prune picker

This is the blog of a prune picker. (Native born Californian) Retired oilfield. I am an old man. I blog a lot about my body and getting old. As I approach death life gets more interesting. More interesting is not good. I still drive. I attend sports, music, and civic events. I am writing my memoirs. I attend swim class three times a week. Some of my blogs might be interesting. A lot of my blogs are silly and trivial. None are very long.

Sunday, May 16, 2021

What is that?

What is that? Recently I have been asking myself that question about a lot of things. As my eyesight fails many items appear strange. The details fade or are gone. If handy I will touch the item to help decide what it is. In a recent blog I wondered if I was going to go blind or die first. Well it seems at ;east that I am going to suffer poor vision before I die.

I can not usually read my iPhone. I use a magnifying glass. Which I carry in my my pocket at all times.

I sit on my porch several hours a day. For entertainment I watch John work in his yard and gardens. There are 13 satsuma trees, a dozen or more other fruit and nut trees, and several dozen blue berry bushes. I think John checks every bud every day. When John is across the yard (100 plus feet) I have trouble seeing him. Except when he has a red hat or shirt on. Then I can find him by the spot of red in the trees.

Fortunately my vision has not worsened recently. I hope that it stays this good until I die.

Monday, April 19, 2021

World War II Fruit Cake. The old PrunePicker and his brother George Edwin Monson/

In 1942 I was 16. I was spending a few weeks with my sister Thelma in Weedpatch, California. I helped my Thelma make a fruit cake to send to our brother George. George was a Marine fighter pilot in the Pacific. George enlisted  some time before Pearl Harbor and was soon in the thick of the Pacific War.

Do you think that the Monson family was proud of George? We made a great big fruit cake. We wrapped it in a rum soaked cloth and mailed it off to the Pacific.

In 1944 I was 19. I was spending a few months as a Combat Engineer in the Pacific.
Out of the blue came this big delicious fruit cake from my beloved sister Thelma.! My sister Thelma won the Pacific War with her fruit Cakes. Thank you Thelma!

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Will I die before I go blind? OR Will I go blind before I die?

Last August the oncologist told me that I had less than a year to live. These two questions have been bugging me ever since. Never thought of them before last year. Then things started to happen.I will discuss the die question and then the blind. The blind has just recently came on strong.  I hope the oncologist is wrong. After my radiation treatments my breathlessness improved for a while and then started to decline. My lung cancer shrunk and then the month later it started to grow. Last week it really got real bad. I asked John to hook me up to oxygen. It really helped. Seemed like the cancer shrunk a little.  There was a little improvement but on a base so bad that I am still bad off and getting worse.

Now for going blind. I am doing that. I pull out a mag glass with my iPhone. Can not read most box labels from my wheel chair. I will not be able to do my income taxes. Hope the4 government can make it.

On top of die or blind my esophagus is closing down. Takes five minutes to get a dime size bite down

There are thoughts of getting me into an extended care home. Very tentative. I am not that helpless yet;

Good news! Yesterday t got my first Coved shot. Safe at last.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Picnic on the Bogue Chitto River

 Ny granddaughter Katie said "we are going to have a picnic and you are invited". Oh Boy! the old PrunePicker loves a picnic.

The picnic was at the Bogue Chitto State Park. The park is about ten miles from Franklinton and believe it or not is on the Bogue Chitto River, The river rubs out of Mississippi. flows south about a mile from our home, through the park, and joins the Pearl River by New Orleans.

Bogue Chitto is Choctaw for Large Creek. This is Choctaw Country. How appropriate. Katie and her daughter and her Mom are Choctaw thanks to the heritage of my wife Jackie. I must say, They are friendly Indians.

Here are some pics of the river, park, and the picnic.

Sure was a nice picnic!

Saturday, January 2, 2021

New Years Eve or a Combat Landing?

 I did not know where I was for a moment. Justin fired a large fireworks and Katie got a great photo. There were fireworks everywhere. I thought I was overseas in the Pacific again going in on a combat landing.

 But I was in the front yard of John and Kerry house in Franklinton, Louisiana. You might see me hiding out on the porch. 

Here is a pic of two the explosives team.They are Johnny Lynn and her friend Sinclare.

John Adams congratulated the girls on their fine job. No misfires!

The old prunepicker's contribution to the festivities was wearing a funny hat. Furnished by Katie.

Happy New Years everyone.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Musical bivouac in the California Hills.

