Cold, Cold, Cold

Here’s to hoping everyone is keeping warm during his beginning of 2018. For those that are not on the east coast of the USA or have not heard of the east coast cold snap, let me tell you about the cold. I heard a joke that will tell you…It is so cold that the US Congressmen does not have their hands in our pockets, they have their hands in their own pockets…I was stationed at two air force bases that, in the winter, was this cold, one was much colder. With the temperature being this cold here, Minot, ND is much colder than when I was there. The normal temperature there, during this time of year, is normally -30 without the wind. I would guess it is colder now than when I was there. The other base was Pease, AFB, NH.

I was also thinking about how this little bit of snow, with the wind and cold, stopped everything. I have been stationed at three snowy bases. Two in the USA and one in Europe. All three places got much more snow than here and the roads were never scraped to the bare pavement, nothing stopped, life went on. Here, one inch stops everything. There are times that a half inch will close everything. Schools will shut down when they hear snow is probable. My daughter was in high school when I was stationed in North Dakota, I don’t recall her missing a day of school because of snow, wind or cold. In fact, every year she wore a snow suit while going door to door for Halloween.

I don’t enjoy the cold. Never have, never will but I just deal with it, I go on. I also look at it another way because of what I was told by a German farmer. He said we need a week or more of a deep winter freeze to kill buried bug larvae in order for us not to be overrun by bugs when spring finally get here. I can understand that and appreciate it also. Let it freeze, let it freeze, let it freeze.

But, don’t be in a Blue Funk, Spring will soon be here. When spring arrive, so will the rain, melting snow from the mountains causing floods. Next come the heat and hurricanes. Every year is the same. Some years fewer of it all, some years there is more. Can’t fight Mother Nature, don’t try. Life goes on, this will come about each year.

Being a senior and retired let a person reminisce of the years of yore. Some young people (I really want to say ‘most’) believe they know or have seen or experienced everything. I secretly laugh at them, they only have to wait a little longer and things they have never thought about will come to fruition. Seniors may not, at times, be wiser but they certainly have been through much more. Being a senior and retired really mean you are close to the end but it also mean you have so much knowledge to pass on and stories to relay. If only someone will listen. It’s cold. Let me go back to reminiscing.

Advertisements

Merry Christmas

Wishing all a very Merry Christmas with a prosperous, safe and event free New Year. Let us not forget why we celebrate Christmas and forever keep that in mind. Today, this era in time, the focus is on economics, money making and the giving/receiving gifts. It also come to mind how people will not give a gift if it is known that a gift will not be received from whom the gift is given.

Instead of celebrating the birth of Christ (thus the name Christmas) it is another reason to sell as many goods as possible. Tis the season to buy and give to those that you have a hard time buying for because the person probably have everything that they need or want. Most people have enough spare money to fill the coffers for the legitimate needy and then some. There should not be a truly needy person (child) anywhere. Think of the number of millionaires/billionaires we have in the USA, yet there are needy people. Remember why we celebrate the season.

The trip is over and it’s resting time before the next adventure. Twelve days cruising and having fun. That is what retirement is all about. Retirement is not for worrying about others, that have been done for many, many years and then some. My wife and I went to Puerto Rico, Barbados, St. Thomas, Martinique, St. Kitt and Antigua. Off and on light rain showers, warm and beautiful was the norm. Hated to return. It was cool when we left New Jersey but returning was a different weather condition. We returned on December fourteen. The twelfth we wore shorts, everyone was either sunning on the deck or in one of the on board pools. The thirteenth was chilly and the twelfth was windy, twenty degrees and snowing. What a welcome home.

Aboard ship was a continuous sea of activity around the clock with plenty of food, drink and entertainment. If anyone said there wasn’t anything to do, see, eat or drink, they were lying. There were times we ordered food and drink and stayed on our private patio, enjoying the sun and salt air. It was a trip worth taking and, of course, I took a thousand pictures or more.

Our next trip is already planned for the beginning of next spring. However, I made a deal with my wife. To go on this trip mean scheduling a trip to Europe. No Europe, no spring cruise. 🙂 It would be great if all the guys I was stationed with could all meet in Europe and party together again. That would be a retirement party to remember. Bucket list???

There is another trip in the planning stage. I forgot about the family reunion that will be in Florida. Have to keep that one in mind and save some energy for that. Retirement can be tiresome at times but it sure is fun. Leave the kids and grand kids at home and we’ll all PARTY!!!! We owe it to ourselves to do it. Lets do it!!!!

