Saturday, August 27, 2005

The Lord Gives and Takes Away !

You've all seen obituary pictures and you think, "Wow, that person looks real good - wondered what happened". (Ok, maybe that's just my morbid side) Of course, the family rummaged around scrapbooks, shoeboxes or whatever they could find to locate a "perfect picture" of their loved one. The picture usually doesn't represent the cancer or the disease or the many health problems the individual suffered through before their death.
That brings me to this picture!

The picture above is a representation of my car. It's a 1994 Ford Thunderbird. Now, it's not my ACTUAL car because I've never seen that backdrop before with my car - nor could my car travel that far to that beautiful location anyway!! :) Just like an obituary picture, please don't let this photo confuse you to think, "Well, that's a good-looking car". Let's talk about the health concerns of my T-Bird:

  1. The cloth on the drivers side visor is "flaking off" so everytime I use it, I end up in contact lens hell trying to drive down the road with flakes of 10 year cloth in my eye.
  2. What's a glovebox? I don't know b/c mine has not opened up for about 5 years.
  3. Most cars made after 1990 have an automatic release for your gas tank. Of course with issue # 2 above (where most of those release buttons are located), I have to unlock my trunk every time I get to the fillin' station (just wanted to sound like a hick). That's where the "emergency release" is located.
  4. If you want to adjust the electronic seat control, it's no problem in my car. Since it's no longer attached to the car seat, you can just pull out the electronics almost to your lap to make the adjustments. Quite handy but not the most aesthetically pleasing feature.
  5. The APPROXIMATE 200,000 miles on the car. I say approximate because at one time the odometer broke for a period of time that I didn't keep track of (oops!). Based on that, I have currently 20,000 miles on that odometer but the old one had 158,000 on it. And the rest of the miles are a mystery.

Well, you get the point. It's one of those unique experiences to drive my car. Whenever someone did drive it besides me or if I left it to do an inspection, it was like I had to have a "Donny's T-Bird Orientation Class" so they could figure everything out.

So, today I'm officially going to say my eulogy to this car. Why? On Friday, I received a call from my local mechanic that said, "Well, the motor doesn't work anymore". Hmmmm - that doesn't sound good. Doesn't a large machine need a motor? Hmmmm. "So, how much?" Now, keep in mind that I recently did a Kelly Blue Book evaluation on my car just for fun and I couldn't get anything about $150 even when I rated the car in "FAIR" condition. Based on my list above, I'm not sure I could accurately say my car is in FAIR condition. Also note that I just spent $1300 to fix the radiator in June. So when my mechanic told me that it would cost $1740 plus tax ... hmmm. What would you do? :)

Honestly I think I'm quite thrilled to say that I may never have to drive that car again. I don't look forward to the car purchasing experience (yuck!), especially given my last experience with looking at our checking account. But the Bible says that "The Lord gives and takes away". Lord, I'm not sure what you are going to "give" me in my new car, but please take this old car away quickly. Good bye T-Bird - visor flakes and all !!!

God bless you all,


Monday, August 22, 2005

The Grand in Grandparents

Grand - some definitions to follow:
  • Of large size or extent; great; extensive; hence, relatively great; greatest; chief; principal; as, a grand mountain; a grand army; a grand mistake.
  • Great in size, and fine or imposing in appearance or impression; illustrious, dignifled, or noble (said of persons); majestic, splendid, magnificent, or sublime (said of things); as, a grand monarch; a grand general; a grand view; a grand conception.
  • Standing in the second or some more remote degree of parentage or descent; -- generalIy used in composition; as, grandfather, grandson, grandchild, etc.

I only give you those as a point of reference as I begin my blogging this morning. I was recently giving thought to the wonderful role of grandparents! We've all had them and some of us still have one, two, three or all of them still with us. What memories do you have of them? Do they involve discipline and things you didn't like? Probably not - let's reserve that for the "memories of my parents" blog that may or may not make it to print! :) No, let's reserve this blog entry for thoughts on our our grandparents. I was thinking about this as I was riding along the Forest Park Train in Ft. Worth (near the zoo for those who know it). My in-laws were in town and they wanted to take the boys on a train ride since that's what Tyler and Colby said they wanted to do. [Makes me wonder what our plans would have been if Tyler had said he wanted to play a round of poker!! :) ] As I was riding along in the train car by myself, I pondered what a great life it must be to be a grandparent. And the love that my boys have for their Nonny, PawPaw, Nana and Papa is unbelievable!! Memories of this train ride will hopefully sink into my boys' memory banks. I'm also thinking of times Papa has taken the boys around in the truck at the farm to look at the horses and donkeys. Then there are special times with Nonny and Nana that involve playing, movies or reading books. Then I think of the wrestling times and baseball games with PawPaw. My boys have it real good when it comes to the grandparent department!

Got me to thinking about memories of my own grandparents. Here are a few that I'll share:

  1. Playing SkipBo with Granny - all the time!!
  2. Grandad's favorite chair and him asking at Christmastime "is it my turn yet to open a present" - that always made me giggle b/c I knew he knew it wasn't but it was fun asking.
  3. Playing Yahtzee with Pop. Will always remember the time when Randy (my brother) was trying watch something on TV while we were playing and Pop getting onto him saying "Are we going to watch TV or play?" Pop was rather serious about his Yahtzee !!
  4. The squirrels and chihuahuas (dogs) at Nana and Pop's house.
  5. Granny's famous chocolate cake with caramel icing - gosh wish I had me a piece right now!
  6. Learning to drive using Grandad's Ford truck sometimes! I think that was his - the red and white one.
  7. Nana's famous pecan pie and Divinity at Christmas!
  8. Nana and Pops' infamous living room Christmas tree!! It seemed to get smaller and smaller each year. Truth is it was never very big but seemed alot bigger when I was younger.
  9. Pop's remote control that never ever moved from his armchair!! - I find myself punching the buttons on my remote just like Pop did at times - makes me laugh.
  10. Granny's famous chicken fried steak and Thanksgiving lunches!! Oh man, if I could just find someone who could make dressing like she could - the best ever!!
  11. Nana and Pop's money envelopes at Christmas - always recycle them though.
  12. Sleepovers and nights we spent at the farm with Granny and Grandad so Mom and Dad could go to Lubbock for a well deserved night out!! (I still can remember having Dad carry me to the car)
  13. Did Grandad own more than 3 outfits? I think he always looked the same to me.
  14. Nana's place on that TV room couch - seemed like that couch was built just for her.
  15. Great times with all four of my grandparents - they are just too many!!

Side note: I regret that I didn't get to have as much time in life to spend with Grandad. He died when I was young (5th grade from what I remember but they may be wrong). It happened on Christmas Eve I think when we were in Ft. Worth. I'll always remember that sad ride home. I love the fact that my boys still get to hug their GREAT-Grandmother, Granny but regret that they never got to spend time at Nana and Pop's house. They would have loved the squirrels.

Got any great memories of your grandparents? I'd love to hear about 'em.

God bless you all,