Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Kleenex Please

 Have you come to the realization of who you are? I am talking about the inner you. The person who makes you YOU. I came to this realization many times before but I always just shrugged it off as being an off day. I am usually a "Nothing effects me" kind of guy. But I am beginning to rethink that now.

       If there is a borderline in genes of that make you a male or female....I am beginning to think that I am just above that line that says grown men cry sometimes too.

       I cried while watching Biggest Loser!!!  I am such a cry baby!!  But there is something about that show that just tears me up. It must be their epic battle with their weight and their success at the end of the day. This week they were reunited with their spouses with their astonished looks on their faces. It just choked me up to see the tears they shed when they were united after their makeovers. The feeling that they have conquered something that they never thought they could. It just brought me to tears.

       But that wasn't the worse part of it....the worse part was when my wife saw me. She immediately burst into laughter....and I immediately felt like a cry baby. It wasn't just a ordinary laugh...it was a gut buster laugh coming from the bottom of her belly kind of laugh. At first I tried to hide my face but when I realized that she was laughing so hard at me I had to laugh too.

       I have cried before...I am not afraid to admit it. Its just that usually my wife is crying too. You feel a little silly when your the only one crying. it happened once before to me while I was watching...of all things...'The Brady Bunch movie. You talk about feeling silly....yeah...I did. I am pretty sure that I have cried every time I have watched the movie "Armageddon"...all 15 times. Kim calls me a "sentimental sap"  ....I just call myself a cry baby.But it just seems like this epidemic is getting worse the older I get.

       I guess its just who I am...I just wonder how many other men cry? (I mean "straight" men.)
I have a hard time imagining Russell Crowe or Clint Eastwood or those manly men in Hollywood crying over a reality show.

       Now that I know what I am made of...I will just have to adjust...and if that means I have to have a box of Kleenex  sitting on the end table...I will just have to do that.
They do make them with lotion in them right? (I would just hate to have a red nose and have to explain that I watched a reality show last night to my coworkers) Its one thing that I know who I am...but everybody doesn't need to know that I am a cry baby. Except you of course...mums the word. :)

Monday, November 28, 2011

JOB 101

       Do you remember your first job? Mine was working at a gas station in my very small hometown of Hadley Michigan when I was 10. It was a real gas station...you know... the kind where you would pull up and someone would come out and pump the gas for you and while they were doing that they would also check your oil level? Wouldn't it be nice if that service would come back?
       Any way...an elderly couple owned this station and many town folk would come in the station for some hot coffee and town gossip. (another reason to bring this type of service back...I like coffee now :) I enjoyed going in there as well as a kid...even though it was a little intimidating with all the people in there sitting but we always got candy so it was worth the embarrassment. I always wondered if they talked about us when we left though.(they prolly did)
      Mark and Vira Earhardt owned the station and were just a wonderful couple who were loved by all. Vira obviously wore the pants in the relationship while Mark was more of a worker bee type. but both wonderful, caring people. I am not really sure how I even got the job....but I am pretty sure that I didn't apply...so I can only assume my mom or dad got it for me. My job was pretty simple...I would sweep floors and clean off oil cans that were stacked along the office. The station also had a Hugh garage area and it was just filled with car parts and tires galore. (which was also intimidating to look at as a kid)
     My first day I swept and cleaned...my second day was the same....and had I gone back on the third day...I am pretty sure I would have been doing the same. Well...I never made it back there. I just didn't show up for like four days. I wish I knew why I didn't but I cant really remember the reason. My Mom and Dad said" Don't you think you should call them and let them know that you quit?" Ummm...yeah I prolly should do that." I said. So around the 5th day of not showing up I finally got enough courage up to make that call and tell them. "Yeah you were fired four days ago" Vira said in her always cheery voice. Now...I was hurt. Did she have to sound so dang cheery when she said that. She could have sounded disappointed or mad. I mean who's going to clean all the oil cans? Who is going to sweep the pebbles and dirt up ?  Of course I am kidding...I would have called me up on the phone (yes we had those back then)  and fired me if I was them.
      I wished I would have had more coaching back then as to what to expect from a JOB. I had no clue what it was like to have a job...no clue as to what was expected from me (Besides the fact that I knew I was supposed to be there everyday)
But doesn't it seem like they should teach you that in school? Why not have  a couple classes to prepare children what it will be like in the real world. Prepare them on what to expect and what will be expected of them from their employer. Even as a 18 year old I didn't quite "Get it". I think I had the concept that you had to be there and at the end of the week you got a pay check. I had no clue as to what it would take to hold a job or excel in it. Most kids are so oblivious to the fact that it will take a lot of dedication and perseverance to be successful. Maybe that's just something that we learn through life...but man it just seems like we could do more to help our kids understand what its going to take to prepare them. Most people don't get serious about their job until they get married and have children or something significant happens in their lives. And then all of a sudden they think they are ready for a promotion. Ah...did you forget that promotions are based on the previous work that you have shown or the amount of dedication that you put forth prior to the promotion opportunity? I will pass thank you.

