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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

A DAY AT THE PARK













A DAY AT THE PARK
   As many of my on-line friends know I have developed a (way-to-often) habit of eating my lunch or breakfast, or both at a park. Sometimes I take a sandwich with me and sometimes I stop and get a McDonald's Gourmet breakfast on the way there.
   However when I couple, eating a sandwich, and watching people, while I eat, it is usually interesting, not earth shattering, but interesting.
   Also as I have mentioned before, some of the things in my blog's are real happenings and some are things I store in my memory bank for future blogs? You might say they are-seeds for thought- for writing a partially real- partially imagined Blog in the future.
 
   I had just finished my breakfast a while ago and was pondering the Big Question of the of the day? What to do next with my long afternoon that was approaching?
   As I looked around I saw a young boy, under a rather large tree, jumping up and down and pushing and throwing a broom into the tree. As I looked a little harder I saw a black and white soccer ball lodged in the branches, just a little higher than the broom would reach.
   I hobbled over a little closer, and called and ask him if he needed a little help? He replied that he sure did because he was not tall enough to reach his ball and it was his brand new one.
   The man hobbled back to his Blazer and got a golf ball receiver out of the back. He took it back to the boy and extended it as far as it would go and handed it to him. He told the boy he thought he could reach it with the new tool. He sat down on a bench and told the boy if he could not reach the ball he would come and help him, but he had to sit and rest a while, because he had "tin knees" and got tired pretty easy.
   The boy said,"ya I noticed you walked kind of funny, but I just thought that it was because you were old." Then the boy asked if he had to oil his knees like the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz. The old man laughed at that and told him that, No he could not oil them and he just got along the best he could without a lube job?
   About that time a young mother had made her way up a small hill to where they stood. Isaac, the boy, ran a short way to meet her, while yelling, "Mom, Mom, I want you to meet my new friend. His name is Mr. Wally, just like you told me to call older people Mr. and Mrs. He helped me me get my new soccer ball out of that big tree." 
   The Mom (Annie) shook Mr. Wally's hand and thanked him profusely for helping him retrieve his soccer ball. 
   She also told the man she was sorry if he bothered him, and she hoped he did had not talked his ear off, as she knew he was a chatter-box. She also told him that Isaac seemed to have a comment for everything that anyone said. 
   Mr Wally said they got along just fine and that he really liked the kids that chattered, better than the ones that just set off in a corner and never said anything and looked morose. He also told Annie that he thought the kids that were chatterbox's, learned a lot more about this old world, even before they started school, than most of the quiet ones.
   Annie and Mr. Wally talked a while and Isaac went off to kick his soccer ball. After talking a while Annie told Mr. Wally that Isaac did not have a Dad. He was killed in Afghanistan about two years ago. She said he was the with the Special Forces there and was about due to be rotated back to the States when he was killed by a roadside bomb.
   Mr. Wally expressed his condolences and told her he was really sorry about her husband.. He told her he knew several families that he was close to that lost Husbands, Dads and Mom's there also, and he thought it was a great tragedy.
   Annie told Mr. Wally that it was very hard on both she and Isaac at the time, but she thought it was harder on Isaac now, because all of his friends have a Mom and Dad and he doesn't. He always asks why it was him and I try and give him good answers, but sometimes it is hard to explain.
   Just then Isaac came running up waving his hands and yelling,"Mom, Mom Ted is coming."
  And sure enough a 30 something guy in a Black Chevy truck, all decked out with pipes and chrome pulled up and stopped as close as he could get to them. He walked across the grass, with Isaac running to meet him. 
   Their new friend Mr. Wally was introduced to them properly as a new friend, and Isaac told Ted that he called him Mr. Wally because his Mom had told him that you call old people Mr. and Mrs and he sure looked like he was old.
   Of course when he said that Annie's face went red, Wally laughed and told her not to worry about it because he had been called worse things than old.
   Ted and Isaac kicked the soccer ball around while Annie and Wally sat on a bench and visited. Annie made the comment that it was strange how we had just met but we talked to each other like we had known each other for a long time. 
   When Ted and Isaac had finished kicking the ball awhile they came and sit on the bench with the others. Mr. Wally told them he had a bag of clementine oranges in the back of the Blazer if they wanted some. He told them it would actually help him out if they took a few because it was hard for him to eat a whole bag before they started to spoil.
   Well Ted said that he had come to take Annie and Isaac to lunch and if they did not mind he would be glad if Mr. Wally would come with them.
   Isaac let out a big yell and pumped his fist in the air saying," yes, yes, yes", which I think translated to a positive invite and acceptance. 
   They went to Chic-Fil- A , which was only about a half block away. Of course everyone ate chicken. They also talked a lot. At least Isaac and Mr. Wally did.
   Isaac told Mr. Wally that he and his Mom lived in a real small apartment and Ted lived in a real small condo. He also looked at his Mom and said he thought he might get Ted for a new Dad, because Ted and his Mom had got really 'SMOOCHY" here of late. His Mom YELLED, "you don't say that to strangers." Ted laughed and just sat and grinned. Of course Isaac told his Mom that Mr. Wally was not a stranger now, he was a friend, and Mr. Wally said,"yup I agree with Isaac, I think he hit the nail right on the head.
   Yup kids will be kids. They do not seem to have a built in filter, even when they are talking to strangers. However Annie was not just going to let it go. So she gave him the whole truckload of, family secrets, don't talk to strangers (of which Mr. Wally was not considered one anymore, and that some things that happen in the family--STAT IN THE FAMILY."
   By then it was time for Ted to get back to his business, which was a 4-wheel drive specialty shop that he loved. He said he did not want to be late, because he thought it was part of his job, and since he was the owner he wanted to set a good example.
   Everyone went out to leave and Wally remembered the oranges in the Blazer and told everyone to help themselves if they wanted some.
   Of course Isaac wanted some and it was obvious as he danced around saying, "oh yes Mom can we take a couple, can we huh?" They each took a couple of oranges and left.
   Ted headed off to his shop and Isaac and Annie headed back to the little apartment that they called home.
   Wally got his newspaper out of the Blazer and got settled on a bench to catch up on the news of the world before he headed back home---perhaps for a short afternoon nap
   He pulled into the garage, and as he mumbled, on his way into the house he thought to himself-- I hope my nap does not keep me from sleeping well tonight. Maybe if I repeat the old saying that my Mom used to tell me and I told my children, it will help me go to sleep -OR NOT--? My Mom used to say "Good night--don't let the bed bugs bite." I never did understand why that was supposed to calm me down, but never-the-less I heard it for many years.
   It was an interesting day and brought out a lot of emotions. Although I thought about Isaac, Annie and Ted a lot, I never did see them in the Park again. I still wonder if they got married and live somewhere in our valley here and none of us know for sure.
   I guess you could call this Historical Fiction? I surly am old enough for the Historical part and a little fiction inserted in it makes it interesting.

