2021 September 16


CONTINUED FROM YESTERDAY

The next building of interest to me was the hardware. Other than the movie theater, the hardware was the largest building on Main Street. At that young age I had never heard the word cacophony. But that is the perfect word to describe the hardware. The cowbell at the door was the quietest sound in the store. I remember the sound of the scoop loads of nails, or nuts and bolts being tossed onto galvanized trays hanging from scales that screeched in protest of another load of hardware. Everything banged or clattered which made people raise their voices to get their message across. That had the net affect of causing other people to talk louder to be heard over the first folks. The sharp ring of the cashregister, as the drawer was opened, was at odds with the dull clunk of the cowbell as another person entered or left.

TO BE CONTINUED


Just before noon, we received a call from Kara. We now know the airline and flight number as well as time of arrival at the Austin airport.

We picked Kara up at the airport this evening. For as many vehicles coming in to unload and upload, it really went quite smoothly. There were only a few horn honkers. The vast majority of people were respectful of other drivers

Kara had not eaten since before noon. So, we stopped at Golden Chick and had some southern fried catfish for supper. Once we were back to the apartment, she took a shower and her dirty clothes were laundered.

Before bed, I spent about an hour taking online training for my position as Santa for my photo company employer this year. Good news … I aced all the quizzes. On years past, I was an independent contractor. This year I am am hourly employee. The total compensation should remain the same.

©2021 Thomas E Williams

2021 September 15

We had sacks, bags, and egg cartons to drop off at Operation Liberty Hill this morning.
Ella felt the Thrift Store pulling her in. My goal was to make a hole in the stuff in the apartment. I believe her goal is to refill that hole. Really, all she purchased (that I know of) was a purse. And she did need it. The one she has been using was coming apart and she doesn’t know where her other purses are.

CONTINUED FROM YESTERDAY

Heading on downhill on the south side of Main Street we come to the Feed Store. I was only in the store a couple of times because we had no livestock or pets. However, I remember that inside the display window, on occasions, there would be baby chickens. Going in the door you came immediately to the sales counter. Behind that counter were rows of shelves with bags and containers of various animal feeds. The air was loaded with a bouquet of grain scents mixed with the iodine from the stack of pinkish salt blocks. Outside to the east was a small vacant lot, maybe ten to twenty feet wide. It is hard to be certain because spaces always seemed bigger when I was smaller. The only remarkable feature of this space was a burn barrel where trash was disposed of. It is the nature of boys to poke around in such treasure troves as burn barrels. (Remind me to tell you of the one behind the locker) One such adventure I discovered dead chicks … except one wasn’t dead. I went inside the feed store and asked of I could have the one live baby chicken. I was told, “No, there was something wrong with them, which is why they are in the barrel.” Then he did a remarkable thing. He went to the window, scooped up a chick and put it in a box that had nice round holes in it. With a big grin, he handed me the box. I was very surprised but remembered to thank him. I made a beeline for home. (I’ll tell you the rest of that story later.)

TO BE CONTINUED

God bless and goodnight

©2021 Thomas E Williams

2021 September 14

Shortly after this photo was taken, it became completely overcast.
Today’s high temperature stopped at 81°. That seemed a good temperature to new also.

Weather News
Nicholas strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane just before making landfall near Matagorda, Texas at 12:30 a.m. CDT. Since making landfall, it has weakened back to a tropical storm. Pray for people caught in the storm. As of 8 a.m. today it was 165 miles from us. Though it dumped 4-6″ if rain along the coast, we received nothing and the week’s forecast contains zero rain chances for us.

This breakfast seems familiar. Oh yeah! It’s what we have for breakfast 99.8% of the time.
Bible study was on the apartment’s schedule for ten this morning. However, when we arrived, no one was there.
Though no one came to Bible Study, Maggie came and we decided to play games with her the GAME ROOM seemed kind of sparse on games. Ella went back to the apartment and brought back Fast Track. The three of us played a couple of games.
For lunch we had air fried chicken wings, lemon and herb fingerling potatoes, and buttered corn.

CONTINUED FROM YESTERDAY

Main Street began a thirty degree climb  as it headed uphill past the Telephone office. The building was no bigger than a two holer outhouse. Inside sat the switchboard operator. Yep, when Mom made those calls to Short’s Grocery, she began by lifting the earpiece from the wall mounted wooden box and turned the hand-crank.  In some mystical way that would let the telephone operator know that Mom wanted to make a call. The two of them would visit for awhile to get caught up on the latest gossip. Then my mother would say, “Let me have the grocers.” In that shoebox of a building, a long braided wire chord would be pulled out and plugged into the proper spot to make the phone in Short’s Groceries ring. It seemed more amazing to my young mind than Rocket Man flying through the air with a rocket strapped to his back.

TO BE CONTINUED

I like the way the early evening sun highlights the shrubs in the foreground while the trees in the background are shaded.

God bless and goodnight

©2021 Thomas E Williams

2021 September 13

It reached 85° this afternoon. It would cloud over and look like it could rain. But never did. Both of us spent some time sitting on the patio enjoying being outside. Unfortunately at different times.

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I mixed up some fry-bread for breakfast (and snacks)

While Ella did laundry this morning, Tom went to Wal-Mart to retrieve her medications and fill the truck with gasoline. And them I sold the aluminum cans for $6.75. The Money goes into the Grandies account.

I drove interstate 35 to Wilco recycling in Jarrell but took Ronald Reagan boulevard back. It only took about 3 minutes lounger on the back road.

CONTINUED FROM YESTERDAY

Attached to Short’s was the Movie House. Yes, this tiny town was remarkable because every Saturday, during the summer, there were matinee movies. I sat through endless black and white serials such as Batman, Rocket Man, Captain Marvel (not the Marvel Comics version but the original that is now a DC Comics version known as Shazam), cowboys and Indians, jungle adventures, spies, and others. Each short episode ending with a cliffhanger. Heros were always heroes and bad guys always lost, but not until they had put the good guys in peril of their lives. There were evening movies also that parents could attend with their children.

TO BE CONTINUED

I wouldn’t say it was a beautiful sunset, but it sure was interesting. God bless and goodnight.

©2021 Thomas E Williams

2021 September 12

We are still having our Sunday school class I the chapel. It looked wonderful with the sun shining through the stains glass windows. After class was dismissed, Ella and I stayed in the chapel and watched the worship service through Facebook.
This was week two of pastor Michele’s sermon series on emotions. Today it was on fear.
I made a quick stop at Dollar General to purchase floor polish. They had none. That made it an even quicker stop.
That car is clearly in the intersection and technically had run the red light.

CONTINUED FROM YESTERDAY

Yes, groceries were purchased with the simple promise to pay for them later. There were no such things as credit cards in those days. There was no interest or surcharge, just a “gentleman’s agreement” to settle accounts when we could. Yes, I’m sure, everything was in a ledger somewhere. Groceries could also be delivered. Sometimes Mom would call and order them. But, even if she shopped in the store, she would have them delivered. Remember, we didn’t have a car and walking all the way up and down hills juggling paper sacks just wouldn’t have worked. An “errand boy” would arrive, sometime that day, on a bicycle or by car.

TO BE CONTINUED

God bless and good night

©2021 Thomas E Williams

2021 September 11

20 years after four coordinated terrorist attacks killed 2,977 people on American soil, We The People* remember 9/11/01.



*”We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” – Preamble to the U.S. Constitution

CONTINUED FROM YESTERDAY

Short’s Grocery is the next stop on our memory tour. Short’s was a regular stop on the way home from school. The only thing I can visualize of the outside building front is the large window. I loved that window because on the other side of that glass was a large deck or stage. I’m sure that it was designed to advertise the store’s content to the passersby. However, for my friends and I, it was where we lay sprawled in the sunshine, under the decorative debossed metal ceiling. There we would eagerly emerse ourselves in the latest comic book adventures. My favorite was Tarzan King of the Jungle. Sometimes we even bought the comics along with licorice whips Or rather, our parents did because the ten cents were added onto the running tab at the grocers.

TO BE CONTINUED

Chicken pot stickers, rice, green beans, and spinach for lunch.

God bless and goodnight

©2021 Thomas E Williams

2021 September 10

Today’s devotional made a interesting point. Assuming most parents would likely sacrifice their own life to save their child. Now the question is would you sacrifice your child to save someone else? Would you sacrifice your child to save everyone? This is what the Father did by sending the Son to redeem the world.

We went to the Business Center on the second floor this morning. The two things I desired to accomplish was (one)  find the WiFi password and (two) attempt to print something from the computer. I accomplished neither.

This morning we also went to the Movie Room. Currently the scheduled movies are put on hold. But anyone can load one of the movies available from the library or bring their own. I chose one from those available and loaded it into the player. I didn’t really want to watch the movie. I wanted to learn how to operate the equipment. It is very simple.

CONTINUED FROM YESTERDAY There may have other buildings with other shops, but the next one that I remember is the barbershop where I was taken several times a year for a haircut. At the beginning of summer the hair came off in a butch cut leaving only short blond bristles. The hair was allowed to grow until the Fall of the year. Then, just before “Picture Day” at school, I would once again sit in that heavy chrome and black leather chair. A blanket sized bib was fastened in place a little too tightly around my neck. This time a suitable part was combed and trimmed into my hair. The sides trimmed close enough to make a drill sergeant proud. I was fascinated by the mirror that covered one wall above a shelf full of clippers, scissors, straight razors, jars and bottles of mysterious contents. The most mysterious of all was the large jar of blue liquid full if combs of different sizes and shapes. The scents here were vastly different from the Locker. The air smelled of perfumed powders and tonics. The floor of white octagon tiles littered with clumps of various colors of hair to be swept in a time between customers. I don’t remember the barber’s name nor even what he looked like, but I remember that he was far less chatty than others of his trade.  Right down to business, snip, snip, buzz. TO BE CONTINUED

Chicken pot pies at lunch and a simple supper of Malt O Meal.

