Enjoying a season of change

Fall is in full bloom, with the changing of the colors and the onset of cooler temperatures.  This past weekend was a magnificent example of this with God’s beautiful artwork on display as we traveled up to southern Indiana to visit with both of our families. Originally planned as a trip to help my mother winterize her home and enjoy visiting, our trip was updated to allow everyone have a chance to meet and encourage our son before he heads off to Marine basic training.

granny pappy

Saturday morning was filled with delicious foods, courtesy of Bob Evans on the south side of Indianapolis, with my wonderful mother and father in law. Watching their joy and pride in Alex as they shared conversation with him about times past, memories of his childhood, and things to come was so warm on such a cool day outside.  Minutes turned to hours, as they often do when you are enjoying yourself. Before long we were embracing each other and saying our goodbyes. The smile on our son’s face could not have been changed.  The happiness he felt was obvious without words. Our time together filled his heart with encouragement and faith in his abilities.  Our son was blessed with all that we we had hoped for, and as usual, so much more.

Saturday abloomsfternoon was filled with outdoor chores.  Sounds much more difficult when I say it that way.  Considering we were working together outside in a comfortable setting, the simple manual tasks actually were completed with a minor amount of effort and quite a bit of fooling around.  Happens quite a bit when you are working with me. Late afternoon led into early evening and my mother’s cooking efforts in the kitchen preparing a special meal were starting to permeate the house.  My brother,  his better half Linda and his son Craig came over and we all enjoyed another wonderful home cooked meal. As usual there was lots of fun conversations and teasing, with no individual being spared. My brother Mark is a Navy veteran, we are very proud of his service, and were blessed at having the chance for our son to enjoy time with him. Our son was again filled with certainty of his decision, and of his capability to succeed. I am not certain, but it appeared his chest may have even grown over the length of the day.

mom and alex

Evening soon came, and then morning and unfortunately time for us to depart back towards home. Seems to come quicker each time. My mother showered our son with so much love and special treatment this weekend, we had a real tough time getting away. She also provided him was uplifting and encouraging words and efforts, that made our hearts swell.

You see, this season for our family is really on of changing.  We are counting down the days before departure to basic training. It is single digits. So blessed to have been able to provide Alex with the time and encouragement from all of his family. So thankful for their faith in him.  So thankful for their kind words.  So thankful for their love for him. These are things we all share in a huge way.

Just like nature outside is in the middle of a beautiful change, so is our son, and so are we. Isn’t it truly beautiful!




Steps to prevent the further spreading of the ebola virus?

It is disappointing to read on a daily basis the current crisis  we are experiencing in the United states and throughout the World with the ebola virus. What was first dicovered in 1976 in the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa is creating major health concerns again as governements and agencies prepare to fight this infectious disease.  Much about this virus remains unknown, according to the Center for Disease Control, with the leading carriers for the disease being animals.  Ebola has occured primarily in the African continent, but as we have realised recently the spreading of this deadly disease knows no boundaries.


Those who are most at risk of the disease are those who come into contact with the infected wildlife, blood or bodily fluids of those individuals who are infected, and the healthcare workers attempting to provide care.  Seeing and hearing of those wonderful caring individuals who gave their lives or are currently suffering with the virus is very sad, as they and many others are working diligently to show love and care.  The disturbing questions and dangers this disease is posing due to it’s ability to spread so rapidly  is causing many to overlook their sacrifices.  

Understandibly though, there are serious risks that we as individuals and governments need to consider as steps to combat the further spreading.  What appears to as a mostly reactionary efforts from those responsible for the care and welfare of our people, needs to implement stronger and more widespread precautions at our borders until this crisis is under control.  A much stronger response from our leadership is necessary to enable the resources and attitudes to better defeat this virus. I pray that whatever resources are required and are available currently are put into a position immediately.

Do you feel that the current ebola outbreak is a serious threat?  What do you feel we as a country and as a world should do to control and eliminate this current strain?

For more information about this topice, please visit the Center for Disease Control’s website at

Ready for him to leave, but not as ready as I thought…

Our son has been preparing for his Marine basic training for over a year. Well, that is not completely true. He has been preparing for this departure since his freshman year of high school ROTC. His ship date for basic has always been far off.  It seemed far off. Not that it was necessarily set in stone, but far off enough that I was comfortable. Comfortable that I would eventually be able to deal with him leaving home.  Always I have been so proud of his choice. Why I did not carry through with my chance to join the Air Force when I came out of Purdue I will never fully understand. I tell you that I know he has made the right choice. In his heart and soul he has been a Marine since he started. He entertained the idea of possibly the Army at one time, but it was brief. He has overcome.  He has persevered.  He is my Marine.

All of this to say that when his recruiting Sargent called today to tell him his ship date was moved up to the very near future, I realized I am not ready. He is going to be an excellent soldier.  He is committed and disciplined.  He wants to serve and to make us proud. He has worked very very hard to be where he is at this time. He has always been in God’s tender arms and I know that God will continue to look over my Christian soldier.  The reason I am struggling is that I understand that I will not be able to walk down the hall to give him a hug. To stop into his room to see the newest Minecraft or Destiny story line. Not able to take him for a ride into town on a whim and grab some food or treat. You see I am feeling selfish and not ready to let him go.

