Sunday, December 28, 2008

Millionaire Cookies

Chris's family visited on Saturday. While they were here, Maureen and Shawn made Millionaire cookies using Mom's recipe. Last Christmas, Maureen had contacted Megan and got Mom's recipe from her. She then surprised me on Christmas Eve. She told me to close my eyes and open my mouth and see if I could identify what she was giving me. It took less than a second to say "Mom's Millionaires". So thanks to Megan, another generation of Murphys are enjoying Mom's signature cookie. Yum!!!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Heavenly Voice

If you haven't heard it, listen to Celine Dion sing "Oh Holy Night". You can find it on the CD "These Are Special Times". Her voice is out of this world. Speaking of out of this world, Maureen's cousin had a Jesuit priest celebrate Christmas Eve mass at his house. During his homily, the priest was talking about different Christmas songs and said that Karen Carpenter singing "Little Alter Boy" sounded like an angel, and if angels didn't sound like Karen Carpenter, then he didn't want to go to heaven. He followed that by saying it was probably blasphemous, but he was a Jesuit and could get away with saying things like that.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

There's no snow here. It's a nice sunny day with warmer days in the forecast - near record highs. I had bought a new TV with built-in DVD player for Mom's room. After lunch I played part of one of the DVD's I gave her this morning. Here are excerpts from one of the songs by the Gaither Vocal Band and Ernie Haase & Signature Sound:

So don't weep for me
When I cross over death's sea
My pain will all be gone
And I will have a brand new song to sing

If you get there first
I'll join you on the second verse
And for eternity
You and I will have a brand new song to sing

Pat and Steve were here for dinner last night. I had said Tuesday in a previous posting. Steve will come back for a while Saturday afternoon.

White Christmas

For those of you who are not experiencing a white Christmas - you can enjoy ours! Most of this snow fell a week ago, but we've had a few dustings since then.
Merry Christmas!

More Santa and Crying Kids

Thought we would add our contribution to the "subjecting our kids to the terror of Santa" collection. This is Whitney at 1 1/2 yrs. old with Steve playing the part of mean ol' Santa. Steve kept telling Whitney, "It's only Daddy", and Whitney, through her tears, kept saying, "I know, I know!"

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Nettie Maria Hagerman


Here is a picture of your great, great grandmother Nettie Maria Moulton Hagerman. A friend of mine is HOOKED on and has posted things for our family tree as well. I'm sure you have seen this but since it is Christmas, a "visit" with family is fun!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Santa Claus postings and comments have been very enjoyable - a good example of how a blog can create the opportunity for dialog among family members. Of course, I remember the Cleveland trip and the search for the Venus Paradise Pencil sets. And I remember being thankful that we found them. How disappointing it might have been if we couldn't have. I don't remember how they were advertised, but it sure was effective.

I'm looking forward to seeing Pat and Steve Tuesday. They hope to arrive about 4:00 so we can have dinner together before going to see Mom. Megan, Steve and Whitney have plans to be in Ohio from the afternoon of January 8 until the afternoon of the 11th. Scott says he and Maureen may also come that weekend.

Have been enjoying Skype. It's working OK with Florida and Nebraska, but Mike couldn't see me during the conversation we had. Maybe it will work better next time. To partially help the timing problem (when to call?) I've been signing on at 7:30 most evenings for about five minutes to see if anyone wants to get on line. When I say most evenings, that's after I usually get back from visiting Mom. On Saturday I stay there until the Lawrence Welk show (starts at 7:00 on PBS) is over, and I could be later getting back her on some nights.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

More of kids with Santa

Sarah, you asked for this. Nothing changes does it? Parents still feel its necessary to torture their children with Santa

Friday, December 19, 2008

Doesn't look like Santa is having a good day either.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Had a nice visit with Mike on Wednesday. We talked about a broad range of subjects, and at one point remarked about words Gloria Gaither had written to Finlandia. If you recall the melody, you should like the words:

I then shall live as one who's been forgiven
I'll walk with joy to know my debts are paid
I know my name is clear before my father
I am his child and I am not afraid
So greatly pardoned, I'll forgive my brother
The law of love I gladly will obey

I then shall live as one who's learned compassion
I've been so loved that I'll risk loving too
I know how fear builds walls instead of bridges
I'll dare to see another's point of view
And when relationships demand commitment
Then I'll be there to care and follow through

Your kingdom come around and through and in me
Your power and glory let them shine through me
Your Hallowed name, oh may I bear with honor
And may Your living Kingdom come in me
The Bread of Life, O may I share with honor
And may You feed a hungry world through me

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Melissa and Dave are expecting!

