I do not know what else to call this page but a "blog."  It is a general spot for misc stuff, photos, thoughts, etc.


6-6-09/10:30pm: So those sweet potato slips that Ardie gave me; I expected half a dozen rows worth...I ended up planting 488 slips in 13 rows today!!  It took until late this afternoon for the ground to dry enough to open the rows...even then I was worried it would be too wet and I would end up pegging them.  Even if I hadn't been able to use the tobacco planter I would have gone ahead and planted them.  When I had set a couple hundred I knew I had more than I could save for my own use at harvest but I just hated to let them go to waste so I planted them all...I enjoy giving garden stuff away, so I am sure I will have lots of enjoyment.  I saw that similar enjoyment in Pa; and all my Grandparents for that matter.


6-5-09/12:50pm: Over the last six months I have been evolving a website for an idea I hope to soon unveil. This idea is something I believe will be hugely life-changing; since Pa's death affected me so deeply during my design and implementation of this idea I wrote the following that will be included in a section when I unveil the website:

5/30/09 - On this date my paternal Grandfather passed away peacefully in the presence of his family.  He was unexpectedly the first of my Grandparents to depart this life and I miss him dearly.

5/29/09 - On this date my paternal Grandfather had a severe stroke.  I awoke to the phone ringing just before 6am and calmly answered.  I was sure it would be about my maternal Grandfather with cancer, but it was the equally calm voice of my paternal Grandmother.  She said "Your Pa is mumbling and isn't making sense and he hasn't gotten up yet."  My reply was "I'll be there in just a minute."
    I threw on my clothes and took off down the road, arriving in just a few minutes.  In the back of my mind I was thinking stroke and this was reinforced when I walked in and he was completely paralyzed on his left side.  After dialing 911 I explained to him that I thought he was having a stroke and that I knew he could understand me just fine, but that I was sure he was having a hard time speaking.  He smiled understandingly and in broken speech he repeatedly said "I'm fine."
    He cared for my Grandmother who is wheelchair bound and when she understood what he was mumbling that morning it was "Are you ok? Do you have your oxygen on?"  She replied yes and he said "I love you."
    Friday was a whirlwind in getting to the hospital as he progressively got worse.  The initial tests confirmed that indeed it was a massive stroke...they did not believe he would survive.
    When he was moved to intensive care I stood by him and although he looked unresponsive I said "If you can hear me, squeeze my hand."  With this his right hand clasped mine hard and I began to tell him how much he meant to me.  I talked of wonderful times spent together and of things that he may not have realized he did that molded me into the man I am.  Tears ran from his eyes and mine.


6-5-09/7:55am: RJ sent some more pictures:


6-5-09/7:45am: Since late last year, with the economy I had foregone my Friday breakfasts out.  This morning I decided to revisit the last place Pa and I had breakfast; the Days Inn Daybreak restaurant.  It is on my way to work and it was among my regular rotating establishments when I went out for Friday breakfast.  You can not beat the price; two eggs, two pancakes, two strips of bacon and a sausage patty for under $5.00!  I feel like a heel when I show them this card which gives an additional 10% off!  Like the T-Room, you find all types here; everything from Range Rover driving bankers to construction workers.  When Pa was staying in Lynchburg while Granny was in the nursing home he frequently visited the Daybreak restaurant.


6-4-09/10:30pm: From an e-mail Michele sent: "Granny is a strong cookie, she always said she was..."  Since Saturday I have thought plenty about how Granny will make it now.  Michele's e-mail reminded me of something I said to Granny as a little kid; "Gwanny, you are one tuff 'ol cookie!"


6-4-09/10:02pm: RJ sent a few photos he took Tuesday.  I don't know if I have ever seen Robert with such a big smile:  These flowers sure did smell great!  Here's Granny and Van: and Danielle, Brenda & I:   I had worn a blue tie of mine, but when I arrived before the funeral I went searching through Pa's closet and "permanently borrowed" one of his that had red, white, and a tiny bit of blue.


6-4-09/12:45pm: It's lunch and I was wondering where I could go to be alone.  One of my parking-lot-lunch spots has a field that is usually filled with birds and that is where I decided to come.  It started raining...bad for seeing my favorite birds, good for my garden, bad for planting sweet potatoes today.  I was flipping through radio stations and on WNRN (commercial free public modern rock) there was this song that caught my attention.  It had lots of sad, low piano chords which always draw me in.  This song is called "Laughing With" by Regina Spektor; she sang the popular song "Fidelity" a couple of years ago.  When the song started out "No one laughs at God in a hospital..." my eyes began to burn and when she got to "No one's laughing at God when they say their goodbyes..." tears really welled up.  *"Laughing With" has a very neat video.

Today is the first time I have been back in my routine since that call last Friday morning and I feel horribly lonely.  As is common when you loose someone, everything I see reminds me of Pa or times spent together.

Right now I feel as though I would like to be "anywhere but here."  Pa would often say how he would love to have a cabin way out in the woods so he could just live like a hermit.  There have been times in the past I have felt that way and today I certainly feel it.  I wish I could withdraw to a hidden retreat and just live off the land.

I just can't get my head back in the frame of mind I need to be.  I think that I have not yet fully processed that he is gone.  Even yesterday when I was at their house I kept thinking I would hear that slow paced squeaking of the floor and Pa would walk through the doorway.  I still have so many things I want to share with him and many things I wish I could ask him.


6-3-09: Michele e-mailed a few of her favorite photos:


6-3-09: This morning I decided to work on my long overdue garden.  The first thing I did was finish off some bush-hogging then hooked up to Grandpa Tanner's tiller that Pa gave me in barter a few years ago.  I was listening to Amarillo Sky and I could almost feel them both sitting on the fenders as I criss-crossed the field.  Then I hooked up the disk, followed by the cultivator and opened ten rows or so.  I filled the golfcart up with tomatoes and started planting.  All in all I planted around 200 plants today. Mostly tomatoes (Marglobe, Cherry, and Roma) some eggplants, a full row of bell peppers, and half a row of jalapeno and banana peppers.  I had around a hundred peppers left over so I called Tim Maxey and gave him half and then rode down to Ardie's and gave him the rest.  I always enjoy talking with Ardie and wish I did it more often.  I ended up leaving with enough sweet potato slips for half a dozen rows, Ardie is always good to me!  Now I have to talk Danielle into helping plant them tomorrow so they don't go to waste...I'm going to use one of our old tobacco hand planters unless it rains then I'll just peg them.  I got lots of thinking done today, a little talking, and even a little work done.


5-31-09: I was out in the shop doing some thinking and got to looking at things Pa had labeled.  This bucket had labels for lots of stuff and I thought to myself, it's full of junk...lo and behold, in Pa's itemization there was a label for just that.


5-31-09: Danielle is shown here filling her hollow leg.


5-31-09: We all took turns on Granny's new "Hover-round" (motorized wheelchair) and Stephen decided to take it "off-road."

check out the video here:


5-31-09: Van decided he was going to take my bike out for a spin, but Tamara said no.  Too bad...I'm sure it would have been very interesting.

check out the video here:





    I think I showed this picture to Russell or Brenda, but yesterday after Danielle and I left the hospital I felt the strong urge to thank the nurses at the ICU for their exemplary kindness, so we got a vase of flowers (see photo below) and left the following note.


    To all NICU Nurses,


    I greatly appreciate your caring, compassion,

    and respect of my Grandfather Jones Tanner.


    With greatest sincerity,