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Service is for the Family

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Joe Varsalone died yesterday. He was only 91, but had been in the hospital for the last two weeks. He had leukemia, and had been getting a transfusion every four weeks for the last two years. Murray Smith called with the news, talking pretty fast. Murray is a contemporary of Joe, and Murray keeps telling people that he is going to live to be 100, so I think he might be a little worried. I just tell them Iím probably good for another twenty years. That way, I donít have a fixed date to die, which takes the pressure off.

Anyhow, I used to wait tables at the Country Breakfasts with Joe, and he was an old time Kiwanian who used to do the 50-50 every week until he got too feeble to make it to the meetings. The viewing is today from 4 to 6, and the service is at six. I donít like funerals much, but Iím going to this one for Joeís family.

When I was at Case, I lived in a funeral home one year with two other guys. We had the third floor to ourselves, which was like a big apartment except for the missing kitchen. All we had to do was to be sure one of us was there from 6 PM until 6 AM every day and to answer the phone Ė correctly.

One of the funerals had a rich woman laid out for three days, and there was only one visitor. She had been 94. I learned that from the visitor, who had been her maid. When I asked her why there werenít any other visitors, she said that all of the family and friends were dead. It reminded me of the old Classical Greek ideal Ė to die immediately after you crowning achievement. That always bothered me because I didnít know when I had hit my peak, and I donít mind retirement anyhow.

The bottom line is this; Joe needs to have some mourners to make his family feel like he is missed.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MRDPOLING 9/11/2010 8:49PM

    I don't know about you.... but I plan to live forever!!!! Well that's my goal anyway!

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S3XYDIVASMOM 9/11/2010 7:43PM

    Funerals aren't supposed to be fun, but I've been to some that were close. Sharing our memories can bring on laughter and a lot of good feelings. Be sure to share yours with the family. I agree with Brewmasterbill. Community support can make a "tough time a LOT easier." The story about the 94-year old should inspire us to continue making friends and to continue doing things that are relevant.

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SPEEDY143 9/11/2010 4:37PM

    You are a good friend emoticonFunerals are hard to go to but always worthwhile. Not only for the family's peace of mind but you always learn something about the dearly departed that you didn't know before.

We really do have it all backwards. I'm a huge believer in giving flowers to people before they die and celebrating their life with them while they are still here.

91... life is short!!! emoticon

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MS.ELENI 9/11/2010 4:00PM

    Dying really sucks anyway and to not have anyone at funeral really sucks. I wonder sometimes who will show up at mine.I guess if all my kids show up it should be a good showing.Unless I ban them .
I don't think I would like living at a funeral home.Just a little creepy

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BREWMASTERBILL 9/11/2010 3:50PM

    That's very considerate. At my father's funeral we had an amazing turn out. It was hugely supportive to us. I almost felt bad because I found myself having a good time and a lot of laughs remembering my dad with people I hadn't seen since I was a kid. It made a tough time a LOT easier.

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Limping Along

Friday, September 10, 2010

Between me and the dogs I walked 5.24 miles today, and my pedometer reads15487 right now. I get a little envious of the young guys building muscle, but everyone has the body and situation that they have, and you have to live with it. My joints are shot, but Iím able to keep going through a combination of the food I eat and the supplements I take as well as the activities I do.

I tried some of the weight lifting exercises during rehab, and ended up with a recurrence of a problem with a herniated disk in my neck. The weights that caused the trouble were two Danskin dumbbells set at eight pounds each, and using them soon kept me from sleeping for a few weeks again. Thatís not even a beginning weight for any normal person, but it was too much for me, so I stick with the back exercises from my neurologist, the big rubber bands, and a few calisthenics from my youth. You would never know that I used to belong to a gymnastic fraternity, or spent summers in a steel mill and as a hod carrier. Now I canít even ride an exercise bike, but I still can walk (with orthotics to pamper my bunions). Itís a little depressing to read about guys running three miles (five kilometers) in 20 minutes when it takes me about an hour to walk that far, but at least Iím still making the distance. Iím going to try jumping rope to see if I can survive that. My focus is on functional fitness Ė just to keep going and cut my own grass.

Everyone has limitations, and the only thing you can do is to figure out how to get the task done, no matter what disadvantages you have. Then, when you succeed, you get to feel good.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CK1379 9/10/2010 9:34PM

    Love your blob...what a great attitude you have! You give me lots to think about.
Your SP friend,
Carol

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S3XYDIVASMOM 9/10/2010 6:02PM

    I absolutely agree. I had a lady sign on as my friend, so I started following her comments and blogs here. So, I found myself in the midst of these discussions about molding the perfect body through weight training. Of course, they're embracing hours at the gym. At that point I felt so old. I can't even imagine doing such a thing. And, frankly, at my age I don't even think it is a good idea at all. The fact is, there are many people who have tried and dropped out because they hurt themselves. It's too bad, we don't hear their two cents worth in the same discussions. (That sounded way crabbier than I actually feel about the subject.)

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Good Recovery

Thursday, September 09, 2010

I weighed in tonight and gained 4.25 pounds since last Thursday, which surprised me a little. I'm still in leeway, but getting close to the top. Then I thought about it, and realized it was probably the potato chips, corn chips, and commercial salsa I had with four Old Milwaukee NA yesterday. I remember thirty years ago when I mentioned that drinking beer always made me heavier the next day, and a nurse scolded me and told me that beer makes you lose weight because it's a diuretic. I tried to explain it to her, but she had read a book.

