Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Time Marches On

Happy March First!   'Twill be a busy day and an emotional one as well.  Roger, Nancy and Susun have all kept busy and well occupied since Don's passing February 17th.  All of their preparations are finished and double-checked and today's the day everyone gathers for Don's funeral.  I'm pretty sure today is the day The Family's tears will flow.  They've all kept a real tight lid on their emotions  throughout this whole milestone in life.  I've admired and marveled at their ability to "carry on."  The Service starts at 2 pm.  Send some thoughts and prayers for strength to them this afternoon.

Life IS for the living and so life will go on.  It is in those brief moments of memorials and funerals that we humans really come face-to-face with our own mortality.  There is a primal part of all of us that knows our day, too, will come.  The purpose of a funeral is finality and closure, a large group "goodbye," if you will, a waving of Bon Voyage from a crowd of well wishers at the pier as another ship sails into the Night of the Great Unknown.  It appears the crowd of well-wishers today will be rather large, I'm guessing at perhaps a hundred or so.  We shall see as I really don't know what to expect.

But Time Marches On today and, after the services, a large group will reconvene at Roger's for a catered and well-lubricated wake.  There's no doubt it's a very big day.  I wonder as I write these words this morning, just what I will have to say tomorrow looking back on what now lies ahead.  We shall see, as they say.

Since life is for the living, we shall proceed on.

There's an old saying I grew up with about March: "In like a lamb, out like a lion" and "In like a lion, out like a lamb."  I don't know if that saying applies to the Western United States but it always surely seemed accurate for The Cornbelt.  Clearly we are coming into March like a lamb today.  The rebound from our weekend storm has been amazing.  It was HOT yesterday afternoon and likely to be still hotter yet today.  Believe it or not, today's high temp is likely to be 73-75 degrees!  Talk about a rebound.

I put a lot of miles on the Nissan yesterday, free-ranging throughout the East Valley.  I managed to get the oil changed early in the morning and then ran far too many errands to describe here.  A goodly portion of the day was spent finding various accouterments for the Tuesday Target Shoot.  The real Main Event of the day left me dizzy with dazzlement.  Here's how it all happened.  I was in Far East Mesa visiting a Sportman's Warehouse and, on a whim, decided to drive to Far West Mesa to go to a scrap metal yard.  I was looking for a needle in a scrap hay stack.  Sure enough, I found my needle.  I offered to pay for it but they gave it to me for free.  The place was a buzzing hive of bustling worker bees.  Some of you may know that China is driving our scrap buying frenzy.  China's voracious appetite for base metals has every Sanford & Son hauling all manner of junk to the scrap yards.  It's pretty amazing to watch.  And if you don't watch your step in one of those scrap yards you could get run over in a heartbeat--they are THAT busy.  It's amazing to see, actually.    Well, since the scrap yard was only a half mile from "Dee-Eye," I thought, "What the heck, let's go look for another golf cap."  You see, I've decided to make a collection of golf caps.

Sure enough, I found a nice 2008 U.S. Open Torrey Pines golf cap for a mere dollar and I was pleased.  So, I decided to saunter into Dee-Eye's back 40 to gander at golf clubs and bags and such.  A crumpled golf bag caught my eye on a shelf.  As I reached for this old bag, my heart skipped a beat.  There it was lying unseen in a pile of non-descript stuff.  Could it be?  Was it real?  I could feel my pulse rate pick up as I pondered the impossible.  Surely, it couldn't be real.  Surely, something was amiss.  It simply couldn't be what I thought it might be.  I asked the clerk if I could undress the package on an idle checkout counter.  One-by-one, each piece came out in pristine, unused condition.  Each and every piece of the original set sat in immaculate condition in front of my eyes.  I say this a lot on this blog but I was truly stunned.  I stood transfixed staring at my find in near total disbelief.  What an incredible stroke of pure luck.  In my mind, I heard the crack of that baseball bat when it connects with a home run and I felt the felt sailing high, long and far out of the park.
I had just bought a $300 croquet set for a mere $18.  This is not your ordinary croquet set--this is a professional grade set far, far above the likes of the sets us normal people use.  This set is even more amazing than The Spudboater's set.  It weighs a ton and each wicket looks like it is made from vinyl coated rebar.  The mallets are incredible and the end stakes are dazzling.  It even has a small slide on "protector" to shield each end stake from potential marring when they are being pounded into the ground.  When I got out into the parking lot, I called Susun on the cell phone and hyperventilated about my find.  I didn't tell her what it was, just that it was one of the finest thrift store scores of all time.  When she actually set eyes on it for the first time, she practically swooned. We studied the prices of various comparable sets online and she has been claiming it's a $700 set.  I won't go that high but I'm positive there would be no debate about it being a $300 set. (We actually found a $6000 croquet set online, by the way.)

This croquet set will NEVER be used for extreme croquet.  It's the type of set where we will all have to wear white pants and shirts to use it.  Ladies and gentlemen under parasols will lolly gag on the sidelines sipping mint juleps when we use this croquet set.  This set will never be used for casual "have-a-hoot" backyard croquet.  Nope, this is the set we take to a well-groomed shady park during High Summer.  It's amazing, that's about all I can say.

Well, what was the needle in the scrap stack I was looking for?  Actually, it was a brass needle but I settled for aluminum.  It's not quite an inch wide, slightly less than a quarter-inch thick and about 6-7 inches long.  It weighs hardly anything, of course, since it is aluminum.  I am going to use it to make a much more spiffy battery hold down for SuziQ.  Ultimately, when we get back to Idaho Falls, I will have Jim's Trophy shop do some engraving on it.  It will replace two pieces of bale twine and a cable tie.  Yeah, I know, some of you think the twine and plastic tie has a lot more innate class and style but I really want to elevate our battery hold down to a much higher level of consciousness.

So it is in the life of the living as Time Marches On!

Have a great day & Cheers!  jp


Wayne Ranney said...

John - Thanks for your comments on the big day today. Helen and I send our well wishes to you and especially Susun and her family. Your presence at Don's "final event" will surely be soothing, reflective, and totally with perspective to everyone there. What a gift you give to them!


Marti Spudboater said...

I"ve been in Pocatello all day and not had time to send my karma and well wishes your way until now, but here they come---big kisses and fairy dust on the Idaho stars bouncing off Orions Belt to your Arizona home and Rogers, wishing you the best cry, the best wake of remembrance, as it should be. Celebrate all that life offered and the fond memories. MIss you both.

And the croquet set I look forward to seeing. Mine cost a bit over $100 which was truly ridiculous on my part, but oh well. I'm looking for some more $5 to $10 ones at Idaho Youth Ranch for extreme croquet use.

stasea said...

Thanks for your thoughts and words about grandpa.
If you have a copy of what you spoke I'd appreciate it.
It's so hard living so far away sometimes.
Consequences of my choices.
Anyway... Triple WOW on the snow and croquet set
and that cool beer cooler thingy!! So entertaining.
I'll be calling Mom in the am, if you would tell her please.
Here's to Grandpa!!