Saturday, March 31, 2012

Branson, Dogwoods, Redbuds and Spring

Almost 6 weeks of taking care of me and staying pretty close to home was about to get to Gene.  A few days before my knee surgery, we booked an overnight stay for Friday and Saturday at a Rock Lane Resort on Table Rock Lake.  We had thought at the time we booked the stay that we would be ready for a change of scenery.  We were not mistaken.  And the scenery along the way was beautiful.  The forests along the roads are full of dogwood trees, redbuds and all sorts of other blooming flowers.  This sight made me remember some of the fun of designing my backyard.

When I was working on my garden beds we would ride for hours in the backwoods looking at how the vegetation was layered.  As we chose trees and shrubs, the nursery person noted there were generally 5 layers to forests:  forest floor, herb layer, shrub layer, understory and canopy.  Some references add an emergent layer. (http://animals.about.com/od/forest/a/structureforest.htm) We were purchasing a dogwood at the time.  Mr. Nursery Man suggested it be planted as an understory tree.  That is planted beneath larger trees.  I did attempt to use this idea of the layering of the forest.  Only problem is my yard is way to small for the forest I developed.  Oh, well, it is still filled with color right now!

While I do enjoy my yard with all the stuff growing back there, it was sure nice to see the beauty in the natural settings.  We awoke this morning looking across Table Rock Lake.  There was some sort of fishing tournament or something.  The fishermen in their boats were showing up in specific locations in groups.  They would stop, cast a few times then zoom away out of sight to the next cove.  A few minutes later here would come another group speeding into sight.  Stop at almost the exact location as the previous bunch, make a few casts then fly off again.

Gene and I thought about going to a murder mystery dinner theater in Branson.  We chose just to eat at Charlie's Steak and Ribs on sight at the resort.  The spring weather was so warm we were able to sit on the screened porch for our delicious dinner.  Our server was a young 20 something who immigrated from Russia.  She taught us to say thank you, spasiba.  We did not ask if you knew Yakov Smirnoff.

Gene commented as we left that we were taught to hate the Russians back when he was in the service in the late 50's early 60's.  I discussed some of this irony in the Feb. 1, 2012 blog.  Then we began discussion who are being taught to hate now:  Muslims, politicians, Tea Party, Liberals, Conservatives,  Republicans, Democrats, Iran, undocumented immigrants just to name a few.  Who knows what will happen in 2059, maybe our grandsons will come to Branson to watch some of those most hated persons perform.  After all as Yakov says, "What a country!"

But don't you wait 50 years to take a drive down in the hills.  The blooms are at their peak!






Thursday, March 29, 2012

Replacement Parts

Sure am enjoying this new knee!  Another busy day and lots of time on my feet.  Of course that means a lot of time on my new knee, too.  Rather than working straight through, I stopped every 45 minutes to an hour and sat with the ice machine pumping cold water into the ice mat.  That approach worked well so far.  As a matter of fact I had not even taken any pain medication since bedtime last night.  About 20 hours between doses is a real improvement from just last week.

And now all the news shows are talking about how knee, hip and even mesh implants are not tested before release to market.  Isn't that reassuring.  Each news report is talking to a different person that has had horrible experiences.  All I have to say is so far so good.

Replacement parts are not always available for older model appliances, HVAC units, automobiles and all kinds of things.  One of my sorority sisters had a TV quit working at about a year old.  The repair took forever because of a lack of replacement part availability.  My father, father in law and husband made a living by repairing home appliances, televisions, window air conditioners and all sorts of equipment.

There were numerous electronic parts supply houses here in Springfield during the 50's, 60's, 70's and into the 80's.  With the onset of "solid state" technology the need for replacement parts began diminishing.  The number of supply houses reduced in the 90's.  There are no supply houses for home electronics other than maybe a Radio Shack.  It is cheaper to buy a new appliance or electronic device than to do the repair.  So the job of small appliance repair and even television repairman has just about gone the way of the buggy whip maker.  Not a lot of call for buggy whips these days.  And we may as well just replace the bulky TV with a new flat screen.