We've received wonderful news, and Pat and are to be blessed with another grandchild! Thank you Lord! Melissa and Dave are having a baby girl due in mid May and they have decided on this lovely name: Molly McKenzie Murphy. Pat and I welcome this baby into our family with unconditional love for her and for her parents. 2009 will be another terrific year, with our first grandson due in early March and then our first granddaughter in May. Oh boy, how marvelous!

Blessings to you and yours!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Tornado special

For those of you who are interested, the Discovery Channel is going to feature footage from the May 29 tornado that hit Kearney earlier this year. The Storm Chasers special will air at 10pm ET on Sunday. And here is a link to our local paper with video and pictures:
For those who have been to Kearney, the first 5 minutes or so in this video shows the storm chasers traveling North on 2nd Avenue, with the camera focusing toward the Northwest, which is where you would find our house.
Steve wasn't home during this storm, but Whitney and I were, and spent the duration of the tornado in our basement. Even though it was daylight outside, it got eerily dark. We were blessed that we didn't sustain any major damage, but all of our neighbors can't say the same thing.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Today is another anniversary - much different from November 29. (I am moved by the heartfelt comments about that posting,) I'll review December 1, 1943 and some of what happened during the weeks prior and following that date. Mom and I were engaged right after I was commissioned in February of 1943. She went back to DePauw, and I went to a gunnery school at the destroyer base in San Diego and from there to the U.S.S. Aulick, DD569 in Pearl Harbor. It took a while to get there, because I spent some time in Seattle awaiting transportation to the Aleutians where someone thought the ship was. But that's another story. The Aulick was in dry dock at Pearl undergoing repairs for damage suffered when it hit a reef in the South Pacific. The repair process went on until the ship was deemed ready for sea again, but a full power trial revealed a problem with one of the main reduction gears. It was decided that the Bremerton Navy Yard was the best place for correcting the problem. I honestly don't remember how we communicated when ship locations and movements were supposed to be secret, but we decided to get married during my leave. And we did on December 1. It was a nice, sunny day in Portsmouth. Mom's Maid of Honor was Caroline Friel,an old friend, and my Best Man was one of my brothers-in-law, Harry Hollingsworth. We spent two nights in Columbus, two more in Mansfield and then on the train to Bremerton where we stayed at the Enetai Inn until 12/23. (Never have been able to understand why one destroyer was so important to the war in the Pacific that departure couldn't have waited until after Christmas.) It was an 8-hour run from the dock to the open sea, and there was a violent storm in progress when the ship left the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The ship was battered and suffered significant damage again - just after a Navy Yard stay. So shortly after arriving in Pearl Harbor, we learned we would be heading back to the states for a period of time for more repairs. So, had it not been for the storm, the Aulick would most likely have proceeded beyond Pearl Harbor and stayed out there for who knows how long. Although it made me very sick for about eight hours, that storm most likely had a significant impact on the structure of our family. I was surprised today to hear our anniversary announced over the PA system. Such occasions are not usually so noted. Ernie told the operator.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Fox kids

PopPop said to put up pictures of our kids, so here they are. Matthew just turned 14, and Jordan 12. Jordan played Mustardseed in our Tomahawk Creek Middle School's first ever play production. It was "A Mid-Summer Night's Dream."

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Some of you have read this account. The story has been on my mind today, so I thought it would make a timely posting.

On November 29, 1944, while we were performing radar picket duty in Leyte Gulf, a formation of six Japanese planes was sighted and fired upon. When the general quarters alarm sounded, I was sitting in the wardroom. I was supposed to eat dinner and then relieve the Junior Officer of the Deck on the bridge. So dinner would be delayed. I got up and went to my battle station below the main deck in the compartment that housed the computer which took signals from the gun director and converted that information into coordinates that aimed the five-inch guns.

I didn’t know what was happening when I went below. Maybe it was just some planes flying over on their way to other targets. But when the first plane’s bomb exploded off the port bow, the ship shook, and I knew we were under direct attack. Then I saw that the signals coming from the gun director indicated another plane approaching. All the guns were firing, and the range continued to close. I can still see the computer operator turning the knobs and matching dials to send the signals that aimed the guns. That second plane was making its run, approaching from the stern, fishtailing back and forth to avoid gunfire. Hit several times, it was burning as it passed over the stern. It almost overshot its target because of the ships maneuvers. But one of the wings hit a mast guy wire and the starboard wing of the bridge, causing it to careen in and down. It crashed into the ship, and a bomb exploded.

I still didn’t know just exactly what happened, but soon found out. I was on the same telephone circuit with Bob Cousins, the gunnery officer in the director and Jim Hahn, another assistant gunnery officer on the flying bridge. I remember Bob saying, “My God, Murph, flames are shooting out of Gun 2 fifty feet in the air.” I heard nothing from Jim. He had been hit by a bomb fragment.

