Category Archives: friends

It’s time to play the Family Feud

Greetings, readers. Last evening was the annual church soup supper which began at 5:30. After a delightful bowl of ultra thick vegetable soup and a soft roll, everyone was invited downstairs to participate in the Christmas edition of Family Feud. Pastor Mike needed one more person for team two. I gladly raised my hand. Smith said she didn’t mind and told me to go and enjoy myself.

We had filled out our answers to be delivered to the office just that morning, so I remembered a good number of the questions. We lined up in teams from youngest to oldest and of course I was the oldest on my team; I went last. I must admit it seemed surreal standing at the square table, one hand behind my back ready to ring the bell. The woman opposite me was just a little bit faster and I had to count to make sure all my fingers were still attached. Now for the fun part.

Our team won and got to play for the “big money;” Pastor Mike said we were playing for respect and admiration of all the congregation instead of money. It was chosen that a girl named Melissa and I would be a team of two to play Fast Money. She wanted to go second, which left me a difficult task. For anyone who has ever watched this game show, the first player must give good answers, but not necessarily the number one answer. Of the five questions, I got the top answer on four of them. Then the classic game show moment happened. I misunderstood the fifth question and gave a complete cornball answer; I scored zero on that one. When my partner had her turn, she only needed fifty some-odd points to get to two hundred. We won easily.

 

Prize ‘won’ instead of money in church game of Family Feud. Each player got their own plant.

Each contestant was given a flower pot as a prize. Pastor Mike looked at the folks giving out the prizes as if to say that really wasn’t part of the deal. I think they were supposed to be decorations for that room. Lol.

Another lol, Pastor Mike did not kiss the ladies, as Richard Dawson would have way back in the day.

Lastly, Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers in America. Enjoy the day with family, and hopefully you are not somewhere where these major storms are occurring.

That’s it for this blog entry. Rebecca and I are going to quickly compose another one and schedule it for Sunday. Smith and I will be watching the Steelers try to beat the Browns. It will be much easier if a post is set up to automatically publish Sunday afternoon.

So until then, take care, love one another, have a great few days, and happy reading.

I must do something I’m not good at; stand firm

Greetings, readers. Events took place the other day here at my apartment building which has caused me to lose a friend. I am not happy to say this, because I really liked this person. Her emotional disability is more than I can handle, and I cannot take the drama and stress. I must walk away.

I’ve known this person for a number of years now and there have been good times and bad. Recently, however, the bad times have outnumbered the good. I don’t know if any of you, my readers, have experienced this before, but it is thoroughly frustrating. Being the son of a psychologist, I tried to pick up as much as I could from Mom. That small advantage I gained was not enough to keep this friend.

Life will go on without my friend (name omitted for privacy reasons) though I feel like I failed. Losing a friend pains me like an open wound. The pain will go away, but it will take time. In the meantime, I shall rejoice in the friends I still have. I need to look forward, not back. If this person ever does come to her senses, and gets and stays on the proper medication, perhaps one day the friendship can resume. Until then, I need to take care of my own emotional health.

On to a different topic, in four weeks Rebecca and I will type our last regular blog entry together. 😦 As mentioned, I will put up the occasional blog entry to keep the blog alive and fresh, as I hope Rebecca will do too from time to time. Probably no new entries will take place the last week or two of December, with a new entry the first week of January.

I saw on the internet news page that the last several days a plethora, unfortunately, of shootings occurred. Prayers go out to the families of the victims and a special prayer goes out to those folks who think that violence is the only way to get the attention they seek. Give peace a chance. There are always people available and willing to help you with almost any problem. I am proof of that. I was severely depressed years ago, thought about ending it all, told myself that I was not a coward, and contacted the therapist that I still have today. Violence is not the answer. There are counselors, clergy people, and good old-fashioned best friends you can confide in. If you are thinking about doing something desperate or violent, please think it over for a day or two, and try any of the options I just mentioned.

Well, it must be getting close to winter time, folks. I saw Tussey Mountain Sky Resort all lit up the other night. As we speak, I can see man-made snow on the mountain, though it has been dark the last couple of nights. You would never get me on those slopes on skies. Heck, I can barely walk on the snow on the sidewalk sometimes, much less ski. One day I am planning on taking the local bus to the resort, just to check it out. I might even have lunch there. 😉 Any local takers? We could make a party of it.

