2021 September 06

We received a smattering of rain around mid afternoon. However, the real rain passed us by. The temperature reached ninety four degrees. But when the rain clouds passed over, the temperature dropped five or six degrees. Then between six thirty and seven it cut loose with thunder, lightening, and rain … real rain.

Have you ever tried to take a still photo of the rain with your phone? ‘Tain”t easy is it? The best I could do was to show the rain bouncing off the roof of the truck topper. But I did capture about four minutes of thunder and lightening.

This may look like breakfast, but it’s not. It’s brunch. I had a rough night and slept until ten thirty. Brunch consisted of fried Spam, two eggs, and a very thick and fluffy pancake.

No sunset photo tonight. The video of lightening and thunder was as close as I could get.

©2021 Thomas E Williams

2021 September 05

Other than a Sausage Egg McMuffin,
this is my favorite breakfast.
That may be why we have it
six or seven times a week

In Sunday school today we finished chapter nine of Romans. Our class numbers have dwindled to only five, including Ella and I. So many of our normal attendees are staying in because of the current rise in COVID cases. I asked those who were there if they wanted to continue meeting and everyone said “Yes”. I will continue to prepare and lead the study as long as someone shows up. However, Ella and I will be attending worship services online through Facebook until I see a drastic drop in Covid cases.

Sermon
“Can Shame Be Good?”
By Pastor Michele
This is the first of a new sermon series. At Cross Tracks Church.
It’s good to know I still can qualify for some position in society! 😀
We were invited to have supper wit Arik and Jenny and kids.

Six of us waiting to get into Olive Garden. I know there are only guide I these photos. Arik and Jenny’s exchange student was there also. However, I did not have permission to photograph her.

There was plenty of food.

©2021 Thomas E Williams

2021 September 04

This was shortly after my grandfather died. Mom and I had been taking care of him at my grandparents home in Prescott Iowa
We had moved there from Johnston Iowa after my father passed away. We had moved there to take care if my grandmother for the last few months of her life.
Grandad was suffering from dementia and needed constant care or he would wander off, so we stayed. I’m sure that Mom needed the getaway to Texas to visit with her sister and decompress from the past stressful years. At the time I was too young to be aware of what she must have been going through.

Chicken legs and cubed potatoes slow cooked in BBQ sauce, green beans slow cooked in chicken stock with bits of bacon, and some cottage cheese to complete the meal. That’s what’s for lunch.

Goodnight and God bless.

©2021 Thomas E Williams

2021 September 03

It reached 95° today. 
Torrential rain from Hurricane Ida’s remnants caused deadly flooding in parts of the Northeast and the Mid-Atlantic as the storm made its way up the East Coast on Wednesday and Thursday. 
September 3, 2021 New large fires were reported in Montana and Texas. The extreme fire behavior was observed on the Dixie Fire, as it made a run for more than 18,000 acres. Currently 85 large fires and complexes are burning in 12 states. Nearly 25,000 wildland firefighters and support personnel are assigned to incidents across the country.

Today’s breakfast consisted of fluffy scrambled eggs with cheese, crisp bacon, and toast. Lunch was leftover goulash. Supper was cereal.

Today’s UpperRoom reading: Psalm 119:25-32.                    Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, always be our guide, for without you we are truly lost. Amen.

©2021 Thomas E Williams

2021 September 02

This is a special two egg day for no reason at all.
Today’s devotional is a reminder that we all have the same creator. Now everybody sign 🎶 We Are Family 🎶

BINGO

Ella went to the Great Room at the apartment and played Bingo. I decided last week to leave early because do few were wearing masks. This week I chose to not go at all (same reason). When Ella returned, she confirmed that the players were not wearing masks tonight either. She was also a little disgusted that people were not paying attention to the rules of the game.

ANOTHER DO

NOTHING DAY

©2021 Thomas E Williams

2021 September 01

Today’s high temperature was 95°.
Okay, okay, I’m good with that.
But why is it still 92° at eight o’clock tonight?
Ella had the stitches removed from where the teeth were extracted.
She also had the sharp edge, of
another broken tooth, ground down.
Little did we know on Labor Day 2019 that the deadly Covid-19 virus was already starting to spread.
I didn’t know that this
would be my last sermon
at Cutty’s Campground.
We’ve sincere given up
our Cutty’s membership.
We have moved out of Iowa
and become full-time Texans.
Two years later and the battle against this killer pandemic is still being waged around the world. And the world has undergone so many drastic changes in social behavior as well as how business is done. Two years ago we would not have guessed that we would bee wearing masks and maintaining six foot distancing.

©2021 Thomas E Williams

2021 August 31

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The author of today’s devotional found emotional healing by spending time observing the sunrise. That strikes a cord in my heart also. Watching the sunrises and sunsets, as well as watching the ever changing shapes of clouds has a calming and centering effect on me. That’s one reason I try to begin and end these daily blogs with skyscapes.  

