To be insightful means to intuitively grasp things - an "aha!" moment!

About Me

My photo
I am a member of the church of Christ. I have been writing things since I was little. Some have been printed, some posted. I write to teach or encourage; to blow off steam; and for fun! I had my own motorcycle in my 40s; I was a bluegrass music DJ for about 13 years; I've performed some. I am a member of the NRA. In 2003 (age 59), I became high partial legally blind; in 2005, I had to get hearing aids! Franklin Field said: "Poor eyes limit your sight; poor vision limits your deeds". And no kidding, the picture was made April, 2012!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Mother's Passing

Mother, age 94, passed from this life into the next during her sleep sometime in the early morning hours of Thursday, August 11. On July 20, she was stil doing some cooking, washing dishes, going up and down the stairs doing the laundry, working search word puzzles - and reading the Bible. She was bedfast from the time she fell on July 22, in the hospital for 5 days, then at home. She didn't have a heart attack or a stroke. Her body had simply worn out. Read Proverbs 90:10. While it is hard of course, it makes so much difference to know that she was a faithful Christian.

She had all the arrangements paid for, and had chosen the clothes to be buried in (light blue nylon nightgown and matching negligee), and wanted only a pink carnation corsage. She had chosen the songs and the friend (Dallas Dobbins) to lead the a capella congregational singing, and the friend (preacher Robert Tuten) to do the main part of the funeral.

The songs were "Beautiful Isle of Somewhere", "Above the Bright Blue", and "No Tears in Heaven". While only about 50 or so made it to the funeral, it seemed that everyone was in wonderful singing voice! or maybe we also heard the angels joining in.

Preacher friend Lloyd Barker read the obituary, made a few remarks, and read 2 poems. My sister especially liked one I wrote about 2 weeks before Mother passed away. I had given him several that I had written about Mother. He also read another I had written which co-incidentally I had printed in the church bulletin the morning Daddy passed away (not knowing that it would be the day of his passing of course).

And preacher friend Terry Partain did the graveside service.

I will post more, including the poems separately, later today or in a few days.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Hearing Loss Associaton of America puzzle

Search Word Puzzle for

Hearing Loss Association of America, 2011

Words that are underlined in the story all are in the grid. They

go horizontally, vertically, diagonally, backward, and forward. All but

three of the left-over letters spell out the name of our nation’s capital.

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In this NEW AGE, the ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY is amazing, and more so for people who do not HEAR well or are LATE DEAFENED. When ROCKY STONE started SHHH (now HLA of America), doubtless he never dreamed of a COCHLEAR IMPLANT or stenographers who do REAL TIME typing that is projected on a screen as someone speaks! We no longer have a bulky box that HANGS around our neck. Old hearing AIDS were ANALOG and mostly just amplified everything, thus were only more NOISE to our EARS. A DIGITAL DEVICE can be programmed for specific sounds by a knowledge-able AUDIOLOGIST! The AUDIO on a TV can be kept low because that medium, and others, now use CLOSED CAPTIONING. A LOOP or an FM system can be installed almost anywhere. It is good that people still learn and use American Sign LANGUAGE and FINGER SPELLING. TEXT messaging and EMAIL have made COMMUNICATION so much easier for us, but those things can fail. Many people use SPEECH READING without realizing it. TINNITUS and NERVE DAMAGE are still problems. We may not sing well, but watch us DANCE! There are now so many ways to ACCOMMODATE people whose ears do not work well. Life is GOOD! We truly live in the BEST of TIMES! How SWEET it is!

- by Netagene, June 3. 2011 -

Saturday, May 28, 2011

MORE Good News!

Romans 12 is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible. It's mostly about how to get along with others. Verse 15 says: "Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep". I hope you will rejoice with me!