I am still holding out a slim hope for the Pittsburgh Steelers, but with this loss last week, I think that even a wild-card berth is not obtainable. If we finish at 500 [8-8], I feel we will be damned lucky. I’m still upset at the Cleveland Brown’s defensive player who, in my opinion, tried to kill our quarterback by hitting him over the top of his head with his own helmet. I’m sure that anyone who follows football has seen the clip. The poor kid has already had one concussion, he doesn’t need a second one.

There’s the news for now. Until next Wednesday, have a great week, please love one another, may your favorite sports team win this week, and as always happy reading.

Getting over the depression of hurting another person

Greetings, readers. This past Tuesday my friend and I were walking along, minding our own business, when I passed out. I fell forward, knocking her over and injuring her. Most of that morning and afternoon in the emergency room is a blur now, but it didn’t take long for the guilt I know I shouldn’t have to set in. Smith has told me numerous times that it was an accident, and that she does not blame me. Oh, what a good friend I have.

It’s now Sunday afternoon and most of the guilt is gone. I really felt terrible when she told me that she did indeed receive her second concussion. She still was not quite over the one she suffered 18 months ago. I just hope that she doesn’t suffer any more memory issues. My memory is not what it used to be, so I can relate to Smith’s frustration. She tells Traci and me that her, “….memory used to be my strong point. Not anymore.”

It’s a little more than an hour later than it was when I stopped for a supper break.

Listening to Smith tell me that friends of hers would come to her when they couldn’t remember something breaks my heart every time. It got me to wondering just how many concussions I have suffered over the years. To my surprise… and horror, I count three. Yikes!

The first one was during the summer, during my elementary school years. I was probably ten or eleven. I was riding my bike in the circle in my former neighborhood, when my feet slipped off the pedals. I was heading right for the curb and struck it. The bike stopped and I didn’t. I went up over the handlebars, landing head first in the grass. I can honestly say I know what amnesia feels like, because when I got up and looked at my own house, I didn’t know it was my house. I had no clue for about five seconds. To say that it freaked me out would be an understatement.

Incident number two was in junior high school. The school day was over and we were heading to our lockers in the commons area. I felt someone’s foot tangle with mine, and the next instant I knew, I was lying down on a teacher’s desk. When my mom got me home, she told me to rest up and report any unusual symptoms. I told her that my head pounded when I bent over. We immediately went to the emergency room.

Concussion number three was many years later during a bowling outing in Maine. Friend Dave and I were getting set to do battle, and after choosing my ball, I did not clear the ball rack. The top of my head cracked the underneath section of the beverage bar, and I can honestly say that I saw stars. Dave and I should’ve stopped bowling right there, but we were young teenagers who thought nothing could hurt us. Every time I bent down to bowl, my head hurt. Needless to say, we only bowled one game that evening. We were going to make it a best two out of three. Buddy Dave checked on me periodically throughout the night. I was oblivious to the fact that you are not supposed to let a concussion victim sleep for more than two hours at a time without awaking them. They might not wake up!

Having said all this, I know full well that my elderly friend Smith needed a second concussion like a kick in the teeth. You should’ve seen her when I apologized. She told me exactly what I thought she would say. Smith told me that it was not my fault, that I had no control over it and that she was glad that I was okay. We do look out for one another. Smith, Traci and I will continue to watch out for one another, for we are the self-proclaimed Three Musketeers.

Until Wednesday, enjoy the rest of your weekend and early week. Rebecca and I will be here to post the next entry Wednesday afternoon. Until then take care, love one another, and as always, happy reading.

Re-remembering my good friend Terry

Greetings, readers. Over the last few days there has been a large spike in the numbers of reads of an entry I did after the death of a dear friend, Terry Stewart, posted on July 29, 2016. Both Rebecca and I agree that this may be because my good friend Terry loved the holidays. With Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up – and Terry was a huge Christmas fan – it makes sense that there would be people wanting to revisit Terry again this time of year. So, we have decided to re-post this wonderful and touching tribute to Terry Stewart. Every time my neighbor across the hall opens his door when I am in the hallway, somehow I still expect to see Terry. We were very good friends, and I miss him dearly.

This blog entry will be posted automatically at 2:00pm tomorrow, and when I get back from Thanksgiving dinner, I will post it to Facebook. I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving. Please, if you are traveling, drive safely.

 

R.I.P to my good friend Terry

 

Greetings, readers. It is with a heavy heart that I must let you know of the passing of my neighbor across the hall. Terry Stuart was a kind and gentle soul, always with a smile. He loved to play the piano, he laughed at my jokes, and enjoyed old movies.

