Friday, December 23, 2011

We wish you a messy Christmas

This is not the peak picture - it really topped off a couple of weeks later. But then it got cleaned up (somewhat) and now it's a problem again. Residuals from incoming packages - packing materials and more.

The story of my life, so the wife says. She has accused me of being a packrat, and maybe I am - but my redeeming explanation is that it is all important stuff - much too important to get rid of. Well, the picture does not include Christmas presents (that I can see) but it does include a lot of my life.

The red case in the foreground is a fishing tackle box that I use for artist supplies. Behind it is a stack of slide reels - one or two of the family - one or two of England - and a couple of the Holy Land and Egypt. On top of the box are several blank VHS tapes that I'll use 'someday' - except that now I'm using my computer to made DVD's and CD's

Behind that is a box with shoes on it - and in the box is 'stuff', literally translated to electronic cables and unidentified material that I may use someday. Maybe. Maybe not but I just don't want to get rid of  because as sure as I do, I'll need it. Someday. Maybe.

Then there are shoes (a few of which may have memories of Florida ten years ago - there's a lot of sentiment there. In the foreground center and right are shoes - my bright white tennies from the VA that are worn to formal events. In the bookcase are a couple of sets of WEB Griffin books (Marine and Army, family history, an autographed Methodist hymnal from 1he 1986 General Conference in Baltimore, and Bibles and religious books that I will need when a Bishop decides I'm much too important to leave wilting on the vine. Oh, and I can't forget the mini-camcorder on the floor (an older one is hidden behind the foot of the bed)

On the right, almost hidden behind the door frame is more 'important stuff' - I'm not sure just what but I'll check one of these days to be sure it's okay.

Hanging up is clothes - some bordering on ancient - and I must admit that I finally disposed of a pair of blue jeans that go back to 1977 - or is that 1799?

And on the top shelf (nort in the picture is hats, Navy and cruise books, a miniature wood working tool kit, several old copies of 1940's Popular Mechanics, and every McDonnell Aircraft Product Support Digest magazine from the late 1960's to the late 1970's. Oh, and hidden in back are two boxes of correspondence that goes back into the 1950's and 1960'. Precious stuff I have to save for what ever I might need it for.

And that do;es not include the precious stuff in the storagne bin upstairs. Maybe someday I'll check that out too.

With all that said, I just want to say, 'Have a blessed and messy Christmas'  Ho, Ho, Ho!!!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Thank you..........

.....for all the years you've shared with me.

......for the times you graciously contended with my grumpiness when I came home from work after a bad day.

.....for contending with move after move when it might have been nicer to stay in one place for a while.

.....for going through birth pains five times - a situation no man can ever understand or experience.

.....for being both mother and father when I was off on overseas tours. And lots of other times as well.

.....for being patient when patience probably was hard to come by.

.....for thinking the same thing I was thinking of - maybe two minds working as one. So often in tune.

.....for being the perfect pastor's wife when it was me that got the call.

.....for the time I got a four hour notice to go aboard ship and you packed me up for whatever the duty meant. And not complaining.

.....for enduring one trailer after another.

.....for contending with my specialized kind of clutter when you so loved neatness.

.....for keeping me on the health track when I might have preferred to nutritionally cheat.

.....and for a zillion other things - large and small - you have done and been over all of these 58 years. Thank you from the bottom if my heart.

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!                   With love - the old guy in the blue suit

Friday, December 9, 2011

Santas Boots

Somebody said  'a boot is a boot'. I disagree - boots have personality.I know that mine have over the years.

For instance, when I was in elementary school I lived a mile out of town and it was quite a walk back and forth to school. No school bus for that school. Our usual winter apparel was blue jeans and plaid shirts and heavy coats, scarves\, gloves (or mittens) and stocking caps. On my feet were high-top boots with a pocket on the side of one to hold  a knife. These were heavy, not well lined, so we would wear one or two hesvy socks. The knife in the boot pocket almost needed to be a Barlow unless wanted to be out of the Junior Macho group.I re member rubbing neatsfoot oil into my hightops so that they would (supposedly) be waterproof. It didn't always work. And the hightops almost always had leather-strip laces that almost never broke.

I used to hate galoshes - they kept the snow off your feet unless you had to go through big drifts or deep puddles of water. They were floppy and closed with clasps. Galoshes went on over shoes or boots and were clumsy and awkward. I'm not talking about British Wellingtons - could have waded in a creek with them. They were more practical as far as I was concerned -  I hated galoshes when snow or water would come over the top and go down the boot insides and soak my feet and socks.

Then there were boon-dockers. Correction: there have been, are, and will always be boondockers When I was in the Air Force these were the issue work shoe and they were heavy and would make a  sound when you walked. In basic training the Drill Sergeant would be after us continually to put a glossy shine not only on our black low quarter shoes but on the boondockers as well. Problem was, with the boondockers the rough side of the leather was on the outside and that made it almost impossible to get a really good shine on the boondockers. The Drill Sergeant took sadistic pleasure in reminding us that our boots were almost never as shiny as they should be.

I also had to wear steel-toed boots or work shoes when I worked in  a machine shop. I was glad for these boots - the protective covers over my toes worked a number of times to save toes when I dropped steel bars on my feet. I put steel toed boots and safety glasses as two of the most important things I had to wear.

Then there are the red boots in the photo. I call them my 'Santa Boots' because they look like the kind of footwear that might have been appropriate at the north pole. They are Hush Puppies and I love them dearly. They became mine when Joyce and I left Florids after 17 years of warm weather living to move the the north land of Michigan. My church friends decided to provide us a roast before we left and in the process gave us all kinds of things they had hung onto when they migrated to sunny Florida. Most of these gifts were gag gifts and there was a lot of laughter during the presentation. One of the men gave me a beat-up pair of boondockers that looked as thought they had come from the Spanish-American War. But the tops and soles were great and all it took was a few licks of Boondocker Polish and new laces and they felt almost new. They lasted a good ten years before going to Goodwill industries, Not to be junked, but to go a few more years on someone elses redneck feet. The boots in the picture were a gift from a retired New York judge who thought he'd never need them in Florida. I polished them up - wore them a while - put new zippers and new soles on them - and they are among my favorites even today.  I don't think that Judge Lee ever thought that they would last like they have but there are doing just fine - thank you - and I may be buried with my Santa boots on when the time comes for me to take my final journey way up north..

Like Nancy Sinatra sang, 'These boots were made for walking' and they bring back good memories..