Don’t Eat the Donuts!

I love donuts.

The woman behind the donut machine,

In Steele’s grocery in 1950’s Fort Collins, CO, 

Next to St Luke’s Episcopal church (my church) on College and Oak (I think),

Across the street from BPOE, the Elks club,

Watched the donuts drop in to the carrousel of hot lard,

Move half way around the track and flip to cook the other side,

And then continue the full circle to drop down the chute to be captured,

And frosted.

I delivered the Coloradoan newspaper to her home,

So she would give me a warm, sweet, mouth watering sample donut,

When I came in and she was cooking them.

Now I can’t eat them.

I have type II diabetes and am on a diet, having lost 26 lbs.

Last week we were in Wheatland, CA after the passing of my 37 year old grandson,

And near the Suites we stayed was Krispy Creme.

I can’t eat them either.

They have a similar way to cook them, in rows instead of a carrousel,

And like that other donut machine, they flip half way to brown the other side.

I just love Krispy Kreme’s.

Oh sure there are other donuts in my life, non edible and non enticing:

The spare tire in my Honda Element is just such a donut,

A small tire only strong enough to get you to Les Schwab to fix the flat,

Or better yet, to remain hidden under the back deck while AAA is called.

Remaining hidden is a good thing for donuts.

There is also a donut (hole) in my Medicaid, wherein I have to pay until I get out of it;

I hope Obama care fixes that.

Sometimes love handles that live around my middle are called a donut, now called muffin too?

I don’t eat them, but they are there due to some heavy donut bouts in the past. 

I used to stop at the donut shop in Hollywood, Portland, OR to get a bag of  donuts to eat on the way to school in Corvallis or Eugene,

Not Dunkin’ Donuts, the other one.

I’m paying for that now.

I never cared much for the boxed powdered Wonder bread/Hostess donuts,

Too dry, not fresh.

I don’t sit on a donut, though I have in the past when hemorrhoids got bad, a cusion of air, that is.

Anyway despite my digressions,

I still have donuts on my mind,

Hot fresh frosted cake donuts with sprinkles.

I have yet to visit Voodo Donuts in Portland, home of the donut with bacon on it?

– Small town boy

Healing/Greiving

I had surgery on Tuesday, and now I am in the healing process.

Healing is like grieving, you can’t hurry it.

Both are recovery processes.

Both trying to repair the body,

from trauma.

The mental body, the emotional body, the physical body, and the spiritual body.

We’ve been given the necessaries for this process,

And though we grow impatient,

they work, after a fashion.

Seeing it in others or helping them see it,

Doesn’t help much when it’s you that is healing.

Small steps, some backwards, some forwards,

Like the frog in  the well: two forward, one backward.

Oh, how we take for granted the uninjured self.

When we’re whole our minds, hearts, bodies and spirits

Are involved with other things, not suspecting

What’s around the corner.

What is the good of trauma? It shakes me up, like an earthquake,

That allows rebuilding of fundamental structures, 

Allows change to occur.

Things I thought were important, aren’t so important now.

Things I had forgotten were important, become important once again.

Grief and healing; healing and grief,

Once thought too painful,

Now seen as brief.

bless me father.

-Small town boy


My doctors, Brant and Wang.

Trees fell down

There are trees down in the forest.

Some fell, but mostly as a result of storm damage.

A natural end to life in a vertical posture.


Now I lay me down to sleep…

No!

Prematurely, not due to any weakness in my limbs,

I am fallen to die,

And then, after a time,

Resurrection, just as Christ died on a tree and was resurrected after being placed in a cave on the ground,

I, laying here on the forest floor,

Will become a nurse log for others to grow from.

The cycle continues.

I m fallen, but others will rise 

With my help.

From

My life comes the life of others,

Standing in the sun.

Amen

– small town boy

Breath

I breathe.

Again.

I breathe,

And with each breath

My lungs extract life

In the form of oxygen 

And send it to refresh my heart.

My heart thus refreshed

Sends it on to my brain,

And the cloud on my spirit lifts

Just a little.

More breaths, more breathing,

More refreshing,

And I can go on.

Simple, slow recovery.

I just keep breathing.

Thank you Jesus,

And all those tiny angels

That I sent to my friend last year in her grief,

They have returned to me.

Their job is never ending.

Their job is to give us strength and courage

And hope.

Take a breath, take another, and another.

Recovery is slow 

But hope is eternal.

– Small town boy

 

In my grief

I grieve.

I ache with it.

My heart is broken.

I am at a standstill,

Unable.

Unable to think.

Unable to feel ought else.

Unable to breathe or swallow or sleep.

How must my daughter feel, my son-in-law, my grandchildren?

I grieve for them, with them.

I weep, in spurts .

When I think I’m safe again,

I am over whelmed with grief.

I long for wellness;

I am heartsick.

Where is my recovery?

In you? In You? In solitarity?

In time?

In activity?

