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The Eclectic Garden

Making a little bit of everything look just right.


Category: Life As I Know It | Posted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:16 am

I have had an MRI before, so I wasn't worried about it yesterday. I arrived on time and went in feeling pretty good. I laid on the table and the tech explained that there were two tests. The first would be about ten minutes and the second would be thirty.

She put the headphones on my head and then moved this mirror thing in front of my face. It reflected the scene just outside the window and actually gave the impression of opening up the space. She moved me into the machine and I had a view of the the roadway and some trees and a small apartment complex. I couldn't even tell that I was inside of a small tube.

I thought I would be okay, but after the noise started I broke out in sweat and suddenly heard my voice go, "Oh!"

My insides knotted up and I recognized the signs of a panic attack. I had the call button in my hand, but decided to push through. I kept telling myself that I could do it. I looked in the mirror outside and started counting the number of red cars that went by. Anything to get my mind off of the MRI. I heard the tech tell me to stay still. Time dragged on. Finally she said, "The first test is over. Are you okay?"

I responded, "You mean we're not done?"

There was a short pause then, "I'm coming in."

She slid me out of the tube and took everything off of my head. The air was welcome to my lungs. I asked again if we were done. To my dismay, that was only the ten minute part. There were still thirty minutes left.

I broke down. Tears welled up in my eyes. The panic once again started to ratchet up.

That was the worst part of it. After about a five minute break I calmed down some. She gave me options. Call the doc for a sedative and come back later or reschedule for the bigger, open MRI. I made the decision to try again. I already had to take off work and I didn't want to leave and come back. Mostly, I want to know if something is wrong with me.

So, taking deep breaths and quoting scripture to myself, I went back into the tube. This time was much better and I somehow managed to get through it. However, this morning my insides are still shaky. But I did it! Thank God, I did it.

This blog entry has been viewed 220 times

Ocular Migraines

Category: Life As I Know It | Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:32 am

A few years back I was diagnosed with ocular migraines. Basically, my eyesight goes screwy for 20 or thirty minutes and then clears up. I never actually get a headache, but I am physically spent when it's all over. Weird, I know.

At the end of April I had another one... only my eyesight didn't clear up. Two days later I found myself in the ER with a neurologist testing for signs of a stroke. Thankfully, there weren't any so I was referred to an opthamologist. A couple days later, in her office, she did a full check on my eyes and said all was okay. The only problem was that my eyesight was still messed up. So, she referred me back to a neurologist.

My eyesight started clearing up, but the end of May I had another ocular migraine and it got screwy again. It took all the way until last week before I could finally get in with a neurologist. I have an appointment on Monday for an MRI on my brain. The doc says he'll have to wait until then to see if he can find anything wrong. For now, my eyes seem to be working properly, but I do have visual disturbances occasionally.

I tried to get the VA involved, but over two months after contacting them I still haven't heard back. Anyone who thinks government health care is a good thing should try getting care through the VA.

This blog entry has been viewed 158 times

Out To Sea

Category: Life As I Know It | Posted: Sat Oct 22, 2016 2:03 pm

Well, my friend is officially out to sea. I said goodbye as I watched his ashes mingle with the water. I'll admit, that day was emotional, but it has gotten a lot easier since then. It's been almost two months since he passed away unexpectedly and I have finally come to grips with it.

It has caused me to step back and begin preparing for worse things. He was a good friend and I fell apart. How would I react to losing someone really close? My dad is 80 and in bad health. My mom is 76 and also in bad health.

If anything good has come out of my friend's death it's that it has caused me to slow down a little and appreciate the people that I have around me right now. Life is fleeting and can come to an end suddenly. Appreciate who you have while you still have them with you.

Last edited: Sat Oct 22, 2016 2:03 pm

This blog entry has been viewed 303 times

Over A Month

Category: Life As I Know It | Posted: Wed Sep 28, 2016 12:01 pm

My friend died on August 22, so he has been gone for over a month now. I thought that I was doing better with his death, but this week has been especially hard. I'm not sure why unless it's because I've been at his house packing things up. If everything goes as planned today will be the last day that I have to go over there. It does bother me to walk through his house.

