Friday, December 28, 2007

When Old People Get Together

Did you ever notice that when older people get together they seem to like to talk about their health?
So....I find myself talking about my health,then looking for symptoms!
Well I have a few health issues but my life goes on and I hope I never become a bore!
This past week I was with some really nice older folks but what a chore it was to talk about my weight loss,my diabetes,COPD,arthritis and so on.I find it gets old quick.Then you get to hear about all their health issues...UGH!
So when you get together with older folks,humour us,but talk about anything but health.
Life is diverse,lets chat about anything else!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Cruise Night in Roseland

Growing up in Roseland,on the far south side of Chicago.
Cruise night was every night of the week all through my high school years.
The idea was to take your car to Michigan Avenue and drive up and down and simply show off your car.
The best times were had when the streets were packed with your friends.We sure did add a lot of congestion.
It was all in fun,there were no bad intentions,just a social thing we all liked very much.
We would start anywhere,normally at about 107 th street and go south to about 119th street.Then turn around and do it again.About 20 times.
Showing off your car,waving,honking at your friends as they went by on the opposite side of the street,this was being cool.
Some of our cars were very fast,some were just amazing muscle cars of the 1960's.
Mine were a 59 Chevy Impala with a 409.A 1966 Grand Prix 3 speed on the floor with a 389.A 1968 Impala with a 427,385 horsepower from the factory.It also had a cam.
I omitted a few of the dogs.
When it got to be late and time to eat we would head over to The Pit on 127th street which was the coolest drive in ever.All our friends would be there and we just hung out till it was late.
The next day we would do it all over again.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Resting For A Few Days

It is almost Christmas I am am glad to be taking a few days off.
We will have 21 people here on Christmas day so Linda and I are thinking we will take December 26 off too.
I am looking forward to Christmas,imagine all my kids and ten grandkids visiting for a whole day.
They will be eating,laughing,joking and finally the moment all the kids are waiting for the opening of presents!Secretly I think the watching the kids opening presents is the most fun,I like watching the anticipation,the gratitude in the older kids eyes is the best.
I really think the hugs at the end are the most rewarding.
Lets make this the best Christmas ever.
Merry Christmas everyone.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Diabetes And Drugs

I have diabetes type 2.
Today I was give another medication that will make my liver produce more insulin.
This pill is Metformin.
The possible side affects listed are diarrhea,gas,headache,indigestion,stomach upset,temporary metallic taste,vomiting and or death.
So now I take 2 meds for diabetes,one for my tired old knees and I can no longer have sugar.
Am I discouraged? A tad.
I am not with out Hope though,I still have God,Linda and my precious family.
Life goes on.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Precious Memories and My Brother Bud

When I was very young and quite innocent I was showing off on my bike.
My aunt and uncle had just arrived at our house and I thought they would enjoy seeing me go very fast.
I took off from a dead stop,peddled as fast as my legs would go.
I went past the Ooms house,the Dr Roos',the Slagers,and onto a gravel driveway.At the gravel driveway I turned,lost all control and skidded to a dead stop onto a curb.
I knew immediately I had broken my leg.I was pretty vocal about the pain,the some neighbors even looked out their front door to see what all the noise was about.
Suddenly my much older brother Bud arrived to get me up and back home.
Bud obviously was a faith healer because he told me to Stand Up And Walk!
After a few attempts at walking I could see his Faith Healing Message was as valid as a TV evangelist.I forgave my brother right away,after all,if you can't forgive your family for their lack of faith who can you forgive?
The rest of the day is somewhat vauge in my memory,I do remember I was in a cast for 12 weeks and that kinda spoiled my summer activities.
My poor life was never the same.I still love my brother and I hope he knows I have forgiven him 100 per cent.Even though I seldom think about this pain full event of my childhood.
Bud,you are the greatest.