When I drink, I eat. Lots. Every beer I drank on my way home from work went with one bag of potato chips, and sometimes a bowl of chili too. The oil from the potato chips slowed down the beer's absorption and let me drive, if not safely, at least without accidents or close calls. The weight gain was probably due to the salt on the chips or popcorn, but it was definitely there. Saturday morning was always a heavy day 30 or 40 years ago.

Our son-in-law says everything is going well still for the youngest daughter. She has been counting calories since grade school, and was doing well until the first pregnancy. Then she gained some, and lost less than she gained. It was the same story for all four pregnancies, and she started talking about bariatric surgery 10 years ago. Various doctors have done what they could, and it took them many months to prepare her for this, so I hope it finally will make some difference. She thinks it will add 10 years to her life expectancy, and the rest of the family is doing their best to help her. The other two kids want to do something to show support, but are waiting to see what she will accept. Jim wanted to bring flowers today, but she said her allergies were bothering her and forbid him from bringing flowers - so the other two can't send them either.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

S3XYDIVASMOM 9/9/2010 9:24PM

    I still haven't figured out why I gained my three pounds. If I knew what to blame, I'd fix it. So while you "messed up" you know how to repair it.

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MS.ELENI 9/9/2010 9:22PM

    the potato chips, corn chips, and commercial salsa I had with four Old Milwaukee NA probably is the reason for the gain.salt,salt and more salt.You will have it off by next week. I wish I had your will power.
I do hope your daughter does well. It will give her addd years for sure

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MRDPOLING 9/9/2010 9:05PM

    beer and chili. Oh man! Remind me to stand up wind of you! hehe!

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Successful Operation

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Our youngest daughter showed up at 5 AM for her lap-band surgery this morning. The BW was more nervous than the daughter, and when I came back from my walk she was up and pacing. In the end we went shopping, first to Costco, then to Dillardís. Then we had to walk to the other end of the mall to Rack Shoes. She found what she wanted at each store, but didnít buy anything. I offered lunch out, but she wanted to come home.

Our son-in-law had left a message that the surgery went well, and the daughter is in recovery. The doctor is pleased and there were no difficulties. He promised to call later -- after eight. After that, the BW settled down to having some salsa and chips for lunch. Now weíre waiting another couple of hours for a live conversation because we were out shopping when the first call came Ė around 11 AM.

The only thing left to worry about now is a quick and full recovery without complications.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MS.ELENI 9/9/2010 8:17AM

    Glad things went well. Try not to worry too much

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CK1379 9/8/2010 9:58PM

    Glad to here your daughter went through surgery without any problems and hope her recovery is quick & without any complication. My daughter had a hysterectomy a few weeks ago so I understand your wives concerns.
Your SP friend,
Carol emoticon

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MRDPOLING 9/8/2010 7:21PM

    That is good news! Hope she continues to improve more and more.

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BREWMASTERBILL 9/8/2010 6:36PM

    Great news! Glad to hear it. Speedy recovery wishes.

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Another Little Tree Gone

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

We had another Kiwanis meeting this morning and read the list of proposed officers for the third time, and it looks as if Iíll be the treasurer for one more year. To celebrate I put the Metropolitan Advertising money and cash for two Entertainment Books in the bank, and was authorized to pass out two refund checks for receipts that I gave to our secretary. Then there was a lot of other business, and I need to plan for 150 customers at the Lutheran Church this month.

Today is the BWís birthday and our 53rd wedding anniversary. Annie sent a bunch of old pictures attached to an e-mail instead of flowers, which was more impressive to the BW than flowers. Unfortunately, everyone looks so young in the pictures itís a tiny bit depressing.

In the preliminary plans, the BW wanted first to go to Clearwater beach for a fish house, then decided on a place in Dunedin for lunch or supper. Then today it was the beach for a while, but really it has been flat on her back for most of the day, and I hope she makes it to go anywhere. The shot in her hip didnít seem to do the trick, or her back is really bad. Itís still early, but I may just bring home some take-out if she doesnít improve.

The day before yesterday we had a short thunderstorm and a tree that I hadnít notices was dead decided to fall down. It was in our neighborís yard to the east, and it wound up across the fence and filling the side yard behind the garage. After I came back from the bank I started cutting it up for the trash man, who shows up around 1:00 today. It didnít take long until I realized that I didnít need hand pruners Ė the whole thing was dry and brittle, and I just broke all the branches up to about an inch in diameter by holding them in two hands, or snapping over my leg if they were too big. I put them in a leftover 20 gallon trash can that is intended to store water in case of a hurricane, and carried three cans out to the dumpster, which I had put on the curb last night after forgetting about the tree. Fortunately it was only the main branch, and just about five inches at the base, so it wasnít too bad. The third can had all the stuff that I cut up with a chain saw, and I did walk slowly with it. The heavy stuff on top pushed down the trash on the bottom, and it all went in OK, and by two oíclock, when I came home again, the can was empty. I really like the new garbage service. The yard is clean again, and the container is empty.

Now that I realize that the rest of the tree is dead, the grass will like it, but I'll miss the shade.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MS.ELENI 9/7/2010 9:52PM

    Congrats on 53 years and Happy Birthday to A. Hope she got to feeling better.
Such a thoughtful daughter. Hope you ended up having a good day

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S3XYDIVASMOM 9/7/2010 6:09PM

    So, 53 years ago today, you were your wife's birthday present. Must be nice to only have to remember the one date.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 9/7/2010 6:15:17 PM

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MRDPOLING 9/7/2010 4:54PM

    Happy Birthday to BW

Happy 53rd Wedding Anniversary

Congradulations Mr. Treasurer!

Sounds to me like you need to change tactics and start PLANTING trees! hehe!

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