Archive for May, 2008

Memorial Day

May 26, 2008

“Flags-in”

The 3rd U.S. Infantry (The Old Guard) has honored America’s fallen heroes by placing American flags before the gravestones and niches of service members buried at both Arlington National Cemetery and the U.S. Soldier’s and Airmen’s Home National Cemetery just prior to Memorial Day weekend.

This tradition, known as “flags in,” has been conducted annually since The Old Guard was designated as the Army’s official ceremonial unit in 1948. Every available soldier in the 3rd U.S. Infantry participates, placing small American flags one foot in front and centered before each grave marker.

During an approximately three-hour period, the soldiers place flags in front of more than 260,000 gravestones and about 7,300 niches at the cemetery’s columbarium. Another 13,500 flags are placed at the Soldier’s and Airmen’s Cemetery. As part of this yearly memorial activity, Old Guard soldiers remain in the cemetery throughout the weekend, ensuring that a flag remains at each gravestone.

American flags are also placed at the graves of each of the four unknown service men interred at the Tomb of the Unknowns, by the Tomb Sentinels. All flags are removed after Memorial Day before each cemetery is opened to the public.

Pictures and Statement from Arlington National Cemetery at http://www.arlingtoncemetery.org/

Good Morning,

Did you wake up this morning feeling secure? Well you should have because we are secure. This security comes from us being a God fearing nation and our men and women in the military. Did you know that God sent his son Jesus to die on the cross for our security and over 1 million American’s have died to assure us security? What have you done for God and our military? God only ask one thing; accept Jesus as your personal savior. Our military only ask that you pray for their safe return from war and pray for their families. Tell a solider Thank You the next time you have the opportunity. I know that this is no breaking news to you, but today is Memorial Day, so at 3:00 PM today stop what ever you are doing and pray for the soldiers who have died and pray for their family. What connections do you have to the military? Well I don’t have any close family members in the military, but I have always had a close relationship to the military. I have great friends; brother and sister firefighters that fight for our freedom and security. I now have a great friend whose son is a pilot, fighting for our freedom and security as I type this blog. I want to send out a big THANK YOU and GOD BLESS YOU to everyone in the military. I must THANK the families who did not get that reunion hug from their solider; instead they received a flag, GOD BLESS YOU. We as American’s must remember the soldiers who have already gone ahead of us and know they will never again have to worry about their security for God has promised through the blood of Jesus to forever be secure in heaven with him.

