Friday, December 31, 2010
I just wanted to wish everyone a happy new year and to thank you all for keeping Maureen and I in your thoughts and prayers. It means the world to us to have so many family and friends in our corner.
The last procedure I had was still inconclusive as to the source of my cancer, but I think we are getting closer. On Jan 10 I have another endoscopy where they will take a closer look at the pancreas and bile duct, and I have a feeling they will finally find something. Then, we can move on to a treatment plan, thank God.
We are continuing to attempt to live our lives as normally as possible and enjoy each new day.
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Monday, November 29, 2010
You may remember my writing about a note I added to a card I wrote when Mom was 84.
"You're 84, but why keep score,
For you will always be, young and beautiful to me."
I thought I had heard those words before, but didn't know where or when.
Last evening Mary had an old Elvis Pressley movie on the TV in the 200 dining area. He sang the song you'll hear on the link above. I know I never saw the movie, and I don't think I ever heard Elvis sing the song, so I still don't know where I heard the words. But you'll like the song and the way he sings it, even if you were never much of a fan of his.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
"I do believe by the way that I learned any story telling skills I may have from your Dad. No one told a joke better than Uncle Bob. Actually, he appreciated them about as well as anyone too. I can kind of remember Grandpa Murphy telling us stories in bed, but they all seem to begin and end with "the ruby in the idol's eye."
I sent emails to Mike, Scott and Dad and Mike didn't seem to remember these stories from Grandpa Murphy. Here is what Scott wrote:
"I definelty remember Grandpa telling stories about the ruby in the idol. He told a lot of other stories about his travels in Africa. Took a while for me to realize he had never been out of this country."
Then Dad wrote:
"I do remember "the ruby in the idol's eye", but only vaguely. My father was a great story teller. He had a wide ranging imagination, and most certainly had read adventure stories. My sister, Vivian, said she thought, until she grew older, that he was, indeed, a world traveler with many adventures. I don't actually remember much about that particular story, but I think the ruby was regarded as a "trophy" of sorts for adventurers, and he was the one who was able to sneak into wherever the idol was, avoid whoever was on guard and pry the gem loose. I wish as I grew older I had reminded him and asked him to tell me some of those stories again. As kids, sometimes the value of such stuff in our memory banks escapes us."
These stories must be like the ones Dad told us kids about the Three Big Things. I have since spun stories about the Three Big Things to my kids and also to Morgan and Anya. Now I look forward to telling them to Jack and Molly.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Saturday, November 13, 2010
We passed a small building that said office, where during camping days, people would stop and sign in. We were looking for the lodge/dining hall and pool because Pat remembered walking up from the pool to the lodge, which was wide open with a high ceiling and many windows. Soon we found it and what she described is what we experienced. We parked in front of the lodge and peeked into the windows. They had some ping pong tables in the corner and tables and chairs stacked in another corner. We spotted several workers around the site, tending to maintenance.
We walked to the left along a road which went through the woods with many cabins sitting empty for now. Pat remembered her cabin was “Zeta Rho” but now all the cabins had Indian names like, Uncas, Tecumseh, etc. We peeked into one of them and it had six double-deck beds with a single bed for the counselor. These cabins were in pretty good shape, compared to the ones we saw at Hidden Hollow.
We continued out of the woods and followed the road to the “Farm.” Here was a lot of open grassland and a newer barn was sitting next to a fenced area with two goats, who came bleating to the fence. We stopped and talked to them for a minute then followed the road to Mohican Lodge, which sat way back by itself. There were many trails through the property and we followed one along the ridge with a creek below. We noticed many of the trees were huge, including many Beech trees and it reminded me that here in this part of Ohio the climax forest was predominately Beech/Maple. A climax forest is what land reverts to when it is left to Mother Nature.
We followed the ridge trail back to the center of the campsite and followed another trail down some steps, across a wood bridge spanning the stream, and then up steps to another campsite which had an outdoor shelter where Pat remembered watching some skits. We followed a trail through a pine forest which was planted some time ago and it seemed as if we were in a cathedral. Rows and rows of tall giants - beautiful, silent, and serene.
Back out we saw a sign that said “Falls Trail” so we followed it along the high edge of the deep gorge down into the chasm where we heard water falling. Soon we turned a corner and saw the top of the falls in the near distance. I walked out onto the rocks just at the top of Fleming Falls and noticed how the water, over the millennia, carved grooves in the hard bedrock. Then the water cascaded down over the rock outcropping down about 25 feet into a pool of cool water below. We continued on and climbed out of the canyon till we reached one of the many outdoor theatres which had seats with a lectern and a cross.