Turn Your Speakers Up Amazing Grace

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

For Alistair His Favorite Song

Growing Up In Roseland Chicago Far South Side Part 4

More thoughts from Roseland.
My brother Bud sending to me to the Corner Store at 104th and Wentworth.
He sent me to buy a paper,of course when I got home he said it was the wrong one.
I went back,traded it for a Trib,which was missing sections.He sent me back once more.
No wonder I cant visit malls today!
Mrs.Stein telling me chocolate milk comes from brown cows.Ok I was 6.
A block behind me was Billy "The Fat Kid".We all lived in terror because of his mean nature.He chased us on our bikes and scared us to death.Later me and Billy became good friends.He was just a lonely kid,my friends and I were mean to him and that was just dumb.
Paying off some guy to buy us beer when we were underage.Drinking a quart of beer on the tracks when it was 20 degrees out.Being frozen and drinking Bud when you're 16,there is nothing like it.
Watching the construction of the new chimney at the pumping station down the street.I could see it from my bedroom window.I look for it every time I drive on the Dan Ryan expressway.Then I know where I lived.
Hearing of suicides on the tracks where I walked to high school,that always made me feel weird.
My dad buying a color TV,how excited we were,it was a miracle.
My mom buying my dad a Electric Lawn Mower,how he hated that thing!
My mom was deaf in one ear and the other ear always gave her trouble.My dad and I would mumble on purpose and laugh our butts off.Mom was good natured about it so it was an ok thing.
more to come

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Leader of the Band Goodbye Dan

Dan Fogelberg died today,RIP Dan.

An only child
Alone and wild
A cabinet makers son
His hands were meant
For different work
And his heart was known
To none --
He left his home
And went his lone
And solitary way
And he gave to me
A gift I know I never
Can repay

A quiet man of music
Denied a simpler fate
He tried to be a soldier once
But his music wouldnt wait
He earned his love
Through discipline
A thundering, velvet hand
His gentle means of sculpting souls
Took me years to understand.

The leader of the band is tired
And his eyes are growing old
But his blood runs through
My instrument
And his song is in my soul --
My life has been a poor attempt
To imitate the man
Im just a living legacy
To the leader of the band.

My brothers lives were
For they heard another call
One went to chicago
And the other to st. paul
And Im in colorado
When Im not in some hotel
Living out this life Ive chose
And come to know so well.

I thank you for the music
And your stories of the road
I thank you for the freedom
When it came my time to go --
I thank you for the kindness
And the times when you got tough
And, papa, I dont think i
Said i love you near enough --

The leader of the band is tired
And his eyes are growing old
But his blood runs through
My instrument
And his song is in my soul --
My life has been a poor attempt
To imitate the man
Im just a living legacy
To the leader of the band
I am the living legacy
To the leader of the band.

Friday, December 14, 2007

It Was Good

Time it was and what a time it was,
A time of innocence,a time of confidences.(Paul Simon)

Some thoughts and reflections on a Friday night.

When my kids were little,it was good.
When my kids grew,it was good.
When they married,it was good.
When the babies came,it was good.

Sunday visits come and go,what a joy.
Smiles from the babies,what a joy.
Smiles from the older kids,what a joy.
Surprise hugs as I pass in the hallway,this is an amazing joy.

Music that stays with you,such great thoughts.
Men that have remained true friends,you guys make me a better person.
Mellow nights with Linda,what more could I ask?
Makers of such a great craft,you clockmaker's of the past,I admire you.

Life is good.

Sail On Sliver Girl

And she stays on,she is my heart.I love you.

When you're weary, feeling small When tears are in your eyes, I will dry them all I'm on your side When times get rough And friends just can't be found
Like a bridge over troubled water I will lay me down Like a bridge over troubled water I will lay me down
When you're down and out When you're on the street When evening falls so hard I will comfort you I'll take your part When darkness comes And pain is all around
Like a bridge over troubled water I will lay me down Like a bridge over troubled water I will lay me down
Sail on silver girl Sail on by Your time has come to shine All your dreams are on their way See how they shine When you need a friend I'm sailing right behind
Like a bridge over troubled water I will ease your mind Like a bridge over troubled water I will ease your mind

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Growing Up In Roseland Chicago Far South Side Part 3

Sometimes my work has called me to the old neighborhood.

I drive past some of the old hang outs and can't help but pull over and look around.

There was Pete's basement apartment where I spent a good deal of time.

1966-Pete and I bought a 1938 Packard for $200.We would work on that old car for hours and hours,we chopped the fenders to make it look cool,painted over the original black colors with more black paint because that's all we had.

We seldom had the old car running and it sat on the street facing Wentworth Ave for months.We really didn't have much of a clue as to what we were doing.

There was the old vacant Pullman buildings which were huge.These were just south of 111th street.They were empty,just a lot of old junked equipment all over.Many buildings were connected in a V like shape.The roof's were where we spent time with hundreds of other kids who had made this discovery.It was a place for drugs if you wanted,most of my friends just wanted a place to hang out.

There were the 5 silos at 107th which were filled with sawdust.This was at Midland Chemical Company at 400 w 107st.

