Friday, April 30, 2010


Friday again! Oh how the time flies when you are having fun, or lately this seems to be an attribute of aging!

Here are the photos I would have included in Monday's post if blogger, and probably a number of unidentified factors decided to be uncooperative, maybe even my brain.
I am posting these in small or medium format as there are a number of them, some of which may be of little interest , not posted with the intended text.

All should be clickable for enlargement, but who knows. This is only my third post trying to use the Blogger newer composition tools.
Luckie's un-favorite boarding kennel; her veterinarian's office which we consider the best care for an aging dog, and the attendants love her!

The Morning stop for breakfast at the Kopper Kettle. Hardy, AR. Not sure who designed the website but it is awful. Other sites mention service and menu/cuisine/service within unsavory terminology. My evaluation was adequate. The sign is a paint-over. Ifyou enlarge it you see part of some other sign. All I can make out so far is Bob;s something or other--a challenge like trying to figure it out drives me stir-crazy.

At least we made it to Tennessee! Whoopee!! Crossing the Mississippi River is always some kind of milestone on a very long road trip.

Pyramid Arena in Memphis, named for its twin city in Egypt where many pyramids are located. It is the 6th largest pyramid in the world! We passed it soon after crossing the Mississippi Riv.

We stopped in Cookeville TN for dinner at Golden Corral, one of my husband/ favorite dining buffets. It was one of the better and newer units in the chain; food was hot; a grill for individual steak orders, an assortment of continental and ethnic selections and a dessert bar with chocolate emphasis.

From Cooksville we traveled toward western edge of Knoxville, stopping for rest and the night at this EconoLodge just off I-40.
Above three weather shots depict the threatening weather we faced early Sunday morning headed for the North Carolina state line and the impending, uncertain detour.
The above three photos are along the Smoky Mtn. US 70/24 detour route from Newport TN to Ashville NC we chose from recommended detours around the rock slide closing a portion of I40 between Ashville and Knoxville. The 3rd photo is my favorite of the three, despite the raindrops on the windshield. In the green field to the right I saw the largest flock of wild turkeys I've ever seen -- around 30 with a gobbler strutting his stuff, tail feathers in full fan. Wonderful, but nowhere to stop for photo!

NOTE: Above six photos were shots through our  the SUV windshield. Significant rainfall is shown as white speckles on some photos.

We FINALLY arrived in Southern Pines, NC around 5 p.m. EDT to our reservation at EconoLodge, a very nice unit acquired from Holiday Inn Express.
After calling husband's sister to inform her of our arrival, we decided to carouse the area for chow. We ended up at Bojangle's. a popular chicken 'n biscuit chain.
Infamous Bojangle Sporks: husband confiscated a significant number and I became an accomplice when he asked me to confiscate additional sporks

Photos: All Creatures Veterinary Clinic, Golden Corral, EconoLodge(s) and Bojangles acquired from Internet.

All other photos are NitWit's work.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Short Book Review

I picked up a small paperback book at my Sister-in-Law's house.  She always has some inspirational reading around, especially on the bedside table.

Since sleep does not come easily for me, I idly began to read. It was an easy read because the chapter style is basically a complete short story per chapter.

The title  caught my eye, especially the word "coincidences." Regardless of whether, or not, you believe Biblical miracles occur today, the first definition by Webster, the expansive definition of miracles in the English language would include coincidences which I never considered until now.

After reading this book, I realized how many similar coincidences have occurred in my life. Some might put the label "fate" on a few  of these, especially if it has a sad connotation, and perhaps that is applicable.

Although a spiritually uplifting read, the stories do not espouse any particular belief system, even though the authors appear to be of Jewish faith. There are stories involving other beliefs.

I would classify the book as non-fiction, and definitely a good read for those with little time for a long sit. I read the book, usually 2-3 chapters at a time in about 10 days, maybe less.

The link below and the photo above are from Amazon's web site, permissible when I was an Amazon Associate. [This post has been in draft two weeks.]

I had to discontinue the Associate membership due to perceived conflicts with Blogger, or maybe my ignorance in usage. Nevertheless, I love and will continue to reference them. The book, I'm sure available from a multiplicity of sources, so choose your favorite.

Several chapters are displayed in the link below. ENJOY!