We pondered when the first settlers happened on this gorge, would they be surprised how deep it was, nestled here within the magnificent forest? We returned the way we came and enjoyed our walk through this exquisite piece of land. Hopefully it will be here for other generations to enjoy, as we have.
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Camp Avery Hand operated in the area for 70 years and closed on July 2, 2008. The original Camp Avery Hand off Fleming Falls Road was purchased in 1927. Charles Ackerman donated the money in the name of his grandson. In 1940 the Boy Scouts purchased 75 acres on Orweiler Road, then transferred the camp there.
The bird sanctuary was leasing some land from the Council. In recent years, an agreement was reached by the Boy Scouts and the Ohio Bird Sanctuary to allow the neighboring nonprofit agency to buy acreage at the camp and its dining hall.
The Ohio Bird Sanctuary now owns about 90 acres of the former camp. They own what used to be the dining hall and they hope to one day renovate it into a visitor’s center. They use it now for wintering birds. In the summer they use it for some of their camps.
Pat and I drove out to the sanctuary today and walked the several miles of trails through the woods and down along the Clearfork. We looked in the windows of the Lodge and a sign said that 80 acres of land was donated to the Scouts in 1940 by the Olson’s, and the lodge was built in 1948 and is named Olson Lodge.
It was a beautiful fall day and we saw many birds along the way including a red shouldered hawk! I remembered walking down one of the paths to the Clearfork and the camp had a canoe landing area there. Terry Lake and I canoed the river and out onto the lake and we received our canoeing merit badge.
We plan to take Jack and Molly there some day and every day they feed the birds inside an aviary with mealworms. I can already see their happy faces as they feed the birdies!
Sunday, October 31, 2010
I walked in the main entrance past the house where a caretaker used to live. (The signposts are still there – twelve of them, such as: trustworthy, loyal, friendly, clean, reverent. The camp is arranged differently and the only remnant of my camping days was an old wooden bridge over a ravine, leading to the area were we set up tents for weekend camping. (There were some old latrines scattered around and a large tree limb fell on one and pretty much destroyed it).
Now the cabins are up front, before you get to the parking area - more in the interior. The old lodge and pool are gone, now just grassland. In fact there isn’t a lodge at all, just a metal pole building with a kitchen and an area for meals – nothing like the old lodge with its large stone fireplace. A newer pool was built next to the parking area.
I remember when Mike went to camp there, and on a night when parents and siblings were allowed in, they had some skits and some boys jumped in the pool grasping for the greased watermelon. What fun.
I walked the mowed roads into the interior of the camp and found the area where I spent a cold weekend at winter camp, alongside a ravine in the woods. I remember it snowed 8 inches that night but the bacon smelled good sizzling in the iron skillet that morning. Another area I recognized as a tent campsite where we would send the younger scouts out from the wooded camping area into the open field adjacent to us, to look for snipes!
Walking along I also remembered this smaller trail I traversed for the first time on my first night after induction into the Order of the Arrow. (Yes, Chief Chingatchcook, make this one brave!) They led us along in the dark along this trail and a leader would point to one of us and say, you sleep here. The rest would go along and I could hear them telling other scouts to sleep there – in the woods with only our sleeping bag and pack. Ah yes, under the stars – I loved it!
I made the loop back and went down the back way to the archery area and the rifle range. Then I went out onto Orweiler Rd. and back to my car.
Below the camp is a bird sanctuary. I remember a trail from the camp down through the woods to a spot where we went canoeing on Clearfork Lake. That trail would have come through the area now occupied by the sanctuary. I just learned that the bird sanctuary bought the land just last week!
Monday, October 25, 2010
We arrived at the lodge and the view from there is wonderful. It sits high on a bluff overlooking more woods down below and the grounds around it are mowed grass. The pool is below the lodge to the right with its meandering sidewalk leading the way. For some reason the lodge door was open so we entered and found it mostly empty. It still looked in good shape, other than normal wear and tear, and many flies and wasps climbing on the windows.
I remember having meals there and below were the areas for many crafts and things like ping pong etc. I also attended a winter camp there over a weekend and we stayed downstairs in the lodge, with a roaring fire to keep us warm at night.
