Tomorrow, I turn 69

A lake with water falling down the side of it.

A few days ago the bulb that powers our TV (DLP) started giving us trouble.  Fortunately, it is something that can be replaced by the Maytag guy (me).  So, I pulled out the manual, read the instructions and started the task at hand.  Removing it was easily accomplished, and I quickly went on the internet to find out how much the bulb cost ($104).  Almost all the quotes were for a replacement bulb, not the original manufactured bulb (Phillips).  Eventually, we decided to buy the bulb locally ($175) and by the end of the day it was installed and our TV was working as it should and as a plus the picture was considerably brighter. 

I was listening to an audiobook (The Boys of Sandhill County Line) the other day and in it the author referred to a Christmas present as a “prettyâ€, meaning toy.   That reminded me that as a young kid in the mountains of Virginia that was exactly what we called a toy.  To us, something new instead of being “brand newâ€, was “brown newâ€.  Go figure!  A bag is a polk; a soft drink is pop; you don’t drop a “bombâ€, you drop a“bumâ€.   One of our favorite pastimes was picking a color for a car and seeing who could get to 100 first.  Two-tone cars were popular back then, but seem to be rare now.  In the book mentioned above, the author had a line that made me laugh out loud: “Things grew so silent you could hear a bug fartâ€.   For some reason, that just seemed hilariously funny.  It doesn’t take much to make me laugh.

I picked up a free (used) toaster the other day from an email friend that no longer needed it.   Jerilyn’s oldest grandson will need it next year.  He is attending the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and plans on living in an apartment.   Of course he needs everything, so we have started collecting things we think he can use.  Anyway, the toaster worked very well, but needed some heavy cleaning.   My job, should I accept it (Mission Impossible), is to take it apart and clean it thoroughly.   I have never had a toaster apart and basically all I know about them is that you push down the thingy, wait a couple of minutes and, presto, up pops toast.   But really, how difficult can this be?   Nothing left to do but get out my tools and proceed.  In about 30 minutes, I have parts all over the place with only a vague idea of how they go back together.  Several hours later this sucker is shining like new money, but here comes the tricky part: how does it go back together?   By this time, I’m too tired to fool with it any longer (comes with age), so I knock off and go inside for the night.   Next day, I amble back out to the garage and commence to piece the thing together.  In a couple of hours, it’s ready to make test toast.  I get two pieces of bread from Jerilyn, who is bemused by my foray in appliance repair, and pop them in the toaster.  Two minutes later up pops two perfectly toasted slices of bread.  Of course, I had to eat one slice to insure the product was tasteful, the other slice going to our backyard birds.  I am aware this successful venture in appliance repair could have resulted in disaster as easily as the other way around.  Next year, when Christopher pops in his first piece of toast, he will have no idea of how much time I have vested in that darn thing!   He’s worth it though.

“Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you’re kind, amazing things will happen.” – Conan O’Brien (upon leaving the Tonight show).   I did not watch his show very often but I thought that was an excellent thing to say.   I know quite a few people who subscribe to that philosophy (maybe, unknowingly).  It is my belief that hard work, kindness and a strong belief in a higher power are necessary for a happy life.

Jerilyn noticed that one of the two heat pumps we use to heat/cool our home was block of ice the other day.  It was cold outside, but not that cold.  The other heat pump was not iced over so that gave us cause for concern.  A call to our heat pump maintenance people explained the situation.   After much research, we decided to replace both units since they were 32 years old and used the old type of Freon (no longer made).  We have been assured by the firm installing the new pumps that they will pay for themselves in 36 minutes, or less J.   As I write this, they are busy replacing the first unit.  They estimate 3 days per unit.  We are expecting some day temps  in the high 20’s and that means parts of our home will not be visited often.  We are hoping to offset some of the cost with tax rebates for upgrading to a more efficient system.  If you plan on replacing your heat/AC system and would like to know what we paid for ours just send me an email.

I have been forced to go back to recording what I eat daily.  My weight was 195 before Thanksgiving and it is now 199½.  My goal was to stay below 200 during that period of time and I just barely made it.  My new goal is be down to 192 by the end of April.   Jerilyn is very good at helping me obtain my goals, whatever they may be.   I would have a difficult time without her.  I think we all need someone in our life that helps us achieve our goals and then enjoy them with us when we succeed.

Apple (computer) introduced their newest thing the other day called the iPad.  It is suppose to be the “next†big thing and will, supposedly, make obsolete those things like the Kindle (electronic book reader).  A lot of people assume, incorrectly I think, that paper documents will eventually become obsolete.  What would this world be like without books, magazines & newspapers?   What would happen to all those people that hate all electronic gadgets?   I have friends that make explaining heaven to bears easier than explaining how to use their TV remote.  Of course, those same friends have talents that I will never own.   In my opinion, every single person on earth at this moment would have to be deceased before an all electronic written word could exist.   Of course, headstones would have electronic screens that scroll and give information about the person lying in the coffin below.  They would turn off at night.  The good thing about that is your relatives would have to visit often to replace the batteries J.  The screen could contain a picture of you when you were in really good shape.  Your loved ones could sit at your graveside and talk to your picture and leave feeling really good.  Whenever I go back home, we stop and visit Mom & Dad’s grave, those of my relatives, and I chat with them.  If we had those electronic markers, the visit would be more vivid.   Maybe they could be programmed to talk back to you in the voice of the person deceased, or would that be to0 weird?   I guess I had better stop this line of thought before all of you think “I’m one brick shy of a load.â€

Tomorrow, I turn 69 years old.  I intend to use it as a day to reflect on all those years and pay homage to the people that were important in my life but are no longer alive.   I have given thought to starting a paper wall in the area where I spend so much time and list all of them.   I think it is important they not be forgotten.  It is unimaginable how many there would be on that wall.   I have heard it said that you are not truly dead until there is no one left that remembers you.  If that is true then I fell much better because all of them live on within me.  I would like to close with this quote:

“The greatest weakness of most humans is their hesitancy to tell others how much they love them while they’re still alive.”

– O.A. Battista

I hope you’re enjoying whatever season it is in your part of the world.  Thanks for reading my monthly missive.

To send a letter is a good way to go somewhere

without moving anything but your heart…..Phyllis Theroux