Small Miracles: Extraordinary Coincidences from Everyday Life (v. 1) (Paperback)~ Yitta Halberstam (Author), Judith Leventhal (Editor), Bernie S. Siegel (Author) "I don't know if it's the hard-nosed reporter in me or the incurable romantic, but for some strange reason that I cannot fully explain, I..." (more)
Key Phrases: New York, Herr Mueller, Long Island (more...)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Ambushed, Bushwhacked, Rainswept, Wind-Whipped

. . . and road-blocked by a small (ha! ha!) pile of rocks, 50 FEET HIGH and 100s of FEET LONG!

[Today, Sunday, April 25, this major blockage of East-West traffic and commerce has reopened a limited stretch since we returned home. Although is was an aggravation to us and our plans, I can only imagine the aggravation to truckers, who may still have to detour this important pass through the Smoky Mountains.]

Maybe I should have selected the title: Two Elderly Persons and a GPS Navigation Unit named Jezebel Should Never Be Together on an Interstate Highway in the Same SUV!!!

Thus I set the tenor of this post.

The wind blew and battered against the Toyota Highlander Hybrid SUV. It seemingly was capriciously from every direction but mostly NORTH. Staying in a lane on an 8-lane divided Interstate at 60-75 m.p.h. required the driver grip the steering wheel unmercifully, continuously. Hands cramped and ached. My left shoulder already ripped with burning nerve pain from an arthritic neck became stinging, flaming ball of fire. Nerves were taunt.

This story is the beginning of our trek to North Carolina.

After leaving Luckie at her un-favorite boarding kennel, her veterinarian's clinic Friday afternoon, we left Saturday morning about 7 a.m. (CDT) on a near 1000 mi. journey to NC, hoping to arrive in time for a Sunday 3 p.m. funeral service. The weather was sunny, but breezy and cool.

We and husband's (H) sister knew the likelihood of our making the funeral was marginal to none.

We stopped at an independently-owned busy restaurant, Kopper Kettle, on outskirts of Hardy, AR for breakfast. In the interest of saving time we chose a small buffet. The scrambled egg medley wasn't tasty; among the ingredients was chopped ham which had a peculiar taste; but bacon, sausage, biscuits, and small fruit strudel were satisfactory.

H resumed driving as the wind slowly crept up the m.p.h. scale.

Our approach to Memphis was about noon. As we crossed the Memphis, Mississippi bridge, I grabbed a through-the-front-windshield snapshot of the Pyramid Arena, the sixth largest pyramid in the world, and whose structure is reminiscent of the city's Egyptian namesake known for its ancient pyramids, not to be confused with the Great Pyramid of Giza, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Outside Memphis at a convenience store we refueled, grabbed unhealthy snacks, including an amaretto latte. We switched drivers--my turn to wrestle with the North Wind. The North Wind is such a relentless, pugnacious, tenacious, bone-chilling wrestler pummeling all in its path. For 3 hours we wrestled to a draw. [Read opening paragraph again, as it described my driving stint.]

At Cookeville TN we stopped at Golden Corral to eat. It was one of the newer Golden Corral locations and was a pleasant respite from the grueling day of driving. Food was hot and selections of every category, awesome.

After refueling our human engines we then refueled our vehicle nearby for the next day's conclusion. H again took the reins to wrestle with the North Wind, which he, too, fought to a draw.

While he drove eastward, I began to search for lodging. Our personal favorite motel, La Quinta Inns and Suites is less prevalent in Tennessee, but there was one in outer west Knoxville. A cell-phone inquiry was fruitless; no accessible, non-smoking ground level rooms available.

A couple of exits further into Knoxville, we saw an EconoLodge logo among six lodging logos on an I-40 blue information sign. Our luck with the same chain in Springfield MO was not memorable but that location was exiting the chain for a lesser known chain. EconoLodge built a new facility in Springfield, but we stayed at an older one losing its accreditation.

Since we already had a reservation with EconoLodge in Aberdeen at my sister-in-law's (SIL) recommendation, we decided to inquire at the Knoxville location.

Near 5:30 p.m. (CDT) I rolled out of the SUV, looking like a disheveled, hitchhiking female hobo, down on my luck; I entered the lobby to the registration desk.

"Do you have a ground floor, accessible, non-smoking room available," I asked, expecting an immediate 'NO' due to the late hour of the day; we had already lost the hour driving east crossing the CDT/EDT time line.
"Yes," the cheerful lady said.