Well I know I am a week and a day late writing and you know me I have an excuse, I am lazy. So I am going to back track to catch you up. I had to return to Charleston for a follow up visit with my surgeon about the infection I had. This was one of those trips that was going to be about a five minute doctor’s visit so the plan was for me to journey alone because Claire and Abigail had work and school. I then talked with my ole buddy Al and told him I was going to Charleston for some Shrimp & Grits and he decided he wanted to try them, so off to Charleston we went. We left on Monday afternoon and arrived there just in time for supper at Hyman’s Seafood. Can you tell how a fat boy plans a trip? We arrived and I kicked Al out of the truck so he could get in line, I did not want any lost time for parking, supper was great. The Court Yard by Marriott again provided that great night’s rest and I awoke to the pleasant smell of breakfast, there in the motel. Al and I went to the “Shoot til you win”, “All you can eat”, or “Graze til you bust” but really it was a buffet so there again I got my monies worth and more. After grazing we arrived at the doctor’s office about 8:25 AM. I went back to see the doctor, he mashed and tried to hurt me again but he was not able to so he stated all was well and to call him if I needed him. He did stated he wanted to see me back for a year check up in August. We then chatted for a while longer and the nurse and I replaced the dressing, about 9:10 AM I was out front making my appointment. While I was standing there making the appointment, I could hear a lot of talking but one voice stood out above the rest, yelp it was Al. I think he had already finished his fire inspection and was now socializing with the patients, can you believe he had them old sick people down in the floor teaching, Stop, Drop and Roll. Well the next item was to check out of the motel, go to the market for some goodies for the girls and be close to the Charleston Crab House for the good ole Shrimp & Grits. We walked through out the market, I bought some goodies and got scolded for picking up a grass basket when I told the lady I was just looking, she said for me to just look not handle, if I was just looking, she said people would mash the edges. I placed the basket down in shame and traveled on. We then went into the Charleston Hat Company, yelp that’s were all the hats come from. I ask the lady who always helps me to fix my brown hat because I got caught in a bad down pour a few weeks ago. While we were there I had to look around and try on some more hats. Then on the shelf, sat a hat that just reached out for me and I tried it on. Yelp you guessed it I got another hat. I needed this one because it will be cooler for the summer, Claire and Abigail also approved it. With my treasures in tow and on my head off to the Charleston Crab House we went. You know you go to a restaurant to often when you are out of town and the staff recognizes you when you walk in. We ordered the small Shrimp & Grits, chatted with the staff and recommended food selections for other patrons. We sat there realizing that the small bowl of Shrimp & Grits had many more vittles in it than either of us could handle but we tried. We then accepted defeat and left in our bowls the evidence that the small bowl was much too large for either of us. Realizing the end was near for this trip, I left Charleston full and yet hopeful for the return visits I have in the future to go back to Charleston for the food, I mean the doctor’s visits. Al and I arrived back in Possum Kingdom on Tuesday and told of the terrible time we had in Charleston, the long wait at the doctor’s office and the meals we had to eat out of the vending machines, I hope our secrete is safe with you. Al knew he had to get out of Possum Kingdom before dark, because the streets are rolled up and the gates are locked til day break, but Abigail had a different idea. Well let me set the stage for you, Al has a nice shinny convertible. Rebel stood guard while we was gone lying beside it and Abigail just ain’t never seen a top fold up and disappear. I had her convinced that the Gator was a convertible, now she knows better. She convinced Al to carry her for a ride before he drove out of the kingdom. Abigail came back smiling from ear to ear, grinning like a mule eating briers through a picket fence and with that wind blown look. You can now tell that there is always a silver lining behind every cloud. Preacher Mike stated this past week that we must thank God for ever event in our life, the good, the bad and the ugly. I have since decided that I needed some new drama in my life, so now I have a bad chest cold, at least that’s what I am calling it, Claire looked over the medication list and gave me the correct medication. I am the luckiest man alive.

Have a God filled day and remember the sacrifices that have been made for each of us and be careful this long weekend is one of the deadliest on our roads.

God Bless You,
Pel

Road Trip – Sun Shine in Charleston

May 8, 2008

Well once again we had this urge to go and see if the sun was shinning in Charleston, I guess you could say my body had that urge. Well I will try to stay on track and tell you what is going on with me, but you know me and somewhere along the road I will fall of the turnip truck but it’s always fun getting back on the truck. To some people this statement made no sense and you have no idea what I just said and to some others you felt like you was right there with me and almost fell off the turnip truck with me, now that I have confused my darling wife twice, I will give you an update.

