I had a nightmare last night I want to share with all of you. In this bad dream Elena and I moved to some undisclosed location in Texas. We were on the second story of an apartment building. All of a sudden the Texas Department of Criminal Justice decided to relocate its execution chamber. They moved it from the Walls Unit in Huntsville to the apartment on the other side of our apartment. There were all sorts of men in hazardous materials suits spraying chemicals everywhere; especially on our dogs. The first inmate to be executed was brought up hanging upside down and covered in a plastic bag. He already looked dead. Elena and I were helpless to stop this invasion of our home. I awakened and was relieved to be here in Pacifica and far from these sorts of activities.
Tomorrow is Memorial Day here in the USA. We honor and remember the sacrifices of the brave men and women who fought for our country. I want to take a moment to remember some dear friends who suffered and died fighting in Vietnam as follows:
1) Michael “Terry” Irby
2) John Wright
3) Larry Joe White
4) Ronald Athenasiou
Also wounded in Vietnam was my dear friend Gunnery Sergeant Michael Harris. He literally got his nose blown off when a mortar shell exploded. His fellow Marines found his nose and put it on his stretcher. Very good US Navy doctors saved Michael’s life and reattached his nose. He survived Vietnam but died in 2005 at a relatively young age. (I suspect that his war injuries shortened his life.)
Also if you came to our house and went into the study, you would find a Purple Heart certificate hanging right below my college diploma.I was also one of the wounded from Vietnam.
My final words to all politicians with the power to start wars-think long and hard before you take such an action!!!
Yesterday was a wild day. I saw a dear friend of 10 years get a huge front page article in the Pacifica Tribune concerning his house. I next got curious about what a room in a house rented for here in the Bay area. I went to Craigslist. Even in less desirable areas like Richmond it’s $950 per month. Around Pacifica it appears that $1,000+ per month is accurate. (It’s astounding!) Later in the morning I went to the pool for my 1.5 hour workout. I saw a huge pick up truck in the parking lot. I felt very happy indeed. I went in and got dressed out. I was delighted to see my dear friend Bruce in the pool. He had been absent for several weeks after some very serious open heart surgery. He was happy and looked well. As Clint would say: “It made my day!” After my pool workout I came home. A pick-up truck was in front of the house and one garage door was open. A and H Door and Access was in doing some serious maintenance on my garage doors and the openers. All of the problems with the doors were fixed.
I lived in South Africa for six years. There was an old folk saying there that said more or less:
“The quickest way to a divorce is a house remodel.”
From 2011 until today I have been involved with remodeling this house. I have been blessed to have a great team working with me. One dear contractor died in a motorcycle accident while working on this project. Still a house remodel is absolute hell on earth. Your house is disrupted. There are all sorts of loud noises and bad fumes. One does not simply hire good people and watch them work. One has to be constantly interacting with them. One has to watch every detail. After all , the workers cannot read your mind. There are huge financial consequences to a mistake in building or hiring the wrong person.
There was a hard day of work finishing the latest change to the house-the installation of a sliding door between the master bedroom and the living room. I was physically and mentally exhausted afterwards.
I would not wish this on my worst enemy. Oh ,and getting back to the South African folk saying, Elena and I are still happily married. Her vision and determination to bring this 73 year old house back to life made all of the difference.
You are correct except it was Czechoslovakia 1939. In the minds of what we call “neo cons” or the right wingers who gave us Iraq and are pushing for US military action in Iran, Syria, North Korea, and Ukraine. (Natalia the US is broke and deeply in debt. Our roads and cities are falling apart. We have no money for another war.) Right now millions of Russian people on Facebook need to be talking with millions of people in the US and Europe so that we can understand each other better and avoid a confrontation, bad feelings or needless loss of life in a military confrontation. Facebook is magic! If we had had it in the 1930’s and 1940’s Hitler and Stalin would have been much more careful about what they did.
“Mom, You have Searched Me and Know Me
12: Even the darkness is not dark to You, And the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You. 13 For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. 14 I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.…~ Psalm 139:12-14 “
Elena and I always have a lively discussion on what is the worst shock to one’s system. She was an oncologist or cancer doctor for many years. She often had to give patients the shocking news that they had terminal cancer and a finite time left on earth.
Elena believes this is the worst shock that a person can get. Common sense would say that she is right.I’m blessed to have very good genes and probably will die of natural cause at some advanced age. Let us assume that I was given the news by my doctor that I had a terminal illness and only a few months to live. Of course it would be bad news. But I would look at it as if I had lost the lottery and became one of the relatively few people to die from cancer or something like that. I would accept the news with resignation, try to spend the remainder of time I had in comfort, and give love to those close to me.
In my 65.5 years on earth I have suffered shocks like being wounded in time of war, a divorce, literally losing every penny of money I had on earth, getting arrested, getting severely injured, etc. What I have found is that the worst shock to one’s system is to have little or no money and to all of a sudden (perhaps overnight) have a lot of money. Some years ago the television series Numbers did a show on people who win millions of dollars in lotteries. They did not end up living happily ever after. A lot of them ended up dead broke and in tragic situations. People literally go crazy when they get large sums of money in their hands. They irrationally spend money. They dump long-time domestic partners. They lavish money on friends. They become victims to fraud artists and Ponzi schemes.
I know of two super-rich men who had the right idea of what to do when they got a lot of money. Both of these men died of old age in a peaceful manner.B.J. Pevehouse was one of these people. He was a wealthy oil man in Midland, Texas. Anton Rupert was the other man. Before he died he was the wealthiest man in South Africa. Both of these men treated all of the money that came to them as “just a bunch of zeros on a piece of paper.” They continued to live in the same house they had owned for years. They drove modest cars. The dressed the same.They bought few luxury items. Both of these men invested their money wisely and made a lot of money for themselves and many others. They also contributed a lot of money to worthy charities.
OK I will share a secret with you. Elena loves to play solitary on the computer for mental diversion. My mental diversion is to work with the Facebook section where you remember all of the movies. TV shows, books, and music that touched your life and influenced you. It forces me to go through my memory and evaluate my life.
Yesterday afternoon Elena made Margaritas.She came up to the deck. We enjoyed our drinks and looked out at the panorama around our deck including the Pacific Ocean. We reflected on all the hardships and awful sacrifices that we had made together. It was one of those happy and special moments in life.