Somewhat stunned, I repeated the requirements to be sure she understood, and she repeated affirmatively each time. I'm sure a smile of relief came over me. "I'll take it," I quickly replied.

As we quickly shuffled and completed the paperwork, IDs, etc. Ms. Cheerful asked, "Why did you choose to stay with us this evening?"

"Desperation," I quipped, and quickly added we had a reservation at EconoLodge in Aberdeen the next day.

The room was comfortable and nice. The accessibility amenities in the bathroom included a heavy-duty handicap seat for the tub and hand shower head. We both showered and flopped in bed--no problem sleeping.

The front desk promptly delivered a wake-up call at 6 a.m. Sunday, but it wasn't necessary. Shortly before 6 a.m. a very loud clap of thunder and heavy rain downpour served as an alarm.

We quickly turn to the Weather Channel for the area's 'on the 8's' forecast. Overnight a major storm moved into TN from the west with heavy rain, possible hail and tornadoes accompanied by intensified wind with gusts up to 40 m.p.h. It was already raining, steadily.

The day began with added downers. We knew we had a huge obstacle already in place - an unmovable pile of rocks, a mountain. We battled wind the first day; today more of the same, only stronger, with major weather warnings.

Oct. 26, 2009 a rockslide at I-40 2.6 mile marker shut down ALL I-40 traffic. A similar event occurred in 1997, closing the same section of road July through September, 1997. I-40 is a the major truck and tourist route over the Appalachian range.

The NC Dept. of Transportation recommends two alternate routes for the current situation. One route extends driving time roughly 50 minutes and the other route extends driving time 30 minutes.

We had reached Knoxville Saturday evening before dark and had a decent chance of making the funeral Sunday. The storms Sunday morning put a damper on the idea but still a maybe. As the day progressed the maybe, became a NOT as you will see.

Ambushed and waylaid by a pile of rocks, i.e. the Great 2009 Rockslide between Knoxville and Ashville closing a major section I-40 crossing the Appalachians (Smoky Mountains) and the ongoing wind and rain pretty much negated any hope of making the 3 p.m. funeral.

We chose the shorter, second suggested option for a detour through the mountains on a 2-lane winding route with 2 passing zones and several climbing lanes. It was uneventful with only light wind and rain. The scenery was beautiful even in the mist.

The landscape reminded of trip back in time where mountaineers lived off the land while wealthy built mansions on mountaintops with tremendous panoramic views.

The mountaineers lived by wit. Rusting appliances and vehicles lined gullies, lanes and rested in meadows and fields. A manual wringer washer in good shape rested along side some rusty machinery. The washer would have been a good souvenir for a yard planter.

While taking in the panorama I was reminded of my childhood obsession with my parent'sVIEWMASTER and all the cardboard mounted circles with photos to view in 'stereoscope.' I loved those ViewMasters, forerunners of positive film, or slides with projectors, and ultimately now, PowerPoint presentations.

But when we finally got to Ashville things began to fall apart. H insisted Route 74 was the route he was going to take and 'he was the driver.'

Jezebel indicated route 74 and Interstate 40 were one, and the same, which H did not seem to realize. Complicating matters was signage that pointed to Route 74A (alternate).

Since H was adamant about Route 74 and talked as if he researched it, I told him to make a choice and fly with it. My mistake! because I knew alternate routes were most often undesirable for making time.

And Jezebel kept whining. H in so many words said "to H*** with Jezebel. (Well, to you poets out there, it rhymed!) I turned down Jezebel’s volume–her voice is nagging–no doubt H related her nagging to mine.

He wanted to go one way and Jezebel, the GPS, directed another. He was driving and insisted he knew the best way; he chose 74A.

We ended up on another mountain parkway, the Blue Ridge Parkway, which was far worse, driving and making time, than the first mountain detour from Newport, TN to north of Ashville NC. It was beautiful but far more hairpin curves where you meet yourself. Jezebel and I were tired of the mountains.

We ate at a mountain roadside cafe and it WAS roadside. Houses and businesses in the mountains are built with less than 10 feet from the pavement. We wanted breakfast even if it was 11 a.m. A minor seating misjudgment placed us in a section which only served dinner and the choice was hamburgers only. Guess what, we ate hamburgers whether we wanted them or NOT!

We finally returned to Jezebel's way of thinking at Charlotte but it was already 2 p.m. We still had a 2 hour drive.

