Funerals

I am scraping, at least for this blog’s issue, what I originally wrote and will write about this weekend’s funerals. We have lost two great people, in our time line, and they both will be sorely missed. These were contrasting funerals; one somber and one long with hype. Both were expected to be the way it happened.

Aretha Franklin was the Queen of Soul and will never be forgotten. Her music will live on forever. The funeral was over eight hours long and most of the entertainers of song were there. The funeral was filled with music coupled with speeches. Quite a few celebrities sang her songs and a few sang traditional songs that Blacks usually sing during high spirited church services. The eight hours were long although the music didn’t make it seem so.

She passed on as the queen she was. During her lying in state to the interment, she had three wardrobe changes and a viewing by thousands of people. She was driven in a nineteen forty nine (I think) white hearse, the same one her father was carried in. From all over the country pink Cadillacs were bought in and the long rows of cars were parked outside the church. This was in remembrance of her hit song “Pink Cadillac”. What a sight and what a way to go.

People were there that I have not seen in a long time and are very old as well. They all looked and sounded good. Stevie Wonder started his time by playing the harmonica, something I have not seen him do in many years, before he played the piano and sang. The church was jubilant with all the music and singing.

Senator John McCain’s funeral was solemn and the church was filled with dignitaries from all parts of the political world as well as both sides of the political aisle. Former President Obama and Former President Bush both spoke. President Trump was dis-invited and the eulogies, which include his daughter Meghan, took swipes at Trump. It was not a surprise.

I admired this man, not only as a military veteran but also as a politician. This was one person that was well known to reach across the aisle and work with everyone. He would disagree and, when shown something different that he could go along with, he would be man enough to agree. He did not put party ahead everything but cared about what was right, lawful, helped the USA, no matter the party view.

Unfortunately, Senator Graham, who was his very beat friend, a person that stood beside him on many, many views, and was against Trump as was Senator McCain is now staunchly in the President’s corner He has reversed almost everything he have said in the past. Oh, what can happen in a week (a day?).

So I watched funerals and I wonder, as I have in the past, what will mine be like? I really don’t want all the hoopla that go on (it’s a waste of money, in my opinion), just have a few prayers and bury me. I just hope I have lived up to the hopes and standards that was expected of me. I hope I haven’t done any wrong to anyone. I also hope I have been some help to someone that needed it. We all must pass on some day, let’s hope there is something good to say after you’re gone.

 

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Just Do It

There are always things to do, places to go, never let grass grow under your feet. Being a senior let you do many things that a working person wish they had the time to experience. Not only does the senior have the time to ‘Just Do It’, but there is the advantage to get the discounts that a senior have available. For instance, my wife and I decided to venture to the Water Front of Virginia Beach, Virginia since we now live here and it is not far away.

After our normal late rising (we go to bed late), which is around nine in the morning, we then decided to eat before going to the Water Front. We decided to see what taking the bus would do for us. It was great to try it and really better than I thought it would be. The bus stop was only a block away and it took about fifteen minutes to travel to the Water Front, with a stop at the First Landing State Park entrance.

One good reason that inspired us to take the bus was (1 the cost ($1) and (2 parking on the Water Front, if parking on the street can’t be found, the cost is $10 and up in a lot or $2 an hour in the parking garage. A dollar per person is not bad. We left the bus a block from the statue of King Neptune which is half way down the length of the boardwalk. There were many people on the beach, as usual, but we leisurely walked along the boardwalk enjoying ourselves, eating donuts from Duck Donuts and just being one of the tourists (we weren’t). We then decided to pay our dollar a piece and return by bus to our residence, Overture Virginia Beach.

After arriving, being hot, we decided to splash around in the pool. That is another thing being a senior does for you. Take your time and do whatever. Our whatever was to hit the pool. There were a few people in the pool or just lying around in the beach chairs. Life is great. The sun had really warmed the hot tub and pool but it was bearable. I just floated around while watching the boats on the Chesapeake Bay. I was out there fishing two days before and wanted to be out there again.

Thinking about the fishing trip, it was good, not great, because a small amount of fish was caught. Croaker and Trout was the only fish caught, I can hardly wait for Stripped Bass (Rock Fish) season to arrive. I had the fish filleted on the dock and for two day I ate fish for breakfast and dinner. I am becoming a hardcore senior. I just get plenty of sun, water and fish but I have to slowdown a little. It’s football season. It won’t matter soon because cold weather will soon be here which mean one part of my pleasures will be gone. The pool.