The next few seconds were tense for those of us in the plotting room. We knew flames were shooting out of one of the forward 5-inch guns, and we knew that the handling rooms and magazines under those guns were loaded with ammunition and were not too far forward and below us. So we knew if the flames got to the magazines, the bow would probably be blown off, and the ship would sink rapidly. But the steel casements surrounding the hoists that carried the ammunition from the magazines to the guns were supposed to be flame-proof – and they were.

The next concern was whether more planes would attack. None did, and we wondered what it was like up on the decks above. Bob Cousins filled me in as best he could, but he couldn’t see everything from his station. At one point he remembered looking down onto the flying bridge and seeing Jim lying there looking up at him with no expression on his face. Someone had already given him morphine, and he didn’t appear to be in pain. He died of his wounds just a short time later.

Casualties were heavy among the forty millimeter gun crews and on the bridge and flying bridge. Bomb fragments penetrated the # 2 five inch gun house and exploded a shell inside. All the men in the gun house and the handling room beneath it were killed by the flames and force of the explosion.

Thirty-one men were killed, one was listed as missing and sixty-five were wounded. One of the most seriously hurt was the doctor. His battle station was in the wardroom where I had been sitting when general quarters sounded. The starboard bulkhead of the compartment had been blown in, and tables and chairs were in shambles. It was not a good place to be, and the doctor, who was one of my roommates, never had the chance to carry out his mission to help others.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Our deal with the farm is off...I am sad but relieved because of the REASON. We finally had an inspection that showed THOUSANDS of dollars in damage...specifically structural and water damage.

We are disappointed but at the same time SO thankful for inspections. Emma (who HATES change) was relieved and later said "Well, you really don't need a new house when you already have one." I asked her what she meant since we don't have a new house. She said "Well Nonnie and Pop (that's what she calls mom and dad) have one." I said, "Yes, honey, but we don't LIVE with Nonnie and Pop so it isn' t the same!" She said, "Well, we can just enjoy theirs."

O.k! Lesson in contentment!


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Mom and I had our "Thanksgiving Meal" together at 5:30. Don't know why it was scheduled for the 19th, but for most Courtyard residents there were two seatings in the dining room, one at 5:00 and the second at 6:00. Neither time would work for me, so I asked if I could have my dinner delivered with Mom's. That worked OK, but several times she looked over at my food - I guess because it looked a lot different from her pureed helpings. I scraped the filling from my pumpkin pie crust and gave it to her.

I wrote last time about a new resident in the 600 corridor and how the first couple days were difficult for her and the staff, but she had calmed down considerably - under the influence, I assume, of some medication. Also that her situation is similar to Mom's in that she had been sharing an apartment with her husband, and he now lives in the Courtyards. If he has visited her, it's not been anytime I've been around. Based on some things I've heard her say about wanting to go home etc. I would guess that visits from him or one or more of her daughters could be upsetting for her as well as for her visitors. I'm thankful that we never had to deal with that. Actually, I hum and sing parts of "September Song" to myself as I enter and leave Mom's room. Don't know how familiar you are with the song, but you can search the title and go to a video of Jimmy Durante singing it. You can also hear Frank Sinatra and Ezio Pinza - even for comic relief, Jack Benny playing it on Liberace's show. But Jimmy's version is the one I like - he puts a lot more meaning into the ending words, ". . . these few precious days I'll spend with you. These precious days I'll spend with you."

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Marine Corps Law Enforcement Gala

Maureen and I attended the black tie Marine Corps Law Enforcement gala last night. This organization started in the 90s to raise money for scholarships for the children of fallen Marines and law enforcement personnel. They have also provided support to the children of military members killed on 911 at the Pentagon, the USS Cole, and the AF personnel killed at the Kobar Towers in Saudi Arabia.

To date they have given $37 million to these recipients.

Pictured are a cross section of the military. First there is me for the AF who has been retired for 15+years. On the left is Navy Captain Cline. He is the commander at Willow Grove Naval Air Station north of Philadelphia. He will be retiring next September. In between us is Army 2nd Lt Ferry who was just commissioned last June. He is currently serving in the ROTC detachment at Drexel University but will soon leave to join an infantry company.

The speaker last night was Lt Gen Coleman, Deputy Commandant of the Marine Corps (top picture center). 4 Medal of Honor winners were also honored. All were Marines from the Vietnam war. Most of the brass from the Philadelphia Police Department were also in attendance along with officers from the department Highway Patrol and numerous South Jersey police departments.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Fall in Tennessee

Hi everyone! I love reading updates on everyone! I want to see more grandkid pictures (Eileen!)

Here are some fall pictures and a give away on what we'll use on our Christmas cards. We are all doing well. We are in negotiations for a small farm. We are VERY excited but cautious too as the house was built in 1920 and this is our third attempt (coming Wednesday) at an inspection. Is anything ever easy?? :) I'll keep everyone updated on what happens!

Friday, November 7, 2008

School Photos

First grade and day care photos of Shawn, Melanie, and Danny.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Eileen, John, and Anya visited Nate and Heather in Oklahoma last weekend, so Steve and I drove down to meet them. We had a great time, but unfortunately, John and Eileen came down with some kind of bug on Saturday, and Nate didn't feel well. But we enjoyed the time that we did have. Little Jackson and Ethan are adorable! And Anya turned sweet 16 while we were there - how time flies!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

We are having a stretch of beautiful Indian Summer here. I've been taking Mom outside after lunch. One day we stopped by my room. I wanted her to see the bright orange leaves on the tree outside my window. We also looked at the pictures on the desk. I couldn't tell if there was any special reaction or sign of recall. There is a new resident in the 600 corridor. The first couple days were difficult for her and the staff, but she has calmed down considerably - under the influence, I assume, of some medication. Her situation is similar to Mom's. She had been sharing an apartment with her husband, and he now lives in the Courtyards. I don't know what apartment he's in and don't know if he has been to see her in 600. If he has, it's not been at or around mealtime.

I'm glad the election is over. I don't have the TV on very much, so wasn't bombarded by commercials to a great extent. I hope Obama means some of comments he has made - that he realizes millions didn't vote for him. Don't know if George W. ever said that (even though more voted for Gore in 2000), but I think I'm like many - tired of the partisan conflict and hoping for more cooperation in Washington.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Mike Jr. Surgery

Mike Jr. is having surgery this morning for a torn achilles tendon which he got while playing volleyball recently. Obviously, the recovery will make it difficult to practice dentistry since he has to stay seated in one room, so can't move from room to room to see patients. Please keep him in your prayers.


Monday, October 27, 2008

The post below is from an e-mail Andy sent.

Erin Maya Murphy

I sent the following to a few of you but thought I would post it here too.

Sarah and I have settled on a name for our little girl, Erin Maya Murphy. It was an easy choice for us. Erin is an Irish name meaning peace, and we chose Maya as a derivative of Sarah's Mother's name. Sarah never met her mother. Coincidentally, the word Maya means "peace" in Sarah's native language and is spelled the same way as the common name. As further confirmation, when we looked into the meaning of Maya in other languages we found the following:
In Hindi, Maya means "God's creative power
In Greek, Maya means "Grandmother or Mother"
In Latin, Maya means "Great"
We get more excited for Erin's arrival every day.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

fun time

I am at ower cottage right know visiting with my sister and her
room mate from school.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Snow in October!

I thought you would all appreciate this - especially Steve and Pat, fresh back in sunny Florida! We were in a winter storm warning yesterday, but didn't get as much snow as forecasted. The wind was quite something though! Today has been cold and rainy, but Saturday will be 60 degrees. Crazy Nebraska weather! These pictures are looking out into the front yard and the back yard.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Pat and I returned to Naples Saturday and we are busy opening up our home and doing the necessary yard work - since we've been gone for four months. In a couple weeks our family will travel to Key West for a week of vacation in the sunny island paradise. We enjoyed our time on the mountain and I helped a neighbor install the interior trim to his large log home. It felt good to wear my tool-belt and pound nails. Actually I didn't pound many nails because we used air nailers - much easier!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Had a nice visits with Eileen, John and Anya. I said visits because they were here Saturday afternoon and then again Sunday afternoon. You can tell from the posting previous to this that part of the time was spent getting them invited and established as authors for the site. We can look forward to some interesting postings about things that will be happening in their family lives. While they were with Mom, she looked from one to the other very intently while they talked to her. I don't know how to describe my feelings as an observer. Glad, of course, that she was more responsive than during previous visits, but sad,too, thinking of all she would have had to say to them just a few short years ago - and also wondering what was really going on in her mind while looking into faces once so familiar. Those of us on this side of the curtain that separates us will never know, but let's believe that the bonds between her and us are the eternal kind - still there even if we can't understand the reasons for this temporary transmission interruption.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Visting with Truman


Here we are visiting with our very own Truman. Guess what we have been doing? Getting us signed up for the family blog!!!

There is some great stuff on the site already. We will try to get pic's and news up soon.

God Bless

Eileen and John

Monday, October 13, 2008

Homecoming/Family Weekend

Steve and I visited Whitney last weekend. This is a picture of her dorm room.
The fall colors on campus were beautiful!
Her Philharmonia orchestra had a concert on Sunday afternoon.
After the concert, we went out to eat downtown.

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Krouse's

Dad told me about the blog site and I have enjoyed reading everyone’s postings.

I wanted to let everyone know that Kevin and I are expecting our first child!!!! We are very excited and we just found out today that we are having a boy. I am finishing up my 18th week and am due March 5th. I am sure the weeks will fly by with all the holidays approaching; it is crazy to think I am almost ½ way there already. So far we are right on schedule and baby Krouse is healthy.

I know mom and dad are very excited to have their first grandchild on the way. This is also the first grandchild on Kevin's side. One thing is for sure is our child won't have a shortage of love from the grandparents and hopefully babysitters :)


Monday, October 6, 2008


Our visit to Lakeside was quieter this year since Sarah and her family could not go. We still stayed in the same cottage since the price is right and the location good. Our weather was cool, but not much cooler than back in Virginia. We got a little rain the first week, and only had one morning we couldn't walk. The wind was out of the Northeast most days, which blew in some type of algae that I had read about. It smelled bad, and was supposed to give you a skin rash if you were in it. We went over to East Harbor one day, but it was too cool to sit on the beach. There were not many boats out perch fishing most days due to the rough water. They tend to close the dock these days when any waves splash up on it, which frustrates me because it used to be fun to dodge them. Must be some type of liability issue.

We took the ferry to Kelley's Island and road our bikes around it again. The perch lunch at the Pump was good as always. I have not been used to bike riding as I have in the past, so was a little tender by the time we were through.

We ate at Mon Ami winery, which is our favorite place up there these days. Also, Abigail's is now Evelyn's at the Abigail, which Scott told you about. Meals our more upscale, so more expensive, but the food we had was very good. They are doing a total renovation of the place over the winter, and we look forward to seeing it next year. They closed up for the season the last weekend we were there.

As always the ambiance of the place and the quiet this time of year is very enjoyable. There can't be many places in the country like Lakeside. Its also nice to see all the Ohio State flags and shirts that I don't see much of around Virginia.


Friday, October 3, 2008

New York City

Maureen and I are going to New York City for the weekend. Her cousin has an apartment on Union Square that is empty during the weekends, so he lets family and friends stay there. We will drive up to the Staten Island Ferry terminal and take the free ferry to Battery Park. The ferry terminal is a about an hour and a half drive from our house. From Battery Park, we will probably take a cab to the apartment. We may go see the Intrepid Museum which just reopened after an extensive overhaul of the aircraft carrier.

Union Square has a farmer's market every Saturday with over 100 vendors from around the state. I told Maureen that she can select whatever ingredients she wants, and I will prepare dinner with them for her. The apartment building has a lawn terrace on the 10th floor with several gas grills for residents to use, so I may be grilling outside tomorrow evening.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Had a nice visit with Sally and Mike last Friday. Then Saturday was Mom's birthday. She wasn't sure how to open her gifts (two pairs of pants, a red blouse and a nightgown). She wouldn't take the cards out even after I slit the envelopes for her, but she did smile some as I read the messages and names of the senders. I bought a cake (chocolate sundae swirl) at Kroger and numeral candles 8 and 7, and we had a little celebration after lunch. Mom didn't pay much attention to the candles and wanted to start eating the cake before it was cut. She ate her piece and part of mine. The other residents liked the cake. I might take one there from time-to-time just for a treat.

Friday, September 26, 2008


Hi everyone! I'm sitting here waiting for the debates to come on t.v. and wanted to send some photos Hannah took....she is the photographer AND the local model (ham??).

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I assume you have read or heard reports of the strong winds and power outages in this part of the country caused by the remnants of Ike. It was an unusual weather occurrence. A cold front was approaching from the northwest and Ike's low pressure center came barreling up along that line which was capable of producing storms on its own. Hurricane force (75 mph) wind gusts were recorded at the Columbus airport. Some trees were uprooted and many branches torn off. Power was lost here and cable as well. This facility has some generator back-up, so I had lights (but no AC). But there were no lights in the Courtyards dining room (some portable lights were used) and there wasn't full power available in the kitchen. So paper plates and plastic utensils were used. I had a dentist appointment at 2:30 yesterday. Phones weren't working, so I couldn't call to ask if the office was open, so I took my amoxicillin and drove there to find a sign on the door. Driving is a challenge when the traffic lights are off, especially crossing Broad street when it's obvious that some drivers don't want to yield to the cross traffic. When I came back here, the power came on just as I came through the door, but it didn't stay on long. Then it was restored about ten last night. Cable must have been restored also in the night. Looking forward to seeing Sally and Mike on Friday. Truman

Monday, September 15, 2008

Wedding Reception

Tom's parents had a reception for Katie and Tom for all of his family who could not attend the wedding last May. The reception was at a very rustic camp north of Reading, PA. Chris, Alison, and the 3 kids came along also as well as Andy. Sarah stayed in DC because Andy was leaving the party to get a flight to London and then Geneva. He will be there until this coming weekend.

Friday, September 12, 2008

I took Mom to the monthly Birthday Party yesterday evening. Every month Chaplain Jensen leads one honoring those born that month. He cites historical events corresponding to residents' birthdays and mentions celebrities, statesmen etc. who shared that birthday. There usually is a pretty good turnout, helped, I suppose, by punch, cake and ice cream. We usually don't go (didn't go in April) because Mom doesn't seem to be aware of what's going on. But she seemed to enjoy the punch, cake and ice cream. When I say she doesn't seem to be aware of what's going on, I can never be sure, but go by the expression on her face. When we watch TV (Funniest Pets and People, Lawrence Welk, the Gaithers, and old Andy Griffith shows) she seems to be paying attention and may even smile a little. In church, she will follow my finger as I follow the words being read or sung, but doesn't seem to be interested during the sermon. However, when the chaplain and his wife get closer during communion, she starts to watch them and will take the wafer and put it in her mouth, then take the glass and drink the wine. That's an improvement in the last month or so. While she was taking Risperdol, she didn't seem to know what to do. Truman

Monday, September 8, 2008

I haven't posted anything recently, but have enjoyed reading what others have been sharing - quite a range of stuff - lots of rain in Virginia from Hanna, Sarah's new endeavor, great pictures from Lakeside and Tennessee etc. (After passing the place all those years, it was interesting to see inside Mystery Hill.) The blog site is beginning to accomplish what we hoped it might. I don't know how many are reading the postings, but I hope there will be more as time passes. I suppose you have noticed the Archives on the right where you can see what has gone before. If anyone who is reading this is not an author and wants to be an, let me know.

There's not much new to report from here. Looking forward to seeing Sally and Mike next week and Eileen and John next month. Mom seems to be relatively stable physically and mentally, although she has a bump and bruise on her forehead. To keep her from getting up on her own, her bed is kept as low as it will go. But she was on the floor in the night - probably tried to get up and may have bumped her head in the process. I took her outside after her lunch today, and we watched the men's US Open final after her dinner tonight. She always liked to watch tennis, and seemed to be watching the play this evening. In the morning and at noon I have been singing her to sleep (same old bedtime songs and some hymns). That doesn't always work after dinner. It didn't this evening. She was still awake, although pretty drowsy when I left. But the nurse usually comes about that time to give her medicine, and wakes her anyway.

Saturday, September 6, 2008


We have 6 inches in our rain gauge from Hanna. It is mostly past here now , but there's lots of flooding in the area. Wind wasn't too bad, so we didn't lose any trees here. Now we wait to see where Ike will hit.


Friday, September 5, 2008

Mystery Hill

Dad reminded me that I didn't mention our trip to Mystery Hill & Prehistoric Forest at Lakeside. Well, ever since Maureen and I have been going to Lakeside, she has always wanted to go to Mystery Hill. My response was always "No, it's a ripoff." This year she announced she was going to take Shawn to Mystery Hill--kind of sneaky using a 6-year old, but it got her there. Guess what? It's a ripoff.
As we went in, Shawn told Maureen he would hold her hand in case she got scared. We talked to the owner who told us he had bought the place after it had been closed for several years due to tax problems. He said he had really upgraded the place and that it was really cheesy when he got it. I can't imagine how bad it was in the 60s. He also said he had some major improvements planned for next year. Hah!
So for all of you other potential Mystery Hill visitors, save your money.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


OOPS! I meant

Sorry everyone!

Hello family!

Hi everyone! This is a fun way to connect....everyone needs to add some pictures! The Schwartz family is doing well. School is in full swing and Alex is in a Christian school this year. He has made the adjustment well, but we will ALL miss our yearly Lakeside trip..this would have been year 9!!!

I just made a transition into part-time working with a new non-profit started by our close friends. I will be their Administrator/Development Officer though all of us are volunteers until January. I'm taking some courses on Grant Writing at our local university and I'm excited about this new phase. We are still working on the website but you can look at

Hannah is 14 now, Alex 12, Emma 8. I'll add some pictures.

Richard is doing well too and we hope everyone has a great fall!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Our 10 days in Lakeside were very relaxing. We left Columbus after visiting with Mom and Dad and headed north. Our GPS took us up I-71 to Route 13 through Mansfield to Rt 250 to Rt 2.

We stopped at East Harbor for a picnic lunch upon arrival and were surprised to find temps in the high 60s. In fact, we only had 2 or 3 warm days with the rest having highs in the 70s. A northeast wind blew for several days with the dock closed with waves washing over it.

Chris and family arrived on Saturday. They had the cottage on Kenton Row next door to the one Mike's family had in 2003. It was fun having the little ones there and introducing them to Lakeside and Sandy Beach. East Harbor is so shallow now that you can walk all of the way to the breakwaters and not get much past your waist. The kids loved being able to walk out so far.

