Saturday, November 19, 2005

End of Day Update

I am tired. Here is another photo update. This first picture was taken at approximately 8:00 tonight after I took a break to get the family fed and dishes done. Not much progress, huh? This, I hope, will be the slowest part of the project. Unlike the first layer of wall paper where I was getting pieces 2 feet long, now I'm lucky if I scrape off 5 inches. All of the glue and paper is not coming off so I'll have to take a fine grit sandpaper to it tomorrow to get down to just a paint layer. I still have to spackle a few holes and places that the drywall paper started to lift up so there will be plenty of sanding going on tomorrow. My biggest obstacle is that son of a bitchin' toilet. Whomever wall papered this room either was a professional or anal retentive. Now that I think of it I can't picture my flower paper lovin' granny doing this herself. I'm thinking that when they wall papered they must have removed the tank. So when I'm done here I'll be doing a search on how to remove a toilet tank. Because I've gotten as far as I can scrape behind the damn thing. I left a portion of the lower wall for Steven to do when we get up in the morning. He came in and helped me a lot this afternoon before Hubster got home from work. I still have the upper part of the wall to do myself. Hubster hasn't even noticed what I've been doing. He is still feeling a little under the weather from his oral surgery Thursday. He basically walked in the door and headed to the bedroom. He only came out once and that was for dinner. He is going hunting early tomorrow morning so I hope I can get all the paper removed and start painting before he gets home. I just know he is going to roll his eyes when he sees I went ahead and tackled the damn room. One benefit about redoing the bathroom that has the washer/dryer in it is that I'm getting all my laundry done. Of course there is the added benefit of that I can scrape the walls while I'm taking a potty break. Not many jobs you can do that.

While I Take A Break From Stripping

Lets see what g00gle hits I get from that title. I thought I'd give you a photo progress report on the big weekend bathroom makeover while my stripper sets. I started out with this. After half way through scoring the wallpaper with the thingamajig for doing so, I found out it was faster to just try to take off the first layer of paper. Its actually a job that a person can really get into if you make a game of it. How big of a piece paper can you pull off before it tears? I about had an orgasm on this chunk! I'm finding you have to keep the paper at a certain angle and speed in order to achieve the bigger strips of paper. Its all in the technique. I'm also finding my masculine side in this project by changes in my vocabulary. Son of a bitch is now most frequently used word. I think I get this from my Dad. He'll be so proud I'm sure. I also discovered that applying wall paper behind a toilet is much easier than removing wall paper from behind the son of a bitchin' thing. I was at the height of my masculine side during this portion of the project. One of the things I liked about the house when we got it was how well the rooms were decorated. I didn't care so much for the choice of colors and wall paper, but was impressed on the attention to details. During the stripping of the wall paper I've been cursing the son of a bitches for being so detailed oriented. Every strip of molding has wall paper behind it and at some point the odds are a piece of molding is going to crack. I know this will be the one thing that will set me up to miss my deadline. I don't have time to be repairing or replacing molding. So far I haven't broke one, but I have one more long piece of molding to remove and I hope my luck continues. Okay back to work. I'll update my progress regularly over the weekend. Hopefully by Monday at noon I'll be posting pictures of my made over bathroom.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Under Pressure

I have always worked better under pressure, but now that I'm getting older I may have to rethink this philosophy. Last night after I got home from my visit at Steven's school I got a call from my niece. She was calling for her mom to let me know that they would like to come down for Thanksgiving. I had invited them down last weekend, but Deb wasn't sure if they could. When I initially made the invitation I had in my mind that I would have a week and a half to finish removing the wallpaper from the bathroom wall and paint. When I didn't hear back from Deb I assumed they weren't coming and didn't worry about my disgraceful bathroom since it would be just us here. So after talking to my niece minor panic set in, but I figured that hey that leaves me 6 days. Then an hour later my phone rings and its my best friend Diana. She and I have been friends since High School even though she lives 500 miles away where she teaches school. You know where this is going don't you? She is coming up Monday afternoon to stay for a couple of days so she can drop her son off with his father and visit with me. So since she and her son will need the use of the bathroom that leaves me now 3 days to complete the task. When I told Hubster of my dilemma he looked at me with these pleading eyes, "Dear please wait until January. The bathroom is fine. Nobody will care. Please.". Is he trying to tell me something or what? Does he not share in my work under pressure theory? I've been under a lot of stress lately with Steven's problems and my boss is in his yearly uproar. So what to do? I love Deb and my niece dearly but they are the type of people that notice everything. If there is one dog hair on your couch they'll pick it off and with a look of disdain go throw it in the garbage. I always feel like my house can't be clean enough for them. So I always strive for perfection when I know they are coming. I've tried to not give a crap what they think, but its not in my nature so I usually end up killing myself cleaning when I know they are coming. So sorry Hubster, I can't wait. I promise to not get cranky or weep convulsively on your shoulder, but don't count on getting laid this weekend. I'll be too tired.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Long Day

