Sunday, June 29, 2014

yes... I... remember.



Yes... I remember... when...
The Moment... when....
John and I were at The Thresher's Reunion, in Mt. Pleasant....
It was a HOT September {Labor Day} 31 years ago....
We walked past the Old Time... Photographer... in the Crowded...Oven of a Building....
I begged him...to turn around.
He sat for this image... oh my... : )
I Treasure it... always have....
Always...will. 
Mine... and Miss. Scarlett's... 

John...Liz...Nick... Nicky...  and Polly...
John...and Liz... Baby Shower...Day. 

Scarlett's little foot.... John and I... are so Very Blessed... 

John meeting Miss. Scarlett... for the first time.....
Miss. Scarlett... and Grandpa...
Justin and Liz....
Our... Babies....
My Dad... and Justin....
I met John... through Dad.
Dad always spoke so Highly... of John... {before, I'd met him... {and after... : ) }
Dad said... "I sure Like... that John... : ) He's the Hardest Working Man...I have Ever Known... yep... a Good Man."....
{That was HUGE in my eyes.... because... I knew, the Hardest Working Man.... in the World... and for Him... to hand that Honor.... to John.... was Impressive... Mighty...Impressive...
Dad... was right... he was...Always... right. }
Justin...'J'.... oh my... John sure Loved seeing him...come visit...the Shop.... : )
Nicky....
John was Blessed.... to have the Love and Devotion.... of Many... Four Legged... Angels... in his life...
After losing his Beloved...Elliot.... several months earlier... and swearing... there would be no more... Hounds... for him.... because it was too...Devastating...losing them....
A friend, called... and told him of a Shepard... at the Shelter.....
When John rescued Nicky... I remember the day... he brought him home...
Nicky was beaten... and emaciated...
John looked at me... and said...
I...just hope.... this one... outlives me.
oh my......
John and Nicky... were inseparable.....
as was John.... and All of His Beloved... Critters....
John's ashes, his request... will be combined with Elliot's..... 
John... never went to Shows.... but...always helped get the truck and trailers loaded....
He held down the Fort... and cared for the {as he would refer to our 'Family'...}
'Livestock'... : )
John and I...took Sally... and visited the Cemeteries a couple of years ago.....
Then...we went to the Lake....
We used to take a drive...every Sunday....
Then... I opened the shop.... and started doing Shows.....
and worked...and worked... and... worked....
I don't have many regrets...
This... is One...of them.....
Work... Paying...Bills....
consumed....our lives....
Thankfully.... we worked... very close, to one another. 
John...was a Nature Lover.....
He took this image... along with many others... of Flowers... and Critters....
He liked Nature to be Left Alone....
{oh my.... a Friend trimmed some of his Gnarly...Free Spirited Vines... several years ago... that was in her way...at a Sale here.... I thought I'd Never Hear The End...of it... : ) }
After I got Poison Ivy... a few years ago... I Demanded... he spray it... or... He was going to have to do the trimming.... {we don't use Any Chemicals...here...} He sprayed... but he Sure didn't Like It!!! oh my... : )
One of John's...Dearest Friends... was Larry.... This is Larry's Wife.... Alma...
Larry would be at John's Shop... every Morn... by 5.  and have the Coffee Goin'....
John was Devastated... when Larry passed away....
Larry and Alma were like surrogate Grandparents... to Liz and Justin...
Larry... passed away... in John's Shop....
John, always said... when 'things'... would happen there... it was Larry... or Mark P. {another... Dear Friend... who passed  away... a few years ago....}
Playing Tricks... : )
John... could resurrect... anything... He made this Old Cupboard... Sing...
{along with Dozens... over the years....
He always referred to himself... as a 'Wood Butcher'....
I...knew him... as an... 'Artist'.....
John... Loved his time... at Home...
He never strayed far.
If folks wanted to see him... they'd have to come here...
He wasn't a 'visitor'....
Always... a 'Home Boy'....
Some folks... couldn't understand, our relationship....
: )
I, am the opposite....
I live... on the Road....
but...
we...understood... each other....
I never complained... when we were invited out... and he'd decline....
{I always brought Supper Home.... for him...}
He never complained... I'd go without him.....
Ever.
Our Time... was setting in front of the tube... in the recliners... watching M.A.S.H. or N.C.I.S. or...Perry Mason... whatever...he wanted to watch....
{He and I...liked the same programs.... That was Our...Together...Time. }
I had this image of John... blown up...several years ago....
I said... he...was my 'James Dean'... : )
I, was always...such an ugly duckling....throughout my life...
 I wondered... over the years... how I ever got so Lucky.... to have such a Handsome...Man... to share my Life with....
I... was Blessed... : )
John... Loved...His...Country.
He Loved... Old Flags....
I found him...several... over the years...
This image was taken...on 9/11/11...
The tenth anniversary....of the Unimaginable....