On March 29, I got an email stating that I was one of the people to get a "scholarship" to attend the national convention of the Hearing Loss Association of America! I've had hearing aids since Decem- ber, 2005, for a mild-to-moderate hearing loss. I've about quit wearing them because they no longer help much. (I went for a new audiology test recently and learned that my hearing has progressed to moderate-to-moderately severe.)

Having never attended a national convention of the HLAA, I was able to apply for a "scholarship" by writing less-than-one-page as to why I'd like to attend. The "scholarship" pays for my registration, plus I got a nice check from one of the chapters which will help with some hotel and transportation costs. I had already decided to go anyway, and had made Amtrak reservations on February 19! And I was blessed in another way - shortly after deciding to attend, I went to the HLAA site, found the forums, and found a lady my age to room with! Barbara lives in NYC and is retired from FAO Schwartz. We've emailed a lot, and are having a great time getting to know each other that way.

That's the first good news. The other good news is about new HAs.

Even though the local HLAA chapter is inactive, I've been in touch with some of the members here. One gentleman knows a lot of people in the HL community, including some with the UAB Medical School. He told me that there was a foundation set up by the will of a woman here, with the funds to help people buy HAs. He made a call, then a few days later, I got a call, and so on. To shorten this, with my low amount of Social Security, I qualify for new HAs, gratis!

One step remains ... with this the end of the school semester, including the UAB Hearing & Speech Clinic, the earliest opening they have is one of the days I'll be at the convention, so that's out. My appointment is now the 2nd day after I get back!

And by the way, for some time now, HAs are not merely analog sound amplifiers; they are digital computerized, personalized hearing technology! ... and the cost is about $2,000+ per aid!

I am BLESSED!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Good Things!

I just read about a new book that sounds "soul searching": "One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are" by Ann Voskamp. It's about having a journal even when times are darkest - lose a job, real sick, someone passes from this life, you think you can't go on, etc. - and writing 5 good things that happen to you each day. You DON'T write: "he's still in a coma", "I fell again", "she doesn't understand", "I'll never lose weight", "neighbor's dog pooped on my yard", etc.

You write only positive things. It might be as simple as "the sun came up today", "I can see", I have food to eat", "the cashier smiled at me", etc. If things are really dark, you still try to find something good, remembering that some people don't have enough food, others are blind or lame, etc.

Maybe I need to start such a journal. I can no longer drive, but I can walk; I no longer see well, but I still have usable sight; I have more than enough food ... and so on.

And as I Thessalonians 5:18 says: "In everything, give thanks ..." And if the apostle Paul can call being shipwrecked, stoned, left for dead, etc., as "light afflictions" (II Corinthians 4), who are we to complain?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Clothes

You see all kinds when you ride the bus. Here's 2 for you.

I get on the bus a couple of stops before a community college, which happens to be the end of the line. Recently a young man got off at the college. From the top down, he was wearing a baseball cap, had 1 or maybe 2 earrings, a white "athletic" undershirt (like Daddy used to wear - all cotton and with big armholes), a black backpack, black and white checked pants with the waist low, the cuffs to his knees or a little lower, black socks, brown sandals.

A few days ago, a girl got on the bus. She looked to be maybe late teens. She had a baby, maybe 5 months old, in a stroller. She was wearing big gold earrings, a tight top that came about as high as it could go in front without showing "anything", flip flops, tight jeans that went as low as they could go without showing anything, and looked to be about 7 or 8 months pregnant, with all of that part of her skin in plain view. I suspect that she was not married.

I don't dress up when I ride the bus, but I am going to be decent. These 2 "children", in my opinion, were not only tacky, but the girl especially was immodest.

Another woman, about 30-ish, real pretty hair-do, nice manicure, also on the bus, had on a top that looked like a bathing suit, one strap, skin tight shorts. It amazes me the way people dress out in public. Actually some of it makes me almost feel like I'm going to throw up!

Monday, May 9, 2011

SHADOWS

Shadows are ephemeral, fleeting, transitory,
Like some whisper in a dream, or half forgotten childhood story.