But given the price of gasoline, who knows, we may go back to horse and buggy days.  Then there will be a need for the buggy whip maker again.  Wonder if we were to go back to that type of society if we would start having electronics that would break down more frequently.  Cause in the 50's the televisions had all kinds of tubes that broke down frequently.  My father in law noted one time that the tube replacements kept his business in the black.  Add in record players that eventually became massive console stereo units that required repair pretty often, also.  Remember how you knew the number of the needle your stereo record player needed?

I wonder if there will come a time a time when we will not need artificial parts for replacing worn out body parts.  Will there come a time we can just buy a different unit to download our electronic brain stuff into a new iPeople.  Well, until then guess I will be just as happy with the untested pieces parts fused into my body.  Any way I do hope the failures of knee and hip implants will not cause the elimination of these replacement parts.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Stick to It

February 2010
Well, after working in my yard yesterday, today I have been a little more sore in the operated knee.  But some ice and a little Aleve every few hours has improved that condition.  Rather than getting too involved in the yard work, I decided to mess with some sewing projects started before the surgery.  Finished one that was an attempt to make my own washable refills for the Swiffer.  There are still a couple of adjustments needed to make it viable.  Once figured out, I will make 3 or 4 and that will be one less expense each month.

The second project is a set of cushions for a rocker we have had for about 25 years.  I finished the back cushion today.  Now for the seat cushion.  To make the seat cushion a little more firm, I sandwiched a layer of foam between 2 inch layers of polyester chair padding.  The "sandwich" was weighted down and dried for about 36 hours.  This morning I glued additional foam/polyester padding along the edges for the odd v shape around the legs of the rocker.  After about an hour I realized that mass of gluing was applied to the wrong edges.  Oops.  Back up, re apply and move on.  Not perfect but certainly usable.

There was a time when a mistake like the pad would have sent me into a tail spin.  I just looked at it and opined as to where my mind must have been.  Pulled the stuff of and placed along the correct sides.  It would be nice if everything in life could be that easy.  Just a little Elmer's applied to a city damaged by tornadoes.  Hot glue guns to repair nuclear meltdowns.  Lock tight to repair a damaged fender.  Duct tape has already wonders on many items.

Super glue applied along the divide in our nation.  I am certain there are things available to patch up the fault lines.  I am just not sure there are enough people that actually want things "patched up".  Enough people to "stick together" to work out an acceptable compromise to much of anything.  And stick to the plan to see it through.

I think of how being pregnant requires having a lot of patience.  There is not much one can do except watch the abdomen expand.  Feel the movements.  Become filled with excitement at the initial movements.  But by the last few weeks most moms to be are just ready for the baby to be in their arms.  The moms to be are ready to not have a little foot kicking the rib, bladder or whatever location of the day.  In order to have a healthy baby the mom to be must just see the pregnancy through to the end.

Here is hoping all the politicians that are spending so much money to get elected will choose to stick to the job they are called to do.  You know, stick to it instead of sticking it to US.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Groupons, Sunshine and Recuperation

Ajuga coming to life
Today was very nice in the morning.  The sun was out with just enough of a breeze to make it pleasant to be out side.  The flowerbeds are filled with new growth, both wanted and unwanted.  My weeding and trimming the beds for this year has taken a back seat to knee rehab.  But for about an hour and a half this morning I worked in the front beds.  While tired after this little short workout it felt good to be in the sunshine.

Gardening or at least digging and planting has been something I have enjoyed for many, many years.  The ritual of early spring yard work has been a favorite part of the process.  It is about 4 or 5 days of 6 or 7 hours of hard work each day.  Sore muscles and aching joints were part of the product of the work as well as the clean yard.  Usually the amount of pain relievers increased in proportion to the number of hours worked on the yard.

Weeds and shrub trimmings are relegated to the bags headed for the compost facility.  Leaves are either mulched with the mower or sucked up by the vacuum.  With the latter option the leaves are added to our compost pile.  Last year's dead plant tops would be removed and added to the Adcock compost, also.  Henbit and dandelions are sent to the landfill.  Larger twigs and branches are piled by the chiminea to be burned on a day when we have wieners in supply.

