Archive for the ‘Family’ Category
Kids drive down for a refresher course this weekend, to refresh this old soul of mine: Connie-doo and Gabi. Danny, too! Whoopee ti i a! And sister Peggy and…and..Joe Frankie; it’s a wonder I could walk the next day! (Oh, you says I couldn’t? Damn!) August 30, 2012
Just in time to rebuild my faltering electronic empire, daughter Connie and granddaughter Gabi drove down from Lansing last weekend to make my electronic gadgets better!
My printer is printing again; thank you, Connie-doo. (This is a week later – printer is NOT working AGAIN) The printer/copier did NOT get back on track sufficiently to get back on line before Connie-doo and Gabi left. Still, if there is enough life left I’m pretty dawned sure it’ll all be okay in a little while.
Connie-doo, aided by CB, returned WIFI control of our computers from the cable company to our own selves and got us back on line.
All the while, Gabi and Connie-doo were going through the throes of back to school blues/agony/excitement. Gabi had waited until the last minute to complete the summer homework for her special advanced classes. Later she emailed that she had finished it all, but that she also discovered it was all unnecessary, that she had mixed a course that required summer work with another (the one she took) which didn’t. She says yes she might pay a tad more attention next year.
Mexican takeout from the Cancun. Danny drove all the way from Detroit to have dinner with us. Steak Fajitas, as usual. Was feeling way out of sorts and so came down fo me brief R&R. By daylight, however, he was back on in the Motor City. Above l-r: Danny, Gabi and Connie-doo. Less than a week after this photo was taken, Danny was admitted to a Detroit hospital for observation. Unfortunately, we have been unable to get a reliable report (as of this writing).
There is an obvious hole there since Jacob has moved to Wyoming. I miss him. Damn, I wish that gal of his had a mom in Kalamazoo, too.
Successfully. Everybody’s back behind a desk chewing on pencil erasers and punching keyboards.
As time goes by, I seem to enjoy their visits ever more et more.
A garden artisan had created the perfect bullfrog out of two wheelbarrows in the hotel’s flower garden. I like it! Thank you, Gabi, for grabbing it (camera) for me.
Friday we all jumped into Tranq and tooled down to Carrollton, Kentucky, to celebrate my sister Peggy’s birthday at the Two Rivers Restaurant. Excellent fried fish and blackberry cobbler. Carrollton’s about halfway between Louisville (where my sister lives) and Cincinnati (where I live).
Good day! It’s good to have family and friends to love and cherish and adore and like, isn’t it?
En route to Peggy’s birthday luncheon, we stopped for a fresh fruit tort from Servatii’s bakery down the street from our apartment. Only thing better, my opinion, is tiramisu which doesn’t travel well, I’m told.
Thing is, the white beans and cornbread pone she brought me from her own kitchen were worth half a dozen fresh fruit torts. Thank you, sister.
t heartily recommend General Butler State Park as a meeting place for lunch or an overnight visit. We’ve been there so many times, I see the beginnings of wheelchair wheel prints on the carpet.
Sunday afternoon found us double-dipping, however. Danny drove his shiny blue car down from Detroit to get away from neighborhood hassles for a while.
“Sometimes it seems the ground rises, the sky falls and the outer walls of Detroit close in on my neighborhood” he said, “feeding my fear that ne’er-do-wells threaten the castle I’ve worked so hard to build and maintain.
“So I get away for a day or two of R&R. After which the visions of total destruction of my neighborhood lightens up a bit and I’m usually fine.”
Despite all the excitement, fear and uncertainty, we were glad to welcome Danny and have him with us for a few hours. Back home, he pronounced all was fine and back on track.
Danny also is one fine Scrabble (copyright til you die) player.
July 8, 2012. Gramma Martha Hopkins Annual Birthday Party Reunion. For me from afar for all my tomorrows. (Hopkins Reunion)
What if you had a party and nobody came?
Or. What if THEY gave a party and YOU couldn’t come?