Life's sometimes like a low-flying cloud twixt the sun and the earth -
Its long shadow matted gray, muting music, words, and mirth.

Standing still, head lowered, puzzled, back against the sun,
Shadow, dark, stretched out before me, dancing zigzag when I run.
Like skies lowering, soon to rain, shadows hush the songbird's call.
Lurking ominous and frightening, as though urging me to fall.

Often deemed to be a burden - heavy, black, and fraught with rain.
Yet some shadows are protective, shielding me from want and pain.

God's sometimes pictured as an eagle - often raptor, never dove,
But His huge wings oft o'ershadow, guarding with undying love.
So when shadows hover 'round me, do I crouch in fear, and whine?
Or remember God's protection - all things done in His own time.

- by Netagene, Sunday, May 8, 2011 -

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Volunteering

Yesterday I went with 6 others to the old auditorium to help with a Hands on Birmingham - http://handsonbirmingham.org - event. You can read about it here: http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2011/04/hundreds_of_homeless_in_birmin.html

Our team was 4 employees and 3 non-employees of the new Baritones Karaoke Lounge and Grill - http://www.baritonesgrill.com/ - a couple of blocks from my house. The owner is Jason, the cute guy in the middle. He had put a sign on the door that Baritones wouldn't open until 5 yesterday afternoon. The blond is Betty, the waitress with her husband Mike behind her. Tony and Jack are the 2 tall guys who are the cooks. Dena, next to me, is Jack's sister.

It was interesting. I had 2 clients for which were I was unable to get much help. Dena had one nice one but was unable to get much help. Betty had one who she said was the client from hell. I'm not sure about what all the guys did.

We all rode in Mike and Betty's SUV and were at the auditorium about 11 - 3:45, then Jason was kind enough to let Dena and me eat without paying (though Tony still had to cook it).

The group picture was made just before we headed home. It's hard to take a self-picture. I put the shirt on backwards after I got home, to show it. The lower line says VOLUNTEER TEAM.

Friday, April 1, 2011

When a Christian Dies

This was posted yesterday on the Legacy on-line guest book for preacher Barney Keith, who passed from this life recently. I didn't know him well, but he seemed to be such a "gentle" man. I am omitting the writer's name, but what the person wrote was so lovely that I think it's worth sharing.

"I had the pleasure of knowing Mr. Keith, if only for a short time, as his mail carrier. Though our acquaintance was an informal one, I'll appreciate him for his warmth and his smile. I knew he must have been special to many as I've never delivered so many cards of condolences to a single address in my entire 15 year career. I should have known he was a man of God. Please accept my condolences as well."

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Judge

Even though I do repent, when I do something wrong,
My life will still be scarred; I don't feel that I "belong".

A friend asks my forgiveness after they treated me bad.
But there'll always be some mistrust. Such wariness makes me sad.

I may love someone so dearly, but still - personalities clash.
That "line" between birth and death -- is how we live our "dash".

We must carefully live our life, and go to God in prayer.
The Righteous Creator reigns. Our Judge is always fair.

We each make our own choices: do right, or wrong and try to dodge.
One day we'll face that throne. I'm glad God is That Judge.

- by Netagene in about 10 minutes today, March 27, 2011 - I know the meter isn't real good, but I wrote it during this morning's sermon at worship. And yes, I know what Steve preached about - it was about Saul's conversion in Acts 9, then went into a little about the Ethiopian's conversion in Acts 8. And yes, I'm glad God, rather than me, is the one who will judge Jim (my friend since 1959 who passed from this life 3 days ago), me, everyone (II Timothy 4:8) -

Sunday, March 20, 2011

On This Bench ...