I knew Terry for several years. Quite often he would come over and ask for help about a computer problem and I would be more than glad to lend a hand and solve it if I could. The last issue he had was with his printer; the problem was it kept printing the same page over and over. I never could figure that one out. That is where it gets funny. You always think you have more time to help people. But as Rebecca would say, Terry’s contract ran out.

I know all of our existences are finite, but somehow we always think we have more time to get things done. We really don’t know. Only the Lord does.

I shall miss my good friend Terry very much. During coffee hours he would often play the piano in the community room. I thought about asking our office manager to tape up a photograph of Terry, which I would give her, on the piano and she agreed.

Terry played the piano, sang, and read his own poetry at my performances. He performed during one of my Beatles shows, as one of the three Bedbugs who backed me up, on December 14, 2012. He played the piano and read a poem at my KISS show on December 20, 2013. Rebecca wrote about the Beatles show and the KISS show in these entries. I have a couple of pictures from his performances that I can share at the bottom.

It is a good thing that I had therapy yesterday. Among other topics I talked about, I talked about Terry quite a bit. I don’t like death, it scares me. Even though I believe in heaven and the afterlife, I still don’t feel like dying just yet.

I guess I’ll never really know what happened to Terry, my good friend, but this building, Addison Court, will be a lonelier place without him. Terry, I bid you a wonderful eternal rest. You were a good friend and I wish I had taken you to Maine two years ago. You would have loved it and the people would have loved you. Rest in peace, my friend.

Until next week, have a good weekend, give your loved ones a hug and enjoy them, and happy reading.

Terry Stuart playing piano and singing Christmas carols at my show of KISS songs December 20, 2013. Photo by Greg Brown.
Terry Stuart playing piano and singing Christmas carols at my show of KISS songs December 20, 2013. Photo by Greg Brown.

 

Terry Stuart reading a Christmas poem which he wrote, The Christmas Star, at my KISS show, December 20, 2013. Photo by Greg Brown.
Terry Stuart reading a Christmas poem which he wrote, The Christmas Star, at my KISS show, December 20, 2013. Photo by Greg Brown.

 

Terry Stuart at my show of KISS songs December 20, 2013. Photo by Greg Brown.
Terry Stuart at my show of KISS songs December 20, 2013. Photo by Greg Brown.

 

I reconnected with a special friend recently

Greetings, readers. For a couple of years now, on and off, I have been trying to reconnect with someone I met in junior college. Her name is Tess (last name withheld for privacy reasons). I last saw her in 2003 when she and her husband Chris came to my mother’s viewing; I don’t remember whether their two young children came with them or not. It is amazing that 14 years had passed since I had heard her bubbly cheerful voice. She is such an upbeat person and it is quite easy to make her laugh.

Over the past few years I had left messages on their answering machine with no reply. I figured either they have moved, switched numbers, or she had forgotten about me. The other day I called the number that I had in my cell phone and it was going to be for the final time. I was planning to erase the number if she didn’t call back within a couple of days.

My heart sank when the answering machine activated and I began to leave my message. To my happy surprise, Tess picked up and we couldn’t believe that we were speaking to one another once again. She had a couple of errands to run but definitely wanted me to call back later that evening. I, of course, cleared my evening calendar. I made sure my cell phone was charged, for Tess and I had a lot of catching up to do.

About 9:00 I called and she was there. Tess explained that she had to be in bed by 10:00 and I was thrilled that we would have a whole hour together. We reminisced, told jokes and stories, and did all the things that people do in the let’s-get-caught-up process. She told me that she never got my other messages, that her machine sometimes eats them. I told her that I wanted to see her and the family before winter time. She agreed, but no firm plans have been set yet. They live about 3 hours away from me and I will suggest that we meet about half-way. I am already eagerly anticipating that day.

To show you haw time flies, I asked her how old her children were. She said 21 and 24. I immediately went into my old man voice, and asked her if she had seen my dentures. She laughed hysterically. I will admit back in junior college I had a crush on Tess but she was taken and I respected that. I consider her one of my closest friends. She knows secrets about me that not many people know.

There are a few other people in my life that I would like to reconnect with and I hope to fulfill that dream one day. I’ll take those dreams one day at a time and finding Tess is one dream fulfilled.

That’s my big news and I will leave you with this. Major prayers go out to the flood victims and their families in the states of Texas and Louisiana. The pictures from the news are horrific and I plan to donate what I can to the appropriate Salvation Army. I am also inspired by the pictures of people who have helped other people, whether it be by using their boats to help rescue or by going out into the water to rescue people and animals themselves. I am glad to see that there is so much goodness and charity left in the world.

