidelines, stay-at-home orders, restricted travels, and anything the politicians can devise. Some for the benefit of the population and others maybe not so much. The scientists also issue their dire warnings. Complications, for sure!

But today, is so much more than a day at the beach. While the world mourns the deaths of those who contracted the disease let us not forget the sacrifices of our Armed Forces.

Allow me to introduce a few of those who perished in the service of our country. Names are selected at random and I have no personal knowledge of many of the brave men and women who served, however I chose Gregory’s name because he was the son of my friends, Scott and Melba Morgan, Atlanta, Ga. Greg’s name is on the Vietnam Memorial, Washington D.C..

ATCHISON, John Calvin    PVT. USMC, Missouri, perished on the USS Arizona, December 7, 1941. Private Atchison served his country in honor and died for his service. I chose his name from the casualty list of the USS Arizona to serve as representative of all those men who perished during WWII.

In 1944 First lieutenant U.S. Army Nurse Aleda E. Lutz of Freeland Michigan was the first U.S. military woman to die in a combat zone during World War II when her hospital plane went down on her 196th rescue mission.  I chose LT Aleda Lutz, to serve as a representative of all those women who perished during WWII.

First Lieutenant William Edward (Buddy) Robertson, Jr. was a member of the 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division. He was Killed in Action while fighting the enemy in North Korea on October 3, 1951. He was born in Chillicothe, Hardeman County, Texas. LT Buddy Robertson serves as a reminder of all those who died during the Korean war.

Navy Hospital Corpsman Joshua Dwayne McIntosh 22, of Kingman, Arizona, died June 6th, 2003 while serving in Karbula, Iraq. McIntosh died in Karbala, Iraq, from a non-hostile gunshot wound. He was assigned to the Third Battalion, Seventh Marine Regiment, Twentynine Palms, California. Corpsman McIntosh represents those from the middle east conflicts.

SP4 GREGORY SCOTT MORGAN experienced a traumatic event which resulted in loss of life on March 15, 1971. Recorded circumstances attributed to: “Died through non-hostile action, air crash on land”. Incident location: South Vietnam, Gia Dinh province.

If any of these service members are a part of your family, let me say to you, I am proud of their service and I thank them for their allegiance to America. I pray a special prayer for all those Gold Star Families.

There are far more names that I could place on the tribute list, but I think you get the meaning of my post.

And as an additional note, I am aware of the thousands of Covid 19 frontline workers and first responders who have also perished in an untimely manner. I clearly wish to pay tribute to them as well.

So, on your way to the beaches, to the mountains, to the lakes, to backyard barbeques and homemade ice cream, stop for a moment and give thanks for these individuals who rose to the occasion, to give us those opportunities to celebrate. Make this Memorial Day a remembrance of all who sacrificed their lives.

These are my heroes.

       

 

Christmas, 1948

Christmas wasn’t going to be like all our Christmases before.

For eighty years, I have been celebrating Christmas. At my age, don’t expect me to remember all of them, but one I especially remember is Christmas, 1948. I was nine years old and we were living in tough times, not that I knew anything about that. It was said that Santa Claus was not likely to visit our house that year. Because of the divorce of my adoptive parents and the illness of my grandfather, my mother and I lived with my grandparents.

My grandfather, Papa, was suffering with cancer and many believed would not live until Christmas. My mother told me he had a disease that was infectious. That was to keep me from bothering him. I wasn’t allowed to go in his room; but I did stand at the door and talk to him. I remember Papa smiling at me between his coughing and wheezing. I always thought he would get well. Once, during that Christmas time, I sneaked into his bedroom, even though it was off-limits to me, and I told him Merry Christmas. He motioned for me to lean over closely, so I could hear him better. He told me that better times were coming, both for him and for me. I wasn’t sure what he meant, after all, I was only nine.