The silos were connected and the center silo had rickety old wood steps going to the top in a spiral.We would climb to the to being startled by rats at the bottom and pigeons at the top.We could only do this at night because the company was occupied during the day.I later worked for this company from 1967 to 1974.

The center solo had a door at the top where we could climb out and watch the dawn climb over Lake Michigan.We had radios with us and how well I remember hearing Sky Pilot by Eric Burden being played as loud as we could.

The silos were just a great place to be alone too,I spent many nights up there.

There was the Pumping station at the end of my street at 104th place where water was pumped to the south side of Chicago.

The few employees that were there didn't mind if we came in and looked around.What an amazing place with marble floors and enormous pumps painted bright green.

Just behind the pumping station was the local indoor swimming pool.There was only boys and girls days,no mixing of the sexes then.The water temp seemed to be at freezing no matter what time of the year. Behind the swimming pool and next to the tracks was a baseball field where I spent a great deal of my youth.There wasn't much of a left field,but we didn't really care.
more to come

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Morning Prayer

I have this prayer taped to my desk.
Martin Luther was focused enough to have this as his morning prayer.
I sometimes am not focused enough to pray in the morning.
Try this,it works.

My Heavenly Father, I thank You, through Jesus Christ, Your beloved Son, that You kept me safe from all evil and danger last night. Save me, I pray, today as well, from every evil and sin, so that all I do and the way that I live will please you. I put myself in your care, body and soul and all that I have. Let Your holy Angels be with me, so that the evil enemy will not gain power over me. Amen

Time to Mourn

This past week my daughter has been affected by two deaths of people she is close to.
Both deaths are by suicide.She knew the families of both well.
We go on left wondering about how could this possibly happen.
My thoughts now are for my dear daughter as she and her husband live through the pain of the families.
We go on holding on to the Blessed Hope,for there is nothing else.
God bless you Michelle.God bless you Rob.Love is stronger then all.We have so much to live for.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Jeanette Baily and Multiple Sclerosis

A long time ago I had a care group which I enjoyed very much.I did care about the people in my group and they cared about me.It was a time of much spiritual growth for me.
I heard about a new couple in church who had expressed an interest in joining a care group.
I went to see them and Jeanette opened the door,I invited her and her husband to a Thursday night meeting at my home.
Jeanette and Garland had met in a bar on the south side of Chicago.Through God's grace they found Christ and were living a real Christian life.
Jeanette had been diagnosed with MS a few years before.
She was using a cane and was forced to resign her position at a local bank.
My wife and I were touched by Jeanette and her love for Jesus,she amazed us with her strong testimony.
We prayed at our little care group for her,and we prayed for healing.
To our dismay she had more attacks and went from a wheelchair to being totally bedridden.
In June of 1996 I was in an accident which put me flat on my back for about a year.
You know who called me when I got so depressed? Well you know who.
She called regularly and counselled me in the way of the Lord.
When I was losing my business,when I was just to drugged up to care she called.She just said this is not going to be easy.Trust in God,belive in what you have taught the group.
Man,she just kept pushing me.What a joy she was.Remember she was now bedridden.
This Jeanette was showing her love for Jesus and doing what she could for her friend.
She got worse in the next few years,losing her ability to speak,to read and even move her hands.
She loved when Linda and I would bring her chocolates and read her favorite Bible passages to her.
God took Jeanette home after she her body just gave out.
I miss you my friend,big time.
I will see you soon.
Soon and Very Soon,we are going to see the King.

Snow in Chicago

We woke up to 6 inches of snow this morning.
The pick up truck was buried and not willing to leave the driveway,neither was I.
Son number 2 (Mark) lives close by and said that he would come by and do some shoveling for us.
Neither Linda or I should be shoveling any longer,my knees are shot and I just don't want her shoveling any more.
Now small blessing come to us like this and we are grateful to Mark and God of course.
I just feel like Mark was obeying God,Honoring his mom and dad.
We made it out of the drive and were able to do a nice days work.
Thank You Mark.

Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s Disease
My wife's mom has it.
She does not know us,or anybody.
She seems to know she likes chocolate.
That's it,nothing else.
Physically she seems quite healthy.It looks like she will live a long time.
We saw the signs when she was living alone,lost keys later found in the open,forgetting to eat.Thinking her car was out of gas when it was full.
Thankfully she has 4 daughters who saw these things in time to keep her from injury.
She now resides in a home where she gets the best of care.

I hope when I get older this does not happen to me.
I can not imagine anything worse.
God makes His plans,the information isn't always available to us mortals.
We know Lord how you love us,our minds try to comprehend life and we get lost so easy.