Until tomorrow, take care, have a great day, and happy reading.

David arrives tonight. Yay!

Greetings, readers. It has been a year and a half since my buddy and brother David has visited me from New Jersey. I always love it when he comes because we’ll sit and chat, get caught up, watch movies, and play video games. This time around I have some plans made for Friday and Saturday evening with friends whom David hasn’t seen in a number of years. Everyone is looking forward to it.

There’s always a lot to do to get ready for Dave but I love it. Being a bachelor, I sometimes let the place go and use the bedroom for storage. That has to change for five days. Now the question becomes, where do I put it all? Don’t worry, I’ll find a place. It’s not horrible swamped with stuff. After the Christmas season is over, I plan on doing a winter cleaning which will involve letting some things go that are dear to me. I don’t like it, I don’t think anyone likes it, but in a small apartment it is necessary. I already have a few ideas of items that will not make the cut, such as books and DVDs that I never use.

After David goes back home on Tuesday, I will meet my friend Jim as usual at Denny’s and then on Wednesday morning get ready for Rebecca to arrive and start another work week. It’s going to be a fast long weekend, and if it is anything like last time, I’m going to need a holiday from my holiday. That is fine with me because Dave and I are not the kind of people who just sit and let time go by, and call that a vacation. If I want to relax with a book or a meditation video, I can do that on my own time.

The last time Dave came, bizarrely enough, we watched Disney movies. I didn’t think I was going to like them. “Dave, these are for kids,” I said. We had a blast. I am hoping, however, that we chose something slightly different for our entertainment this time around. Netflix has lots to offer, and, of course, there is also the Big Ten championship game on Saturday.

Well, there’s what’s happening. We will have two more entries for you next week and I’ll share all the news from Dave’s visit. Until next week, have a wonderful weekend, take care, and happy reading.

I should mind my own darn business

Greetings, readers. As the caring person that I am, one fault comes with that, and that is I always want to know how people are doing. I’ll ask people how they are, what’s new, and in general, strike up a conversation about anything. Most people don’t mind and converse back with me. Some give me the look like I’m the talkative mentally slow guy. That hurts a little, but I know where I’m coming from, so it really doesn’t bother me that much.

I think my friendliness stemmed from two places: my parents’ upbringing and Bear Spring Camps. My folks were very caring people, always loved a good conversation, and would go out of their way to help somebody. At Bear Spring Camps, friendliness is the key word of the day. I remember many instances in the main dining room where friends and I would talk about the morning fishing trip or how the afternoon happy hour went.

When I was a youngster in school – and this might stem from being an only child – I would say hi and be friendly to anyone who would accept me. This had its advantages and its disadvantages. The advantages were that I did make some good friends. But, as we all know, kids can be cruel. Those that didn’t like my chatter, let me know it in a rather not nice way.

My best friend Dave always kept me entertained by playing ball or listening to records, so after school I always had someone to talk to. When he wasn’t around, I would put on the headsets and start to sing. That is why there was cracked paint in my room. Ha ha. For as long as I can remember, I just haven’t been able to close my mouth for too long.

I’m trying to mind my business more as I get older and I think that is a good thing. My friends know that if they need me they can count on me. But I really don’t need to know who an ambulance is for or where the fire trucks are going.

Wouldn’t you know, lo and behold, we mis-counted how many blog entries we have, even though the blog dashboard tells us after each one. So tomorrow will not be #500. That will be next week instead. Sorry to get your hopes up, but it is coming.

Until next time, signing off from #498, take care, have a nice day, and happy reading.

Yesterday’s visit to Lisa went well

Greetings, readers, and happy Thursday. I wanted to follow up on yesterday’s hospital visit to my friend, while the events were fresh in my mind. I arrived at the hospital around 3:45 in the afternoon, but I had to stay in a waiting area while technicians put in a fresh I.V. When I finally walked into her room, she beamed a big smile. Lisa was very happy to see me.

Much to my surprise, she had another friend already in the room. He was a guitar player and occasionally dressed up like Ace Frehley from KISS. That blew my away. Very cool. He left shortly after I arrived.

But back to the visit. The nurse brought Lisa her dinner and asked me if I wanted some coffee; I told the nurse thank you, it would save my life. In my back pack, I had brought my computer with songs from iTunes to sing to. I told her I was going to do that. I was trying very hard to cheer her up. I plugged in my computer and showed Lisa a couple of videos from my memorial KISS show for my friend Erin. She loved them.

