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Let's start a memory thread


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I was just thinking about some funny times I've had over the years with my husband and was hoping we could all start a memory thread. Good stories....sad ones aren't necessary. I would like to think we can come here and smile reading other's stories. Wouldn't that be wonderful?

Here is one I have no doubt my husband would get mad at me for....but here goes:

When we first met I helped out at the VFW quite a bit preparing dinners for veterans etc. Halloween was approaching and they were having a costume party. Don and I discussed what we were going to be....well we decided on Sonny & Cher costumes. Homemade ones of course...I was going to be Sonny because I'm so short and he was going to be Cher. Well, let me tell ya, he went secretly into to bedroom to get into his costume that night and when he came out I laughed so darn hard I thought I was literally going to pee my pants. The only thing that looked like Cher was the long wig....but other than that he looked like a drag queen with a mustache. He didn't understand why I thought it was so funny. It truly was believe me....especially the panty hose....OMG He didn't understand how to put them on and he was FULL on runs and holes.

I myself made a very cute Sonny that night I think. Even when we arrived at the VFW he had everyone in the place just rolling on the floor. We even got up and sang the song "I got you babe" from the jukebox that night.

It was truly and still is.....a great memory.

Please share everyone? I think many of us here at this time could use a good laugh!

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Oh Michelle, I've got nothing to share but the pleasure I received from your story. You are a treasure, and it sounds as if you and hubby were just the best of everything to one another. I hope you've started a thread that continues for longer than any of us can ever imagine. Thanks for the warrm fuzzies provided by your memory. Tt is very special,

indeed.

Kasey

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earliest and funniest!!

Deb and I had just started dating and she was a caregiver for an older gentleman. Elderly fatherly type. Lived on second floor of the house.... Sh ya had to go up a flight of stairs to ring the bell. First time I went over to take her out, Her dog, Daisy starts barking at me. Its dark out and I can't see the dog of course but I know she is no threat to me. So when Deb Answers the door, Daisy comes running across the roof to come in the house!!! Nearly Fell off the Landing I was laughing so hard!!!! Daisy had been sitting on the first floor Roof watching me the whole time!!

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This is really a good idea but so many of the things Johnny and I shared were really not the kind of thing you want to share if you get my drift :oops:

He could say some things that would make me laugh so hard I was crying but sharing them here could be kind of embarrasing to say the least.

There may be a couple that I can share. The first one took place one day at his daughter in law and son's house. We had just gotten back together, in fact I was visiting before moving up to Washington to be with him. He had an appointment with a urinalogist and for some reason couldn't remember that word so he told her he had an appointment with a peterologist :roll:

One time we were on the phone and he told me about an experience he had. Now Johnny was a very carismatic man. He had always attracted women and I always knew it though he really didn't realize it himself.

One day he was on his way to visit his son. He had to change busses so while waiting he had a smoke. About the time he lit up a woman came up to him and asked if he had a cigarette. He pulled a pack of Top tobacco out of his pocket and said no but you can roll your own. She said no I have to get back to work any way. He asked her what kind of work she did and she told him she was a prostitute. He couldn't get out of there fast enough. I told him that she was propositioning him and he said "well if she was she sure changed her mind when I offered her a roll your own smoke".

One more then I quit some of the others are far too personal to share. After I had married and moved away Johnny led a pretty rough life for a while. He made friends with my sister in laws brother in law and one night before Christmas they went out drinking. They spotted Santa in the bar and spent the night following him from place to place spying on him. I don't know what they expected to see but I can just see his face and him with the giggles thinking he is getting away with something very big/

There are just so many more. Like I said though not too many that are not just too private to share.

I guess though sense you got me started I will tell you one more thing that is a little embarassing but it is pure Johnny.

Only the second time we had talked in over 40 years was when this conversation took place. He asked if I had a movie camera. I told him yes I did. Well he said will you send me a movie of yourself he paused and then added in the shower> I was drinking coffee and almost choked but I got even.

I told him that I was not a young girl any more but a grandmother and my body was an older woman's not a young womans or a girls. He said that was alright because the older the peach the sweeter it is.

