I am coming off a 4 day weekend that has drained me in every way that a person can be drained.
I guess the highlight of the weekend was seeing a cousin that I haven’t seen in maybe 15 years.
It was definitely a strange weekend for family.
Happy Birthday to my eldest sister, albeit a couple days late!
Now by looking at some of those pictures you would guess that Teresa must be like a million years old now. Her friend Rob assures me that she is only 45.*
* I should state that because women are sensitive about their age, Teresa isn’t actually 45 either.
I drove to Albia on Sunday to watch Elainie play softball in the Little League State Tournament. I was honestly expecting to only watch one game because they were playing Grand View. I can never recall a Boone team beating a Grand View team. But it happened. Boone beat Grand View 9-6. They played Monroe County in the title game and fell 7-1.
Here are some pictures from the day.
There is one other thing. It is traditional to paint your vehicle to support your kid’s team when they go to tournaments. I understand that. However, there needs to be some common sense exercised.
For example. Say you have a daughter. Say that daughter is a pitcher. Say that daughter strikes people out. A reasonable thing to do would be to paint a couple “K”s on your van because the “K” is the symbol for strikeout in score keeping.
Now think about it. Just off the top of your head, what amount of “K”s would you not want to paint on your van.
Has it come to you yet?
Figured it out yet?
Have that answer yet?
Yeah, that seems like a bad idea to me. Even if there are 3 outs in an inning.
For the record, this van was from Wisconsin and not Boone.
Jason has relatives in Parkersburg. On Monday, Carla and Jason went up to Parkersburg to help his relatives with the damage to their property after the tornado. Here is a portion of an e-mail that Carla sent out about Jason’s relatives experience with the tornado:
Yes, the relatives are all fine physically. Nothing is more important than family!
The grandparents (Ben & Esther) were in Okoboji visiting Roger & Carol when the tornado passed through, but they got back yesterday while we were raking their yard. They were shocked to see their town of many years, leveled. They were happy to see their house standing, but sad for their neighbors. I don’t think it really set in on Esther though. Ben looked like it hit him pretty hard and he was the one we were worried about all day.
Bev, Lonnie & Chad were camping at the nearby campground when the watch was issued for the area so they left the campground north of Parkersburg to seek shelter at Ben & Esther’s house.
Allie was a senior at Applington-Parkersburg. They had her Open House on Mother’s Day. She was out at other open houses when she called and told her Mom & Dad she was coming home because the weather looked like it was going to be bad on tv. She is afraid of thunderstorms. She got home ten minutes before the siren went off.
Ty had just finished mowing the grass and working on her flower bed so she went inside to change clothes when Allie got home. When the siren went off they, along with Dean, ran down to the basement where they pulled an air mattress over their heads. Ty had her arms around Allie and Dean laid on top of them with the mattress.
Ty said Allie screamed the whole time and they were shaking. They were shaking so hard, their muscles hurt.
All Ty said she could hear was Allie screaming.
Dean said it sounded just like they say on Tv… like a train is coming right at you. He said he just held onto the girls and the mattress for dear life. He said it only lasted about 45 seconds. It was very quick. Then he walked up the basement stairs because it became very quiet and he could see light coming down the stairs.
They said when they came up the stairs, they were in total shock.
Ty said just 20 minutes before, she was outside working on flowers and suddenly she had nothing.
They are homeless and they don’t have any vehicles, no clothes… nothing. But they have their lives.
Their neighbor was injured and Dean pulled him out of the basement for his wife. Dean said even though he was breathing, he knew he wasn’t going to make it because the back of his head was bleeding and, as he looked down to the ground, he said “it was gone.” So… we gathered from that statement that he had a severe head injury. The neighbor died overnight.
When we went to the house yesterday morning at 7am, it was the first time they’d been back during daylight hours. They all cried. Their son Josh and his wife Brooke live in West Des Moines and they came up too.
It’s a really strong emotion when you stand there and think of how quickly their lives changed… 45 seconds. And it can happen to anyone at anytime.
So then we all started searching the rubble. Ty and Dean wanted to find their purse and wallet… because they had no money, no ATM card, no credit card to do or buy anything.
Allie needed to find her golf clubs and school uniform because she is golfing at the state tournament today.