Back outside we walked down the leaf strewn path to the boys cabins. They are arranged in a semi-circle around the wash area (which is outside under a roof) and the enclosed showers and toilets. The cabins are in need of much repair, and I entered my old cabin, (Allen Knapp – but the sign was gone) and saw some old beds etc.
We returned to the car and walked up the incline to the area where they have the bonfire with logs in a circle. This is where they told the story of the ape-a-gator on the first night – real scary! Nearby is something which wasn’t here when I was – the Warren Rupp Observatory.
Pat and I reminisced on the return and I remember having a good time there during a summer of one of my junior high years. Pat went to the old camp which is now Camp Mowana, so we might take a drive out their some day to see if she can remember the layout.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Monday, October 18, 2010
Monday, October 4, 2010
We were welcomed with open arms and Molly was a hit. She got to meet Honey, a miniture long-haired dachsund, and she laughed when Honey licked her face. Molly is used to dogs since at home, she has Bear, a 100 pound Black Lab, and Brook, a 60 pound yellow Lab.
We sat with Tim and Shirley during the meal and caught up on family news. He asked about all my brothers and sisters, Mom and Dad, and my children. They now split their time in Petaluma, CA, where their son Jasper lives (Jessee lives in Thousand Oaks, CA near LA), and St. Petersburg, FL. Jasper is a child psychiatrist and Jessee is a VP of a firm which sells pharmaceuticals to groups of doctors. Tim and Shirley have three grandchildren and love them dearly.
It was good visiting with them and they may come to see us in Key West in January. Tim expressed an interest in meeting my family, and of course they are always welcome.
Monday, September 27, 2010
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010
Polly Sowash died on the 14th. Many of you readers won't know who she was, but some will. She used to bring Bradley with her to play bridge with Mom (and other women I don't remember), and Brad and Megan would play together. The note I sent to the funeral home website:
Rick, Jon, Brad,
When I read that your mother had died, I remembered how close she and your father were and that she lived many years without him. That made me recall some words of a song by Woody Wright:
“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.”
Those, or any other words, won’t take away your sorrow, but the thought of a brand new song may help a little.
Friday, September 10, 2010
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Monday, September 6, 2010
There you will find some interesting information, including photographs taken at the Mare Island Navy Yard on December 26, 1945 of damage done by the suicide attack in November. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. I have written some descriptive words about this, but these chilling photos, especially the one of the rear of Gun 2 and the handling room under it, give viewers a better understanding of the catastrophic event that killed so many men in a small area. Another, of the 40 mm directors, lo0ks much less severe with some holes in the round shields around them. But all three of the ship's officers, who died as a result of the attack, were all in this immediate area. Two must have been hit by the fragments (or others like them) that caused those holes. There are also photos taken in February after repairs had been completed, more while the ship was in the Greek Navy (two of which show it in rough seas) and the last one in the process of being scrapped. Of course, I had no idea such information was available and really appreciate seeing it now.
Monday, August 30, 2010
On 8/28 Sally and I attended the Restoring Honor Rally held at the Mall in Washington, D.C. It was one of the most inspirational events I have ever attended. Some estimated that 500,000 attended. These photos give some idea of the crowd which went from the Lincoln Memorial to past the Washington Monument. It was not a political event. The event was to support the Special Operations Warriors Foundation. Speakers like Sarah Palin and others called on all Americans to renew their commitment to God and concentrate on Faith, Hope and Charity in order to restore America to what the founding fathers envisioned. I was a beautiful although warm day, and a wonderful crowd.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
As we sipped our tea we listened to the soft music and then we were joined by Tom Moore, a new friend of Joyce’s. He graduated from Senior High in ’64 and said he new Scott, and some of his friends, including Rick Spangler! He just returned to Mansfield after 30 years of living elsewhere. We enjoyed pleasant conversation as darkness began to change the ambiance of the evening as street lights and candles illuminated the surroundings.
Another day I was looking for a warehouse (for a used mower) at the corner of Wayne and Orange streets and I spot the old Tappan building, standing empty. I remember working second shift there one summer, building spray arms for dishwashers. I also remember Mr. Litzler worked there as well. Just down the street I could see the old Westinghouse building. I could imagine the hustle and bustle that once was constant in this neck of the woods. By the way, the Union Hall where Pat and I had our wedding reception is there, but closed with weeds growing all around.
