Sunday, January 10, 2010
She decided she wanted some ice cream. She also decided that she wanted the vanilla, not the chocolate or strawberry. She told her husband, telling him also to WRITE IT DOWN so he wouldn't forget.
Confidently, the husband declared he wouldn't forget but the wife insisted that he write it down because he would forget. NAH, I'LL REMEMBER! He headed for the kitchen.
He was gone, and gone, and gone and gone. After a very long time he returned. He returned with a plate of SCRAMBLED EGGS, SAUSAGE & TOAST. Indignantly, the wife said in a loud voice, I told you to write it down, I knew you'd forget.
In a voice saddened by many years of forgetfulness, the husband inquired "What did I forget now". In a superior voice the wife declared, I TOLD YOU I WANTED BACON, NOT SAUSAGE.
Good old Ben Franklin declared in his Poore Richard's Almanac that The Weakest ink was stronger than the strongest memory. Old Ben was a wise man.
Yesterday evening Julie and I had still another holiday dinner. It was a gala affair. The table was set with care, full of color and the reflection of silver and crystal with candles burning brightly throughout.
As is ever the case, all the girls were good and got presents and all the guys, the writer excepted of course, were bad and got lumps of coal.
We had eight guests and set a gala table for ten. Yes, it was crowded. Usually for 10 we would sit six in the dining room and four in the kitchen. But, it was a family affair, with the Ludwig's included, and I wanted everyone together. Sometimes, being a bit crowded adds to the fun, huh?
A recent blog of mine came up in conversation. Gleefully, the kids told Julie and I that we had been married for THIRTY years, not TWENTY NINE as I had written in a recent blog. Lots of bawdy comments were made and everyone had a good laugh. It appeared the joke was on the hosts.
I explained that it could not be the our 30th because for our 30th I was taking Julie on a Med Cruise to Italy and Greece. Chuckling, Mark asked "have you bought the tickets yet?"
It was a delightful evening, entertained by two precious children and a new Havanese puppy, who slept soundly on Mary Kay's lap as Mark and Kimberly looked on.
When everyone was gone, Julie asked "Have we been married 30 years"? I forgot it but she did not. Again this evening she brought up the subject--I believe she was thinking of that warm, Med cruise to the land of her forefathers, Greece.
Quietly, I sneaked up to the office and got the marriage license out of the lock box. Although my memory was not a tower of strength, the ink had not weakened one iota. Clearly, in Rev. Browning's handwriting, was January 5, 1980. Uh, that's right, 1980--thirty years ago.
Lordy, Lordy! Wish I was Forty.
As strong as the ink will be my kid's memory. They will never forget, nor will they let me forget, this error. Me, Walt Pierce, paragon of strength and forebearance, meek, lowly and humble, sweet gentle and kind, I forgot my own wedding date.
As Grocho Marx used to say "HOW HUMILATING".
Can I get you some ice cream? "I'll write it down!
Friday, January 8, 2010
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
I was in the Sea Scouts. I joined the Navy at age 17. I was always going to the "Point" in Point Pleasant, WV where the Great Kanawha enters the Ohio and saying "some day I'll go down that river". Since my retirement I have, three times.
I have a wood/coal burning stove. I have a few nautical kerosene lamps but need more and will enjoy getting them. I already have about everything I need to furnish a small shanty for comfortable living for one, or two, for short periods. I understand the workings of the river, too.
When we were married but a few months we both lost our jobs in a plant closing. We did not hit the panic button, instead we bought a travel trailer and traveled the USA, Canada and Mexico.
Week by week, month by month we signed up for our unemployment from one state to another. It was, and still is, the only time since I was 17 that I was not gainfully employed. Not to worry, I had a position waiting for me as a Stock Broker with Merrell-Lynch at the end of the three months.
I think it would be good for most new marriages if the couples could enjoy a three month honeymoon having good times, free from stress. Well, our three month jaunt was not exactly a honey moon. We took our honeymoon in January. We also took my brother and sister-in-law on the honeymoon with us in our customized van touring Florida.
Uh, yes, unusual--but it was a great time, believe me. Fishing, picking green beans and tomatoes, going to Disney World, we did it all, right down to Key West. In this picture my new bride picked mangoes for the first time. Wasn't she a sweetie? She still is!
On our way home we would detour to Birmingham, Alabama to visit my other brother. In our first five years of marriage we would visit Disney Land/World five times.
We did, and still do, make our married life a day-by-day, year-by-year adventure. Yes, we're both a bit beat up physically but we can still "move" and we intend to keep the party going!
We have shared the the sadness of losing parents, all our siblings and one grandchild. We have shared the excitement of our children's marriages. We discovered the wonderful world of being grandparents, and great grandparents.
Prior to our marriage Julie and I acknowledged that we were two different people. While we had the same basic values, we each liked different things.
For example, Julie has many collections. One of her favorites is two spoon collections. Shown here is the collection of spoons from the countries she has visited around the world. She also has a domestic collection. I have no interest in spoons unless there is a dish of ice cream close by.
On-the-other-hand, Julie has no desire to cross the USA on a trike. We tolerate one anothers differences giving whatever support we can.
Of course there were many things we enjoyed doing together. We both love dressing up for a masquerade ball. We walked away with first prize in Toronto when we competed with some high priced outfits in a simple, homemade indian costume. We stayed in character and danced the "war dance" all night. Fun, Fun, Fun!
In Maui we enjoyed a Pirates Party. Does this picture of Julie and my son Mark look a bit out of focus? It's not. Julie just had a few too many MiTi's. HA
Julie enjoyed the ski slopes. Me? Why would I leave a good warm fireplace to slide down a slippery slope on a pair of barrel staves? It would take more than those two small sticks to keep me upright.
We both like to dance. Julie is the best partner I have ever danced with, and I've danced with more than a few, having taught dance classes. Here we are heading for a night of waltzing in Vienna, Austria.
We've cruised the Carribean. We've made several visits to Europe and, I think, four trips to Hawaii. We have spent the month of October in a penthouse suite in Myrtle Beafch for 18 years. Life is good! For our 30th, next year, the Good Lord willing and the Krick don't get too high, we plan to cruise the Med, visiting Italy and Greece.
I have now been retired for nearly 20 years and Julie for 20 years has enjoyed a key position with a firm she likes, doing a job she enjoys, most of the time. Julie could retire but plans to continue working. The health insurance she earns for us is quite valuable at our ages.
What does one do for a 29th anniversary? Julie took the day off and we slept in until 8:00AM. I fixed Julie's favorite breakfast, For dinner tonight we will go to our favorite Mexican Restraurant, Casa Del Rio. This is the nearest thing to being in Mexico, and we have been in Mexico. It was early and not crowded and we both order the same platter and have enough food for both of us for two days. We have a bottle of champaign that we didn't use to welcome in the New Year. We'll may crack that. No, not very exciting--but very comfortable. Anymore, we like comfortable.
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Monday, January 4, 2010
It was a grand progressive dinner that started at 5PM and ended at midnight after one course each of a five course meal at five different homes of members. A sixth couple is already in Florida for the winter.
A drawing was had to decide which of six months each couple would determine where we would eat in 2010. Julie and I drew September. The Murphy's drew February and already have the restaurant picked out. The group also decided to do a Dinner-Dance Cruise on Lake Erie in August.
Among the many conversations of the season was my report on the wonderful Christian spirit shown in the giving of gifts to the less fortunate by Church Requel where my son Mark is the Senior Pastor.
Trying to answer questioning of the agressive growth of this new church, as compared to that of our own church, which was founded in 1877, the response was the same that I often receive when describing spending a month at the beach or a trip to Ireland: It Must Be Nice!
The response to Church Requel kicking off the start up of their new church with ten bill boards of advertising around the city, reinforced with radio, television and newspapers, was to question the source of the funding.
When told that among other sources was the fact that the pastor worked VERY HARD, along with his leaders, for nine months without pay while using their own personal funds, the attitude was That will never happen here!
Incidentally, Does Church Requel BEG for money? NO! The fact of the matter is the church does not even take up an offering!
It is with pure delight that I share with you pictures of Church Requel's Christmas Giving to the Less Fortunate. The church leaders use the first 10% of income to help those less fortunate.
When the call came for workers to distribute gifts Christmas Eve, from the 75 or so in attendance, 29 showed up to do the work. They divided into four groups to deliver their gifts to four families identified by the Salvation Army as being in dire need.
Two thousand dollars of food, clothing, toys and other needy items were given along with cheerful singing and well wishing. When the recipients looked out to see who was at their doors this Christmas Eve, they were thrilled to see a long line of "Santa's Helpers" laden down with all the Christmas Cheer they had painfully known their family would do without this bleak year.
One family didn't even have a table at which to eat. A kind Church Requel couple thoughtfully refinished their own spare table and chairs to make Christmas dinner a special blessing for this needy family.
"When you do to unto the least" scripture comes to mind as I reflect upon how God shall, or has, richly blessed this couple who gave so freely of what they had.
Along that same line of thought, some bright day, somewhere in the future, when Church Requel starts to receive the dividends on their current investments into charity towards all, when their attendance is numbered in the thousands, when not only is the senior pastor paid but also the 2nd, 3rd and 4th pastors, I can hear it now:
"IT MUST BE NICE" & "I WONDER HOW THEY GET THE MONEY"
Be nice, now Walt, be nice!