Now, in hindsight, I know that Christmas 1948 was a memorable one for me. I’m sure you have an unforgettable Christmas in your memory.  Christmases are supposed to be a joyous time, a time for family to come together and share the joys, to celebrate the birth of Christ, and to remember the good things. Sometimes it doesn’t quite turn out that way, but then again…

You See… I Remember…

My folks didn’t want to celebrate Christmas… in nineteen forty-eight.
We had no money…, and my  Papa, was so sick… he didn’t even know the date.
My Granny Mama wasn’t feeling well…, seems like Christmas might have to wait.
And if old Santa even came at all…, he’d probably show up late.

No…, Christmas wasn’t going to be like all our Christmases before.

No one much wanted … to decorate that year
Wasn’t going be like Christmas… wasn’t much Christmas cheer.
Then my Mama set about… to proudly trim a little tree
Thankful for the neighbor who cut and gave it to us free.

Mama wrapped her little tree… with gold and silver rope.
placed her special angel on the top!… she said, “to give us hope”,
like the angel from the Bible announcing Jesus’ birth
telling all the shepherds of Good News that’s come to earth.

I remember helping Mama… decorate our little Christmas tree.
And I remember especially…, all those joys it brought to me.
It had loads of shiny lights… that glimmered all around.
And Papa’s homemade ornaments… that almost touched the ground.

Our decorated Christmas tree… stood in its usual place.
Over by the window…‘cause we didn’t have much space
We had no chimney in our home… that Santa could come down
So I hung my cotton stocking by the door… just in case he came around.

But Christmas wasn’t going to be like all our Christmases before

I remember Mama… made her breakfast Mac and cheese
It was her specialty… we all were very pleased
I remember Papa peeking out his bedroom door
And saying maybe… Maybe Christmas might be like before

But, No, this Christmas wasn’t meant to be… like all our Christmases before

I remember Mickey Mouse… and the watch I got that year
And my cotton stocking… packed with Christmas cheer,
crammed with apples and oranges and walnuts and stuff
And good hard ribbon candy, plenty sticky… sure enough.

It must have been old Santa… who left those gifts for me,
‘cause no one had no money… and stuff like that’s not free.
But sometimes… like at Christmas… miracles do take place
And seems like miracles always put a smile on a little boy’s face.

But Christmas ‘forty-eight wasn’t like all our Christmases before.

So many years have passed since that Christmas ‘forty eight
But Miracles still happen…and that’s cause to celebrate
I remember Mama… telling… the wonder of Jesus’ birth
And Papa listening closely, his last few days on earth.

Ahhh.. Christmas ‘Forty-Eight…it came and went so quick
And Papa kept us laughing just like he wasn’t sick
Then February nineteen forty-nine, his cancer staked its claim
Christmases… ever after… would never be the same.

No…, Christmas wasn’t going to be like all our Christmases before.

Just a side note, one Christmas when our family celebrated together, I bought some cotton stockings like my Granny Mama used to wear, and I fixed each grandchild a stocking with the same fruits and nuts and stuff I got when I was a child. They thought it was funny… I smiled at the memory.
You see… I Remember… Christmas ‘forty-eight…

christmas-card-sayings-remember-when

I’m pretty sure I know what my Papa meant when he said better times are coming.

Thank you for allowing me to share some of my thoughts with you.
From me and all my family,
I hope you have a very miraculously, and memorable Christmas.

Thanks, for Giving

Thanksgiving!

 

Today we  celebrate Thanksgiving. It seems that the early focus on commercial Christmas has removed  the true meaning of Thanksgiving. but look around you, there is someone who would appreciate a word of thanks. The grocery clerk, the construction worker, the bank teller, the pastor; there are many individuals you may consider in your world. Seeing a smile on another person’s face will bring a smile to your own. Do we really understand the significance of this word? Breaking it down, we know what the word, “Thanks”, means.  “A word of appreciation for something received or for an act of kindness”. It is an expression of gratitude. But, does it come with sincerity or is it just another word in our vocabulary?

The word, “Giving”, means to make a gift of material value or perform an act of kindness. So “Thanks” and “Giving” are combined to form not just a word, but also, an act of expression.  However, it seems to me to be more fitting to say, “Thanks, for Giving.” In the true sense of poetry, a list can be a poem. So too, can the alphabet. Here is my list of the ABC’s:   

The Alphabet of Thanks

Thanks, for giving…

Apples, I love apple pies,

Babies, for the twinkling in their eyes,

Car horns, to sound a warning noise,

Dogs, for fetching sticks and squeaky toys.

