From Monday Rain to Tuesday Squall

Christmas dinner, 2009, at Dave and Anna’s in Indianapolis

After a weekend of rain and bluster as temperatures rose into the mid 50s, rain greeted the dawn on this first day of the new work week. Accuweather® warns the mercury will drop and a Tuesday morning snow squall awaits the morrow!

At times over the weekend, the pressure from the storm fronts was nearly unbearable. Both Saturday and Sunday I requested prayer on Facebook as well as directly. Yet,through it all, God gave me the strength to bear the pain, the difficulty.

Now another week beckons, but the temperatures will drop from spring-like to more seasonable winter climes.

With God’s help the fight goes on. For some reason, there seems to be a reason He has not called me home yet.

A Favor

That’s the way it is in Mark’s Den as I wait on Nurse Tabitha and Aide Bambi to make the rounds.

And how is your Monday going?

From a family get-together at Mom’s house in Sullivan about 6 years ago: Hailey, Kevin, Bill, Iohn, Chance

Sunday Golden Text: Such As I Have

Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.

And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.

And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.

– Acts 3:6-16

Grasping, but Holding

Playing the organ at Mom’s.

Each day, as I am this morning, I grasp to maintain my sanity, my breath, my life, I am still holding on to the nail-scarred hands and still holding strong to life. God apparently is not finished with me yet.

For what purpose I am here, though suffering daily, I do not know. But I will keep holding until I find release and shelter in His arms.

On this Friday, the rush is on toward the 10-month mark come February, a scant two weeks away.

As I told the Heart to Heart Hospice Chaplain Kathy the first time she came to see me, I have learned like Paul to be content no matter my state. I am still content within my heart.

Even as Job said, “Though God slay me, yet will I serve Him.”

The warm-up is gearing up this last day of the week. A heat wave in the mid to upper 30s is predicted for today.

That’s the way it is in Mark’s Den.

And how is your gate to the weekend going?

Birthday celebration a few years ago at La Fiesta in Linton,Indiana – Mark and Kevin

Slowly Warming

Jacuzzi! What I need on this cold winter’s day!

Be it ever so slight, the sun shines bright and the mercury rises a tad each day. The snow has not begun to melt and icicles hang from the eave. Hopefully over the weekend the Cornfield will see temperatures rise to at least the freezing point.

Mark’s Den is warm and cozy. Unless the blinds are rolled up and the front door opened, inside you would never know the winter outside.

The new setup with a hospital bed in the living room, portable toilet, hospital table with my all-one computer on it, is working out very well as I fight to maintain at least a minute amount of self-reliance and independence. A few steps and I can move from recliner to bed or bed to recliner.

Come on family and friends! You are killing me! Get your memories into me – email, text or Facebook Messenger.

A Favor

Anyone who did not see Madame Secretary on CBS Sunday night missed an excellent constitutional lesson about the 25th Amendment to the US Constitution. The show explained it well (which I already knew). If you saw it, you understand why I remain confident and optimistic that the Great American Experiment will continue and survive – no matter who is in the White House.

My appetite continues to improve. My intake of needed proteins is up. Hoping next time I weigh I can at least hit 110 pounds. Yep, at this point I am little more than a wax-paper covering over muscles, sinew and bones.

Not a pretty sight!

That’s the way it is in the Den.

And how is your Thursday going?

Seems like 2 lifetimes ago. Stationed right here at home at Grissom Air Force Base, Indiana. This was taken in 1976 right out of basic training at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas.

Like Humpty Dumpty

Snow won’t go!

Ever wondered what may have gone through Humpty Dumpty’s mind as he sat on the wall and began to fall?

I think I know.

Yesterday, I was using my walker to traverse the few feet into the kitchen to get my oatmeal. Suddenly, some how, some way, I tripped with my walker and took a spill that would have rated raves from the Marx Brothers, Laurel and Hardy or the Three Stooges.

