Monday, June 30, 2008

FATHER'S CENTURY BIRTHDAY - JUNE 30, 1908 - JULY 19, 1998

My father, Alfred (Al) was born on June 30, 1908, in Tupelo, OK, seven months after Oklahoma became a state on November 16, 1907. Had he lived, he would have been 100 years old today. It is inconceivable to think of him as a 100 year old man.

Dad was the eldest son of eleven children, eight daughters and three sons born to Ben and Sarah. They also raised two grandchildren after their daughter died. Soon after my father was born, the family moved to Stonewall, OK where a few of my father's siblings chose to remain, marry, raise their families and die. Other siblings chose to move to bigger cities where jobs were available, and my father was one of those who chose to leave. He is pictured here with his father.

After marriage to my mother, Esther, on December 6, 1929, who lived in a nearby community, my father and mother moved to Oklahoma City.
They lived and raised their three children, Howard, myself (Peggy), and Janice in Oklahoma City.

He was a hard-working man, and achieved a lot in his lifetime for not having graduated from high school or college, having finished the 7th grade. He always worked in the trucking business, first as a dock hand, a driver, a dock foreman, and retiring as a sales manager for Western Gillette Trucking Company.

Dad served his country in the 324th Army Air Forces Base Unit and became a civilian again on April 8, 1946.















My parents resided in Oklahoma City most of their adulthood, but moved to Edmond for a few years before my dad retired. After his retirement, my parents chose to move back to their roots in Stonewall. He became a master tomato grower and took great pride in his garden, spending all his free time cultivating the biggest and juiciest tomatoes in Stonewall.





















His only son, Howard, preceded him in death on May 12, 1997. He lived to see his five grandchildren born (Keith, Debbie, Scott, Darlene, and Sara), and three of his four great-grandchildren born (Ryan, Rayna, and Brittanee). The fourth great-grandchild (Steffanee) was born after his death.

After my mother's death in 1981, my father lived alone until he chose to enter the Sulphur Veterans Center to live out the remainder of his life. He reached his 90th birthday, one of his goals in life, and shortly after, became ill and was transferred by ambulance to the Oklahoma City Veterans Center, where he died on July 19, 1998.


Dad at "twenty something."






Today we wish to honor the memory of our father, the patriarch of our extended family, on what would have been his "Century" birthday.

Friday, June 27, 2008

A MUCH NEEDED RAINY FRIDAY MORNING

What a wonderful rain we are having here in Oklahoma City. Our burmuda grasses are already starting to turn brown from the high temperatures we are experiencing. The weather forecast is 20% chance of rain and 96 degrees. It will probably be hot and humid once the rain ceases. The weather is unpredictable here in Oklahoma. Most of us who were born and reared here, are now acclimated to the varying weather changes. The wind is always coming sweeping down the plain, just as the words say in the song OKLAHOMA. We take pride whenever we hear that song. I love the beautiful music that Rogers and Hammerstein wrote about our wonderful state. I guess my favorites are "Oh What a Beautiful Morning", "The Surrey With the Fringe On Top", "People Will Say We're In Love", and "Oklahoma". This morning I feel like singing "Oh What a Beautiful Morning".

On Thursday I had another enjoyable day volunteering at the Oklahoma 45th Infantry Division Museum. I didn't get to greet too many of the visitors to the museum because I was needed in the gift shop. The gift shop has only items for sale that reflect the 45th Infantry. I did talk to a family in the gift shop from Pennsylvania. What a delightful family!! There were cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews in their group. They are descendants of the "Five Civilized Tribes of Oklahoma". What a wonderful heritage they share. They bought many items to take to other members of their family. There was also a group of 9-10 year old children on an outing and it seems as though they each had $20.00 to spend. You know how children are. Each child studied every item displayed, and several changed their minds three or four times before settling on a gift for their mom. Others bought toy tanks, airplanes, and soldiers. They weren't going home without spending their money!! I enjoy working with all the volunteers. They are very nice, and I am in awe of all of them. I love their personal stories. They must have made many sacrifices to protect our country. I like working so much at the museum that I should pay them for allowing me to work there.

Last evening my son and fiancee and I went out for dinner. We had never eaten at the San Marcos Mexican Restaurant. We enjoyed our dinners immensely, even had a margarita. The restaurant is owned and operated by a family member of my grandson's good friend, Ruben. We talked to the owner about the boys' friendship and their love of the soccer game. Ruben attends Oklahoma State University and Ryan is in Sterling College in Kansas. Every chance they get when both are back in Oklahoma City, they get together and find a soccer game to participate in.