On Friday I will be taking his ashes out to sea. He left very specific instructions about what to do after he died. He didn't want a service or even an announcement in the paper. He wanted to be cremated, put in a cardboard container and spread in the ocean. He made it clear that a lake or river was not acceptable... unless the river led to the ocean. So, my daughter helped me by asking one of her friends to take me out in the Gulf of Mexico near her home in Marco Island, Florida. We'll be doing that around 10:00 Friday morning.

I'm hoping for some kind of closure after we do that. I know the pain of loss will not go away, but maybe it will bring a little peace and comfort to the situation.

Honestly, I don't know what to expect to come from it. For all I know it will make things worse for me. I do know this. I am ready to move forward. Now, if I can only get my emotions to follow along.

Last edited: Wed Sep 28, 2016 12:07 pm

This blog entry has been viewed 204 times

Things Just Happen

Category: Life As I Know It | Posted: Mon Sep 05, 2016 4:27 am

So much has happened since I last posted in July. For starters, my youngest son moved to Canada after marrying his on line sweetheart. That is a story in itself, but I want to focus more on the fact that my wife and I are empty-nesters now. It's hard to believe that all three of my children are married and out of the house. It's pretty depressing to me because I love having my kids around. At least the other two are still in the same state as I am.

The second thing that happened is that a good friend died unexpectedly last week. He was 67 years old, but in good health. It is believed that he died from heat exhaustion. It was so sad because he didn't have any family that I am aware of. I've been dealing with everything and it's opened my eyes a lot about how to deal with the death of someone. I can honestly say that I haven't spent a lot of time thinking about that.

Between those two events I am emotionally drained. I'm praying that things can go back to normal soon.

This blog entry has been viewed 193 times

Play Mate

Category: Life As I Know It | Posted: Sat Jul 23, 2016 1:12 pm

We ended up at the ER with Cory this past week. He was in a car accident and is thankfully okay.

There was an elderly couple sitting by us in the waiting room. He was in a scooter and she was in a wheel chair. How they actually got to the ER in the first place is still unclear. At one point my phone rang. After I got off the man said, "We finally get all this hi tech stuff and I'm at the end of my life so I won't get to enjoy it."

It was an awkward statement, but he was smiling when he said it so I got up and walked over, "I'm sure you had some good stuff when you were a kid."

He was hard of hearing, made clear by the fact that he was talking really loud. First, he proudly told me that he was 94 years old. Then, he said that they were the first house in his neighborhood to have a radio because his dad was an engineer and figured out how to put one together.

We spoke some more then he asked me, "I bet you never met someone who voted for Roosevelt?"

"No sir, I haven't. Were you in the military?"

Come to find out he's a WWII veteran, infantry division. "The only injury I got in the war, though, was poison oak."

At this point he looked at his wife and said, "I told her that God protected me so I could be here to take care of her."

She smiled at him. I looked around and there were a few other people who had been listening. One woman was shaking her head, also smiling.

At this point we left to the other side of the hospital. When we came back I looked for the elderly couple. He was sitting in his scooter, asleep. She was nowhere to be seen. I hated to leave without saying goodbye, but I didn't want to wake him up.

He opened his eyes and saw us. A big smile came across his face and he greeted us with that booming voice. Then, behind us a nurse came in pushing his wife in the wheel chair. She was wrapped in hospital blankets from head to toe, obviously cold from the A/C. His eyes lit up and he said something that captured my heart. With excitement and love in his voice he yelled out, "Here comes my play mate now."

My daughter-in-law let out a big, "Awww!"

She was wheeled over to him, smiling the whole time. We shook their hands before we left and my wife thanked him for his service. We said our goodbyes and I left the hospital feeling as if I had left some good friends behind. It was definitely a moment in time that I will not soon forget.

Last edited: Sat Jul 23, 2016 1:44 pm

This blog entry has been viewed 296 times

Sara Without the H

Category: Life As I Know It | Posted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 3:49 pm

"Sara without the H."

That was the response I got when I asked my youngest son the name of his online girlfriend.

"Where does she live?"

"In Canada."

Thus began a relationship that my generation has difficulty grasping. How do you get to know someone by only talking to them online? How do you survive a relationship without any physical contact whatsoever?

Well, after five years I am happy to say that Joshua and Sara (without the H, of course) not only survived, but they are getting married today at 3:30 Eastern Time... in Canada!!

I will not be there. His mother will not be there. No members of his family or any of his friends will be attending, but over the years I have slowly realized that my youngest son does not do anything in a normal way. That is one of the things I love about him and one of the many reasons that I am proud of him for the man that he is becoming.