I found that after reading an article in today's paper about Margaret Roach. This is from her site and the artist's site: http://awaytogarden.com and http://abeautifulrevolution.com

Monday, March 14, 2011

Music and more


I've been remiss in posting here, partly because of posting more quick, short ones on FaceBook. A group of us were to have played in palliative care at the VA today. I would have taken my autoharp (not my harpsicle) because I've had one of those 25+ years and of course can play it. I had the bus scheduled, but forecast was not good. I could have gotten there, but rain started before I would have left to come home, and even with my a'harp in a padded gig bag, walking with that, plus a white cane, plus holding an open umbrella - well, I simply didn't want to try to juggle it all.

I've tuned my new harp only once since I got it, but have GOT to start tuning it at least once a day, preferably more frequently, so that the strings will settle so that I can learn to play it. I signed up for group lessons which will start next week.

In the otherwise time, I've been reading, knitting, and crocheting.

And I went to a pot luck supper and a free concert last Saturday night. The chorus from the college I attended left Tampa early that day. This was their first stop on their spring tour. They now cut CDs, but I was in the chorus when they cut their first recording (a 33 1/3 LP) the spring of 1953! The first 2/3rds of the concert was on the Christ's death, burial, and resurrection, and was very moving. After intermission, they performed a few secular songs, mostly from musicals.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Flatsicle Arrived!

Yep, it got here about 3 weeks before I was expecting it! UPS arrived at 5:30 p.m. yesterday. The harp weighs a little less than 5 pounds, but the box total was 13 pounds - full of the last 5 of the music books from the site, and the harp. Because I've played piano for 60 years (groan ... THAT many???), rather than getting the harpsicle (plays in only C major and A minor) or the sharpsicle (plays in 3 majors/3 minors), I got the next one up. The flatsicle plays in 4 majors and the relative minors. The lowest note (longest string - they are nylon) is a low C. The C strings are red; the F strings are black. I debated about getting a red or blue harp, but decided on the natural maple. Later if I want to, I may paint a bit of design on it, or buy some decals or do a bit of woodburning on it. That will wait. Because it was getting late last night before I got it all unpacked and in the house, I didn't tune it then. I had to check the tuning on my autoharp (you can see a picture of me playing that, which I posted January of last year) because some of us are going to play at the VA on Monday for the vets in palliative care - I've been asked to take my autoharp, so I did that, and 1st time tuned my harp about noon today. For now, I've got to learn to play more than one note at a time on the harp!

Monday, February 21, 2011

IMPS and ANGELS

I'm down in the Grumpies and I know the cause.
Satan is hovering and he knows my flaws.
He knows my weaknesses. He digs where I hurt.
His imps subtly whisper, and make me feel worse.
Despair whines, "You're hopeless." Insanity screams, "You're mad!"
Futility moans, "Give up. Of course you are bad!"
Black demons are beckoning: "Turn loose. You can't win.
We've got you. You're hell-bound to us, so give in."
But God's host is hovering. They keep me afloat.
They help stop the cries that are stuck in my throat.
When bad things happen, and I get distressed,
Thankfulness reminds me: "You are so very blessed!"
Hope assures me, "There's better things! Don't give up your life!"
Peace tells me, "Be still." Joy sings, "Look high!"
Patience whispers, "Hold on." Cheer tells me I'm sweet.
Stamina shouts, "You'll make it! You'll land on your feet!"
If the whole world falls 'round me, I'm sure in my mind -
God's love will surround me, and I'll be just fine!

- by Netagene, September 12, 2002 - A girl at work had been having some rough days, and said that I seemed like someone who would have cheerful things. She asked if she could borrow some such things. I didn't have anything at work, but told her I'd see what I could do. I wrote 7 verses in about 15 minutes at work, and 2 more in my mind on the way home. Some of the images are what I saw in my mind's eye when reading a novel by Frank Peretti. -

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Groan ...