I have purchased Groupons for manicures, pedicures, equipment rentals, food and meals out over the past few months.  Today's short period of work proved to me that the Groupon recently purchased for three hours of yard work was a worthy investment.  I loved the sunshine.  I relished the feel of pulling the henbit from around the newly sprouted lilies, yarrow and chrysanthemums.  The winter was so mild that the salvia is already in bloom along with the bleeding heart.  That is not the typical order of bloom.  But this is not the typical year for me and my garden.  It is a year for groupons, sunshine and recuperation.

Monday, March 26, 2012

I Really Should Not Make Comments

Dick Chaney's recent heart transplant has proven to be a source of fodder for anyone wanting to make a statement or joke.  I was reading through some of the comments on Yahoo! news.  I rarely type comments on things like this but the comments from the left and the right were just so mean.  I wrote the following:  May Mr. Chaney regain his health. As a Christian I pray for leaders of our nation. And I am one of the liberal idiots that believes the time for name calling and divisive rhetoric must stop.

Now I remember the futility of making comments.  A person responded that my prayers to satan had been answered.  I really do not believe all the name calling from either side nor the half truth emails are being at all constructive.  I do not like conflict probably because I have a terribly short temper.  I usually do not respond in the manner a Christian should to conflicts.

Over the last few days I have been catching up on some reading from the mission organization to which I belong.  The national organization is challenging each of us to rethink migration against the backdrop of scripture.  It is pointed out that Jesus' very life was threatened as a small child causing his parents to migrate to Egypt for a period of time. I read four of the magazines over the weekend and all challenged several of my precepts.  My brain hurts from all the input!

I have now made several trips outside the house now.  Today was evaluation at the outpatient clinic.  In addition to getting a good report as to my progress, I ran into an old friend from Litton days.  Betty is a few years away from retirement but Darrel, her husband, has just retired!  It is fun to see old friends in unexpected places.

Momma just called reporting on things in Texas.  She and my sister had visited my dad's grave and put out new flowers.  Daddy would have been 98 today.  With all the problems Dad had the last couple of years of his life, I know he is in a much better place.

To end today's blog, I think I will not make any more comments on Yahoo! or other places.  People do not want my opinion or any one's opinion except their own.  Most people want only mirror reflections of their opinions. That does not leave much room for meaningful dialogue or respectful disagreements.  Pretty sure none of the meaningful dialogue is going to happen in this election year.  And if the primaries have been an indication, no respectful disagreements.

Guess I should not expect much more since even God incarnate as a child had to be sneaked out of town to another country to avoid being killed.  Long deep breath of acceptance....


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Not Much Today!!

first of all, thanks to all who offered prayers for our friends.  He is doing so well that yesterday he moved out of ICU and in a regular room.  That is really good news.

About all that went on today was a little messing around the house.  Cleaned up after breakfast and sat catching up on some reading.  I am a vice president of an organization and have been slacking my duties the last 4 or 5 weeks.  So today I read two of the mission monthly magazines.  Then I summarized articles to send to the circle vice chairs.  Of course I saw a rabbit and just realized I did not send the emails.  Okay, I am back and I just emailed the articles.

This week has been more active than last by far.  I have ventured from home to the church, the doctors office and the FM fabric store.  All these trips were in the Lincoln.  But today was special, a trip to the  store in the Jeep!!!!

Really wanting to get the flex in my knee a few degrees better than now.  Getting in the Jeep requires a little more leaning than I like to do getting in and out of a car.  But all movement was done without a cane or walker.  Each day I find my balance and endurance improving incrementally.  Thirty three days out from total knee replacement and I am functioning better than anticipated.

