I am Me, but I am not

I am Me. I still have feelings. I still have emotions. I live a good life. I am relatively healthy. I am not overweight. I ride my bicycle, I do light exercises, I play golf frequently and I look forward to the seasons changing yearly. How many more seasons ahead? That, I can’t determine or predict! I am 82 years old. I am an old man to many.

I am beginning to feel as if I am a student to the world. A lot of people want to be my teacher. Is that because I am old and by now, should have lost my faculties?? Is that how I am seen or presented? When I check in at a medical appointment, there seems to be more papers to complete that are age-related. I might even be asked if I am capable of completing the required forms on a “tablet”! I can’t because of my vision problem, but more of that later.

I don’t think I can keep up with the technology of today’s world, but I have a smart phone, I can operate my computer, I live-stream on my TV and I even created a Bitmoji. I Google things. I YouTube things. I’m 82 years old. I am a student…to some.

Someone speaks softly and if I have to ask for a repeat, I must be losing my hearing. Perhaps I am, but it doesn’t mean I’m done. Personally, I think I hear just fine. Others like me, can tune out that which is of no significance!! We students learned. The teachers still want to up the volume because we’re not getting it.

I have advanced macular degeneration. That is a frustration, but I am still able to operate. I see okay in bright conditions, so I ride my bicycle without concern. I play golf and rely on my partners to sometimes follow my golf shots. I sit a little closer to the television now. Although I still think I could drive my car in the daytime, it’s been suggested that I relinquish those duties. There’s no way I’d endanger anyone driving at night, so my driving days are over. My soulmate is my Uber driver (refuses a tip). She is my guidance teacher. I am her student.

I am resigned to depending on others at times. There’s a feeling of loss of identity. I am a student in a new life and am surrounding myself with teachers to maintain order. If only I could read the fine print and subtitles!

If you wave and I don’t wave back; if you shout and I don’t shout back, check me off as an old man who can’t see or hear!! Maybe we’ll hook up later in the classroom.

I am Me, but I am not…

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Significant Insignificance

Kermit Frye 2022

In the clouds of my aged mind

No memories would I chose to lose.

Still, within those jobs long gone by

Is a list of tasks I no longer use.

Gone is the time of any importance.

No one on me has a need to rely.

I search to achieve some significance;

For I feel I am compelled to try.

In my head I know what I can give.

Certainly, someone might recognize me.

And yet I am no longer summoned;

Not even for expertise that is free.

Can it be a younger mind might see

Ending their aged years like me…?

Kermit Frye 2022

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Say my Name

I have a calendar on which I record birthdays, dates of death, anniversaries, special events, etc. When that day rolls around, I try to acknowledge the event by a personal email, message, or even a Facebook posting. Some of those acknowledgements are joyful…some are reminiscent…some sad reminders of losses. I try to keep up with those events on my calendar. Sometimes, I miss them, but eventually I will notice and simply acknowledge those by speaking their name and stop for a moment of thoughtful silence. It’s nice to be remembered!!

My birthday is on April 21. I really appreciate it when my friends and family acknowledge that day. I began to wonder if my date of death would be acknowledged amongst my family and friends after I am gone. With that thought weighing on me, I have a request.

For my family and friends who might read this, I ask that you make a note on your calendar of the day I die. Make it an annual recurring event. When your kids ask why you have my name on your calendar, tell them I just wanted to be acknowledged. Tell them to put my name on their calendar and on their kid’s calendars and their kids’ kid’s calendars. In a hundred years or more, someone may still say my name. I’d like that.

Say My Name…

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I plan.  I am a planner.  I like to plan.

I can roll out of bed in the morning and plan what I will have for breakfast.  After breakfast, I note that I achieved that plan.  Something so simple to me.  If I didn’t have for breakfast what I had planned, I don’t get disappointed.  I chalk that up to spontaneity.  I can plan what I will do later in the day or even what I might do tomorrow,  or 3 months from now.  I may plan a doctor appointment.  I may plan a golf outing.  I may plan a birthday greeting to family or friend.  It goes on and on.

Some may think that planning, especially my planning,  is a bit OCD. I don’t have that same feeling.  I may plan something and it doesn’t happen.  That’s not always disappointing.  But if my plan comes to fruition, then I have a feeling of satisfaction.I believe I have been a planner all my life.  As a youngster, I remember planning to do good in school.  As I progressed from first to second to third grade and so on, I had that feeling of accomplishment that I was fulfilling my plans.  Before graduating from high school, I planned to enlist in the USAF after graduating.  I graduated on June 12 and left for basic training on July 15.  Plan completed.

I planned to be a good serviceman.  I planned to complete my four-year commitment without blemish.  Success. 

I planned getting married, having a family and providing for my family.  Each plan came to fruition.  Satisfaction.  I say satisfaction because whenever I planned something and it came about, I had that feeling of accomplishment that I planned it, I did it, and it worked!!

