Saturday, December 31, 2016

WHAT? A year only last a year?

Shucks, there are many things that last a long time, but hey, you get a NEW YEAR and too soon it wears out. It only lasts a year.  They age fast. You see a baby new year and before you know it, there is a man with a long beard. I have had 77 of 'em, and none has lasted over 12 months, that is it! NO extended warrantee, nothing more.  365 (maybe 366) days, that’s it. Don't expect more from 2017, you ain't gonna get it.

I was so thrilled with 2016, I ENJOYED USING IT. Shucks, even bought a house. I got lost (mentally), involved in a bathroom addition.  Just a while ago Sherry tells me, "IF you bought that wood portrait from Eric and you want the check to read 2016 you will have to write it tonite, 2016 is GONE at midnight!" (basically that is what she said)

"WHAT? GONE? Just when I was beginning to enjoy it." 


We are told to use our time wisely.  Good advice because WE are not guaranteed another year, not even an hour. Sherry and I were talking today of the few deaths in our family that were a shock, immediate shut down.  Most of the deaths came after a serious illness and death was expected. I had two cousins (Billy and Charles) killed in  accidents, BIL S.A. passed one night unexpectedly as they camped on the Blue Ridge Parkway BUT the one most shocking was Sweet Susie Harris, Sherry's mama. 
                          Susie Hawes Harris  1904-1965

 (She worked most of her life in the cotton mills while giving birth and raising 7 children starting full time work at age of 12)
Several members of the family were at Sherry's sister's house. Susie was there talking, laughing. She had cut Mark's and Wiley's hair that morning and all seemed to be well.  She was with us one moment the next she was gone and the effort to save her failed, it was a massive heart attack.

That incident shocked us more than any other.  We saw a VISUAL of how fast ONE can leave this life.  So Just because it is a new year in a few hours, doesn't mean you will use up the year's warrantee, the year has a warrantee, not you. Live well, live good, smile and LOVE life, appreciate each moment. NOW is all we have promised of 2017.

Thanks for taking the time to read the Shipslog. I hope the NEW YEAR is good to you and you are here to see 2018. (I remember when I could not even visualize this kind of numbers!)

Nite Shipslog

Friday, December 30, 2016

The odd ones

Every year without fail from about 4 yrs old until 10 a man named Dogan, just one name would come and stay with us for a day up to a week.  I asked dad if Dogan was a bum.  Dad said, "No son, Dogan is what is called a wayfaring man. He will give you mama something when he leaves.

 Your mom and I were wayfarers once.  Wayfaring people are folks that work their way across country or around the world.  Wayfarers were generated in our life time by the Great Depression.  Your mama and I had to look for work when everything went sour, out peanut farm turned to red dust and we heard of government work in Florida.  We packed everything we had, took your older brothers and headed south. We would spend the night with farmers when we could. Mostly slept in the barn. I cut firewood and we gave them fifty cents. The overnight usually included eggs and hoover gravy for breakfast. O‘course mama would not leave without washing dishes."
 (MAma would have loved these conveniences)

I was probably in the second grade at the time because we lived in Burlington, NC. I learned that Dogan sold pins and needles and some thread to finance his life.  People still used a lot of pins and needles in the 1940's. I remember thinking Pins and needles don't take much room in his suit case, which is pretty smart.  

I remember hearing the song "My Heart Goes Where the Wild Goose Goes," by Franky Lane, during those few years we were in Burlington.   I still believe Dogan and Frankie added the wanderlust to my blood.

This must be a yearly thing with me, I mentioned Frankie lane once in 2014 and 2015. Either that or I am slap happy! (The latter is most likely)

Nite Shipslog

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Who you are!

Looking back over my life I realize others helped form me.   I was building our last home when I realized that 30 years ago this building seed had been planted.  I was hired by my best friend’s dad.  Without realizing it I watched his life.  He was a General Contractor. He built with no agreement other than a handshake. He was a hands-on builder. I rode with him to jobs.  Every day he stopped at a country store and bought a cold coke. He knew it would be warm at dinner time (Lunch time now).

(Today's pictures: Amazing things in life that are real)

I learned to open a coke with a hammer handle leveraged on my thumb. But it wasn't the coke deal, it was his approach to building. He loved his work.  He began his work life on a farm, worked in the mill building pallets and whatever was needed. Later he became a builder. He always remembered the folks he was building for, had worked for their money and deserved good return when they spent it. I never once saw him hide something or misrepresent his work. He never made a big deal of it, he was just honest.

My last connection with Luke was to build an addition to a mobile home. His only requirement was that I must hire his granddaughter Wendy,  as a carpenter. I jumped at it and had a great time. Wendy was a worker. She did not pursue the building business, but she could have.

Luke's first wife passed and he remarried.  It was a happy marriage also. Luke's life did not have a story book ending. Dementia came to visit and stayed.  The end was long, and tough on the family.  The brunt of the care fell to his wife, although the family helped. During that time all his holdings were converted to substantial cash savings.

At his death, the 'Will' was not as expected. It had been changed apparently in his demented state. The last wife inherited the entire estate.

BUT I also learned in my later years I could learn.  I was talking to Luke's Son afterwards and I brought up the subject, thoroughly expecting Vondale to be upset. I don't know why I was surprised, I had learned to expect the unexpected from him. 

His take on the whole matter, no anger or disgust. He said, "Jack, he could not have hired or had better care  in his last years, she took good care of him."

So in the end, I also learned from Luke's son, Life happens.

Nite Shipslog

I never knew Luke to have a new car nor a new truck. I remember he had a 1947 Fleet-line because Vondale would drive it sometimes when we double dated.