Even though I hate, hate to talk about the weather, that's what this is about. It never got above 30 at my house today. I made this picture about 4:15 this afternoon, looking through one of my windows. (Didja think I was going to try to walk around outside my house in ice and snow and lacking depth perception to take a picture? No way! Most of the icicles are about a foot long. We had about 2" of snow, and of course the yards of the houses across from me were pretty much completely clear of snow this afternoon. Not so mine.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Tilting at Windmills

Tilting at windmills - life spins around -
I jump and - oops, almost - I'm back on the ground.
My goals seem like giants. Their arms beckon to me,
But I'm Lilliputian, and the giants laugh at me.
So long I have tried this, but futile, it seems.
My goal oft seems fleeting, like tea kettle steam.
I've prayed much about it. I've tried for a goal,
But the windmill keeps turning - can't catch it, can't hold.

This time I have long spent on "wants" gone unmet.
I'm dizzy from stabbing at things I can't get.
The windmill's for others; a new goal I'll set.

So Lord, though one windmill is so far away,
I'm better for aiming; I've learned things today.
So goodbye, old windmill - my once goal and plan.
I'll find yet a better one for me, and still stand!

- by Netagene, February 6 & 7, 2011 -

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Crochet

I've recently posted a few more things on my other blog. I hope you'll look at them! http://netagenesnicethings.blogspot.com I've heard that I can link PayPal to it for "donations" if you want to buy anything.

REALLY Harping on things

... on real harps! Right now, as to musical instruments, I own a piano, autoharp, 2 pennywhistles, 3 American Indian wooden whistles, several kazoos, 2 slide whistles, a bowed psaltery, a ukulele, a wooden train whistle, a good size toy piano, and an Appalachian dulcimer. I can actually play some of them. (I used to own an acoustic guitar, a mandolin, a console organ, and a hammered dulcimer.) I may be missing things but I don't think so! I've played piano since I was about 6 years old.

I learned of a harp circle recently, and attended it, even though I don't own a harp. The group is part of the RNSO (Ruth & Naomi Senior Outreach) at a big Presbyterian church near downtown. They meet every Monday afternoon for an hour, and play once a month at a big retirement home. There were 8 ladies, one who's been renting a harp only 2 months, plays no other instrument, and reads only a little bit of music.

I could have ridden the fixed route bus, free, but I wasn't real sure of the place, so it was worth my money to schedule paratransit. Also, Monday was a bit chilly, plus I would have been out after dark, and not seeing well or knowing exactly where the bus stops are in that area, well ... yada, yada ...

As soon as I walked in the door, introduced myself, the lady who was already there asked if I'd like to hold and try her harp! Wow! She turned out to be one of 5 or 6 there who have harpsicles (see http://harpsicleharps.com). These little folk harps weigh less than 5 pounds! They are made by a small family business in Rising Sun, IN. (And speaking of Rising Sun, I just finished reading a book called "Chasing the Rising Sun", by AP correspondent Ted Anthony - you can guess what the book is about - but I digress.)

For you who know something about music, the group plays everything in "C" (or "A minor" of course). They were working on "Edelweiss", "America the Beautiful", "O Danny Boy/You Raise Me up", and "I've Been Working on the Railroad".

Grace had a natural maple harpsicle; Mary's was light blue; the other harpsicles there were black.

I ordered a sharpsicle today (it has levers so you can play in 4 major keys and their minors) - natural maple but knowing me - and the fact that the natural maple one looked like light tan blah cardboard - I'll probably paint something on it eventually!

Here's a couple of pictures I took Monday night (yes, I got their permission). I did wander around, but I was sitting between Mary with the light blue harp, and Grace with the natural maple harp. The lady in the center back in the right picture is Lynn, who teaches computers in blind rehab at the VA. She's the one who told me about the group. She has no music in front of her because she is totally blind. I once asked her husband how many harps she has. Bill said "too many". She has 4!