In the past couple of weeks I have not felt 100%, but you know for a fat country boy from Possum Kingdom 70% is passing or just getting by and anything above that is extra effort. Well the fact is I just did not feel good. Last Friday I became quite aggravated because the bandage covering the Plural-X catheter was causing some irritation. On Saturday it had gotten to the point of being very uncomfortable, so I changed the bandage and observed a red area around the area. On Sunday, which was the scheduled day for draining the fluid from my left lung area, we then knew what was going on, I had an infection. On Monday I was advised that I needed to go to Charleston and see the surgeon in the event the catheter had to come out. Claire, Abigail and myself loaded up the van and off to Charleston we go. To give you a visual, close your eyes and think of Granny, Ellie May and Uncle Jed loading the truck and going on a road trip. OK now that you have that visual we will move on with the story. Now when we arrived in town after a long rough ride, still keep the visual, I went inside to check us in a new motel, at least it was new to us, you know we wanted to just try it. So I and my old hat wobbled in the fancy lobby of this motel to check in. I was standing there thinking we ain’t got nothing like this in Possum Kingdom, but I do my visual inspection and felt a little better because they had a concrete pond in the front and a sprinkler system. I then got my room assignment and that did not help a lot because it was on the 7th floor and I knew that kind of jump out the window would leave a mark, but thought between the concrete pond and the sprinklers we could get out if we had to. OK enough of check in, I got to tell you about supper. I should tell you one thing that we liked about the information we had read about this motel was they served 3 meals a day and the one we always stayed at only served breakfast. OK so we check in about 2130hrs and the supper hour was over at2200hrs, so we had to hurry! Well the fun for me was just beginning, we walked down to the restaurant, which was so fancy I had to ask if this was the restaurant, and it was. We went and started to set at the first table we saw, but that seemed to bother the nice lady trying to get us to sit at a booth, you know a fat boy at a booth with fixed benches can make the meal uncomfortable. OK for the grossly under weight people, if you were at the range of above normal weights when you sit at a booth your belly, table and bench all become one. Anyway we sat at the table we chose and she handed us the menu, things went down hill after that. Claire wasn’t feeling well after the long ride, she was the designated driver since I was on drugs, pain meds, so she left Abigail and myself to eat alone. The waitress came back and said I am so sorry, your are here for dinner, I said no supper and she said I must change the table because it was set up for breakfast. Now there was all I needed, you know dishes, to eat and drink with and even some left over. The nice lady insisted that she had to change the setting from breakfast to dinner for us. She gathered all those dishes including the napkins and returned with another pile of dishes, many more that we needed, I even insisted that she take the small fish bowl back so they did not have to was extra dishes, because I was not going to drink out of two glasses and that fish bowl one would not hold much and you could not get that manly grip on it like you can a Mason jar. We started reading the menu and it was wrote in English, but they were doing so much with flour, dead critters and a small mess of vegetables, that gave all of the good old food new names, it scared us. We decided on what to eat but we did not see it on the menu, so we asked. The waitress agreed to fix it our way, Abigail wanted some shrimp and mac & cheese. I saw something on the menu that sounded good, but there was numbers besides the writing (ie. 6 or 24 and ect.) and I decided that was how you ordered, you know by the number! Well I was wrong, so if you ever go to a restaurant that has just numbers beside the words, don’t order by announcing the number, because that could be the price. Any way I got a coupon when I arrived and it was good for for a drink and flat bread. Well I had to ask what flat bread was, Mama always fussed if you mashed the bread because it would become flat. I agreed to have the flat bread with some grilled shrimp and a side order of a lot of words because I did not know what that stuff was, but is was free with the coupon. The time came for us to order the drinks, so I ask what kind of drink the coupon was good for. The waitress looked at me and started with the beers, wines and all of that stuff. I ask could the coupon cover the Mountain Dew drink Abigail ordered so she said yes and I ordered water. We then had some down time so we went out and looked at the cement pond and on the way I even found a big chunk of marble with a hole in it and it had lava rock in the hole and fire with no smoke coming out of it. We then returned to our table to await our freshly prepared meal. I got a plank for a plate with a thin crust pizza on top with a good flavor of shrimp and other stuff. Abigail on the other hand got a great big plate of macaroni with maters and green beans and some really big shrimp. Abigail said our blessing and we began eating supper. We had a great talk with the waitress and even about her brother just finishing the police academy. We retired to our room with two great ole big beds, and really pretty furniture and so much furniture, they even had two tables that fit together to make a computer desk. The TV and fridge were both hiding when we arrived but after a short game of hide and seek we found the TV and fridge hiding behind some doors on this big pretty thing, I guess it was an entertainment stand? We then retired to bed and arose the next morning after a good night sleep, but we packed up and deceided if the doctor wanted us to stay in town we were going back to the motel we had been staying at. We arrived at MUSC to have X-Rays before seeing the doctor. He came in without much delay, had the bandage removed and he started poking and mashing. Now keep in mind, no visual this time, I had taken a small amount of drugs before I went and I found out real soon I did not have near enough on board to take care of the poking and mashing he did, but I survived. He said the infection was just around the surface area and not in the chest cavity or in the catheter, which was great. He put me on oral antibiotics and wants me to come back in two weeks. We ask, what was his long term goal, as he was the one a referral was sent to for a repeated VATS with talc procedure. He replied that there was no need to repeat the procedure, because it failed one time and he was sure it would fail again. He told me we had done well keeping the catheter clean for all of this time, 9 months. We talked about other long range procedures such as a shunt. He stated that I would not like that because I would have to push on the same spot everyday about 100 times to pump the fluid out, and it would get sore. Therefore my understanding was get use to the catheter, because the catheter was the best thing to treat my plural effision with. He finished hurting me and after we left I got to thinking. The biggest thing I remembered was my small hope of going back to the work I loved so much was now over and I know I should have learned that by now but I always hoped, but God has another plan for me. I have to pray for God to keep my eyes and mind open and seek his will. God has blessed me so much I have nothing to complain about.