W.R. Baldwin
25 April 2017 
     

    




Friday, April 7, 2017

DREAMS












DREAMS
   My Children have told me that I talk in my sleep, for a long time now. Of course I did not believe them because I had never heard me do it. That is I did not believe them until I made one of my trips to the hospital.
   When I came out of the anesthesia an intern was sitting by my bed. He asked me how I felt, and I told him I was a little drowsy and a little confused, but other than that I was OK.
    I was surprised when he told me he was a little confused also. He asked if he could ask me a couple of things. I told him of course he could ask but I would not guarantee I would answer him. He kind of chuckled and said,” that is perhaps the best disclaimer he had ever heard. That is indeed a very, very good answer.”
   He then told me that while I was asleep, it was obvious I was talking to more than one lady. He said that I would talk to one that I called MOM for a while and then I would switch to MOTHER for a different conversation. I asked the Intern if he could remember any of the conversation and he told me that, yes, he remembered some but a lot of it was just mumbling. However he did tell me some of the things I said and it was obvious to me they were different people at different times in my life. The two that day happened to be my Wife and my Mother. The Intern and I chatted a short while, then he said he was sure I was OK, so he left. 
   That little experience made me realize I really do talk in my sleep and my kids were not just teasing me. It also made we wonder if almost everyone, or just a few people talked in their sleep?
   Well that put me on a “quest” to find out some answers. How often do people talk in their sleep? I now realized I really do talk in my sleep(probably a lot,) and my children were not just “pranking” me. I wondered WHAT I said, but they told me that a lot of the time it was just mumbling or almost whispering and they could not understand me.
   Now that I knew that I mumbled, or whispered, or yelled out loud, my next question was what did I say and did I talk to anyone besides my Dear departed Wife and my Mom?
   I have also known for a long time that I dream and some of the dreams are really weird. I do not know if everyone is somewhat like me and expects to remember the dream when they wake in the morning--- however, I very seldom can remember all that happened. Yes I recall a few bits and pieces but not everything. By a long shot! Is that normal, or Par for the Course, as some would say? I have talked to a couple of people and they seem to have the same scenario, so I presume at it must be fairly common.
   Now that I am getting “older” I seem to have more dreams, but they seem to be shorter, or perhaps I just remember less of the details. I guess I should not consider it strange, even when I am awake I think of something and head over, or up or out and before I get to where I was headed, at times I cannot remember what I was going to do.
   Some dreams seem to be disjointed. For example I might have known three or four people at different times in my life, for different reasons, and they all show up in the same dream.       
   One just the other night brought four people together who never knew each other (well of course except me.)
   One was my favorite uncle, when I was a teenage kid, one was a guy that I was in the Air Force with, in my late teens and early 20’s, and of course Me. The strange thing was that in my dream, we were all Chemical Salesmen and we were, competitors, all trying to sell to sell chemicals to the same large Copper Mining Company where we all lived. Of course it was just a dream, but Why these people? And Why this location, and Why this time frame? I did have a short acquaintance with each but never at the same time. So how did we all get together for this “dream trip?” 
   As I sit here and ponder I realize that most of my dreams are based on memories, either OLD or new. I also know a few people that have nightmares and fortunately I have not had many in my life. I also do not remember having a lot of them, even when I was young.
   The other thing that came to mind was why do we dream? Does everyone dream at least a few times? I don’t know if most people are similar to me, but as for me I seem to have more dreams, and ones that are hard to explain, when I go to bed overanxiously thinking about something just before I go to sleep? They are usually connected to a happening in real life in the recent past or else a LONG, LONG time ago?
   I also seem to visit with people (in my dreams), more than just places, now that I am getting older. I guess perhaps that is because as I get older I just naturally have met more people who have a lot of DIFFERENT personalities.