I am going to miss my son.  So proud am I. So blessed am i.  So sad to know this first phase of his life is coming to an abrupt end.  I love him.  I am proud of him.  He is my strong soldier.  I must be his strong father. Alex thank you for all the wonderful memories. We will have a lifetime of many more to come, but it is time for your Dad to accept and be happy. God grant me the strength. – G


Red Robin surprise – Round 2

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It is extremely difficult to find yourself in an area near a Red Robin restaurant if you are hungry.  No, let me correct that, it is almost impossible.  Well tonight as we spent time awaiting our son’s final Marine training program for the week, this is the precise position we found ourselves while in the Providence area of Mt. Juliet.  I jokingly stated we could just go in and get a drink, or perhaps use the restroom.  Yeah, right!  Jennifer and I decided with no children in tow, that we would behave very badly.  Ordering two of the Monster Milkshakes, a Pumpkin Pie for her and a chocolate for me. and we would just nibble until we were full.  That is not difficult considering the tall stack of onion rings on the appetizer menu.  And finally, yes, we had to order another delicious hamburger.  How could you not!?!  Don’t forget with each hamburger you receive the endless supply of steak fries.  Oh my, the steak fries……

Milkshakes – wonderful

Onion rings – incredible

Mushroom & Swiss Hamburger – yummy and cooked as we like it!

Steak fries – hard to mess up

Time passed along, the conversation was wonderful, the food was incredible, and the service was extremely nice and helpful.

All in all a well earned A.

Find yourself in a similar predicament, guess what I would recommend? – G




Speeding along the tracks – ALL ABOARD!!

What an incredible surprise we found this evening at the Mt. Juliet Branch of the Wilson County Public Library.  Just off to the side in the meeting room area we were greeted with the sounds of whistles, wheels chugging along the tracks and, even if it was in my mind, choo-choo. The Music City Chapter of the Train Collector’s Association had setup a wonderful exhibit which will be in place till Saturday evening.  Ron Hurst, a Train Show Official, very kindlly and thoroughly spoke with us about their wonderful organization, the basics of model railroading and stories of how these examples of a time gone by are still winning the hearts of the young and old.

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The current models of trains and tracks in place would allow for up to four trains to run simultaneously.  Ron provided us with a Model Trains’ magazine and shared with us the different sizes of models ranging from the Large Scale at a ratio of 1 to 25, down to the smallest model Z with a ratio of 1 to 220.  Hard to imagine being able to work with anything as small as this with the cars being only 2-3/4″ long in the engine car.  The standard sizes I recall with from my youth was a model HO at a ratio of 1 to 87.  The models on display at the library are model O at a ratio of 1 to 48, equaling  a length of 12-1/2″ for the engine car length.  As we stood by listening to the stories and watching the two trains currently operating rolling along the tracks, I could not help but recall fond memories of times with my Dad playing with my Lionel set.

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Toys like this are something that our generation can recall and probably most of us has played with a set at one time or another.  As the technologies change and we see more and more train tracks being abandoned I can’t help but wonder if the next generations will carry the same feelings or fondness.  If you are in the area, take the time to stop in and feel the excitement,  and I guarantee you will see the joy in others around you (especially if there are kids), and smiles of a time long ago. – G


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Getting healthier one step at time…

Nearing the middle of the fall season, I can’t help but consider how important it is to  a consistent healthy exercise program that will carry me into the winter months. Living out in the country has provided my wife and I with many miles of beautiful roads that are safe and offer a variety of things to view.  Walking is one of the easiest important exercises one can do to maintain a slimmer waistline and improve your cardio fitness.

The benefits of walking may seem obvious, but by many are overlooked. Perhaps it is due to the lack of contact or extreme effort required during the exercise.  Whatever the case may be, walking improves individuals coordination and balance, can help maintain or reduce weight levels, lower the risk of diabetes,  heart disease and high blood pressure.  As for my wife and I, it provides a connection with each other for a small amount of time that is worth more than you can imagine.

If you are looking for a positive means to get back into shape, consider taking advantage of where you live.  Hopefully you will find the benefits listed above and many more. – G


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90 Years in a Letter

Dear Granddaughter,

Hello and how are you, the weather is what ever it is, I did this or that this week. I never knew you as a child. You did not get to have a Grandma to remember fond memories of.

You just met me right before I turned 88. You searched for me for over 16 years. But I can not tell you anything important that will clue you in to why I was not in your life.

I told you I would tell you one day in a letter. So we are pen pals now, but I really do not plan to ever share my reasons for walking away. There might be something that would make you understand, maybe fear or threats from someone, but since I will not open up, you will never know.

Which will lead you to believe I was just selfish. I wanted to go out, have fun, not be bothered, not willing to share my time, my life with you.

I know you desire more. You would love for me to write from the heart, pouring out my soul, sharing my first memories. Writing small, mailing letter after letter, cramming 90 years in to an envelope. Painting a picture of your Grandma as a little girl, traveling the United States, and other countries, how I did in school, my fashion, my style.

I bet you would have loved to spend the night, sit on my lap, let me swing you, laugh and talk, and stay up late, crying when you had to go home. Oh how you would have enjoyed my big recipe box of all the tasty home cooked meals and cookies you never got to enjoy. Calling me on the phone when I could hear and coloring me pictures when I could see. Giving me hugs and letting me kiss your nose.

I will still just write about fluff and then some stuff. I will just pen love,hugs,and kisses. Because I know in my heart, I can not make up for not being in your life.