Sunday, May 31, 2009

Mouse story

One of my Sunshine neighbors, Maggie, works in one of the high-rise buildings in downtown Denver. She leaves Sunshine around 6:30 in the morning, Monday thru Friday. She drives down Sunshine Canyon Drive, thru Boulder and onto US 36, the Boulder Turnpike. It’s still called the turnpike even though the toll booths were removed many years ago. Her drive continues onto Interstate 25 and then on Spear Boulevard into Downtown Denver. It is a 35 mile drive that takes about 55 minutes on a good day.
Her office is on the 24th floor. There are 35 people sharing the small space, crammed into small cubicles. There is a large open space where all of the workers share three FAX machines and two copiers. There is also a large bank of filing cabinets. Maggie told me a story about an incident involving a mouse last week. One of the file clerks opened a filing cabinet drawer and saw a mouse. She jumped, uttered the appropriate shriek and slammed the drawer. She immediately ran to her desk and called the building maintenance department to report the incident.
Fifteen minutes later a maintenance worker appeared. He checked every filing cabinet, inside and out. He could not find the mouse. The mouse was probably just as frightened as the clerk and left soon after the drawer slamming. With other jobs to do, the maintenance worker asked the clerk to sign the work order “completed”. The clerk refused, saying she wouldn’t sign until she saw him remove the mouse. The maintenance worker said “Listen lady, the work order says ‘chase mouse’ not ‘produce mouse’ and I did that”. The file clerk thought about it for a minute and then signed the work order. The mouse hasn’t been seen since.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

So Long Bob, the schoolbus driver

Milo and I took our morning walk, just like we have everyday for the last 3 years. We stopped at the old Sunshine school house. The flag was raised to full staff; we remembered our servicemen and then continued our walk. We turned and started our return home.
Milo always hears the school bus as it nears us. His ears perk up and his tail wags. We knew our ol' buddy Bob, the school bus driver, would have a treat for him. We knew this was the last day of school for the students. We were looking forward to seeing Bob. Bob pulled the bus to a stop and opened the door. Milo went to the door and waited for Bob's command. "Sit" and Milo was sitting with his tail wagging. Bob threw Milo a treat. Once more, all was well with the world. Before I could tell Bob that we would miss him all summer and would be looking forward to next fall, Bob told us he won't be back next year. He's nearing 70 and is ready to retire. We wished him a fond farewell and he drove on to pick up the waiting students. We will miss him.
So long Bob.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Just a short note. Here's proof, he made it. Congratulations to my son, Michael. Here he is with his girlfriend, Jeanette.
The Party was a lot of fun.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Late Spring and an open invitation

Spring comes late in the high country. The other morning I had to stop by the neighbors and snap a photo of their driveway. They planted daffodils all the way to their house. Daffodils are one of the few plants the deer are not interested in eating.

My youngest son, Michael will graduate from Boulder High School on Saturday. We are hosting a graduation party on Saturday, noon to 4PM you are all invited. No need to RSVP...just show up.
You are more than welcome to join us. They say it takes a community to raise a child. We have had a very large community.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Not Bothering a Soul

I was born and raised in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Cheyenne was built along the Union Pacific Railroad tracks. As the Wyoming territory grew into statehood, Cheyenne was chosen to be the capitol. One of the main north-south streets is Capitol Avenue. At the North end of the street is the State capitol building. At the south end is the Union Pacific Railroad Depot. Adjacent to the station (west) are the stock yards where livestock is kept before it is loaded onto the train. North of the station and across the street is a hotel with a bar at street level.
When I was in college I use to hang out in the bar. One night I had a little too much to drink and decided to sleep a little before I tried to go home. I walked around the corner and down the block and lay down in the gutter just across from the stock yard. A short time later, a pig who must have broken loose from the stock yard, wandered by and laid down in the gutter next to me.
We (the pig and I) were just laying there, not bothering a soul. Well, this high-tone lady who was staying at the hotel, must have taken a wrong turn and wondered down the street past us. I woke up just in time to hear her say "You can tell someone who boozes by the company he chooses" and you know, that pig got up and walked away!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

To My Mother, on Mothers Day

Happy Mother's Day to you , Mother. Although we haven't spoken to each other for several years, you are always with me. I feel your presence every day. I feel you in every fiber of my body, for you gave me life.

You have given me so much. You gave me three wonderful brothers and a safe home. You gave me a home that encouraged love, understanding and respect. For that I am forever grateful. You took me to church, had me baptized, taught me to pray and continued to worship with me. I still hang the Christmas stocking you made for me every Christmas.

Grandmother Eula and my Mother shopping in Portland, OR

Mother, thank you for teaching me manners, a lost art that I have passed on to my sons. I still walk on the outside to protect my wife from getting splashed by passing cars. Thank you for writing to me while I was in uniform. If it wasn't for you and my father, I wouldn't have received any letters. I will always feel bad for ruining you night of cards when I dropped the hatchet on my foot and cut off my toenail. I think you got to the hospital faster than I did.

Thank you Mother for raising my three wonderful brothers. You supported John through the really hard times, when no one understood his Cerebral Palsy. You loved Dan through every wild hair he had. You gave me my youngest brother, Phil, when I was only 15; and taught me how to take care of a baby. A lesson I used when I had my own children.

You gave me my heritage and a membership in the First Families of Tennessee. (and that's an inside joke that only you and I understand...who needs those old bitties in Virginia anyway)

I love you Mother, and I miss you.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

It's Derby Day

Our Spring snow storm has come and gone. It left it's mark. There are trees all over Sunshine that are broken. Limbs lay on the ground. Looks like we will have plenty of firewood for next year. One good thing is that we greened up overnight. The moisture soaked into the ground and everything started to grow.

Today is Derby day. The running of the Kentucky Derby is celebrated even in far away Sunshine. One of our neighbors, Jean, is from the Louisville, KY area. She and husband Paul have put together a Derby party for many, many years. The party starts at 2PM Mountain Daylight Time. Jean wants the ladies to wear their finest Derby bonnets. It looks like "I Want Revenge" is the favorite. I always pick a long-shot. This year I think it might be "Join The Dance". We'll see. I'm glad they are not running up here. 2-7 inches of snow are predicted for tonight.

The Hummingbirds have returned. My wife, Janice, is overjoyed.