Ten Facts and/or Opinions

  1. If a husband and wife come down with a cold at the same time, the husband will be much sicker than the wife.
  2. It’s impossible to watch Planes, Trains, and Automobiles without laughing and crying.
  3. Nothing lasts forever, except forever.
  4. Love hurts. It really does, but it also heals.
  5. You can’t save time in a bottle, but you can save coins in one. So, if time is money….
  6. There are approximately 151,000 hotel rooms in Las Vegas.
  7. Pulchritudinous is a way to describe great physical beauty. A person who is very beautiful would be described as pulchritudinous.
  8. Many American southerners eat black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day hoping this traditional dish will bring health and prosperity in the coming year. Here’s to hoping it works this year.
  9. Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen.
  10. If you go with the flow, sometimes you’re going to end up in the sewer.

More Black Eyed Peas:

https://youtu.be/uSD4vsh1zDA

Peace, people

Memory Glitch

Memory is an odd thing. There are happenings from my past that I remember with certainty, and I’d argue vehemently with anyone who suggested that my memories might be corrupted by time or experiences pre- or post-event. Or even that the memory wasn’t even my memory.

The truth is, though, that memories are subject to outside influences. Perhaps we’ve heard a story so many times that we believe we actually were part of the story. We’ve incorporated the ideas into our own psyches. I knew of this phenomenon, I just never had real evidence of it until recently.

Studly Doright and I were reminiscing the other night about an event that occurred twenty years ago when we lived in Great Bend, Kansas. Our dog had developed an infection in one of his toes and I walked him over to the veterinarian’s office just around the corner from our house. Our daughter, Ashley, accompanied me.

The vet took us back to the examination room immediately and looked at Snapper’s puffy paw. Apparently the dog had gotten some sort of seed embedded in his nail and it had become inflamed and contained a hefty amount of pus that needed to be drained. I held Snapper while the vet swabbed the dog’s paw with antiseptic and Ashley looked on, the scent of alcohol heavy in the room.

All went well until the moment the vet lanced Snapper’s paw and blood-laced pus came pouring from the infected area. I heard my daughter moan and watched her eyes roll back in her head as she began falling to the floor. I was holding the dog and grasping for my daughter’s arm to keep her from hitting her head on the floor. Meanwhile, the damned vet stood there laughing!

Somehow I managed to slow Ashley’s descent without dropping Snapper, as the vet calmly told a story about watching a big strong cowboy faint watching his horse undergo a similar procedure. Ashley still ended up on the floor, but not at full velocity. The vet bandaged the dog’s paw as poor Ashley lay unconscious. She was only out for a few seconds, but woke up thinking she’d overslept and missed a band concert scheduled for that evening.

We paid the vet (who I never took any of my pets to again) and slowly walked the block and a half home. Ashley, other than being a little disoriented, didn’t seem to have sustained any injuries, and we related our story to Studly Doright in full gory detail when we returned home.

Over the course of twenty years, Ashley and I both have told the story dozens of times. Never once has Studly Doright been at that vet’s office with us, that is, until he told the story during our little trip down memory lane. According to him, he was the one holding the dog. He was the one who kept Ashley from hitting the floor. He was the one who became exasperated by the vet’s silly nattering. No amount of arguing with him could convince him that his memory was false. Hell, I began wondering if I was the one with the faulty memory.

Then while at Ashley’s home in Illinois for Christmas I asked her to recount the story. She did, almost word for word the way I wrote it above. Studly couldn’t believe his ears; although, in the face of such strong evidence he began to realize that perhaps he had internalized the details of our story to the point he’d convinced himself that it had happened to him. He won’t quite admit that he was wrong, but he is no longer adamant that he was there.

It’s kind of fascinating, isn’t it? That the brain can trick itself into believing something. It makes me wonder what memories I have that aren’t accurate, or that aren’t even my own. Like that memory I have of Han Solo and me kissing on board the Millennium Falcon as we evaded Imperial ships on our way to Cloud City. Don’t you dare tell me that never happened!

Peace, people!

In Praise of Patience

Late Thursday evening Studly Doright and I returned home to Doright Manor here in the panhandle of Florida. We’d left Port Byron, Illinois, on Wednesday morning after celebrating our middle granddaughter’s birthday with a family breakfast at a restaurant of her choice in Moline. I wish I’d thought to take a photo that morning, but this is our lovely 14-year-old McKayla.

