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The Eclectic Garden

Making a little bit of everything look just right.

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 174 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 226 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 111 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 156 times

Broken Washer... Not!!!

Category: Life As I Know It | Posted: Thu Feb 18, 2016 11:12 pm

So, I get home from work the other day and hear the words that every man dreads to hear, "Honey, the washer's not working."

Immediately, dancing dollar signs flashed before my eyes. After the dollar signs faded a little I rolled up my sleeves and took a look at it. It didn't take too long to narrow it down to the lid switch.

Here's the best part. I went on Amazon Prime and found the lid switch with free shipping. $7.44 and two days later the washer is working again.

Broken Lid Switch ( photo / image / picture from eclecticgarden's Garden )

Last edited: Fri Feb 19, 2016 11:22 am

This blog entry has been viewed 166 times


Category: Life As I Know It | Posted: Tue Nov 17, 2015 10:34 am

It makes me so mad to think about those eight cowards that killed 129 people in Paris this weekend. I honestly can't comprehend what the survivors of that horrific terrorist attack are going through right now. I will be lifting up thoughts and prayers for them and for our world leaders that we can come together against a common enemy.

This blog entry has been viewed 200 times

Where has the time gone?

Category: Life As I Know It | Posted: Sun Nov 15, 2015 11:49 am

There are days when nostalgia just takes over and today is one of those days. As often is the case, I woke up somewhere around 5 am. Unfortunately, I can seldom go back to sleep. So, here I am sitting in a quiet house wondering how my children have grown up so fast.

This train of thought is being driven by the fact that my 23 year old son is getting married next Saturday. He completed Fire College last year and recently started a career with the local fire department. I remember him as a toddler when he used to crawl around on the floor with little stuffed toys in his mouth. I remember reading him stories at night, helping him with homework and driving him to soccer matches. I remember his first heartbreak, his first car and his first paycheck.

So many memories. Now he's starting another journey and, as I learned with my daughter who got married 7 years ago, it's one that sees me in a different role. I'm still Dad to him, but now I also get to be Dad to his wife. I haven't lost a son, I've gained a daughter. I know the relationship is different, but in a lot of ways its still the same. There will be peaks and valleys for him (and her) and I can be there to pray for them and encourage them along the way.

My family keeps growing... and I'm so thankful.

This blog entry has been viewed 207 times

The Menu Has Changed

Category: Life As I Know It | Posted: Fri Nov 13, 2015 12:34 am

So, I called a vendor the other day and got the standard recorded message. Why do they always say, "Please listen carefully as our menu options have changed?" Do they really think that I can remember the menu options from the last time that I called? I mean, I can barely remember them right after hearing them. And why did the menu options have to change in the first place? Is it absolutely necessary to have your customers press "1" for sales instead of "2"? For heaven sakes leave the menu options alone!

Last edited: Fri Nov 13, 2015 10:50 am

This blog entry has been viewed 154 times

Field of Phlox

Category: Life As I Know It | Posted: Mon Apr 20, 2015 10:49 am

One of the things I love about this time of year are all of the wild phlox that can be found along the roadsides and in many open fields.

Field of Phlox ( photo / image / picture from eclecticgarden's Garden )

Last edited: Mon Apr 20, 2015 10:50 am

This blog entry has been viewed 194 times

28th Wedding Anniversary

Category: Life As I Know It | Posted: Sun Mar 29, 2015 10:00 am

For our 28th wedding anniversary I surprised Donna by taking her to a play at the Ocala Civic Theatre last night. It was a comedy called "Tom, Dick and Harry" and it was very funny, but we had a few funny moments of our own along the way.

We got a later start to the evening than we intended so we didn't have enough time to go to the new Italian restaurant that I wanted to try. We decided that our only options were fast food or some kind of buffet. She had heard of a Chinese buffet near the theatre that was supposed to be good and neither one of us really wanted to go with fast food for our anniversary dinner, so that was the logical choice. Upon getting our seats I couldn't help but notice the woman to my right. Sitting in front of her was a huge plate of crab legs and she was steady breaking them open. It was as if she were on a mission to ensure that no crab should die in vain. We got our food and ate our dinner. The woman next to us got up and came back with more crab legs. Donna looked at me and whispered, "Did you see how many crab legs she's eaten?" I shook my head yes, enlarging my eyes to show astonishment. She finally finished the crab legs- then promptly headed for the dessert table. I know it was a buffet and people go to buffets to stuff themselves, but we were still amazed at the amount of food this woman managed to put away.

So, after the pre-dinner show we made our way to the theatre. As we were walking up to the door Donna said, "Look at all the older people here."

I retorted with, "Hello! Newsflash! We're not exactly young people anymore."

In her defense, she was right. Most of the people there seemed to be in their sixties or seventies, but we were in our early twenties when we got married and this was our 28th anniversary. You do the math. It is a rather somber moment when you realize that you are closer to the sixty and seventy generation than you are the twenty and thirty generation.

After getting our tickets I made my way to the restroom. I had just finished washing my hands, thrown away the paper towel and was walking toward the door when the father of an old high school friend walked in (he was definitely in his seventies). We recognized each other and both instinctively shook hands. It was at that precise moment that I realized my right hand was still a little wet. I could see in his eyes that he realized it too and a very awkward moment ensued. I'm sure he was wondering if I had just walked away from the urinal or if I had just washed my hands. There was no way for him to really know and I didn't exactly know how to handle it so I hastily said goodbye and made my way out of the restroom.

About halfway through the play the sodium from the Chinese food kicked in and I became extremely thirsty. When the play was over Donna told me that she was so thirsty that her tongue felt like it was stuck to the roof of her mouth. We decided to go through the drive-thru at Sonic and get some lemonade. Anyone who knows me knows that I hate ordering food from a drive-thru. I especially hate Sonic because there are so many blasted choices. We really didn't know what we wanted so I pulled up to one of the ordering stations first to look at the menu and decide before taking on the drive-thru. After what seemed like a very long time we decided on a lime limeaide and a cherry limeaide. I completely forgot about going through the drive-thru and pushed the button to order. Before I could back out and head to the drive-thru a voice came over the intercom, "Can I take your order?"

I was committed now, "Yes, I'll take a large lime limeaide and a large cherry limeaide."

There was a long silence and then finally, "Can you repeat that please?"

"Yes, I'll take a large lime limeaide and a large cherry limeaide."

Once again there was deafening silence. Finally, after about thirty seconds I said, "Did you get that?"

More silence. Then, "Was that a large lime limeaide and a large cherry limeaide?"

Now I'm starting to get a little agitated so I kept my answer as simple as possible, "Um- yes."

"Okay, that will be $4.86."

Then the wait began. I realized rather quickly that there was only one person running food out to the cars. We sat in the car and talked to pass the time. It literally took ten minutes to get our order of two drinks and when they finally arrived the poor kid delivering them apologized, "Sorry it took so long but I'm the only one who is making the drinks."

We weren't really mad about it, just a little inconvenienced, but we were spending time together so it really wasn't a big deal, "It happens sometimes, I can tell you guys are busy."

The kid left on his roller skates and we both promptly took a drink to quench our undying thirst- but the drink order had been wrong. Instead of a lime limeaide and a cherry limeaide we had both gotten a cherry Sprite. There was no way we were going to tackle getting that straightened so we left Sonic and drove home.
All in all, it turned out to be a nice 28th anniversary and I am looking forward to many more- although I may stay away from Sonic for a while.

Last edited: Fri Apr 08, 2016 10:00 pm

This blog entry has been viewed 203 times

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