   Well I still do not know why all of these old friends, and old places come back to us, at night, in the form of a dream. I also wonder WHY some took place decades ago and some happened yesterday?
   I am sure other people have the same experiences, and I hope I am not the only one to wonder about them!
   However I am positive now that I DO talk in my sleep. I am sure that is not a profound thing, but it was interesting to me, so I thought—WHY NOT BLOG IT?

7 April 2017
W.R. Baldwin

Friday, March 3, 2017

YOURS--MINE--& OURS

         YOURS—MINE—and OURS
There was a movie back in the 1960’s called “yours- Mine & Ours”. I was looking at the book in the library, the other day and, it clicked one of the memory switches in my head, and away I went with, the one thought of that movie sending me off in many different directions. Fortunately or unfortunately the thought, for the most part had nothing to do at all with the movie. 
In my day I seem to remember there were more thoughts and talk about Our home, Our son, our car and Our kids and not as much as the possessive form,  My son, My car and My kids. This may be good and it may be bad and it may be some of both, but it made me start to think about it.
Have our thoughts and actions really changed, or were they never that way and I just remember things as I want too?
I notice in kids, especially now days that everything seems to be “Mine” and “Yours” very early in their life and very little “Ours.”
Of course toddlers learn the word “mine” very early and they seem to feel everything they touch is “mine.” I think that is just a baby thing, however sometimes it hangs on well into the teens, young adults and even sometimes into Moms and Dads language and mind-set.
Is it because people have become so affluent that each person in a family can have one of his own “things”? I think or we seem to believe, that if we can afford anything we want, so why don’t each member of the family has a “thing” and then it will truly be mine and we will not have to deal with “ours.” All four or five “things” might be just exactly alike and even sit unused a good part of the time but they are “Mine.” If this is the case I guess we can say “mine”, like a toddler, and it will be true most of the time?
At this point another memory switch kicks in and reminds me that a lot of people in the 1930’s and 40’s did not have everything they wanted and often not even the things they needed.
I suppose our family was not affluent but we did have all we NEEDED. One memory I have is that my Sister and two or three of her friends used to trade clothes (Skirts, tops and shoes), for a couple of days every week, I think so they did not have to wear the same clothes to school every day. Now this might be a real CASE of Yours, Mine and Ours?
There seems to be a lot of “Stuff” in homes now days. Anyway I know there is in my home. If you are like me you don’t know what to do with it. And many times you don’t know where it came from. It is just there, it seems to belong to no one. It is just stuff, yours, mine and ours. (Mostly yours).
Then in these modern times I think most people collect stuff on their computer (Why do we say on the computer and not IN the computer?) Where did this computer “stuff” come from? Who does it belong to? Who is that Baby Picture of? I wish I knew who that old man was in that picture? That scenic picture is beautiful; I wonder where it was taken?
I don’t know about you but I have a lot of those questions that I wish I knew the answers to. In fact I am sure there is a LOT of STUFF in our computers that really are yours, mine and ours but we do not know it?   
When you get my age I hope that everyone does not start talking to and about your computer. However I also am quite sure I am not the ONLY one that does it. I even talk to mine by name—one is Myrtle and the other is Bertrude. I do not recall ever, in any of our conversations or arguments getting an answer, but at times I sure have given both of them a piece of my mind!
(Well talking about computers has caused me to digress and become
Convoluted, as they do a lot of times)
 No matter what our personality is, we at one time or another fall into the yours, mine and ours category? And of course this can cause problems. Have you ever heard these words, expressed in a VERY LOUD VOICE---------
“WHY” are you sitting in MY Chair?
“WHAT” you used MY TOOTH-BRUSH?
“WHY” do you want MY Computer PASSWORD? I thought we decided there was no reason for us to know each others password?
“Why”, when he wins an award, is he YOUR son?
“Why” when he has an appointment with the Principal, he is MY SON?  