 

End Of Year

To those that I have missed, hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving, from my family to yours. Also, let me not forget, hope you had a safe and uneventful Black Friday. Now for the Small Business Day (Saturday) and E-Monday. Mine was good with just a small event to help end the year.

Thanksgiving night, wee hours of Friday morning, I had to go to the emergency room for a kidney stone. If you have ever suffered through one, try to prevent it. The pain is indescribable. This is my second one and I hope I never have to go through this again. The intravenous pain medication is righteous. I see why people can become hooked, however, no worry about me, I didn’t take much. That was Friday and now I am fine, no pain at all, the stone is gone. Must have passed it sometime during that day but I didn’t see it.

Early next Friday morning my wife and I will be boarding a train to go to New Jersey for boarding a ship for another cruise. Going back to the islands, hopefully most of them are back in business. For those that are not back in business or are doing a little business, we will see first hand the damage from the last hurricane. Either way, the trip is worth it and we are eagerly awaiting the date. I am glad I had the kidney stone attack this weekend instead of next weekend.

When I get back I will have to hit the ground running. As a new member of the Resident Council, here at Imperial Plaza, I foresee a busy year, we have a great new membership. I also have a January deadline for another story for the Mighty Pen Project (there’s a web page and it’s on Facebook) as well as finding a place to publish the two stories I have ready to go. I am also working on another but that is almost at the halfway mark. Then there is the Howard Baugh Chapter of the Tuskegee Airman Inc. (web page and Facebook also) of which the scholarship committee have a deadline for submitting names (I am part of the committee). It’ll be a very busy year.

With Christmas coming up I am sorry I will miss putting out the next faithingodministries.net blog and the next tega227.com blog (this one). While I am away for two weeks, my mind won’t be on blogs or anything that have nothing to do with my travels. When we get back I will have to put myself on a ridged schedule and stick to it. This year procrastination have been my close friend, I will have to lose it at sea and leave it there. I have let retirement get the best of me, I have to snap out of it.

Next year I will do my best when it come to getting things done, however, I need a favor from all of you. I need followers, shares, likes and comments. I’ll try to do my part and I really need all of you to do your part as well, like passing on my blogs and having your friends do the same. Until next time. Take care and I’ll see you all in two weeks with a few pictures.

Coco Cay, Bahamas

 

 

 

 

Veterans Day And Jazz

My blog is early because, despite the coolness and rain, this weekend should be a great weekend. Why so great? The Hampton Jazz Legacy in Hampton, Virginia, across the street from the Hampton Coliseum where each spring the Hampton Jazz Festival performs, will have the jazz greats performing for three days. This is a yearly trip for us and I can hardly wait to get out of here to hear great music performed by the greatest jazz musicians around. Many pictures will be taken, good food will be eaten and fine liquors will be drank. Will write to all when the next issue is scheduled to come out and I will tell you all about it.

I attended a meeting of a newly installed DAV auxiliary chapter at Imperial Plaza. During the regular meeting some questions were asked that proves my point about people not reading or understanding the news letters, they do not take advantage of the many things that is provided here nor participate in anything unless it directly gives them an advantage. Or is it they just want to gripe or just to hear themselves talk?

To go on about elections, not to mention the state elections, I just won a seat on the Brookdale Imperial Plaza Resident Council. Last month I was appointed to fill the seat of a person that moved to North Carolina. That seat ends at the end of December and my new term starts the first of January. As I always say, ”get involved-stay involved”. Nothing gets done by sitting, complaining and doing nothing. Everyone can do something, even if it is only manning the phones or something like that. Even though my schedule is tight, my wife and I still try to do our part while still traveling.

Last Monday I was at James River High School for a Veterans Day Ceremony. Myself and three other vets were on stage in the auditorium for a question and answer session. It was great speaking off the cuff, answering the questions asked by the kids through a moderator. On my head I wore my Viet Nam Veteran hat and dressed in my Tuskegee Airman chapter’s outfit (red jacket, black tie, black shoes, black pants and white shirt). Afterward we went outside for a brick laying ceremony at the flag pole. Before we left for home I had a nice talk with the principal of the high school.

Wednesday, Imperial Plaza went to the MGM Casino outside Washington, D.C. in Maryland. Of course my wife and I went, the trip wasn’t bad. Both of us came out okay, didn’t win big but, after six hours there, came back with half of what we took with us. However, I still consider the casino as a place for high rollers (there is a steak house there that have a 36 ounce porterhouse steak for $120, potato $10 and side $8). The antes are also high and that is one of the reasons we seldom go there.. Give me Maryland Live or Charlestown Casino anytime.