This morning started with Steven complaining of a tummy ache. Since about the 5th week of school every morning starts with some ailment. At first it was a sore throat and headache. Since strep had been going around school I took him to the doctor with negative results. One other time I kept him home, but upon hearing he wasn't going to school he was miraculously better. About a week ago, one of his classmates got sent home with a tummy ache. The next morning his sore throat and headache turned into a tummy ache. So this morning was nothing new, I got him ready for school and took a teary eyed boy to the bus stop. When the bus came into view he looked up at me and told me "I hate school Mom. Please let me stay home because I really am sick and I feel like I have to throw up.". I was so torn. I told him if he got worse at school he could always call me. With that I sent my little boy off to school. That fact that I have a kindergartener that hates school makes me furious.
I returned home to get ready to take Hubster to the oral surgeon in the next town that is 30 miles away. We still had 3 hours before we had to go and since I had only got 3 hours of sleep last night I decided to go back to bed for another hour. I woke up an hour later to Steven's smiling face at my bedside. Like an idiot I had forgotten to shut off the internet from my early morning surfing and the school ended up calling my sil Julie to go get Steven whom had claimed to have thrown up on the playground. So Julie brought Steven home and almost got flashed by Hubster who was just getting out of the shower. Steven was very happy to be home and didn't appear to be sick at all. Hubster and I loaded the boys in the car and headed down to the oral surgeon. During the surgery I had plenty of time to think about the situation with Steven. I knew I had to nip this school situation in the bud. Steven and I have discussed school daily and I knew his view, but I needed to have another talk with Ms. Kojak and find out exactly what was going on. Upon arriving home I settled Hubster into bed and told the boys to be good for Daddy and I headed for the school. I caught Ms. Kojak just as she was going over to meet her class from P.E. so while we walked across campus I told her I was very upset that Steven, a kindergartner, hated school. Ms. Kojak told me that this week Steven has been doing really well with his behavior since we had had our conference. Basically she was shocked that Steven was upset. She really thought that he was sick this morning since he was very pale when he got to school. At this point I felt I was over reacting. Since Ms Kojak couldn't continue our discussion I decided I wanted to talk with one other of Steven's teachers Mr. Rutty. He has Steven for computers and P.E. Mr. Rutty had only 10 minutes to spare so I got straight to the point and we discussed Steven. He told me he has Steven first thing in the morning for computers and then P.E. at 2:30 and that he is a totally different kid from morning to P.E. In computers he is a well behaved kid and is doing fantastic in class. But come P.E. Mr. Rutty has to get after Steven quite often. Mr. Rutty consulted his book from the computer class and said he rarely has to remind Steven to get on task. In looking at his book, he discovered he only has to get after Steven on Monday mornings and that has been since week 5. With those facts I came to the conclusion that Steven is getting tired during the school day. On Sunday nights I have a real problem getting Steven to bed on time. I know at home that when Steven gets tired he has to be told several times to do something, he is more argumentative, whinier, and fights with his brother more. He is also one of those kids who gets more active when he is tired. Its like if he can spin kick, jump, and play hard enough he can keep sleep from coming. This next week of school he only goes Mon & Tues and then has the rest of the week off for Thanksgiving. So this weekend I'm going to watch and see how long Steven sleeps normally and base his bedtime on the number of hours he needs. Hopefully, this will help him during school and the next parent teacher conference we won't be talking about ADD drugs.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

I Believe!