I can't imagine... seeing this Old... Flag... Wave...
Without John... 

John and Mark...
oh my...
Those two... are something else...
They were Very Close....
and... I'm sure... commiserated with one another...during their many daily... phone visits...
 about my antics....
Like...this Massive Fountain.... I had purchased....
oh dear... one.. of Many... over the years....
They'd strategize ... I'd say...
Let's Get 'er Done....
We always... always...
Got 'er Done. : )
John...surprised me... with Jethro.... a few years ago...
He and I... shared a Major... Love Affair....
of...
Mustangs....
We were Hard Core.... Ford People....
and Mustangs.... were Number One... in the Ford Family....
We could never afford... a new car.... ever...
But.... John...was an Artist.... and could make things.... Beautiful.... with his Hands....
He could fix...most any 'broken'... thing... Perfectly...
and see...the Beauty... that others... would walk past...
I'd like to think...
that's why... we enjoyed over 30 years together....
We both... have a Gift... of that.
I...was Blessed.
The dent... he is running his hand over... still exists.... John never fixed it....
I'm glad... he didn't....
Every time... I see it....
I see... this image....
oh my.....
John named 'Jethro'... after Leroy Jethro Gibbs.... from N.C.I.S.
His...Favorite Show...  {mine...too... }
John... was so Much... like the 'Gibbs'... character...
Strong... Quiet.... Tuff....Sharp... Soft... Wise...
 and... knew how... to Get 'er....Done.
John hand painted the stripes... on Jethro....
It made him sick...to do it...
He couldn't stand the fumes... anymore.... from the paint....
but... He wanted them... so... he did it.

Liz, Miss. Scarlett... and Justin 'J'.... 
This is the way John wrapped Christmas gifts.... : )
oh my..... : )
This box held...some of the Most...Beautiful Staffordshire Platters.....
He...always knew.... what I'd Love....
One year... it was a Little Giant Ladder....
Perfect....
{he built the house...with a ladder that was falling apart.... he... wasn't afraid of it... I...Was..... }
Me, Peg...Michael and John... {and... John's Favorite Finger... } : )
I have few images... where he isn't displaying... a 'hand gesture'... : )
Nicky... John's Favorite Gift.....
John...and 'J'...... : )
Liz..and Miss. Scarlett....
Justin... and 'J'....
Nicky and Scarlett.....
I...remember.
Happy.... Days.


I... Remember...
Love.


I dragged John... oh a Hot...Hot... Summer day... to a Farm... I was taken to.... by Fate...
It was a Farm... where my Dad had lived, in the 40's....
The owner showed me the old Summer Kitchen... where, I knew, Dad must have been..many times.....
my eyes...fell upon...the Most wonderful... Walnut cupboard... that was built in... tight, between the wall... and a stone hearth...
It was built in the 1850's....
oh my...
John and I...worked... tirelessly...all day... trying to free... the old Cupboard... {John knew... how much, it meant to me... and never gave up.... {he...knew... I'd never give up.... I saw my Dad... in that Old Cupboard... }
{John.... Loved my Dad.... too... }