The next cruise is coming fast and will disrupt two blogs. The blogs that will be interrupted will be the first two weekends of December. Therefore, I am saying, in advance, I will not write a blog the first two weeks of December nor be in a position to answer most e-mails. Don’t be angry 🙂

Fun, Fun, Fun

In the waning years of life, a senior should experience the pleasures that long, hard labor is all about. A senior should get off their “duff” and go places, do things that they did not have the time to do as they worked during their younger years. As it have been said during days of old and is still said today, “you only live once”, or another way, “you only have one life”.

My wife and I are trying to have the best time of our lives because tomorrow is not promised and, with the kids having their own life and finances, we worked for it and now we will have fun, spend it anyway we want. Many people will call this selfish but I call it enjoying life as a retiree and when the kids become a senior, they will have their time.

The last couple of weeks have been nothing but fun and travel, not necessarily in that order. We were on a wine tasting in the Blue Ridge with the Imperial Plaza family, good food in Charlottesville, Va. afterward. It was great because a good friend (we were in the military together) ate with us. This friend and I met in the ’70’s and have been friends since.

A few days later, my wife and I went on a Sunshine Bus Tours trip from Richmond, Va. to Dover Downs, Delaware for a day and night of casino fun. I didn’t win much but had fun and was ready for the next stop which was Foxwood Casinos/Resort in Connecticut. Two nights and days of running through the many casinos and three huge hotels plus the outlet mall (all under one roof). We didn’t have time to go off site to the other casinos like we have done the last two times nor did we go into Newport, RI. Plenty of fun and we both won a little.

After we returned the next day (last night) there was the Halloween Costume Party here at Brookdale Imperial Plaza. Fun, fun and more fun, music, food and wine. My wife and I won best costumes as I was Mark Anthony and she was Cleopatra. The place was full; lots of fun and laughter. Later that same evening we met friends at a Mexican restaurant/bar to continue the fun. It’s great being a senior, being able to let your hair down, never worrying about tomorrow. More seniors should indulge and let it all hang out.

Today is a rest day because tomorrow starts anew. All next week is filled with something to do and the next experience. The week after next is filled with even more things than next week plus there is the election, not only for governor, etc. for the state of Virginia but I am running for a seat on the Resident Council at Imperial Plaza. Wish me luck.

Thinking about elections. All of you that have elections in your community, vote. Remember, people all over the world won elections that they shouldn’t have because people that could vote didn’t. Don’t say it’s only a minor election and it doesn’t matter whether you vote or not. That’s the reason we are in a mess here in the USA. I could name many countries that is in the same situation but I will not do so at this time. Vote, vote, vote and give this nation, this world, a chance. Those of you that read my religious blog (faithingodministries.net) understand what I mean.

Until the next time have fun, smile and keep on keeping on.

 

 

The World’s Spinning Faster

Thinking about the fiasco surrounding the NFL; the kneeling situation. I am dissolving my cheering for my NFL team, the Dallas Cowboys. Why, you may be wondering? It’s not what the team did, kneeling during the national anthem, it’s Dallas’ owner who is in the president’s pocket by saying the team will stand or not play. He was one of the president’s largest contributors which is also a mark against him. Strike two.

While in the military, I told the men that worked for me- in a baseball game there are three strikes before you are out. In my game you have two strikes and you are out. Mess up once, the strike is on me. Mess up twice and you are out. Jerry Jones have two strikes. I love the team but not the owner, especially what he is standing for.

Kneeling was never against the flag but against inequality. Against everything except the dishonoring the flag. Not once have anyone said anything about the flag or anthem, they wanted to have their voice heard, to unify. But, someone, somehow twisted the message and that was heard loudest. This will free-up time on Thursday, Sunday and Monday.

Also, bundled into this is the thought of burning, throwing away or rendering unwearable all the team gear that was collected over the years. Many have already sacrificed all the gear they have but the NFL and the team already have the money, what’s the point. I’ll keep mine but I’ll stop cheering.

Did you know that the president is so knowledgeable and have so much respect for the flag that he did not know what the music was before lowering or raising the flag or what it was for? Nor did he know what was to be done when the music was heard, etc. But, he is down on everyone about respecting the flag yet, in the beginning, he did not know it was never about the flag. What is to be done to the people that burn or stomp on the flag? I wonder.

