Saying Goodbye

Doris Harwick, beloved Mother, Grandmother, Sister and Aunt went to receive her reward November 30, 2016. Forever in our hearts, we will see and hug you again one day.

About an hour ago I received a phone call I knew was coming. My Aunt Doris is no longer in pain. She has passed from this life to the next.

Aunt Doris was my Dad’s older sister and suffered from cancer for a number of years. Today she is at peace.

I remember as a child with my brothers going to Aunt Doris house for holidays to romp and play with cousins – Tim, Mike and Bev. She lived next door to Grandma and Grandpa Ivy on Lynn Street in Mishawauka, Indiana.

So many hours spent playing in the backyard. So many hours tearing up the house.

Down through the years, Aunt Doris was always the same. She never changed.

Not all was always heaven, but Aunt Doris rose above a divorce to Uncle Joe Ray, moves to Granger and later to Columbus before heading south to Florida.

Later she met the man who put a smile back on her face, Doyle Harwick, who left her too soon to go home to heaven.

I recall when in my other life I was able to relate her and Doyle’s story for the Linton Daily Citizen of their flight from Kuwait when Iraq invaded.

Years later, Aunt Doris opened her home to me in Indianapolis when I was going through a rough patch, though in my 40s by that time.

Aunt Doris, you will always remain alive in my heart. Your love was never an issue. Your heart was open no matter how disappointed you may have been with my actions or those of others.

In the words of the Apostle Paul, you kept the faith. You fought a good fight. Now you have gone to receive your reward and live forever with your Lord.


Love you, Aunt Doris.

auntdoristimWith oldest child, Tim Ray

Brenda, the kids, Grandma Ivy, Aunt Doris
Brenda, the kids, Grandma Ivy, Aunt Doris
With youngest child, Bev
Peace at last


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

This last day of November, 2016 finds me reassessing life and my daily output of posts.

Other than for my own mental well being is the effort worth it?

I have readily admitted for years that my writing serves as a pop-off valve to keep the pressure cooker Inside My Mind from exploding. It has worked well through the years, though there have been those times the pressure built up too quickly.

I was unable to release in time to keep from free fall into oblivion. The struggle to climb back out of the pit was arduous and long. It has not been easy during those times for those closest to my heart.

Long before the internet, personal computers, tablets, laptops and smartphones, I used writing as my out. In poems, short stories and songs, I would let my emotions flow, keeping me relatively sane. Playing the piano and singing before an audience was another out for the inner demons I constantly battle.

Yet on this Wednesday morning, I wonder if it is worth it. I spend hours each day poring through the news from around the world. I then try to encapsulate the high points into concise, easy to read format to share with others.

For me, this is my small way of trying to keep connected to the world, when I am trapped in solitary confinement most of the time in Mark’s Den. While this provides me good therapy, it also brings a different anxiety, wondering if anyone is really paying attention, viewing or reading.

When CNN had iReport active, the writing provided more than just personal therapy. I was connected to the world. I even was interviewed live with my voice going out around the world.

When the network pulled the plug, I opened Citizen Journalists Live as an alternative and to allow my fellow iReporters an outlet to continue sharing. While several former iReporters enrolled on the site, only one has remained active. The vast majority of contributions are only mine.

The discussion, the back and forth, that was part of iReport and was so beneficial is no more. Comments are nearly non-existent. Even here, with my daily look at myself, comments from readers is near non-existent.

At From The Cornfield, I try to provide an objective, reasoned voice to politics and current events. Those words seem to fall on deaf ears.

With the daily Kernels From the Cornfield and The Sunday Paper, I try to put the news out in a simple to read format. The response, again, has been tepid.

Am I wasting my time?

Does any of this matter to anyone other than myself?

Should I give up, spend my days playing Pyramid or Free Cell, sitting in my recliner and watching television?

Should I resign myself to my irrelevance in today’s world?

That’s the way it is in Mark’s Den this Hump Day as I reassess.

And how is your Wednesday going?

Happy 27th Birthday, Kevin!

Cathie and I were at Dr. Betty Duke’s office in Dugger around 4 p.m. The weather forecasters had put out a winter storm warning with significant snow.