We Got 'er...Done.
Now..... I see them Both.... every time my eyes.... fall upon it..... Every Time....
John put some old...Cast Dog Pulls... on the drawers... for me.... the old cupboard's... were long.... gone......
John had Jethro... all Pretty...
Then... one rainy night.... far away....I got stupid.... goosed him... coming out of a drive....
The new blacktop... was beyond... Slick....
we spun around...and around...like the Tea Cup Ride..at the County Fair....
then ditched him....
It was a steep ditch... Jethro... was nearly on his side....
I kept the hammer down..... through the ditch... {like Dad always told me to.... he said... "If ya go in the ditch... keep 'er goin'.... don't stop.... if you do.... that's exactly where you'll stay."....}
Old Jethro... was a Champ.... we clipped trees off.... they were flying over the roof.... mud was flyin'....
then... I got his nose pulled up.... we flew out of the ditch...right back onto the pavement.....
I was 70 miles from home..... it was raining...like crazy.... couldn't hardly see....
I stopped, under a light... to see the damage.....
The temp gauge... stayed good... I was so afraid... of the radiator.... being damaged....
All I could see... was the lower front bumper... was torn...and dragging..... oh my....
We... limped our way home....
{then..the next morning... I saw the roof...from the trees...we chopped off... had put dents..in... }
It was in the wee hours.... when we got home.....
I woke John up....
I was Sick.... {and Crying...} {he...thought I was joking.... oh my... }
I said... I'll pay.... {we only have liability.... insurance...}
Whatever it costs... I'll sell something... I'll pay....
and... I'll never drive him... again....
: (
He said...
"If you aren't going to drive him... we're selling him......"
He... forgave me....
and...
I Paid. : )
John and Justin....
These two... were so... Close....
When John's Blood Pressure... wouldn't come up... in the ICU....
Justin... would talk to him... then...and only then... would it spike....
When John...was in the Hospital.... earlier... they couldn't stand...to see each other...
Justin...couldn't bare.... to see his Dad... John... couldn't bare... to have Justin... see him...that way... either...
These Tuff...Boys.... would Melt..... when they saw each other....
It was..Heartbreaking.... Heartbreaking....Heart...Breaking.
I...know... that Kind...of Father's Love....
Such...a Wonderful...Gift.....
yet...
So...Unimaginably... Heartbreaking...

Justin 'J' refused to Blow out the Candles... until Grandpa.... was next to him.... : )
The Tree....
John and I...didn't exchange..gifts... these last many years...
Money...was tight... and... we wanted the Kids... to have more....
THIS was my Gift.... from John.
I... the last few years.... haven't really wanted to put it up...when the time came...
physically....
I've been putting in...so many hours...trying to keep the ball rollin'....
I, knew...I'd miss it.... but... just didn't have the stamina...
Then...
I'd come home... and John would have it... pulled out.... and started putting it... up... : )
{He Hated That...Tree.... Too Much...Work!!! }
But... he did it... for me... then... so carefully... put it away.....
{I always helped... but He...Insisted... he pack it... {I always...'Hurry...Hurry'... he...had the patience...to do it... right... }
That...was a Priceless... Gift...
I can't imagine... ever.... putting that tree... up...again.
Seeing how... he packed it... away... so.... carefully......
Ever...
Just...seeing it... now... Breaks...My...Heart.....
John...could do... anything.....
I got the idea... a few years ago... to have him..cover mid 1800's Settees and Empire Furniture.... in tin....
John could do anything... with anything...but.... he had a Special... Relationship...with Tin....
John... was an Artist.....
I'll have some of his work, here on display.... for his Memorial... on July 19th...
It will blow your mind....
John...Liz.... and John's Cats...
oh my....
Those Cats... Loved....John...
As soon as he'd walk in the door...
There They Were...
as soon as he'd sit down....in his recliner...
they were... on his lap... above his head... and at his feet....
They...Adored Him....
When he got up...they'd follow him... where ever he went.....
Yes... John was Loved.... 
Nicky... was never more... than a Heartbeat away... either... None of his Beloved Shepherds...were....
John...couldn't have Loved Katie More... if she were his Own...
She is a Gift... to our Family.
Grandpa... and...Little 'J'.... 