We had dinner for our 7th anniversary at Nagoya, a Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi bar that opened a couple of years ago over by Cheese Haven. It is probably our favorite dining spot in the area. Oh, by the way, Abigail's Tea Room closed last year and was sold. It is now Evelyn's at the Abigail. Not much has changed except that all of the celebrity photos on the walls are gone, there are more choices on the menu, and the prices are somewhat higher.

We also took in the annual Perch Parade and Festival on Saturday in Marblehead.

Prices at the Hotel Lakeside have gone up significantly. The room we were in was the honeymoon suite on the upper 3rd floor corner with windows on the lake and the park. Last year it was under $100/night. This year we paid $135 a night, and next year it will be $160 during the week and $200 on weekends. We will probably get a cottage next year for a week instead of staying at the hotel. Evidently the new director of the association is looking to make money, but he may end up putting Lakeside out of reach of the average family. Gate fees aren't cheap either with us spending over $300 for the 10 days, and the second week was at half price because the programs in Hoover had ended.

The picture is at the Marblehead lighthouse. You can see the waves in the background.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Our drought situation is much better. We had 7 inches of rain Tuesday thru Thursday - remnants of Fay. Most of our moisture in the late summer comes from what's left over of hurricanes.

Tuesday a doe and her two fawns showed up in our back yard. It was pretty neat to see that.

Sally got home Wednesday afternoon from her trip to Joplin. Unfortunately, she had to spend most of the time in the hospital where she took her Mother because of severe abdominal pains. She is better now and back at her residence. They think it was a possible kidney stone.


Monday, August 25, 2008

Had good visits with Megan, Steve and Whitney. They arrived in Columbus Saturday afternoon and came here at 3:00 Sunday. We had dinner at 4:30 then went to see Mom. She seemed more responsive than she has in the past. In fact, before we left when Megan leaned over to tell her goodnight and said, "I love you, we'll be back tomorrow", Mom smiled and said, "That's good." Today they got here just after I had finished lunch. We went over and sat with Mom while she ate, then took her outside in the wheelchair. For a while, the three of them sat on a bench. I positioned the wheel chair so she would face them and suggested that they talk to her. She seemed to enjoy that, looking from one to the other and smiling. After we went back to her room and she got sleepy, we came to this apartment where they stayed until I went to dinner. During that time Megan used her memory stick with this computer and showed me many pictures taken during their cruise. That technology amazes me - how all that stuff can be stored in a little gadget like that. They also brought a digital picture frame with a 14 picture internal memory. She had loaded pictures so Mom can watch them as a slide show. Something else I marveled at was Steve getting on line promptly at 2:30 and printing tickets with seat assignments for their flights (to St. Louis then to Omaha) tomorrow. I said promptly at 2:30, which was the earliest he could "get in Line" so they could get good seats - and some were already taken.
Left home Sunday at 4AM to get Sally to the airport for a 6AM flight to visit her Mother in Joplin. She arrives back Wednesday afternoon.

Still dry here - farmers requesting aid because of severe crop loss. I don't have much to mow except for the crab grass which is doing beautifully.

I had two funerals last week; one an 88 year-old lady and the other 92.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

We had good visits with Steve and then with Maureen and Scott. I had expected Steve later on Sunday, but he drove to Marysville on Saturday, so he came here early Sunday afternoon. We had dinner at 4:30 and then went to see Mom. We stayed with her until 7:00 - watched the Gaither show with her. It was bluegrass Gospel music, a combination I wouldn't have expected to like, but did. Vince Gill was the most well-known (to me, anyway) person who performed. I had seen the Isaacs before and liked them. We visited some after that. His original plan was to come back the next morning for a while, then he and Pat were going to meet up with Maureen and Scott Monday evening. Tropical storm, Fay, changed all that. They got up early and headed for Georgia, wanting to be closer to Naples in case the storm became a hurricane and there might be damage they would want to deal with there. But they had talked to their neighbor who said there was a lot of rain, but no storm surge. The wind was blowing the water away from the land.

Maureen and Scott got here a little after 3:00 Monday. We went to dinner at 4:30, expecting to eat with retired Air Force Colonel David White, a veteran of WWII and Vietnam (he was there at the same time Scott was) but he had a chemo-therapy treatment (for lung cancer) earlier in the day and told me later he was pretty well washed out and didn't come to the dining room for dinner. Also, the people in the dining room were surprised again when I showed up with two guests. I think that's the third time it's happened. Communications sure need to be improved among staff members. We went to see Mom and stayed to watch "Funniest Pets and People" as I have been doing on week nights. They came back this morning and visited for a while before heading for Lakeside.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Scott is on now too

I just received Dad's invitation to post. We are looking forward to seeing Mom and Dad and Steve and Pat next Monday on our way to Lakeside. We are staying in the honeymoon suite again at the Hotel Lakeside. That is the front corner room on the 3rd floor with two windows looking out to the lake and one window overlooking the park. Chris, Alison, and the kids will have a cottage on Kenton Row across from the park from August 23-30.

