Tuesday, January 20, 2009

WHAT A DAY!!!!!!!

I already spent my Nevada winnings. Went to the podiatrist and had custom inserts made for my plantar facilitis, then to the dentist for a crown for my broken tooth, and poof! The big winnings were all gone. Then took Mom's car to the car wash to get cleaned and vacuumed, and filled it with gas, and returned it to her in gratitude of driving her Accord to Nevada instead of my truck. And the winnings are gone...but at least I didn't have to dip into my checkbook.....thanks casinos!

And when I wasn't giving my winnings away today, I was glued to the TV. What an exciting, historical, uplifting day! I spent time on the phone with family "watching the events together". I heard remarks such as: "Two hundred years ago Africans were being sold on that Mall as slaves. Today they are celebrating our first president of African descent". "Obama is the instrument, but we must make the music", and "This seems to be what my parents felt when the Kennedy's were in office". My sister, Ann, said she watched all day with tears streaming down, and I can only imagine the feelings of her bi-racial daughter-in-law and grand-daughters. Mom said my sister Mary was going to drive the two hours to my sister Terri's to watch the ceremonies with her. Ann and Mary were Bush supporters, but now are enthusiastic about the HOPE that Obama brings to the country. I marveled at the huge crowds in DC, and seeing white, black, yellow and red nationalities standing in the freezing cold waving flags, weeping, and hoping to catch a glimpse of the new president.

I was a teenager when John Kennedy was inaugurated as president and brought in his beautiful wife and two charming children. He said "The torch has been passed to a new generation", and I believe it has again. I hope he will bring the enthusiasm and good will that we felt in those early days of his presidency, so that the younger generation can experience what we felt during those days.

It will be a difficult task. Much of the joy and excitement felt today will fade as things do not change as quickly as some will wish. But I think John Kennedy's quote "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" will be felt again by this next generation. We are optimistic, hopeful, and wanting the best for all Americans. I hope his example will motivate kids who are potential dropouts, drug abusers, and thieves to believe in themselves, and be all that they can be....to bring good to the table instead of bad. This is the generation who can bring the change to make a better America.

God Bess, President Obama. I wish you a safe and happy presidency for you and your family. Thank you for your willingness to serve, for the risks you took, and for all you have done....and will do. GOD BLESS AMERICA!

Monday, January 19, 2009


If one has to turn 62, what better way then to spend your birthday weekend in Laughlin and Vegas with a good friend....and to hit a progressive jackpot! My longtime friend and former roommate flew to Laughlin on a Riverside special, and I drove the three hour trip to meet her. She arrived in the morning, and I got there late in the afternoon after working in the morning. She had a chance to check things out, and wanted me to try a Sizzling Sevens machine that she had seen hit several times during the day, and one one which she had won $350. I put in a twenty, gave it a pull....then another....and the 3 Sizzling Sevens came up....and I won the progressive of $1016! Immediately, two casino workers showed up behind me, and another took this picture. What a way to start my 62nd year!
The weekend continued to be fun with a side trip to Vegas, too much to eat, too much to drink, tired feet from walking all up and down the strip, more bells ringing with wins, (and some disappointing losses), a great night seeing LaCage, enjoying the Fremont Street light show, cheering on the Cardinals to victory with a group of people from around the country, and lots of laughter with a great friend.
Not too fun to have to admit to being 62, but do have social security checks to look forward to, and need to appreciate reaching this age and still having my wonderful mother and great sisters alive and well, having my children married and with those wonderful grandsons and spouses, and having some very special friends in both Minnesota and Arizona. I am grateful that I am still able to ride my golden boy, Bart, and have a lovable toy Aussie who still thinks I'm worth sharing a house with. And when one is complaining about being 62, it is good to remember that some friends and family were not fortunate enough to live to reach that mature age. I think of my classmates Bobby, Mary Lou, Larry and Marilyn, and of my cousins Buddy and Dennis.
Yes, it is true...Getting Old Isn't For Sissies. The body doesn't work like it used to and certainly doesn't look the same. But it gets me where I want to go, allows me laughter and the heartwarming feelings that come from the calls, cards and gifts. Thank you all for being there for me......you made this eventful date a very special one for me. And I am younger that I ever will be again...now THAT is worth a celebration!

Monday, January 5, 2009


As this new year began, to paraphrase Charles Dickens, " it was the best of times, it was the worst of times". On December 30, Mom and I returned from a movie to find a message from my sister Ann, in Roswell. She told us that her husband, Mick, had gone out hunting for a few hours at 10 am, and had not returned. At 9 pm she contacted the sheriff. We slept little that night as we waited for a call with the news we hoped for....but by morning the fear had really set in. He had not been found, and a search and rescue team had been sent out. We hoped he would be found safely that day, but as the hours dragged by, our fears deepened. Ann called at 7pm and said that the sheriff had just left, that they held out very little hope that he would now be found alive. He had been dressed lightly as he had just planned to be out for a few hours and the temperatures had been a sunny 75 degrees. However, in the New Mexico desert, the temperatures drop rapidly after sunset, and were in the twenties during the night.
Mom and I left Arizona at 6am for the 12 hour drive. We were on the cell phone with updates, and receiving calls from friends and family who had received my emails, and were offering prayers and support. We were almost half way there when we got an excited call from Ann. Mick had been found....dehydrated, hypothermia, exhausted, weak, confused....but ALIVE! We decided to continue to New Mexico as she said she could use some family support.
Mick survived three days and two nights without food or water, walked about 30 miles, and had survived by keeping his wits, staying awake at night to jump up and down and repeat his multiplication tables to keep from freezing, and at one point had decided to keep one bullet for himself in case he should break a leg and the coyote pack was closing in. What a frightening, painful ordeal! He had found a flat rock and scratched a farewell message to Ann, but then was too weak to carry it with him. He fell into some cholla cactus and had many thorns in his legs, badly cut a finger, and has blisters on his feet, but was in apparent surprisingly good condition when he was brought home.
As terrible as his ordeal was, it also was not without some good. My sisters family became closer and learned the importance of not taking each other for granted. Her daughter displayed a side of her that didn't know, as she made calls to neighboring ranchers, search and rescue teams, and was a source of strength for the family. Mick could not believe the good that remains in people today, as they gave up their New Years Day plans to search for him....not out of the duty of a job, but because they truly cared about another human being. And there were prayers for him coming from friends and family all around the world. Those involved in the rescue called his being found alive a miracle, and many believed it was all the prayers that made the difference in his being brought home alive.
It has been a week of fear, tears, apprehensions, excitement and joy. We are all very thankful for the positive outcome, for all the prayers and support from friends, and for the good that has come of this experience. We are hoping for a full recovery for Mick, and that they will get the home they are considering in Wickenburg. In times like these, we need our families....and Ann and Mick are just too far from all of us now!
So now back to reality. Time to put away the remaining Christmas decorations, get out and see my horse that Betts has cared for so generously, and get back to cleaning, laundry, bills and dieting. Life returns to normal, but lessons have been learned and memories have been made. May the rest of 2009 be as positive. In a few weeks I will turn 62 and start social security, officially making me an old person. Obama will assume the daunting position as president, and the country will be optimistic for the beginning of the end for the economic disasters, housing collapse, and return to a time of peace. Sometimes miracles do happen, and our prayers appear to be heard. God Bless, Barack!