The Hopkins Reunion last Sunday in Paris, Tennessee, home of my heart and many who reside in my heart. I didn’t go. I could ‘t. I blame my COPD. Too many hoses, too many machines, too many visiting hospice norses assuring me I’d be in deep doo-doo if I left town and got into trouble out of town because they don’t cover that ground?
Thank goodness, brothr Ronald and niece Sandra took a lot of pictures.
Thank goodness Wanda gathered signatues from everyone which she included in that beautiful card I received in the mail yesterday along with the card and note from Vita.
Sad as I am about losing such a chunk of my life, I am so lucky to have so many friends, so many family members who are also friends.
No cornbread. No black-eyed peas. No blackberry cobbler.
The face of our reunion is changing dramatically. Aunt Maxine died short weeks ago, the oldest of Grandmother’s children,, leaving only Aunt Margaret.
Uncle Willie’s kids seem to have stopped coming after the deaths of their spouses and/or siblings.
Forty showed up Sunday. It looks like there’s a brand new field of beginning seniors who will take up the staff of memory keeping for the Hopkins family.
(July 4, 2013) Blast! Zowie! Pow! Krak! Kaboooom! Batman and Robin clash over Paris Landing (TN) on July 4th; some of you mistook their aggression for celebratory pops of pure patriotism
One thing that hasn’t changed since I was a child. Fireworkds. First, sparklers which would do no more harm that burn your fingers, or eyes or arms or your house. Couple years older and we were eligible for cherry bombs which were a real man’s firework: blow open mailboxes, scare the hell outa chickens, other domestic animals and young children who had sense enough to know those things were dangerous. All the way up to the atomic and hydrogen bobs and rocket boosters and such which make the exciting shows of our youth so insignificant. The same people who passed laws forbidding the use of celebratory firecrackers that might injure our young boys and girls, are today themselves playing with the fireworks which, once touched by a flaming match, would destroy civilization, leastwise what we often miscall civilization. Happy Birthday, Uncle Sam, our Frankenstein, but he’s ours, by dabbit!
A big bunch of my family huddled over hoe cake and beans and blackberry cobbler at yer General Butler State Park in Carrollton, Kentucky, the other day. In part, I guess, it was my birthday which had eschewed Jefferson and Leee weeks earlier when Lee was locked in a breathe freeze over in Cincinnati. I do love these people either because it’s intrinsic or because I’m desperately looking (as Arthur Godfrey is said to have done in his lonely dying days) for a friend I can die happy with or mebbe get him or her to drop down the abyss with me to serenade me on the way down. Mebbe JC could soften my landing with some of his soft and sweet songs. But I digress. Again. Don’t I?
The very best days these days are those I can spend with friends and kin. Was it ever thus and I ignored it? Ronald gave me an electronic picture frame for my my death gallery. Here, he’s showing me the Slide show he put together. I watched it intermittently for an entire day and plan to add more and see more more often. Thanks, Ron.
There was Reanee whom I hadn’t seen in years, since my first marriage when the family used to get together for marathon pitch (card game) battles – I’m told they picked it right up and ploughed straight ahead at Two Rivers. Reaneee who is actually more related to my first wife, Gerry, than to me and who is closely related to my Alexander cousins, mebbe because she’s an Alexander her own self, being progeny of J-B and Sarah. Reanee recerntly graduated (retired) from the IRS after 32 years, says she may spend the rest of her time playing cards while I straw my death letters all over the place (I’m up to 114 before I did 3 more this morning – does that make it 117?). Reanee and my late brother Jacky were good buddies.
Truth is I had almost completed this post yesterday (Wednesday), then I discovered all my work had disappeared. Poof! Everything disappeared into thin air. Musta been karma telling me it wasn’t good enough. So, let’s see. Hell, it’s never good enough is it? I wonder if anyone will give a damn about these precious photographs after I die.
Val and Johnny Alexander who’ve had a much more exciting life (I think) than probably anyone else in the family. Johnny’s the acknowledged brain of his family. Come to think of it there is no one “brain” in ours. We’re more like the ancient Romans. A triumvirate. I suspect if you asked any of the three of us, you’d get the same answer, “Heck yes, I’m the brains of this family.