      I always think back on my first job and think....not bad things but good. Its good that I learned responsibility. Its good that I found courage...even if it was 5 days late. Its good that I learned that you have to start at the bottom sometimes. And its good that I quit that job....they sold the station 4 years later. :)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

To Regret or not Regret...that is not the question.

Today, I come to you to tell you more about my loss of my daughter.
I know I know...I miss blogging for a couple of weeks and I come back with this?
Just remember...I blog for me...not you...so there :p
And besides...You love me so I know you will read :)

Timberly June Ranshaw was born in 1988 and.she past away in May 2009.
Most of you who read my blog already know that she was diagnosed with Lupus when she was fifteen. Lupus would eventually take her from us. And for those who don't know...Lupus is a anti immune disease. (In other words...the body just starts attacking itself.)

Lupus really? Everybody knows someone with Lupus....my Mom had Lupus and she wasn't sick all the time from it. She took meds and I don't ever remember her having a flare up or not being able to move from the pain it can deliver.
"She will be fine" I told Kim when she was first diagnosed. Looking back on that statement now....I regret ever thinking that. You see, It was that thought that stayed in my head the whole time she was struggling with her lupus and it was that thought that would slap smack kick  brutally bash me in the face on that dreadful day. I know we are not supposed to have regrets in life...but that is truly one of mine.

Timberly was in the hospital for  two weeks after fighting for her life from...double pneumonia and sepsis. (Sepsis is a blood infection).
 Seven has always been my favorite number but after her 7 days on the ventilator and 7 day hospital stay...I was beginning to wonder how lucky it really was. But she was better when she came out and I was so grateful. It was during her ventilator days that I also had wondered if I was wrong about that statement I made to Kim. Maybe she wont be fine.

She had another 7 days after she was out of the hospital before she past away. She had a new outlook on her life...I was happy for her and I was also thinking ...she will be fine.

She went to bed on May 19th and was coughing alot..it was around 5 am that I had heard her and her boyfriend get up and Kim  saying" Get ready I am taking you in". Justin volunteered to take her and Kim said ok. And being the workaholic that I am...I didn't mind either. Lord forbid if missed a another day of work. This is where the regret begins...right here. Why didn't I go with them. WHY?
I was at work at around 6am and I remember where I was at exactly when I received the phone call.
Mr Ranshaw?
Yes, this is he.
Timberly has had some complications and you should come right away.
Is she alright?
Sir I think you should just come right away.

I was afraid to ask any more questions. These types of phone calls only happen on TV. They don't happen to me...thinking positively I was thinking...Oh no..she had to go back on the ventilator but I must admit, death was lurking in the background of my brain. I prayed  for the whole 1 hr trip to the hospital.

 I walked in and a person was there to greet me ...Mr. Ranshaw? she asked
Yes, I am he (I know it sounds like I am talking like Shakespeare or something...but its what I said)
Right this way sir.
I followed her.
She showed me the door to a office and opened it for me.
In there was Kim, Justin, and Justin's mom
I saw every ones eyes welled up from crying. But it didn't hit me yet.
Whats going on? I said hesitantly knowing that what I was about to hear was going to change my life for the worst.
Kim looked at me and said.... the Lord has taken Timber today.
That moment...in an instant....my life changed.
I covered my face with my hands and cried...No...this cant be happening to me.
I would wipe my eyes clear thinking I would see something different...but no.
It happened.
But wait.... I didn't say I love you when she left this morning. I didn't even kiss her good bye.
I didn't tell her how proud of her I was...I wasn't finished yet damn it. Another regret!!

Oh the regrets

 I have since realized that I know (way beyond a shadow of doubt) that she knew how much I loved her. I kissed and hugged her many times before (which I cherish those memories more than ever now) And I also realized the importance of those three little words.... I Love you.
We shouldn't say those words to prove that we love people...no...proving it happens through your actions not your words. But saying it is for you and you alone. We should say it so that we don't have that regret of it not being the last words we ever said to someone.

