Monday, February 24, 2020


Confusion of Uniting or Loss of Memory
I was reading a local blog that chronicles events from Connellsville, Pennsylvania. Most of the items are about people, places, or events. Those mentioned jostled my memory, but there were few things that were from times earlier or later than my years of attending high school. I was a mountain kid and somewhat separated from the places and occurrences in Connellsville proper.
I used to tease the “city kids” that I lived so far back in the mountains that we pumped the sunshine in and the moonshine out. Or I when I was harassed about living in the mountains, I would tell them, “We have signs in our bathrooms that say, ‘Flush twice. It’s a long way to Connellsville.’”
I started to write today’s blog when I saw obituaries of men and women that graduated a year before or a year after me and yet were complete strangers. Even some that graduated the same year I did, I didn’t recognize their face or by name. The year I graduated 1967, two school systems were thrust together, Connellsville and Dunbar. It was a traumatic time for all. A new school mascot, new school colors, new sports teams; both groups had to adjust and there was only our senior year to do it. It was wham, bam, and no time to think or say thank you, ma’am.
When we should have been concentrating on studying and making good grades to graduate, we had to learn how to fit together and remember new names and faces. I was never good at remembering names, so I felt doubly challenged. So if you happen to remember my name and associate it to this aging face, more power to you.
I somehow feel guilty when a person in my high school, in a class behind me or the year ahead passes away and I can’t recall seeing them or ever hearing of them, but our class size went from about two-hundred and fifty to double that at nearly five hundred. Remembering two-hundred and fifty new names and connecting them to faces when I only saw them only in the halls or occasionally shared a class would have been a giant undertaking even for a memory expert.
Another thing are my Facebook friends, many I’ve never met and I’m unsure of whether I should wish someone a happy birthday, especially old people like me. I don’t want to wish someone a happy birthday when they’ve passed away. That would make me look more stupid than I am or that I’ve entered the first stages of senility.

Friday, February 21, 2020


Shave and a Haircut
One of the Nursing Assistants at Frick Hospital in Mt. Pleasant was named Kurt. His humor was warped to say the least. It wasn’t just inter-staff humor, but often reached into our patients’ lives as well. A male patient was admitted overnight for surgery the next day. He and his wife decided that they had as many children as they wanted and was for scheduled for a vasectomy in the morning. Yes, men were admitted overnight, kept for one day, and then discharged on the third day, a-a-ah, the fond memories when there was never enough hospital beds and sometimes patient beds were placed in the hallways, but that is another story. Now vasectomies are done in the physician’s office or in a short stay unit. Cut, nip, tuck, stitch, and send them on their way.
Kurt entered the man’s room with a basin, shaving cream, and a straight razor like barbers use to do a shave-prep on the man’s groin area. He set up his equipment on the over bed table, lathered the man’s pubic area, and began to shave him with a sharp, straight razor. We had safety razors, but some of the orderlies liked to demonstrate their skills and prowess by using a straight razor to whisk away the unwanted hair. No shaves necessary today. Hospitals have other means to remove hair and to prevent razor burn and possible sites for infections.
Kurt talked with the gentleman as he was performing his duty, paused halfway through the shaving, and told the man, “You know, if I slipped, you wouldn’t have to go to surgery tomorrow.” Then turned back to the task at hand, continuing to denude the man’s groin area.
I know it was true. The man was a friend of mine. He told me later, “I was thinking, was this man a nut case? Was he like the stories I heard of a local man John Borchin? Should I stop him and get up and run? But if I move….?” By then, Karl had finished his task and was cleaning up before leaving the room.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020


Maybe I Will Stay Home Today
Quite a few years ago, I made a resolution that I wouldn’t leave home if I was feeling grumpy, because no one wants to deal with a grumpy old man. So far it has worked quite well. If I am feeling a bit grouchy, I stay inside until I can rev up my engine and cross over to the sunny side of life. It happens when I have an appointment or have chores that needs done or a surprise ambushes me. Yesterday, I had to rev my engine because some paper chores and loose ends that needed tidied up, plus I needed to pick up my granddaughter after school.
I almost stayed home, when an amber alert flashed across my cell phone. A local youth was missing. The same make, model, color, and year of my recently purchased car was broadcast. I raced to the window be sure it was still in the driveway and plate numbers didn’t match. I was almost afraid to leave my house, concerned I may get stopped by the police. My car was there and there was no police interruption with my travels.
It was still too early to make the rendezvous with my granddaughter and decided to eat lunch. At the Valley Dairy in Mount Pleasant, I was waiting for my food, I noticed in the next booth two ladies. The one facing me looked slightly familiar, but there wasn’t a connection. After placing my order, I decided to make a necessary run to the restroom and to wash my hands. As I returned to my booth, I was surprised to see the woman who was sitting with her back to me was an old workmate. We started to chat and she invited me to sit with them.
We had a wonderful conversation, reminiscing and telling “war stories” from the hospital. The other gal was her cousin. I had a great time talking and eating. This chance meeting revved my happy higher and my grumpy completely disappeared.
I ducked into the dollar store next door. I was picking up my granddaughter later and needed to pick up snacks. The very first thing she asks is, “Did you get me a snack?” I always reply, “Did you say you wanted a smack?” She replies with a laugh, “No, Pappy. I said a snack.”
I bought two bags of triangle looking tortilla chips. One bag made from popped white cheddar corn and the other bag of kettle corn. Of course when we got to her house, we opened them and shared back and forth. They were fairly tasty…and for only a dollar a bag. Ha ha.

Monday, February 17, 2020


Pennies Nickels and Dimes Oh My
Money, money everywhere; it seems as though I find money everywhere. There is never enough money for me to splurge, and buy a house, a car, or even a meal at a fancy restaurant and the worst thing is, it’s nearly always mine. The windfall always occurs on laundry day when I am likely to find some money on the bottom of the washer or in the dryer. The denomination is usually a dime. I do have a sneaking suspicion that it is the same dime I shove into my pocket while I’m transferring the wet clothes from the washer to the dryer. I forget the dime is in my pocket and when I wash clothing the next time, it gets another ride in the laundry express.
I occasionally find a dime in the yard where I’ve pulled my car keys from my pants pocket where the dime manages to escape as well. This is a rare occurrence. It’s noticed much more easily when there is no snow. The coin is spotted on the grass or gravel driveway and not hidden in the snow.
The other place I often find coins is in my bedroom at the bottom of my bed. The money makes its escape as I shift the contents from the pockets of one pair of pants to the other. The coin bounces out of sight beneath the bed or beneath the dresser, although a dime or penny manages to hide in plain sight in the nap of the carpet.
In past posts, you’ve heard my rant about the designs of the new coinage. A five year old could have drawn the sketch for the etching to make the absolutely horrid designs. Coins for the United States from our past are nothing short of artistic treasures. Their silver and gold images are exceptional. They are beautiful almost to the point the owner would enjoy looking at them when they made transactions.
I slowly gather coins and my pockets fill. I don’t want to wear a hole in my pants pocket, so I count them, stack them, roll them, and take them to the bank when I’ve saved a few dollars. I did have a spat with my bank. I called the main office because they didn’t want to accept my rolled coins. It only happens once every several months. That irritated me and I threatened to take my banking elsewhere if they refused me. After all, it is still legal tender.
I wonder what piece of money I will find next.

Friday, February 14, 2020


Ride Ride Ride Let It Ride
This past week it has been on the road every day. Sometimes it has been giving rides to others, while other days it was driving myself to appointments. Monday, I needed to collect my granddaughter Hannah from school and take her home. We had a nice time talking and watching her play.
Tuesday was a gathering of our 1967 graduating class from Connellsville Area Senior High School. It was just an informal monthly get together to eat and talk. Attendance was light for this meeting, but we still had fun and shared stories and laughs.
Wednesday is the usual workday at The Chestnut Ridge Historical Society. Four hours of sorting and storing records. I also used some of the time to collect possible articles and interesting local stories of local occurrences for our next newsletter. It is always interesting to find buried information of people, places, and happenings of local history. Sometimes the stories have to be condensed while wishing more tales could be included. Many times it is difficult to choose which articles on which to report. So many historical moments are stored in our files. Deciding which ones to use often comes down to personal preferences and what the staff believes will interest the most number of readers.
We also list upcoming speakers and bus trips. There is a speaker on the Paranormal and a trip to Lancaster to see the play “Esther” at the Sight and Sound Theater in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Wednesday evening is the usual prayer meeting service at church. Thursday was an early rise and shine. My best friend needed a ride to an upper G I endoscopy and needed to be at the hospital at 630AM. UGH, I was awake, ate a light breakfast, showered and was at her front door by 545AM. I bumped into my cousin and another nurse I used to work with. Once the test was through, I drove her to pick up some new medications, then we stopped for breakfast. I like Valley Dairy’s home fries when they’re fried extra crispy. Once home I hauled in some firewood to keep my house toasty with the coming cold snap. I was able to catch a quick, but necessary regenerating nap. I relaxed while I finished reading a book I’d taken to the hospital as I waited. I do like to read the character of J. P. Beaumont, a homicide detective from Seattle, Washington written by J. A. Jance. His character sort of reminds me of my character, Tommy Two Shoes Minerd.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020


Delicious
I was tired and quickly fell asleep, just a short nap I thought. When I awoke, I thought, “I want to dream a bit more.” I want to go back and finish my dream. I’d been collecting a wide variety of chocolate treats. I had filled a large brown paper shopping bag to the very brim with a large number of these luscious brown delights. Cellophane wrapped Ding Dongs, Ho Ho’s, peanut butter eggs, chocolate covered wafer bars, and chocolate covered marshmallows filled the bag to overflowing.
I can remember for some reason I’d harvested chocolate covered marshmallows and I have no idea why. I don’t like eating them at all, even in a dream. However, I did remember not to gather any chocolate covered cherries. My mother-in-law Retha Morrison mistakenly thought that I actually liked Cello chocolate covered cherries and I was sure that I would find them wrapped up and under the Christmas tree somewhere. Since her death, my kids have carried on the “tradition” of making those sweet morsels appear at some other time during the year.
I thought that I’d turn the tables this Christmas and I bought small boxes of the Cello chocolate covered cherries that are bathed in the sweet liquid pool. I was going to pass them out at the Christmas dinner at my sister Kathy Basinger’s house for our annual gathering. But the joke was on me. Because of conflicts of interest, we were unable to find a mutual date for the meal.
Even though I’ve been generous with other people, I still have a stockpile of nearly a dozen boxes of chocolate covered cherries swathed in bright red Christmas wrapping paper in my living room close to my front door…just in case I can think of someone else to whom I can pass another gift of chocolate covered cherries. Are you interested?
Friday evening I went to a Valentine’s dinner at a local church with my daughter Amanda Yoder and her family. Monday evening I had a meal with my son Andrew and his family. Tuesday I went to lunch with a few of my Connellsville High School friends. I ate leftover meatball stew for several days to feed myself around the invitations of friends and family. I could get used to this. Anyone want to invite me to lunch? I have chocolate covered cherries.

Monday, February 10, 2020


Tried and True Versus Modern View
For quite some time I’ve been wondering about those who avoid using the King James Version of the Bible. They use remarks like, “It’s too old fashioned,” or “It’s too hard to understand,” or “It’s not relevant today,” and yet many of these same people will swoon over Shakespeare’s sonnets and plays and drool over other works that were written in the same time period. That doesn’t make any sense at all? I know in many things I am old fashioned and stubborn. I also know that I’m not perfect and struggle with the truths I find written in the Bible.
I don’t care who you are, unless you’re reading the most elementary book or article, you will find a word that sometimes has a hazy meaning or you wonder why the author chose to use that specific word, especially if it seems a bit out of place. I will look up its meaning and research the word or the sidebar. Then the meaning becomes clear and makes the entire passage more relevant.
The same thing is true with the King James Version of the Bible. If you search specific meanings, the passage takes on a much richer significance; a deepness that is often missed by the casual reader.
First Corinthians 1:27-31 “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.”
Many of today’s religious leaders have chosen to use translations other than the King James Version. These other translations are often only summarizations the original text, sharing only the general idea of the passage. Too often these other translations have eliminated words, phrases, and sometimes entire verses or passages. I can’t understand how these leaders can justify doing this when the passage in the book of The Revelation, 22:18, 19 in the Bible strictly forbids adding or detracting words.
How can they explain using texts that eliminate parts of God’s Holy Word? What will they say when asked to give an account of this reason to God the Father.