I believe in many things. I believe in ghosts especially after my Grandfather appeared at the end of my bed 3 days after he died. I believe in God. I believe in kharma. One thing I've always believed in was confirmed, for me at least, this past August.
Mid August Hubster and I were awakened at 1:30 in the morning to the sound of a single gunshot coming from our neighbor's house. Since we had the window above our beds open it sounded like he was standing right outside our house. We laid there for a few minutes and heard nothing else. Assuming he was scaring off either a bear or racoons we fell back asleep. I later awoke to Hubster shaking my shoulder and whispering "Dear do you hear that?". Bleary eyed I looked at the time. 3:31 am. Just as I was just about to backhand Hubster for waking me up from a wonderful slumber my ears registered this horrendous sound. The sound was coming from an animal. A big animal from the way it was echoing off the mountain behind our house. The animal was from the direction of the sound about a half a mile away and heading towards the house. I couldn't tell what kind of animal was making this vocalization and Hubster who is an avid outdoorsman and works in the woods for a living could not identify it either. Hubster said when he awoke from the sound he had gone outside in the yard to listen. Within moments of being outside the hair on the back of his neck stood up and he immediately ran back into the house and woke me up. This is a man who against my better judgement has chased black bears on foot out of our yard. So for him to be freaked out bothered me immensely. We listened to this cry as the pitches went from high to low gutteral sounds. Finally at 3:34 the cry ended. This animal performed these vocal ranges for at least 6 minutes steady and with a lung capacity unimaginable unless you heard it for yourself. We both laid there for sometime after breathing shallowly listening for sounds of the animal approaching the house. No twigs snapped, nothing. Finally sleep overcame us once again. At 4:00 am the familiar sound of the train crossing bells dinged and we listened as a the passing train rumbled and blew his whistle. Hubster and I commented on how the train whistle did not echo off the mountain. Strange.
The next morning I got on the internet and started a search for wildlife recordings. I downloaded various sounds of mountain lions, bull moose, cow moose, bears, elk, deer, anything I could find that lived in our area. Finally I came across a wav. file that was titled sno_howl. I clicked on the link trying to think what this could be as it loaded. Sno? Snow owl? Hmmm? I opened the file in my realplayer and pushed play. It was the sound! I had found our mysterious animal! I went back to the web page where I had found the wav. file and followed the link to a web site for the Oregon Bigfoot Society. I laughed and thought no. No way. Throughout the rest of the day I searched several bigfoot sights and listened to two different recordings of supposed bigfoot vocalizations. The one I had originally recorded was from Snoqualmish Washington...hence the sno_. in the wav. file.
Hubster arrived home from work and I had him come to the computer and I played all the different animal calls I had downloaded from the cougar to moose. He agreed none of them were the call we had heard. Then I pushed the sno_howl file and told him I hadn't figured out which animal this was for sure. Immediately upon playing the file he started rubbing the back of his neck, "Shit! F^ck! Thats it!" I brought up the web site for the Oregon Bigfoot Society and said this is where the recording came from. Now throughout our relationship I have on several occasions told Hubster that I believe Bigfoot exists. When I was 11 yrs. old and camping with my family and another family, a boy and myself came across a foot print that was almost triple of mine in a muddy patch by a creek. Scared witless we ran back to camp and got our Dads. Unfortunately we couldn't find the exact location of the print and since we were leaving that day our search was cut short. I know my Dad thought we were imagining it, but I swear what I saw was not human or any other known animal's print. My husband had always scoffed at my theory saying that as often as he has hunted, hiked and worked in the woods that he has never seen any sign of such a thing as Bigfoot. Standing in front of my computer this past August, my husband began to believe. In discussing this with a few of our closest friends we found out that a local man claims he saw a creature on the edge of a construction job he was on, but had quit discussing it after being teased so bad about it. A friend of mine told me she and her husband knew that they saw Bigfoot earlier in the summer while out on their ATV. She was driving while her husband was sitting behind her. She looked up a hill they were passing and saw this figure silhoutted by the sun. She drove a short distance and stopped whereupon her husband said "Did you see that too?" So they backed up and the figure was still there. They watched and she said she could see it sway every once in awhile, but due to the position of the sun could not see features. They went on up the road and about a half hour later returned to the spot they had seen the figure and nothing was there. I have read several sighting reports in our surrounding area on Bigfoot pages.
For the next several days after our mysterious episode, our dog Griz acted strange. His hackles would go up and he'd bark towards the wooded area by our house. Now we've dealt with bears for several years here and Griz got to the point maybe because of his age that he would just stand a distance away from a bear in our yard and look at Hubster like "Are you going to take care of him?". It was like he got used to bears coming around. Anyway I still don't know for sure what we heard. We talked to the neighbor and he shot at a racoon that night. So the possiblity that he injured a large animal was eliminated. And anyways the shot fired and the animal howl were 2 hours apart. So I don't know. I guess its still a mystery, but I find that I keep my blinds shut at night now where before it didn't bother me to have them open since we have no neighbors close enough to see in. But every once in awhile I get this feeling something is out there watching me.