But it was no laughing matter.

As I lay there on the floor, I thought, “What a klutz!”

While the blood flowed from both of my arms, plus my head pounded from hitting the floor and cabinet doors. I attempted to pull myself up to no avail, two or three times. In desperation, I pushed my alert button, hanging around my neck. I was surprised it had not gone off automatically.

The monitor came on and help was on the way.

I attempted a couple more times to pull myself to my feet. Nope. Was not going to happen. I then scooted myself across the linoleum to the living room carpet. Got to the recliner, putting my back against the foot rest.

I was able to pull up into the chair.

Over and over the klutz sentiment played in my brain.

Fortunately in my case, Nurse Tabitha could put me back together. There was no need for all the king’s horses and all the king’s men.

I remained a bit loopy the rest of the day.

The frigid Arctic blast continues across the Cornfield, but warmth, well a warming, is on the way.

That’s the way it is in Mark’s Den.

And how is your Hump Day going?

Mom Cathie with newborn Kevin. Never forget that night. November 29, 1989


Chooey’s first snow in 2015

Balance is the key in all things in life. Put another way, whatever we do, say, eat, drink, interact, hermit ourselves we have to learn to do so in moderation.

Even now as I march boldly, but resisting, toward the long dark night, I must find balance from moment to moment, day today. I have to learn how much to exert and how much to refrain. I have to ascertain what is a boon and what is a boom.

After my weekend company, which was a true blessing, though the snow was falling and accumulating, I was feeling energetic. I accomplished much on my own yesterday. I managed to even eat more.

But as the day wore on, I realized I was not in balance. I was not acting in moderation. My body let me know I had to slow down and not try to make up for lost time which could not be recovered.

Lord, let me find balance today.

Chooey woke me at 5 a.m. I was not ready, but rose any way. After a moment or two to sweep the cobwebs from my brain, I rose from bed and made my way over to the recliner.

Taken medicine, I slowly took the few steps into the kitchen and turned on the coffee maker. It was set for auto and would begin the process at 6 a.m., but I did not want to wait the 45 minutes.

A few sips of joe and time to do my first treatment of the day.

I have always waited until 10 in the morning to put myself on a 4-5 hour schedule since beginning the nebulizer nearly six years ago. But, Nurse Tabitha instructed me a couple of weeks ago after a bad weekend that I needed to do my first treatment as quickly as possible after rising each day.

Now I am on my second cup of caffeine. Time for my inhalers, including the Symbicort which I have been on since the beginning. Shortly after it will be time for my morning meds.


Move enough, act enough, but do not overdo either.

The thought that the mercury is coming in at -4 degrees this morning in the Cornfield with wind chill or feels like temperature of -16 has me shivering as I type.  If only it was summer again with the neighbor’s goats mowing the lawn:

In the field looking out from Mark’s Den, I am treated with this sight each summer of the neighbor’s goats.

Alas, it is mid-winter!

Such is life.

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

And how is your Tuesday going?

Mom (Sharon), Mark (me), Dad (Lynn)

Winter Wonder

Out my front door, January 15, 2018

The Cornfield has become a winter wonderland over the weekend. With a bit of snow from Thursday through Sunday morning along with a dangerous undercoating of ice. Sunday night the snow began in earnest and this morning a healthy blanket of white covers all.

An early winter thaw is expected come this weekend. We can only hope.

A client of Leticia’s has become my new “best bud“. He is coming over to keep me company, watching TV and helping out where he can. With his assistance and camaraderie, this should enhance my ability to stay in Mark’s Den for a much longer time. 

Thanks, Sis!

Of course my real best bud will continue to be my Chooey.

Chooey tending Daddy

Enjoy your Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday as a day of service as intended.

Don’t forget to get in your memory!

A Favor

That’s the way it is in Mark’s Den.

And how is your Monday going?