She made a phone call to another friend, whom she wanted me to meet. I told Lisa I would wait to sing until he arrived. It took her other friend about a half hour to get there. We all chatted a while but then Lisa wanted to hear me sing the theme from The Love Boat. I must say it wasn’t my best effort but I made up for it by doing an excellent job on Billy Joel’s Worse Comes to Worst.

Lisa got some good news during my visit. She was being discharged after five days. She couldn’t wait to go home to her dogs. I know from personal experience that after a few days in the hospital you are antsy to go home.

Around 6:00 I wrapped up my visit, gave Lisa a hug, and went down to the coffee shop to have a breakfast food dinner. My cab was scheduled to pick me up until 7:00, so I had some time. I must admit I was exhausted by the time I got home, but I would do it again in a minute, for it made a dear friend of mine happy. I was always taught to treat people the way you wish to be treated. Live by example.

Tomorrow there will be that top ten list. Today’s entry was just a little surprise. Until then take care, have a great day, and happy reading.

Friendships deserve a little extra effort

Greetings, readers. The last few days I have been quite worried about a dear friend of mine whom I have known since seventh grade. I won’t mention her last name but Lisa and I have been very good friends from tenth grade on. The last few days she has been in the hospital with what sounds like a rather serious condition. I have found myself thinking about her almost constantly.

It is true that we are not as young as we used to be, but even as I approach fifty years old, I still think of myself sometimes as a big kid. So when a friend around my age has a possible life-threatening condition, it frightens me to the core. It makes me realize we are finite. Folks my age have more years behind us than ahead of us, barring some medical breakthrough.

After work hours today, and after a quick bank run, I am off to see dear Lisa at the hospital. In my hallway closet, I have several small stuffed animals which I won at a carnival a number of years back. I think one of them will cheer her up. Occasionally friends do have to go that extra step to make others feel appreciated and loved. I’ve learned first hand not to take anything for granted. Friendships, relationships, and sometimes even life itself, can be over in a split second.

Sorry if this blog entry today sounds a bit morbid. I’m not depressed, just a bit worried. That is how I get.

On Friday, I’ll have a top ten list for you, topic still unknown.

Prayers and good thoughts out to the folks suffering from the floods in Texas.

Until Friday, take care, enjoy spring, and happy reading.

Reconnecting with friends 2: massive fail

Greetings, readers. Over the years I’ve lost touch with some friends and I miss them. Some I have reconnected with, especially through Facebook, but a few I am still looking for so that I can re-establish the friendship. On two separate occasions this past weekend I came oh so close to making contact with friends from long ago. Thanks to an internet service, for a very inexpensive price, I was able to get leads on my two friends. After plugging in their correct middle initials, I was happy to see that I had indeed found the people I was looking for.

I tried to call friend number one and got the family’s answering machine. I could tell right away it was my friend’s husband, who does know me quite well. My mom and I have visited with them many times on our Maine vacation trip when we would stop overnight in Connecticut. I left a detailed message on the answering machine and either they don’t remember me – which would be disappointing – or the message was never relayed to my friend. I’m sure she would have called me. Oh, and yes, I did leave my phone number.

That same afternoon I found a friend of mine from junior and high school who still lives here locally. Yesterday afternoon with address in hand, I went to the house. I must admit I was a little nervous. But when the young gentleman answered the door, I explained who I was and why I was there. To my disappointment, I learned that the information from the website was outdated and that friend number two no longer lived there. Oh, if I had only done this a year ago. To think, every time I went to Denny’s, she was a stone’s throw away.

Maybe I’m not supposed to find my friends. Perhaps it’s not in the cards. I’ve asked for help on Facebook, hoping that perhaps friend number two’s brothers will see it and respond. Then I realized for them to see it they have to be on Facebook, and to my knowledge they are not. So, I could not ask them directly where their sister is.

I’ve decided I’m not going to push the issue and I’m going to back off for a while. If I’m meant to reconnect, it will happen. I hate losing friends, I always have. I’d give my left arm to know where my junior college girlfriend is today, but she is probably married with a wonderful family of her own. I was never very good in the romance department. That’s why I am about to become 50 years old and am still unmarried.

As far as the rest of this work week goes, yes a new blog will be up on Friday on a yet unknown topic. I’m sure that Rebecca and I will come up with a good idea. I’m struggling today to deal with the weather. It is raining, not snowing, but it is that cold damp rain. I knew it was coming because this morning my left knee was aching. As my mom used to say, I have accuknee, instead of Accuweather.

Until Friday, take care, have a great day and happy reading.