I wrote him a letter a few days later. When he got the letter he went to a small cafe not far from his home and sat there drinking his coffee and reading my letter. Now remember this was the old me. The one who had never talked about those things even with my husband of over 40 years. In my letter at the end I add this sentence " By the way sense we talked on the phone my showers have gotten much more interesting. I keep thinking about what you said. I have some peach body wash,. oh yes didn't you say you like to eat peaches?"

He told me that he laughed so hard he choked on his coffee. When the resturant owner asked him what was so funny all he could do was burst out laughing again and say "private joke" :oops::oops::oops:

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Okay....Okay....The board had been slow for a few days. BUT I have another memory to tell you about.

Don and I used to live in Pasadena CA. We had an old craftsman house that was built in 1920. It was small, but I just loved what I called "my box'. Anyway, the house was on a raised foundation..probably about 2-3 ft above ground. Well, one summer it seemed that a family of skunks made themselves a home under there.....chewing telephone wires and getting fatter and fatter.

One day (not knowing they were under there yet) I turned on the garbage disposal. WELL....I must have scared the poo out of them and they sprayed that God awful smell everywhere...I couldn't get away from it!

When my husband came home from work that night he camped out in the driveway next to the screened opening.....and waited...and waited....till the wee hours of the morning. By this time, I was fast asleep. I figured he was just some nut waiting for nothing. I had suggested throwing moth balls down there so they would leave.....but no...he was on a MISSION!!

About 3 am I awoke to the banging and banging sound and his voice cursing ....so I ran outside and he was chasing the fattest skunk I had ever seen down the driveway. The funniest part was the big skunk circled around and wanted back under that house....turned out his entire family was under there.

To shorten the story....he finally got rid of the entire family (no murders).

The next day our phones were useless. We had to call the phone company and pay who knows how much to have it all re-wired.

I just love remembering the funny times!

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I had to jump in on this one. By the way, this is a great idea, Michelle.

When we lived in Miami, Dennis and I bought a great boat!!! It was the boat he had been wanting for years and we finally found a great deal from a private owner. Well, the owner lived about 45 minutes north of us , so we decided we would take the boat down the intercoastal waterway, rather than trailer it home. Well, Dennis always loved to talk, so we ended up leaving the seller's house later than anticipated. What would seem like a simple thing to do, turned in to quite a fiasco, as the intercoastal is not as straight as one might think. It took us hours to get home. It was so dark and we kept navigating way too close to the shoreline. But, finally we made it. What a night that was and we laughed about that episode for years!!!

Oh....how I loved that man....still do...always will!!!

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A few years ago I sat down and wrote out many of the special memories that I have of my life with Johnny. So many are very personal and I can't share them. Still I was so afraid that I would forget, I couldn't take that chance. For some reason I took them out just now. So I have at least one more to share.

You have to remember that Johnny was the most honest person you could ever meet. He had a way about him of telling the truth that could sometimes be more than a little embarassing. Our relationship was very special and his feelings and desires were never something that he held back.

When I went to visit him after more than 40 years we stayed at his son after the first night together. Later while I was there we went out to Ocean Shores not far from where he lived at Capalis Beach. We rented a motel room there. It rained the whole time we were there so we couldn't do one of the things that we had planed, make love in the sand under the stars. So we took the bus and went out to the casino. Following is a part of the memories from that night that I wrote about. I am so glad I saved them all this way.

While I played one more twenty he decided to try roulette. I went to join him when my money was gone and he was doing okay.. He also had a beer. I had never seen him drink before but had heard so many of the accusations against him that it made me a little uneasy. He played for a while and had several beers telling me to take a sip when I wanted to. I watched him play and sipped his beer. It didn't take long for him to lose the money he had won and the rest that he had brought to play with. So we went into the bar for a drink and to just relax. He ordered him another beer and when I told him that it gave me a headache he ordered a pina colata that I requested.

We ended up staying there for hours. I had only about three drinks but we lost count of the beers he had. Now I had heard about him drinking and that it made him mean or terrible to be around. He proved just the opposite that night. Everyone was subjected to our story. Not once but time and time again. The poor bar tender must have felt like there was a broken record playing because every time she got close he would say "we used to date when we were young. It has been over forty years sense we saw each other and she came all the way across the country on a choo choo train to see me." If he said that one time that night he said it fifty. No one escaped hearing about our reunion!