Great-Grandma Hollifield with great-granddaughters Alaina and Amelia, Hailey in the background and Grandpa Mark

Sunday Golden Text: Tried Like Gold

Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:

That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:

Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

– 1 Peter 1:6-9

Maintaining Circumspection

Out my front door this January 12, 2018 as the snow continues to fall

Certain recent events have resulted in the need for an introspection in retrospect and come to the realization that more circumspection is needed in my dialogue, primarily in messaging and texts.

Circumspection is a new task I must come to bear with as much competence and energy I can muster.

All my life I have enjoyed the written word, my own attempts at swaying or impacting in some way others on any given issue, but primarily in the realm of politics. That passion for writing has yet to abate even as I near the end of my personal journey.

Alas, my target audience does not seem to have read or in any way been influenced by my Cornfield perspective, which often is at odds with others living on the coasts. Yet even within my own, what should be, sphere-of-influence there has not even been a ripple.

How right Jesus was when He said that a prophet is not without honor except in his hometown.

With my current condition, facing the dark night with Chooey at my side, but not another human soul, I tend to message and text the only sources I have with whom to vent, to talk, to attempt to pop the pressure valve and remain stable.

Unfortunately, in doing so, facing an unexpected dilemma of a child facing the Great Beyond before the parents, my words have too often been the fodder, the kindling for unnecessary anxiety and uproar, causing undue stress and pain.

Therefore, be it resolved (how’s that for moving to a New Year’s resolution?) I will maintain circumspection in my texts and messages which do not convey a warped signal of alarm and emergency rather than simply speaking for the therapeutic effect resulting for me personally.

Yesterday I was noting what a day it was. I was not wrong!

Thursday this time, the temperature was around 60 degrees, shrouded in dreariness, fog and rain. This morning, the mercury is at 20 degrees, blowing snow coming down over an tenth to two-tenths of an inch of ice. Before all is said and done, up to eight inches of white stuff may fall.

The snow is currently coming down heavy. There is a grayness to the day, but without the dreariness of yesterday.

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

And how is your start to the holiday weekend going?

After finally being diagnosed with histoplasmosis, this little bear and especially the words meant and mean the world to me.

Time for Venting

What a day!

What a day this has begun and will be when it concludes.

Mercury readings across the Cornfield will rise to 61 today with rainy conditions, fog and a general dreariness. Then tonight comes along.

As the night shadows fall and the moon races across the sky, the winds will pick up and turn from warmth to polar cold. Snow will begin to fall coating the land with up to an inch of white. Turning colder, a shift will occur back to ice and freezing rain.

What a day!

This day so mirrors my own situation in Mark’s Den as depression grows, not just from SADs, but incited by my current terminal run down the highway of life.

Does anyone really care or are they all thinking, “Why doesn’t he stop fighting and go home“?

When I call hospice or one of the caregivers have to stop by my place, are they thinking, “Oh, no! Not him again!”

I had thought my pre-memorial memorial would be such a comfort for my sons, granddaughters and other family members once I have gone home. Apparently not, since the response has been minimal at best.

In their 80s and their other halves in their 70s, I understand what a trial it is for my parents to come see me, care for me.

But if not them, who?

I have no one.

After losing 25 years that can never be brought back, though oldest son David loves me, that gap cannot close. With youngest son Kevin, who loves me I know, in Texas, his help is unavailable cut off by a 1,000-mile gap.

Such is life.

Now Phil and Brenda did come make coffee the other night after Mom asked.

Leticia came for a visit the other day. She is now helping find someone to sit with me when I need someone. She also came by yesterday and set me up with ice water. 

My only real friends are those online, which 98% have never met me face-to-face. Yet, those are the ones that check in with me. Send me cards or art work or help provide in my times of need.

Never have I felt so useless, so much a failure, so worthless as I am today. I always had such high hopes of impacting the world for the better. Now as I near the end I must say as Solomon said, “All is vanity.”

From December, 2012: