Sunday, January 31, 2016

Sharing Minion Humor

Post-Life Planning

Most of this post will be an edited version of an email I sent my children concerning my wishes after I am gone.  Which, if I have my way, will not be until some time after 2100, when I turn 145.  Hey, I'm in good shape and with medical advances, ya never know.  Plus if I make the arrangements myself and let everyone that cares about me know, there is no question about what to do.  Plus other folks might find what I've done, and am going to have done, interesting.

Now, when I pass:
1.  I will be cremated.  Once the ashes are back at the funeral home, take the bag out of the cardboard box it comes in and transfer them (in the bag) to my "Memory Box". (If the cardboard box fits - just put it all inside).   Mississippi law allows the burial of ashes in a cemetary.  (Mississippi Burial and Cremation Laws can be seen at .)  You are not required to purchase a coffin or urn from any commercial enterprise. (i.e. funeral home)
2.  My ashes are to be buried in the grave adjoining my 1st wife (where we already have a stone erected.  Check with the folks overseeing the graveyard to see if they have any requirements overseeing the burial of ashes.  Since (and this comes from the website above) "cremation renders ashes harmless, .... there is no public health risk involved....".  You might have to contract someone through the funeral home to dig the hole for the ashes, but since it is a small box and contains only ashes, it shouldn't need to go more than 2 or 3 feet deep.
3. Expenses: Other than the Death Certificate(s), Cremation,  engraving the stone, and (if needed to be contracted out) the burial of the "Memory Box".  There should be no more needed expenses.    I don't need all the extras offered for a by the funeral home.  They are a "commercial enterprise" and are in business to make a profit. And once the day is done, who wants to leave through the sign in book from visitation, and trust me - thank you cards are a lot less expensive at Walmart.

And speaking of visitation, instead of a visitation, since there will be no rush to bury a body.  I would rather all my family and friends gather at my house for a cookout on what would be my first birthday after I pass.  Put the "Memory Box"  (some pics of it are below) on a small table by itself so folks can read the items I put on it and share the happy times of my life.  Then, after everyone has eaten and -those that feel the need - had a cry.  Those that want to can head over to cemetery and say goodbye.
Life goes on.  Be as happy as you can.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Just Sharing - Election Wisdom

 I'm having a hard time with the candidates for President.  I don't like any of them and loathe some of them, but I will do my best to stay informed and vote.  That said, I would like to share this quote (below) from sci-fi author Robert A. Heinlein.
“If you are part of a society that votes, then do so. There may be no candidates and no measures you want to vote for ... but there are certain to be ones you want to vote against. In case of doubt, vote against. By this rule you will rarely go wrong.”
Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough for Love

Working in the Snow.... & Thinking!

This past week Mississippi got one of its rare snowfalls.  About 50 miles north of us here in Starkville they got accumulations of an inch or more.  Here, though it snowed all morning, nothing accumulated because it melted as it touched down.  However, as I was working my part-time job driving a shuttle (2 days a week - and I don't really want to work more since I've retired - twice) in the falling snow and thought back to the last time I had worked in the snow. 
About 40-or so years I ago I attached TAD (Temporarily Assigned Duty) to a Coast Guard Ice Breaker on a trip to Antarctica (South Pole).  Before we got to the Pole and the scientific station there it snowed, often, but I guarantee you it was much colder than Mississippi.  The air temp was in the negative 30's  with wind chills in the -80's.  Once we got closer to the pole though it wasn't snowing and though it was cold, it was very dry.  Lots of rocky islands about.  Its one of those life experiences that I'm glad I got the chance to do, but I don't really have any hankering to go there again.
I really hate to be cold.  I prefer the Mississippi heat in the summer (90 and up) to our relatively mild winters.  I know it makes me sound a little strange, but I prefer to ride in my car with the AC off and the windows down.  I do try to take care of myself, take frequent breaks, and drink lots of water when working outside, but I do want to be around for many more years.  I turn 61 in April and feel fairly young.  I think I may stop working at the end of this year.  Not a 100% sure, but I'm starting to lean that way.  I've got enough to do now, what with work around the home and hobbies, that I can stay busy.  My home is paid for and my retirement checks covers our bills. Plus, I enjoy having my time as just that, My Time. The ability to go where I want, when I want, and do what I want to do.  After all, isn't that exactly what we work a lifetime for?  I know its a long shot, but my goal is to be here at the start of the next century!  Hey - with medical advances you never know.  If I continue to take care of myself 145 is not beyond the realm of possibility.  
Everyone have a great day!

Friday, January 1, 2016

Sixty Year Snapshot

Today is the 60th anniversary of my very first New Year's Day.  So I thought I would try a little retrospective in 10 year bites.  Now, obviously, I don't remember a lot about 1/1/1956 (as I was 8 months old at the time) - but this morning I did watch (as my first movie of 2016), the 1956 sci fi classic "Earth Vs the Flying Saucers". 
1/1/1966 - I was 10 and in 5th grade.  I was heavy into comic books and cub scouts (though later this year I would move up to Boy Scouts (Troop 27 - Starkville, MS).  At this time comics were 12 cents each and most of any money I earned was spent on them. I lived on McKee Street with my parents and younger sister (born in 1957).
1/1/1976 - I was in my 4th year in the U.S. Guard and in the process of getting ready to reenlist for 6 years in order to maximize the reenlistment bonus I was qualified for.  I was stationed in Memphis and would marry for the first time later that year. (Though I didn't know it at the time.)
1/1/1986 - I was stationed on the USCG Gulf Strike Team (in Mobile, AL).  I was married to Sue and we had four children. (Ages 7, 6, 4, & 2 at this date).
1/1/1996 - I was working for Quincy's Family Steakhouse & Buffet in Starkville.  I retired from the Coast Guard in 1992 and had a 5th child that was born in 1988.  She would be the last of our children. We were living in a large home (Double wide with large addition added home) with seven bedrooms.
1/1/2006 - Sue passed away 4 weeks ago and I was devastated.  We were married over 29 years and at this time none of the children lived at home.  At the time I had 3 grandchildren.  It was dark time for me.
1/1/2016 - I still live in the large home, but now share it with DKW who I met in late 2008 (almost exactly 3 years after Sue died).  We celebrated our 6th anniversary last year and she was the big reason I came out of the dark place.  I retired from MSU last year (2nd retirement) and a month ago started a part-time job at a local medical facility. I have 8 grandchildren now - the youngest being 5 months old and the oldest 16 years old.
Now I've left a lot out that happened over the past 60 years.  Otherwise I would be writing for days - but, like most folks, there have been many highs and some lows - but all-in-all I've had - and have - a good life.  Count your blessings.  In the past month, I've lost my mother and Aunt (who passed yesterday of a sudden coronary).  You never know when it might be your time.  I'll do an entry like this again in 2066! :-)
Everyone have a great day!