Dr. Betty looked at Cathie, laughing, “Honey, you are in labor.”

That said with the storm threat we drove straight to Mary Sherman Hospital in Sullivan, Indiana. It would not be for over seven hours around 11:30 p.m. when Kevin Duane Ivy would make his debut on November 29, 1989.

Life has never been the same. LOL

In tribute I have put together a few collages to celebrate Kev’s 27th birthday. I am sure he will find some of the images cringe worthy. But, hey, that’s what Dads get to do.

Kevin, the Newborn

Newborn Kevin

Kev with Dad and Mom too

Dad and Kev – Oh yeah, with Mom too

Kev and the Paternal Grandparents

Kev with the Grandparents and older Brother Dave and Cuz

Kev and the Love of his Life - Hailey

Kev and the love of his life – Hailey

Now a few of Kevin through the years:

Through the Years

Through the Years

Through the Years

Through the Years

Through the Years

Through the Years

Through the Years

You may be a thousand miles away, but you are always in my heart and on my mind. Love you, Son.

May today be a wonderful 27th birthday.

From Dad and Chooey – HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

Rolling Toward December

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

The last Monday in November with two more days until December arrives on Thursday. We are rolling through the mud toward December.

Yep it is not just a rainy day in the Cornfield, but a Monday. Ugh!

With the water droplets falling from the sky, my body is not reacting positively this morning.

Breathing has been labored through the night, making sleep restless. After rising at 6 a.m., I have continued to feel the pressure on my airways and discharge one mucus plug after another. Top it off with an onslaught of cluster headaches that are more intense than usual.

What a way to face the start of a new week.

Catch up on all the shenanigans of the past week with the Politics Roundup.

Read my thoughts on popular vote versus the Electoral College: Electoral College Genius.

A shout out to my friend Bonnie in Laughlin, Nevada who will turn 86 years young tomorrow.

My Desert friend, Bonnie, ready to watch the regatta on the Colorado River last summer, 2015.
My Desert friend, Bonnie, ready to watch the regatta on the Colorado River last summer, 2015.

Happy early Birthday, Bonnie!

Tomorrow is Kev’s birthday.

Expect to see my collage homage to him on Tuesday.

Wish my Bubba was not a thousand miles away in Austin, Texas.

Such is life.

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

And how is your Monday going?

Sunday Golden Text: Beginning


In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth – Genesis 1:1

In the beginning, was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God – John 1:1

Pay the Band

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

Time to pay the band for dancing in the rain when I had to go to the urologist on Wednesday then waltzing to my Sister’s house for Thanksgiving.

Anxiety is setting in that I may soon find myself back in Regional Hospital. Wondering this morning if I will spend my third Christmas week in a row in a hospital bed.

I am running a slight fever this morning. The mucus buildup is stickier and thicker. The coloring has a tinge of yellow. My blood oxygen level drops drastically if I stand up or attempt to go to the kitchen for coffee.

The pressure on my airways is intense. My ability to breathe – even with my oxygen tube – is labored.

As if this all is not depressing enough, the grayness of the day, the chill in the Cornfield, the dampness adds to the darkness creeping through my brain.

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

And how is your Saturday going?

The Friday After

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

While yesterday was the official holiday, the reality is the holiday lasts for four days – Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Then shoppers turn to the world wide web for Cyber Monday.

For me, today through Monday are routine, regular, mundane days. Shopping is simply a fantasy, something I used to do. The heart may wish to give, the reality prevents that from happening.

The man who used to be the one who was the one who always had a gift for everyone, now is the man who hopes he does not spend Christmas in the hospital.

Leticia hosted Thanksgiving dinner at her house in Dugger on Thursday. It was a good time with no conflicts. Fortunately my body did not rebel and allowed me to join the family for the repast.

Dishing up plates, Thanksgiving 2016 at Leticia’s house. Kaila, Mom (obscured behind Kaila), Me, (Brenda behind me), Bill and Teagan (Jeremy’s daughter and my great-niece)

The downside for me was that neither of my sons, their wives nor my granddaughters were able to be there. As usual, while Phil and Leticia had the pleasure of their children and grandchildren, it was only me.