An interesting thing happened when Sara came to visit last year. We had picked her up at the airport and the lovebirds were sitting in the back seat having an excited conversation about a newly found planet. I remember listening to that conversation and thinking how strange and wonderful that my son could find the perfect person for him halfway across the world.

When Donna was pregnant with Amanda one of our choices for names was Sarah Elizabeth. My brother's wife was also pregnant at the time. She was due before us and had also chosen the name Sarah. So, we decided to go with Amanda instead (she ended up having a boy). Then, when Donna was pregnant with Cory we chose Sarah as a girl name, but we had a boy. Finally, when Donna got pregnant the third time we once again picked Sarah as a girl name, but we had another boy.

So, you see, we have always wanted a Sarah in the family and now we are going to have one. "Sara without the H" but actually it will be Sara with the H because that is the first letter of our last name. Welcome to the family Sara H.

Last edited: Tue Jul 19, 2016 4:06 pm

This blog entry has been viewed 206 times

What's That On Your Face?

Category: Life As I Know It | Posted: Mon Apr 04, 2016 12:37 am

I was recently reminded of something that happened while we were stationed at Moody Air Force Base in Valdosta, Georgia.

The big event in town was the grand opening of the Home Depot. We waited a few days after the opening so the crowd would die down before we decided to check it out. It must have been just after we moved there because my oldest son was still small enough to carry around. I had him in my arms as we browsed down the aisles.

I walked up to some metal looking, mesh type material to see what it was. It was about eight foot tall and four feet wide and it was positioned so that the tall side was sticking up. Just about the time I got up to it my son reached out and grabbed it. I responded by backing away quickly. He let go, but not before the material started falling toward us. I couldn't get away fast enough and the top edge of it fell right toward my face. It had ridged edges and they managed to scrape across my nose and also a little across my son's arm.

My son got a little scrape, but almost immediately my nose started bleeding profusely. My wife was standing right there and started frantically digging through her purse to find a tissue. Unfortunately, the only thing that she could find absorbent enough to stop the blood was... well, what do most women carry in their purse that could be used to stop bleeding?

She pulled it out, unwrapped it and said, "Here, use this!"

I looked at her with a dumbfounded look, blood streaming down my nose, and said, "I'm not putting that on my face!!!"

"Don't be so stubborn, it's the only thing I have!"

The situation had gotten pretty hectic. My son was still crying because of his scraped arm, my daughter was upset and my wife was close to being in a panic. By now, it was clear that I had been cut three times and the blood was flowing pretty freely. I knew I could never make it to the bathroom on the other side of the store so I reluctantly took it from her hand and placed it on my nose. I did my best to cover it up with the palm of my hand, but it couldn't be done.

We exited the store as fast as possible. I have no idea how many people actually saw what happened and I really don't want to know. I guess the proper thing would have been to tell a manager about it, but I wasn't about to face anyone while holding something like that between my eyes.


Oh, the humanity!

Last edited: Mon Apr 04, 2016 10:31 am

This blog entry has been viewed 268 times

Vintage RV Show

Category: Life As I Know It | Posted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 11:00 am

A few months ago my wife found out about a vintage RV show that was going to be about an hour from our house and she has been eagerly awaiting the day ever since.

Of course, even though it hasn't rained in weeks, the skies opened up for the show yesterday. We didn't let it deter us though and we went anyway... umbrellas and all.

It turned out great. Most of the owners still let people come in and look around. Some just wanted you to poke your head in, but that was okay.

I only took pictures at the end so I only have one pic of one of the smallest trailers
there. Small... really small. Of course there were bigger ones. My wife really likes Shasta trailers (you can find pics on the Internet). I don't know which one I like.

Tiny Trailer ( photo / image / picture from eclecticgarden's Garden )

This blog entry has been viewed 154 times

Do Not Lock

Category: Life As I Know It | Posted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 1:20 am

I parked next to this truck yesterday and did a double take when I saw the writing on the window.

There's obviously a reason the owner didn't want the door locked, but I don't believe he thought this through very well. I mean, do you really want to advertise the fact that your door doesn't lock to every criminal out there?

Do Not Lock ( photo / image / picture from eclecticgarden's Garden )

This blog entry has been viewed 193 times

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