Well the time has passed and my writing skill has not gotten any better so with that I will end. Remember when things don’t go your way and you feel like nobody cares, know for sure God cares and so do I.

Remember, if you meet me and forget me you loose nothing…..
If you meet my God and forget him you lose everything……..

Make things right with God, sign a donor card and tell your family, you can help save lives long after you are gone….

God Bless You,

Pel

Sun Shinning On Our Tater Hill

May 4, 2008

Well for the most of you sun shine is not a big deal, but we here in Possum Kingdom are proud because that gives us some time off. Time off you ask? Yes because here in Possum Kingdom we only have 3 main stop signs and we have no way to prewarn people of the approaching stop sign. So we have to take turn about shinning our flash lights in the eyes of the drivers and then shine it on the stop signs. It works really well, well most of the time. I’ll tell you what happened but you must understand tha it was not on my watch. One of our local residence was on his tour of duty, picture this he is a stump of a man, over six feet, almost 500 pounds, beard and overalls. He also has a mental condiction with a big 6 clyinder word, be we here in Possum Kingdom just know that Bubba is just crazy. Well he was watching the signs and just at dark thirty he had to vehicle approaching at he same time. This is a touchy situation for most of us to handle, but Budda had a unique way of handling it. The car approaching from thr right blew their horn and scared the dirt right out from under Bubba, so there he goes up in the air and there must have been enough cross wind to catch this mountain of a man. He landed right on top of the that rich man who was rambling around down here that day in his high dollar Volvo, us country folks call that a sissy car, you know if it ain’t a Chevy, Ford or John Deere no need to drive it. Bubba being the young man he was will try anything, when he labded on the roof of the car he made the moment as good as he could. He sat up on that well dented roof and started a political type way to the crowds of peope that gathered. When the driver got out and being a city guy he started in on Bubba and when Bubba broke 4 of the five fingers on the stranger’s hand, just to say hey. The city guy deceided that just because the roof now sat where passengers usually sat, that he would just head on back to the city and he appoliged to Bubba. We never did see that guy around here again.

OK on to health things, Claire is doing better, so well I was able to get her in there today so she can get some of that weekend money. Justin, Abigail are doing great, Justin will finish he exams next week and Abigail is just getting spoiled. Claire went with the 3rd grade on Friday to Columbia, way to go Ma. Abigail retured from that trip to only pack for a beach this weekend with the Acteens .

I have spoken with the doctor’s office in Charleston and telling tell lets go forward with the VATS w/talc. We are hoping to have it done sometime in June, but we will have to see. Have a great week, Smile because God Love You.

God Bless You,
Lightning