Harping on things

First, a report on the weather (did I hear a groan?): Sunday was beautiful, almost 70 and sunny. It is real sunny today - but barely got above freezing and the wind made it feel about 10 degrees colder. I doubt I'll venture outside again until next Sunday! I hope "Birmingham Bill" (the groundhog at the zoo) has on his long johns!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Trees



This little cell phone I have is neat - what the camera will do! Here's the same picture! It's one that was made 8 or 9 days ago while there was still a lot of snow in the back SE corner of my yard.

Monday, January 17, 2011

A Minority

This morning I was one of a minority.

The city has neighborhood associations, which meet monthly. Giving a short report at each meeting will usually be representatives from the area police precinct, fire station, library, and the city councilor's office. Those attending can tell about problems in the neighborhood, such as a vacant house, possible drug dealing, a problem with garbage pickup, a clogged culvert, etc. Sometimes there will be some neighborhood event, either set up by the city councilor, a local church, another near-by neighborhood association, and so on. Sometimes a donation is requested for something.

Today being a national holiday, Birmingham had its 25th annual "Martin Luther King, Jr., Unity Breakfast". Each neighborhood association could buy a table for 8 for $200, plus individuals could also buy a place ($25 each). At our last neighborhood association meeting, we were all asked who could attend and would like to attend. My across-the-street neighbor Anthony and I were asked - so we did. The doors opened at 7 a.m.

The day started off crazy. Anthony is on disability, and does not have an alarm clock of any kind! He asked me yesterday to call him at 6 to wake him up. I called 16 times. After 4 rings, his phone went to voice mail. When I saw no lights on in his house, I walked over, rang his doorbell 3 or 4 times, and pounded on his door. He got up ... and we made it.

At our table were 3 ladies and 5 men, of which I was the only Caucasian. (I wonder - if they are African-Americans, then am I an English/Scots/Irish/Cherokee-American?)

A tangent: When I was small, my family lived on the invisible dividing line between blue-collar whites and what I would call middle class blacks in an area called Fountain Heights. There were other blue-collar whites in the house behind ours, and in the duplexes to one side of us. Next door was a vacant lot, then a house owned by a black gentleman who owned some sort of business. Across the street from us was a brand new brick house owned by Dr. & Mrs. Boykin. She was a school teacher (college-degreed) and he was a dentist (a lot of college). We lived there from the time I was 4 or 5 until I was 8 - late 40s until the summer of 1952. I remember waking up during the night to a lot of noise ... someone, probably the Ku Klux Klan, had set up a big burning cross in the yard of some family who lived a little farther in the block where we lived. There was also some bombings, including Dr. & Mrs. Boykin's house, though their house was not completely destroyed. In the early 60s, I worked in the phone company's operations' building, across the street from Kelly Ingram Park, where the notorious events with dogs and fire hoses happened. God made everyone, and none of this hate ever made sense to me. Look up the words to "Carefully Taught", a song from the musical "South Pacific".

Back at breakfast: The emcees were 2 people from a local TV station: a white lady and a black man. At the tables on the stage were a state senator, representative, judge, city councilor, rabbi, a couple of preachers, etc., each who spoke maybe 5 minutes. Mayor William Bell was keynote speaker, and talked for 30 minutes, and surprisingly held my attention.

Breakfast was edible: coffee, juice, water, scrambled eggs, sausage, hash browns, a biscuit, and butter and jelly.

A chorus sang from 7-7:30. They also sang the National Anthem after a high school color guard presented the flag. (Actually, everyone attending sang the National Anthem.) Near the end of the program, everyone also sang what is called the Negro National Anthem: "We Shall Overcome". (I wonder if there is a "Caucasian National Anthem", an "American-Indian National Anthem", etc.) Everyone at our table, and I think at all the other tables, stood and held hands to sing that.

The program started about 7:40 and was not over until 9:30 or so.

Except for being half-asleep because I'm no longer used to being up at 5:30 a.m. any more, actually the program was fairly interesting.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Many are cold

... but few are frozen ... except here. At 11:30 a.m. it was still only 22 on my front porch. At least there's been no more snow but what we have will be here awhile. I'm fine food-wise, except that I'm out of my junk food! ... potato chips and sour cream!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

D'ya' ever ...