Elbows to bend and wash my face,

Fathers, for showing children grace

Golf, a senseless sport that doth confound,

Hamsters, for making little wheels go round.

Thanks, for giving…

Ice cream, the special homemade kind,

Jello, a spineless gel that quivers the mind,

Kindergarten, for learning all I ever need,

Limousines, and drivers who don’t know how to speed.

Maple Syrup, a tonic for the tooth,

Noses that grow considerably after youth,

Onions, a noxious kind of root,

Pajamas, not your usual, business suit.

Thanks, for giving…

Quilts, pieced together with spirited devotion,

Romance, passionate love set in motion,

Salt, crystallized preservative to suit the taste,

Texas, homeland, native born and God placed.

Ukuleles, a miniature of tuneful sound,

Valleys, and the mountains that surround,

Waltzes, my favorite kind of dance,

Xylophones, instruments of chance,

Yankees even, but I’m thankful still,

And lastly,

Zenith, the high point in God’s perfect will.

 

These words have no special or significant meaning. Your words may be different, write your own alphabet of thanks. Start with the Gift of God, His only begotten Son, Jesus. I am thankful He thought about me. I hope you are as well.

My Flag is Still Flying

Memories can evoke a wide variety of thoughts. They have a way of inducing our mind back to a time when life was simpler, or so we believe. A statement by an old friend or an old photo can stir emotions and reverberate up and down your spine, from the bottom to the top, eventually reaching the frontal lobe. It is this part of the brain that suggests we look back on our life and of those who made it possible. Thus, it is very appropriate on this Veteran’s Day that we remind ourselves of those events of years past and of those who still serve.

None could have made it more possible than the veterans of military service. I think of my father, J.C. Morrison, who did not enter military service in WWII, but served in a civilian capacity at Dow Chemical in Freeport, Texas. I think of my Father-in-Law, Lucious Maddux, serving in a construction battalion in the South Pacific, better known as SeaBees. I think of my uncle Homer Morrison, who served in the U.S. Army in the European forces. He served throughout the war effort without a scratch only to be killed in a tornado six months after the war’s end. These three individuals served in different parts of the world yet with the same goals in mind. Freedom! There are countless numbers of veterans who served and many lost their lives. You know someone who did. I pay tribute to your friends, acquaintances, family members and to you for that service.

And I think of those from my home town who served and those who lost their lives during the Vietnam War. From Palestine, Tx:

1LT JAMES CHRISTOPHER BECKER, CAPT TONIE LEE ENGLAND Jr., PFC JAMES AUBREY HULSEY, PFC DONALD RAY JOHNSON, PFC EARL DAWSON LAWRENCE, PO3 AMON FRANKLIN MOORE Jr., CWO TERRELL LEE RAWLINSON, 2LT JAMES TUCKER STOVALL, LCPL ROGER ALLEN THOMPSON, SP4 THOMAS DARRELL WILLIAMSON.

“Young men, most around my age or younger, who fought for our freedoms and as I have said in “My Flag is Flying, is Yours?” took my place. Had I been born only a few years later, I would have been in Vietnam. With each news report of casualties, I hurt. I lost shipmates, classmates and family members. My country was at war.

Today, I feel humbled each time I see or hear of any veteran who passes from this life. Yet, Vietnam holds a special place in my heart, not because I served, but because someone else did and I know that person took my place.”

Take a moment today and remind yourselves of the heroic actions of our military men and women. They deserve the honor and respect. And to those who are serving today, my hat’s off to you. God Bless and thank you.

Born on the 15th of July

Your birthday is special. However, it is not yours alone. It is not uncommon to share your birthday with others. Do you ever wonder how many people share your birthday? Research tells me that 1/365 in any population (approximately 0.274%) share your birthdate. Research also tells me that percentage equates to over 19 million people around the world.