Last night I had several telephone calls and instant messages from friends. I even heard from a friend that I had attended the Doobie Brothers concert with. What would our lives be like without friendship?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

SECOND DAY OF SUMMER

Summer is here!!! It is 92 degrees and it is only the second day of summer. What does the global warming have in store for us?

I have enjoyed a week of activities with family and friends. I continue to be passionate about walking. My day is incomplete if I don't walk at least two miles at the mall. Now that my neighbor Sandy has recovered from a fall and recovered from cataract surgery on both eyes, we will once again resume walking in our neighborhood. Sandy is the one I am indebted to for getting me walking. Every morning, before her accident, she called and said I will be by at 8:00 to walk. Had I not had her faithfulness in calling, I would still be a couch potato and complaining of not feeling well. As of this writing, I do not have an ache or pain in my body. Walking is good for maintaining physical and mental health. Thanks Sandy for bettering my life.

I worked at the museum on Thursday and we had so few visitors. I enjoyed the time I was at the museum sitting around talking to the other volunteers and staff. I heard the story of a break in at the museum where a couple of juveniles gained access to the attic, cut a hole in the ceiling, tied a rope and came down into the museum. They broke out the glass in a few display cases and had gathered artifacts, but to their dismay, they saw a ceiling sensor to the alarm system and proceeded to cut the wires. This set off the alarm system and they ran, leaving the artifacts, and kicked the front steel door open for their escape. It was discovered that they had intended to set the museum afire. What a tragedy that would have been!! No crime goes unpunished and the juveniles had taken two pistols, and one of the boys, a policeman's son, was seen in his backyard with a gun, and an alert neighbor called his dad and the boys were found to be the ones who had broken into the museum.

Another interesting story I learned about the museum is about ghosts. I am not clear if there have been any sightings, but the museum would be a perfect place for the supernatural spirits to appear. I understand the museum has had people that study the paranormal to inspect or detect if there are ghosts or spirits lurking in the museum. There would be so many sad, but interesting stories to hear from the ghosts about the wars they fought in. I will be on the look out for them and what a postings to my blog I will have. I am more afraid of mice than ghosts and I am also keeping a lookout for them at the museum after seeing some traps set.

Friday I had a routine doctor's appointment and I was found to be in good health and do not have to return for a year. My doctors tell me I am in better health than they are. That is what clean living will do for you (ha).

After the Friday's doctor appointment, Geneva and I were at loose ends and decided to go to the Lucky Star Casino near El Reno. You guessed it. Geneva won again and I at least came home even. I won and lost, won and lost and stopped while I was even. We had lunch there and, once again, enjoyed our spur-of-the-moment outing. I ended the day by mowing most of my yard. I enjoy doing some yard work, but a little goes a long way with me. I never have been an outdoor person.

On Saturday Kelly and I picked up lunches for all of us at the Oklahoma Station Barbeque. We had so much food and it is always delicious, but this time it was the best. I ate lunch, dinner, and today's lunch off my dinner. I am always pleased when Kelly includes me in her's and Keith's plans. Kelly is a very dear person. She wrote such a nice posting about me in her blog, but I asked her to delete it because it was so private. I have never had anyone say or write such nice things about me before. Saturday evening Keith, Kelly and I went to Mustang to my niece's softball tournament. Just before we arrived at the field, we received a phone call saying the game had been cancelled. We were invited to their house, which was nearby, instead. My sister and brother-in-law from Burkburnett, TX arrived a few minutes after we did at the house. We were treated with homemade goodies that my sister had made and brought. After visiting with the family for a short time, we returned home without having seen a softball game. The game was to be played this morning (Sunday). We did not return for the game, but hope Britt's team was the winner. Britt is an athlete and excels in many different sports.

My son Scott called yesterday and he was once again on a weekend excursion. He was in Monte Vista, Colorado and plans to visit the Great Sand Dunes National Park. He will return back today to Santa Fe, NM. Scott loves to explore historical sites and visit new places. He and his dad had a lot in common that way. Scott usually takes such great pictures and e-mails them to me. I get to see a lot of the places he explores and never have to leave my house.

