This Rainy Day

Delve into the light and dark that is Mark


The rain falling across the Cornfield today is playing havoc with my system. Not that is anything new over the last nearly six years. Does not look it will go away any time soon enough for me.

If it wasn’t for the rain effect I would be having a pretty good day. You would never know what the doctor told me by observing me in non-rainy weather.

The best I can do today is tread water (pun intended).

Going to do my best today to write up the op-ed I alluded to a few days ago. I have been rolling it over in my brain of what I want to say and how I want to say it.

I may even start back with Kernels From the Cornfield on Monday.

Staying in and staying dry, that’s the way it is in Mark’s Den.

And how is your Friday going?

Full of Life

Delve into the light and dark that is Mark

This day after the first day of summer, I am feeling full of life in Mark’s Den. As I look out at the Cornfield, I have a sense that rather than nearing my time to cross the river, I still have miles to go before I sleep.

If the doctor is right, by November I will be saying farewell to family and friends. If I go by the sensation coursing through my body and mind, God has not yet finished preparing my mansion.

Yes, I realize there will be good days and bad days. There will be great weeks and not so great weeks. I also know that none of us know God’s timetable.

How many times have we read or heard stories of people the doctors had given a time limit to be dismissed until months, years later?

I can say with Paul, “For me to live is Christ, but to die is gain.”

The other side of my reality is that as long as I remain seated, I feel fantastic. Yet, if I get up to move around – even with my oxygen – my energy, my zip is shot almost immediately. But I am not ready to be a vegetable.

I am going to continue to spread my roots, streaming out and exploring new territory.

That’s the way it is this Thursday.

And how is your day going?

#ThrowBackThursday photo:

The Powell Family: (L-R) Nancy, Grandma (Mary Olive) with Mom (Sharon) behind her, Allen and Grandpa (Luther)


Delve into the light and dark that is Mark

I feel myself starting to slump this Hump Day as I battle with my body to keep from sliding into another round of pneumonia. Still waiting for the Cipro to do its thing.

At least I know I will be staying at home and being treated rather than going to the hospital this time around if things progress and are not arrested.

Such is life. Good news – Iohn landed a job at the new Love’s truckstop’s Hardee’s yesterday. He starts on Friday with a 40-hour-per-week schedule.

This will help in many ways. For one thing it should help Iohn not only financially, but also mentally and emotionally.

Chooey is nows two years old. Yep my little Chewbaca is growing up on me.

Gots to do my best to keep my spirit up today and not give in to the attacking bacteria.

I believe God still has a plan for me.

That’s the way it is in Mark’s Den.

And how is your Wednesday going?

Tuesday Thoughts

Delve into the light and dark that is Mark

Tomorrow is the first day of summer, but you would not know it has still been spring as the temperatures have been more like the dog days of summer so far this month.

The color of the mucus plugs began changing on Monday. This means I am back on an antibiotic. This time around it is Cipro. The doc tends to alternate between it and Levaquin.

I can definitely feel my body warring against the infection which usually becomes pneumonia. Normally it turns into a stay at the hospital.

This time around, as Nurse Tabitha says, “We bring the hospital to you.”

I am going to keep fighting. I am determined to battle right up to the end. Come November, I am praying and hoping to still be going strong rather than facing my demise.

If I can get my mind together enough, I plan on penning a new op-ed today or tomorrow. I plan to review the most popular reality television show captivating the nation.

In the meantime, here is more from Sunday’s gathering of Ivy Sprouts:

(L-R) Phil, Mom, Bill, Me, Dad
(L-R) Brenda, Phil, Mom, Me, Dad
(L-R) Bill, Mom, Hailey, Me, Kev
(L-R) Bill, Mom, Phil, Brenda and Me, Susie, Dad
(L-R) Mom, Bill, Chance, Me, Hailey, Kev

That’s the way it is in Mark’s Den.

And how is your Tuesday going?

Fast-Tracking June

Delve into the light and dark that is Mark

The month of June is clickety-clacking at fast pace toward the depot. More than half the month is already left behind in the dust.

The third full week of the month has begun. I continue to be close to normal for me. I still have to keep the oxygen on most of the day and all night, but I have definitely improved over the condition I was in back in May.

More seasonable temperature is in store today here in the Cornfield. The July hotter days may be over at least for a few days.

My sweet daughter-in-law Hailey and youngest son Kevin have set up a Go Fund Me page to help out with the extra expenses with my condition being what it is these days.

Check it out:

That’s the way it is in Mark’s Den.

And how is your Monday going?

Happy Father’s Day, Dad!

Phil Sr., Dad (Lynn), Mark

The third Sunday in June is celebrated as Father’s Day in the US of A. For me being a son, a father and a grandfather, each Father’s Day is a day of joy with a tinge of sadness.

The five happiest days of my life are:

February 21, 1979 – the day my oldest son, David, was born

November 29, 1989 – the day my youngest son, Kevin, was born

February 6, 2007 – the day my granddaughter, Dylan, was born

September 20, 2012 – the day my second granddaughter, Alaina, was born.

December 9, 2014 – the day my third granddaughter, Amelia, was born.

As a child, I was always trying to please my Father. I would try to emulate him. I would make sure no matter how often we moved and how many schools I attended in one year, my grades would remain at the top of the class.

Always striving to obtain approval.

Yet, it seems that approval never came.

On Father’s Day I would try and find the right card, get the right gift. I would get an obligatory, “Thanks for the card and gift, Mark.” Not much more as he would set the card, the gift aside.

During the past couple of years the relationship with my Dad has been better than ever. We have become much closer.

Now that I have been given, by the doctor, about six months to live, what once was divisive has become a stone upon which to build a bridge.

The last month or so, Dad has been there of which I am greatly appreciative.

At 81 he is still going strong. He is still working. He is still striving and winning his own race along the road to eternity.

To my Father, I wish the best this Sunday on Father’s Day, 2017.

I love you, always have, always will.

Dad Through the Years

Kev is a thousand miles away in Austin. Dave and my granddaughters are one hundred miles away in the Cornfield.

Father’s Day will be another Sunday.

From Mark’s Den, to every father out there, remember the best joys in life are not the cards or the things, but it is having the love of your children.

Saturday Reflection

Delve into the light and dark that is Mark

Tomorrow may be officially Father’s Day, but for me, last Sunday was Father’s Day.

I had both of my sons in the same room at the same time along with my own Dad as well as Mom and my daughters-in-law and granddaughters.  I could not have asked for a better day.

These days such simple things mean so much. o today with thunderstorms threatening as well as tomorrow, I am counting my blessings and thanking God for yet another day on this Earth.

From 2005 or 2006, Kev, Dave and I at Christmas time in Indianapolis.

Has it really been over 10 years? Kev, Dave and Dad (Mark)

That’s the way it is in Mark’s Den.

And how is your Saturday going?

So It Began

Delve into the light and dark that is Mark

It was February in 1954 in Salem, Indiana when the Ivy Sprouts had their beginning. It was on that day when Sharon Lynn Powell and Charles Lynn Ivy said, “I do.”

Wedding photo: (L-R) Grandpa Herman and Grandma Ozell Ivy, Dad and Mom (Lynn and Sharon), Grandpa Luther and Grandma Mary Olive Powell

Now some 63 years later, from that union, three sons were born along with four grandsons from two of the sons, which led to one great-grandson and seven great-granddaughter.  

I had two sons: Dave and Kev. Dave is father to three daughters. Still awaiting a grandchild from Kev.

Lyndale has no children. Phil has two sons: Phil Jr. and Jeremy. Phil Jr. is father to one son and two daughters. Jeremy has two daughters.

My branch of the Ivy Sprouts gathered on Sunday along with Dad and Mom, along with their respective better halves, my sons and granddaughters as well as my sons’ wives.

(L-R) Bill Large, Mom (Sharon Hollifield), Me (Mark), Susie and Dad (Lynn) Ivy

Five days have passed since that gathering. I am still kicking and doing well by-and-large.

Kev and Hailey flew back to Austin, Texas on Tuesday. Dave, Anna and the girls went back to Indianapolis Sunday, and soon will move into their new home in Greencastle.

Front: Dave and Dylan
Middle: Alaina and Amelia on Anna’s lap, Me, Hailey
Back: Kev

I sit here typing and posting to Inside My Mind. I am taking in the beauty of the day in the Cornfield.

I dream of taking a vacation this summer to visit with Kev and Hailey in their new house in Leander, Texas on the north side of Austin.

Thoughts go in and out of my mind.

That’s the way it is in Mark’s Den.

And how is your Friday going?



Delve into the light and dark that is Mark

For the majority of my life, here in Indiana, your license plate expired at the end of the month list on the sticker on the tag. But a few years ago that changed. Now there is a specified date on the sticker for the plate to expire.

Susie and Dad sent me a text yesterday to inquire if I had renewed my vehicle registration yet. I answered that I had not. I then sent Iohn out to see what day the plate renewal was due.

Imagine my astonishment to learn today is the last day. Unlike years before, I had forgot about the specified date. I knew it was this month as it is for everyone whose last name begins with I.

Thus a scramble ensued. Mom agreed to loan me what I needed to get the plate. She met Iohn and I at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) this morning.

On a side note, this was the first trip out of Mark’s Den since May 9th when the doctor gave me the news of my pending demise. I weathered the trip well.

Instead of one of the standup portables on a roller, Iohn had my old small portable air canister. I asked if he changed it and he said he had not. Iohn went on to say the canister was still half full.

On the way back from the BMV in Sullivan, Iohn decided to drive up to Farmersburg and drive back to Hymera through the country. After turning onto Miner Road off of Sawmill I realized no air was flowing from the canister.

Sure enough it was empty. So for the next 10 miles through the country side I was without air until I got back to the Den. I did not go inside immediately. I sat on the lawn chair outside my door. Iohn brought me my tube connected to the concentrator.

Chooey came out to welcome me home and take care of business. Iohn put Frankie on a leash per my request. I sat holding the leash as Frankie romped around the yard and took care of his business.

All of this threw me late posting today.

Thunderstorms are on the horizon. Other storms passed through overnight.

That’s the way it is this Thursday in the Cornfield.

And how is your weekday going?  

#ThrowBackThursday photo:

In the back doing dishes is Aunt Doris, who passed on late last year. In the foreground is Grandma Ivy, who has been gone around 20 years ago now, with Brother #2 Lyndale aka Lynn.

Shattered Tranquility

Delve into the light and dark that is Mark

This beautiful Hump Day morning in the Cornfield found tranquility shattered as the news and views of a shooting in Alexandria, Virginia at a baseball practice for Congressional Republicans ahead of tomorrow night’s charity game against Congressional Democrats when a gunman from Illinois opened fire shooting four, including the House Republican Whip Steve Scalise.

What began like any other day turned into outrage and horror. Kev and Hailey made the flight back to Austin, Texas without incident on Tuesday. I am sure this made Frye very happy.

Kev and Hailey’s fur baby Frye on Kev’s lap.

As the report on CNN played in the background, Mom stopped by with leftovers from Sunday. She brought chicken and noodles and more macaroni salad. My great-nephew, Chevy, son of Chance, came with Mom for the visit.

In case you are wondering about the eats at the Ivy Sprouts Gathering, have a gandering. Realize this is not all we had.

Some of the Sprout food at Sunday’s gathering. And it was delicious!


That’s the way it is in Mark’s Den.

And how is your Wednesday going?