So while there is not much to report or comment upon today, it is still pretty exciting.  Exciting to walk down stairs, walk across the garage floor, climb into the Jeep and ride down the road.  Just to experience the simple pleasure of the warm breeze coming in the window as Gene drives down the street.  Maybe you can have not much of a day tomorrow.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Missing

http://photo-dictionary.com 
A single word can have such a variety of meanings.  Take the work missing.  It can mean not present, absent;   lost;  lacking or wanting.  I miss my family that live in Texas.  Two grandsons are missing some teeth.  A book is missing pages.  An attempted free throw can miss the basket.  If you take the ing off then you can have the occasional missed appointment.  Or the unmarried young lady.  

amazon.com
Gene and I have been commiserating the number of our favorite shows that are either heading for or already have had the series finale.  We already miss watching Chuck that had won our attention.  Kyra Sedgwick in The Closer has been very entertaining.  In Plain Sight ends soon and who knows how long Mad Men will be around.  Gene has not recovered from The Unit or 24 being done.

But life must go on for two bored old folks.  I am not sure if we will ever recover.  After all my mom is still mourning the loss of Johnny Carson.  Oh, well.  Life in not lived in the boob tube!  But rather, lives should be lived in the real world.  Like cleaning, cooking, mowing, sharing, loving and serving.  Not me living vicariously through a fictional TV persona.
beyondhollywood.com 

Well,  that all sounded good.  A little too good to be honest & from the heart.  Because, I am already hung up on Ashley Judd's new series Missing.  I have liked Ms. Judd in just about everything she has done.  And she is just so beautiful on top of all that.  The pilot had us on the edge of our recliners : )  We are watching the second in the series and it is holding our attention, also.  So maybe the Thursday landscape is not so bleak with a show like Missing.


Hermit

Maine, 2005
Today I ventured from the house in the car for the first time in almost 4 weeks.  A meeting making plans for a luncheon for a women's group.  It was nice to work with the four ladies today.  Pleasant to see the folks at the church.  Gene did the driving as the doctor release for me to drive will come tomorrow.

As we pulled out of the parking lot, Gene asked if I wanted to go anywhere else.  I realized that I was ready to get back to the comfort of my 4 walls.  There were times in my life when severe anxiety left me unable to leave my home, my safe place.  That has not been an issue for several years.  I have just turned into a hermit.

Cape Cod shore, 2005
Do not presume that I am a religious hermit, spending hours in prayer and study.  Nothing nearly so high minded.  I just enjoy the home we have worked to have.  Most of the time I do not have the need to seek entertainment outside the house and yard.

Even when we take trips I prefer just the two of us instead of tours.  So does that make me anti social or just a person that does not require constant social contact to be fulfilled?

Ogunquit, Maine, shoreline
We were looking forward to getting together with some friends on Friday.  Unfortunately one of the group is in surgery at this moment repairing a ruptured abscess in the digestive track.  What had started as a clam, peaceful evening with a fire to remove the chill has turned into turmoil.

So tonight I am taking the time to be the religious hermit, keeping our dear friends Jerry and Bernie in prayer for successful surgery and continued healing.  Anyone reading this, please, offer up a prayer for this family.  And if not a believer, send healing thoughts through the cosmos.

Cape Cod clammers, 2005
Peace.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Milestones

A mile marker on the U.S. National Road
giving distances from many places
 
According to Wikipedia, "milestone is one of a series of numbered markers placed along a road or boundary at intervals of one mile or occasionally, parts of a mile. " 
Milestone use has been traced back to about 400 AD.  When traveling on any of the Interstate highways in our nation these objects are very helpful when trying to figure out where am I.  Or how far to the next Starbuck's.  A few years back near the Oklahoma Missouri border we noticed the markers have been added for 1/10 of a mile.

Our culture continues to have the need for more accuracy in everything.  Having worked in an industry where decimals needed to be carried to the fourth place, I can be pretty anal about a lot of things.  I am finding that the longer I live away from that environment the happier I am with close is good enough.  Nothing I do now requires that amount of accuracy.