Ty also wanted to find her wedding rings. She had two sets – her original set and an anniversary set that she had taken off and put on her nightstand to do gardening.
We found everything except the anniversary wedding ring. They said they would keep sifting and sifting until they find it.
Carla also sent out some pictures:
Jason is going back up on Friday to help out some more.
I got all of the old pictures off of my phone. There aren’t a terribly large amount of pictures on there because the old phone is about 4 years old and didn’t have much memory on it.
It turns out almost every picture on that phone ranges from bad to horrible. Although some are amusing.
One major plus of the new phone is the memory card. I can use pictures taken by a real camera for the Caller ID Photo. As you can tell by these images, that will make a big difference.
On May 18, 1980 three things happened.
1. Mt. St. Helens erupted.
2. Stephanie Kasper was born.
3. I turned 5.
5 years earlier I was born.
A cousin of mine once gave my two sisters and I the very backhanded compliment that we turned out pretty well considering the white trash from which we came.
I don’t want to dwell on that story and its obvious hypocrisies. I use it to illustrate a point. If I ever become a person worth remembering historians will note that on the date of my birth my parents were at The Hillbilly Auction.
Now I wasn’t born at The Hillbilly Auction. Although that would have made a great story. It will be noted by some future scholar that even “Greatness” can come from such humble roots. “Christopher D. Bennett’s mom went into labor while she was manning the antique booth at The Hillbilly Auction” the future narrator of a documentary will intone while on the screen will flicker an actress playing my mom in 1970s garb sitting in front of a camper with a bunch of antiques sitting on a table in front of her clutching her stomach. An actor portraying my dad will come out of the camper and rush to her side.
I don’t know if there will be actresses portraying my sisters. I don’t know if they were there. I should look into that. I want them in the documentary even if they weren’t there. A pig tailed red headed little kid to portray Teresa. A dark skinned black haired actress to portray Carla. It seems like I’m missing a perfectly good opportunity to post pictures of them from their childhood. I’ll have to look into that too.
Well 33 years later, I can’t return to The Hillbilly Auction. Instead, I witnessed the evidence that my niece Alexis is a hooligan.
Although I do approve of her use of colors, but the message is so cliche. I will expect better from her in her future acts of vandalism.
I also took a ride down to Jester Park in the Howardmobile. My car decided to no longer have brake lights. I’m going to need to do something about that in the near future. Any way, check out some pictures.
It was a perfectly adequate birthday. I also got this sweet birthday card from Teresa. I need to scan that and post that at some point in the future.
Some random images from the Mother’s Day Barbecue
Since I know it would be missed if I didn’t post it, the picture of meat.
I hope your Mother’s Day was at least 50% as enjoyable as mine.
I feel like posting some pictures from Easter.
I also had supper with Shorty, Doris, Tim, Rebecca and Nate. Doris told us the joke that their Pastor (Pastor Rod) had told the congregation on that day. I thought it was kind of funny.
“The elders of the church decided that since Easter was coming up they wanted to have a really special speaker for the Service. They thought about it for a bit and they decided that they wanted the most knowledgeable Pastor they could find to give the sermon.
So they went to him and he turned them down.
They thought about it some more and decided they should get the most eloquent Pastor to give the sermon.
So they found the most eloquent Pastor and asked him, but he turned them down.
They went back to the church and thought about it some more. They decided that they should get the best looking Pastor they could find to give the sermon.
So they found the best looking Pastor and asked him, but he turned them down.
They went back to the church and thought about it some more.
Then one of them said: “Well we can still get Pastor Rod.”
They all decided that was a good idea and they came to me and asked me to give the sermon on Easter Sunday.
I told them, “Yes.”
After all, I had already turned them down three times.”
I hope you had a Happy Easter.
My sister Carla and her family have left for South Padre Island for the week. This means that I get to look after their two dogs Destiny and Shimmer. These dogs get very hyper when they haven’t had any human contact for several hours. I tried to get some pictures of them with the Dimage Z2 (4th String Camera), but they really didn’t want to cooperate.
In a slightly related note, in the last few months the list of people who find it acceptable to text message me has grown to an alarming number. I’m throwing in the towel. I’m going to breakdown and get a text messaging package. You guys win.