Studly and I departed from Moline and started towards home, only he didn’t take the exit our gps indicated. When I questioned him he just said, “Patience.”

After nearly three hours of patience we ended up in Champaign, Illinois, to have brunch downtown at Sam’s Cafe. We both love Sam’s, where the pancakes are the best and the French toast is out of this world. The old diner on Walnut Street is nothing much to look at, but oh, how we’ve missed it. I’d come down with a cold on Tuesday night, but that French toast tasted like it might cure all my ailments.

We left Sam’s and finally took a southbound road out of Champaign. I figured that since we’d dawdled for the first three hours of the day that Studly would be in a mood to make up some ground. I was wrong. Somewhere south of Marion, IL, he took an exit that had us traveling a winding road through Vienna down to Metropolis where we stopped for a burger at Fat Edd’s Roadhouse before checking in at Harrah’s casino and hotel. I was baffled. It was just barely 5 p.m. We never stop before 7 p.m. when traveling like this. When I asked Studly if he’d been abducted by aliens and reprogrammed to wander aimlessly he just said, “Patience.”

We didn’t go into the casino. Instead we watched tv and snuggled into the first truly comfortable bed we’d had all week. I took cold medicine and slept like a rock for much of the night. As soon as we were back in the car on Thursday morning Studly turned in the opposite direction our gps indicated. I didn’t bother asking what he was doing. “Patience” seemed to be the only answer I’d get anyway.

I should have anticipated that his intended destination was food related. When we lived in Illinois, Studly’s job took him to the Metropolis area often, and there he discovered Rube’s Cafe. Rube’s serves biscuits and gravy made exactly like Studly’s mother makes them, and he’s been dreaming about them since we moved from Illinois six years ago. I had a bacon and cheese omelet while Studly feasted on biscuits and gravy. I believe there was a tear in his eye as we drove away.

The remainder of the trip was fairly straightforward; although, I did plot us a route that avoided major metropolitan areas. We used the gps sparingly, and I navigated us on peaceful backroads through Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida.

I seriously enjoy reading maps, and the activity kept me alert all day. Our route added an hour to the original route’s estimated arrival time, but we avoided the stress of the holiday traffic crush, and perhaps some major delays around Nashville in Tennessee, and Birmingham and Montgomery in Alabama.

I’ll take this over the interstate any day:

There’s a lot to be said in favor of patience.

Peace, people.

Christmas Climb

Studly Doright and I celebrated Christmas with our daughter and her family in Port Byron, Illinois. We laughed, exchanged gifts, watched the grandkids’ delight as they explored their new acquisitions, and ate way too much. Our daughter’s in-laws came today, and we really enjoyed our visit with them over lunch. I am so happy knowing that our grandchildren are loved so much by so many people.

I could’ve shared a great many photos from today, but my favorites, by far, were these taken by our son-in-law:

That’s Studly and our youngest grandchild exploring in the woods behind our daughter’s home. The two took off on a walk, crossed a creek via a fallen tree, and climbed the steep banks rising from the creek bed. When they returned to the house their cheeks were rosy and one of them was severely out of breath. I’ll let you guess which one that was. (Hint: It wasn’t the one wearing the unicorn bike helmet.)

We’ll start our trip home tomorrow. I’ll be sad to leave, but we’ll take with us wonderful memories of time spent with the ones we love. I hope your Christmas Day was filled with love and laughter.

Peace, people!

Christmas Eve in Port Byron

Is there anything more wonderful than a Christmas Eve spent with grandchildren?

Studly Doright and I basked in the glow of our Illinois grandkids’ excitement. What a wonderful night spent exchanging gifts and remembering Christmases past! Lots of laughs, smiles, and exclamations of joy filled the night. I’m such a lucky girl.

Peace, people.

Still More Photos from the Road

Technically, Studly Doright and I weren’t driving today. We’re staying at a hotel in Le Claire, Iowa, across the river from our daughter’s house in Port Byron, Illinois. Still, though, we are away from Doright Manor so any photos I take are fair game. Plus, I’m worn out, so coming up with a new title was beyond my present capabilities.

Our hotel is right on the Mississippi River, and our room has a river view.