I was watching Austin City Limits on my Roku last night. A Mexican band was playing Spanish music. As I listened my memory returned to a night during my Army basic training at Camp Coole. My company was bivoacing overnight in the soft rolling hills of central California. We were some where between Santa Maria and Lompoc.

My company was made up of draftees from Souther California. There were many Mexicans in the company. It was a nice evening. We were settling into our pup tents for a nights sleep. Nearby was a group of 5 or 6 Mexicans. They started to sing. They may have had a guitar, I am not sure. I have always remembered that evening! Beautiful country, beautiful music.They were good singers. I am partial to Spansh music. The evening is an outstanding memory of my time in the Army.

Jesse was one of the Mexicans singing. Jesse and I were on the tenth grade football team at Fremont Junior High in Pomona. He was a better player than me. A year later Jesse and I were in a platoon carrying explosives up Bloody Nose Ridge . That evening Jesse was shot and killed. He sang in the hills of California and he died in the hills of Peleliu Island.

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Sunny is three weeks old.

 The newest member of our family in Franklinton Louisiana is a yellow lab puppy named Sunny. He lives in Kentwood. He will move to Franklinton when he is six weeks old. We went to visit him yesterday. It was exciting to see the new member of our family. John has the adoption paper but he really belongs to Johnny Lynn. She gave Sunny his name. Here are some pictures from our visit with Sunny.

JL and the Prunepicker say hello to Sunny.

A girl and puppy visit.

John visits with Sunny's mom. Sunny has 12 siblings.

Sunny's old and new families visit.

I think that Sunny and I will be good friends.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Why don't you speak for yourself, John?

Priscilla Mullins said these famous words to John Alden. John was proposing to her that she marry his friend Miles Standish. All three of them had been fellow passengers on the Mayflower. John and Miles had been room mates. Miles had been an English Army officer and was hired by the Pilgrims to be their military advisor for their settlement in America. He filled that position for the rest of his life.

Miles was a tough soldier and not too good with the words for proposing marriage. So he asked John to do the proposing to Priscilla for him. Which John agreed to do. But Priscilla had other ideas, hence the famous question. WHY DON'T YOU SPEAK FOR YOURSELF, JOHN?  She and John were later married and had ten children. I guess that Priscilla did have other ideas.

The poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, is one their descendants and wrote the historical poem "The Courtship of Miles Standish".He says all of the events in the poem actually happened. His poem was later made into a play.

Guess what? When I was in the Sixth Grade the school put on the play. I was chosen to play Miles Standish. My teacher said that I was chosen for the role because I was tall and stood straight like a soldier! After 80 years I remember her remark. I remember most compliments. I remember several events from the Sixth Grade. That year stands out in my memory. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

A barrel of peanut butter.

I can remember going to the food store (Torley's in Pomona, California) with my folks and they bought a wax paper bucket of peanut butter. They bought it at the butcher's counter. The butcher scooped the peanut butter out of a barrel and filled the paper bucket. Waxed paper buckets were used for various food items and were in common use. The bucket was square and had a wire handle. By the time we got home the peanut oil was seeping through the waxed paper bucket. You could see a line halfway up the bucket that marked the seeping oil. The peanut butter had to be transferred into a glass container.

I liked the peanut butter. Over the years I have learned to like it much more. I have eaten a barrel or two of peanut butter in my lifetime. 95 years. That is a lot of peanut butter! And jelly, jam, or honey.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

The Education of a Mobility Scooter Driver.

What is a mobility scooter?

During the course of my bout with lung cancer I was unable to walk more than 10 feet with out resting. Any exertion laid me low. I needed a mobility scooter. My dear friend and buddy brought me a powered wheelchair. (mobility scooter) Richard and Cheryl Maxwell drove 8 hours to do that!

This is a first class powered wheel chair. It is powerful and agile. However it could not operate over much of my terrain. The yard is covered with loose gravel and sand. The chair would bog down and get stuck. It worked perfectly on a normal surface.

I purchased a bottom of the line mobility scooter.

I was disappointed. It was weak and also would not operate where I wanted to go. I felt like I was going to be tossed off at any time. So I recently purchased a stronger mobility scooter. 

It will carry a load of 500 pounds, has a top speed o 15 miles per hour, and travel 43 miles on a charge.

Fortunately radiation treatments shrunk my cancer. I got some wind back. I am now in much better condition. I can do a little more and walk much further. My need for a mobility scooter is much less. But I enjoy the stronger scooter and will be able to travel some of our neighborhood. Our area has good gravel roads connecting 5 acre fishing camps. It is a great place. Much nature and critter watching. I am a long time bird watcher.

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