Jack's lost tooth, pbs.org
We as humans set milestones in our lives.  Birthdays, first day at school, loss of first tooth, first kiss, first dance, graduation from preschool through turning your thesis for your masters or doctorate degrees.  The list at times will include marriage, first home, arrival of children into the family.  Your first bike and later car represent movement along the road of life.

A goal to visit Lady Bird Johnson's
Wildflower Center accomplished
The list is influenced by our career choice.  For a person who aspires to write considers a first publication to be a huge milestone.  An actor surely considers the first paying role to be a milestone.  An architect having their design become a finished product whether a home, building or bridge would seem to be a milestone in their career.  Wonder what a teacher has as milestones?  Would it be tenure or reaching a certain student?
My life milestones mostly centered around relationships and not career.  Grow up, get married and have babies.  Travel after retirement.  I was well into my forties before it occurred to me to set a goal professionally.  So the bar had to be pretty minimal to be achievable.  I made it to one of the goals.  Tried on a different career and that was not a good fit.  So I hung up on work goals and just retired at a ripe old 59 1/2 years old.  Do not miss working outside the home not even one little bit.


Four weeks ago today I had my right knee totally replaced.  The hospital physical therapist asked me the next day what kind of goal I had for myself after the surgery.  Say what?  I was a little dumbfounded.  In my limited mind I had only thought, "Get rid of the pain, get rid of the pain, walking without pain."  So I basically said to walk pain free.  Not what she wanted to hear because she asked for another goal.  Fine, I want to be able to walk a mile and still be able to walk the next day, pain free.

blog.taigacompany.com   
The home bound physical therapist came here to my home 3 weeks ago today.  She told me the goal for flex is 100 degrees with extension of -5 degrees.  Flex was at 98 degrees last Thursday and extension -4 degrees.  Today I walked over 5280 feet here in my house.  I walked a mile.  Not all at once and I did use a cane.  Pain level is negligible.  Well, guess you could say I reached my milestone.  
  


Monday, March 19, 2012

Spring Break

It has been a long time since I was in any kind of school setting where spring break had an influence on my life.  Actually we did not have spring break back in the old days.  In our narrow vision of the world we had no school on Good Friday nor the Monday after Easter.  We, also, did not have teacher training days.  We did get free polio vaccinations.

JR returns from his first Florida
visit with the Houn Dawg Band
January, 1987
Our son left for college in 1991 so even his spring breaks had less of an impact on our life than when he was at home. His second year in college he used our time share and took friends to Florida.  They watched major league baseball teams in spring training.  I still believe that is what they did because it was a dream of his and his roommate to go see spring training.  Yes, I am a mom that has an almost perfect son.  But I digress.

With our blessings, three nineteen and one twenty one year old start a road trip from Ft. Worth, TX, to Pensacola, FL.  Two are in JR's pickup, two in the nice Camero or some sort of sporty car.  No problem.  Our son had shown his ability to function as a responsible adult or at least we were confident in him.  After all, the only thing that would probably happen on the road was rain.  Wrong.  This was the year the south received a freak snow storm in March.  Ten inches in Georgia and Mississippi.

We saw the weather problems on the Weather Channel.  We were anxious.  This was spring of 1993.  Cell phones were not handed out like dime store candy as we do now so no immediate text or call.  JR told us later they had the opportunity to pull the 21 year old's car out of a ditch a time or two.  Our son's response was, "He grew up in St. Louis.  I thought he should know how to drive in snow as good as me!"


Still a huge sports fan!  Go Frogs!!!
There are a few phone calls all parents fear.  Ours was that night at around midnight.  The other end of the line is our one and only precious child saying, "No one is injured."  Okay, that is really good news.  The person delivering this message never gives the facts fast enough, sort of slow motion speech.  Anyway, his truck was in line at an intersection at a stop light obeying all laws.  Unfortunately, someone behind him failed to follow the rules and there was a chain reaction traffic accident.  Not much damage to his red pickup except dents in bumpers.  Others were not quite so fortunate with smashed trunks and front ends.  Humph, that brought new meaning to the term Spring Break.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Now What Do You Say?