We have a lovely balcony, but the weather is a bit too chilly for hanging around outside.

Last night my daughter, granddaughter, her friend, and I attended a dinner theatre production of Annie. The evening was part of our granddaughter’s birthday gift–her big day is December 26, and often it gets kind of lost with all of the other holiday activities. The dinner theatre was a perfect way to celebrate.

Today is Christmas Eve, and we plan to bring the grandkids to the hotel for a swim while the parents take care of other important stuff.

In other news, this kid loves bacon.

More Pictures from the Road

On Saturday Studly and I traveled the second leg of our Christmas journey, driving from Clarksville, Tennessee, to Port Byron, Illinois. We made good time and soon were hugging our daughter and three of our five grandkids.

This is how the youngest one dressed to greet us in 33° weather:

After getting the grandkids all riled up we headed to a pizza place across the river in LeClaire, Iowa, where we played pinball and Pac-Man, tried our luck with the claw game and the fortune telling machine while the pizza was being cooked. I was too busy playing to take any pictures, but I took this one of the granddaughters posing as the Grinch and Cindy Lou Who in front of a shop in LeClaire.

There wasn’t nearly as much NASCAR style driving going on today, so my sanity isn’t in question as it was last night. I didn’t take many photos from the passenger seat today either, but we did pass a truck carrying its payload in an unorthodox manner:

Studly called my attention to this odd sight as we approached the truck north of Springfield, Illinois. We pondered for many miles how this little car was loaded onto the bed of the truck.

Other than these two pictures I only snapped a few others:

Studly got a bit excited when he saw snow on the side of the road. I hope that’s the ONLY snow we see this week; although, the forecast is calling for a white Christmas.

That’s part of the Peoria, Illinois, skyline, above. Not a great photo, but Peoria is kind of a cool river town.

As I type this, Studly and I are unwinding in our cozy hotel room with a view of the Mississippi River outside our window. We’re watching the Kansas Jayhawks play basketball while recharging our batteries for tomorrow’s activities with the grandkids. We’re going to need all the energy we can muster. Wish us luck.

Peace, people.

Pictures from the Road

Studly Doright and I are heading north to spend Christmas with our daughter who lives near Moline, Illinois. I’d intended to write today’s blog post as Studly drove, but I couldn’t concentrate on writing while he was navigating the bumper to bumper traffic.

Things got a little intense a time or two. Going through Dothan, Alabama, a car came within inches of plowing into my door. Only Studly’s quick reflexes kept us from getting hit. Then somewhere north of Nashville a car stopped abruptly in the left hand lane of I-24. Again Studly’s quick thinking prevented an accident. My hero!

So, I didn’t write a thing until we got to our hotel room, and all I have to show for today’s blog are three photos taken while Studly drove:

I have a fondness for Piggly Wiggly signage. My dad managed a Piggly Wiggly grocery store for much of my life, and I met Studly when he worked for my dad at the Piggly Wiggly in Dumas, Texas.

This huge confederate flag waves over a section of I-65 in Alabama. Confederate flag memorabilia is sold in every gas station and convenience store along the interstate. The current president is quite popular in these parts, and I’m always in a hurry to get out of this state.

Traffic in the southbound lanes of I-65 came to a standstill due to a nasty accident just outside of Nashville. Look how far back the headlights go in the distance. Too many people all trying to get somewhere for the holidays. Hoping no one was seriously injured in the wreck.

Tomorrow’s traffic should be less hectic. There won’t be any major cities to navigate between Nashville and Moline, but if you don’t hear from me tomorrow you’ll know I’ve surrendered my sanity.

Peace, people.

Cat Christmas

The only reason I put up a Christmas tree this year is because the cats guilted me into it. Studly and I are spending Christmas at our daughter’s home and I told him I didn’t think we’d need a tree. Apparently the cats heard me and they went on strike–no purring or cuddling until the tree was up. They looked pretty cute with their protest placards, but wouldn’t stay still long enough for me to snap a photo.

At any rate, Studly and I learned our lessons, and we have a small tree. The cats are back to giving us lots of love, so everyone’s happy. They asked me to find a bunch of cat Christmas comics, too, and rather than make them get their signs out again, I complied.

Here’s Scout admiring the tree. It’s her shift. Patches is hiding somewhere.