Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy New Year!

Uncle Harold's youngest daughter Judy Taylor Alberts and her husband Jimmy live in Florida, as you can see from this picture--Looks wonderfully warm! They send everyone New Year's Greetings.

 Cousin Diana Taylor McCarty, Arnon's daughter does NOT live in Florida. In her Minnesota, the temperatures are below zero and getting colder.

She sends these pictures to us for the Holidays and writes:

"This is from a long time ago and don't let the fact that Arnon is
looking at the camera fool you - he had been fast asleep as well.

They were all well fed but obviously I had not provided enough
entertainment to keep them awake.  But that is what you do at a family
holiday, visit, eat, sleep."

And the next picture?

"Of course one way of making sure everyone stayed awake was those years
when I had a litter of puppies for people to play with at Christmas!"

So, Happy New Year to everyone--stay safe and healthy in 2014!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas time at Harold’s By Chuck Lochner

Uncle Harold

A couple of weeks ago Tim, Dave and I took a trip to see Uncle Harold.  We had been warned he gets tired easily so don’t plan on staying more than a half hour.  Well ... hog wash.  We were in a good mood and we’re guys.  We’re going to have a good time.
David Lochner and Tim Kinsella

We pulled in about 11 o’clock honking and yelling to let him know it’s just family.  We got to the door before he had a chance to lock it.  As good guests we came bearing gifts – booze and Christmas gifts.  Of course, being guys we ran out of money so we had to substitute Aunt CB’s presents for ours.  Of course, her taste is more refined than ours, but the substitution improves our status.

Harold was in his easy chair and was overjoyed to see us (within narrow limits) asking if we could stay for a day or two.  We asked how well his bar was stocked.  

Well, after the niceties we got down to the presents.  True to form Aunt CB’s selection was exquisite … a farting outhouse with multiple tunes. Tim kept insisting it was out of tune and proved it. Fortunately, Harold sleeps in the chair a lot.

By this time, Dave realized he was getting hungry (again or still?) and this lead into a discussion of Meals on Wheels.  Dave thought that was a great idea … food without getting up.  Harold said the food was really good … and it came as hot meals for the day.  He didn’t say who does the dishes although it’s probably Ann or Kathy his morning and evening attendants (bless their hearts).

Dave Lochner

And then, being men with inquiring minds we asked how he deals with the bathroom problem.  Harold proudly displayed the colostomy bag.  He seemed to be genuinely proud of it.  Best part is he doesn’t even have to get out of bed to pee.  I wasn’t impressed.  After a hard night of drinking, I do the same thing, only without the bag.

Back to the presents: the next item was really classy (this cast a cloud on the parentage of these presents).  We gave him this really classy duck (better known in Canadian circles as a Loon).

It’s this really pretty metallic brown and green thing that looks like the real thing, but without the neat cooing.  Tim said it wasn’t in his repertoire.  We all breathed easier.

I was getting excited, as I started to get this vision of taking it out back to the quarry and working it over with our BB guns, just like when we were kids.  Then I realized it wouldn’t float.  Oh well, life is full of compromises.

 Tim Kinsella

Speaking of being kids, one of my best memories of Uncle Harold was the Great Chicken Slaughter of 1952 or 53 when we “harvested” 30 chickens in the driveway.  After lightening their load they were tossed in the field and they just kept on going!!  Basically you had perfectly good chickens, except without a heads!  I guess without the extra weight they could really move!!

By this time we were all tuckered out and said our goodbyes.  As we headed to the car we passed the old grape vine and trellis.  Boy, does that bring back memories.  Harold said it was older than any of us kids.  I remember the mouth watering aroma of grapes that made you drool all over yourself.  For the longest time I just thought that was what they meant by a Taylor trait.

 Since we were half way there, we decided to take a walk out the quarry.  Surprisingly, the trail is still there.
We figured it may have been filled in with broken glass and poisoned with copper BBs or at least been declared a hazardous waste site by the EPA.
  Dave decided we should go skinny dipping and started to strip down.  It scared the hell out of Tim and me.  In fact, even the squirrels ran like hell with their paws over their eyes!  One ran into a rock and committed hairy quarry.  Another climbed a tree and we could hear him whimpering in his nest overhead.

Needless to say, by this time Dave was in need of another feed so we stopped at the Magee Diner.  Turned out the feed of the day was pork.  As my former wife used to say “Goood pig … better dead”.  We had the usual “Oink In.”

Dave Lochner

 Chuck Lochner

All told it was good to see Uncle Harold and he is doing well.  And, we love him.