Wednesday, July 28, 2004


Last week we had a great family reunion for my wife's side of the family. Even her Brother from New Zealand came, along with his wife. In the midst of all of the eating, visiting, and picture taking, we had a family baby shower for our son and his wife from Lincoln. They were expecting in the middle of September. I had to leave in the middle of all of this for a truck driving job to Wichita. I was feeling sorry for myself, I had to leave too late in the day, we had company at home, and I even had to stop on the way down to snooze. I couldn't stay awake and that little nap made it so I didn't leave Wichita until 4:00 AM. I stopped at the first rest area at 4:30 and went to bed.
At 6:00 AM, my phone rang and It was my son saying, "Dad, where are ya?" " North Wichita. Why?" " We had a baby last night." Right there, July 20 went thru my mind. My Dad's birthday. I thought about how we have our time here to try and make a difference and then make room for the next.
"Well that changes everything." "How soon can you get here Dad?" " I'm leaving right now."
The sleepiness was gone, the reunion was on the back burner along with truck driving and I was on my way to see two of the happiest people in world.
Everything was as it should be. Smiles, Grandmas, and Dad proudly handing the baby from visitor to visitor saying "meet Madilyn Rose". The reunion had moved to a hospital in Lincoln, NE.
I recieved an email the next day. At the bottom it said, Life isn't measured by the number of breaths you take, it's by the moments that take your breath away.
Grandma and Grandpa are breathless.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004


The stumps are gone. Family members will know what that means. The ten large cottonwoods in front of the house had to be removed and I was determined not to spend the money required to grind something away that was going to rot anyway. But I couldn't take it anymore.
Living on a farm has it's advantages. We got the job done cheaper because the man didn't have to haul anything away. We used the loader and now have a pile of mulch, big enough to fill one side of a two car garage.
Also, life on the farm is predictable, I have averaged out the aforementioned 41's at the golf course.

Monday, July 05, 2004

The Parade

Putting a float in the town's parade is an obligation. At least it feels like one. If you fight the urge to deploy a float, you will get questions like, "so, I didn't see a Morrow Kennels Float in the parade, did I?" From past experience, we know that a float, when properly prepared is a joy to both behold and to drive proudly down the street. People cheering and you flinging candy as though you had been paid off by a Dentist.
It's best to plan the float well in advance, gather the material to do the job, and then casually, over a week (the one before the 4th) put it together. There you will see the fruits of your artistic expression merge with physical talents into what surely will be a winner. Something, that if seen by certain people in Pasadena, would put you on the fastrack to a permanent assignment there on New Years Day.
Then reality sets in. On the Saturday morning, the 3rd of July, my wife says "I want to put a float in the parade, for a change". For the last several years she had bought my argument that floats in parades are too stressful and made it so that we can't enjoy the 10 to 20 people who show up in Grandma's yard, to watch the parade. After all, there are things to get ready, tables, chairs, decorations, grills, charcoal, lighter, matches, ball gloves, coolers, ice, plates, silverware, and oh yes, the food.
The tone in her voice told me a float was in our near future. I said, "if you want a float, then we will make a float". I didn't realize until right then, that she had watched the movie "Dumb and Dumber", once to often. She wanted to make the Caravan look like a dog. At about 6 PM she starts. A dryer vent pipe covered with black cloth for a tail. Good. A red piece of construction paper sticking out from under the hood was a tongue. Good. Two large pieces of black cloth hanging out of the doors for ears. Looked more like large sunscreens. Four legs, white, outlined with black, taped to the side. Looked like two pieces of cardboard taped to the side of our van. Then she had a black garbage bag stuffed with trash, and taped to the hood. I said "what's that". She said, well actually screamed "It's a nose, what's it look like". Thinking back, I shouldn't have said "a black garbage bag stuffed with trash, taped to the hood of your van".
If I could have avoided snorting while trying not to laugh, that too would have been wise. I was able to duck the magic markers flying my way but she got me with the nose. I had to help make a nose. Which with my help, I must admit, ended up looking like a piece of black construction paper, bent and taped to the hood of the van.
It was time for me to put my talents to work. "Go make some signs for the van, and be sure to tie it in with the Lewis and Clark theme", she said. I already had an idea, but I was missing one important number. I thought I could get it off of the internet, which I did at about 2:30 am on the 4th of July. The number turned out to be 190.
I got up at 6 AM to put ten pounds of potato salad together, cooked 5 pounds of Sloppy Joes, and cleaned house. Oh yes the signs. I had them ready. She got to town at 10:30 to put everything on.
They heard some laughs, and a few young females say "oooh, poor dogs" Others said "I can't believe you actually put that on the float".
I think all in all it was a successful float. If you want to get involved with small town America, come to Grandma's house on the 4th of July, next year, I'll be there watching a parade with my Wife and Grandchildren.

Sunday, July 04, 2004


Nothing can be more exciting for a small town than a traditional celebration. Tekamah has a parade, dinner, kids games, and fireworks every year.
We all know we can find better fireworks, and parades without traveling very far, or just turn on the tv. That's not the point, the kids are home with their families, we all stay up too late and talk and laugh. This is where wev want to be. I've got to go make the potato salad and check the charcoal supply.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

The Planner

My granddaughter, is not the normal (almost) 3year old. She is not, and never has been, afraid of anyone. She studies strangers faces. She is calculating, a "planner".
Casey knows that adults will correct bad behavior, and then the adult mind will return to what had it pre-occupied. She can tell by your body language, the exact moment that you quit thinking about her. And will then return to her devilish ways. When you then catch her again, she has this big smile, as if to say "pay attention Grandpa". I predict her future will have something to do with the CIA. A job that requires a cold, methodic, thought pattern. Nerves of steel. Possibly a foreign operative.
I took her to a parade in a neighboring town where our local reporter snapped a picture of her. They put it in the paper. People say "but she's sooooo cute".
I know, that's what's kept her alive this long.