Today is Sunday and I always try to relax on that day. I finished mowing this morning, went to the mall and walked, did laundry, read the Sunday newspaper, and took a much needed nap. I stay up late and awake early, so a short nap always revitalizes me. I have enjoyed today very much and I am looking forward to tomorrow. Who knows what good thing is in store for me tomorrow.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY

ANY MAN CAN BE A FATHER, BUT IT TAKES A SPECIAL PERSON TO BE CALLED DAD

A woman by the name of Sonora Smart Dodd thought of the idea for Father's Day while listening to a Mother's Day sermon in 1909. It was her father that made all the parental sacrifices and was, in the eyes of his daughter, a courageous, selfless, and loving man. Sonora's father was born in June, so she chose to hold the first Father's Day celebration in Spokane, Washington on the 19th of June, 1910. In 1926, a National Father's Day Committee was formed in New York City. Father's Day was recognized by a Joint Resolution of Congress in 1956. In 1972, President Richard Nixon established a permanent national observance of Father's Day to be held on the third Sunday of June. So Father's Day was born in memory and gratitude by a daughter who thought that her father and all good fathers should be honored with a special day just like we honor our mothers on Mother's Day.

I wish to honor my father on this day. He was born in Tupelo, OK on June 30, 1908, and died on July 19, 1998, at the Oklahoma City Veterans Hospital. His wish in life was to live to be 90 years old and he just made it by a few days. He was the first born son to my grandparents who had eleven children and raised two grandchildren after their daughter died. My father's family was never rich by any means, but they were a close and loving family. Each family member was always there for each other. My father married my mother on December 6, 1929, and became a father for the first time when my brother was born and I came along a couple years after. My sister was born fifteen years after I was born. He always was there for us and provided the best that he could. Thanks Dad for being there and caring for my mom when she was totally crippled from the effects of arthritis and could not even get out of bed. We honor you today!!!

I also want to honor two more fathers in my life, the father of my two children (my husband, George) and the father of my two grandchildren (my son, Keith). George and Keith are two of the best fathers I have ever known. Never have two men loved their children any more than they loved their children. George has been deceased for over five years, but everyday he is thought of and never will his sons forget that he was always there for them in all their endeavors. Keith was honored today by his son, Ryan, being home from college and getting to spend some quality time with him. Keith has always taken pride in his two children and attends all their school and extracurricular activities. IF EVERY CHILD COULD BE SO LUCKY!!!

My grandson, Ryan, was home for a wedding and stayed with me Friday and Saturday nights. It is so nice to see how he has matured into such a fine young man. When he dressed for the wedding Saturday afternoon, I was amazed to see such a handsome young man. Girls, I am sorry but he has a steady girlfriend!!! He has returned back to Sterling, KS and we will all be anxious to see him the next time he gets to come back home.

I have had a relaxing day. My yard is all mowed, laundry finished, dishes washed, housework finished (at least for today -- it is never finished), so I am ready to begin a new week. My life is good!!!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

GRANDDAUGHTER'S SURGERY AND DAY AT MUSEUM

Yesterday was a sad day for me because my only granddaughter had knee surgery and grandmothers only want the best for their grandchildren. Rayna had pain in her knee for several months and it was finally determined, after a MRI, that surgery was needed. Her mom, best girlfriend, her father, her father's fiancee, and me were there to console and comfort her. She went into surgery bravely, but the pain was so intense after surgery, she became hysterical and only a mom's comforting words and a pain reducing injection could calm her down. The doctor's findings during surgery was not as bad as was expected. Within a few days Rayna should feel like new. After she was placed into a second recovery room, some time after the surgery, she was in less pain and asked for her make-up. The nurse said Rayna was the first person that she knew of that applied make-up while in recovery. There must have been a cute, cool male attendant!!!! Rayna instant messaged me today and said she felt much better. That was good news to a grandmother's ears.

Friendship means so much to me and my new friends at the museum bring me much joy and satisfaction. The four or five hours I volunteer on Thursday are some of the best hours of my week. Today was no exception. I treated the guys with a cake and brownies and they are always appreciative. There were fewer visitors today, but the visitors we had were history buffs and were very interested in learning about the museum. It seems most of the younger people are there because their fathers or grandfathers served in the 45th Infantry Division. Today we had visitors from Pennsylvania, Florida, Texas, Missouri, Louisana, and Oklahoma. I worked in the gift shop and had one good sale to a lady from Pennsylvania. I have a whole week before I go back, but I am already looking forward to it.

Geneva came visiting right after I got home from the museum. I always enjoy having her. We telephone each other one or more times each day, but rarely see each other. Geneva is a fun and thoughtful person and today she surprised me with a delicious bag of popcorn and a chocolate candy bar. She knows I have to have my chocolate fix each day. I miss having her as a close neighbor.