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Goulash, garlic bread, and lettuce salad for lunch. Mighty tasty, if I do say do myself. Frankly, I’m beginning to run out of ideas for lunches that Ella can eat. She has a dentist appointment tomorrow morning. We will know more then about what the next step is for getting some teeth for her.

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The sunburn that I received on the 22nd has begin to peel off. I now have ragged edges.

Dr. Natalie Curcio, MD, MPH, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist, says it isn’t a good idea to try to exfoliate a peeling sunburn in an attempt to remove the dead skin. “Do not pull off your peeling skin, and avoid active exfoliation,” she says. “Instead, allow it to slough off your body on its own.”

What? Well, it’s no fun at all to let it slough off. The fun is in seeing how big of a continuous strip you can pull at one time. Right?

God bless and goodnight.

©2021 Thomas E Williams

2021 August 30

The purpose of the box I built on the back of the pickup was to transport items from our storage shed in Iowa to the shed in Texas. At the time, we had two trailers on somewhat permanent sites, one in Iowa and the other in Texas. As it turned out very little of the Iowa shed was emptied on the first trip back to Texas. I had underestimated the number of boxes and trunks that Ella had packed.

The enclosed truck bed has proven very useful over the last couple of years. It was very handy for moving from the trailer to the apartment. It has also done duty in the collection and transportation of food stuffs, clothing, and household items to Operation Library Hill’s foods bank and thrift store. Also Our Grandies group collects aluminum cans and sells them to a metals recycler. At times the bags of cans have over filled the truck box.

The Sour cream potato carrot soup turned out okay, but not to the level for which I had hoped.

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The following article is from the Liberty Hill Independent Newspaper. By Rachel Madison

     When the Over the Hill Gang restarted their weekly Thursday luncheons in April after a 14-month hiatus due to COVID, they had high hopes they were back for good.

     Unfortunately, due to the most recent surge in COVID cases because of the Delta variant, the gang made the decision Aug. 19 to suspend all meetings until further notice.

     “The board came to an agreement that due to the increased threat of COVID, this will be the last Over the Hill Gang meeting until there is clear evidence that it is once again safe,” said Tom Williams, president of the organization, during his weekly announcements. “There’s no way we can social distance in here, and I personally would feel somewhat responsible if any of you got sick because of being here and even worse if you died from it, so we are going to try to avoid that.”

     Williams said before the pandemic, around 70 people would attend the weekly Over the Hill meetings for food and fellowship. Since the group started meeting again a few months ago, there have been dwindling numbers, with the last few weeks only bringing in around 25 people.

     “Our group is just continuing to get smaller,” he said. “There are a lot of people already not coming. With the COVID cases on the rise and the new variant, plus the age of our group and the assorted ailments that go along with that age, I don’t feel comfortable with us gathering.”

     Area seniors ages 50 years and older are eligible to join the gang.

     During the group’s hiatus, Williams said he didn’t hear of anyone in the group contracting COVID, but he believes that was because everyone took isolating very seriously. And even when the gang started meeting again, many still weren’t ready to socialize and didn’t attend the weekly luncheon.

     Although he is glad his group members are staying safe, Williams also worries about those who live alone and don’t get the chance to socialize much outside of Over the Hill Gang events.

     “My wife and I were together isolating, and I mentioned to her how terrible this would be to go through alone,” Williams said. “It’s hard even for us not having people to talk to all the time.”

      Because of the age of the group, Williams said they didn’t try any virtual meetings.

      “While we were apart, we were apart,” he said. “I know there were a lot of friends here who tried to stay in contact, but it’s hard to play Canasta or Dominos over a virtual meeting.”

      During the Over the Hill Gang’s absence from their meeting space in the County Annex building behind Parker’s Market, former Mayor Rick Hall rented out half of the building to The Village, a daycare for adults with disabilities.

     “We wanted to come back bigger and better, but it’s hard to come back bigger and better when you don’t have the space to meet,” said Ella Williams, one of the directors for the Over the Hill Gang’s board. “There’s no way we can social distance in just half our building. We love The Village—they are a wonderful bunch of people—and I’m all for finding a good place for them to be, which this was while we were gone, but I hope when we come back, we have more space.”

      Tom Williams said Hall didn’t know how much the Over the Hill Gang group used the building, and while the gang doesn’t own the building, the group does own everything inside the building.

     “We were promised a new building under the previous mayor,” he added. “They were going to move us across the street and build a new community center, but as you see, we are still here and there is still [city-owned] machinery over there [across the street]. I guess that was impacted by COVID also. However, if you ran a survey amongst our members, you wouldn’t find too many in favor of giving up this building. Instead, they just want to have our room back.”

     Current Mayor Liz Branigan said she has big plans for the Over the Hill Gang’s future and is currently looking into grant options to fund the building of a senior community center where the group can meet when they start their meetings once again.

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©2021 Thomas E Williams