The Two Rivers Restaurant fare was decent, as usual, if they only learn to cook pinto beans; the hoecakes were good. Johnny says hoecakes come from slave days when for whatever reasons, the bread was actually cooked on the blade of a hoe held over a fire. Grandmother used to make it; I never cared that much about it until I got old, however. This time, it was grreattttt! (Attribution to Tony the Tiger, of course). Carryout is great at Two Rivers! I ordered piece of Blackberry cobbler to go. No charge!
Beat that if you can, Food Network.
If I’m Dying, then why the Hell am I gathering all this mammon in my arms, all this love in my heart and all these people in the corral behind the barn?
My daughter, Connie-doo, granddaughter Gabe and grandson Jacob have been beating a path around town this past few days, gawking to satisfy their touristic urges, e. g., the Pompeii exhibit over at the train station they call a museum; keeping/getting their bodies in ship at the swimming pool a few blocks away across the street from Lee’s Fried Chicken which they promptly glommed down even as the water dripped unique, if ephemeral, patterns on the sizzling concrete.
Best of all, Connie-doo has begun the long route toward straightening out my iPhone and iPod and Nook and who knows what all. She spent yesterday afternoon at Barnes & Nobles and Apple way cross town fussing first with the Cincinnati traffic, then with Cincinnati shopping crowds and finally with harried salespersons/help(?) persons behind the counters who were so harried or so helpless or so uninspired she had to get her butt out of bed early today to visit Apple again over there again.
Gabi is here babysitting me, waiting with worm-on-tongue with my poison (morphine), my explosive (nitroglycerin), my oxygen masks, pain pills, anxiety combatants, depression fighters, poop enhancers (or should that be encourager), and so damned many breathers and auxiliary breathers that I can’t remember them all. So many that I don’t have a couple of coffee breaks a day. NOOOOO. It’s 10 medicine breaks… ten ten ten … which tell me time and again…. ten ten ten… start all over… again again again… start all over again and again and again.
Sometimes I begin the morrow’s task way behind the end of yesterday’s entry of effort and output.
Gabi seems always happy to take time out from her Kindle to put things together for me, tasks that once seemed second nature to me but are no buried in frustration.
What seems to be happening here is that the kids come down and play AND put my toys back together; go home for a few weeks, then, at my harried summons, come back to play for a few days and put my toys back together…. so I can do the likes of emailing with my iPhone and sorting out my iPod….borrow books electronically from the Cincinnati-Hamilton County Library (may require acquisition of a Kindle to do this… to supplement my Nook).
Instructions can be so damned confusing that I have, on occasion, pitched gadgets into the garbage. The gadgets I have now seem serviceable except for my deep, dark ignorance. And many of my friends agree, verbal instructions from the far East don’t help much. I called one guy in India (or Pakistan) about borrowing library books with my Nook. Talked for more than two hours with him until…until..until…. he advised me to call my internet provider, get a new network password AND START ALL OVER AGAIN.
HAPPY father’s day to me. My daughter brought Jacob and Gabi down to celebrate. CB will lead us to a cool country club buffet, if you like country club buffets. Later, looks like the kids will see a DAY in POMPEII at the museum, thanks to some Cincinnati family help. Wish I could go….. Hell, man, how many wishes does it take to fill this blog anyhow?
The country club, as usual, had the best hot pepper eggs omelet I’ve ever had, and the fresh fruit and that stuff that comes out miced oatmeal and sausage (goetta) was superb. On the near side of the other side of nowhere…. but we found it and left in one piece.
Nothin like family folks, I suspect that is especially true when you think that string is preternaturally getting shorter and shorter.
March 1947. Newspaper article watered down version of our mom’s death by drunken driver near Puryear
It occurs to me as I face my own demise that I never learned how softly they slapped Sam Garrett’s wrist after he rammed his car into the rear of our pickup, killing Mom in March 1947. Ronald sent me a story from the Paris Post-intellegencer, a very poor piece, if you ask me. I’ve also asked all who might know the final disposition of the case. Henry County ought be ashamed for the waited they treated poor people in those days. No horsewhips allowed, they whined. Mummies be damned!