I happen to share my birthday with a few celebrity individuals. For example, Clement Moore was born on July 15, 1779. Obviously, we do not share the same year. You are, of course, familiar with him. He wrote “Twas The Night Before Christmas. Here in Texas we have our own version:               

‘Twas the night before Christmas, in Texas, you know.
Way out on the prairie, without any snow.
Asleep in their cabin, were Buddy and Sue,
A dreamin’ of Christmas, like me and you.

  Then there is Linda Ronstadt, also born on July 15, 1946. She sang “Don’t Know Much”.

“I don’t know much
But I know, I love you
And that may be
All I need to know,

Then there are numerous events that took place on July 15 in history. Did you know that Paul McCartney once was fined on July 15th, 17 pounds (that’s British for dollars) in 1963 for speeding? Apologies to Paul, it wasn’t “Band on the Run” it was “Man on the Run!”

Man on the run, Man on the run.
And the jailer man and sailor Sam
Were searching every one
For the Man on the run,
Man on the run
Man on the run,
Man on the run”.

And just for all you “soap opera” fans, “One Life to Live” debuted in 1968, lasting some 45 years. There is talk about it possibly returning to the airways. I won’t hold my breath (wasn’t planning on that either). When I was in the prime of my construction career, my employees were called, “All My Children” or was it “As the World Turns”? Just sayin’! These are but a few examples of persons or events concerning July 15.  You could say that I am only a little fish in a giant pond.

And if you are into astrology, (not to be confused with astronomy) then this sort of thing may appeal to you. According to that stream of thought, we Cancerians are influenced by the planetary position of the Moon. That position of the Moon rules the Zodiacal group of Cancer and Venus and together they determine the features and differences of July 15 natives from others. I hope that makes sense to you, doesn’t do much for me, though. I can, however, associate with “the Crab”. As Crabs, our strengths are described as a strong sixth sense, subjective, gentle, swift, imaginative, careful, dedicated, perseverant, kind, caring. This is considered Western Astrology. Some prefer Eastern Astrology. You know Dogs and pigs and rabbits, etc. Here in Texas I practice Doris Day astrology.

Que Sera, Sera,
Whatever will be, will be, will be,
The future’s not ours, to see, yeah
Que Sera, Que Sera, Que Sera

So if you were born on July 15, it is a special day. Having a birthday alone is great but sharing one’s birthday is an awesome feeling. And my day is even more special for I share it with the “Rancherette”. When we were first getting acquainted in the early days, I once asked her the date of her birthday. She replied, July 15. I said, no, that is my birthday, when is yours? And again she replied, July 15. So we share the same birthday. From that moment on, it was fate. There is one thing I am reluctant to share and that would be the year we were born. That is classified and only on a need to know basis. Suffice it to say we both qualify for the senior discount at most restaurants, hotels, grocery chains, etc. I did get asked for my ID once when I purchased a can of spray paint. The cashier was confusing me with a teenager. I told her that dirt and I are approximately the same age.

Not only do the “Rancherette” and I share the same birthday; we share a great love with each other. We have an amazing intuition and insight about our lives together. We share a mutual love for animals also. It is not uncommon for our thoughts and minds to come together about most any subject. She qualifies it by saying “great minds think alike”. We have our pet phrases and qualities. We sometimes say the same thing at the same time. Intuition! She is very creative; I like to build. She is so very good at crafting and I like to put in my two cents worth. There so many ways in which we are alike, yet we each have our own personalities. Having a birthday alone is great but sharing one’s birthday is an awesome feeling. I can think of no other way to express Happy Birthday than to share it with my soul mate. And I love you more!

Pushing Carts

I’m confident that most if not all of my readers have shopped at least once in the “giant ‘big box’, has everything, supercenter store”. If there should be one who hasn’t had that experience, I urge you to venture into that dominion. That should be on your “bucket list”. But be prepared for the consequence.

Yesterday, I accompanied the “Rancherette” on our weekly outing to the friendly supercenter for much needed supplies.  We do everything together. We work together, play together, eat together, so it makes sense that we shop together.

