Thursday, September 14, 2017

Arkansas 2017

The annual trip to Bella Vista was with heavy hearts. Our good friend, Bill was not there. Moreover, Derek could only attend the first day, Phillip arrived 3 days late and Brent had to leave early. It was very disjointed.  The only group photo included a photobomb giraffe standing tall for Derek.
Luckily, we had fantastic weather. 
The crazy ones played 162 holes of golf over four and half days. Nile made the best meal of the year and the Geezers prevailed over the Pups, twice. It was good, just hollow. We missed you, Bill.
 We always will.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

George turns 4, Eclipse, California trip and Anniversary

Like wow ... August is over.  It was a blur. Since this blog has evolved into my personal journal, here are some of the events that shaped August.

George had two birthday parties. One was here. 

The other was a Super Hero birthday in Menlo Park. 
We were lucky to attend both. 

We also got to accompany Samantha and Jake on their 7th Wedding Anniversary.
More later.

Monday, August 07, 2017

Golf IS a dangerous sport

While waiting to tee off on the 17th tee yesterday, my good friend Phillip was struck in the head by an errant golf ball hit from the 12th tee. (Top of photo below.) The tee shot was waaaaaay to the right of the golfer's target - which is the green in the extreme lower right corner of the photo below.
Phillip, standing at the 588 foot spot, was knocked over from the impact. Although he never lost consciousness, his head bled profusely. I took him to the Emergency Room where they used 5 giant staples to close the wound.
As it ends up, golf IS a dangerous sport.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Bill dies

Apparently fighting demons that were totally unknown to me, my good friend Bill Reppart died on Sunday, July 23, 2017. I met Bill in law school ... we became friends almost instantly. 
Bill is in the middle, the one wearing his mortar board.

Over the past 25 years, we have shared life experiences, stories, heartaches and tons of laughter. I will miss him dearly. He is survived by his children, grandchildren and his loving wife, Lorrie.


Hug your family and friends. It might be your last chance.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

July 4th

This year we had the quietest 4th of July ever. From our bedroom window, we watched the Potwin Parade gather at 3rd and Greenwood.
Soon busted by former neighbor Tom (photo above is zoomed here to show Tom - the bald dude shaking hands) who spotted us and called just to pester us.
That caused me to join the gathering gang, snap a few photos
and invite Tom in for a nice visit. Later, I ventured out to take Dad to Mother's grave 
and to buy a 100 pack of TNT SUPER FIRECRACKERS
that we lit ... as if we were teenagers.

Otherwise, we did NOTHING. The evening fireworks barrage was loud and long. It was a nice lazy 4th but we sure missed the California gang.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

June stuff

The month of June has whizzed by with a blur.  Before it is completely gone, I want to take a moment and reflect on some of the fun things that happened. So, in loose chronological order ...

Jamie and Tony came from Denver for a 3-day visit. 
It was the first time we'd seen them since their wedding in November. We played three rounds of golf (Creekmoor, Swope Park - where Tony got to "checkmark" Missouri - and Firekeeper), attended the downtown food truck festival and took a quickie run through the newly renovated Capitol Building - where Helen demonstrated the proper way to view the rotunda.
We also took them to Germanfest 2017, the Mulvane Art Festival at Washburn and the Norseman Brewing Company in NOTO.
It was a blast to see them. We hope they come back soon.

In other news, we went to Breton's wedding,

I took Dad to Bobo's Drive-In, Crow Mountain Farm and the Casino over the Father's Day weekend,
I got a sexy tattoo,
and enjoyed, thanks to Mitch, a super lush green yard.
 Somehow, I even survived an entire day on the brink of total chaos.
June was good.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

June 13th

Today would have been my mother's 92nd birthday. It inspired me to joyfully (and painfully) scroll through hundreds of pictures of her, looking for just the right one to post here. Here it is:
It is from her 85th birthday party with a scratch made coconut cake lovingly created by her sister, Nancy. To me, this picture tells the story of Ruth Crow. Fun. Eager. Elegant. Poised. All of this despite being 3 years into her Alzheimer diagnosis. Amazing. 

Sam came to town to help us celebrate her life.
Smiles to you, Mother.

Monday, May 08, 2017

Helen turns 65 years old

Surrounded by several life-long friends, Helen celebrated her 65th birthday yesterday. This group of ladies has been meeting on a monthly basis for many years. They call themselves the Menopausal Mommas. (I would opine that a more appropriate name would be "Post" Menopausal Mommas.) Many of them date back to grade school. Others from Junior High or High School. All of them are special.
For her 65th birthday, Helen decided to include the guys.
While I am not declaring this addition was an improvement, it was a great opportunity to welcome Helen to the ranks of Senior Citizen.

Happy 65th Birthday, Helen.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Goodbye Treehouse

After years of snow, hail, rain, wind and heat, it was time to remove the rope hammock treehouse that was built by Samantha and me almost 23 years ago.

Before building it, we spent hours researching various rope characteristics such as breaking strength, work load and tensile strength. We evaluated whether to use twisted or braided rope. Rope material was considered as well. In the end, we opted for a professional duty nylon twisted rope for the frame with tensile strength measuring in the thousands of pounds. The hammock was of equal quality rope but with a smaller diameter so that knots would tie and hold solidly. It took us several weeks, hundreds of feet of rope and a gazillion knots. When finished, we had a treehouse that stood 18 feet above the ground with a spacious hammock floor surrounded by 3 foot high walls. It offered a bird's eye view of our backyard.
 
Samantha and friends spent hours enjoying the gentle sway provided by sweet summer breezes. Neighborhood kids enjoyed it long after Samantha left for college. 
Now, due in part to squirrel damage, it was time to remove it. Most of it was still in great shape.
The once pure white rope had camouflaged itself with the tree. Over the years, the tree consumed the eyebolt connectors and swallowed parts of the rope.
Cutting it out was hard - both physically and emotionally. 

Goodbye, hammock treehouse. Thanks for being such a fun part of Samantha's childhood.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Samantha comes to hug her Oma

Samantha came to town for a couple days this week to hug her Oma.
Yes, Ruth Gardner is now on Hospice care. Highly religious, she has been asking God to take her for several years. Her prayers are slowly being answered.