Me, 1949 or 1950
How many times as a child did your mother or father remind you to say any one of expected responses?  Pretty often for me and the culture in which I was raised.  Growing up in Texas had a whole host of things to which certain responses were required.  If you received a gift, a compliment or even a hug sometimes you had best remember to say, "Thank You".  Whether you really wanted to or not.

One story my mom recently related involved my Easter outfit.  The tradition in the farming community was an Easter sunrise service and then later the full dress worship service.  Full dress in the late 40's and early 50's was new hat, gloves, purse, dress, underclothing, socks & shoes. So at the breakfast table on this particular Easter morning Momma had me at the ripe age of 3 or so give thanks.  I was still sleepy and according to Momma, gave a very short prayer.  After the amen, Mom chided me that I had not thanked God for my new stuff.  My retort, "God did not give it to me, Aunt Opal did."

Today I saw a post on Facebook where a young boy about 2 or so was dipping cookies in his milk.  The training had been done by his Papa.  I had to smile as I remembered the things my dad had taught to his four daughters and later our children.  My Daddy even allowed his instructions to influence neighborhood children.

For some reason the thing to do in the part of Texas I lived in as a child was to give little children a nickle or dime.  Of course the mom or dad would remind the child with the familiar phrase, "Now what do you say?"  Thank you was the programmed response.  Well, Daddy put a new twist on this with the youngest boys of the Littrell family.

Daddy
Daddy had a repair shop in the old gin building in Chambersville,  The Littrell family lived directly across the crushed white rock road.  Gary and Allen would wander over to Daddy's shop just to visit and see what was happening.  Daddy would give each of the boys a coin.  Then he taught them what to say, "Gimme me some more."  Not even a please following the request and certainly not the expected "Thank you."

It did not take very many days before Leta Mae, Gary and Allen's mom, shows up at Daddy's shop.  She was not pleased.  While at Trab's store up the road a ways, the boys had responded improperly to one of the men when given a couple of coins.  The store was full of the local farmers stopping in for a coke (any carbonated beverage) when the boys said, "Gimme some more".  She was mortified!!!!  Who taught you that!  The boys gave up Daddy pretty quickly.

Suzie & Royce Littrell at Ranger game
Yes, that is still a story that circulates within both families.  My sister, Suzie, married the older brother of Gary and Allen.  And it always brings a smile to the faces of the people hearing the story.  Just sort of simple and not harmful.

Daddy giving etiquette lessons to my child
Daddy had a whole bunch of stuff he liked to do to children.  He picked at kids till his mind began playing tricks on him.  He loved teaching kids to drink buttermilk.  He always called our bottoms bohunkus, a word that can be found in an online urban dictionary.  He would call a girl, boy, and vise versa.  That never failed to elicit an immediate response of, "No, I'm not a boy(girl)" even from shy children.

Unsuspecting children would be told  by Daddy that they were covered with garments.  That could bring responses from children trying to find the garment to squealing for someone to get it off me!  As a grandma myself now it is really fun to pull these simple teases on our grandsons.  And I invite you to join the fun of children.  Tell some child they have garments all over them.  Or hand them a nickle or dime for no reason.  Will you be tempted to teach a different response to, "Now what do you say?"

Stitches of Love

Momma & Sissy
The following bit of prose is something I wrote a few years back.  It is to honor my mother, a master seamstress.  Momma made clothes for four daughters, three granddaughters and their dolls.  Even the 7 grandsons had shirts, shorts, jackets and pjs from Granny Mary's gifted hands and machine.  The prose was inspired when my younger sister found doll clothes in Mom's hot, dusty attic one August day in Texas.

Me & doll
Stitches of Love
by Janice Adcock

The picture of a child holding her doll so near.
The dress made by the child's mom, still young, so dear.
The doll was maybe the child's very "first born" 
Or her closest, best friend that she would dress and adorn.

With means limited by a farmer's meager income,
Momma Stitched togs from scraps, lovingly homespun.
No matter to the child as she squealed with delight
When she saw the clothes by Christmas' morns' first light.

