Loose Endings

No Longer an Okie from MuskogeeHeading West

My time in Wagoner, OK has come to a close. I packed my life back into my four suitcases and me and Bandit headed down the road in search of a better tomorrow early in the wee hours of Saturday morning. Though things didn’t work out as well as I had hoped for in Oklahoma, I’m grateful for the opportunity and thankful for the companionship my host family provided me during my time there.

Adventures in Fund RaisingToledo Scale

Friday, I finished up with my “Great Aluminum Can Adventure” by taking the cans I’d collected during my daily walks with Bandit to the local recycling center. It was a lot of fun and a bit of an adventure wandering the streets around Wagoner, snatching cans and taking photographs as we toured the area. I’d estimate we traversed a good twenty miles in the eight to ten hours we spent wandering around aimlessly. The final aluminum tally was twenty pounds collected and the payout was eight bucks (at forty cents a pound), leading to an average of a bit less than a dollar an hour payout. I wouldn’t recommend it as a career move, but I do enjoy walking with Bandit in the evenings for fun and health anyway. Getting paid for doing it is a bonus and better than paying out for a gym membership!

If you are feeling charitable you can help support me in my struggle to rebuild my life from scratch by tossing a nickel into my emergency relocation fund.

Next up? Memphis.

Enjoy.

Best of Mississippi

Best of Mississippi and a Farewell Kiss GoodbyeWinter Golfing in Dixie

I did a best and worst of Iowa series while visiting my sister up north, so I figured I’d attempt to recapture that again in my final blog post from deep down in Dixie. I’ll be heading out of town next week to continue on my “Pike’s Peak or Bust” Mystery Tour.  I’ll refrain from a “worst of” entry for Mississippi since there’s entirely too much of that on display in mainstream media already.

Special Thanks to Mike ParkerPower Couple

Bandit and I have been staying with a long-time and dear friend in the suburbs.  We’ve been extremely well cared for by my good buddy Mike Parker.  Mike is a successful restauranteur here in Jackson.  Mike and his late partner Larry were highlighted in a local magazine article in 2012 as a Jackson area “Power Couple” and as the article above notes, their pizza business has received multiple awards since it’s opening in 2006. Sadly, Larry passed away of cancer a couple years before my wife Rita followed him to the great beyond.  Mike has since found a new and loving partner to help him pick up the pieces of his life.  I’m not ready for that kind of commitment again at this point in my life since I’m still mourning the more recent passing of my beloved mate (and best friend).  Even though Mike has remarried, I know there’s still a void in his soul from the passing of Larry that will never be filled.  It’s good to be staying in a house with such love and understanding of what I’ve been through in the last six months.  I cannot say enough good things about the quality of support my friends here in the South have provided for both myself and my furry travel companion.  Such blessings are hard to come by.

Fond Memories of Mississippi

Below is a slideshow of some of the highlights my hairy beast and I enjoyed here in Dixie during the last several months.  Even as we make our way forward and on to new and exciting adventures, I will always cling to the pleasant memories of my stay here in Mississippi.  There are others in my sphere who have also been essential in keeping our spirits high and our bellies full.  I shall respect the anonymity I know they desire but I shall not fail to make note of them here in passing.

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Enjoy.

One Last Bite

Updated to add: My dear and lovely wife Rita is gone. She passed at seven p.m. here in Germany the last day of September, after battling a series of cancers and tumors that eventually consumed her. She passed at home, in as peaceful and loving an environment as any of us could wish for ourselves or any of the loved ones we hold dear. She was truly a very special princess.  Details of memorials and services to follow. This blogpost was being proofed for release as I watched over her in her final hours.

Fast Food and Timeless Love

Those who follow my life’s travails on Facebook will have a better grip on the decidedly gloomy situation imposed upon our family by the continued degradations from my wife’s terminal illness.  There’s enough pain, sorrow and heartache to drive many a formerly sober man to whisky, without delving into the hoarier details involved in cohabiting in the apartment above my 85 year old Nazi-era mother-in-law!  Before proceeding, be advised that these missives have been prepared and released under the most dire of circumstances and incredible stresses.

On the matter of the extraneous errata of my sick mind, it’s probably as a result of the mind blowing decisions my wife and I discussed being up against, of which a brief glimpse is offerered in the love story I’m sharing with you today.

Whatever else bubbles out of my brain, today’s offering is just a ‘simple’ tale of a man and his dying wife going out on their last dinner date together in a romantic German location, on a rare balmy night in late Autumn somewhere close enough to Paris to fear guillotines pulled by donkeys headed north.

For some odd reason, the French really have issues with the past when it comes to dealing with the Germans, but there were no wagon wheels or donkey hooves pounding north on the cobblestone streets the night of our last dinner together.  It was just another of the minor blessings that have fallen our direction.