As a very young person I wanted and planned to be involved in aviation.  That’s the reason I planned the US Air Force for my military service.  I was around aircraft primarily during my last two years in the Air Force.  I planned and finagled my way into a ride in bomber aircraft and fighter aircraft.  Success.  Satisfaction!!

I planned to complete my service honorably and seek employment with the Federal Aviation Administration.  I received an honorable discharge – partial success, some disappointment.  At the end of my four years of military service, the Federal Aviation Administration was not hiring.  Big Disappointment – plan failed!!

Never giving up, but realizing I needed to provide for my family, I planned working for wages to meet that goal.  Part time jobs at Montgomery Wards, JC Penneys, 7-11 convenience store provided income.  Knowing I didn’t want these jobs as my life-long career, I planned to work for Sandia Corporation,  a subcontractor to the Atomic Energy Commission.  I interviewed and was hired as a messenger – gotta start somewhere on your plans. 

I planned to improve my position and wages at Sandia.  I was promoted to communications operator involving teletype inputs.  BTW, in high school, I had planned to learn typing, had a wonderful young (pretty) female teacher and I feel that typing class has helped me to this day.  I was comfortable with a typewriter while in the military as I learned Morse Code and typed messages as the code came into my ear.  Thank you pretty, young typing teacher – success!!

At Sandia, I planned to progress further and sought opportunities within Sandia.  An electronic apprenticeship course was offered.  I completed that course and learned bits and pieces of what an electronic technician needed to know to become a journeyman.   I value that experience, but my plan to work for the Federal Aviation Administration was still in my head.

Six years into my employment at Sandia Corporation, The FAA published a need to hire personnel for a career in Air Traffic control – God has spoken – thank you, thank you, my dream and plan lives on.

PLAN A. – Beg, borrow or steal a way to be accepted by the FAA.  SUCCESS.  Now, plan to be the best Air Traffic Controller,  EVER.  I really did work hard because I didn’t want to lose this opportunity.  In my mind, I WAS the best Air Traffic Controller, EVER.  Thank you, God, success, satisfaction, fruition.

I planned to visit other parts of the world.  In the USAF, I was sent to Turkey.  Not where I would have planned, but it was another part of the world.  While with the FAA, I planned a tour in another facility, and fulfilled that plan with a 2-year tour for me and my family in Puerto Rico.  During one period, volunteers were needed in other facilities due to a strike.  I planned my assignment to Minnesota, okay not another part of the “world” but another part of our country.

Later “I” planned a trip for my wife to England.  Alright, she planned, I helped.  She and her sister toured together.  Later in our married life, my wife and I planned a fabulous trip to Italy and that plan came to fruition.  Wonderful Satisfaction!

Prior to retirement, I planned to deplete monthly some funds in a Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) to supplement our retirement income knowing a 45-50% cut in finances had some consequence.  That plan worked perfectly.  I actually patted myself on the back for having planned that almost 7 years in advance and it worked as planned.

Being under the Civil Service Retirement System, I knew that when I became eligible for some Social Security Benefits, it wouldn’t amount to much.  Still I planned to set that SS benefit aside into a separate savings account if feasible.  I’ve now been receiving SS benefits for 18 years.  I haven’t gotten rich, but IF I purchased a new car, SS benefits could make my payments!!  That plan worked.

After retiring, Judy and I had no plans to move.  We had talked about possibly moving a little farther south, but not really considering it seriously.  We made a trip to Arizona and stumbled upon an active adult community that was very appealing.  We both looked at each other and thought, “how nice it would be to live in an active adult community like PebbleCreek in Goodyear, Arizona.”  On a whim, we asked a realtor friend what we might net from the sale of our home in Albuquerque.

PLAN B. – SELL, pack it up, move… plan, plan, plan. 

Here we are in Goodyear, Arizona almost 19 years later without a single regret of leaving our home of 28 years in Albuquerque.  One of the best plans we’ve ever made.

I’ll have to admit that some plans went awry, but I don’t think they have affected my life.

PLAN C. – The Ultimate Plan

I plan to live to be 160 years old.  I am over the half-way mark now…so far, so good.  I do plan to die.  Yes, I am making plans for that.  I’m anticipating the fruition of that plan.  I’m only disappointed that I may not realize that I’ve succeeded at that ultimate plan. 

For all the plans I made, whether they were for that day, that week, that month, that year or 5 years from then, whenever the plan was completed, I felt the gratification of being a success at something. 

If you are with me before I take my last breath; even though it may be before my 160th year, this is all I ask.  Lean over to my ear and whisper, “Kermit, your plan has worked…you are successful”.  I’m guessing you will see a smile on my lips for the fruition of plan C.

I plan.  I am a planner.  I like to plan.

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I live near a US Air Force training base.  I see and hear the F35 jet aircraft departing throughout the week on their training missions.  As I write the following, I never thought to wonder if the pilots were Republicans or were they Democrats.  It just impressed on my mind how well they work as a team.  I doubt if the pilots are concerned if his/her wingman is a Democrat or a Republican.  They know that each has the other’s back.  They may depart individually, but often they return to their base in a formation of as many as four aircraft.  I marvel at the coordination exhibited as they approach.  They work so well together.  If they didn’t, then there may be a disaster.  I wish our Congress could be formation flyers.

I am a Democrat.  I am a registered Democrat.  I am registered so I can vote.  Do I always vote a straight Democratic ticket…NO.  Are there bad Democrats…some.  Are there bad Republicans…some.  I am a liberal and I am liberal..  Do I have conservative thoughts, plans, practices and ideals…SOMETIMES.  I have Republican friends and family members.  Do I hate them?  Of course not.  Do my Republican friends and family members hate me?  They may disagree with me, but I can’t imagine them HATING me, otherwise they wouldn’t be my friends!!

Do I support President Joe Biden?  Yes.  Did I vote for President Joe Biden?  Yes.  Do I believe in all of his policies and practices?  No.  Do I think he will be a good President for our divided country?  Yes.  Do I think he would ever encourage an insurrection if he ran and lost the next election?  ABSOLUTELY NOT!!

I’m certain every Republican does not support Donald Trump as I’m just as certain that every Democrat does not support President Joe Biden.  I cannot for the life of me understand how ANYONE can not see what havoc and discontent Trump has caused while holding the office of President of the United States.  Yes, the radical groups who are his supporters will continue to promote Trump as their leader, but surely, honest, law-abiding, honorable, common-sense citizens should acknowledge what an evil man Trump is and will continue to be.

The Representatives and Senators who are stubbornly failing to acknowledge that evilness only because it hurts their personal political future are essentially empowering Trump to try in the next election to regain his “King” status.   If they would vote their conscience; if they would put aside their political fear,  Trump should be relegated to being a business man and not a political figure for which he was never qualified in the first place.  Let him display his dishonesty on a golf course, never again from the Oval office.

I can’t convince anyone to alter their thoughts on the events of January 6, 2021.  You either saw it as something disgraceful or not.  I would only hope it changed for some the opinion of what was the Commander-in-Chief’s responsibility.  He should have and could have stopped the chaos, destruction and death for which he was responsible for initially.  He did not.

I don’t care if you’re a Republican, Independent, Democrat or….  You are my friends and if you chose not to be my friend simply because of my Registered Political Party affiliation, I feel the sadness for me and for you.  Democrats don’t have to hate Republicans and Republicans don’t have to hate Democrats.  We’re all from one country and should respect other’s opinions but NEVER tolerate hate, bigotry, violence and insurrection from anyone. 

I am so fortunate to be a CITIZEN of the United States of America and so saddened and disgusted by those who try to ruin this country’s democracy.

Hopefully, healing will come.  Hopefully, we will never tolerate a President who promotes hate and violence.  Our President should always be the lead Pilot of a unified formation of Democrats, Republicans and all LOYAL Americans. 

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I am a PATRIOT, are you?

January 6, 2021.  A day that many Americans should be so ashamed of their actions.  I said Americans…I did not say Patriots, because those individuals that participated in the assault on the Capitol of the United States of America in Washington, DC are not patriots.  Those people are the disgruntled, riot-inciting, people who do not believe in the democratic process upon which this country was built.

I am a Democrat.  I DO NOT HATE Republicans. 

I know there are bad Republicans and I know there are bad Democrats.  There are good politicians.  There are bad politicians, whether they be Republican or whether they be Democrat.  I don’t love every Democrat and as stated early I don’t hate every Republican.   Our current President, Donald Trump seems to HATE EVERY DEMOCRAT!!.  Because of his strong desire to be a King, he has incited Americans to rise to insurrection. 

I don’t like bad people.  I do not like those who abuse children, those who abuse amimals, those who murder people, those who prey on older people, those who incite riots and looting, and those who take other people’s property.

I do not like Donald Trump.  His agenda seems to be how best he can help Donald Trump and his family…not how he can help this country.  He has surrounded himself with politicians and aides who do his bidding at any moment.  If they refuse, he fires them and chooses another until that person then is eventually replaced by another.  He is responsible for how terrible this pandemic has become in America because of his lack of understanding and his lack of timely action.  Truthfully, I think Donald Trump’s lack of understanding is simply that he is ignorant.  He may have been successful in business, but certainly, there has been absolutely no success in his Presidency.

I’m not sure how anyone does not see his evilness??  There are so many events that have occurred during the last 4 years to have put our country at the bottom of the heap in respectability around the world, and the ONLY reason for that is because of Donald Trump’s acting improperly at the role of President.

I’m not a student of politics.  I just know that Donald Trump is a bad person and is only concerned about his reign. 

I don’t know Joe Biden’s philosophy or political ambition, but I feel confident he is a good person and definitely a better person that Trump.  My belief is that he will represent all people of America, Democrat and Republican.

I know there are those who know me will disagree with my perspective.  I understand that.  I’ve not always agreed with your beliefs either.  If you see this on Facebook, it’s because you’re my friend, not my enemy.  You can delete it or unfriend me…that’s okay. 

Let’s hope we can all work together and not dislike someone simply because they are of a different political party.  After all, we are Americans and hopefully we will remain Patriots and support our government.

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A Day in the Dog-Life of KEEWEE

Before I tell you about a day in my life I need to tell you how the previous day ends…

When Mom and Dad head for the bedroom at night, one of them always asks me if I need to potty before going to bed…and usually, I do just that.  They never let me go outside by myself.  There are coyotes in the area we live, so because I’m not a big dog, they don’t want to risk that danger…and I am truly thankful.  When we come inside, they ask if I need a drink before going to bed, and sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t.  Off we go to the bedroom.  Daddy used to brush my “toofies” when we got to the bathroom.  At first I liked it, but then it didn’t seem to be much fun, so I started to turn my head away and Daddy got the message.  Now he offers me a “little dab’ll do ya” of his toothpaste and I’m alright with that.  I like to lick Daddy’s ankles when he brushes his teeth.  Then he lifts me onto his and Mom’s bed because it’s just a little too high for me to jump.  Sometimes they both read for a little while.  I always give them both a lick (kiss) and then lie down at the foot of the bed (usually where Mom needs to put her feet).  I wait just until Daddy dozes off and I decide that I don’t want to sleep on the bed, but prefer to sleep on the sectional sofa in the den because it has four great back cushions that I can sink into and get very, very cozy.  So I snort a little, Daddy opens his eyes, asks if I have to pee-pee again and takes me to the den.  Once there, if I stand by the patio door, he knows I need to go outside, but normally, I stand by the sofa and he boosts me up, gently puts both his hands on my face, gives me a little kiss and tells me to have a good sleep.  That’s how every day ends…and now let me tell you about a day in the dog-life of KEEWEE.

Ahhh, it feels so good to stretch after a good night’s sleep.  There are days I have to wake Mama and Daddy because I just can’t wait any longer to pee and since I can’t open the patio door myself, I have to get their attention.  Not sure how they know I’m right beside their bed, but one of them pops up and makes sure I get outside in time.  As I’ve gotten older, seems I don’t have to disturb them as often.  They usually have to wake me instead of my waking them.  What a great way to start your day…Mama or Daddy walk into the den, give me a light rub, a kiss on the head and suggests it’s time to potty.  Good suggestion.  I am happy.  I hear them say how lucky they are to have found me.  I never knew I was lost…

Sometime before Mama and Daddy became my Mama and Daddy, I was somewhere else, but I get a bit confused about that.  I’ve heard my life started in 2015.  I can’t confirm that, but that seems reasonable based on what was told to Mama and Daddy.  I don’t remember anyone wanting me.  I remember being alone and being snatched up and taken to this place where there were some kind people and other dogs that were as confused as I was.  They fed me and gave me a bath.  It was frightening at first, but I could tell I wasn’t in danger with those folks.  I remember they “fixed” me so other dogs wouldn’t bother me.  That wasn’t a lot of fun, but it seemed they had to do it.  I’m not sure how long I was there before I met my Mama and Daddy.  I just know that I was sitting in a hot cage and a couple of old people walked up to my cage, got excited at the sight of me, said some words I didn’t understand, and hurriedly walked away.  A short time later, one of those folks who had been feeding me came and got me and took me to a cool little play area and there sat those two old people who had just been staring at me a few minutes ago.  I quickly went to the old lady.  She picked me up gently, put me on her lap, rubbed my head and said “I’m your new Mama and this old guy here is your new Daddy”.  I knew.   I knew immediately that someone wanted me.  I was going home.

I will sometimes go get one of my toys and bring it to them in the bathroom as they’re washing their face.  That’s to let them know that I’m up and ready.  My morning is always so exciting.  Mama and Daddy fix their hot drinks and make decisions on whether to eat something before we go for a W-A-L-K or wait a little while.  They spell that word because they know that I know what that word means and if they say it without spelling it, I get so excited that the decision to eat now or later is a moot point because hearing that word causes me to spin and jump and stare and just kinda go out of control.  My out of control action usually ends up by my jumping up on the kitchen chair, indicating to Mama or Daddy, I’m ready to get my harness on and my leash attached and go, go, go.  So morning walks are the beginning of a beautiful day in the dog-life of KEEWEE.

No matter how many times we’ve walked the same route, I am always ready.  Oh yeah, I pull and tug and try to go a different way or just to the other side of the street, but most of the time, Mama or Daddy wins the tug by simply saying “we’re going this way”.  That’s okay with me.  That’s not to say that I don’t win the tug once in a while.  And honestly, I think Mama and Daddy like the change, too.  Most of the time we walk as a three-some, but there are times when I’m just with one or the other.  Each has a different pace, but we both adjust.  I see lots of bunnies and quail on my walks.  Of course I’m tethered by harness and leash and make a feeble attempt to dart at the bunnies, but they seem to know that I’m not serious about catching them anyhow.  The quail just scurry away and I know I wouldn’t stand a chance of catching them anyway, so I just basically watch them scatter.  I have my favorite bushes along the way.  I can spend more time smelling those than Mama or Daddy can understand, but they’re pretty patient with my loitering.

We meet other people and other dogs along our walk.  I have my dog friends and that’s always a highlight of my morning.  Some of the people I can take or leave and those that show no interest in me, I leave – usually with a bark or two.  That kind of puts them off, so I guess that’s why they don’t show a fondness for me.  They don’t know this, but I have never nor will I ever bite anyone, but my warning keeps those moody people away.  I think I must be very cute because I get a lot of attention from non-moody people, truth be told, I really love having folks admire my cuteness.

There are a lot of people riding my neighborhood in golf carts.  I like the people, but I don’t like the golf carts.   My barking at the carts usually causes them to speed away.

On my morning walks, I see garage doors open.  I know that is a sign that someone wants me to come in and visit, but Mama or Daddy aren’t convinced.  Visit denied. 

My Daddy. on the morning walks keeps asking me if I have to poop.  Believe me, if I have to poop, I will do so when I’m ready.  This is rather embarrassing, but sometimes I feel like I haven’t left all the poop that I pooped.  In other words, it might have clung.  To call that to the attention of my Daddy, I will show a sullen mood, head lowered, tail between my legs, and slow down the pace.  Daddy is so smart…he catches on right away.  When he says “want me to check your butt?”, I am relieved to find out.  Lifting my tail and hind quarters off the ground, he inspects and when he declares, with enthusiasm, “aww, you’ve got a clean butt” , my spirits are lifted, my tail is lifted, my pace is lifted and I’m a happy girl.

We complete our morning walk by entering home through the garage.  I’m not sure why we do that, but I think it was my idea and they have gone along with it.  Unleashed and unharnessed, I jump back on that same kitchen chair and wait for my treats.  They bought me “training” treats which are so small that Daddy is compelled to give me four of them.  For one thing, I no longer need to be trained and if he wants to give me four, that’s fine with me.  It did help me learn to count to four, though.  Counting to four is another of my morning rituals.

Breakfast for Mama, Daddy and me differ.  I usually have a bowl of kibble (topped with 4 or 5 honey-nut cheerios) and a bowl of water ready at my convenience.  Mama will eat a bagel or yogurt or something healthy.  Daddy loves his bowl of raisin-bran flakes.  Daddy carries his bowl of bran to the office along with his cup of coffee so he can catch up on his morning emails.  Not sure how it began, but he gave me a bran flake one morning and since it appeared to him that I liked it, he gave me another until he had given me four.  The next morning when he got his cereal and coffee and headed to the office, I followed him.  Noticing me staring at him at his desk, he asked if I wanted some flakes (another word I learned).  Of course, who could turn down a bran flake?  So he counted them out to me – “one, two, three and four, all gone”.  I thanked him, and left the office.  Now every time Daddy’s eating raisin-bran flakes, I’m entitled to four flakes (no raisins), after which I turn and leave the office without being told “all gone”.

Breakfast done, time for a morning nap, a running leap onto the sofa, sink into a cushion.

I dream as I nap.  On the day I first met my Mama and Daddy, I remember them carrying me to their car.  I sat on Mama’s lap for the drive to my new home.  I liked riding in a car.  It wasn’t long after I got to my new home, my Mama and Daddy took me to my doctor.  They were concerned about the area on my tummy where I had been “fixed”.  As it turned out, that fixing needed to be redone and that was not a pleasant time for me, but Mama and Daddy made sure I was taken care of.  They showed me so much love and I have tried to return that love every day.  Even though that was a trying time, I realized that I really, really like being able to go for rides in the car.  Mama and Daddy bought me this awesome car-seat that affords me the chance to ride high and see out the window as we drive along.  And I can even nap in that car seat if the drive is a long one.  My Mama and Daddy have taken me on some long drives to see my besties – Bear, Kona, Hilo, Stormy, Taffy.  I love to ride.

I have a basket of toys in the den.  Sometimes, I just get the urge to grab one and make it squeak and squeak and squeak.  My Daddy knows that is a signal that I want him to play with me.  He will take that toy and make it squeak louder than I can and entice me to come get it.  Of course I know that if I go after it, he will toss it over my head and we both chase it.  I win because I’m a lot faster than he is.  But I let him take it away from me and throw it again.  I can see he tires easily, so I scoop up that toy and leap up on the sofa letting him know that he can take a break now.  Considerate of me, huh?

Morning in the dog-life of KEEWEE

Afternoons in the dog-life of KEEWEE are sometimes exciting, sometimes boring, sometimes peaceful.  I don’t always eat my breakfast in its entirety because I know that Daddy has plans for me for my lunch.   I’ve learned the words ‘hungry” and “food” and know exactly what they mean – chickie-chickie.  Mama and Daddy have spoiled me and bought for me my very own chicken tenders.  They package them in smaller packages and freeze them so it seems like I’ll have chickie-chickie forever.  Sometime after noon, Daddy will say to me, “Are you hungry”, “do you want some food?”  Well that means chickie-chickie to me.  A small amount of kibble is added to my morning kibble, then topped with small pieces of chicken tenders.  Then there’s a ritual where Daddy says in his excitement “are you ready” and I have to do my spin-around thing to please him and then he puts my chickie-chickie down on my mat…yum, yum…thank you, Daddy.

After eating, I have to pee.  I pee a lot.  Out we go.  Back in for a rest before the afternoon walk.  During the winter, the afternoon walks are early afternoon and during the summer the post-lunch walks sometimes are very late afternoon or early evening because it so warm at my home in the Summer.  In any event, I usually have time to snooze before that second walk of the day in the dog-life of KEEWEE.

While afternoon snoozing, I dream of all the love I’ve received from Mama and Daddy and realize that I have been pleasing them by being a very devoted and loving family member.  I know they are taking care of me as no other could.  As an example, they know how much I like to go for a ride.  They include me whenever it’s possible.  They don’t leave me alone for long periods of time.  There have been times when I have been unable to get their attention to let them know I really need to go outside.  Not often, but I have had an accident in the house.  Mama and Daddy didn’t shout or scold me…they understood that it happened because I couldn’t get their attention.

  It doesn’t rain much in my area and when it does, it’s difficult to go outside to do that peeing thing and not get very wet.  Well, Mama and Daddy have a towel at the ready when I come back in and I love it when they pick me up, wrap the towel around me, scrub me dry, carry me into the house bundled up and set me down gently.  Now that’s love…right?  …or do they just don’t want the sofa to get wet??

Second walk of the day. 

If Daddy doesn’t initiate the second walk, I make sure that I do.  Honestly, I think my Daddy is part dog because he understands my movements, my gestures, my staring, my snorts, or my exhales.  He asks me if I’m ready for a walk, duh, what do you think?  So back to the harness chair.  I try to help with the harness.  My right leg goes through the loop first and I lift my left leg and poke around in mid-air searching for the loop all the while giving my Daddy a kiss as he’s sitting beside me on the chair.  Eventually, I have to back off on the kiss because Daddy can’t get the harness snapped with my head turned toward him.  And of course, he doesn’t see very well, so I’m helping him by doing that.  Mama usually sits out the afternoon walk.  But you know what?  As soon as I get back, I’ll rush through the garage and go check on Mama to make sure she’s still there and she’s still okay.

  My Daddy talks a lot while we’re out walking.  Guess he’s always been like that.  He has funny names for me, too.  We’ll be walking along and I’ll hear him say, “Hey, touka-touka, you okay?”  Well, yeah, I think so, are you okay Daddy? (I wish I could say)  He calls me “Sweet-pea”, but I don’t think my pee is sweet.  Another name I hear him say to me is “Ticky-Wicky”.  I have no idea where that came from.  He varies the other name to “Touka-Tocka” sometimes.   Mama calls me “Sweetheart” and “Baby Girl” and “Honey”.   Those sound normal, right?  I love it when Daddy says I love you  KEEWEE-WEE.  That extra WEE means a lot.

The afternoon walks are more fast-paced outbound, but I make sure we slow down coming home.  Most of the time, Daddy is patient, allowing me to explore and sniff to my heart’s content.  Sometimes I push it a little more than I should and Daddy starts moaning and saying “KeeWee, please, let’s go…I’m tired, I wanna go home”.  Waa, Waa, Waa

Returning home, I get some training treats, one, two, three, and four!

It’s been a good day.  I’ve walked, I’ve played, I’ve eaten, I’ve walked again.  Mama and Daddy settle in for a quiet evening.  I’m content to be in my home, on my sofa, sunk in my cushions with my Mama and my Daddy here with me at the end of a day in the dog-life of KEEWEE.

When Mom and Dad head for the bedroom at night, one of them always asks me if I need to potty before going to bed…

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2021 – HOPE

Oh, how I yearn for a normal day.

What ‘ere that might be?

Family, friends that I might say

A hug I have for thee.

But still we must bide the hour

To see better days ahead.

For it is not within our power

To solely halt this dread.

Sickness that has plagued our race

Is yet to be contained.

And each and all should surely face

What a scourge upon us rained.

Together we should do our best

To make safety a major task.

And yet to some it seems a test

To simply wear a mask!

To those who want to resist

The guidance of those who know,

This virus continues to persist

And the death rate does not slow.

If all would only do their part,

Perhaps losses would be less.

Heed the advice unto you heart

And ease your neighbor’s stress.

Come together, let’s fight the fight;

Make it safer for one and all.

Do what you know is only right;

Listen to the science call

A year has cost a heavy price

With the loss of not just few.

Think not once, nor even twice

What each of us could do.

A prayer be said for everyone

To step up to the call;

So you may know when it is done

That grief on us won’t fall.

Pray for those who’ve lost someone.

Pray to ease their saddened pain

And know that in another time

They’ll be with them again.

Reach out to those who’ve had some doubt

How serious this has been.

You just might make them come about

To bring normalcy back again.

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Experiences & Accomplishments – WEALTH

This is not my life’s story…I write this for me to simply recall some of my life’s experiences and accomplishments. I’ve done nothing that is that noteworthy to make it into the history books or Wikipedia. I have reached the age of 80 as I write this and as a youngster, I wondered if I would make it into the 2000’s – it seemed so distant. Now that I’m here, my goal is to reach the age of 160…

I’ve been very fortunate and blessed to have had Judy by my side for most of my life and although some of the experiences I’ve had in the past were on my own, Judy was there for most of those exciting and rewarding times. When I lived some of what I am about to recall, if Judy wasn’t by my side, she was supporting me and encouraging me to get it done.

Having grown up in the once-small town of Leesburg, Virginia as one of 8 children, I never felt embarrassed that we were poor because my parents worked very hard at providing what we needed to be a happy family.

Today, I am wealthy to the extreme, not monetarily, but filled with life’s experiences that I never dreamed possible.

Not in any chronological order, these are the simple things that have made me rich:

My parents taught me honesty, appreciation and humility. The military service gave me structure, respect and planning. An accomplishment – I learned to send and receive international Morse Code in the USAF service. Later in life, that experience allowed me to venture into amateur radio. I was always fascinated with the ability to communicate wirelessly with someone in a different location. Communication has been a major part of my life.

The military afforded me the opportunity for fulfilling a strong desire – travel. Although it wasn’t my choice, I was stationed in Turkey for 18 months. Had they not sent me there, I would not have had that experience. While there, I was able to watch Francis Gary Powers depart in his U2 spy plane on a mission over Russia. History tells about that mission. But the fact, that I had that experience is in my memory bank now forever.

The military then sent me to New Mexico, a life-changing experience. There, I met Judy – history.

New Mexico – Kirtland AFB – Hopping a ride in a B52 bomber – Hopping a ride in a B47 bomber – getting a backseat ride in an F104 Starfighter, zooming to 51,000 feet and going twice the speed of sound (mach2) over The White Sands Missile Range – certainly others have done these things, but to know I’ve experienced those still takes my breath away!!

Albuquerque – 1960’s – The accomplishment of successfully applying and receiving employment at Sandia Corporation (subcontractor Atomic Energy Commission). Prior to that job, the experience of selling men’s clothing at Montgomery Wards and selling shoes at J.C.Penneys made me know I wanted more. Even while working at Sandia Corporation, I experienced the “need” to work a second job at a 7-11 convenience store. I needed to work harder. Progression at Sandia Corporation included the experience and accomplishment of completing an Electronic’s Technician apprenticeship.

1968 – Who has dreams of a career only to see it slipping away as years pass? That was me. Aviation was a fascination. The Federal Aviation Administration had rejected my application in 1962 when I left the Air Force. In 1968 the FAA decided they needed more air traffic controllers and opened up the hiring process. Though it had been 6 years, I still hoped for that career. As I write this, I can tell you I was successful in applying, hiring, and completing 27 years of FAA service. Maybe not the greatest accomplishment and experience in my life, but right at the top! Okay, yes it was my greatest experience!! I loved the job!!

During those FAA years, I had the wonderful experience ( a gift from Judy) of taking flying lessons. I accomplished the requirements for my Private Pilot License. The feeling of euphoria when you’re solo in a small single-engine aircraft cruising over the landscape is not something you can just talk about – it needs to be experienced. I earned several “safe-pilot” wings. As related earlier, I was able to experience flight in bombers and fighters. Add to that list, piloting small aircraft, doing loops and rolls in the back seat of an American Champion Citabria aircraft and floating 1000 feet above terrain in a hot air balloon. Flying experiences!!

I mentioned travel earlier – The experience of owning a motor home is so gratifying. Although it wasn’t all in the motor home, Judy and I have had the wonderful experience of visiting EVERY state except Alaska. So many road trips are memorable.

Our other travels have been a 3 week trip to New Zealand and a FABULOUS tour of Italy. When in New Zealand, I piloted a small aircraft over Lake Taupo and snow-capped Mount Ruapehu. Judy snapped photos as we flew over that beautiful land. Also, later, we chartered a “yacht” and fished Lake Taupo. Judy caught a beautiful rainbow lake trout which we took to a local restaurant and they prepared it for us for a wonderful dinner serving us and the other 2 couples whom had shared the charter…an experience never to be forgotten!! …another experience in New Zealand – got a back-seat 30-minute ride in a World War 1 Sopwith Camel – open-air cockpit, flight suit, goggles and all…!!!

Italy, a bucket-list accomplishment. With photos, we relive that wonderful experience.

Judy and I hiked to the top of Sandia Peak Mountain in Albuquerque. We were proud of accomplishing that feat. I hiked down to the bottom of The Grand Canyon, stayed overnight and hiked back up the next morning. Accomplishment/Experience.

As I said, this is not in any chronological order – it’s whatever comes to mind.

I basically taught myself how to play golf. When I reached the age of 70, my goal was to score lower than my age. I accomplished that many times over the years. Now that I’ve reached the age of 80, it is rare, but I have managed to shoot a score of 79 or lower on a few occasions. We’ll see how it goes when I approach 90 and I approach the green.

Animals, pets – yes, we’ve had numerous pets. Loved every one of them. The heart break of losing them is a numbing experience, but the dedication they display is also such a warm experience.

Parenting is by far an experience that only you can rate in your life. Top of the list for Judy and me. We feel as if we provided the tools needed for our children to succeed in life and we have not been disappointed. The accomplishments made by them have made us proud. Sadly no parent wants to experience the loss of a child as we have.

Did you ever cross-country ski? Friends took Judy and me on an outing to do that. It wasn’t something we took to very easily and only tried it that one time. Hated it. But, we can say we experienced cross-country skiing!! Also tried down-hill skiing and almost killed myself – bad experience!!

I was in the high school senior play – experienced acting better left to those that have that talent.

Pall-bearer for classmate – traumatic experience.

Made the mistake of buying a time-share condominium. Although, to be honest, we did manage to trade for some nice vacation spots, the experience of attempting to get out of the contract was stressful, but, we successfully accomplished the sale, never to do that again!!

Judy got a hole-in-one on the golf course (before I did) and I accomplished that 4 months later (my one and only so far).

Dreamed of “striking it rich” in some way, but never accomplished that; however, I am wealthy beyond measure for all the experiences, accomplishments, love, family, support, friends and still here after 80 years and counting…

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Who does that…!!!

So Many Aliases


I’ve made a list of all the names
That I sometimes call my friend.
That list seems to go on and on;
Seemingly and without end.

 If you are near me when I babble
These crazy monikers,
You might wonder how my friend
Knows these names are only hers.

 And also you may question
Is my brain a messy scramble?
For in the presence of my friend
My mouth will start to ramble.

 Chickie, chickie boom-boom girl
Is a favorite one I use.
Wocka-Wocka” she does know
As along a walk we cruise.

 Zipper-tummy” another one;
About which you needn’t know.
She likes it when I call her that
For on her back she’ll go.

 This verse will stay appropriate.
There’s more before I’m done.
But so you know; before you go.
My friend is a four-legged one.

 Gooza-Gooza” will let me know
When she needs to go outside.
And “Silly-Willy” gets so amped up
At the mention of a ride.

 She’ll come to me as a “Hug-a-Bug Girl
For a boost up on my lap.
And if I head for my recliner,
Ticky-Wicky” with me will nap.

 When “Buddha-Belly” wants a treat
It’s as if she can talk.
She’ll come and snort and look at me
Meaning follow me on this walk.

 And off I go to the cabinet
Where indeed the treats are there.
Doofus” then will look at me
With her anticipation stare.

 Doodle-Bug” can nap all day
On the back of the couch.
Souga-Bouga” is a friend to all
And has never been a grouch.

 And if my doorbell’s pushed,
Peety-Weety” is my first alert.
Her screams will scare me out my wits
But no one would she hurt.

 So many names she does know
For she reacts to one and all.
Pooka-Pooka”, “come to me”.
She’ll respond to my call.

 When day is done and night has come
It’s time for bed we think.
Bubble-Belly” likes one more rub,
Then a pee and a pre-sleep drink.

 Oh yes, I brush her toofies
And a boost up on the bed.
Sweetie-Pie” will then hunker down.
No more today be said.

 KeeWee is a special girl
Who likes my goofy talks.
I must be careful when we are out
On our afternoon daily walks.

 For when I pass some people
Calling KeeWee a funny name;
They’ll look at me and shake their head
And wonder who’s to blame.

 I’ll admit to all who know me
That, at times, I’m in the dark.
How KeeWee knows all these words
Yet I only know one bark.


Kermit Frye

Keewee Sparkle


Life is “Just Right” in Arizona

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