Most of our journey into the realm of our supercenter shopping schedule takes place in the grocery section. “You are about to enter another dimension. A dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land of imagination. Next stop, the Twilight Zone!”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-b5aW08ivHU

Our path is pre-ordained. We enter the store, proceed to the pharmacy, (at my age there is usually a prescription to be picked up), then on to the Health & Beauty section. The “Rancherette” does not need anything from here, but I do. At last visit,  they did not have any such beauty aids that would be of assistance to me, but I spend a lot of time in the Health Department.

.blood pressure machine

Since the beauty section is on the opposite end from the grocery section, we must then travel through the various departments including the fashion department, and usually with a stopover in each with a detour for a pit stop along the way. (Think health needs).Occasionally, we slide through the craft department, for the “Rancherette” is very crafty.

See the source image.

As we make our way through the store to the foods the travel gets perilous. Pushing a cart through the supercenter is risky to say the least. I have a couple of ideas that might make it a little safer, or not.

First, a pushing cart license should be required before entering the store. They could set up a kiosk at the entry and charge a fee, either for a one trip or annual permit.  Instruction booklets could be found in the Home & Office department. A short one week course with field training could be utilized during nights and weekends when traffic is lightest if there is such a time.

Believe me; many people are in need of a degree of instruction.  See the source image

For example, some use the British model, you know, pushing on the “wrong” side of the aisle, while others use the American model, pushing on the “correct” side of the aisle. Still others use no model at all. Some use the haphazard model. It is very confusing.

driving on wrong side

And there are the “wrong way” pushers. They are oblivious of anyone around them. One can be pushing the correct direction, either British or American and out of nowhere comes a cart from the wrong direction and stacked so high the “pusher” cannot see over the mound of stuff, usually with soft drink bottles hanging off the side. You know, “East is east and West is west, and never the twain shall meet.”(Except in the “Big Box Supercenter”.) As you see, in the photo above, one can find anything in a “Big Box” Supercenter.

And with the “medians” in the middle of the wider aisles one never knows which side to move. The narrow aisles do not have these obstructions, so this is where the motorized shoppers meet to discuss current events.  In fact, the “big box” supercenter could set aside a section like a park, where these individuals could meet. The supercenter could then charge admission. All this could be corrected with “pushing licenses” instruction.

One solution would be to make the aisles a one way direction.  It might not solve every problem but it might solve a few. See diagram below. Notice in the diagram, there is only one check out location. This is controlled chaos. All the stores use this method to keep order.

As we proceed down the aisles we pass all the well known “impulse” items, usually not on our list but placed exactly at eye level. The managerial staff knows when I am coming. Being the sucker I am, I load the basket. But we must also locate the items on our list.  Bottom shelves are not knee friendly nor is the fiber cereal on the top shelf. This is an area where the supercenter needs a bit of instruction. If they would call me, I would tell them where to put stuff. They do not understand such logic. I do.

Eventually, we make our way through the checkout. As we leave the store, we converse about how exciting it is to see the many exhibits (exhibitionists)  throughout the store. Kind of makes your venture worthwhile. Since this is a family friendly site, I will not describe all the varying displays throughout the supercenter. Let just say,  one can see things in there that are not available even in the zoos of the world. Children under 16 years of age should not be admitted, many are simply unsuitable for young adolescents.

But hey, we gathered our groceries, now you gather your courage and get out there and go “pushing”.

See the source image

Have a happy day.

Once Upon A Time, the Saga

Once upon a time! That’s how most fairy tales and stories for children begin. One can write a story and start with this idiom and immediately it gains some sort of legitimacy. So with that in mind, I begin another story of Gweeny Goose. I will try to keep this story suitable for children.

Once upon a time, there were three geese, Bailey, a gander, Indie, another gander, and Shya, a goose. (I am told there is no specific name for a female, so I will just call her a ‘goose’.

‘ Three geese coming from pen

Indie came by his name because he was rather independent. And Shya came by her name because of her shyness. And Bailey? Well, the characteristics were appropriate for a female. As it turned out, she was a he and since the name Bailey is gender neutral, Bailey it was. However, we now had two ganders and one goose. Bailey has evolved, seemly, into the dominate gander, although he is actually the smaller of the two ganders. Like they say dynamite comes in small packages. I think that Indie is just biding his time.

