Sunday, October 30, 2011

Old and New

I was in Springfield, IL earlier this year and happened to run into a famous family, out for a stroll. They kindly let me have my picture taken with them.

We have a new attraction in north Raleigh--a paved path along the Neuse River, between the dam and US 1. It is lovely and peaceful. We went out two weeks ago Sunday afternoon for a walk. This week, Marilyn bought a new bicycle. Yesterday, she took me shopping for one of my own. We didn't buy one, but . . .
I can see into the future.

The path starts at the Falls Lake Dam and ends for now at Highway 401, about six miles to the southeast. Eventually the path will go all the way to Johnson County--about 30 miles.

Below is the new bridge across the Neuse River. Remember that old, rickity bridge just below the dam? It's still there, but now this four-lane beauty gets us to Wake Forest quicker. They still have to widen Fall of Neuse to four lanes between Raven Ridge and this bridge.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Something new and different

What do you think? Should I retro-fit my Vespa with a bazooka?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Anterior Cervical Diskectomy and Fusion

Quite amazing, really. He cut into my throat just above the clavical, snaked a microscope and assorted tools past the jugular, windpipe, etc., and set up shop in front of cervical vertebrae nos. 5 & 6. He took out the disk and replaced it with a newer model, shot it full of stem cells and then screwed a titanium plate to the two vertebrae, fusing them in place. I woke up 100% better.

The wound was closed with some super glue and scotch tape to keep the germs out.

One of my rules is, no driving without neck support. Very "Darth Vaderish" in appearance, though my voice is more "Daffy Duckish".

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


June through November is hurricane season. Before that (and during, not to mention after) is tornado season. Tornados come with little warning and make smaller but more intense messes. Hurricanes come with a lot more warning. In either case, afterward we head out to help clean up. Irene was a monster, though the experts say it could have been a lot worse.

Below are the "Mormon Helping Hands" guys in yellow, chain saws at the ready. Don't worry--I'm pretty sure that electrical line was not live. We had about 225 people in Kinston and another 120 on Harker's Island.

It is well known that trailer parks work as giant tornado magnets. Here we are a couple of weeks ago, replacing skirting on some trailer homes. In this case, it was the Mormons and the Episcopalians.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Summer Adventures

Some travel. Some visits with family.

First, we had to visit Disney. This time, along with Jim, Meredith, Luke, Tag, Wesley & Emmett, we took Melyn & Kyler Kronmiller--fun cousins from D.C., where they are trying create democracy in the middle east during the daytime, while saving the world from the forces of evil at night under their secret identities as . . . . Mr. & Mrs. Incredible!

The boys take a lemonade smoothie break in the Animal Kingdom.

We found Shelby Williams hard at work at Epcot.
The gang, waiting for the shuttle after a long day in the park. Still pretty perky, no?

The Campbells, drying out and waiting for lunch at the Crystal Palace, opposite Cinderella's Castle.

Seriously. I wonder what a relaxing vacation would be like.

On Saturday, while the Campbells visited Jim's cousin in Tampa, the Kronmillers & Taggarts snuck off to Islands of Adventure to visit Hogsmeade and look for Harry.

After returning from Disney, we headed west; first, for a reunion of the John & Martha Taggart Family in Emigration Canyon, above Bear Lake.

The clan.

My sweet sisters.
Painting rocks. (Don't ask!)

Well, since you asked, here are a couple of completed rocks--Marilyn & Thomas were "best in show".

From Utah/Idaho, we flew to Portland for visits with Nick, Ben and families, and the Woolleys.

Nick and his children in the blueberry patch.

The Sexton family, gathered for Ian Taggart's baptism.
Spiderman, aka Maxwell Taggart.

New siding makes an old shed look new again. Of course, the new windows, installed in a new wall with Bruce Sexton's help, made a big difference, too.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

65 and counting

Life at or about 65 is just fine. Things slow down. Travel at work has picked up, but not enough to offset the travel schedule I maintained until last May. Here, in no particular order, are a few pictures that give a flavor of things.

First, an empty street in the Magic Kingdom--evidence of how things can be in the off-season at our favorite central Florida destination.

Next, Oaks & Spanish moss in Savannah.

My cousin, John Wyatt, on the right (my left). He lives near Kansas City, where I traveled two weeks ago for the National VOAD conference. What's that, you ask? The "Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters". Again you ask, what's that? My new calling! I represent the Church on the board of this state-wide coalition of charities that . . . well . . . gets active when disasters strike. We're currently helping coordinate recovery from the April tornados.

Finally, this little beauty was on display at the antique tractor show at the fairgrounds a few weeks ago. This particular Allis-Chalmers WD45 is approximately the same model we owned when we were farming back in the '50s.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Guiness Record

Last month the Church cooperated with the North Carolina School of Science and Math, WalMart, Chick-Fil-A and others, collecting and processing 559,688 pounds of non-perishable food, thereby breaking the world record. Here is the food, along with many of the key leaders. Marilyn is in the back row, center. We'll let you decide who among this motley crew came over after church and which rode the school bus from the dorms.