God bless and goodnight

©2021 Thomas E Williams

2021 September 09

Roofers in the housing development near us. Still repairing/replacing roofs damaged by hail this last April.
South Texas April hailstorm sets record for largest hailstone in the state

Today’s Upper Room devotional was entitled “Why Not You?” The opening sentences struck too close and too true. When I was quite young I was taken to speech therapy because of a slight stutter. I learned to slow my pace and allow myself to think it through before I spoke. Even today, when excited, I will stumble over my words. It hasn’t kept me from teaching and preaching the Good News of God’s love.


CONTINUED FROM YESTERDAY Moving from the gas station on up Main Street was the cut-block front of the locker. The locker was where you brought your animal (cow, pig, sheep, goat, or deer) to be butchered. The various cuts of meat were then wrapped in white paper, sealed with tape and a label written with a grease pencil.  Mom and I would visit the locker sometimes to purchase some of those white packages. I remember also the time she bought a whole cow’s skull. That was boiled down in a huge pot. The meat was then picked off and canned. It both fascinated me and disgusted me. The thing I remember most about the locker was how chilled it was. This was years before air conditioning. I also remember the bare, unvarnished, wood plank floor. The years had aged it to a dull almost grey dust color. There was a not unpleasant, pervading smell of cold, fresh, meat.

TO BE CONTINUED


“Shut that door. Are you trying do air condition the whole world?” Many a parent has said that to their children. According to a CNBC article by Katie Brigham on July 24th, “building operations, such as heating, cooling and lighting, account for 28% of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions. Now that summer 2021 is on pace to be one of the hottest on record, global demand for air conditioning is skyrocketing. That creates a vicious cycle because air conditioning itself is a major contributor to global warming. It uses a massive amount of electricity, and can leak potent greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.So, shut that door, you’re overheating the whole world!

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Williamson County & Cities Health District is closely monitoring the rapidly evolving situation in coordination with the Texas Department of State Health Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and local and regional public health and healthcare agencies

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Good night and a God bless

©2021 Thomas E Williams

2021 September 08

We had the usual for breakfast.
For lunch there was steak, potatoes, gravy, and spinach.
This afternoon I blended ice cubes, milk, strawberry jelly and a little sugar. It made a passable strawberry shake for my bride. I made mine a vanilla shake but later added some chocolate syrup to sweeten it a little more.
Supper was “catch as catch can” and everybody for themselves. I had a peanutbutter and jelly sandwich. Ella had a bowl of cereal.
It’s Wednesday. Normally we would be going to our Grandies meeting. Tomorrow is Thursday and we would normally gathering with the Over The Hill Gang for food, fun, and fellowship. The spike in Covid cases in our city, county, Texas, and the country has put that on hold … again.
As of September 6, 2021
Williamson County, Texas
Total confirmed cases 55,728
Deaths 561
ICU Beds available 2.  =  O%
Daily new cases 237

It has been reported that Non-Covid patients are also dying because they can’t be admitted, there are no beds available, because they are occupied by Covid patients.

Prescott was a very small town in the hilly county of southwestern Iowa. The whole township covers less than half a mile. Currently has a population of slightly over 200 and at it’s heyday probably never topped 300. In the days when passenger trains still ran the rails, they would on rare occasions stop to disembark or load passengers at the small wooden depot, just down the hill from Grandpa’s house. Prescott was what was called a whistle-stop, just a small unimportant town along the railroad.
An unassuming two lane highway  twists around and over tree covered hills before crossing those railroad tracks and enters town from the South Southeast. The highway becomes Main Street as it passes over those rails and stops being a paved road only a few blocks into town. From there on main street remained unpaved.
As I remember this town of my boyhood, coming into town the tiny white-painted brick gas station sat at an angle to the north. Not a service station. No repair work done here. I don’t think you could even get a soft drink, candy bar, or cigarettes. Mom didn’t have a car so I didn’t have reason to visit there. I do remember the sight of the single gas pump. As gas was pumped, it swirled around through a glass top with red balls that twirled like a propeller. I remember the ding ding of the bell as vehicles drove over a hose in the drive. Somehow the scent of sunbaked asphalt and hot oil accompanies my memories here.
TO BE CONTINUED

Come back tomorrow

God bless and goodnight

©2021 Thomas E Williams

2021 September 07

Topped out at 95° and was still 90° at eight o’clock.
One egg, one toast, and one bacon equals breakfast as usual.
It was less of a bible study and more of a sharing of answered prayers. We discussed the practice, purpose, and power of prayer. We veered into discussing angels and Santa also. It was a chance to meet with different people of faith.
Cream of broccoli soup from a dry mix to which I added sour cream and cheddar cheese. It was paired with fried Spam on toast.
Bummer! I may still go checkout the DVD selection. Later. After a nap. 
I did go to check out the DVDs but there was a group having a meeting in that room so I’ll have to do it some other time.
Ella attended a jewellery making class in the arts and craft room today.
Oatmeal with raisins and brown sugar for supper.

©2021 Thomas E Williams