I dont live my life in those regrets...I live my life now knowing that I never want to regret again

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Old Buck Cut

I hate...with a capitol H...HATE spending money on a haircut. But I know its a necessary thing that one has to do at times. My time was today. I went and splurged the 8 bucks and got it done. I am not sure why it bothers me so much to spend money on that and I know 8 bucks isn't alot to spend, as most haircuts are 15 bucks and up. But I am a guy who wont spend more than 30 bucks on a pair of tennis shoes. I know they wont last me but a year and I will have to break down and buy a new pair. Perhaps that's why I don't like spending money on hair cuts...because I know its just going to grow back in a couple of months anyway. I swear...If I knew I wouldn't look like a total dork, I would do it myself.

 I go to this place called Buck Kuts and this woman barber named Kathy is very nice and is also very much a chatty cat. This place looks more like a living room than it does a Barber shop, with a couch and TV and a few deer mounts on the wall. She cuts my hair in about 5 minutes...and if I was real honest...they usually look like a 5 minute hair cut when shes through. Sides are never even, and the next day I usually find hairs that were either to tough to cut with her scissors or she just missed them.  But it doesn't bother me because all I do is just brush it back anyway...kind of the "I just stuck my head out the car window going 90 miles an hour"  look.

As she was cutting my hair using the clippers, a few globs about 2 inches long fell onto my lap. I was SHOCKED. Not that I actually had 2 inches of hair...but of all the gray hairs that was in those globs. At first I thought that it was just the black cape making the gray stand out more than normal...that was until I noticed that the cape was actually light blue and white striped.  I just sat there staring at it and staring at it. I just couldn't believe it. Look, I know I am 49 years old and a little gray hair is natural for a man of my age....but there was more than a little...there was ALOT. How come I didn't see it in the mirror?  I don't mind growing old...I really don't...but when it just jumps out on your lap and screams "YOUR OLD" it just kind of sucks...you know what I mean?

I asked Kathy if the gray in long hair men stands out more than on short haired men. She said that if you keep your hair shorter it wont stand out so much until you have all gray hair and then it wont matter, it will look like gray no matter what. So from now on I will keep my hair cut short so the gray hairs don't stand out as much. That's good news right? Well she even gave me better news than that...she said that starting December 1st...all her hair cuts will be 5 bucks. Sweeeeet!!! That news put a smile on my face, and after I tipped her I told her in my best Arnold voice...."I'll be Buuuck"

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Hunting Camp 2011

I'm Baaaaack !!  Its always great to come home after a week long stay in the woods with the guys.
Wait...that kinda sounds a little funny having said it like that so let me re-phrase that.
 Its always good to come home after a week of hunting with friends, (Yeah that sounds better.)
I came home with only a broken arrow for my efforts. No deer but plenty of good memories. And even better yet...I still have the stick. No one else got a deer either so I get to keep it until someone does.
I had many beer...oops I mean deer come in but it was always after dark. (deer are so smart)
My brother brought up his digital game cams and he let me set them up at my hunting spots.Here are a few that were taken.

We had many great meals fit for a king and we feasted. Why is it that everything tastes so much better when its cooked outside? We had potato soup that I made  that was out of this world good,(even if I am saying so myself) we also had steak  and potatoes over the fire, and breakfasts with all the fixins. Oh...and the fires....picture a normal sized campfire and then multiply it by 10 and you are still underestimating the size of fires that we sit by at night. We only use pine stumps that are dead or were burnt down during during a forest fire many years ago. We always pick out one really large one for the last night we in the woods. This year was no exception. My Brother Scott is considered the fire master and he is always the one who gets the fire roasting hot. The flames dance all over the pine and it is a treat to watch. (In case you were wondering why pine?...well there is sap in pine and it is quite flammable)  So if your ever lost in the woods and need a fire...look for pine because it will start with a match.
I even slept by the fire one night...and no...I chose to ...I didn't have to...in case you were thinking that I drank to much and couldn't make it to my trailer. The fire was hot and felt so good...that I went and got my sleeping bag and enjoyed the rest of the night by the fire. I woke up and looked up at the bright beautiful twinkling stars as the coyotes howled in the background....it was like ...going home!!
What a Great trip !!