Life was good for the ganders but not so well for the goose. According to the geese experts, a female chooses a monogamous partner about the age of three. Since these three are just now approaching the age of two, it is difficult for the lone goose to manage two suitors.  I can only imagine her difficulty.

On a regular basis, I interact with these three ‘geeses’ (I call them ‘geeses’ which they understand). It requires much study, but I have a Master’s degree in geeses language, and I speak it fluently. Like, ‘att choo doin’ geeses?’ Sometimes, I yell, ‘eir u goin’, geeses? They honk back at me and the louder I get the louder they honk.  Since we put them up at night to protect them from predators, we have taught them a method of cooperation to help us at that task. From goslings we have called out, “let’s go home” as a means of bringing them in. It works quite well, even as they have matured. We sometimes use a small children’s rake to ‘herd’ them into their pens. These three geeses mind very well, most of the time. And most of the time they answer to their names. But a friend of mine reminded me that it is a scientific fact that only when they want too!

And at breeding season, forget all this information. I recall last season. It was so very difficult to go around them. I believe Bailey saw me as a threat. And Indie was not subtle either. Occasionally we would have to use the aforementioned children’s rakes to defend ourselves. The secret to defending yourselves is to not let them get behind you. They are sneaky. Face to face, they seem quite mild. They are friendly and will come close but not too close. Have you ever had a dog nip at your heels? Our geeses have picked up that trait during breeding season. We have a kennel full of dogs and on their afternoon run, they have learned to not go close to the geeses.  Talk about nipping at heels!

So breeding season is fast approaching. Enter Gweeny Goose!  If you read the previous post you know how she came to be the newest addition to the geese population at the Fuzzy Chicken Farm. This story, “Once Upon A Time”, is part of a continuing sage of Gweeny Goose. Perhaps you have once been the new kid on the block or at school. You may recall the reluctance of many to make friends with you or you with them. Such is the case of the “geeses”.

Yesterday was the first day the four were allowed out at the same time. The “Rancherette” and I were very apprehensive about letting them out simultaneously. It was unknown how any of them would react. Would there be any animosity between them?  Would the three original residents cause any rancor? Or would she? Well, there wasn’t necessarily any congeniality between them but there was no bloodshed either. That’s a good sign.So, this morning was the second day of mingling.They appear to be “mingling” just fine. Swimming together and checking each other out. Bailey is either nosy or jealous. He  wants her to be around but then he chases her away when she gets too close to Indie and Shya.

Foour geese a swimming                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Since they slept in adjacent but separate pens it was a curiosity of Bailey and friends to check out her apartment. It seems that she has spacious sleeping quarters. Gweeny's apartment

She has good food, too. (It’s the same stuff.) But, it is only a matter of time before she will move in with her choice. [being a female (goose) she is allowed to make her choice.]

But do not be dismayed, breeding season is fast approaching. And I am trembling.

Gweeny Goose

Among the many “critters” we have on “The Fuzzy Chicken Farm” are three Sebastopol Geese.  They are a hoot, or should I say honk. These three geese answer to the names of Indie, Shya and Bailey. (When they want to)  Once upon a time we thought Bailey was a she but we soon discovered she was a he. Luckily we gave her a name that could be used with either gender.  We are approaching the breeding season and they become aggressive during this time, especially with two males and only one female. So the “Rancherette” decided another female was in order. Indie needed a mate and the“Rancherette” was determined to play matchmaker.Geese April                                                                                                                                                                    IMG_7134

The search began for someone who raises this breed of geese and lo and behold, one was found. The downside was this person lived about 3 hours away. They do not deliver; Hence a road trip. We are accustomed to road trips since the “Rancherette” shows her fancy chickens at various chicken shows.