Somewhere near Monroe H became aggravated with a little black car weaving in and out of traffic in heavy rain. I did not see the driver and only know he directed his attributions at the car [as it turned a corner out of the traffic], blaspheming its size, ethnicity, questionable parentage, birthright and gender with three words. So as not to offend anyone with his political incorrectness, I refused to write the diatribe. I just find it perversely amusing a car could have all these attributes.

We finally arrived in Aberdeen about 5:30 p.m. amid alternating periods of light and torrential rain. We checked into a very nice room, with all my requirements.

EconoLodge apparently bought these units from Holiday Inn Express which built a new unit in same area. My only complaint is the smoking rooms' smoke escapes into the hallways gagging me as we had to transverse them to our room. Some of the smoke seeped into our room, too. NOT PLEASANT.

At least we arrived safely despite the weather and our misjudgments and ignoring Jezebel.

Sunday evening we ate at Bojangles. H fell in love the "SPORKS" - a combo fork and spoon. He stole 6 and made me get another handful so he can take them to Life Group potlucks at church. I hope we don't have to do penitence.
Next time we make this trip, I think I'll hire a helicopter and have it drop us off in a basket; or maybe fly and ship luggage UPS-FedEx-USPS who need the business.

Do you remember VIEWMASTER?

The ViewMaster device was considered an adult 'toy' but later child's play. My parents had their own, and eventually I was given one of my own. Were they adult or children's toys?

Well, gentle readers, I’ve had this post written for a week and have a surplus of photos which I cannot get to stay in the post or move. This problem reared its head when I unfortunately decided to become an Amazon Associates. When I posted there gadget and a search bar appeared next to my composing window, everything went crazy. It changed my entire blog to the newer composing version. And if that was not bad enough photos don’t seem to work the same. I used to be able to go to html and cut the terminology for the photo out and paste it so enlargements, etc. were easy for readers. The thing drag a bit and then freeze. I’m sure I’ll figure it out, but resorted to moving into my word processor for this to clean up this enough to post. I stripped it of all links and photos.

WordPerfect will write in HTML but it converts JPGs to its one format. I decided to forget the photos, before this post gets so old it grows mold.

I probably am going to have to spend some time with the new composition tool anyway, as I think BLOGGER will soon discontinue maintaining two versions.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Mr. Sammy [not Davis]

He missed curfew, so he was relegated to spend the cold spring night outside. This was not a young kool kat, but a sedate older dude, whose tomkating days were behind him.

I met Sammy on a previous visit to North Carolina. On our recent visit, Sammy and I developed a serendipitous relationship.

Sammy, the furry 4-legged honcho at the Moss household is a bossy, neutered tomcat, rescued by my sister-in-law (SIL), who works at a retirement village which allows pets. Often pet owners move, die or otherwise have to forfeit their animals for various, sometimes urgent, reasons.

This was the plight of Sammy. It seemed no one would step forward and give Sammy a "forever home." Finally, SIL said, "I'll take the cat." She wasn't sure of her husband's reception; he had run stray cats off his property.

SIL drove home with all 16 lbs. of Sammy, opened the door, and set Sammy inside. Amazingly, Sammy ran and jumped in her husband's lap where the two seemed to bond instantly.

Sammy, having conquered what was perceived the biggest obstacle to his new habitat, began to relegate the routines he expected for his continued comfortable lifestyle in return for his devotion of demoted head of household HOH and wife.

1. Sleep in bed with HOH and wife.
2. Feed warm saucer of milk-very small amount, heated 10 seconds, no more or no less, in microwave on demand in kitchen, after which must have outdoor spree.
3. Provide valet service at any door 24/7 for indoor/outdoor recreation, or whatever cats do during waking hours, day and night.
4. Daytime sleep-in after early breakfast, until 4 p.m., preferably undisturbed on master bedroom bed.
5. Other amenities, such as regular dry cat kibbles, water and litter pan in master bedroom.
6. Drinking water privileges in the bathroom lavatory, where the current occupant must open the spigot at just the right trickle, to lap or play.

When SIL's husband (HOH) died, best buddy Sammy, or should I say dictator, was devastated. The crowds of people during his last illness, and the usual company and visits before, during and after a funeral sent Sammy into isolation and hermitage.