As time passed and he got happier I was getting worried. I wasn't sure how late the bus would run. He asked the bar tender and she assured us that we had plenty of time. Johnny was not about to leave for a while. He would talk to anyone and they all seemed to enjoy talking with him. He had always had the knack for making friends and that had stayed with him through the years.

The only time that I got really upset with him that night was because of a remark he made. He told the man he was talking to the same thing he had been saying all night about me coming to see him but he added one more line. He said " I don't deserve her." I told him that I didn't ever want to hear him say anything like that again because it just was not true.

A few more beers and he was in good form. When someone would walk into the bar he would stand up stick his hand out to shake and say "Oklahoma Indian." He may have not lived there in nearly sixty years but he was still an "Oklahoma Indian" in his mind. Of coarse I think he later told me that he was only about one fifth Choctaw. The same as I am. Finally I told him that it was time for us to go back to our room. He was talking to another man and told the man "I know what she wants. She wants to go make love." Needless to say I kept quiet after that. I knew that was what I wanted but he didn't have to tell everyone in the bar :oops:

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When Michelle started this thread I thought it was a place to post only funny memories, she has reminded me that it is not and suggested that I post some more. I hope I am not putting too much out there. Maybe what I put will show exactly how much Johnny and I loved each other, how special our love has been. Thanks Michelle again my dear you are giving me a hand up. I told you that was part of the purpose you are searching for.

After I lost Johnny I was terrified of forgetting so many things,. One day I sat down and wrote them out to save. Today I found them and will try to share a couple. One is the story of seeing each other for the first time in almost 42 years. Of coarse there will be a little that I have to edit. Michelle he made me more open but Hon not that open to share it all :oops:

1.We talked about everything from our childhoods to the death of our parents as well as his sister and my brothers. We remembered places we had known as well as people. We talked about the rides we had taken and the music we had loved. We shared stories about our children and understood each others pain and disappointments in life. So many of our beliefs were the same so much of our lives had been the same. No one would understand how much alike we were but we knew. As our friendship grew so did our love for each other. In the first days of our love we had thought that there could never be a way that we could love each other more but we discovered that everyday our love was growing. What we had known in our youth was just the bud of a love that was starting to come into full bloom.

2.Despite the fact that he was always short of food and money his good heart would take over if he saw someone in need especially children. Twice that I know of when he had just a couple of dollars to last him for another week or more he sacrificed food for himself to help children. He had such a love for children and they always took to him. Children see the things that adults can be blinded against. He did those things without even thinking of himself. When I told him how wonderful it was he just shrugged it off. To him it was no big deal just something that was needed.

3.this is the first time that we saw each other in almost 42 years.

When I looked toward the station it was dark. At first I saw no one and my heart skipped a beat. I started walking then I saw a woman coming toward me. I knew it had to be Johnny's daughter-in-law. Still I didn't see him. As I got closer to her I saw her look toward the train then I saw him! He was standing by the front of the train watching it pull away. He must have thought that I had not gotten off because he looked so lost. As he turned around to start walking back he saw me.

He still walked the same way that I remembered from years before. I would have known that walk anywhere. Once he spotted me he started walking faster almost at a run. I dropped my suitcases and started toward him and then I was in his arms. The first thing we did was kiss. It wasn't a long kiss but it was the most wonderful kiss I had had sense that last day that we had been together forty two years earlier.

After we kissed he pulled his head back so he could see me. He had that sparkle in his eyes and was shaking his head. The first thing he said was that he would never have known me had he not known that I was coming. Then he said "you look wonderful to me, I just can't believe you are really here." He told me that he was worried when he didn't see me. He had expected me to get off of the other end of the train. Then he said the train seemed to come from the wrong way.

He took one of my suitcases and I took the other and we held hands until we got to a bench to sit down. We sat there to smoke and held hands while we talked. He introduced his daughter-in-law but we only had eyes for each other. He kept looking at me and shaking his head each time saying "I just can't believe you are here." He gave me that special look and my heart soared. He truly was still my Johnny!

Johnny has a very strong personality. His physical strength was very visible for a man his size. He was about five feet ten inches and one hundred seventy pounds. I have always been a fast walker but he could out walk me in no time. I had to hurry to keep up with him and sometimes it seemed like he was almost pulling me along as we held hands. He looked years younger than his sixty eight years. There was a certain gruffness that he showed the rest of the world but he was always so gentle with me.. He did everything to make sure that I was comfortable waiting on me whenever he got the chance. I think back now and he reminds me of a teenager who had finally got the attention of his first high school crush.

When we sat to watch television his arm was around me and my head on his chest. If we went out on the deck for a smoke he would bring me coffee. We spent hours talking and other times just sat in silence glad to be together. He also started a pattern that would later be a daily thing for a while. An afternoon nap. I had seldom ever taken a nap. I had to either be sick or have spent the night awake. A nap otherwise was unheard of and I feared that it would keep me awake at night. Johnny loved his naps. When he suggested we take a nap I joined him because I wanted to have every minute with him. We lay there talking for a while then he turned on his side. That was the first time I heard him say "Snuggle my back Honey." I snuggled close to him and put my arm around him. He fell asleep instantly.

I learned something about him that day. When Johnny was falling asleep he jerked constantly until he was very sound asleep.. At first it frightened me then I got used to it and just snuggled him tighter.. While he slept I lay there just holding him and looking at his back. Once in a while I would kiss his back and he would stir a little then continue sleeping. My heart ached for the love I felt for him..It was such joy just to be able to look at him. How would I ever be able to say "goodbye'? That thought went over and over in my mind and then I slept with him wrapped tightly in my arms.

We spent hours just sitting on the deck drinking coffee and talking. He told me about so many things that had happened to him over the years. He talked about the work he had done in the saw mills and explained what was required of him when he was driving logging trucks. We talked about our beliefs and the way we feel about things. We learned that we saw things and believed the same. We both feel closer to God out in the beauty of nature. The difference between religion and faith was something that we both felt and shared. We agreed that loving someone and being in love are two different things. Making love and having sex are as different as night and day. Both of us knew that we had made love with each other. Johnny had much experience with sex but he said that it was something the body needed but making love was something that the heart needed.

Every morning he would get excited when he heard the crow of a quail rooster that lived in the field across the highway. We would set and look at the evergreens across the way and up the hills in the distance seeing each time the clouds caused different shadows that changed the depth of the green colors. Often we could hear a train in the distance and he would again remark about the train I rode seemed to be coming from the wrong direction. Sometimes we would hold hands and others he would look at me again and shake his head saying that he couldn't believe that I was there.

4. this was when we went to the beach while I was visiting

We had already chosen the motel that we would stay in. When we saw the name "Discovery Inn" we knew what it meant for us. We wanted to make new discoveries!

Before going to our room we ate at a Chinese restaurant. The food was wonderful and we had a great time. Everything seemed to be co operating except the weather. It rained the whole day. We arrived at our room after dark and spent a quiet evening watching television and enjoying just being alone together. Our evening ended early. We were both tired from the bus rides so he suggested that we wait until morning to make love. I was disappointed but agreed. I knew that sometimes he was tired and a little short of breath. I didn't want to do anything that would harm him.

Snuggling was so relaxing but it was also stimulating. Very little time passed before he started kissing me. At first it was an ordinary kiss but it grew to a depth that I had never known. We seemed to be melting together and the kiss lasted for minutes I'm not even sure how long but time stood still. It was as if all of the love that we had for each other was in that kiss. The years of separation and heartache along with the passion and tenderness culminated with that kiss. If we had felt like one person before that night then surely it was sealed forever with that kiss.

That was our special night and nothing will ever take it away from us. When we had met a bond had formed between us that would sustain us through many years apart. That night the bond was sealed for eternity.

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During these days when moments are tough I try to focus on all the good and beautiful memories with Don. Here is one I thought of today.

Don and I used to have a special place in Laguna Beach we would visit during the summer months. I loved walking through the shops and stopping by the jelly bean factory. He loved having dinner and stuffing himself with steamed clams. The restaurant had a balcony that overlooked the ocean and the view was just incredible. (obviously we were both easily pleased LOL)

One week end I heard that the hotel we liked was having what they called a concert by the sea staring George Carlin! Well, the only exposure I had "ever" had to George Carlin was from his sitcom on TV so it sounded like fun. I decided to surprise Don with our trip and booked a room with a balcony that overlooked the concert so we wouldn't have to fight the crowds. I had called the hotel ahead and arranged dinner and wine via room service.

He was so surprised when he got home from work and I told him we were going away for the week-end. When we arrived at the hotel all he could talk about was "steamed clams". Well, while unpacking in the room I told him there was another surprise and we were going to watch a live concert with George Carlin from our balcony. He looked at me strangely and said "Are you crazy"? Nope....it's going to be fun I said. He just smiled at me with those dancing blue eyes KNOWING what a surprise was in store for ME....not HIM.

Good lord.......I had NO CLUE that man was so filthy. The language that came out of his mouth totally shocked me....it was "f" this and "f" that. I sat there is total dismay while my husband had the laugh of his life just watching me!

Oh well..........even the shock of such filth coming from someone's mouth was indeed worth it to see my husband having such a good time. Even though I did it all to myself. LOL

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George Carlin was one of the men to play Mr. Conductor on Shining Time Station (Thomas the Tank Engine). My son was entranced by the show, and my father gave me "a look" when I told him that the boy enjoyed listening to George Carlin tell stories....lol

Ringo Starr played the part before George, and it's now one of the Baldwin boys...

Funny, though, Michelle, the story...

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Alright Randy the vidio would be nice but I am waiting for the rest of the story. I am sure she didnt just put a life vest on her head for you to take a vidio :!:

I love this thread as I guess you can all tell. I just wish a few more people would share some of their special memories. So having said that here I go again.

In August we learned that we would be having company from California. My niece and her husband had been planning the trip. We also learned a few weeks before they were due to arrive that his baby sister and her husband were going to pay us a visit. We were looking forward to seeing all of them but it presented us with a problem.. We had no where for them to sleep.. The only bed we had was ours and our living room furniture consisted of only his recliner and that small love seat. Something had to be done about that. We decided that sense a sofa that would make a bed would be too expensive that we would buy a foo ton. Buying it was one thing but getting it home was another.

Johnny called his daughter-in-law and asked for her help. He told her that he would pay her gas if she would take me to buy the foo ton. She agreed to take me and told him not to worry about the gas. She had a SUV so there would be plenty of room to carry it home.

Johnny stayed home alone while we went to the store. I was concerned about leaving him but he assured me that he would be fine. He said that he had both the telephone and neighbors if he needed anything.

When we got to the store I found what I wanted and bought a few other things. When setting up our home I had bought only four bath towels and linens for our bed. On wash days I would strip the bed then as soon as the sheets were dry put them back on the bed. That day I bought four more bath towels and extra sheets, pillows and a blanket.

When we got back to our apartment Johnny was sitting outside and he had company. His nurse was there with him and they were just talking. I asked if his vitals had all checked out alright and she assured me that they had. She also helped us unload the heavy box that the foo ton was in. I was concerned about his daughter-in-law lifting on it because she was pregnant.

We managed to get it to the lawn and dropped it there. I opened the box outside and hauled the pieces in one by one. His sister was due the next day so I had every intention of getting it together that night. Our company stayed for a while and then we went inside. I fixed our supper then went to work on the foo ton.

Johnny called at his son's house and asked him to come and put it together. He didn't get the answer that he wanted. He didn't realize yet how determined that I was either.

I got out my tools and went to work. It took me a couple of hours to get that thing put together but I did it. Johnny looked on in amazement. I really don't think he expected me to be able to do it. Once in a while he would shake his head and laugh. He would say "you really are going to get it aren't you?" Later when it was finished he called his son and bragged about my accomplishment. He told him that I really didn't need him after all and that I was one hell of a woman. He was very proud of me and made sure to let me and everyone else know that.

While Jacci and her husband were there Johnny had chemo. After chemo he took us out for lunch. When we got home Johnny took a small nap but managed to stay awake for most of the evening. We had a very good visit and then went to his son's house for a while. That night he proved he was still my Johnny chemo or not.

When Jacci asked me the next morning if he was alright I wanted to know why she asked. She said "well I thought I heard him moaning early this morning." I'm not sure whose face was the reddest when I had to explain to her that he was just feeling frisky!!!!! :oops:

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O goodness I should never have opened this door. The memories are just flying at me. I guess it is because so many of them took place in the late summer and fall seven years ago. Instead of making me sad they are making me laugh, the good memores make me happy again so I hope you don't mind.

If I get to be too much someone please stop me :!:

One night we were watching television together. He had come to set by me on the love seat and had his legs stretched out on the coffee table. I was working on a quilt that I was making for my youngest granddaughter. Every now and then I would see him look at me and shake his head. He had that sparkle in his eyes that I loved so much.

I asked him what was the matter and he answered " I was just sitting here thinking how perfect this is with us sitting here and you working on your sewing. We are a real family. I just never knew that it could be so good. I have everything that I ever wanted. This is the best that it gets." It was at that time that he started calling me Mom or Mama most of the time. It seemed like we had been a couple for most of our lives. That was his way of expressing how natural it felt.

The state of Washington required me to take some classes on being a caregiver.

The morning of my first class Johnny was in the kitchen getting some coffee when I left. I got to the parking lot and got a real scare. The people across the street from us had a large dog. That dog had always been on a chain but for some reason he was loose that morning. He ran across the street toward me growling and barking. I froze and by the time that dog got half way to me Johnny was at my side. He was prepared to protect me. He had ran out of our apartment with no oxygen or no idea what he could do. He just saw that I was in danger and was there for me. Luckily when the owner of the dog called it obeyed and went back home.

The classes that I attended were very easy. About ten o'clock we had a twenty minute break so I called to check on Johnny. He was doing fine and told me not to worry so much. I called him again on my lunch break and he was having hot dogs. I had worried that without me there to fix him something that he would not eat.. He managed quite well on his own.

I checked in on him on my next break and called him to let him know when I was on my way home. When I got home he was waiting for me. He wanted me to tell him about my day. I sat by him on the love seat and he kissed me and told me that he had done fine all day. He was very proud of himself.

His son Tom had come with his family for a short visit. They had left for a while but would be back soon. When they came back they told us that they wanted to take the children to the playground on the far side of our apartment complex. Johnny told them to go ahead and we would be there soon to watch the children play.

They left and I was going to get the car when Johnny stopped me. He wanted to walk. It was quite a ways but he made out fine. We stayed there for about a half hour just watching the children. While there we learned that his daughter-in-law had had her pregnancy confirmed. Her baby would be born in March. Her due date was just two days after Johnny's birthday.

When it was time to go back to our apartment Johnny rode with his son. The walk had not been too hard on him but he had been standing for a good while and didn't want to wear himself out. They stayed for a short while longer then left. He told me that there was no way that he was going to let me cook. I had been in class all day it was time for me to rest. We went out for hamburgers and I spent the rest of the evening on the love seat with him by my side.

He was thrilled that he would have still another grandchild.. Two more grandchildren to love and spoil. He told me "well Mom we are going to have two more grandchildren. What do you think of that?' I told him that I thought it was wonderful. He just couldn't wait for them to be born.. He talked about it everyday.

I guess I should make a note here. Johnny never got to see either of those two grandbabies. The first was born just two weeks after we lost him. The second was born on March 14 , more than three months after Johnny left this world for a better place.

September 19th was a Thursday. When we had last gone to the beach his landlord was not at home so he had been unable to pay his rent there. That day we decided to go and try once again to take care of that. He also wanted to find the guy who wanted the trailer and see why he had not taken it. Unknown to me Johnny had other plans as well. A surprise for me.

We had breakfast early and left our home around ten in the morning. When we got about half way it started to rain lightly but nothing that would cause any real problems with driving.. There was an espresso stand in a small town that we went through and Johnny wanted to stop there for a mocha and a hot dog.. We had stopped there several other times and he was on a hot dog kick. He wanted to have hot dogs nearly everyday. He just never got tired of them. We stopped at the river where I had picked berries once before and I decided if we got back before dark I would stop there long enough to get enough for another cobbler. After I took our dog for her walk and we both used the bathroom we left headed for the beach.

When we got to the last town before there we had to turn off to go toward the beach. Johnny told me not to turn. He said it was time for me to see the rain forest and Lake Quinault. He had often talked about taking his boys camping there when they were small and what a special place it was. He wanted to share it with me.

I was a little leery about making that eighty mile drive but as always there was no arguing with him when he wanted me to see something special. He assured me that the road was good and even in the light rain I would have no problem.

It was such a beautiful drive. There were miles and miles of evergreens and once we got there there were large stands of virgin trees that had not been cut. Some were hundreds of years old. We stopped at a small roadside park to let Misty out and for us to use the bathroom. I took out my movie camera and we took some video of the park. He was sitting on a log with the dog at his side and that is the last film that I have of him. He had left his oxygen in the car and spent the whole day without it. He was looking and feeling better that day than he had in so many months. How I wish I could capture that day and have it to live over and over again.

When we got to the lake it was raining again so we parked and went into the lodge there. We sat in the restaurant and had coffee and desert. He ordered sherbet and I had cheesecake. We took turns sharing with each other. While we sat there he told me as much as he knew about the area.

He explained that the lake was a volcanic lake that had been formed many years before. He told me about the mountains that rose up behind it and how beautiful it was on a clear day. Because it was raining that day he suggested that we make plans to return in a few weeks and spend a couple of nights in the lodge. He said it would be a romantic place for us to have a small vacation and that I needed to have that because I had worked so hard seeing to all of his needs. On the way out I stopped and picked up a brochure with the phone number so we could call and make reservations.

We rode for a little ways through the park but the rain kept us from getting out to walk or seeing much else so we decided it was time to go on to the beach.

The first place that we stopped was at the small restaurant so we could have coffee and visit with the owners for a while. There were a couple of people there that Johnny knew besides them and they all commented on how well he looked. He told them that he had come close to dying but I had helped to restore him to health and was taking good care of him... He bragged about the blackberry cobblers and biscuits and gravy that I made for him.

We went on to his place and he checked the shed and found a small round table stand that was in his shed. We put that and several other things of his in the trunk of the car to take home with us. He spent a few minutes inside checking to make sure that there was nothing else that he wanted to take before it was moved by that man. After everything was loaded into the car we walked down to the river.

When we got to the logs that we had sat on the first time that I went there he reminded me of the time he had found the newspaper I had sat on that day and wanted to frame it because it had had my butt on it. We laughed about that and he told me he still felt that he should frame it because my butt was so precious to him.

When we got to the next town we stopped at a Dairy Queen and had supper... That was the only place that we knew that he could get his hot dog and I could get something else. By the time we got back to the car the moon was high in the sky. It was a full moon so he asked me to pull over into the parking lot so we could just sit and watch the moon for a while. It was the first time we had ever done that and as we held hands and watched it he said it was just so romantic for us to be there looking at the moon like that.

It was near ten o'clock that night when we got home. Johnny had his medication and we watched the news for a while then went to bed. We were both tired but so happy. Once more we spent the night snuggled in each others arms with out legs twined together. We had such high hopes for our future together and so much love that we wanted to share for the rest of our lives.. If only time could have stood still and the next day never have happened!

As I said that day was when the last vidio I have of him was taken. Seven years ago today we went on what was to be our last long ride to explore our area. We found ourselves in a beautiful valley. At first Johnny got upset with me because I was driving and trying to film at the same time. I was being so cranky with him but soon he took the camera and the things he said make the vidio more than the scenery does. It is just so Johnny :!:

This is not the best time of year for me because from this time on the memories are not the best but I choose not to dwell on them this year. I will remember only those special moments like the ones I have written about here. As long as I have these Johnny will live. He is with me and as I said before nothing or no one can ever take that from me.

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I have another one to share:

I've always been what your might call a volunteer "sucker" I suppose. But I used to cook Thanksgiving dinners for the veterans. We would arrange for them to be bused in from Long Beach VA to our local VFW. It was something that meant a lot to me and my husband was very understanding. (as long as he could eat it mind you). But one year I started days ahead with help of course and I made 15 turkey's with all the trimmings!. I asked my sister-in-law from NY to package and send all those beautiful autumn leaves they have to decorate they tables with. BUT...I'll never ever forget the sound of those buses coming in with "my vets'!!!! I went into the parking lot and made sure that I greeting each and everyone one of them and thanked them for their service to our country.

When dinner was served ( which I did also)....I probably looked like heck.......but who cared....they just loved the food and attention they were getting. In the meantime my dear husband was in the kitchen eating everything and anything he could get his hands on. Mind you, my husband was used to being "served personally by me" and that wasn't possible that night. He was so very understanding because he "knew" how much it meant to me to serve my vets.