I placed a portable pen in the pickup bed, wrapped it with a heavy-duty bed quilt for the goose’s protection from the wind and used bungee cords to secure it. With a printed map and directions to the geese herder (?) we hit the road. Before I could get 10 miles down the road, the quilt began to blow in the wind. Of course I stopped to further secure it. Again another few miles and the stupid quilt came loose again. You must understand I am not a professional truck driver. I do not have their expertise at securing loads. You are probably thinking it will happen again. And you would be correct. Fortunately, I had several bungee cords with me. This time I secured it so tightly it would have taken a stick of dynamite to remove it.

So, with that chore finally completed, we “hit the road” again. Of course no road trip worth its salt would be without a “pit stop”. Such was our case. When one gets to be our age it is imperative that one finds a place to get a “bar of candy”, if you know what I mean. It means nothing to say, “You kids go before we leave because I am not stopping!” That was then, this is now.

Mission accomplished and back on the road again. Driving down the freeway, one can get lost in the moment. Luckily I had my printed Google map and directions.  If only I would have taken the time to read them, I probably would not have missed my turn. About twelve miles down the freeway I remembered. A U-turn was the next course of action. I took the next exit which could take me across to the correct highway without a U-turn. Or so I thought. I believe it was Yogi Berra who once said, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it”. There was no fork in the road, however, the detour was a dead end and one must turn right or left. Big decision, my road map was of no use any longer. The “Rancherette” turned on her IPhone gps. We turned right. I drove all the way to the next town, passing a mushroom processing plant. Now I love mushrooms and have eaten my share of several different varieties, however the smell from the processing plant was very difficult to overcome. Hurriedly, we passed.

We came into town and because I had failed to follow directions, I was lost. (Me? A male? Lost? Unheard of) I turned around and began to retrace my steps. Ugh, it was the mushroom processing plant again. I picked up speed and passed the plant quickly.

So driving further down the two lane highway about ten miles or so, the “Rancherette” thought we were still going the wrong way. She was correct. I turned around and once again went back to where we came from. Yeah, I passed the “mushrooms” for the third time. We finally located the correct road and quickly arrived at the geese home.

A varied menagerie of critters, including a very colorful Tom Turkey named Kevin which seemed to have other things on his mind. The owners met us in the driveway as well as many dogs, chickens, goats, pot-bellied pigs and geese. Travis and Joy, the owners are such nice people and their baby is so sweet. we offered to bring her home with us and the goose, but they declined, just the goose. After an enlightened conversation the “Rancherette” picked out Genevieve the goose. It seems her nickname is Gwenny, thus she will forever be known as Gweeny Goose, not to be confused with Granny Goose.

Gwinny Goose

With a long drive ahead of us (assuming we don’t get lost) we said our goodbyes and departed. But there was no way I’m passing the mushroom processing plant again.  Stay tuned for the continuing sage of Gweeny Goose.

A Perfect Dad, II

As I post this, Father’s Day 2018, is upon us. Seven years ago, I wrote this to celebrate Father’s Day. Since that time I have become a Great-Grandfather to five fantastic children. The first four are boys with the last one being a girl.  What I wonderful feeling.  I am truly blessed. But so are the fathers of these wonderful kids.  I post this in honor of all the fathers in my family and everywhere.

While the great-grandsons are well past the “diaper” stage, the great-granddaughter is still in the midst of “change”. Obviously, the skills needed for girls are quite different than for boys. I am certain “Perfect Dads” have figured that out.

The children we father makes us fathers, the love we show them makes us “Dads”.

“A Perfect Dad”

I am a father of two daughters and one son, as well as a grandfather of four girls and two boys, AND a great-grandfather to a lad named Judah, A fine old biblical name. This year, I received my share of Father’s Day cards. As I read the little poem written inside one card, I could not help but feel very inadequate, for I am anything but a “Perfect Dad”.

Way back when my firstborn (she would dispute the “way back” part) made her initial appearance, I was based on an aircraft carrier in Japan and unable to be there for that ultimate experience.

Later, when my second born arrived, I was there, however, not allowed in the delivery room. I probably would have fainted anyway. She arrived with as much fanfare as did the firstborn.

I know for sure that I went through the burping, feeding, rocking phases, more so with the second child than the first. However, their mother attended to the diapering functions. You have to understand the times in which we were living during the early 60’s. Most men did not attend to such details. However, times, they were a’changing.