Like other family members he suffered duress, desolation and deprivation of his beloved owner. He hid in the basement or spent long hours outdoors trying to understand his innermost feline feelings. He had no cat friends with which to consult or commiserate...well we aren't sure. There was the neighborhood stray who was seen occasionally on the property.

Sometime during or after the funeral, Sammy was missing, maybe contemplating his fate and future, or whatever cats do when their living arrangements take a dramatic change of course. The person to which he bonded most was gone. His house was full of strangers, including new creatures called "children." His household rules were not holding water.

When my husband (H) and I arrived to stay two weeks, SIL's son and family were in their last two days before leaving for their home in Wisconsin. We visited with the son and family one of the two days.

Someone, I think H, asked, "Where is Sammy?" SIL, et al, said Sammy was AOL and had been for a few days.

Conversation continued. I was seated a bit away from the center of attention by the open, glass back door. At some point I absentmindedly glanced at the door. Amazingly, there sat Sammy.

We let Sammy in. He hurriedly surveyed the room's occupants and scurried to the bedroom. He must have summed up his alternatives and decided to adjust to the hand life dealt him. After all, it could be a whole lot worse.

After the company left and only adults were in the house, Sammy seemingly settled in his routine of training us. SIL was already trained. He would rub our legs and even purred a tad for his milk. He sat with H outside in the smoking chair, as we called it.

The crowning achievement with me was # 6 above, when he entered the bathroom, jumped on the lavatory and waited for me to adjust the water. Certainly I never would replace HOH, but I was acceptable substitute if I complied with his rituals.

The most disgruntled, maybe downright mad cat I ever witnessed was Sammy the night he was missed another curfew and was caught up in a severe thunderstorm.

It was after 10 p.m. I was sleeping near the door he usually entered and exited. Between two loud claps of thunder there was a deluge of rain. The second clap was greater volume than the first. I lumbered sleepily to the door and opened it. In streaked the wettest, dripping mad cat I've ever seen. He streaked down the hallway to the master bedroom and SIL, with me in pursuit with a towel to wipe him down.

Sammy didn't know, but maybe he did, that H and I were saps to slavery via a lifetime of dogs. He just lucked out in training us so easily.

Message to Sammy: please be kind and take good care of H's sister and my sister-in-law. You could not have a better home!

PHOTOS: (Apology - I have had no time to learn my two new photo editing programs' method to remove pet equivalent of red eye. It is NOT the red eye tool, at least not in the 3 programs I own.)
Husband: 2, 3, 7
NitWit: 1, 4, 5, 6, 8

Monday, April 19, 2010

Golden Smog

Overnight the world was covered with golden dust--at least the world of Aberdeen, NC and the area know as the Sandhills which is locally known for sandy loam populated by pine forests, multiplicity of golf courses, and towns with "pine" in their names-Southern Pines, Pinehurst, etc.

Our Toyota Highlander Hybrid seemed to have been repainted yellow dust and sticky pine sap---yuck!

When we opened the morning papers, headlines revealed the source of the paint job:
the annual pine pollen invasion which is reported to be the worst in seven years according to allergy sufferers, including this horse's nose! To further antagonize respiratory compromised persons, the pollen season entered in raging hurricane force, early.

With allergies, asthma and COPD on my palette of maladies, I anticipated trauma before making this trip. My previous trips to the Carolinas resulted in some kind of respiratory reaction with which to contend on the return trip home.

My primary physician supplied me prescriptions for antibiotics, steroids and cough syrup-just-in-case scenario. Allergy inoculations were up-to-date. Extra inhalers were packed. I also had routine prescription meds. My ammunition for front line defense was ready for airborne invasion.

My husband also suffers from some allergies and COPD. He had similar ammunition.

Both of us had supplies of Benadryl, the popular OTC allergy remedy, or its generic version, Diphenhydramine HCl and also an OTC cough syrup, Delsym. We use these two meds as the first line of defense despite its drowsiness side effect.

When we arose to the phenomenon of golden dust, we did not flinch. The duration of our stay we had mild reactions and no illness initiating the need for stronger medicines.I had coughing spells calling for the stronger cough syrup but most of the 2 oz. bottle returned home.

According to newspapers there were many unfortunate sufferers with symptoms of itchy swollen eyelids, weeping eyes, runny nose, nasal discomfort, itchy ears and coughing, etc.

