About Me

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Watkinsville, Georgia, United States
We lost my beautiful wife of 20 years on 9/12/07. Lisa was my world she was my everything and now she is gone. We are learning to live without Lisa now. I say we because I am not alone. My children are stuck in this mess with me. These are my notes, my vent, my way of letting you all know that we are doing well (some days). This is for myself, my friends and my family that want to know how we are doing and what we are up to. Along the way I hope this might also help someone else who has been dealt a similar hand.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Nine Hammers

Death seems to be all around me this past week or two.

Last week I received news that one of our employees had died suddenly.  Johnny had worked for us for over 17 years and was a great employee.  Moreover, he was a great guy.  Just a decent man that rarely complained or spoke ill of anyone.  He was the kind of guy you just like to spend time around.  Quiet and unassuming even though he was well over six foot and could be an ominous presents.  Johnny was also one of those guys that had to be dragged to the doctor kicking and screaming.  Unfortunately, Johnny had lung cancer and didn’t even know it.  He got this news just a week before his lungs filled with fluid and his body gave up.  I got this news via a text message while I was actually at another funeral.  The father of another employee had died just as suddenly from heart failure.  Two funerals in less than a week…

Now I get word that the father of a dear friend is about to lose his battle with a failing body.  Possibly days or just hours from now he will quietly end his life of 80 years and leave behind a grieving family.

My heart breaks for the ones that are and will be left behind.  I wish to comfort them but know from my own experience that no matter what I say, it will not help them.  Meer words just have no volume at times like this.  In fact words are so insufficient at times like these I tend to just shut down and not say anything.  Instead I prefer to just have a physical presence and be prepared to act when called on.  I prefer to speak with my actions and offer a silent hug of reassurance.  I prefer this over saying anything that will tend to do no good or worse cause unintended offence.

I continue to become more pragmatic on the subject of death.  After all, it’s inevitably something that will happen to all of us sooner or later.  Eventually each and every one of use will go.  Some too soon and some not soon enough.  Some of us will have far too short a time here and some of us will have more than our share of time here.  Some of us will go due to what may seem a tragic and unfair reason and some of us will go due simply to the passing of time and natural reasons.  Still, no matter why or when, I consider them to be the lucky ones.  Because, while my heart breaks for those left behind, they will soon be in a better place joining loved ones that have already move on to be with the Father.

As I prepare myself for this imminent funeral I can’t help but think about how long the road of grief has been for me.  My prayer is that this family will quickly recover and remember with great affection their loved one.

Tonight I spent a quiet evening putting my tools away.  It’s rare that I listen to music in my shop since most of the time it is drowned out by the noise.  Tonight I did and spent the night listening to Duffy and emptying boxes.  My tools are all organized and now readily available.  Now I’m just trying to figure out why a guy needs 9 hammers.  Heck, I never even realized I had 9… 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

FFA Road Trip

I continue to see progress in how things affect me or better how they don’t.  Only about a year ago I would have simply dreaded the thought of being alone for a week.  Now I actually tend to look forward to it a bit.  Matt takes off for a weeklong trip next week and I’m actually looking forward to the alone time.

He hits the road early Tuesday morning on a trip to Indianapolis, Indiana for the national FFA convention.  He’s really been looking forward to the trip for a long time.  He wanted to go last year but there just wasn’t enough room on the bus.  This year he had a reserved spot since he is an officer for his schools chapter.

I even put together a “goodie bag” for him and his buddy William.  After all, William is like a second son to me.  The bags are full of candy bars, chips, small games and toys.  I particularly liked the Spider Man swim goggles that I gave then both.  I’m not sure what good they will be but I tend to think they will get a laugh or two out of them.

Well, I finally finished those shop cabinets.  It’s only taken me ten months but they are finished.  While I’m a purist and wanted to make my own drawer pulls I decided to use some store bough ones.  I have 25 drawers and just happened to have 24 antique brass drawer pulls.  Don’t ask me why I had them but I did.  I think I bought them some time back when they were on sale at Lowes.  I’m only one short and figure I can find a matching one somewhere.  Maybe some time in the future I will take the time to make some myself.  However, for now I can put this project behind me and move on to the next phase of finishing out the shop.

Right now I think I’ll just fill up all those great drawers and finally get all my tools organized and put away.  It’ll be nice not to have to dig through boxes for my tools.  With all those drawers I’ll probably never remember where I put anything!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Road Trip

I took my very first overnight trip alone this weekend.  No kids, no dogs, no friends, just me alone on a weekend getaway. 
Abby had a full weekend of plans (as usual) and Matt was off attending an FFA event in Perry.  So it was perfect timing for a weekend to myself.  I took off for a one night stay in Augusta with some long time friends.  I found the trip to be somewhat bitter-sweet. It was great to take off and have some alone time but the solitude of the drive made me miss my sweetheart.  As I zipped along I-20 I could not help but think she should be there with me.  That’s the way it should have been, the two of us together on a weekend getaway.  While I longed for her company I plowed ahead non-the-less.  I suppose I just took comfort in knowing that she would be happy to see me doing something for myself.  I even imagined her smiling in approval of my little adventure.  Lisa always loved a spur of the moment weekend getaway.  I’m think I’m going to have to do that more often…
Sure, I have a thousand and one things that I need or want to do around the house but it sure was nice to just take the weekend off and relax.  It was very peaceful just having myself to worry about.  Heck, even packing was delight since everything that I needed was able to fit into one small bag.  I almost didn’t know how to act not having a slew of bags to lug out to the truck when I left.
We have a new addition down at the barn as you can see in the attached picture.  Her name is Pancake.  Matt decided that he would “show” a dairy cow this year.  I was a bit apprehensive about him taking on this new responsibility but it has been a great thing for him.  I was certain that I would be the one that would wind up feeding and caring for her.  Matt has been doing a great job with her however.  He has not missed a feeding and seems to enjoy the new responsibility.  He just about has her off the bottle and on solid food and has already started the process of halter breaking her.  She has a sweet disposition and tends to be quite playful.  I just hope Matt still enjoys his responsibility when the weather turns cold and nasty.  Walking down to the barn as the sun is coming up on a nippy October morning is a good bit different than doing the same on pitch black, cold and rainy February morning.
I am slowly making progress on my cabinet drawer fronts.  I finally decided to go with a glued up panel for those big oversized drawer fronts that I still needed to make up.  In fact I have gotten the remaining panels made and already have about six very thin coats of shellac on them all.  The wood has turned from a pale off-white to a rich amber color that highlights the grain and knots.  All I have left to do is give them a light sanding and one coat of varnish.  Once I get them finished I will try to post a before and after for you.  Oh yeah, and I still need to make pulls for them I suppose.  After all, drawers are not much good if you can’t get them open.