When children are born, they are like a piece of cloth. They sag in places, they have a lot of wrinkles, not much hair, at least not my children, and it looks like they were dyed red.

Wrinkled and red.  Skin so soft you’d think they were covered with silk. And everything needed support.

When my son was born, he was no exception. But, like I said, times were a’changing. Through a series of discussions (coerced, I’m sure), I was ready to accept my responsibilities of being a father. Except, my hands were not equipped to handle such difficult maneuvers. I was very deficient in providing this needed aid.

Later, when I felt I had acquired at least some of the necessary skills, I was allowed (?) to take on a few basic functions of caring for him. Feeding him at 2 A.M. was my first privilege. Burping him was another. Always have an extra cloth diaper handy for placing over your shoulder. Notice, I said “cloth diaper”. Disposable diapers had been invented some years before my children were born; however, they were not as prevalent as today. They were expensive, as well.  Thus, we used cloth diapers.

As my skills became more proficient, other responsibilities were given (?) to me. One task, though, was overwhelming. Considering the times when my poor child had to go around with a diaper halfway to his knees, it was obvious.

I laughed, not at the amusing sight, but rather at the very thought of my inexperience of placing the diaper on him in the first place. Of course, there were no instruction booklets attached to the “cloth” diaper. I often wondered how his mother did that. I think she wrote a book titled, “How to Change a Cloth Diaper,” which I of course, never read.

Intelligent as I am, I devised a special method for cleaning cloth diapers. (I’m not sure if I was the first one to use this method.) You simply place the used diaper in the toilet, and while holding to one end, very carefully, you flush. The way to do this is to use some sort of device to your nose or you may hold your nose with one hand, the diaper in the other and use your elbow to hit the flush handle.

However, when I received the bill from the plumber I surmised that the flush method for cleaning cloth diapers was not necessarily a proper decision of a “Perfect Dad.” But, trial and error will teach you the proper technique. It must be noted that “Perfect Dads” have a very sensitive gag reflex.  I often wondered if one could not use the same method for cleaning the child as well, but I was informed that it was not allowed.

Then, too, the cloth diaper method we used required two safety pins, one for each side. This was not easy. Making the folds while holding the squirming child down required a third hand, which I did not have. I never saw a third hand on his mother, but somehow she always managed to pin the diaper on the child without sticking the pins in his skin.

I might also mention that you need protective equipment, such as goggles when changing diapers on little boys. If I were “A Perfect Dad”, I would have known that. (I should have read the book!) As I said, times have certainly changed over the years. Child rearing in this day seems much simpler to me. How hard could it be to change a disposable diaper? Tape it on?

Fathers, Grandfathers, relish in this day. In someone’s eyes, you are a “Perfect Dad.”

My Dad has long since passed on but I recall a plaque I once gave him for Father’s Day. It was purchased on the spur of the moment, a last minute decision.gift.  It featured a pair of shoes with the inscription, “No one can fill the shoes of my Dad.” My Dad loved that small gift. He placed it on his table where he could see this everyday. He was my step-dad but the only dad I ever knew.

On this Father’s Day, take a few moments to reflect upon your father, even as you celebrate being a father. Know that our Heavenly Father is the one truly, “Perfect Dad”, who produced a truly “Perfect Son. God’s Word tells us to “honor our father and mother, that our days will be long upon the land that God has given us”. Ex. 20:12

“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” I John 3:1

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY

June 19, 2011

Post Navigation

Ailish Sinclair

Stories and photos from Scotland

Fun E Farm

One Family's Adventures in the Search for Sustainability

Shootin' the Breeze

and random targets

Morning Story and Dilbert

Inspiring, Encouraging, Healthy / Why waste the best stories of the World, pour a cup of your favorite beverage and let your worries drift away…

Storyshucker

A blog full of humorous and poignant observations.

Carlson Property Tax

A straight-forward blog about property taxes in North Texas, Dallas Ft. Worth and Surrounding Counties

chester maynes

Poetry and Poems

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

%d bloggers like this: