Saturday, August 03, 2002

August 3, 2002: Nothing going on today except my nursing duties. I managed to change the dressings without killing Judy, but I'm so clumsy that it was touch and go for a while there. The incision is very clean, what with all the fluid going into the drain (which I've had to empty twice, so far). Looks like I might have to buy some more tape and possibly some more gauze pads later on.

Later this afternoon I'll give the lawnmower one last chance. I'm tired of messing around with it and having it worked on every summer. A new one might not be any better, but it should get me through a couple of years before it quits on me.

OK, I got a new lawnmower. At Wal-Mart. I asked the checker for help (lawnmowers are heavy). There were five employees in a little knot standing nearby, talking about their rich, full personal lives, I guess. The checker didn't have to call them but three times before she finally got the attention of one of them. He very reluctantly helped me get the mower onto a cart. The checker asked him to help me load it into the truck, but he clearly didn't want to do that. Why, he'd have to walk out into the hot parking lot! I got tired of it and pulled the cart out into the lot myself. When I got to the truck, I saw him emerge from the door. So, what the heck, I waited. Why deny him the exercise. he helped me load it and started to leave. I figured that if he didn't pull the cart back, I sure wasn't going to do it. But after a couple of steps he turned back and I gave him the handle. A typical employee? I hate to think so.

Friday, August 02, 2002

August 2, 2002: Something seems to have happened to yesterday's entry, so I'll mention here that the retirement reception wasn't as bad as I'd feared. The group with which I occasionally pick and sing presented a few numbers, including the stirring "Ghost Crider in the Sky." Hard to believe they sounded so good without me. I got a swell digital camera and a Texas Ranger jersey signed by Nolan Ryan. Now I guess I'll have to go away.

Judy had day surgery today to remove a lipoma from her back. She's home already and doing fine. Her major problem will be dealing with her nurse (me), who's mostly incompetent.

The lawnmower is kaput. The only thing worse than mowing the lawn is not being able to mow it because of the @$#!%& lawnmower. I've had this one worked on far too often, so I'm ditching it for a new one. I can't afford it, but I'm tired of the hassle.

Wednesday, July 31, 2002

July 31, 2002: I hate mowing the yard. It was my job when I was a kid at home, and I mowed a big yard with a push mower, one of those old reel-type mowers powered by me. We later moved to a house with an even bigger yard, and after I'd mowed it a couple of times, my father relented and bought a power mower. I thought that was pretty cool, and for a while mowing wasn't such a chore. But then it became boring again. It's been boring ever since. Except for a few years when I was in college and later when I lived in apartments, I've been mowing the yard. Probably forty years of yard-mowing all told. No wonder I hate it.

Tomorrow is the little "retirement reception" that the college is giving me. I'm not fond of receptions, but they beat mowing the yard. The catch is that I mowed my front yard today. Tomorrow I have to mow the back yard when the reception's over.

Tuesday, July 30, 2002

July 30, 2002: Spent some time today talking to Bea Hugetz, who'll be taking my place as department chair of English when I retire next month. She's been working at ACC longer than I have, so I'm sure she'll adjust easily to the new job.

Ran in the rain during the lunch hour. It was a nice break from the heat. I got wet, but then I'm soaking when I finish a run in the summer whether it rains or not.

Didn't get much of the office cleaned out today, but I have about a month left to take care of all that. I'm hoping to be allowed to leave several boxes there until the middle of September or thereabouts.

Writing this stuff down and reading over my earlier comments makes me realize what a dull life I lead. Eating Mexican food for dinner will be the highlight of my day.

Monday, July 29, 2002

July 29, 2001: Went out for a run this morning around 8:30. Very humid, but still a pretty good time of day for a run. In less than a month I'll be retiring from my job as Chair of the Division of English & Fine Arts at Alvin Community College, where I've been teaching since 1983. I'm looking forward to the free time, but I'm not looking forward to poverty, which is what I may experience if the stock market doesn't turn around soon. I'm hoping to make a few book sales over the next few years, but that's not going to help immediately.

Judy and I have three cats: Speedo, Geri (or Baby), and Sam. Speedo is about 14, and he's developing what seem to be symptoms of diabetes. I'll have to get him checked out. I'd hate to have to give him shots.

Went to Wal-Mart today and bought Allen some DVDs for his birthday: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly; Red Dawn; Silverado; The Quick and the Dead. He likes westerns, which is a rarity these days, or at least Hollywood seems to think so.

Sunday, July 28, 2002

July 28, 2002: I'm starting this blog on my 61st birthday, and about one month before I retire. I have no idea what's going to be here, but for now I'll just use it as a diary.
For my birthday, we made peach ice cream, the first time we've done that in years. We used the old wooden freezer that has a hand crank. You have to earn your ice cream around here. It had to root around in the attic for quite a while before I found the freezer, but it was in great shape. The ice cream was as good as I remembered. My mother's recipe. My wife, Judy, fixed lasagna, and our daughter, Angela came over. Our son, Allen, lives in Austin and couldn't be here, but we talked to him on the phone.