Monday, November 14, 2005

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas

well I'm not ready for the white part of Christmas as of yet, but I am in the spirit. Last year at this time our house was sitting on the foundation with no water, electricity or sewer thanks to our ass wipe county sanitarian who kept asking for changes on our septic plan and then had 90 days to approve changes made. The magic date for his decision was December 16th. Luckily we still had a house on the property we could live in while this was all going down. I spent my days at the new house cleaning and unpacking as much as I could do without benefit of water or power. During this time I had the hope that we would be able to move in by Christmas. I would sit in my frigid livingroom on my new plastic wrapped furniture and plan on where I would put the tree and how I would decorate my mantle. December 16th came with yet another denial and further requests of changes. Then once again we had to wait for his decision which he could take up to 90 days to make.

Christmas came and went. I tried to make the best of it, but it was hard to look out of the window of my little house and see my dream house sitting there dark and cold. On Dec 28th, we got power to the house! Whoohoo! I could vacuum and we could at last run the pellet stove for warmth. Hubster and I made a decision the next day that I think shocked everyone around us. We moved into our new house without running water or sewer. For the next 12 weeks we walked to the other house to shower, do laundry, do dishes and of course piss and crap. It was like an upscale camping trip with very comfortable sleeping accomodations. Since we had two houses to keep up we cancelled the satellite TV and got only 2 snowy network channels. We kept the phone service at the old house and by sitting a cordless phone by the window in the new house we could use the phone if we stood at just the right spot. I kept my computer at the old house and while doing laundry or running the dishwasher I'd surf the web and get my fix. Dean who was 2 and half at the time often disappeared from the new house and in a panic we'd find him at the old house dialed up to N1ck Jr playing with his beloved Dor@ whom he greatly missed on TV. For the first few weeks I would faithfully walk with flashlight in hand to go potty before bed or upon rising. Eventually I just went out in the woods and peed with the rest of the forest beasts. Finally with the coming of Spring and many obstacles hurdled we got our septic permit from a new sanitarian after the old one mysteriously disappeared. The new guy said there was absolutely no reason why we had to go through what we did and signed it within 3 days of taking office. The end of March we officially emptied our old house of all possesions and moved everything in to our new home.
All this past year I have looked forward to finally being able to have the Christmas I so wanted to give my boys. To finally have stockings hanging from a mantle and not on a hook on the wall. To have room for our tree without having to relocate furniture to other rooms. In the past I usually waited until the first weekend in December to put the tree up, but this year its going up Thanksgiving weekend if I can wait that long even. I just hope it lives up to visions dancing in my head.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Burst My Parental Bubble Why Don't Ya!