Now the child with her youth and dolls all long gone,
Cleans out the attic where her "first babe" was "born".
And there in a box amid the dust and the heat,
The grown child finds a treasure so rare, so sweet.

First the veil, then the slip, a blouse and a shoe.
There are ginghams and formals for her & her sister's dolls, too.
No matter the fabrics are stained, fragile and worn,
The woman's heart soars as on that Christmas morn.

The joy is neither that of a child at play, 
Nor long forgotten clothes seeing the light of day.
The Joy is a true blessing from God above,
To once again see her Momma's Stitches of Love.

Written April, 2007

One of the items was a dress that was on the last doll I received from Santa, a V-18 Revlon doll.  I spent the next months on ebay bidding on original underwear, replacement stockings and shoes.  I washed and cleaned Elizabeth Suzanne's hair and body.  Now she sits in John Roger's little rocking chair in our living room.  I still look for the "right" Toni doll on ebay in order to dress her in one of the items found in the attic.


My wedding.  Mom made all the bridesmaids & flower girl's dresses.
My four nephews jackets were made by Mom.
May each person who reads this have the joy that my sister and I shared as we went through the box of long, lost doll clothing.  The majority of the pieces Sissy found in that hot attic were things our mother had made for our different dolls.  Quite an emotion fill time to sit and touch the things of childhood that we had assumed were lost.  To literally touch stitches that were over fifty years old.  Stitches made in the wee hours of the morning while Sissy and I slept.  To once again with the appreciation of an adult child to see Momma's Stitches of Love.

Friday, March 16, 2012

March Madness

7 th grade
When our son was still in junior high and high school this time of year there was pretty much nothing but nets on the TV.  There would be sheets of paper with all the brackets printed on them.  John Roger would add the names of the teams as they advanced or fell off the sheet.

cavshistory.com 
I could name members of different colleges and some pro teams.  I even had a favorite college player, Danny Ferry of the Duke Blue Devils.  A few years later while on a business trip I attended a professional ball game courtesy of the Litton sales department.  And there was Ferry working up a sweat and looking good!


sports.espn.go.com
photo from wikipedia.com
John Roger's bedroom walls and ceiling were covered with posters of hard rock bands and sports icons.  Of course Michael Jordan was on the wall or ceiling.  Dallas Cowboy posters supplied by my family held places of honor.  Bo Jackson graced another wall along with his book on the shelf.  And there were the cheesecake posters as JR's age increased his interest range.  This was all mixed with the left over Star Wars of John Roger's elementary school years.

Good times to remember.  Times when me and my man child are able to share good experiences.  Unfortunately, I was not as calm and even tempered as I should have been as a parent.  Too dominating, too emotional, too much of a lot of things.  So now I simply take a deep breath and pray that God has healed the scars I left on my beloved son.  But that is in the past.

It is so easy for us humans to get stuck in the quicksand of the past.  Past mistakes.  Past failures.  Past bad judgments.  Past missed opportunities.  I have been guilty at times of being the person facing backwards as life moved along.  Looking back at what I did wrong, what I missed, whose fault it was, just a bunch of quicksand pits.  And each pit sucked a little more of the present from me causing me to make more of the same pit falls.

In 2002 thanks to good doctors and good insurance, I attended a month long chronic pain therapy class.  The classes were 4 days a week, 8 hours a day and quite demanding.  After completion of the month long class I continued individual therapy for PTSD.  In November of that same year, I was freed of my demons of regret.  Now that does not mean I have everything together.  No, I am still human and have lots of all sorts of negative stuff.  The past no longer dominates my life.  I feel like I have advanced to almost the top bracket.

In 2012 I could not name one basketball player, not even one college team in the playoffs.  Who is the top professional basketball player now?  Without the influence of a young man obsessed with sports living under my roof, none of this seems important any more.  Today John Roger, now the dad of our grandsons, swapped text messages with us about spring break activities with his sons.  A warm feeling settles over me as I think of him and those 3 newest sports fanatics talking about the ball games.  Dad and sons just sharing a little March Madness.