John and I..went for a Drive... on his Birthday... last year...
To...some of 'Our'...old Stomping Grounds....
as we pulled in...to a place, where he and I...used to love to Fish...
I said... "That looks like Justin and Katie.... That Is... Justin... and Katie"........
What a Beautiful...Birthday Gift....finding the Kids.... by The River....
we sat... and enjoyed the Evening....
oh my.....
I've been pushing... all of this... into a corner... this last month....
I knew... I couldn't let my mind... come close... to this....
The Sale.... had to come first.
Every Morning... and Every Night.... since John... went...'Home'.... have been... unimaginable....
Now, the Sale... is behind me.... I'm starting the process.... of John's Memorial... 
{still working... have to get things...situated... from the sale.... oh my...and...maybe...be open... over the 4th...to try and 'move'...some of the things... so I don't have to rent a storage garage....}
There is so...much... to get done.... with Attorneys... and Dr.'s... the Hospital... {all I have been... juggling... this last month... they don't wait....}
I received a few calls.... from a couple of John's 'friends'... during my working hours... in Davenport... that nearly...tripped me..... up....
I can't shake...off... the Burn....
{they wanted to know... if I'd sell them, some of John's Beloved... pieces... oh my... oh...my... 
They said they knew.... how 'short' I must be...now...and wanted to...'help'....
oh my...
They'd have to pry them...from my Dying Hands...then...get through All Four of The Kids... Then...Cousin Duff...Then...The Brothers..Then...John's and My Real...Friends... oh my. }
yeah....
I think... that is part of my Motivation.... and working... until there isn't a Breath... left in my Body....
Bless...Their... Hearts... 
: )
I..still.... haven't opened all of the Cards... yet............
Please Know....
How Much... I appreciate them... and Love You All.... for sending them....
I will... open them...all... soon....
but... just writing this...today... took me to 'places'.... I could barely.... come back from.
I've wept.... over...and over...and over.....
I've worked on this... for 5 hours.... and could keep going all....day and night.....
I want to Thank... Everyone.... who worked at The Sale.... and Held me... up....
{when I post, about The Sale... I'll be singing... Many...Praises...}
And...to Those... who have been 'Here'... through the blog... FB. Phone... Prayers... Neighbors.... since...Mom was sick... and went Home... God Bless You.... All....
and...Thank You...
I, know... I'm still... not myself.... I...may never...be myself.... again.
I...have lost... such a Huge... part on 'me'....
John...wasn't... just a 'Husband'... he was my 'Friend'....
He was my Friend... long before... we were anything...else.
We used to go fishing...together.... and visited...for hours...along the River....
when...I started having more than...'Friend'... feelings...
I told him... I didn't think we should spend so much...time together...
 I had made the mistake... of crossing over... with Friends...
 and you lose both.... when the relationship...ends....
I valued his... Friendship... too much... to lose it....
He said... "What would you think... if I said... I feel the same way?"....
I said...
I thought... that would be... pretty....Wonderful....
I won't say... life was perfect... always....
But... John... was the Only Love...Of My Life....
 The Only...Man... in my Life... since that day...
There will be... No Other.
He was My Soul Mate...
We...understood each other... on Every...Level.
I have watched...a Lonesome Dove... the last couple of years.... that lives here....
I...could almost... feel... his sadness....as he perches...on the lines... and watches over me...
 near the rabbit hole...
Now... there is... no... 'almost'... about it. 
I..am sorry... if I have not been... who...or what...folks expect, of me.
I...frankly... don't know... what to expect... from me... either.
or... who I am.
I'm taking it... 
One Day.... at a Time.
one... moment... at a time....
and know...
It's The God Sent... Angels....
that have kept me...from Falling...
Thank You... for the Continued...Prayers....
I...Love You.
Barb C.



6 comments:

Kari from Meadowview Farm said...

Dear Barb...
What a beautiful memorial to your John...
May his memory be for a blessing, and may you continue to find your own way through this journey.
Kari. xxoo

Kari from Meadowview Farm said...

Dear Barb...
What a beautiful memorial to your John...
May his memory be for a blessing, and may you continue to find your own way through this journey.
Kari. xxoo

cindy said...

Barb...your love is beautiful! I don't know how else to say it. God Blessed you with 30 years and your love is in your heart forever! There's nothing that nobody can do to take those memories, and the people who hurt you with their insensitivity, may they never have to feel the pain that you felt!

simplyiowa said...

Thank you... Kari... : )
and...Thanks to all who have sent such lovely e-mails...and cards... oh my...
I, am Blessed...
Love You.
Barb C.

Angie from Frytown said...

Wow, what an awesome tribute, Barb. I feel like I actually knew John after reading this and seeing these great pictures. It's pretty clear how much he loved his family and knew in return, how much they loved him. Very sweet.

simplyiowa said...

Thank You.... Angie. : )
John...was Really... Something...
: )
He was a Kind... Gentle... Hard Working... Loving...Caring Man.
and... we all... Miss Him...
My friend, Mark said...
"John Enhanced Every Life He Touched..."
That... pretty much, says it all...
Love to ya...
Barb C.