So, look at it my way. Being a senior is not bad and can be our type of fun. Take your time and ‘Just Do It’. Have all the fun you can when you can. Don’t slow down and let your age catch you. Keep moving, have fun doing it but ‘Just Do It’.

Life Versus Football

Must be having a senior moment. I inadvertently deleted this blog, now I am rewriting it with the hope it will be as good as the first writing. Then to top it off Facebook will no longer automatically post from my website. Oh well, such is life, stuff happens. Now, since I have vented and explained my frustrations, on with this week’s blog.

My wife and I were in the pool and hot tub as I was remembering the Hall of Fame football game that was on the other night. This is my season, live pro football but I also was thinking about what to write for the blog when it hit me. Life versus football, an analogy. Football, like all games, is, or can be, a metaphor for life’s achievements, it’s all a struggle.

Football is a team game with the quarterback as a strong helper to achieve the winning end result. However, all members of the team play a part, without them the end result is failure. Such is life with the mate as the quarterback helping the team member achieve whatever is the goal in life. Nothing will be achieved without the members of the team working in sync. The goal will not be obtained without helping each other getting around or through the obstacles that will certainly be in the way. There is always a struggle with aches, bruises, tears before jubilation.

Like the saying, it takes a village, so does the game of life, everyone plays a part to see the final goal and crossing it. The other members of the team (the village) help moving the obstacles so that the final goal is possible. They may not be the star but they are there to help. No one does it alone no matter how hard they try or how brilliant they are, there was help coming from somewhere.

Then, after the goal is reached the team will attempt to push you further, the one or two points that comes after the touchdown. Such is life when you reach your goal, you don’t stop there. There is always more in life as in a football game, they are both the same. Keep pushing until the game is over and the final score is posted, don’t give up on life.

Also, don’t diss your team as if you are the star and did it all yourself. Thank your quarterback as well as the other members of the team. Your pals were only on the sidelines celebrating as if they helped to achieve the goal, than your true helpers, the ones that had a shoulder for you to cry on. Those team members were there to give a helping hand when one was needed and did not make excuses and did not help. Those team members had an ear, listened and gave good advice then faded into the background so you could be in the light. Thank that quarterback that was there from start to finish because without one the game stops before it starts. Always remember your team especially your quarterback, the ones that helped you through life and made it possible for you to achieve your goal in life.

Reunion 2018

This month have been an exciting month, to to say the least, I will make this short by hitting the highlights. For those that read my blog, which is written every other week, I did not write one the week before last. My wife and I was in Orlando, Florida for the family reunion that is every two years at a different location with a different theme each time. This was the fifth family reunion and it was a lot of fun, games and food.

There is a lot to see and do in Orlando with not enough time to do either. It is great to see and talk to members of the family that haven’t been seen nor talked to in the past two years. To acquaint oneself with the going on and happenings with the other, out of state, members of the family and to just have fun to boot was great. After seeing helicopter tours all over the place I decided to take a couple of the younger male members on their first flight in a helicopter, they loved it. We flew over Disney World, the surrounding areas and back. Well worth my money to see the area from the air and the smiles on their faces.

The welcoming event, picnic and costume banquet was great, as always. I believe we outdid the last one which was in Lancaster, Pa. For the welcoming event, the first day, we all wore the last reunion tee shirts and, of course, for the picnic we wore this year’s tee shirt with the extended family names on the back. For the banquet each branch of the family wore a Disney character costume with prizes given for whoever was considered the best. My wife wore Tinker Bell and I wore Peter Pan but we didn’t win.

Many families rented houses (two or three families to a house) to stay in for the reunion, with members of the family coming together to cook, eat and party well into the wee-hours of the morning just to start the day over again. Life is beautiful and filled with fun. As always, all good things must come to an end. We were with children, grand children, great grand children, cousins and very close friends. It was really great to see all of them and make plans for year 2020.