So Friday I arrive at Stevens classroom expecting a fabulous first parent teacher conference.....POP! Burst goes my bubble! Instead I sat for 35 minutes and listened to Stevens teacher Ms Kojak try to sell me on the wonders of ADD drugs. Apparently Steven can't sit still during circle time and has been spending most of his time sitting in the "refocus chair". Also he swings his arms when he is standing in line. Uh, excuse me, he's six! According to Ms Kojak, she is having problems teaching the other students because of Steven. She described Steven as impulsive and scattered. She didn't just burst my bubble with a needle she burst it with a stake and plunged it straight into my heart. The only good report was that he is a very smart boy and is on a grade 1 level in math and language. So in conclusion if I drug him into sitting still he'll excel even more and I'll have a well behaved genius.
This kind of thing really makes you look at your parenting. For the next few hours after arriving home I watched Stevens every movement, how he talked, did he jump from one topic to another. Then I started calling everyone who has ever spent 4 minutes with Steven and asking them if they thought my son was scattered. Now I do realized most people are too polite to say "Jo, I'm glad you asked! Your son is the most annoying scattered impulsive little shit I've ever encountered! Have a great day!" So I called the one friend I have that will "tell you the straight out, slap you in the face truth and you better not cry because you asked" friend. Best of all she works at the school so she sees Steven when I'm not around. She answered my question by laughing. Oh shit here it comes. But wait...She is saying Steven is the last kid on earth that needs to be medicated. He is one of the most well behaved kids in his class. She then goes on to give me the dirt on some of his fellow classmates and within minutes my parental pride is returning. So now I'm even more confused. Who do I believe? Is Ms. Kojak so stressed out dealing with a bunch of unruly little brats she wants the whole lot medicated? Is Steven acting like a little angel in front of Mommy's friend and then turning into the spawn of Satan in the classroom? I'm definitely seeing that a few observation days in the classroom are in order.
After I got off the phone with Slap You Upside the Head friend I went directly to interrogating Steven. Ms Kojak said Steven won't sit on his "pockets" during circle time that instead he sits on his feet or crouches so I ask him to show me how he sits during circle time. Sure enough he sits on his feet. I asked him if that was how you are supposed to sit and he says no you're suppose to sit on your "pockets and criss cross applesauce". I asked him why he doesn't sit the proper way and he replies, "Because I like to sit in the refocus chair better." Bingo! He likes to sit in the damn refocus chair and he knows how to get the prime seat in the house, sit on your feet. So I explained to Steven that he was being seated in the refocus chair as a punishment not for a more comfortable vantage point. So with this little bit of news, he's not so keen about sitting in the refocus chair. Hopefully with this revelation he'll get a better report next time.
That evening Hubster and I went bowling and one of Steven's classmates mother also bowls on the league. I asked her how her conference went. She sighed heavily and told me almost word for word the exact conversation I had had with Ms. Kojak and that her son Devin spends the majority of the day in the refocus chair because he won't sit still during circle time or stand still in line. Hmmm. So I'm feeling a tad bit better, but that doesn't mean Steven and I won't be practicing sitting on our pockets criss cross applesauce.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

One Ringy Dingy

I've noticed lately that everyone has a cell phone but me. Hell 10 yr old kids have cell phones! I've been asked on several occassions what my "cell" phone # is instead of simply my phone #. When I respond that I don't have a cell phone I'm often treated to a look as if I had just told the person we don't have indoor plumbing either. I do not have the desire for a cell phone and really can't think of a reason we would need one. Maybe if I traveled alot I would want one, but I rarely leave town. Maybe when the boys are teenagers I'll want one for all of us so I can keep track of their whereabouts. But I hope that I'll still see the boys face to face once in awhile that I could simply ask "Where are you going?". After all wouldn't it be easier for me to tell if they are lying to my face easier than over the phone?
I believe my reluctance to join the cell phone age is people with cell phones simply piss me off. Royally piss me off. I know when a phone rings you should answer it in case there is an emergency. But when you are in close proximity like say in an elevator or sitting at a table with someone and the call is purely social can't you call the person back at a more appropriate time? It is such an akward feeling to be next to someone and try not listen to a private conversation. What are you to do? Put your hands over your ears and sing lalalalalala? And the cell phone user is oblivious to the discomfort you are feeling and to the fact that people are rolling their eyes at them. If you hold a personal conversation over the phone while in the company of somebody you are telling that person you are not important to me. I have been so tempted when someone is on the phone say in line at the grocery store to jump into their conversation and say "What? What did she say?".
In an emergency, yes I'll agree, cell phones are a life line. But I feel this is one technology that can't be used hand in hand with social etiquette. I know some people will disagree with me on this so at the tone leave me a message and I'll get right back to you.

No More Pumpkins!

No more pumpkins thanks to this little spike. Posted by Picasa

Monday, November 07, 2005

Last Ride

I was driving in a light rain Saturday morning and as each approaching car came close I would study the driver's face and wonder what brought them out on to the highway. Where were these people going? What purpose had them out and about? Were they sad or were they happy? This thought has crossed my mind on several occasions. I then wondered if fellow drivers could tell I was crying. I was taking Griz on his last ride in the truck heading to the vets office to put him to sleep. I volunteered for the job for the reason being Griz was Hubster's dog and I didn't want him to watch his dog die. We've never had to have an animal put to sleep so I wasn't quite sure what it would be like. Although it was very sad watching my friend and my protector die, he died peacefully. Griz remained a character by loudly snoring to his last breath. I always hoped that Griz would die in his sleep relieving Hubster and I from making the decision of when his time would come. In a way, he did just that and died in his sleep.
Explaining to the boys what was happening to Griz was the most difficult discussion I've had to date with them. I thought with Steven being 6 yrs old I could get him to understand more so than Dean being 3 yrs old. Steven assumed that when I told him Griz would be put to sleep that we could wake him up and he would come back from heaven anytime we would call for him. I misjudged Dean's understanding. We buried Griz here on our property and when Dean saw the freshly turned earth he simply wanted us to dig Griz back up so he wouldn't die. Broke my heart for them.
Its been 2 days now and I still think I hear Griz bark to get in now and then. This afternoon when I saw it was raining I went to get my shoes on so I could go and get Griz out of the rain as I always have and then I remembered he isn't here to take care of anymore.
Grizzy, I want to thank you for all the joy you brought into our lives for the past 15 years 10 months and 3 days. You were our "first born son" and my baby when I couldn't have any of my own.
Thank you for being my boys' protector and making them feel safe when playing outside.
Thank you for your patience when the boys were babies and crawled on you.
Thank you for keeping the kitties warm and protected,

They miss you so much. Posted by Picasa
Thank you for chasing off that bear when we were camping in the tent with an 8 month old Steven.
Thank you for resting your chin on my leg when I was sad and cheering me up with those brown eyes full of expression.
Thank you for not chasing cars or deer.
Thank you for just being the incredible dog you were.

