Nice Flashback This Morning...Florida

After getting up this morning and opening the back door to let the dogs out, a flashback hit me due to the unusual weather conditions here. The smell in the air of wet falling leaves. Gentle damp breezes stirring among the tree tops. Not cold at all, but a southern Florida morning damp winter warmth. 

I went outside and brushed leaves from a patio chair and sat outside in my jammies enjoying the lovely weather and watched the dogs frolic about the yard.
Our campsite at the KOA in Kissimmee, FL

It brought back memories of when the girls were little and we took our first trip to Florida and Disney World. Mornings like this greeted us in Kissimmee, Florida and in West Palm Beach where Dave's Aunt Ina lived.  

That was such a wonderful trip filled with many wonderful memories. 

Thanks God, for letting me relive some great memories this morning. 


50 Years Come and Gone...

This past weekend was the 50th reunion of my high school, Will Rogers, class of 67. Good golly Miss Molly, am I getting old or what? Really I think you're  as old as your mind lets you think you are, so I'm still in my 30's, so there!

I rolled into town on Wednesday to hand the dogs off to Christie. Thursday I had an absolutely lovely lunch with Peggy Hewitt Reeves. Peggy and I went to Woodrow Wilson Junior High and Will Rogers High School together.  She decided she did not want to attend the festivities so instead we had a quiet lunch at Chili's in Tulsa Hills and discussed what had been going on the last 4 years since we last saw each other. I know we will get together again when I am in town. 

Later that day I went to spend the afternoon with a dear friend, my daughter's God-Mother, who has been in the hospital and extended care since July, recovering from several surgeries. She is finally on the mend and is hoping to go home soon. I know she will be very happy to once again sleep in her own bed!

Friday night was the big night for our reunion. We were having it at the Greenwood Cultural Center in downtown Tulsa. I decided that I would Uber it to and from the festivities as I'm no longer familiar with downtown Tulsa and there seems to be a lot of construction in the area. I am so glad I made that decision.

It was great seeing old classmates and friends, people that you grew up with. It was fun going around looking at everyone's name tag then looking at them and saying "Oh my gosh, how the time has flown, has it really been 50 years"?  We had changed so much.  There were some that had not changed at all and you recognized them immediately. 

Our committee had done a wonderful job of pulling everything together. My hat is off to them and all their hard work!  I just wish we had done a class picture like we had done for our 40th reunion. 

We had a lovely dinner, again a lot of thought had gone into it trying to accommodate dietary needs. 
  It was interesting to talk to friends and hear what they were now doing and what they had done in their lives. Talked turned to grand kids and family or retirement. 

Michael Aston was our host of hosts and entertainer. Thankfully he was here and missing out on hurricane Nate in the gulf. 

Saturday at 11am,  Wilson Junior High had a reunion  at James E. McNellie's in downtown Tulsa, as it fed two high schools as both high schools were having their 50th reunions at the same time. It was great to see the Wilson (Central) kids once again. It brought back great memories of good times and great friendships that got cut off when the kids had to go to that other school. We got to catch up for 2 hours, not enough time, but enough to make the rounds. I got firm invites to bring my RV to the hill country of Texas and spend some time seeing the beauty of the Lone Star State. I just wish our time could have been longer so I could have visited with more folks. 

I had to get to Sprouts to buy some ingredients for my homemade bbq beans for the cookout at the ranch that evening. Yes another reunion event. You can't be a Roper and not have a cookout! Not a bean was left in my pot, I guess they were good!

Cynthia Thomas Hoffman and her husband had us out to their ranch in Mounds, OK and it was beautiful! Such gracious hosts! Thank you Cynthia!  Again it was fun to see and talk to more people and learn what they had been doing. 

A lot of the talk at my table turned to the VA and what they were and were not doing. Did I have my head buried in the sand?  I did not realized so many of our fine young men of Rogers had gone to Viet Nam. I am truly sorry and heartsick for those that did not return. I am very thankful for those that did return and were in attendance at the reunion. You will always have my love, thanks and gratitude for your service. 

I tried to catch old classmates to say goodbye, but some slipped away before I could catch you. However it is nice to catch you on Facebook now and again. 

