Happy Leap Day!

Delve into the light and dark that is Mark
Delve into the light and dark that is Mark

February is ending one day later this year as it does every four years and coincides with the US Presidential Election.

Yes, today is February 29 or Leap Day. For hourly workers it is an extra day of pay. For salaried workers, some are working for free on this extra day of the year.

According to TimeAndDate.com:

According to an old Irish legend, or possibly history, St Brigid struck a deal with St Patrick to allow women to propose to men – and not just the other way around – every four years.

This is believed to have been introduced to balance the traditional roles of men and women in a similar way to how leap day balances the calendar.

In some places, leap day has been known as “Bachelors’ Day” for the same reason. A man was expected to pay a penalty, such as a gown or money, if he refused a marriage proposal from a woman on Leap Day.

In many European countries, especially in the upper classes of society, tradition dictates that any man who refuses a woman’s proposal on February 29 has to buy her 12 pairs of gloves. The intention is that the woman can wear the gloves to hide the embarrassment of not having an engagement ring. During the middle ages there were laws governing this tradition.

For those only get to celebrate their birth every four years, Happy Birthday!

There were no storms, but the wind was gusty on Sunday.

The wind knocked out electricity in Mark’s Den for just over an hour yesterday. Cable television also was disrupted for the rest of the day with some channels working and others not.

Today most channels are back to normal.

Later in the evening rain with a beautiful display of lightning did come into the Cornfield. Chooey kept going to the storm door to watch the cinematic show in the night sky while I watched the Oscars.

That’s the way it is in Mark’s Den.

And how is your Leap Day going?

On This Lord’s Day

This song says it all about how I am feeling and what I am thinking on this last Lord’s Day in February, 2016.

It also happens to be one of my Mom’s favorite songs. When I could still sing, this is one she always requested I sing in church.

On a Saturday Night, My Thoughts

When Eric Carmen wrote this song 40 years ago, I wonder he had a vision and saw me on this last Saturday night in February, 2016. Did he read my thoughts and feelings and put the passion, the loneliness, the sadness into one of the greatest songs ever written.

These truly are my thoughts on a Saturday night in Mark’s Den.

Give Me a Reason

Can’t seem to get this out of my brain. It is playing over and over the past few days.

Wonder how many will get it?

What you think and what it is may not be the same.

Early Bird – Yawn!

Delve into the light and dark that is Mark
Delve into the light and dark that is Mark

Thanks to Chooey, I was an early bird this Friday morning. I am still yawning after two cups of coffee and being up for 2 1/2 hours now.

The cold cuts all the way through this morning. Blame that primarily on the wind. Better pour another cup of steaming java to shake off the chill.

Not that Mark’s Den is not warm and cozy, but when I leashed Chooey and opened the door for him to go out, the wind whipped all around me. By the way, Chooey stuck his nose out and chose to stay in and use his pads rather than venturing out.

The sky is blue without a cloud. The sun is shining brightly. Looking out you would never know the blast of Arctic air that will greet you when you open the door.

I should be back to being a driver by next Friday. Payday is Thursday when I can plate the van and get insurance.

Not sure what to do with the extra day in February which comes Monday. It is Leap Year. I am definitely no Sadie Hawkins, but even if I was, there would be no one to ask.

That’s the way it is this last Friday of the month.

And how is your TGIF going?

Car-less Again for Now

Delve into the light and dark that is Mark
Delve into the light and dark that is Mark

This wet, cold, windy Thursday I wake up car-less once again. As I noted on Wednesday, a deal could not be reached with the credit union. The Aveo was picked up last evening.

As I also mentioned yesterday, there is sunshine as well. I will have another vehicle next week.

The snow stayed to the north, but the icy mix, the rain, the wind, the chill are making for a rough day in the Cornfield. Good thing I have no reason to venture forth from Mark’s Den today.

The cluster headaches have really been kicking up the dust lately. Today is not quite so bad as a couple of days ago.

Breathing concerns come and go. Most of the time, I am doing well with my respiratory system.

Mentally, thanks to my ignore button, I am treading water. Without that ability, I would have sunk below the waves a long time ago.

That’s the way it is this blustery morning in Mark’s Den.

And how is your Thursday going?

#ThrowBackThursday photo:

Four years ago after lung surgery
Four years ago after lung surgery with subcu on left, no subcu on right. I weighed 135 pounds in both images.

Disappointing Development

Delve into the light and dark that is Mark
Delve into the light and dark that is Mark

The saying goes, “You win some. You lose some.” That is the case as I sit here sipping my coffee in Mark’s Den on this rainy, soon-to-be snowy, Wednesday morning.

While I had hoped when I got the Aveo back from Iohn to be able to work it out with the credit union to keep the car and eventually get the payment back on track, it is not to be.

I received two calls from the bank yesterday. The first one was a simple check on my decision of whether to keep the Aveo or return it to the credit union. The second was to say that the financial institution would not work with me on catching up.

The car would be picked up.

But all is not gloomy.

I do have a backup plan thanks to my Dad and Susie. I will have a vehicle. The vehicle is their old van, with generous, super low payments.

While for the next week, after the bank comes for the car, my independence will be curtailed again, I will rejoin the ranks of the independent in short order.

Rain moved into the Cornfield as night fell. That rain continues this morning with standing water in my front yard. Within the next few hours the rain will turn to snow, dropping two to three inches.

To the north, the accumulation will be much higher. To the south, an icy mix will make life miserable.

That’s the way it is this midweek day in Mark’s Den.

And how is your Hump Day going?

Oh, It’s Screaming Time Again

Delve into the light and dark that is Mark
Delve into the light and dark that is Mark

The severity of pain ripping through my brain has me ready to scream and at the point of crying this Tuesday morning.

If this continues or gets worse, I may have to go to the emergency room for a shot to knock me out for several hours.

This has to be the worst cluster headache attack I have had in years.

Not helping matters is my left nostril is stopped up. This is having an impact on my breathing and even with the oxygen does little good.

Blame it on the weather which is in a spiral of fronts rolling in and out.

That’s the way it is this second day of the week in Mark’s Den.

And how is your Tuesday going?

Beginning of the End of February

Delve into the light and dark that is Mark
Delve into the light and dark that is Mark

This is the beginning of the last week in February. Talk about time flying, this month has sailed by rather quickly. March looms, but will have to wait one extra day.

Though there has not been any mention, this is a leap year.

Yes, this is that every four years when we add an extra day to the calendar. This is the year when all those Sadie Hawkins who are tired of waiting to be asked by their beaus for their hand in marriage can rope their man.

After an unseasonably warm weekend, we are back to more winter-like weather this week. It will still be a bit warmer than usual, but winter is not giving up just yet.

Political watchers, like me, will have more than their fill of the bizarre this week.

There is a town hall on Tuesday with Hillary and Bernie.

Then on Thursday a debate between The Donald, Marco, Ted, The Governor and The Doctor.

Then there is a caucus of Republicans in Nevada and voters in a primary for Democrats in South Carolina.

The big game happens a week from tomorrow with Super Tuesday or the so-called SEC Primaries with 11 states voting.

At least all the politics is break in the monotony so common here in Mark’s Den.

That’s the way it is on this beginning of the end.

And how is your Monday going?

Happy Birthday, Dave!

Feb. 21, 1979 Parkersburg, WV
         February 21, 1979

Hard to believe, but it was 37 years ago today that my oldest son, Dave, came into this world. Hard to believe that over three decades have passed since I received the phone call saying that my firstborn had made his debut. I must pause and wish to him, “Happy Birthday Dave!”.

It was a cold day in February, 1979. Sadly his mother and I were separated. She had moved back home to Parkersburg, West Virginia after leaving the Air Force. We both had been stationed at Grissom Air Force Base, Indiana when we met and wed. I was still in service three months after she had returned home. Not dealing well with my second marriage failing, the day Dave was born, I was in the hospital at Howard Community in Kokomo, Indiana.

To try and begin to express the joy that welled up inside me when I received the news of Dave’s birth would be an exercise in futility for one such as myself incapable of putting those emotions into words. Upon hearing of the arrival of my son, I called my Mom and let other family members know.

It would be about 25 years later before I met my son. Due to circumstances, the twists and turns of life, greeting my firstborn for the first time was postponed for too many years.

Now 37 years later, Dave has his own family with three beautiful little girls: Dylan, Alaina and Amelia. He has a wonderful wife, Anna. He and his family live in the Indianapolis metro area about 100 miles from Mark’s Den in the Cornfield.

On this day, the only thing that matters is that Dave celebrates his birth surrounded by those he loves and who love him.

May this day be the promise of better days and better years to come.

May the sun always rise and shine its warmth in his life.

Happy Birthday Dave!

I love you and am very proud of the great man you have become.

Here are some photos of Dave through the years:

Wedding the love of his life, Anna

dave3y~0dave2daveprom00 davesenior~0daveanna3 DSCN0448~0 dylan3-15 famday9 gencondaveanna girls13 got-him-Mom help-from-daddy IMG_1122~0 IMG_1237~0 IMG_5834 IMG_8012 IMG_8499 IMG_9793 IMG_618028129

Dave with Mom, Luann
Dave with Mom, Luann