We grab blessings these days with all the vigor we can manage, because time and the degree of significance of their appearance is amplified by the deepening shadows and gathering storms we’ve ignored in order to remain in our amorous stupor for as long as is humanly possible.  You count your blessings where you find them.  That’s the philosophy Rita and I have maintained for a quarter century together and I’m not messing with success.

The Gathering Storms

If you’ve an aversion to fear, death, Nazi storm troopers, video game screen caps or humor bred of morbid fear and impending doom, stop now.  Everyone else…..
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Spring Housecleaning

Dead of Winter

Since my often wonky Internet connection seems to be momentarily solid, having no doubt worn itself ragged from jumping up and down like a midget on a Dutch hooker the duration of this morning, I shall attempt a quick but meaty post on current affairs.  I know the title seems a bit inappropriate for this time of year, but with the winter two thirds over and STILL not a speck of snow (or a good hard freeze) here in my German neighborhood, it seems like spring is ready to break out any day now.  I’ve been a bit less active on my blog lately, owing to the distractions and perturbations of life, but still post willy-nilly across many social platforms and websites, even if I don’t post full-on blog entries with as much regularity as I would otherwise be compelled.  Figured I’d hit my main talking points in one fell swoop here.   First the big three.

Sex

I am still for it, even though my pom-poms are dangling a bit lower than your average hip-hopper’s pants. My wife is also struggling with health issues that make my rooting for sex a more prominent feature of the day than actually having any, but going out to dinner and talking dirty to each other before coming home and passing out in bed was already a prominent feature in our post-50 bag of sex tricks, so it’s not as huge an issue as if we were in our more succulent youth.

That said, I don’t think women need help from Republicans in figuring out their end of the deal, so why the hell won’t these rightwing politicos keep their hands off women’s vaginas?  I like handling a vagina as much as the next guy, but I know I’m only renting it and am not allowed to go nailing pictures all over the walls and trying to install new plumbing fixtures, let alone make up new rules on the maintenance thereof.   Ferchrissakes.

Politics

Politics.  Pardon Snowden and build a statue of him next to the Washington Monument.  Put some bankers in jail from the space being freed by not arresting pot smokers.  Quit arresting pot smokers.  Quit pretending that legalized pot is the end of the world as we know it, particularly you highly paid TV perps with all the false pearl clutching (you know who they are). Put some of those torturers from the past Bush administration in jail before you go all half-cocked about other countries and their “international” obligations to law and justice.  Give us all a fucking break.

Religion

A wish fulfillment fantasy for nervous mortals.  Still as useless as tits on a pumpkin.  In dwindling demand, but still a huge threat to national and international stability due to their reckless reliance on poppycock in their search for deeper meanings in shallow water.

Life

Having a few teeth pulled this week is nothing compared to what Rita is dealing with. My wife is hanging onto life tenaciously, even as she struggles to deal with her terminal cancer.  It’s  already been a bit over a year since she abandoned her unsuccessful treatment regime at a renowned German lung clinic, walking away from an opportunity to turn herself into a long-term medical experiment for a bunch of curious doctors.  Her local doctors are now pushing us to make accommodations at a full blown palliative care facility.  That is an unlikely event in any case, since my wife would sooner do herself in at one fell swoop, than linger in such a pitiful state for weeks/months.  She is still not ambulatory.  She still manages to teach English classes and keep our business running, but her pain is becoming increasingly difficult to manage and the prescriptive solutions more debilitating.  It’s a heartbreaking and worrisome thing to have to witness.  Right now we’re hoping she’ll be physically able to make our 25th wedding anniversary at the end of the month.  Dinner in Paris.

Living

We’re still getting along as near “normal” as we can under the circumstances.  My wife continues to worry more about my future success without her, than she does with the fact that she has bigger issues of her own right now.  I don’t want her to worry about me.  Providence has seen fit to bless me in ways that most men only dream about.  I have no idea why the dice of the universe haven’t crapped me out already, but I’m optimistic on my future even as I attempt to squelch the tears from considering the present situation with my wife.

Blogging

I’ll continue to blog, tweet, post pix, just as I always have.  The subjects will continue to be as diverse as my interests.  I’m still in love with Spotify and thankful to be able to reach out and access so much music.  My wife and I both engage in a fair amount of musical therapy made more pleasant by their vast catalog of music and our deep (read: old people) memories of songs from out past.  I pop in-check in on Yelp every now and then.  I’ll occasional throw a comment on my GetGlue TV social app when viewing a show I like, but never in real-time, since my TV and time is shifted by half a globe from the US.  I’ve been tossing up a few odd AudioBoos lately.  Also trying to spread my photos across several apps.  My main pro Flickr account, Instagram and Facebook get the biggest share of my pics.  Look forward to more photo blogging fun since I acquired my Sony DSC-QX10 for Xmas.  I’ll be trying to organize and post a lot of pics locked on my computer at present and adding new stuff along the way as well.  A fairly comprehensive map to my social media is on my Social page here at this blog for those who are interested.

Enjoy.