One liberty I have taken, without asking and without thinking if it is OK or not, is to call my Great Grand Children “MINE” every time I talk about them. Of course they are not just mine---they also have Mom’s and Dad’s, grandpa’s and Grandma’s and other grand and great grandparents. However I am possessive when I am with them, and they become “MINE.”  
W.R. Baldwin
3 March 2017

Monday, February 20, 2017

IF I GO FIRST

IF I GO FIRST?
I found this several years ago and it is so much like what I feel that I decided to write it down. If I do go first perhaps someone can read it at my funeral.

If I be the first of us to die,
Let grief not blacken long your sky.
Be bold yet modest in your grieving.
There is a change but not a leaving.
For just as death is part of life,
The dead live on forever in the living.
And all the gathered riches of our journey,
The moments shared, the mysteries explored,
The steady layering of intimacy stored,
The things that made us laugh or weep or sing,
The joy of sunlit snow or first unfurling of the spring,
The wordless language of look and touch,
The knowing,
Each giving and each taking,
These are not flowers that fade,
Nor trees that fall and crumble,
Nor are they stone,
For even stone cannot the wind and rain withstand
And mighty mountain peaks in time reduce to sand.
What we were, we are.
What we had, we have.
A conjoined past imperishably present.
So when you walk the woods where once we walked together
And scan in vain the dappled bank beside you for my shadow.
Or pause where we always did upon the hill to gaze across the land,
And spotting something, reach by habit for my hand,
And finding none, feel sorrow start to steal upon you,
Be still.
Close your eyes.
Breathe.
Listen for my footfall in your heart.
I am not gone but merely walk within you.


I do not know who wrote this but it really touched a place in my heart!

Obviously I did not go first--However I still wanted to keep this so I am adding it to my Blog. Perhaps others out there may like it.'WALLY

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

BROKEN RIB Feb 2017

Ya Doc, that is where it really hurts right under my left hand. WHAT? @%&&#((+ HOW LONG WILL IT TO TAKE TO HEAL??? I CANNOT WAIT FOR 6 WEEKS.

"GRUMBLE, GRUMBLE--BLANKETY BLANK--WHY SO BLASTED LONG---DUMB BELL- 

Cantankerous  Carl  



 


Thursday, January 26, 2017

RETURN TO OUR ROOTS

               RETURN TO OUR ROOTS.










I was at a reunion to celebrate an old dead town.
It had been beaten, bulldozed and partially burned down.
But this reunion was a very strange thing you see,
There a large group of people had gathered, including me.

We gather each year to reminisce, visit and eat.
Sometimes it rains and sometimes there is heat.
We talk about being young in that old mining town,
And dream our dreams with a smile or a frown.