Anyway, it was a blessed evening and my husband even managed to sneak home a piece of pumpkin pie that night LOL

PS Okay Randy.....I know the thought of pumpkin pie is stuck in your mind now huh ? LOL

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It's Fantasy Fest week in Key West and it's the time of year I think about my friend Jim all the time. If you read my post in What We Lost to Cancer (or something like that lol) you might remember I'd go take pictures of his costume each year and frame it in a matching colored frame for Christmas. This is not my favorite pic but the only one I could find on my disk. I think the others are in the computer I gave my daughter.

The last week or two before FF, I would pop in and out of Jim's house. The entire living area with the exception of the kitchen would be covered in material, feathers, other assorted costume parts and pieces and much much glitter. There would be the annual repainting of the high heeled boots to match, and over time he went to making moving parts for his headpiece. The second to the last year before he died, I was on ebay buying every barbie doll's bike I could find for his headpiece--in keeping with his passion for bicycling he fashion a gorgeous headpiece that rotated with Barbie's and Ben's on bicycles. It won over a thousand dollars in prize monies.

My favorite story tho is five years before he died. I was sitting on the curb waiting for the parade, talking to a friendly tourist. Jim was a little ways into the street, as always bombarded by people with cameras. I whispered something to the tourist and she shouted, "Get outta town!" Jim turned to me and said, "you told her how old I was didn't you?' He was right. I told her he was 50 yrs old and he was, and he still looked like he did in this avatar.

I love you Jim. In your honor, I'll leave you as my avatar through Saturday night's parade.

Judy in Key West

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  • 2 weeks later...

I learned very early on NOT to ever shop with my husband. They say women are bad? HUH! One day he said he needed shoes, so we went to Sears. That man was trying on EVERY pair of shoes I think they had that day. He had left his "old pair" next to the chair and was walking back and forth in his socks getting new ones to try on. Well......after the 1,000th pair he came back to try on yet "another pair" and noticed his old shoes were GONE! He started looking around and saw some strange man walking out the door in HIS shoes! LOL That is a very funny memory for me!

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"jaminkw"]Michelle, that is a very funny memory. My question, did he tackle the guy and get his old shoes back LOL?

Judy in Key West

Actually yes, I forgot to mention that part. He did indeed get his old shoes back and we still left the store with no new ones....and that was the "last time" I went shopping with him! LOL

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What a wonderful idea! I love reading all of your precious memories! I wanted to post a few of the lighter excerpts from the tributes my two sisters and I read at Dad's funeral.

"Even though I was a little girl, you taught me things most men only teach their sons. At a young age, I could bait a hook, field dress a deer, shoot a rifle, swim, gig a bullfrog, tie a lure, catch a baseball, scale a fish. You later taught (or tried to teach) me to drive the old blue truck and you didn't cuss at me too much when I broke off the turn signal knob our first time out."

"You were a strict dad--I used to think too strict as a teenager and sometimes downright harsh. Later on, as a parent myself, I could see you were only trying to protect me from making wrong choices and to respect myself. You could be so intimidating to those who didn't know you (and to us as well!)--I remember several of my boyfriends pacing on the front porch dreading coming inside the house to ask if they could take me out (another of your rules that I thought was so unfair!) I never thought I would ever say this, but thanks for nailing my bedroom window shut when you caught me sneaking out--I am sure it saved me from lots of trouble. When I became a parent myself I realize what a hard job you had raising us. I can only hope my children think I am half the parent that you were to me."

"All the hours watching Wide World of Sports with you...you're the reason I love football and boxing.... I just knew that if you ever met up with Muhammad Ali in a street fight that you would whip him for sure. In my eyes you were invincible....almost immortal...tougher than anything....afraid of nothing."

"I remember you taking me fishing a Uncle Blue's pond and I untied your big fish to walk it around the pond and the stringer came out of my hand--you knew what happened but you didn't make a big deal about it."

"You were a fun Dad. I remember sitting on your shoulders on the couch playing hairdresser. You would let us girls comb your hair and dress you up with pony tails and barrettes. There you sat, a 30 something tough guy, a beer between your legs and bows in your hair."

"You taught me things. Not the typical father/daughter things but the things important to you. How to fish, hunt and change the oil in my car. When I moved away at 21 you didn't send me off with a can of mace, you sent me off with a pistol."

Some of these make me giggle. Gosh, I miss him so much. :(

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