Upon returning to Richmond, we stayed overnight with my wife’s sister before returning to Virginia Beach. It was nice to be back in the Capitol City again and I made a last doctor’s appointment while there. Coming back to Virginia Beach, I finally made the transfer to the Veteran’s Hospital in Hampton. Now I can concentrate on making plans for the Hahn AB, Germany reunion that will be held in California next year. My wife have never been to California but I was stationed at a base in the state in the 60’s. It will be great to see old friends that I used to supervise and those that have supervised me. We also have two or three more trips for the remainder of this year, I can hardly wait. A lot to look forward to.

Who say senior’s are too old to travel and have fun? All it take is a willingness to want to do it and go out and do it. Life is too short to let time and things pass by. Like the commercial say “Just Do It”.

Tomorrow Is Not Promised

A while ago I thought I had found true retirement and what it really felt like until I moved to Virginia Beach. My wife and I walked to the beach, she sat and got a lot of sun while I fished. Life is great and I will try to take full advantage of it with the little time I have left on this earth. Most people do not think about their age or that time is dear. Tomorrow is not promised, you can leave this world at any moment.

I never thought about that, I always lived as though I will be here forever. Then, one Sunday morning in 1971, while I was stationed in Germany, I had a massive stroke and awaken two weeks later. My right side, from head to toe, was paralyzed. I was given a fifty percent chance of having another stroke, a fifty percent chance of surviving another stroke and only ten more years to live. Well, I am still here and did not have another stroke. God is good and have given me a good life but tomorrow is not promised.

Today, like yesterday, I live one day at a time never forgetting that today or tomorrow could be my final day. For more than forty years I have reminded myself of this but I do not let it get me down or stop me from living life to it’s fullest, as much as I can. I also think about people that can not live life to it’s fullest or have the opportunity to even try.

It is a shame to be an American, to be a part of separating children from their parents. Yes, we all are guilty because we are the American that allowed the situation to happen in the first place and then let it come to a tragic point before opposition was voiced. The opposed should have made their voices heard from the beginning, not a week or two later. Although an order have been signed does not mean that this is over or it will not happen again.

How will the children be reunited with their parents when most can not tell their full names, parents full names, where they are from or any valuable information that will garner a possibility of reuniting them? It is a big mess the USA administration have made and they don’t show any sorrow for causing it. Mockery, laughter, snide remarks is all that is heard from the administration as well as blaming other politicians and/or the other party. Have anyone heard the majority leaders speak up yet?

We as seniors suppose to have the maturity to do the right thing, should not wait to see what happen but just do the right thing. Fall elections will be here shortly and the right thing must be done to get back onto the right track. We can then begin to allow people to live the life that we live. There is plenty of room for others, right beside me and you, and we all can ride this good life train together. Tomorrow is not promised to anyone therefore things must be set right today. Judgment could be today or tomorrow but whenever it come, and it will, it will be no use telling God that you meant no harm. You can see the harm and sorrow. You would not want to be treated this way nor have your children go through what the immigrant children are going through. Do unto others as you would have done unto you.

Do the right thing by loudly voicing disapproval, voting the right way and being an upstanding senior that will lead the younger generation in the right direction. Don’t quietly mumble you don’t like what’s happening, say it loud, also… Don’t believe it will get better on it’s own, it will not, believe me. Tomorrow is not promised nor the remainder of today.

 

Relocating

 

 

I finally have relocated to Virginia Beach, about two hours from Richmond, a few yards from the beach. I returned to Imperial Plaza for the ROMEO (Retired Old Men Eating Out) monthly outing and we all had a really good time with good food. Laughing, joking and having a good time with my buddies made the day for me. It was a really good break from unpacking. My wife had a nail appointment at her usual nail salon after which she and her sister went out to eat. Who say seniors can’t have fun?

The thing about moving is finding things you forgot you have and taking more time than you have looking at pictures/items long forgotten but, my, my how memories return. There are several hard parts with one is finding your way around the new surroundings. Going through the streets watching the driving habits that are different from where you come from. There is also the joy of finding shortcuts that are not featured on GPS, avoiding the volume of traffic during the rush hours. In a few weeks I should be able to go where ever I desire without a thought, GPS or map. I remember being stationed in Europe; I would purposely drive around the larger cities, hopelessly lost, but not afraid. By the time my gasoline is getting low I would somewhat know the city. I would not know it like a local but I would know it. That is what I am trying to do, in time, here.

