Not Merely Idle Speculation

The only thing that changed more than the weather, was the way people changed their minds

Fair-weather walkers, joggers, vowed not to return till next spring.

Wild kingdom: A baby raccoon appeared outside the front window of the YMCA one morning. He ran back-and-forth in the shrubbery, desperate to escape from staff members.

Do you recall being distracted by birds, animals outside public school classroom windows? I confess, to being easily distracted.

My two dogs and myself nearly stepped on a large water moccasin, early one morning. It was still dark and the temperature was in the low 40’s.

It seemed to me, growing up in a rural farming community, that form always took a back seat to function when it came to home repairs–especially external ones.

Have you experienced the sensation while waiting for a train, at night, that your car was moving forward, or sideways? You’re temporarily hypnotized–foot firmly planted on the brake pedal. Or when driving late at night, the sensation, that the road disappeared over the next hill?

Scientific terminology for these sensations escapes me at the moment. I attributed these things to driving while fatigued.

A Night To Forget

Thanks FB for bringing it up.  This night three years ago, was one I’d as soon forget.  Stayed up all night bailing water to prevent flooding in the rest of the house.

It rained nearly 24 inches in eighteen hours.  “Please God, make it stop,” was said frequently, as the lightning, thunder, and rain pounded unabated.

Things went downhill considerably after this picture was taken.  Before the night was over, the entire backyard was underwater.  Water lapped against the outside glass doors of our enclosed sun porch.  Water was fifteen feet from the front door.

Brand new recliners and smaller furniture were hastily moved to dry ground.  “I wasn’t going to have my new recliners ruined–no matter what it took.” A sofa-bed was propped up on stainless steel kitchen bowls turned upside-down.

Just before dawn, the rain let up.  Water that had been three inches deep, was mopped up and the drying out process underway.




A construction truck loaded with gravel, piloted by Fred, with Al riding shotgun, growled around two uphill “S” curves that led into suburban Prestwick Hills.

“Remember the first time you tried skipping stones?” Al said out of the blue.

“What brought this on?” Fred, answered his question with a question.

It would be a good day if civilians stayed out of their way.  That was the only thing civilians were good for–getting in the way.  That and not being very smart.

Civilians were surprised when items were stolen from their unlocked cars.

They planted trees, shrubbery in utility right-of-ways.

They were surprised when unleashed pets disappeared from unfenced backyards.

Old retired people and young kids hung around—asked too many questions.

Highly polished, telescopic, hydraulic cylinders raised the truck’s dump bed.  Fred advanced the truck slowly to spread the gravel.  A skip loader redistributed the rest.  The dump bed lowered with a hiss, and thump.

Fred and Al caught up paperwork under a nearby maple tree, followed by a short break.

Boom!! Chunks of dirt flew, sparks and acrid black smoke ran along a nearby chain link fence.  Decorative fence caps launched into the air.  The old man gawking from Lot #17, looked a little sheepish.

Locating buried utility lines wasn’t an exact science.  The bulldozer operator severed a buried electric feeder cable.  Visibly shaken, but unharmed, he stayed with his machine, until the power company arrived on scene.

If any work got done after this, it would be a miracle.  Small miracles happened every day.


Ten RV Things That Drove Me Bonkers (Plus 2 More)

This happened thirteen years ago.  Memories are still fresh.  Living permanently in an RV was far different from vacationing in one.  Fleeing a major hurricane, towing one’s home was the highlight.  Witnessing hurricane destruction, upon returning, was the low light.  A list, slightly revised, of RV living annoyances.


  1. The unfortunate mouse and the fan
  2. Awnings, storms, fun with the wind
  3. Propane gas fails–before breakfast, before dawn
  4. Mud daubers, rains, rumbles on the roof
  5. Evil overloads–snap, snap, snap went the breakers
  6. Blinding sunrises, through bedroom windows, in my eyes
  7. Afraid of the dark neighbors, with searchlight night lights
  8. Couldn’t sleep, thin walls knew no secrets
  9. Winter winds, frozen hoses, cold noses–baby it’s cold inside
  10. I felt the earth move–with every step you took
  11. Hurricane repair, contractor neighbors, partied from dusk till dawn
  12. Evacuation gridlock stretched for miles and miles before we slept

Where Is West Point?

Morning fog curtain has yet to lift–revealing the final tragic scene of a three-state manhunt.  If you drive a late-model Kia, chances are it was manufactured at the nearby assembly plant.

A West Point, GA motel is where fugitive, Billy Boyette and his girlfriend’s murderous, seven-day crime spree came to an end.  But not before the lives of four women ended at his hands.

Two of the victims were murdered, just for their cars.  One victim from a nearby town, murdered, while working in her front lawn.  I’m sure the victims would have gladly traded car keys for their lives.  They weren’t given the chance.

Were it not for observant locals, Boyette could still be on the run.  The white Chevy Cobalt, stolen from the fourth victim parked outside the motel, gave him away.  Boyette vowed to not be taken alive.

The standoff lasted most of the day, Tuesday during fierce thunderstorms and rain.   Investigators are still on the scene.  Boyette was his own judge and jury; took his own life as law enforcement threatened to break down the motel room door.

Monday, the rumors flew.  Where were the two fugitives hiding?  Nobody felt safe.  His girlfriend–I’ll not mention her name, because her part in this murderous crime spree will have to be proven in court.  Boyette’s gone, his cold-hearted actions deserve no sympathy.

Pretty Good For a Monday

How am I?  Pretty good for a Monday morning.

Eleven years ago, today, I was wide awake, getting ready for work.  The wind outside made the most awful howl.

Before my first cup of coffee, the power went off.

Hurricane Katrina arrived–earlier than expected.  The wind blew all day.  Trees bent, limbs, sticks, and trash blew across front lawns.  There wasn’t much rain.

My boss called, “Don’t come in to work today.  We won’t be open.”  Who would be foolish enough to be out on a day like this, I thought.

Reports, from New Orleans, and Mississippi were unbelievable.  Katrina split the difference, made landfall on the Mississippi, Louisiana state line.

So, considering what happened eleven years ago–I’m pretty good for a Monday.


ER Madness

Yesterday, took a surprising twist.  My spouse was having symptoms of a possible heart attack.  She’d been not feeling well since the previous Sunday.

Because of the nature of her complaint,  she was immediately whisked in for analysis.  I was the bystander, while she got poked and prodded.

Five hours later, good news.  No heart problems were found.  That made up for the monotony of monitors that beeped and chirped–and waiting, yes, lots of waiting.

I was amazed at how much was done by computerization.  A far cry from the days of physically taking temps, blood pressure, checking pulses.

When I worked in the ER, things were done in old school ways.  Darkrooms for developing X-Ray film; electro-magnetic paste applied strategically to patient chests for ECG’s.  There’s no way I’d want to go back to that.

A visit to the cardiologist today, and hopefully things will continue to go well.  Wish us luck!