I no longer have another half to join me.

I came home, plate in hand. Naturally I had some goodies to bring to Chooey. That made up for having left my little buddy home alone.

The solitude of the day began to wear heavy as the gray of the day became the dark of the night. This morning, my sons and their families weigh heavy on my brain.

That’s the way it is in Mark’s Den.

And how is your Friday after going?

Thanksgiving Eve

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

Thanksgiving Eve – for many Americans today is a day of travel. For me it is the day for my 6-month check-up with my urologist.

The doctor has moved his office from uptown to the south end, closer for me.

Usually I set all my appointments for the afternoon when I can function at a near normal level. This appointment, however, is at 10:30 this morning.

I set my alarm clock last night to insure I was up no later than 7 a.m. Wouldn’t you know it, I woke at 5 o’clock.

Such is life.

I have already been busy.

I put out my annual Thanksgiving post: For This I Am Grateful.

Hopefully people read my words and take them to heart.

I cannot get over how far journalists have strayed from the principles I adhered to when in my other life I was a print reporter for a small town daily newspaper. The idea of remaining objective and the maxim to never be part of the story have been tossed onto the junk pile ready to be carted off to the dump.

Is it any wonder that the national press – televised, print, multimedia – is so distrusted and disliked by the public?

Where are the Tim Russerts?

Where are the Walter Cronkites?

The press needs to be free, but also hold to a higher moral ground. The press does not need to get down into the mud to cover the hogs.

Random thoughts flowing through my mind.

That’s the way it is in Mark’s Den.

And how is your Wednesday before Thanksgiving Day going?

Getting Back

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

Keeping my fingers crossed that my body’s internal clock may be getting back to a semblance of normality.

My eyes popped open at 7 a.m. today. This is more in line with the status quo for me versus the passed couple of mornings when I slumbered to half past the 9 o’clock hour.

Today is a sad day in history. It was 53 years ago when President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was struck down by an assassin’s bullet.

Read my memories of that event: The Day the World Stopped.

Tomorrow is my 6-month check-up with my urologist. Learned last night, the doc has moved his office from uptown to a location behind Town South Plaza in Terre Haute. That saves me a couple of miles.

On Thursday, my sister Leticia is hosting the family for Thanksgiving Day dinner. Hopefully my system will allow me to drive the 10 miles to Dugger to be with family for the holiday.

Sadly, my sons Dave and Kev, daughters-in-law Anna and Hailey and granddaughters Dylan, Alaina and Amelia will not be there. Sadly I am not able to visit either Dave and family in Indianapolis or Kev and wife in Austin, Texas.

Such is life.

That’s the way it is in Mark’s Den.

And how is your Tuesday going?

‘I’m Late, I’m Late…’

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

Around 9:30 a.m. I crawled out of bed on Sunday. This Monday morning I opened my eyes to once more see the clock showing 9:30.

What is going on with me?

I never sleep this late. I never get pass the 8 o’clock hour as a rule.

It is not as if I am staying up late. I am in bed between midnight and 1 a.m. In the old days I would be up until 2 a.m. or even 4 a.m. and still be up and at ’em by 7 a.m.

Here it is now past 11:30 a.m. I am just getting around to posting and checking email along with social media.

Having no life, no companion, no offline friends, I fill my days with my postings online. Otherwise I would be like the old man sitting in his rocker wasting away waiting for death.

Yet, I have about the same four or five people who actually read or view any of my posts. 

Other than for my own sanity, what good does it do for me to keep up with Kernels From the Cornfield, op-eds From The Cornfield, The Sunday Paper or Politics Roundup, not to mention Inside My Mind?

For over a year now, I have been operating what seems to be a fool’s game. I set up Citizen Journalists Live as an alternative after the demise of CNN iReport. While some of the former iReporters did join, even participate for awhile, other than Slick Nick, I am the only one posting and sharing.

Am I a figment of my own imagination?

That’s the way it is in Mark’s Den.

And how is your Monday going?