One Year Gone

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

One year later and I am going through the motions.

One year later and I still feel the pain.

One year gone to never return.

Such is life.

This morning I am summoning my inner Uncle Joe at the Junction. For the younger set that means I am moving very slow. Uncle Joe was a character on the 1960s hit show, Petticoat Junction.

The cluster headaches are obscene today. The breathing continues to be an issue. The intense pressure on the airways only intensifies. My heart rate has been rushing at times.

That’s the way it is in Mark’s Den this last day of May as I start the day late.

And how is your Tuesday going?

Solitary Holiday

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

Not sure what got into Chooey, but he started at shortly before 4 a.m. trying to get me roused from slumber today. I held out and managed to stay in bed until 7 a.m.

What I do know is that it was not a desire to run free, or I should say leashed, outdoors.

For me it will be a solitary holiday. No different than every other day in Mark’s Den. Those who paid the ultimate price of our freedom with their lives will be and are on my mind. I posted a short bit ago: A Debt We Can Never Repay.

If you have been to my home page, you will notice I have changed to an RSS feed from CNN for the headline news. I have also changed over from the Weather Channel to Accuweather for my local weather.

One of the new features in the change in weather is a forecast of how the day will be for those of us with respiratory issues.

Memorial Day outlook on air quality
Memorial Day outlook on air quality

That’s the way it is in Mark’s Den.

And how is your Memorial Day going?

Sunday Gospel: My God Is More Powerful

From her album, Gospel Originals, here is My God Is More Powerful, written and performed by Sharon L. Hollifield (Mom).

The song was recorded over a decade ago at the Woody Power Studio in Farmersburg, Indiana.

I am accompanying Mom on the keyboard/piano as well as with harmonies.


The Graduate – Jackalee Shaelynn Snavely

My niece Jackalee received her diploma from Sullivan High School this afternoon.

Here are a few pictures from her graduation celebration at the Sullivan American Legion Post 139.

Jackalee and Dad (Mike Snavely)
Nephew Chevy photo bombing Aunt Jackalee’s picture. Chevy did this in several of the pictures. LOL
Papa Bill tried to get Chevy out of the shot and ended up photo bombing this one. LOL
The smiling graduate – Jackalee Shaelynn Snavely
Mom (Leticia Maxey), the graduate Jackalee, Step-Dad (Chad Maxey)
Cuz getting into photo bombing with Chevy. LOL
Grandma (Sharon Hollifield) gets in the picture with Mom, Jackalee and Chad
Brother Chance Hollifield showing brotherly love to the graduate Jackalee
Dad, Jackalee and Grandma (Mike’s Mom – I forgot her name! OOPs!)
With Chad’s Mom (another Grandma, whose name I forget. OOPs!)
Sisterly love – Jackalee with Alex Snavely
What a threesome! Alex, Jackalee, Chance

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Graduation Saturday

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

Throughout the Cornfield and across the nation, high school seniors will walk to center stage to receive their diplomas as this Memorial Day weekend marks graduation days today and tomorrow.

My own niece, Jackalee, will be at the commencement ceremony this afternoon at Sullivan High School. Around 4 p.m. her accomplishment will be celebrated with family and friends at the Sullivan American Legion.

Going to the graduation is not feasible for me due to my health conditions, I am hoping I can make it to the reception/open house at 4. The problem with attending earlier is where I would have to park and how far I would have to walk to make it in to the auditorium.

It ain’t gonna happen.

A lot will depend both on the weather (there’s thunderstorms in the forecast) and my respiratory issue as to whether I make it to the Legion. Today is another At Risk day for those of us with breathing concerns.

That’s the way it is in Mark’s Den.

And how is your Saturday going?

Gloomy Friday

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

A gloomy day ahead in the Cornfield as rain threatens throughout the day and into the weekend. The gray is slowly giving way this morning, but when storm clouds may form no one knows.

Friday, the kickoff to the holiday weekend when we will honor those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom. I wrote about it in this article: Salute to Those Who Gave Their All.

I am doing my best to tread water and keep my head from sinking beneath the tide. It is not easy.

The wet weather is impacting my breathing. Each movement zaps my strength.

Much will depend on the weather tomorrow whether I will be able to attend the reception for my niece, Jackalee, in celebration of her graduating high school.

I know I will not be able to make the commencement ceremony. The walk from where I park into the building and to the auditorium are is too daunting and would result in a respiratory meltdown.