Why do we come to talk about our “Roots,”
Especially since most of us have become “Old Coots.”
Some of us just sit there and mumble and stare
And some don’t remember much, but we do not care.

Why do we want to dream of a night or a day,
In places long ago that we did work and play?
We want to go back to see if it is the same,
But we know before we get there it will never be the same.

Some of us are wrinkled, old and sagging it seems,
But we still come to our reunion to renew our dreams.
To return to our roots is natural it seems,
As we look at that town that has turned into dreams.

Most of our memories are of good times it seems.
At least that is what happens when I have my dreams.
Some were born there, schooled there, and married a wife
And they tell everyone about that “good” small town life.

Some married and moved to some other places,
But at reunion time they return with smiling faces.
Will we grieve forever for our friends and our town.
At our reunion, there are smiles, but hardly a frown.

It is sad to know that towns are not like that anymore,
Where you could leave for a week and not lock your door.
Your neighbor took care of your place, just fine.
And I took care of his just like he did mine.

Some married spouses from towns that were nearby.
But many were from our town under that blue, blue sky.
When we have to leave that town, many did grieve,
For the town and the people who they did not want to leave.

Of course things never stay the same I suppose,
The last time I was there, I saw a yellow rose,
Growing in a fence line where I used to play.
I wonder if it knew I would come back some day?

Life is not the same without my wife and my friends,
But I am trying to enjoy life until the very end.
Someone once told me that to reminisce was a gift.
But I have to start fast or my mind starts to drift----

And my reminiscing turns quickly into a dream---
             AS I HAVE MY DAILY NAP

W.R.Baldwin
26 Jan 2017 
           




Thursday, January 19, 2017

HABITS

                      
                          
The elderly man and his sister were sitting in a restaurant. They were almost finished with their lunch and were using up some time, just talking & visiting.

Every once in a while the man would snicker or give a little quiet laugh. Then he snickered once and pointed to a couple of ladies (about 40 years old), who were sitting in a booth behind them. After giggling a couple of times he whispered, pointing to them, and said “listen to that, it sounds like us.”

Just as he said that, the Blond in the booth (Pat, we found out her name 
Later) said, “So how are you doing with your New Year’s Resolutions?” Her friend Carol said she was doing just great and had kept almost every one so far. She congratulated her for her effort and then asked her how she was doing with her drinking habit? Carol told her of course that was the one resolution she had a problem with. She said, I made it for six days, but then I just gave up. I really enjoy it and I don’t think it really hurts anything.  You know they are always testing to find out if it really hurts anything with your health. I don’t think one or two a day hurts anything?

Their neighbors had changed the subject so he and his sister just visited and sipped on their drinks. Every once in a while they would snicker or grin about something the neighbors in the booth behind them said.

Then Pat commented, “Helen says she quit ‘cold turkey’ and it has been fourteen days now since we all decided to quit, and she says she can’t understand why we waited so long, because she feels great now? Then she put her hand up beside her mouth, in a kind of ‘fake whisper’ and said, “I am not so sure that Helen always tells the truth,”

Pat made the comment that the thing that really ‘bugs’ her is when she goes to the fridge to get something else and she opens the door  and there one of them sits. It looks like it was waiting to tempt me. If I really wanted to listen I’ll bet it would say, Oohh come on, just one will not hurt.

Carol---Ya if you go out to lunch, what do you drink, water is so passé.

Pat---I thought it was unusual for my mouth to water, every time I see one of those things, and even sometimes when I just think about them. I decided to ask around and almost everyone said that ya, it affected them the same way!

Well the two ladies finished their lunch and left, probably still wondering if Helen always told the truth?

The elderly couple soon left also, commenting that they had received their entertainment for the day. After they got in their car and buckled up he said. “You know listening to them is almost like listening to a couple of addicts.”

Sister--- laughed and said Ya, did you ever have a hard time giving the stuff up
Brother--- No I have never had a hard time. Whenever I wanted to quit, I just did it! I’ll bet I quit 50 times or more last year. I guess one thing that really does bother me is when I want one at 10:30 at night. Usually I have quit a few days ago and there is not one in the house. Well I have to put my coat and shoes on and make a 7-11 run.

It is not because I really NEED one it is just because I WANT one and they taste SO GOOD!

W.R. Baldwin
18 January 2017