Thursday, June 30, 2005


Jonathan also gave me some small round Beatles pins that were very nice. I've been collecting Beatles paraphanalia since 1964, when the bobblehead dolls of the loveable moptops were on my birthday cake. I've got quite a few of their albums, but not nearly as many as my friend Laura does. We've been friends since college, and she has been a Beatles fan for as long as I have. When I was in Dallas last summer, I had the privilege of attending a performance of a Beatles tribute band, "A Hard Night's Day". These guys are truly awesome, and they play all over Texas. It was cool to hang out with the band and the various fans who come out every week. Laura sometimes plays the tambourine for them on a song or two. Of course, Guinness stout had to be the drink of the night because British band = British beer. The music of the Beatles continues to be timeless and never out of style. I think that for every situation in life, you can find a Beatles lyric that sums it all up. From Me to You, Janna

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Weekend Outing

Marvin and I headed to Portland, TN this weekend to see our son Jonathan and his wife Keri. We had a splendid time during our visit. After breakfast we went to check out the progress on the home they are building. The foundation of the house has been completed, and next week the framers will be there to get started. In about another week, the house will be ready for wiring. Things seem to be progressing nicely, and soon they will have a very nice house to move into. The land around the house is slowly being cleared too, and there is so much potential with the acreage they own. We are very proud of what we have seen so far.

We also visited one of the biggest flea markets in Tennessee at the state fairgrounds in Nashville. We walked around for several hours and found all sorts of odds and ends available for sale. We picked up a few things while we were there, and enjoyed looking at all of the items. I found a complete set of Beatrix Potter books for Hannah, her first set of books. We walked around for a few hours and still didn't see everything. We went back to their house afterwards and Keri and I picked up supper at Sonic while Marvin and Jonathan tinkered with the mower and got the lawn mowed.

After supper, we went by for the ending activities of camp week at Jonathan & Keri's church. We had a lot of fun there too. Jonathan & Marvin played horseshoes while Keri & I watched. Marvin won two out of three games, and of course everyone couldn't help ribbing Jonathan a little, especially since it had been about fifteen years or so since Marvin had played horseshoes. There was also a very friendly game of baseball going on between the men, and we watched a little of that before heading back to the house. We also saw part of "National Treasure" before retiring for the night. That is a very good movie, and I hope to see the rest of it soon. After a quick breakfast at Cracker Barrel, we started on our drive back home.

On our way back home, we stopped at a convenience store in Dickson, where I ran into a friend and her mother, who were coming back from a trip to Atlanta. Her mother had not set up voicemail on her Verizon cellphone yet, so since they knew that I work for a Verizon dealer, I helped them set up voicemail and we went our separate ways. It's amazing how small the world can be sometimes. You can be very far from home and still find people you know. It's good to get away from it all, but as Dorothy said in "The Wizard of Oz", "There's no place like home."

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Summer Colds

Yup, I have finally succumbed to the good old-fashioned summer cold and snotty nose. Too much swimming, too much going from indoors to outdoors, too much change in temperature. I had to leave work early on Monday just to try to get my body to cope with all of this change. I mostly slept for the next 20 hours. With a little help from a few doses of ginger tea sweetened with honey, my sore throat went away, but I still am very congested. I feel like I'm back from the dead and slowly waking up.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

St. Louis Cardinals

The St. Louis Cardinals is my favorite Major League baseball team of all time. They totally redeemed themselves from the World Series fiasco when they won 2 out of 3 games against the Boston Red Sox a couple of weeks ago. My question is: Where were these guys last year at World Series time? I realize that a few players have been added and changed around, so that's really more of a rhetorical/hindsight question than anything else. As a present for Marvin for Father's Day, I purchased tickets for the Cardinals/Braves game in St. Louis on August 6th. He already knows though, because I'm not very good at keeping secrets. I called him and asked him to make sure that he was off on August 6th. When he asked me why, I told him that we were going to have plans. Then he asked me, "What row is it on? Will I need to bring my binoculars?" I did not think quick enough, so I totally gave myself away with my silence. This is also the last year for the Cardinals to play in Busch Stadium, so we wanted to make it over there for the last season. We saw a very interesting news segment about the construction of the new stadium. St. Louis is very near the New Madrid fault in Missouri, so the new stadium is being built to handle earthquakes. It is built in sections that are more flexible and will be able to withstand shaky ground.

It will be good to see the Cardinals in person again. Our seats are fairly high up, but it will still be a great trip and I know that we will have a wonderful time.

Friday, June 03, 2005

a near miss

Yesterday I had a bit of a scare. With thoughts of earthquakes still on my mind, I headed to work in my GMC Jimmy. I took my normal route through Main St. Dyersburg and up to Troy Ave. It had been raining, so the road were very slick. Just ahead of me, I saw a car stopped in the road, getting ready to make a turn. I hit my brakes, and there were no brakes. I started skidding while pressing down on the brakes for all I was worth. It looked like I was going to hit the back of the car. To the right of the car was very little space because there was a brick wall and a curb in front of it. I headed towards the brick wall, missing the car. The curb (thank goodness!) helped me come to a complete stop. My wheels wound up on top of the curb, just inches from the brick wall, a near miss. I was just a little shaken as I called Marvin to let him know that there was definitely something just a little bit out of whack with the brakes. I drove his Nissan truck (stick shift, ewww!) to work today while our mechanics looked at my SUV. The brake pads were cracked somehow, so I got new pads and drums and they turned the rotors. Saved again by the skin of my teeth.

A lot of times life is like that. You're going along with an obstacle directly in your path. No matter how hard you try, it looks like you are going to hit the obstacle with full force. Then you see an opening to the side that will allow you to barely clear that obstacle. But you wind up nearly hitting a brick wall, only to be stopped by the curb in front of it. Life is strange, but then the alternative is way too boring for me! I'd rather do a little skidding around and have a few near misses. It's more exciting that way, and what a story you'll have later to tell your grandkids!

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Makin' Like Jerry Lee Lewis

Man, we had a whole lotta shakin' goin' on around my part of West Tennessee today. Around 6:35am, there was an earthquake (4.0 on the Richter scale, epicenter Ridgely, TN). I was laying down reading when all of a sudden it sounded like a big truck was outside the house. The house shook for about 5 seconds and then there was this big BOOM that resounded over the countryside. Marvin was in his vehicle on his way to work when the earthquake hit and he didn't notice anything unusual.

Earthquakes are a totally new element for me. The first one I ever experienced was back in 1986 when I lived in Columbus, Ohio, which is surprisingly on the same fault line as we are here in Tennessee, the New Madrid fault (New Madrid, MO). Back between mid-December 1811 and mid-March 1812, there were a series of quakes that shook our area. The Richter scale had not been developed at that time, but it is felt that these quakes would have been some of the largest on record. They caused The Mississippi River to change its course and actually flow backwards for a while. Reelfoot Lake (Lake County, TN) is an eighteen thousand acre lake that was formed during these quakes when whole forests sank below the ground and water filled the holes to form lakes and swamps.

On May 1, we had an earthquake of 4.1 on the Richter scale. Its epicenter was Big Lake, AR. I was sitting at my computer when it happened, and I felt the same sensations and kept thinking that a big truck was driving through our road. I'm starting to look at earthquakes as God's way of saying "Hi, remember me?" He sure gave us a big shout out this morning!

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