It was great to see you again after all this time. It's a shame we live so far apart and we only get to see each other every 10 years or so. So I leave you with this.

Live your life well, be good to yourself and others. For you will find your reward in your fellowman when he pays it forward with the good deeds you did for him, thus your good work lives on. Susie Smeal

Rogers and Central Friends:

Steve Montgomery
Gerald Burris
Cynthia Thomas Hoffman
Janet Sartin Beams
Ruthie Henderson Givens
Gary Chandler
Bob Lewis
Linda Newton Selman
Gaye Rumbaugh David
Michael David
Candi Crumm
Teresa Dong
Michael Aston
Lenna Baranoff Kottke
Annette Wilson Villines
Billy Caperton
Don Davis
Nicky Pilkington Moore
Brenna Haus
Ellen Jones Martin
Cindy Bailey Risner
Paula Daniel-Pergande
Bobbie Huff
Patrick Teague
Linda Roark Strummer
Stan Ward
Steve Reeves
Jimmy Walker
Jean Barsh Hatfield
Jim Ferris
and so many more...

Ride on Ropers!


Oh No...More Demo...

What we thought was going to be a simple removal of the toilet and a paint job in the main bathroom turned into a full demolition project except for the tub and shower tile. I decided not to remove the fur down as I was beginning to run out of funds. As they say, everything costs money. We found too much water damage to the sink cabinet and wall paneling. Once all done it will look quite nice and match the rest of the bathrooms.
Unseen water damage behind this

...and this


Wow, sure looks different, going to gain 5 inches in space.

Keeping this, cast iron tub hard to find

Temporary Light
New Fixture has been ordered
Oh did I mention all the counter tops are going to be at 36 inches high?  I know...right! 

Poor Fitz

Day 3 of the bathroom remodel...

Over the weekend I got my daughters dogs to babysit for about 3 weeks. Of course Fitz, the wiley German Shepherd-Lab mix decided to bust through my back garage door and get into the trash thus getting a great case of garbage gut. On Sunday night he had a seizure and then was not able to get up due to a sprained rear knee. Great huh...

My car has been in the shop getting body work done and I have a rental...what to do?  Solution...throw a big sheet over the seats and haul him to the vet. Of course he acts like a maniac when he gets there showing off his dominance and hurts himself even more. We get meds and I bring him back home and he plops himself back down on he bed and remains there looking at me with big doleful eyes like "What did I do Mum"? He is all better now and feeling his oats again.

I've had to by a special pet gate to put up in my bedroom to keep the dogs in the back part of the house and boy do they not like it if I am not in there with them.  I hear it through their howlingluia chorus.  The big boy starts it, then in chimes little bit then little girl brings up the rear.  You defiantly know the kids are home with all that racket.
The crew

Kevin and Rob worked on building the new framing for the shower. They had to replace all the wood around the door due to water damage. Then they went in and sealed all the wood with a sealer to kill any possible mold, not that we found any.  More of a precaution.

I didn't know there was so much to be done, to be torn out before you could start the rebuild. But it looks like it has started! Yea!

Going Shopping..

Day 2 of the bathroom remodel. It was a working on the loan and shopping day. The loan work took up most of the morning as we ran into title trouble. The lien on the car was never released from the previous owner, however we got it all straighten out for a price, of course. With that said the loan went through. Yea!

Afterwards I met Kevin up at Locke Supply on West Reno in Oklahoma City. Their showroom is in that particular store. 

Oh so much to look at, so much to choose from. Decisions, decisions! I picked out a shower faucet, single lever, shower head, 2 sinks, 3 lights and towel bars. Kevin had already picked out the toilets for me. At first I was going to keep my present sink faucet but decided to get a new fancy schmancy one. It is going to be so pretty!

After that we went to Crossville Tile on South MacArthur to pick out the tile for the shower. I didn't realize there was so much you had get. I even had to decide what color of grout for the tile floor in the shower. Thanks Mona for all your suggestions.  

Then off I went to Tuttle to pick out the granite counter tops for the cabinets at Natural Wonders Marble and Granite. Very nice people there and Kimberly was so helpful! Thanks so much for your input.  

Once it was all said and done it was 5:30 pm.  I didn't know the day could go so fast. Shopping was FUN!