I die with Christ this weekend in hopes of my resurrection,

From this terrible grief.

– Small town boy

Grandpa’s field trip

This was the second field trip I have  gone on with my grandchildren.

The first was to a fishery with Dashawn, the third grader.

This trip was to a play at the restored Whiteside theater downtown,

With Angel, the first grader.

The teacher was confused when  I showed up. 

Had I checked in to the office computer that  confirmed that I was approved to volunteer?

Was Angel’s aunt Becca going to come?

Yes, no, and when do we go?

I must say right off that going with Angel is different than going with Dashawn.

There is much more touching, hand holding, and chatter. Chatter. Chatter.

So we got onto the school bus, eventually, having loaded two boxes and buckets of lunches,

And rode two miles to the theater.

I was not able to sit on the bus with my three charges: Bianca, Angel and Maecy (only three to a seat),

So I sat behind them next to Emma,

Who began to tell me all the people in her family who were dying or going to die.

Someone had brain cancer, an aunt had died last week, and the new born twins weren’t going to make it, etc.

Emma’s mother was in charge of the Whitside theater.

So we we’re dropped in front of the theater, en masse, two bus loads, plus others from other schools.

The hike up to our seats in the balcony was as far as my hike up Austen stadium to the 80th row at the University of Oregon.

We climbed three flights to the balcony, and I was beginning to feel faint.

I didn’t take  my charges down another flight when  we got into the balcony,

Choosing to sit halfway up on the aisle we came in on. The girls were fine with this.

Angel had my hand the whole way and held  it during the performance.

I dug out a bar I had brought to regain my energy, but it didn’t help.

My stomach felt queezy.

The play was great and we learned that girls could be swordsmen instead of princesses.

Upon leaving I received two hugs from Tavin, my grandson in kindergarden, who was also at the play with his mother, Becca.

After the play we walked three or four blocks to the gazebo in Central Park.

I had to stop and sit part way. My bloodsugar was plummeting.

And I had nothing to eat.

So the two girls (Maecy had been taken by another adult because she was constantly ahead of us) went to get their lunches which both had brought from  home.

I eyed them hungrily.

Then Alexandro came over by us, on the bench, to throw his lunch in the trash.

I asked if  he had finished it? He said no.

I asked if he would get it out of the trash can for me?

He was hesitant.

Another adult asked him what was going on and volunteered to retrieve the lunch, but I said no; I would do it.

It was a school packed lunch. It had an apple with one bite out of it, a P B&J sandwich (half eaten) and a bag of small carrots.

I was saved! Not only had I been  provided lunch but it fit with  my NutraSystems diet (having just lost 20 lbs).

The girls looked askance, and eagerly told anyone who would listen that grandpa was  eating Alexandro’s lunch which he  had dug out  of the trash barrel.

I felt it was a life  lesson about those less fortunate that went “dumpster diving” for food.

I think there was divine providence here.

The girls wanted to play on the playground at the park, and insisted that I had  to go along with them.

I agreed, since my blood sugar had recovered and I could be human again.

They had a wonderful  time building sand temples, with dndelions on tlhem.

We got on the bus and returned to the  school.

I’m home now and resting.

Phew, what a day!

-Small town boy

Fitness and Resistance

Each morning I go to Fitness Over Fifty to work out. One half hour of cardio, and one half hour of weights.

You can adjust the level of resistance on each machine.

As you increase resistance you and your heart become stronger.

There is no improvement without resistance.

You remain flabby.

But as you modify the resistance you see and feel immediate benefits,

To your body, your mind, and your heart are strengthened.

On the stationary bike I select “Random Hill.”

The resistance goes up and down and lasts for longer and longer times;

The higher the resistance, the longer it lasts.

I note that there are also others who are setting their level of resistance.

If you don’t set your level of resistance, you are simply “spinning.”

There is great camaraderie in resisting. Each person working on his or her health.

At home, I prefer to ride my bicycle over hiking because on a bike you only have to climb up one side if the hill.

Not so here at the gym. Like a unicyclist I met once riding from Colorado to Oregon, you must exert yourself on both sides of the hill. No coasting.

Now that I have finished my workout my body feels better.

Stress is removed, and my heart rate is up.

Resistance is good for me.

Set your level, work at it, with others, and feel the results.

– Small town boy 

Puzzeling

Do you do jigsaw puzzles?

My mother and her husband John always had one going in the screened-in porch at the rear of their house in Longmont. When they had time they would stop and put in a piece or two.

I’ve recently had the time and interest to pursue this hobby.

Actually, I would get them started and rely on one of my two daughters-in-law to finish them. Either Debra Due or Karis, depending who was at the beach house after I got tired if working on the puzzle.

How many pieces can you do? 500 or 1000, or more?

I try to limit my puzzling to 500 piece puzzles, else they never get done or put away.

I get free puzzles at Fitness Over Fifty, the gym where I work out, or at Goodwill, or last Christmas I won one at a white elephant  game at the dinner for Dial-a-Bus drivers.