I follow Adams Street over the tracks and then turn left onto Newman Street and drive down memory lane. I pass Newman Park, where Dad used to go to school, but the building has since been torn down. I arrive at the stop sign and catty-corner from me is the building where Uncle Harry had Hollingsworth Tire. I’m not sure what is there now but someone is using the building.
Across the street where the Mansfield Tire used to be are several businesses. I am surprised because the last time I drove past this spot, all the Tire buildings were raised and only empty ground remained. A company called Jay Industries has several buildings erected here, and one of them has something to do with paint. I remember visiting Dad there once and he took me on a tour of the factory. I also remember picking up Scott a couple of times as he worked a summer there. I drive along and remember the building where Mr. Sheldon used to run the tubing machine. Now on that spot there is a Regional recycling center run by Rumpke. It kind of smells of garbage and many trucks are entering and exiting.
I turn around and head south and notice most of the houses along Newman Street are run down with many boarded up. That is the way of much of old Mansfield, but there are many areas that are kept up and some areas which have new business. I suspect it is the same in most towns across America.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
After crossing Dickson Pkwy. I run uphill as I cross Woodhill Rd. and then pass the house some say is haunted. It is a large brick home with a turret in the front center, and the yard spans from Woodhill to Woodland Rds. It is dark here so I make my way only by the intermittent moonlight. I turn left on Woodland and jog peacefully along until I turn left onto Edgewood Rd. and follow it somewhat down a gradual incline. A couple of dogs bark at me but they stay in their yards (probably because of invisible fencing).
I arrive back at Andover so I turn right and follow it to Stewart Lane where I turn right and run by the Woodland Garden Apartments (where I am now the building manager [part-time] – oh boy, I’m the BM :) – and that’s another story. I turn left onto Dickson Pkwy. and run up the hill and turn left onto Andover.
Across the street at the corner of Andover and Dickson is an unusual home that was built I believe in the ‘20’s, and some call it the home of the future and others call it the “Westinghouse Home.” I guess when it was built, they outfitted this house with all the latest new gizmos and was completely lighted with Westinghouse bulbs and outfitted with Westinghouse appliances. Of course Westinghouse had a huge plant here in Mansfield that manufactured appliances. Pat’s Dad worked there as a Tool and Die Maker for years until he retired. (The factory is still there and much is unused and dilapidated, but someone is using parts of it as a storage facility).
I arrive back at my house and ascend the steps now barely illuminated by our solar lights along the walkway. I ran alone and saw no one except one car which passed me on Edgewood. So peaceful and invigorating at the same time, and I am grateful for the whole experience!
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Surprisingly jobs for new nurse graduates are hard to come by nowadays. A few weeks ago USA Today had a story on their front page about how tough it is for them to find jobs within the first 6 months of graduating. With that said, we feel VERY blessed that Jon has already had one phone interview with a hospital in Kalamazoo, MI that went VERY well. They are actually bringing him up this Friday for a face-to-face...so be sure to say a prayer on Friday for him!!
Mom, Dad, Morgan & Anya came for a couple nights on their way to Steubenville. They dropped off Morgan for her senior year at Franciscan University.
Saturday, August 14, 2010
I turned right onto Glendale Blvd. and climbed the rise where I passed the Mott’s house. The house where the Mishey’s lived is for sale. Then I passed our house and pleasant feelings and memories surrounded me. The house looks pretty much the same and someone added a lean-to shed structure onto the one car garage – probably for storage. Back at Woodland Rd. Glendale crosses but does not go through, into what used to be Cunning’s field – which is now an upscale subdivision. I turned left onto Woodland and rode till it dead ended into Sunset Blvd. I turned right and passed the Fire Station, then turned right onto Autumn Dr. till it met up with Glendale Blvd, in this subdivision. I think this must have been where Mike and Cousin Tim told us the “Boogey Man” lived – in a groundhog hole in the old corn field.
I passed Cunning Dr. and then came again to Cook Rd. so I turned left and rode past the old Cunning home and barn. On the barn was “E.E. Cunning 1909.” I turned right onto Trimble Rd. and rode past fields of corn and beans till I came to Marion Rd. so I turned right and rode past lush fields and then mansions of the then, Black family. Some horses were grazing in front of one of the houses in this compound. I turned right onto the beginning of Woodland Rd. and rode mostly in the shade caused by the plentiful trees. I think this is where Scott had his mishap where he wrecked his bike and had to go to the hospital where the needle was “on the bone!” I rode by several walkers, including Pat and Joyce. I rang my bell and we exchanged smiles and greetings. This is a regular occurrence for them both, and they enjoy meeting halfway – at the intersection of Davis Rd. and Bigelow Rd. and then walking through Woodland.