This Oklahoma wind is driving us all crazy. It doesn't do any good to even comb your hair. I needed to mow my backyard this evening but decided to stay in out of the wind. Maybe tomorrow I will be able to get out and mow.

We are looking forward to Ryan coming home from Sterling tomorrow for the weekend. His girlfriend is a bridesmaid in a wedding to be held on Saturday in Harrah, OK, so he got a chance to ride to OKC with her. He will stay with either his dad, mom, or with me. We all enjoy him so much. He is never any trouble and it is a joy to have him home, if only for a weekend.

It is 8:26 pm and I plan to go to bed early tonight. I went to bed at 12 midnight last night and got up this morning at 5:45 am. I am feeling the need for some rest and relaxation. I have not read the daily paper or have not watched my recorded TV shows (Regis and Kelly and The View). Now that I have finished this posting, I am headed for my comfortable lounge chair and relax. I will probably fall asleep soon after getting comfortable. I have been on the go all day. I hope I stay awake long enough to watch my recorded TV shows.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH

Last evening Keith, Kelly, and I attended the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus (The Greatest Show on Earth) and we came away knowing that it truly is the greatest show. Not for one second were we bored and all the children attending were having the time of their lives. The Oklahoma City circus was billed as Bellobration (a take on celebration). Bello is a famous clown. Time Magazine named him "America's Best Clown". He was born 1968 in Sarasota, Florida, and is a seventh-generation member of a Swiss circus dynasty. Bello's days of performing began at age three when he dressed as a clown for the first time and acted in a Dumbo circus routine. He brings loads of laughs and daredevil hilarity to The Greatest Show on Earth.

video

In addition to Bello, the circus had a live band and current music accompanied many of the acts. All the costumes were colorful and beautiful and the lighting accentuated the performers and the costumes. We especially enjoyed the animal acts (dogs, tigers, horses, elephants). The high wire acts were especially impressive. The Ringmaster was a handsome African American , whose job not only entailed introducing each act, but he sang numerous songs and had a beautiful speaking and singing voice. Of course no circus is complete without lots of clowns and one performance with the clowns was "Dancing With the Clowns". The crowd was very enthusiastic for all the acts and several children in the audience were incorporated into some of the acts. It was a night that those children will never forget. We found the circus pretty exhilarating as well!!

Since we had not eaten dinner before attending the circus, we decided to go to Zio's in Bricktown. We each had a margarita and each had a different entree and everything was delicious. We had eaten at Zio's on Mother's Day and it is never disappointing. There was a huge crowd there but our wait was shorter than the hostess predicted. One witty man commented to Kelly and me to be careful that he was watching us and he looked at my black and white striped shirt and said that I already was wearing stripes. We all had a laugh at his quick wit.

Yesterday was a heartbreaker for horse racing fans. Everyone expected "Big Brown" to win the Belmont Stakes race and to become a Triple Crown winner. It just wasn't in the cards, as he finished dead last out of a field of nine. Big Brown was running on a patched quarter crack in his left front hoof. "Da' Tara" was the big winner. Congratulations Da' Tara. So once again there will be no Triple Crown winner, the last was when "Affirmed" won back in 1978.

Hillary Clinton gave her endorsement speech yesterday endorsing Obama. She spoke beautifully and sincerely. The first female came close to being the Democratic nominee and she gave a good fight, but just couldn't pull it off. We do know now that a woman can someday be elected President. It will be interesting to see who Obama will choose as his running mate as Vice President. I think it is about 50-50 that he will choose Hillary. It could be that she won't accept if he does choose her.

I have finished my walking for the day. I walked many laps around the mall with a man whom I have walked with before. We were talking and I completely lost count of the number of laps but I am sure it was many more than I usually walk. He had gone golfing but, due to the wind, his golfing partners decided to forego golfing and go home and go back to bed. This wind is changing a lot of outdoor planned events.

Friday, June 6, 2008

MY FAVORITE DAY OF THE WEEK - THURSDAY

Yes, I have come to enjoy my Thursdays spent at the military museum as my favorite day of the week. I now have something to plan for and to enjoy. Yesterday was no exception. We had very few visitors, but the visitors we had were interesting to talk to. Young fathers with their small children, young mothers with their children, a former 45th Infantry Division veteran that served in the Korean War. He was injured (both arms shattered) and had spent 11 months in a military hospital but lived to talk about it. He and his wife live in Texas and they were traveling north to a family reunion and brought their young grandson to see the museum. There were two female retired army veterans who came in and they too were from Texas. They were in OKC for the Women's College World Series of softball. Also visiting was the photographer for "Monty Python's Spamalot" playing this weekend at the Civic Center. Two young girls on their lunch hour from the OKC Zoo came in for a few minutes. I meet such a cross section of people from all walks of life. I am so glad I decided to volunteer my time on Thursday mornings.