We miss you.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


Jules wrote about the loss of a friend yesterday. Her entry made me think about how when we lose someone be it a friend or member of the family that we don't realize how much that someone has touched our lives until they are gone. Her entry also reminded me of a promise I made to myself almost 2 yrs ago. I promised myself that I wouldn't let daily life get in the way of letting people know how much I care and appreciate the people in my life. Its a hard promise to keep. Not because I don't care about the people in my life but that I get so wrapped up in my daily routines and dramas I forget to take the time.
Paul was the person who made me open my eyes and see that I was taking life for granted. I first met Paul 12 years ago when I was bartending at the bowling alley. He and his wife Darla had just moved here from Hawaii. I didn't quite know what to think of Paul when I met him. He had just retired from the Navy and anyone could see he was relishing being his own man once again, but at the same time at a loss of how to do that. He and Darla were avid bowlers and brought to the lanes a passion for bowling like no one else. I was managing the lanes at that time and within a month of meeting Paul I hired him as the head mechanic. Due to personal reasons I quit my job at the lanes 2 months later. I still bowled twice a week however and through the next few years Paul became my unofficial bowling coach. Paul basically lived at the lanes with working there and bowling on several of the leagues. He was an excellent bowler. He had this fluid graceful and powerful shot that he made look effortless. I wanted to be Paul. So under his tutelage I bought my first fingertip ball and learned to throw a hook. I sucked, but Paul was somewhat patient with me. I think the thing I loved most about Paul was he was straight forward and told it like it was, but he knew when and when not to say something. He knew instictivly when to call me out on something be it bowling or the way I thought about subjects. I had several light bulb moments because of Paul. Besides Hubster, Paul was the only man I have ever been able to have meaningful conversations.
Paul had a spot at the bar in the lanes where he would drink from his ever ending coffee cup and smoke his cigarettes. Whenever I would throw a ball I could turn to find his eyes on me. He never had to say a word but I could tell what he was thinking. "Nice ball." "What the hell was that?" "Follow through." "Lucky shot." Just by looking at his face I knew what I needed to do. Paul and Darla eventually divorced and Paul quit at the lanes to get a full time job. He still like me kept bowling a priority. In 2001, I returned to my beloved bowling alley as manager. The previous manager had done alright, but left me a long road ahead. Times were changing at the lanes. Bowlers were getting more serious about the sport and leagues weren't just for going out and getting drunk. I knew what changes needed to be made and some were not popular amoungst the bowlers, but Paul stood by my side and vocally supported me. That first year was a nightmare, all the employees I took over didn't have a passion for their jobs and just came to put in their time for a paycheck. Eventually anger in the bowlers subsided, the employees started to love to come to work and things changed for the better. I cannot tell you how many times Paul had to listen to me rant or cry. But Paul did what he did best he listened and when he could help he did.
On Feb. 26th, 2003, I was busy at work when Paul called me. He told me he had some bad news and forbid me to get upset. Paul told me he had just come from the doctor and he had lung cancer. I of course didn't obey his request and I got extremely upset. For the next few weeks whenever I talked to Paul I would end up crying. On one of those occasions he told me straight out to knock off the crying that by doing so I was believing he was dying and he was not going to die. Paul was determined to live and he needed me to be a support as he had always been for me. Paul had a lung removed in April and spent 6 weeks in the hospital. He and I talked on the phone often during that time. He became stronger and was joyous at the fact that the cancer had been removed from his body. He could breath better with one lung than he had been able to for years. When he returned home, he and I both worked at the golf course for the summer. He talked of his cancer treatments and kept me up to date on his test results. No new signs of cancer were celebrated on the deck of the clubhouse that summer. September came and so did the start of another bowling season. Paul was too weak from his treatments to bowl, but he often came to watch the other bowlers. He once again was sitting at his usual spot at the bar. He was there to smile when I made a good shot and shake his head when I didn't. In October he came in to see me at the bar during my shift. He had news. The cancer was back. In his bones and in his brain. I cried and before he could scold me for crying I told him I wasn't crying because I thought he was dying. I was crying because he was my friend and I cry for people I care for when they hurt and dammit I can cry for you and still be your rock. Slowly Paul got to the point he could no longer stay home by himself. His sister moved in with him. She left her husband and children at home and came to take care of her brother. Right before Thanksgiving the decision was made for Paul to go home with his sister in Arizona so she could return to her family and still take care of Paul. Paul and I talked on the phone often. In December Paul had an appointment with a new doctor. He was ecstatic for this doctor was one of the best cancer doctor's in Arizona and she would help him beat this cancer once and for all. He was going to win. Every Tues Paul had an appointment with his doctor and I would call him after I got home from work to get an update. On Jan. 13th I called Paul. The Paul who was put on the phone was not the Paul I knew. He gasped for every breath. In our short conversation, he told me that the doctor had told Paul that the treatments weren't working and that it was time to give up the fight. Fear spread throughout me because in Paul's voice I could hear defeat. I talked to Paul's sister before I hung up and told her I would call back in a day or so. The next evening while I was bowling on league my bartender came up to me and said. "Jo some lady called and wanted me to tell you that somebody named Paul died an hour ago."
The next day I called his sister and she told me Paul died peacefully. She and the hospice nurse had given Paul a bath and he went to sleep afterwards and died. For the next months I focused my grief through anger at the doctor who took Paul's fight away. I truly felt when she took his hope away she took his life. I now know thats not true. Late spring 2003, Paul's family traveled up here and shared in saying goodbye to Paul with all of us. They scattered Paul's ashes into the river by the #2 tee of the golf course. I live next to the golf course so as when he was living he is still close by when I need him.
It'll be 2 years this January since Paul died. I don't cry as much as I used to when I think of Paul. Now I have more of tendency to smile when I think of him. When I throw a perfect strike I say to myself "How was that Mr. Paul!" And to this day after every ball I throw I still look to the spot at the bar where Paul should be. Physically he may not be there, but he is there.
So Jules, thank you for reminding me of a promise I had forgotten. Today I will smile more warmly at my co workers, I'll hug my family tighter and I'll ask my friends how they are and mean it. Thank you for sharing.