Andy and Sarah were going to come for a few days but decided not to since Andy has a trip to Brazil around that time and they are also moving to a larger apartment in preparation for the baby, which they just found out is a girl.

Katie seems to be recovering well from the surgery to remove her thyroid. She is off work for a couple more weeks.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Hi everyone! Whitney has spent the summer in Colorado for an internship in social work. She has lived with friends of ours, a friend of Steve's from high school. Whitney will come home this Saturday (yeah!!) for a couple weeks before we take her back to college for her junior year. The three of us will travel to see Mom and Dad later this month. Blessings to you all!

Hello Truman and all!

I received my invitation today so now I can post. I have visited before and read the posts. It will be interesting to see how many of our family will post and/or read the messages.

I'm driving from Georgia to Columbus Sunday to visit with Mom and Dad, then on to Marysville to visit with Melissa and Dave. Pat will join us there as she has been visiting her sister in Mansfield. We'll return to Georgia on Tuesday. We plan to meet up with Scott and Maureen in Columbus Monday evening.

Peace and Joy!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Visitors expected for the rest of the month:
Merry McCuen Thursday, 8/14
Steve Sunday, 8/17
Maureen and Scott Monday , 8/18 They may get together with Pat and Steve later that evening.
Boyers will arrive in Columbus Saturday, 8/23 and leave Tuesday, 8/26. Not sure when they will be coming to the Courtyards.
After that no others scheduled until Sally and Mike on Friday, September 19.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Fall-like weather

It got down to 59 here today. Probably cooler for those of you up north farther, but nice here for a change. Last year at t his time it was over 100. Still dry, though.


Friday, August 8, 2008

To Sally and Rebecca,
Welcome to the blog site. Sally, I guess there are some pretty wild blogs. On the other hand, the system allows people who think their stuff is good enough to share to get it off their chests. I think it's a good way for a family to stay in touch. We'll see how it works. Rebecca, those are great pictures. I told Sarah her kids look so grown up. I may not, and should have, said how good looking they are. They are, and so are yours - both good and grown up looking. Easy to understand about the good looks - only have to view the shots of you and Michael.
To Mike,
I'll work on developing a group blog. One way to find out how big the group can be is to keep adding to the list of authors. I'll start with the four of you who have responded so far and see how it goes.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

To Mike and Sarah
Good to hear from you. It's good to have a new way to communicate and to have someone in the family to explain some of the fundamentals of blogging. Tell me more about how to get an e-mail when someone posts a comment. Also, I assume others will read your comments when they click Comments. And when I read your comments, I didn't answer in the space provided - wondered where the answer would appear - so I posted this instead. It would be nice to have a number to call so new users could ask questions. Maybe there is one listed somewhere. I just haven't found it yet. So far I've told Steve, Scott and Megan about this site but haven't heard what, if any, experience they've had with it. Sarah, I was surprised, although I guess I shouldn't be, at how grown up your children look in the pictures taken on the fishing trip.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Mom was more alert in church today than she has been for some time. I wouldn't say she listened to the sermon, but she was looking in that direction most of the time. She hasn't said or sang anything since last Reformation Sunday, when as I told some of you, she sang all the verses of "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God." That was a surprise. Although it's not so every Sunday, today the service contained a pretty complete setting of Lutheran liturgy. As usual, I pointed to the words (as I do to the words of hymns) and she seemed to be following. You have to believe she recognized some of it.
Mom was more alert in church today than she has been for some time. I wouldn't say she listened to the sermon, but she was looking in that direction most of the time. She hasn't said or sang anything since last Reformation Sunday, when as I told some of you, she sang all the verses of "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God." That was a surprise. Although it's not so every Sunday, today the service contained a pretty complete setting of Lutheran liturgy. As usual, I pointed to the words (as I do to the words of hymns) and she seemed to be following. You have to believe she recognized some of it.

Saturday, August 2, 2008


The first posting worked, so I'll try another. Today for the first time in quite a while, I got Mom (I'll always use that name) to play a few notes from Romeo and Juliet on the keyboard. For some time she wouldn't even touch the keys. Can't hope that this is any kind of reversal, but some changes in medication have been made, and I do think she's a little more alert.


This is another attempt to establish a blog site. I decided to call it Trumans and will sign my postings that way. To some of you I'm Dad, to some Grandpa, to some PopPop. Now to all of you I'm Truman. More later.