Besides the dust, which reminds me of the green oak pollination in Arkansas, the other phenomenon was the visible airborne pollution. US Hwy. 1 is a main thoroughfare of Aberdeen and Southern Pines. It is a long, straight segment in one area. Looking down the road, it appeared we had fog or smog in Aberdeen and Southern Pines, only instead of grey fog it was yellow smog.

I've seen fog, smog, heavy rainfall, white-out snowstorms, sandstorms, etc. but never pollen so thick it was atmospherically visible. All the sneezing probably is a road hazard, if they sneeze as hard and repetitiously as I do.

The horizon was tinted the same color. It was downright eerie. In Arkansas we have oak pollen covering everything yellow-green, but to my knowledge the pollen does not tint the atmosphere and horizon--at least not the 30 years I've lived here.

There were pollen alerts, advising persons with compromised respiratory systems to stay indoors. I heeded the advice for the most part. Husband was outside more than I; he had mild reactions. It is the first time I remember, we started home without allergy or cold symptoms making the long drive more miserable and tirng.

Pine pollen grains are larger in comparison to other pollen. Some experts say it is too large to cause most reactions. Current sufferers vehemently disagree.

However, experts say the golden smog this year is not just one pollen but the result of extreme weather preceding the normal pollen season causing early pollination of pine along with many other spring plants, resulting in an early, abnormally heavy pollination complexity.

What was most amazing is the azaleas burst forth in all their glory during our second week in NC. Usually our allergies decide we should be miserable to the nth degree when we're in the Carolinas during azalea season. This year we barely knew they were blooming.

Ironically, Sunday, after returning home, whatever is in the air in Arkansas has me wheezing audibly. I tanked up on inhalers, carried one inhaler to church along with cough syrup. I am grateful my allerg8es abated until I returned home.

Luckie is having some allergies, too. What a threesome this household is!

Pine Pollen Smog: 1,2,3
Husband, myself and azaleas - Easter Sunday

[Will be in Springfield MO most of week seeing endocrinologist.]

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Mr. One Speed

After a long, arduous, 2500+/- round-trip journey to NC &SC we are home. Every time I make this trip, I swear I'll never make a road trip again. When we go to Texas, we drive just as many miles because relatives and friends are stretched from Brownood, Stephenville, Denton, DFW Metroplex, Ferris/Ennis, Wolfe City and Houston. these points are 50-200 miles apart.

Today is a short story about an incident I witnessed between my husband (H) and his sister, my sister-in-law (SIL). We were eating a light meal: As I remember I sliced an apple. (H) was eating a sandwich and SIL had something else.

We had lots of leftovers from which to assemble numerous meals. SIL's generous friends, church family and her husband's family provided a stream of casseroles, desserts and entrees for the last few weeks of her husband's illness and death.

H & SIL wanted toast. H quickly made his in the toaster, and, after grace was offered, commenced to consume his assembled sandwich. SIL made her toast in a toaster oven which seemed to take longer, so she offered the grace and began to eat other parts of her meal.

We each were concentrating on our delicacies when the acrimonious odor of burning bread began to permeate the air. SIL looked back at the toast oven to see her bread in flames and smoke billowing out into the kitchen, dining and living area.She ran to the kitchen and unplugged the oven but the flaming bread kept burning like a baked Alaskan dessert. The slow, undulating flame was enchantingly contained in the oven; I should have grabbed my camera.

Meanwhile former firefighter H and I sat like bumps on a log, transfixed by the scene. SIL called her brother to help extinguish the flames. He arose from the table and moseyed into the kitchen area.

Now this is not a long distance but he seemed suspended in time, plodding slowly to the kitchen. "Hurry up," SIL said. "I'm coming," he said.

There was discussion how to extinguish the burning log in the toaster oven. H slowly grabbed a dishrag in the sink, saturated it to dripping with water. Then he opened the toaster oven door as more smoke pour out into the room.

H threw the dishrag into the oven covering the now burning ember, which once was bread. The water sizzled and hissed, and the smoke finally ceased to permeate the room, although there was a visible layer hanging from the ceiling.

The silence which often follows an accident or crisis was interrupted by my coughing response to the smoke.

After the crisis was over, the fire scenario became humorous with SIL marveling how slow--could we say deliberate--H, her brother, responded to the crisis. One could say he never panicked nor did his pulse, heart or breathing rate increase; neither did his blood pressure..

After 41 years of marriage I can say,and he will agree, he has only one speed, SLOW. I'm sure SIL will agree.