Even if I am not able to be there in person, my spirit will be there cheering Jackalee on her next journey along the road of life.

That’s the way it is in Mark’s Den.

And how is your Friday going?

Gearing for Nothing

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

A sunny Thursday morning with the Memorial Day weekend kicking off in another day. While millions are gearing up for all the revelry and the Indy 500, I am gearing up for nothing.

Now my niece is graduating Saturday, but having to play it by ear if I can attend. Much will depend on the weather. With that in mind, this week’s #ThrowBackThursday photo is of Jackalee’s Mom (my sister, Leticia) and brother (my nephew, Chance) when they graduated.

graduatesOf course after Jackalee walks across the stage on Saturday I will have to update this collage to include her graduation picture.

For those of us with respiratory issues today is an At Risk day. Though the sun is shining at the moment in a cloudless, blue sky, threats of thunderstorms loom beyond the horizon.

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

And how is your Thursday going?

Race Week in the Cornfield

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

For my oldest son, Dave, this coming weekend is anything, but a holiday. For Dave it is work, work, work. Dave works for the City of Speedway Street Department which means he is busy getting ready and working through the weekend for the “greatest spectacle in racing” – the Indy 500.

As I wrote a few years ago:

The annual star of the show that puts Indiana in the spotlight is the Indy 500 Memorial Day weekend.

The Hoosier State puts out the welcome mat to visitors from all over the world to witness the greatest spectacle in racing. The Speedway takes center stage for any and all Memorial Day cookouts and parties.

The race is considered one of the 3 most significant motor sports in the world. Drivers take on the 2.5 mile track for 200 laps before the checkered flag is waved. The race is one of the world’s oldes and most important in motor racing.

The Speedway complex was built in 1909 with gravel tracks. It even featured a track for motorcycle racing. The first paved track came along in 1910. The 1st Indy 500 took place on May 30, 1911. Since that time the Indy 500 has grown and wears the crown of the greatest spectacle of racing that it is today.

Race week offers many events for enthusiasts to enjoy. There is of course the trials runs, the heats,  that determine which car and driver will have the poll position and is attended by thousands each year.

For this reason, Dave, Anna along with granddaughters Dylan, Alaina and Amelia will not be able to travel to Sullivan on Saturday to celebrate as Jackalee graduates from Sullivan High School.

My own attendance at both the commencement or later at the reception at the American Legion Post in Sullivan will be dependent on both the state of my health and the weather. Rain is forecast which is bad news for my ability to get out.

Enjoying the sunshine today for as long as it lasts. Rain with the chance of a severe thunderstorm is in the forecast. This does not bode well for my breathing. In fact the respiratory forecast today is listed as “At Risk”.

Not good.

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

And how is your Wednesday going?

Miles to Go, Promises to Keep, Milestone Reached

Jackalee, you’ve come a long way, baby!

On Saturday, my niece, Jackalee Snavely, will walk across the stage to receive her high school diploma.

Jackalee, you made it!

Wishing her all the best as she reaches this milestone in life.


Difficult to believe that you are this old and are graduating. But like your mother and brother before you, you are receiving your diploma from Sullivan High School.

Love you. Hopefully my conditions will not prevent me from at least attending your after graduation celebration.

The Senior in Pictures:

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Monday Starts with Sunshine

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

This Monday morning is starting much better than the past few Mondays.

There is no rain falling or which fell overnight. There are no clouds in the sky. The sun is shining brightly. The birds are singing. The grass is growing high. The flowers are blooming while the trees leaf out.

If only my state of being in Mark’s Den could match the glory of the day I see in the Cornfield.

Depression is deepening. Cluster headaches are severe. Vision is heavy and blurred. Breathing is difficult. Mucus plugs are increasing, blocking my airways.

Such is life.

Chooey woke me around 4 a.m. Uncharacteristically he wanted to go outside to take care of business.

I stumbled into the living room. I attached Chooey’s leash. I let him out. A few moments later he was barking. I had to pull him back into Mark’s Den.

A neighbor’s boxer was running loose. It is a beautiful dog, afraid of people and other dogs. But he will come right up to my screen door and look inside.

Chooey is standoffish with him. My little buddy is unsure whether he wants to play or needs to be on the defense.

After getting Chooey back inside, it was back to bed for me. We slept in until 9 a.m.

That’s the way it is this beautiful Monday morning.

And how is your new week starting?