Thursday, August 19, 2010

So long, Grandpa Guthrie

Grampa Guthrie died a couple days ago. He's the husband of Grandma Guthrie, the little old lady I help take care of.

For a little over a year, Grampa Guthrie has slowly withered away in a nursing home 30 miles from here. He went from being a big, strapping galoot to a frail, bed-ridden shell of a man. I often took Grandma Guthrie to visit him at the nursing home. Sometimes they were sweet and tender. Sometimes they fought. Often during the same visit.

Today is the funeral. I'm trying to whip myself into presentable shape. Scrape the chicken shit off, comb the twigs and leaves from my hair, paint my nails to hide the always-present dirt beneath. The hardest part is deciding what to wear.

Most of my wardrobe came from Alaska with me. The only new clothes I've acquired since arriving in Alabama are shorts, t-shirts, overalls, work boots and flip-flops. There is very little in the closet appropriate for a church funeral on a very hot & humid afternoon. All I know for sure is there's no way in hell I'm wearing pantyhose.

And I can't just duck in and out. I'm sorta "on call" during the funeral. Grandma Guthrie probably won't have the stamina to stay for the complete church and graveside services. When she is ready to go, I'm to swoop in and carry her home where we'll wait together for the others.

This is going to be a trying day. There had better be food.

But rather than leave this post on a downer note, I'll show you these pictures of three baby birds that recently hatched in the old electric meter box on the back of Frankencoop.

I think they're nuthatches. At least that's what the internet told me when I first tried to identify the tiny eggs.

I hope they don't fall out of the nest. The chickens below would probably gobble them up.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

So long, Uncle Ted

Damn. I always thought Ted Stevens was too ornery to die. I was wrong. But then again, I'm wrong about a lot of stuff.

If I was back in Anchorage tonight, I'd head downtown to one of my favorite watering holes and get drunk with friends while swapping Uncle Ted stories. Everybody in Alaska has an Uncle Ted story.

But I'm not in Alaska. I'm in Alabama - in a county with no bars. Nobody here knows who Ted Stevens is which means nobody wants to hear my Uncle Ted story. Instead, I am drinking a strong coffee and watching my tape of the 1996 debate between Ted Stevens and Theresa Obermeyer.

I was surprised to find that I
couldn't find any of the debate posted online. So, in honor of Ted, I'm posting one of my favorite moments. Sorry about the quality. It's an old VHS tape and I'm just recording it off the TV with my digital camera.