Before Christmas I brought home a free 500 piece puzzle of a basket of fruit from FOF. My great grandchildren, Angel and Dashawn, helped me with that one. Their eyes are better than mine.

My wife gave me a 500 piece puzzle which I worked on at the beach on a card table so as not to take up eating space while working on the puzzle. It was of an old rusted out panel truck/flower garden that I did myself.

The anomole in this puzzle was an extra, duplicate, puzzle piece .

I know that crossword puzzles are supposed to help memory loss (or do they just makes you better at crosswords?) But as part of my senile dementia is lack of focus, or distraction, these jigsaw puzzles help me stay focused. (The irony here is that I raised two sons who were ADD and ADHD. Now I understand them better.)

I find that if I get up and walk away from the puzzle,  I can find that piece I’ve been looking for for the last five minutes is right under my nose.

So here I am a alone with some beach time after New Year’s day, and I choose a free 1000 piece puzzle with no daughter in law in sight. (Karis was in Denver working on her own 1000 piece puzzle of Doors!)

I struggled with my thousand piece puzzle.

Do you do edge pieces first?

The only way I could find them was to sort through small piles, moving them from box bottom to box top while putting only edge pieces on the card table. Then I could focus only on edge pieces and not try to turn them over at the start.

Focus.

I continued this procedure throughout puzzle assembly. Never having too many pieces out of the box.

The good thing about this big puzzle was that the picture on the front was quite helpful in locating the puzzle piece’s final location in the puzzle.

I say “final location” because sometimes I had to take pieces out that were in the wrong place, as shown by the inability to place a correct piece in a neighboring spot.

There were thirteen pieces missing from this puzzle, an additional small setback in the face of the 987 other pieces.

My friend Joanne tells me to make my own  pieces, but then she’s a quilter.

On to the next puzzle.

– Small Town Boy

It’s my turn

It’s my turn to be old.

I’ve already had a turn at being young, being a teen (I extended that a bit), being twenty something, thirty something and forty when I thought I was old.

My grandfather and my grandmother had their turn with dignity.

My mother’s turn was short (age 68).

My father gave up his turn (suicide at age 37)

Now that it’s my turn to be old, I want to take advantage of all the older ‘adult experiences.’

Like a midday nap.  Like grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Like seeking my self that has been created over the years. Like getting to know my inner child.

Some activities I don’t enjoy, but I acknowledge that they come with the territory and I intend to experience them and grow.

Life enlarged prostate. Like aches and pains. Like ten pillls in the morning and ten pills in the evening. Like obesity and diabetes. Like limited walking, hiking, running abilities.

Slowly I am becoming disabled, in body, in mind, in vision.

But that’s ok.

My body is the one mostly feeling the age.

My heart is large and full of love.

My mind is seeking new ways to discover, like meditation, like quiet time, like turning off the television which hadn’t been invented when I was young.

My spirit soars with the eagles, as Chief Dan George says in “Little Big Man,”

I take one day at a time, and the days fly by, months come and go as I focus on today.

It’s my turn, my last turn, and I want to do it right. My children are watching and I want them to know they have nothing to fear when it’s their turn.

Soon I will experience old age.

I will be more disabled, more spiritual, more medicated and older. Who knows how old; who cares?

So I’m here for you if you need me to love you, to pray for you, to sit with you, to offer unsolicited advice.

I’m here with my wife of almost 45 years. Our marriage is old too.  We like it; we like that we’re together and with children yet.

So if you live in the young world, have faith, you too can have your turn.

Your get to have a turn at being old.

– Small town boy

Life Quilt row 3, #1 1/2 Reno, NV

The plan was, and reservations had been made for renting a Harley from Eagle Rider Motorcycles in Reno; that’s how I got this tee shirt.

But plans change.


After a great week at Silver Legacy we decided to take the tour of the new downtown Reno on Segues (the two wheel vehicles you see above).

But plans change.

(Betsy) I’m not good at balancing two wheel vehicles, ok? But Lloyd wanted to do it and I said ok. We watched training videos, practiced, and signed lots of papers protecting those who rent the segues.

We weren’t more than two blocks from Silver Legacy, riding down the sidewalk, when my left wheel went off the sidewalk and I was thrown into the street

The EMTs were very nice. They took me to St Mary’s hospital only a few blocks away and then continued to check on me whenever they came back to the ER.


(Lloyd) I and the other two continued on the tour. We rode along the Truckee River, stopping from time to time to see the urban development.

A few moments later the right wheel of my Segue dropped off the sidewalk and threw me down. Fortunately I only act scratched my elbow.
We had planned to fly back to Oregon, but plans change.


Betsy had four breaks in her tibia plateau and wore a long black splint. She wouldn’t fit on the small Horizon jet we had come on.

So we rented a Ford Edge, a roomy SUV crossover, and drive home to Corvallis.