At 10:30 PM last night a storm came barreling through and lasted just a short time, but all my power including electricity, computer, and telephone, were knocked out and I did not regain my power until 3:00 pm today. It wasn't as bad as it sounds because most of that time was when I was sleeping anyway. I kept the house closed up today and didn't open the refrigerator any more times than I had to, so everything stayed cool and there was no food spoilage. We are such creatures of luxuries!!! My son couldn't get me on the phone or the internet, so this morning he came and checked on me. I know it was Kelly's idea to check on me because she is such a caring person.

I was given tickets to the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus and Keith, Kelly, and I plan to go tomorrow evening. The last circus I attended was with my friend, Geneva, when we went to the Shriner's Circus. Every circus I have ever seen has three rings going at once and I get so dizzy going back and forth from one ring to the next. There is something interesting going on at all times and you don't want to miss anything.

I had not gone to the mall to walk all week because I had been out of town part of the week, worked one day and was just too lazy one day to make the effort, but today it was back to walking two miles in forty minutes. I feel better mentally and physically when I walk.

A lot of friends called and I had several e-mails when my power was restored. Everyone asked if I had been on the telephone all day because they got a busy signal all day. They had no way of knowing the power was off. Mary, my cousin who lives in Illinois, had tried to call many times today. She and her husband have just returned from an Alaskan cruise. There were five friends and she and Marvin that went. She thinks I should save my money and go on the Alaskan cruise. Maybe if I didn't go gambling, I could afford a cruise. I will have to weigh gambling or cruise and decide which I would rather do. Right now the gambling has my vote. I am not a good traveler and want to sleep in my own bed.

It is 6:01 PM and time to think about what is for dinner. I might have to entertain myself by going out to eat. It seems I do a lot of that lately. Who wants to cook for one and clean the kitchen afterwards? Certainly not me!!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

OVERNIGHT GAMBLING TRIP UPDATE

I came home Tuesday evening from the overnight gambling trip to Firelake (Shawnee) and Cherokee (Tulsa) casinos weary and (almost) penniless, literally. I played every kind of slot machine imaginable with no wins to speak of. Occasionally I would win a dollar or two, but right back in the machine it went. Monday night I had spent more than half my money and I still had all day Tuesday to play. All my Monday night money did not go toward gambling though. Geneva and I went to the margarita bar and each of us had one drink and, as I have written in an earlier posting to my blog, Geneva on one occasion had to be the "designated driver" after I had had one margarita and was giggly and slurring my words. Well, the opposite occurred Monday night. Geneva could hardly think or speak after her drink and I was the elevator "designated driver". Our room was on the 4th Floor and I had to get us back to our room. We would still be going "up" if I had left it to Geneva to get us to our floor. Our room was beautiful and all amenities were quite nice. I lost on every slot machine I played, but Geneva could do no wrong. She won on every machine. She came home with more money than she left home with. I am envious!!! We met two nice ladies on the trip and hope to keep in contact with them. I have e-mailed one of them and hope to hear back from her. Our next gambling trip will be on July 30th when we go to the Winstar Casino at Thackerville. It will be a day trip, so no suitcase will have to be packed. Hurray!!

It is an extremely windy day today, a day you just want to stay indoors. I am not going to the mall and walk even though I ate so many buffets these last two days and need to walk off the extra pounds.

Tomorrow is my favorite day of the week, Thursday, and my day to work at the military museum. I hope we have a lot of out-of -town and out-of-the country visitors. It is very interesting to hear some of the stories that they tell. Art, a volunteer, has a group coming in for a tour from Ft. Sill. He is a good tour guide or a great storyteller. I can't decide which, but he has been there, done that. He was on the gambling trip with his girlfriend, Lorene. Lorene and I are neighbors and good friends. Art is responsible for me now volunteering at the museum. He wanted Lorene to volunteer but she has too many responsibilities, so he enlisted me. Everyone thinks I have nothing to do. I have plenty to do but I don't always want to do them, so I am always available to do something more interesting or exciting. Geneva and I do a lot of spur-of-the moment things.