As for the retiree/senior citizen, have you heard that the president have signed a proclamation to suspend funds to supplement healthcare for low income people? That it will mean is either higher cost for healthcare or higher cost of health insurance or both? As of yet, I am not affected yet because I am a military retiree but I am holding my breathe because this president may have other tricks up his ?/&**$# sleeve. I don’t trust him, don’t believe him nor have I ever. Any and everything touched by President Obama will be stricken, regardless what it is or whether it hurt people or not.

Moving on to my travels, a retiree’s privilege. This time my wife and I took the Sunshine bus tour to Cass, West Virginia. We stopped at the observatory and had lunch before going to Cass, WV. From a distance I took pictures of the large dish and the small dish but other than that there wasn’t much to see. Then on to the train.

This was a small locomotive that ran up and down the mountain pulling four open sided cars (from Cass to the tourist station at the top) and while at the top another train arrived from the other direction. It was interesting as well as fun. A good day and that was last week.

This week, Brookdale Imperial Plaza took the weekly outing to Charlestown, West Virginia, the Charlestown Casino/Racetrack. This was an overnight trip because the horse racing is always in the evening. I did okay in the casino but lost my shirt on the horses. It is all about having fun and spend only what you can afford to lose. Never go to the casino expecting to win because you may win a little but the odds are against you. My wife and I had a good time and in two weeks we will be at the casino in Delaware before continuing on to Connecticut for the casinos there. We have not been in either place in a while but now is the time to go, this is before our next cruise which will be in December. Therefore, in two weeks one or both blogs may not be uploaded. Fun first.

Get out the house, get out of town and have fun. You may be here today but tomorrow is not promised. See ya!!!

Just Small Talk

I’ve said it before , I’ll say it again: It is great being retired and living in a senior community. Here there is plenty of time to do or accomplish whatever you want to do. All is done at your leisure which make retiring that much better. Traveling, reading, television watching, eating out, casino hopping, etc. is all part of enjoying the senior years. Many do not or have not the monetary or physical where with all to do it. Then there is Imperial Plaza.

Imperial Plaza took it’s usual Wednesday trip to Jamestown, Va. The first permanent colony in America. It was sad to see a great trip, that was cheap, not being taken advantage of by the great majority of people living here. Brookdale Imperial Plaza does not make a profit from these excursions yet seldom is there a full bus. Then, as you walk around the area, there are people saying there isn’t anything to do.

At Jamestown we viewed replicas of the Indian village, the English settlement and the museum. There was a bow and arrow demonstration, musket loading/firing demonstration and the showing of the interiors of the church and Indian huts replica. What was also for good exploration were the two ships. The size of the ships were small, by today’s standards, for having carried so many people to the new world. However, thinking of the size of the people in that era, mean there was plenty of room.

After getting back, I had just enough time to get myself clean, change clothes and get to a Mighty Pen Project class at the Virginia War Memorial (it was a humid day). I enjoyed my time with them, can hardly wait for our next time together. I always learn something new because I consider my writing as atrocious. I’ll keep trying to improve hoping I’ll get there one day. I have the two blogs to keep me in practice plus two stories I am still working on but constantly tearing apart for redoing. Each time I get fresh information at the Mighty Pen Project, I have to rewrite but I consider it worth the effort.

As I have written before, I am a member of the Howard Baugh Chapter of the Tuskegee Airman Incorporated who had a ceremony in Petersburg, Virginia. I could not be with them because I was out of town; they had a ceremony at a high school, I was out of town again. I hope to be in town for the next ceremony although I have been lucky enough to be available for the meetings.

It was a fine day for an outing. My wife and I went to the Wine & Hops Festival in Petersburg, Virginia on Saturday. It was okay, however, the lines for the wine and beer were long, there were a lot of vendors in a confined space, the place was very crowded in a small area. Lots of young people attended, being it was a confined area (Old Towne), standing around, made moving from vendor to vendor very complicated. But it was nice to get out, seeing things outside our usual areas of travel.

While in the area, we toured my old stomping grounds (I am originally from Petersburg), Hopewell and Colonial Heights, Virginia. We went to the new Puerto Rican Bakery/Cafe. It opened three months ago and we learned about it on television’s evening news. They are taking items of donation to the storm ravaged Puerto Rico. It’s the only Puerto Rican cafe I know in the area. There was one in Chesterfield but it closed a year ago.

I advise people, especially seniors, to get out and explore, revisit places of yore or new ones. Make time to go, enjoy before there is not enough time left to do it. I know my wife and I will go as much as we can because time is quickly catching up. Have fun and party as if there is not a tomorrow.