Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Slummin !

Today we went "slummin." Around here that means driving the '95 Ranger, instead of the 2012 Honda Pilot!
Nothing better than driving up to a nice restaurant with the lot full of  $40 to 70K  really nice cars, and pulling the old Ranger right close to the front door of the place and going in. We always dress appropriately, but the looks you get are worth the trip. Just the reverse is true at Wal*Mart, the dirty old truck fits right in with the rest of the folks there, far as that goes, so do we!
There is something to be said for having an old pick up truck. Last week, we needed all new mulch for the flower beds in the front yard. I would have had second thoughts about loading a new F-150 with all of that black mulch. That stuff is like a printer cartridge exploded in a wood chipper, but the old Ranger just took it in stride, no harm done!
Her crowning glory happened some years back when she pulled a brand new Chevy pick up out of a mud hole at deer camp. Some how Ford screwed up when they made mine and put a locking rear end in it, so both rear wheels pull together. My friend in the Chevy doubted that I could do it and still tells the story today. I was so proud of the old truck I actually washed it when I got back home!!
On our trip today to Lowes to pick up some items, I realized that the Ranger is starting to age (like me.)
Some of the systems are getting a little weird (like me,) so I know there will come a time soon, that a trip to the mechanic will be in order.
Strange how we get attached to a vehicle that has served us well. Last week the wife mentioned that since we drive it very little, we might think about getting rid of the Ranger. Talk about a knife to the heart!! My old truck, Naw, I just couldn't!! No more slummin' or trips to the dump. Quick thinking was called for here, so I asked her if she would feel comfortable taking the new Pilot on one of our fishing trips to Old Hickory Lake? Whew! That was close, so a reprieve was granted!
Ford is no longer making the Ranger starting late this year. It has been a great truck and given me 96,000 trouble free miles. Maybe Ford made them too well, who knows!!
Now, I need to find a five star restaurant with valet parking, a slummin' we will go!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day Comment

Memorial Day is a day that always brings back a lot of sad memories. I rarely reflect on my forty four years of being a funeral director, but this day, things just flash back, that you thought you had  pushed back into the recesses of your mind.
All  military services for our young folks killed in action were difficult, especially the widows left behind with small children who no longer had a father. I knew how in years to come there would always be that empty spot. Just a few pictures, a few service medals, perhaps an old uniform, and the fear that asking your mother about him, would still bring her to tears. I also knew how they would feel when there was no father to give them a word of praise for something they had accomplished in their future, or for that matter, just a dad to be with when you needed to talk.
The reason I say, I knew what the road ahead for those kids would be like is, I lost my father in WWII.
A B-24 co-pilot, whose plane crashed on take off in India, in May of 1945.
There is one Nam era funeral service that stands out in my mind. It was for an Army helicopter pilot who had been killed during a rescue mission. The family requested no military service, only the flag to be placed on the military issue grey casket. The family had a long visitation at the funeral home, so all of us got to know them fairly well during that time. There were two children, a boy of nine, and a girl seven. The wife told us that the kids were especially close to their father and they were dealing with his death the best they knew how. The day of the funeral we were concerned for them and wanted everything to  go smoothly. Which it did. When we arrived at the cemetery and everything was in place the minister had his service, and it was time for us to fold the flag, and present it to the family. The wife had previously told me, that I was to present the flag to his son. At this point the little guy had been pretty dry eyed, and we were wondering if he was trying to be brave for his mother and sister and holding it all internally. So I bent down on one knee, and said the words we were supposed to use. On behalf of a grateful nation, ect., and gently handed the perfect triangle
of  our flag to him. He jumped up and gave me a bear hug around the neck and just bawled his eyes out. At that point there wasn't a dry eye in the crowd, mine included,  I knew far too well how much he would miss his father.
Mine is buried in the Punchbowl National Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawaii. I am grateful to the person who put a flag on his grave today and the other activities to be held in the cemetery to honor our service people buried there.
We should continue to be proud of our veterans, and those people serving in the military today. They deserve more thanks than we give them.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Runnin Down the Highway

"Two Weeks on the Road, and I'm Gonna Make it Home Tonight!" Now I know how the song writer felt. We arrived home a few nights ago after being gone for two weeks, attending to some family needs in western Kentucky. "The Ridge" looked mighty good turning into the driveway.
The new Honda Pilot did an excellent job for us, and I think it's the best Honda we have owned so far.
This one is number three. Now, the wife with her bad knees can get in and out of it easily. Such was not the case with the previous Accord and it's low profile. Now it has finally hit me, why geezers drive big old comfortable cars!
Being gone for a few weeks always means plenty to do upon returning. Bills, wash and provisions must be taken care of right away. The rest can wait a few days.
Where we were there was very little internet exposure, so I have been catching up on all of your blogs and working my way through e mail. You sure do feel cut off with out the net, but to some people it's a total mystery, especially where we have been in the strip mine area of Kentucky.
Now back to being retired, there is a garden to plant and fish to catch in Old Hickory Lake, and always grass to mow.