Monday, December 3, 2007

She Settles Me

So it is late but she asks kindly if he wanted another cup of tea.
Thoughts flash back to when she was 10 and he was 11.The camp was a magic place where he saw beauty in every girl.
This one changed him,even at such a young age.
Times go by,early loves last but are so futile when he had parents and she had parents.
Forward to when he was 16 and he sees her again.His friend's see her,she asks us to leave.Trouble was always around another corner,friends were sometimes trouble.
Three more years have gone by,she is engaged you hear,so is he.
His engagement was foolish,he knew this.
Hers was forced and foolish too.
She finds him lost somewhere and brings him back home.They have finally found love.
She has saved him with her love,he is still so young and clueless.
The babies came early and he sees something inside maturing,but still searching for some eternal truth.
She opens his eyes as he got lost in Kant,Aristotle and Bacon.
She says try this one,Solomon he wrote this.Ecclesiastes.
His eyes opened suddenly like a light snapped on,he is stunned.
They get lost in Proverbs,he remains on fire.
A small publication of His will is published,free Bibles are given away.
She says lets hand out tracts at Kmart,he gets punched by a cop.
Sisters join them in long discussions about truth.
He now remains convinced in the truth,that it will always be there.
They find some churches and follow some pastors.Friend abide during tough times and she always forgives him.

She still loves him and he loves her.
They laugh about the kids and grandkids now,slowly getting older but not caring much.Life goes on for the betterment of all in Christ.
His thoughts are now surfacing like they needed to.
His family is most important,his God guides him now.
So here is a love that lasted,he is amazed and cries sometimes about it all.
God made His plans,he followed and found peace.
So much to say,so much to share.My family,my heart.

To every thing, turn, turn, turn,There is a season, turn, turn,turn,And a time to every purpose under heavenA time to be born, a time to dieA time to plant, a time to reapA time to kill, a time to healA time to laugh, a time to weepTo everything, turn, turn, turn,There is a season, turn, turn, turn,And a time to every purpose under heavenA time to build up, a time to break downA time to dance, a time to mournA time to cast away stonesA time to gather stones togetherTo everything, turn, turn, turn,There is a season, turn, turn, turn,And a time to every purpose under heavenA time of love, a time of hateA time of war, a time of peaceA time you may embraceA time to refrain from embracingTo everything, turn, turn, turn,There is a season, turn, turn, turn,And a time to every purpose under heavenA time to gain, a time to loseA time to rend, a time to sewA time to love, a time to hateA time for peace, I swear it's not too late- Turn! Turn! Turn! by The Byrds, 1966 taken lyrics from the Book of Eccleciates 3:1-11

Psalm 27 Just Let it Speak To You

The LORD Is My Light and My Salvation
27The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? 2 When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. 3 Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident. 4 One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple. 5 For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock. 6 And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the Lord.
7 Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me. 8 When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek. 9 Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation. 10 When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up. 11 Teach me thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies. 12 Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty. 13 I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. 14 Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.

Letters I Have Written Or Should Have Part 2

Dear Kevin,
I am so very proud of you.
Love Dad
Dear Jesus,
You know I can't wait to see you.
Love Mike
Dear Politicians Everywhere?
Why do you make it so hard to trust you?
A Concerned Citizen
Dear Clock Manufactures Of Clock Movements,
What happend to quality?
I used to have much more confidence in your work.
You let us all down so much.
It has become an embarrasment.
Mike Lanting
Dear Caleb,
Your smile makes me so happy,I need a few smiles from you now.
Much Love,
Dear Pastor Bob Newman,
Thanks for all your giving,you and Judy amaze me.
By the way Judy will always be your better half.
Dear Soldiers and Sailors
How can I tell you what your service to our country means to me?
A million thank yous are not enough.
With Much Respect,

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Letters I Have Written Or Should Have

Dear Mr C.S Lewis,
Thank you sir,your books have changed my life.
Dear President Lincoln,
I do wish you would have lived a bit longer.
Did you know John Wilkes Booth's last words were ''useless"?
Dear Rev.Billy Graham,
Well done sir,your reward will certainly be great!
I went to see you in 1964,I did not believe then but you helped me find my way.
Dear President Bush,
What is the point of this war again?
Dear Gettysburg National Park Guides,
You men and women are stunning.Thank You.
Dear Customers of Mine,
Thank you for your loyalty after all these years.You are the best.
Dear Family,
God loves you so much,and so do I.
(more to come)