I am setting here thinking about my seventy-four years on this planet. How can anyone even begin to count all the blessings we have received? The blessing of birth is I think one of the best. If you have never witnessed birth of any animal you have missed a wonder of nature. I was fortunate to witness the birth of lots of lambs, calves, colts, and puppies. But, the over and above experience was the birth of my daughter. What a day. To watch her come into the world was an event like no other before or after.
The list goes on and on. The ability to read and look at pictures of people and places all over the world. I think one of the blessings that my dad helped with was the National Geographic magazine. I have been exposed to the National Geographic magazine since I was maybe 10 years old. I still read it cover to cover every month.
The blessing of growing up with grandparents, aunts and uncles, and great grandparents; Listening to their stories and the ability to remember the stories to tell later. The blessing of raising 3 wonderful kids only to experience the losing of my youngest son to colon cancer. But Ron left us with something really special, another blessing if you will, Brooke Nicole’ Isley Clay.
Blessed with a very good education from Whiteland High School, Purdue, University of Indianapolis, Indiana college of Mortuary Science, and the Carl Isley School of pay attention and watch what others are doing so you can do the same task later. Again, a lesson from my dad. You learn more by listening and watching than you do by talking.
The blessing of my work that provided for my family
In 1985, through a friend at work I was reintroduced to a lady I had gone to school with in the early 60’s. Linda had just moved into a new house she had built and always wanting to impress I spent lots of time helping with the hard labor chores. Almost every night some project to tackle. After a whirlwind romance we were married In June 1987 on the island of Maui. Not only did I marry a wonderful but inherited 2 wonderful step kids. Blessings continued to accumulate as Linda and I started dancing 2 or 3 times a week. We were pretty good 2 steppers! And then we got bit!
One Sunday we went to a dog show at the convention center and watched the Miniature Schnauzers parade around the ring. I can do that I said, and the “hobby” began. For over 25 years we raised and showed our Schnauzers all over the country. Made hundreds of friends, spent lots of money, but had a great time. We showed our kids in 11 states, from Philadelphia to Long Beach and Wisconsin to Florida. We traveled through, I think, 30 states total. Had 4 motor homes and enjoyed every minute behind the wheel.
But, all good things must end. Besides my declining health and 2 mothers to take care of we decided to retire and move to town. My only condition was that we only move once. I suggested looking at the then Methodist Home now the Otterbein Franklin Senior Community. And Linda said, you’ve got to be s—–g me! I said let’s just go look. She fell in love with the place and we “bought” a house on the pond. Now you don’t really buy the house. You pay for the right to live there until you can’t take care of it or yourself then they move you to the big house and take care of you until you die, even after your money runs out.
This place where we live that I call the reservation is a wonderful blessing that removes all of the worries about how we end our lives. No burdens to the kids or grandkids. Just come visit every now and then.
The last 2 years have been a real blessing for me and my best care giver. I have been very ill and in rehab for several months here in the big house and then at home under constant care from Linda. Great in house rehab therapy from St. Frances Hospital and cancer therapy from Dr. Ikhlaque at St Frances hospital. That therapy continues today with a new treatment called Hormone therapy that seems to be really working. The cancer is receding and the treatment continue every 2 weeks. A great blessing!
The new year is about to begin. Tomorrow I think. I look forward to all the blessings I will receive because I aim to see the year 2019 through till the end.
Thanks for listening,
The crotchety old man
Edited and approved by Linda