There is the myriad of empty boxes with a few more to go. Where to put it all is beyond me and I am wondering how we accrued all the things we are finding. The thrift stores will acquire quite a bit before we are finished with it all. I finally can move through this place without sliding side ways from one side of a room to the other. However, this bring on wonderful memories of my many military moves. Oh, well, the things I am really looking for must be in one of the boxes I haven’t emptied yet, I hope.

Another difficult part of relocating is getting used to new routines as well as meeting new people (it takes me awhile to remember a name). For some odd reason I find myself waking earlier than usual but on an odd day or two I do sleep late (blame it on the salt air, so refreshing). It is good during this time of year, however, when it gets dark earlier and sunrise later, I doubt I will be in to it as much. Then, being on the coast, with the water a hundred yards away, may be a problem if or when a hurricane arrive and the water floods the area. We’ll deal with that when the time come to deal with it. Until then, we’ll enjoy what is here.

Well, summer is here and it’s fun time. Many people prefer cold weather, winter snow, I don’t. I spent too many years in the military surrounded in cold weather and snow. Now that I am not required to do it, I will not. Have fun, stay safe and I’ll see you the later.

Smoking Rules

There have been fights and arguments over smoking for many years. Whether it is someone’s right to tell, not ask a person(s), not to smoke, where to smoke, when to smoke and/or how bad smoke is to their body, or, on the other hand, a person(s) have a right to affect their body and smoke I believe is the smoker’s business. This argument goes both ways, have many variables and cross many lines, clear and hidden. I will only touch on it lightly.

Imperial Plaza have been going through this for a few years and, I hate to say this, will see no end to the controversy. Brookdale, who leased Imperial Plaza in the past, was to give clear guidance and areas in which to smoke to the residents last year. They never did proceed in the actions (I am guessing) because they knew for a long time they were leaving and they would let the new administration handle the volatile situation. Now the new guidelines are in effect with many people ready to carry the fight to full war.

I see both sides, I know that both sides have fanatics, I can agree with some of what both sides want. I used to be a supervisor, mediating many disagreements, seeing what both sides want while trying to prevent total war between the parties. Because of the smoking bans, cigarette companies have moved from states that put undue pressure on them, their source of money and extra taxes on them. However, the populace should look at, feel for and understand the smokers that are caught in the middle of it all.

First and foremost, like the non-smoker, smokers have rights also. The way things are set in the USA, smokers don’t have any rights except to be able to buy cigarettes when they reach a certain age. Then they are greatly taxed for buying the legal weed and layered with many legal issues in order to smoke the legal weed. They are told the over taxation goes toward the over burdened medical system in order to care for the health problems that smoking brings upon the human body. Okay, then don’t allow the nonsmoker benefit from the program, let that money take care the smoker.

Then, the smoker is put out in the rain, cold, boiling hot sun, humid air and placed yards away from everyone. If a nonsmoker happen to come near, smell the smoker and complain, the smoker is moved even further or told not to smoke, even though the nonsmoker could have walked around or gone in a different direction. To me, the smoker do not have rights.

Somerby have done just that. They have banned smoking in many areas and to be able to smoke the resident have a long walk to get to the area, if the resident is not lucky enough to live in the nearest building. I am a cigar smoker and I have a few days left before I am completely moved to another community. I will not have to do the things residents here does. I am one of the lucky ones. Maybe these rules/laws will effect me a few years from now but at this time I will not be under the strict laws that have come about.

The nonsmokers do not have to go out into the rain, sun, wind, cold, snow, etc. to do what they have a right to do under the laws that were passed by our elected officials. The smoker, as far as I see, does not have the same rights and they are not only over taxed (and the nonsmoker benefit from that) but shunned worst than our pets. I see both sides and feel for both sides. All I have to say is I am moving at the right time and I am sure more will do the same, I have heard rumors. Neither side want to bend (give a little) but in order to have peace and tranquility the sides must.

After I wrote the part about peace and tranquility an incident happened that shows that there are people that do not want peace. Three or four people were sitting around smoking and talking, enjoying the afternoon. A person that live two buildings away came over to confront the smokers, called the police to the Imperial Plaza property but refused to lodge a formal complaint. True, they were illegally smoking, however, they were not in her area of domicile nor were they bothering other people. All I can say now is GOOD LUCK people at Imperial Plaza. My wife and I are out of here!