More demo tomorrow, more dog setting as I have one dog who is sick. Somehow I will have to get him to the vet tomorrow.


Nothing Like a Little Demolition...

When I got home from the trip from hell and back, that's another story...I opened the closet door and the odor hit me like a ton of bricks. Well horse pucky! I knew I had a problem and a serious one at that. I contacted a plumber and had the shower capped off and it was determined that the shower pan had gone and sprung a leak. After contacting my insurance company which decided not to pay for the damages I started down the road of "What to do next".  I called out Stanley Steamer, big mistake. they wanted to demo 2 bathrooms and a closet at the cost of $10,000.00 and for me to get a mold and asbestos test done at the cost of $1,000.00. That was not the cost to put everything back together. Uh NO! Yes, there was some mold but not black mold and no asbestos. 

I have a neighbor who is in the construction business, who came over to look at it. He and his boss Kevin Wells of Repairs by Kevin Wells, determined what needed to be done. Major remodel...however I am getting all three bathrooms done for what would have been the cost of just the demolition by Stanley Steamer! I think what we have decided on will look stunning and for the first time in my life I am getting to go counter top shopping, light fixture shopping and accessories fixture shopping! What fun! I have never done that before and I am somewhat excited about it.  

Now comes the hard part, financing...however I have decided to go back with a company, One Main Financial, which I have done business with in the past and gives me no hassles unlike the bank who couldn't even find any record of me, even after being with them for 20 years. Susan Mack with First Main was awesome! Thanks Susan!

At 8:30 am this morning things got under way. the

crew covered the bed and floor with tarps and the first thing to go was the shitter!
Back in the day they had toilets that could match the color of your 60's. Out went the mint green toilet. Gone forever.
Now they are removing the tiled shower and walls,

the big mirror is gone plus the 60's light fixture. They will be doing away with the fur downs and raising the ceiling in the shower making it look more spacious. The water had done damage to the custom cabinetry so that is now gone with new custom cabinets being built. 

I wanted to get one of those glass sink bowls, but realized that little hands would have difficulty getting to it, so I went back with a normal sink.  Oh, I get to pick that out too! Am I excited? You bet! 

This is the first remodel I have had done on the house since Dave did the living room 36 years ago. At that time I think we spent about $1500.00 plus a lot of sweat equity. Thank goodness Dave knew what he was doing as he spent his summers in Calgary, AB. Canada working on construction crews. He even built a single car garage for his Mum from scratch. Cement, cinder bricks and all. 

The hardest part of all of this is keeping the dogs pinned up in a different room. They are letting me know they are not happy with all the noise. Oh well, there's not much I can do about it other than to keep them entertained and happy. 

I wonder what tomorrow has in store for me?


Bryan Young

Who was Bryan Young? Oh my...Bryan was a force to be reckoned with. Everyone stood taller than Bryan, but Bryan didn't let his size determine how anyone was going to talk or treat him. He was a jockey, bouncer, an assistant wrestling coach and history teacher at a local high school in town as well as the men's soccer coach and cross country coach at the same high school. While doing all of this through his life he was working on his masters degree to become a Vice Principal then Principal as well as President of the Professional Educators of Norman. As he was Principal he continued his education working on his Juris Doctorate Degree before achieving his life long dream of becoming an attorney.

The man had a intense competitive nature that had no bounds. Lose was not in his vocabulary. In college Bryan was an athlete who wrestled and won the heart of gymnast Lisa Cockriel. After college someone suggested that Bryan might try becoming a jockey as he was so small, understand Bryan had never been on a horse before. Bryan didn't let that stop him. For six years he was a professional jockey before an almost tragic accident which could have taken his life. A horse stumbled during a race, flipped and fell on top of Bryan and broke his neck.

Bryan survived and decided that he needed a safer form of work so he went to work in education for 17 years. Bryan would fight for your ideas. He would support you, encourage you, lift you up, have your six. Fight for the right for handicapped children to have an education. If you were wrong he would tell you but he would support you. If there was an athletic or student event out of town he would drive to watch his students participate or perform. He felt education was important and he wanted to make sure everyone had an education, the best education. If you didn't have books he would make sure you had books and more. He had a heart of gold.  One of his former students summed it up this way

"If a fair measure of a person's life is the positive impact that he left on others, and I think that's the best metric we have, then we should all hope to have lives like Bryan Young. He always exuded a genuine care and sense of humor towards his students and others. It's hard to make sense of what happened, but there's a small comfort in the timelessness of our memories with him."