I continued on and then turned left onto Andover Rd, and past the Woodland Club and pool. I crossed Woodhill Rd. and then Dickson Parkway and down the hill and left into our driveway. Someone told me that Woodland used to be the Dickson Farm – circa 1900 or so. That was fun and I may write more about our exploits around our hometown. I can’t describe the feelings I have, but it feels good to be home!
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Dear Mr. Murphy,
I was very touched by the poignant article from The Columbus Dispatch about you and your wife, Peggy, and the blog you write detailing memories of your 66-year marriage. Your enduring devotion to Mrs. Murphy is deeply inspiring and admirable, especially so in light of her debilitating illness of recent years. How wonderful to learn that you began your journey as a couple here in Greencastle on our campus.
Please know all of us at DePauw send you and Mrs. Murphy our prayers and strong hope for better days ahead.
Brian W. Casey
Monday, July 19, 2010
Friday, July 9, 2010
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Monday, July 5, 2010
Friday, July 2, 2010
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Monday, June 28, 2010
Sunday, June 27, 2010
We were surprised and happy that a couple purchased our home in Georgia - that they wanted possession in two weeks! And to boot - we were in Key West on vacation at the time we got the call from our realtor. As you can imagine we had to cut short our vacation and we've been very busy since then.
Our new address will be 866 S. Andover Rd., Mansfield, Ohio 44907. You are always welcome to come visit and/or stay!
Thursday, June 24, 2010
You, who worry about republicans versus democrats--relax, here is our real problem. In a Purdue University classroom, they were discussing the qualifications to be President of the United States. It was pretty simple - the candidate must be a natural born citizen of at least 35 years of age. However, one girl in the class immediately started in on how unfair was the requirement to be a natural born citizen. In short, her opinion was that this requirement prevented many capable individuals from becoming president. The class was taking it in and letting her rant, and not many jaws hit the floor when she wrapped up her argument by stating “What makes a natural born citizen any more qualified to lead this country than one born by C-section?" Yep, these are the same kind of 18-year-olds that just voted in our last election.
Monday, June 14, 2010
A friend hears the song in my heart
and sings it to me when my memory fails.
She had seen the quote in the paper. She said, "It reminds me of you and Peg." That was such a nice thought. From now on, it will always remind me when I sing to Mom to listen to the song in her heart. Maybe I have been listening before and just didn't realize it.
Another thought. All of the RA's are, to one degree or another, angels, for whom we can be thankful. Earnie has probably spent more time with Mom than any of the other RA's. And I think she's the only one who would take notice of such a verse, write it down and give it to me. I think you'll agree that's pretty special.
Saturday, June 5, 2010
Thursday, June 3, 2010
If you are a senior you will understand this one, if you deal with seniors this should help you understand them a little better, and if you are not a senior yet.......God willing, someday you will be......
The $2.99 Special
We went to breakfast at a restaurant where the '"seniors' special" was two eggs, bacon, hash browns and toast for $2.99.
"Sounds good," my wife said. "But I don't want the eggs."
"Then, I'll have to charge you three dollars and forty-nine cents because you're ordering a la carte," the waitress warned her.
"You mean I'd have to pay for not taking the eggs?" my wife asked incredulously. "YES!!" stated the waitress.
"I'll take the special then," my wife said.
"How do you want your eggs?" the waitress asked.
"Raw and in the shell," my wife replied.
She took the two eggs home and baked a cake.
DON'T MESS WITH SENIORS!!! WE'VE been around the block more than once!
Monday, May 31, 2010
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
I don't care who you are or what you believe in,
this is funny.
Barack Obama at a recent rural elementary school assembly in East Texas, asked the audience for total quiet. Then, in the silence, he started to slowly clap his hands once every few seconds, holding the audience in total silence. Then he said into the microphone, 'Children, every time I clap my hands together, a child in America dies from gun violence.' Then, little Richard Earl, with a proud East Texas drawl, pierced the quiet and said:
"Well dumb ass, stop clapping!"
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Saturday, May 1, 2010
Monday, April 26, 2010
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
A walk on Sunset KeyFelicity loved the water!