... have a song that begins to bug you, going around in your brain? Maybe it's the weather or because of what I've just written, but "Mele Kalikimaka" is my brain-broken-record.

Here's another fitting one, though it's not sing-song-y:

"The sun is shining. The grass is green. The orange and palm trees sway. There's never been such a day in Beverly Hills, L.A. But it's December the twenty-fourth, and I am longing to be up North."

I'll let you look up those!

Mahalo.

The trip to Hawaii



I would have had a better time if I'd had someone about my age to pal around with, and go with on shore excursions. My cabinmate was nice, very pretty, young at heart, but was old enough to be my mother.

I'm a bit of a trainiac, and one shore excursion I signed for included a boat ride on the only navigable river in Hawaii, and a train ride. Wouldn't you know that that trip was canceled ... And of course I was interested in a luau. It was at the Kalamaku Plantation on Kauai. Turned out about 1,000 people attended the luau. I was seated WAY in the back of the huge pole barn, and it was late afternoon, and I don't see well. I couldn't see what was happening on the stage, and with all the chatter of the drunks I was seated with, I couldn't hear much. I ate a little then wandered around the grounds alone until time to get back on the bus and go back to the ship.

I did ride "The Liberty" at the Dole Plantation, and rode the train (with an actual steam locomotive) at the Kalamaku Plantation. The "Hanalei" was one of the passenger cars.

I got lucky in one instance. I love music, and had researched native Hawaiian music on line ahead of time, and bought some CDs. The first Sunday afternoon there, the hotel where I stayed was a short distance from an outside mall, not quite a flea market. I found a music vendor, and told the seller things I liked. On the only shore excursion that my cabinmate and I took together, I asked the driver about music. (I was always seated at the very front of the tour buses because of my eyesight.) He asked who I was familiar with, and I named some. He asked, "Do you have ...'s latest?" I said I didn't. He told me to wait a minute when we got back to the ship. Turned out that he was one of the producers for Na Leo ... and he gave autographed CDs to both my cabinmate and me!

Vacations





Thanks to a good friend of mine, in April, 1997 or '98, I got to go to England, Holland, and Germany. The flights (Pittsburg to Gatwick/London, and Dallas to Honolulu) were terrible - because they each took 8 hours.

Here's 3 pictures of the NCL ship, the "Pride of Hawaii", that I was on in 2006, and one of the airplanes I was on, on that trip. Of course you can click on any picture to see it bigger.

Warmth!

No, not here! Still ice and snow though it's 34 now on my porch. I changed my FaceBook picture recently to one made in June, 2006. It was taken at the overlook by 'Opaeka'a Falls, Kauai, Hawaii. A good description and picture of the falls is on wikipedia.

(Our local newspaper has a travel section, and that picture was printed in the paper. I wanted to show that people who do not see well - notice I'm holding my white cane - do go places and do things. It was a bit windy, as you can see from my bangs. That's my sunglasses on top of my head.)

I got to go on a tour with 13 others, all acquaintances from the church of Christ (we got to attend worship there with the church near Honolulu one Sunday, and had worship on-board the ship the other Sunday). Each of us flew to Honolulu (some on a Thursday, some Friday, I arrived Saturday mid-day), then got on a Norwegian Cruise Line ship on Monday afternoon.

One of my favorite parts of the trip was that Monday morning when I rode the city bus and went by myself to the Dole Plantation. I really liked the Dole Plantation, and I enjoyed the bus ride because it wasn't "touristy", plus I wanted to compare the Oahu transit to ours here in Birmingham.

My hotel roommate, then cabinmate, was a lady from Atlanta who was 20+ years older than me. While the trip was OK, I didn't feel like it was worth the approximate $3,000 I spent for it.

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