I met Bryan when he became my daughters soccer coach. He was tough but fair. He had never coached girls before and boy was he in for the challenge. Those girls sure gave him a hard time but they loved him. Bryan really had to put up with hormones plus! He said he would never coach another girls club team...ever again...he did. He went on inspiring young minds to succeed both on and off the athletic field.

Bryan fulfilled his dream to become an attorney 3 years ago. Fighting for the everyday joe. Taking cases that were important to him. One is still guessed it, has to do with education and the handicapped.

Five years ago Bryan and Lisa brought home a beautiful baby boy, Braxton, adopted like Bryan was. The light and joy of both Bryan and Lisa.

Sadly Bryan was murdered last Tuesday night by a deranged man who broke into his home because Bryan was representing this man's wife in a nasty divorce case. This person went on to murder his ex-wife as well and set fire to her home the same evening, then took his own life.

I wish you could have known Bryan, I really do. These few sentences hardly tell the story of Bryan, the generosity of his heart, his kindness, his humor, his sternness yet understanding when working with his students. The man loved his wife and his child dearly and it showed.

So little Braxton, when you look to the heavens at night, look for a new star, look for the brightest star that is shinning because that will be your daddy looking down at you, saying "It's ok son, I've got your six."

Rest now Bryan, your work is done.

Go in Peace.

Dealing With Loss...

My father died just before Christmas in 1988 and my mother just after the New Year in 1997. I was able to get through those holidays ok except for having depression for three years after my mom's demise. For what ever reason this past Christmas I struggled with the loss of David.

I found myself crying more, feeling more sorrowful. Feeling lost overall. Is this a delayed reaction? I have never gone through the 5 phases of grief. Why get mad? What is there to get mad at? God? What does He have to do with it? We knew that Dave was on borrowed time, that he could go at any time. Denial? I knew he was gone before everyone around me did.  When you see him on the ground but feel him next to you, you just know. Anger? The only thing I was angry about was about Dave not being more proactive about his health and questioning his Doctors more. Bargaining? Not once have I bargained with God. Just wished to have told him how much I loved him one more time. Depression, Yes I am struggling with depression. Not all of it is David. I have a back issue that is depressing. Some days are just hard to get through. On top of everything my one daughter's God-child died un-expectantly and since then it has put me into a tail-spin and I just lost a dear friend of mine of 13 years and my other daughter's soccer coach was senselessly murdered. Yeah a lot to go through in six months. Acceptance, I have accepted that Dave has died and I must hold the family together but it is damn hard.

I once again find the house rebelling. I had to have a new furnace installed to the tune of $3800.00.
After Dave passed away everything seemed to break down.  I thought having the outdoor Christmas lights put up over the holidays would improve my mood. Not really. Although taking some Vitamin D3 did help some. 

With family so far away and no close friends here, it really puts a damper on things for wanting to get out and do anything. My one close and true friend died 23 years ago and I have never been able to find another friend that I could be that close to. Even after 23 years I miss her every day.  I envy people who have many close friends (sisters so to speak). Every time I try to get close to someone they leave. Why try?  I do have one friend I can call on for help when needed and I really do appreciate him and his family and all the help they have helped me with these past couple of years.  I also have one of the families of the former Fury team that has helped me with a problem that I had with the guttering on my house and for that I am truly grateful. I have a neighbor across the street that keeps an eye out on me, has since Dave passed away. But a close friend, nope, nada. Unless I initiate the call no one calls me.
Don't get me wrong, I have friends, but that soul friend, the one you can tell your secrets to...that friend.

My motorhome, my safe haven, ended up in the shop longer than expected and is now having to have transmission work done. Not what I wanted to hear. It never ends.

Spring is around the corner and with that campouts with my WIT club. That makes me feel good. What is it about winter that just puts a big damper on things?
What is it about loss that just makes life suck?