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Monday, March 08, 2010

 

New Location for John's Online Journal



This blog is moving, the new URL is:

http://johnstrain.net

See you there,
John Strain


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Friday, March 05, 2010

 

New Blog Coming Soon


I have not given up on posting to a blog regularly. I have said similar things before only to follow them up with more promises. This time, I am going to make a clean sweep. I have decided to move this blog to Square Space. It is a great platform that gives a lot of control of the appearance of the blog along with many bells and whistles far beyond my own technical ability.

That move should give me the umph I need to get back in the saddle, back in the batter's box, insert your own metaphor here.

The long break has given my creative juices a chance to rekindle, regenerate, morph, insert your own adjective here - morph is a verb though so insert a verb if it suits you.

I hope to get the new look up this weekend.

Until the next time
John Strain


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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

 

Finding Meaning


I find meaning in life one day at a time. It comes through simple things like a cup of coffee, a wagging tail, a friend laughing at a dumb joke, and so much more. It comes from an attitude of appreciating what you have instead of longing for what you do not have and complaining about what you did not want. Life is too short to devote time to anger, resentment, and hate. Be thankful for health, friends, and natural beauty. Study history to give yourself a sense of perspective. Learn of the sacrifices those before us made to make our life better. Then try to make the world a better place for those to follow. Thank God for your unique life and live it with careful attention, enthusiasm, and gratitude.

Until the next time,
John Strain


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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

 

Testing


Testing . . . testing . . . Is this thing on? Testing 1 . . 2 . . 3. Hi everyone. I have not stopped blogging. This post proves it. Me, Bear, and the family are doing well. I will soon catch things up. I promise.

Until the next time
John Strain


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Thursday, March 19, 2009

 

George Wesley Strain, Sr.
January 31, 1925 - March 19, 2009


Dad at the Grand Canyon 1967
My dad and I at the Grand Canyon 1967


My father died today. I received a phone call from my brother George about 6:00 PM. Dad has been failing. He has been losing weight and becoming very frail. His wife Nola said she went to bed last night and Dad said he wanted to sit up and watch some more television. When she woke up in the morning, Dad had not come to bed. He was still in his chair and appeared to be sleeping. Eventually she went to wake him up and realized he had died. He passed peacefully in his recliner. I am assuming a remote control was nearby.

Unfortunately, I have not been very involved with my father since I left home to go to college. The reasons are not important, but there was no friction, animosity, or any ill will between us; we just went in different directions. I saw him occasionally. He attended my wedding and my son's high school graduation. We saw him in Kansas City when we would visit, but it was minimal.

Dad had a new family and was involved with them. I had my family and time had a sneaky fast way of moving.

I last spoke to him on his birthday January 31st. We had a good conversation as we always did.

When he visited us in Louisiana for John's high school graduation in 2003, I interviewed him on video. I have him talking about his life and telling the stories in his own voice. This is very valuable now.

I loved my father and admired him. He was always around. I remember coming home from school to find him in his chair reading the paper, or sitting at the kitchen table drinking coffee, or in the summer, walking around the yard sipping a cold can of beer. Dad was handy around the house. If he did not know how to do something, he found out how and tackled the job, not always with professional results as to appearance, but usually close enough, as it relates to function.

Some of my early memories of him were when I was in kindergarten. Dad's day off was on Wednesday. On that day, he and my mother would pick me up at school. I can still see him in my mind's eye wearing his light colored overcoat and standing in the hall waiting for my class to end. I remember the day he took me to the store to purchase my first baseball glove. I remember the pinewood derby car we built together for cub scouts that won second place. Now that I am a father, I know he must have been pretty proud of himself for that feat.

Dad was pretty easy going. He had a temper, but I could bring that out in people. I was not afraid of my father and I cannot remember any problems between us. He was not the best at expressing his feelings. I may get some of that from him. He was there though and he gave me the gift of time, from being a scout leader to helping me fix a go cart.

From a small town in Missouri, high school basketball player, Army Air Corps, working on mail trains, letter carrier - before "going postal" was a term, father of 3, scout master, dry humor, happy most of the time, loved by many, known by more. Going to the grocery store with my dad to get a loaf of bread could take two hours, because he knew everyone in town. He could have a conversation with a statue.

I do not really know how I feel right now. It is a shock. I feel sad. I feel guilt that I did not go see him more or call him more. But, I mostly feel grateful that I had him for a dad. I like my life and my son has turned out pretty well; I have to give my father some credit, because he was my father model to learn from.

Another member of the "Greatest Generation" has moved on, this one was my father and it is going to leave a hole in my heart.

Here's to you Dad. I'll miss you, but I'll see you again before you know it.

Until the next time,
John Strain


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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

 

Post op


Knee Rehab

Hi Gang,
The knee surgery went just fine. The doc said he trimmed off a bit of the torn meniscus. He thinks it is fixed and I will have a full recovery. I have been keeping it propped up and on ice - per doctor orders. I have not used any of the Hydrocodone yet. The pain is not bad at all. I have been taking Tylenol instead.

The photo shows my setup: TV, dog, leg propped up - I think I can weather this storm.

Until the next time and thanks for the prayers - I know you did.
John Strain


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Sunday, February 15, 2009

 

Olympia Parade 2009


Hi Everyone, it's me Bear!

Boy, did I have fun on Valentines Day. Not only that, but a parade came by our house too. I never saw a parade before. I always had to stay at the house because they don't allow dogs. I think some dog bit someone once and now no dogs get to go to parades. It is always one joker that spoils it for the rest of us. He was probably a pit bull.

Here are some pictures of the fun. Usually, the parade passes by two blocks away, but this year they changed the route. That meant we had to have a party; and a party we had.

Bear at the parade
This is a picture of me in the truck; my vantage point for the parade. Daddy tied me in so I wouldn't jump out and get lost. See I got a football and some beads.


Bear at the parade
Daddy took this picture from our front yard. Everyone is watching the parade, but I am watching daddy.


Bear at the parade
See my beads? I didn't have them all night though, a cute little french poodle came by and I gave them to her.


Bear at the parade
We had Mr. Marty's trailer hooked up to John's truck. Trailers work like reviewing stands. The blue cup on the bumper of the truck is daddy's drink.


Bear at the parade
In this picture, I have my ball again. John is in the truck swinging a thing around. The girl in the pink is Mandy, his girlfriend.


My mama and daddy
This is a picture of my mama and daddy.


I sure had fun at the parade, but I really liked after the parade because there were hot dogs, chili, jambalaya, hamburgers, chips, king cake, and lots of other good things.

Everyone had a good time, especially me. The Mardi Gras day parade is coming by our house too, so we will do all of this all over again a week from Tuesday. I bet daddy will take pictures then too.

Well, that's my report on the Olympia Parade. I hope you enjoyed it.

Bye for now,
Bear


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