If you enjoy reading this blog, you may also like to read the articles I write each week as the Springfield Genealogy Examiner and as the Ozarks Cultural Heritage Examiner. Be sure to subscribe so you don't miss a one. You may also enjoy reading my Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories blog. You can also read about the family stories in my novels at The Homeplace Series blog. You can sign up for e-mail reminders.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Mahatma Gandhi Quotes - I get these on my iGoogle, every day. I especially liked this one.

When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it--always.

Safely arrived at the Cabin for Christmas and New Year Holiday Season.

It is a very good day! ;-)

It feels like Christmas

I'm in the last hour at the office before leaving for two weeks at the Cabin for a family Christmas and New Year celebrations. Snow on the ground, a cold fog, and the threat of freezing drizzle make the thoughts of retirement very real. Another student worker just stuck her head in my office, saying goodbye for the holiday, and "See you next year!"

Just got the last payroll of the year to approve, so will get to that. Just wanted to get one more entry here, before leaving.

It is a very good day! ;-)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Mom's 90th Birthday

This would have been my Mom's 90th Birthday. She always complained of having her birthday so close to Christmas! ;-)

Ought to fix an Angel Food cake, to celebrate, but it is too cold. About 15 degrees with 20 mile per hour winds. About to go put a log in the fireplace - first time this year - and get ready to watch the final episodes of this Fall's Survivor series. Also, with be watching Cowboys play the Giants in football....

In spite of the temperature, it is a very good day! ;-)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Six Months to Retirement

June 13, the end of my current professor contract, is six months from tomorrow. 26 weeks to go. We are looking forward to a big family Christmas and New Year in Branson this year. We even have a photo session scheduled, since it is so rare that we are all able to be in one place, at the same time.

It was a very good day! ;-)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Survived 3000 mile, 7 state adventure

Happy to be back home after our 10 day, 3000+ mile, 7 state trip to help Annette and Larry get their "stuff" out to the new house in Utah. Had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner in an idealic setting. Now, on to family Christmas in Branson/Hollister! 27 weeks to retirement.


It was as good day! ;-)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Politics Comment

I love the Rachel Maddow show on MSNBC. For example:

Hope this is a video embedded. I just watched it! NEAT!

It is a very good day! ;-)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Week 34 - can it be possible?

Hard to believe two months have slipped by since my last entry. This weekend marks 34 weeks to retirement. Events of the past two weeks, financial crisis specifically, have certainly added some concerns - but, I'm always optimistic that things will work out. It was announced that Social Security checks get a 5.8% boost in January. One small silver lining on the cloud.

I did find a good chiropractor, after the last blog entry, and one treatment fixed the problem!

Nancy leaves on Saturday for a week in Austin. We'll also be going down for a few days around Kaylee's birthday and coming home on Veteran's Day.

Beautiful fall day - it is a good day! ;-)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Visiting the Grandkids

My wife thinks seven weeks between visits is too long, so she is flying down this week to spend three days with Alex and Kaylee. We'll drive to Kansas City tomorrow night, stay over night, and she'll fly out first thing in the morning for Austin, via Dallas, and I get to get up early as well, to get to work before my faculty meeting at 10:30....

We're getting the storage about cleaned out. Visited yesterday to take an inventory of what will go in the truck. Also brought home the next to last batch of books to ditch.

Apparently twisted my back at the cabin last week. Going to have to find and visit a chiropractor, I seems. Rest hasn't worked.

Regardless, it was a good day! ;-)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

49th Anniversary

August 7 is our 49th Wedding Anniversary. Looking forward to 50th, next year. Enough said.

It was a very good day! ;-)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Too Busy....

Haven't written much, lately, because life is to full to think much about retirement, right now. We are keeping busy cleaning and sorting. Hope to take a car load of stuff to Branson this coming weekend.

Last semester of summer school and tourism meetings at work keep my days occupied. Had a planning retreat with the new dean with chairs and directors.

Life is very good, this day! ;-)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

45 weeks to go...

I have a calendar marked at the office of the weeks until the end of my contract, and my retirement... not counting days, but counting weeks. Effective today, 45 weeks to go.

Over the weekend, we took a car-load of "stuff" to the cabin - kitchen stuff, mostly, this time. Some will go to Utah, some will stay in the cabin for us to use. Some will "disappear." Getting those kinds of things sorted, and moved, is a continuing challenge.

I also spent some time tending to the "wild-flower" bed in front of the cabin. Been a couple of months since I have had a chance. This was mostly trimming and thinning. Looked good afterwards, so must have done something right. Cleverly was out during the only hour the sun was shining... about 95 degrees... I was in the shade most of the time. We have a really nice big tree in front!

We made it home in good time, today, so it was a very good day! ;-)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sorting Boxes in the Garage

This weekend, at home in Emporia, was devoted to sorting, cleaning, and throwing out things that don't need to go to either Utah this fall or Missouri next summer. Prepared several boxes and tubs to go to Branson/Hollister next weekend. Mowed the lawn, on the hottest day of the year!

Did take some time to see if Greg Norman could win THE OPEN - no, Irishman Harrington made it two in a row.

We were reminded, again, how much we have to do in the next year. Nevertheless, it was a good day! ;-)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Today in Austin with Grandkids

This is a preview of retirement, today. We are in Austin, with our two grandchildren:
This is Kaylee, she is eight months old:


This is Alex, he is 4 and a half years old:


This is, indeed, a very good day!! ;-)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

69th Birthday on July 1

My 69th birthday went by yesterday, with out incident. Nice party atmosphere at the office: balloon, cookies cupcakes and sweet tea!

Nancy had a cake, at home, last night!

Looking forward to many more; so it was another nice day!

Dr. Bill ;-)

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Clean out the closets!

Watched Andy Rooney on '60 Minutes,' a bit ago, with a box of old clothes out of his closet at home, that he just can't seem to throw away. I can give away/throw away a lot of things, but, have noticed a few items still are hanging/sitting in my closet that I haven't worn in, what, 12-15 years?? There is an Iowa State jacket, my first college alma mater, that I may, actually, have never worn - it certainly doesn't fit anymore - but it is really hard to get rid of it. I must get over this, in coming months, thank you very much!

I won't even mention the half dozen new pants that "I'll wear when I lose some weight!" Or, the twenty five or thirty neck ties, hanging on a neat revolving hanger - I have worn a tie no more than three or times a year, the last ten years!!

Time to get to work on this...

It has been a very nice day!

Dr. Bill ;-)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

All my STUFF....

Among my favorite George Carlin routines was when he would take off on "my stuff..." I could always identify with that, because I, too, have a lot of "my stuff!" In my case, it is mostly books and papers...

A colleague who is retiring this month, not next year, was in the office a couple of days ago, lamenting his challenge to get "all his stuff" out of his office... and where to put it. His garage is already full, because his wife retired earlier this spring, and all of "her stuff" is there - plus, they recently moved her mother from her apartment to a care facility, and all "her stuff" is there, as well...

Two or so years ago, when I was hot on the E-Bay "latest thing" - I sold nearly 300 of my books on E-Bay. Hardly made a dent, but it was a start. That market has dried up some, so I have been carrying boxes of books to the local library with donations to be sold at "Friends of the Library" fund-raisers. I will continue to do that. The books in my old office here on campus are all too old for either... sometimes wonder if there aren't developing countries, or flood victims, or someone who would benefit from them, if only I could identify them.

Then there are the boxes and boxes of genealogy materials.... but that is another story.

As I get ready to feed the spreader some more paper, it is another good day!

Dr. Bill ;-)

Monday, June 23, 2008

George Carlin remembered

He is hardly of the same world as Tim Russert, or even Jim McKay, but I do mourn the passing of George Carlin, at age 71. I really appreciated much of what he stood for. He had the smarts and the courage to stand up for what he believed. His tactics were sometimes a bit skewed, but you always knew "where he was coming from!" As he aged, he became more overtly cerebral - which I, for one, appreciated. It helped me understand some of his weirdness as bit better.

I hope he'll be there to keep things straight, and entertain us, if there is a next world to enjoy!

Not withstanding his passage, it is another good day!

Dr. Bill ;-)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Bits and Pieces, etc.

Approaching retirement, especially involving a physical move, requires a lot of sifting and sorting and deciding on pieces of paper and memorabilia ... is this worth keeping, is it disposed of? Do I keep it through one more move, or is this the time to let it go? Will I want it, use it, need it, in the next five to ten years - or not?

I just came across a notebook Nancy and I started, it appears, about 20 years ago. We had started to accumulate some "sayings" or "aphorisms" - they were popular at the time. This list seems to have been from two sources. One was a little set of booklets called "Bits & Pieces" - don't know if it is still published, or not - and the other was "Leaves of Gold" - if I remember correctly.

I'll share one quote from each:
"Every man is a damn fool for at least five minutes every day; wisdom consists of not exceeding the limit." Elbert Hubbard. B&P

"Far away there is the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up & see their beauty, believe in them, & try to follow where they lead." Louisa May Alcott, Lof G, p. 41.

It was another good day! ;-)

Dr. Bill ;-)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Tim Russert

Wow! 58 years old - at his prime of life. So sad. But we see it everyday, is seems.

Really liked Tim - a great journalist! Will be greatly missed on the political reporting beat!!

Regardless of the tragedy of losing Tim, it was another good day!

Dr. Bill ;-)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Minor Ailments

Approaching age 69 in a few weeks, I've noticed that minor ailments seem to occur more often. I'm not complaining, of course... my general health is excellent; especially for the poor shape I'm in.

Since the weekend, my eyes have been irritated... strange, as I do not have allergies, hardly ever. We have determined that I became dehydrated. It was a warm weekend. I went out and mowed the yard about noon on Saturday. Great exercise! It was hot and windy. I didn't drink a full bottle of water after I came in. On Sunday, I went for a 35 minute walk, with lots of hills and valleys, relatively speaking. Hot again. Again, didn't drink the water I should have. Had some Diet Coke in the afternoon (that makes the problem worse, of course - but, I didn't yet know I had a problem!). By mid-day Monday, I was wondering what the problem was (very yellow urine - sorry, but it is the tell-tale symptom, every time.) Monday night I loaded up on water, and some fluids with electrolites. Again on Tuesday, added apple juice. Getting better.

Not a problem, really, but... I just hate to be less than "perfect" - enough problems in life without "not feeling well!" Again, I know I am lucky... but, it is one of those little things I wanted to share.

Get to drive 10 hours to Austin, tomorrow! Need to be feeling well. Looking forward to seeing Alex, 4, and Kaylee, 7 months on the 8th. Have to share a photo (ok, it is a couple months old!)


Anyway, it was another good day!

Dr. Bill ;-)

Monday, June 9, 2008

Four Dollar Gasoline

Over the weekend, the official national average price of regular unleaded gasoline hit $4 - on Saturday, we were at $3.71, down from $3.89 the week before.

Looking forward to a fixed income in a year, these kinds of indications of inflation in basic costs - especially planning to do some traveling - are a concern, of course. What can we do? What steps should we take?

These are things we now think about daily!

Still, it is another good day!

Dr. Bill ;-)

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Sportscaster Jim McKay

Jim McKay died yesterday, at age 86, at his farm in Maryland.

I know him best from the ABC Wild World of Sports, of course, but it was good to be reminded of his other achievements, especially his interests in horseracing in Maryland. My Kinnick and Brighwell ancestors lived in Maryland, so that is meaningful to me, as well. I also did not realize that Sean McManus, director of CBS Sports, was the son of Jim McKay - McManus was his birth name, McKay his professional name. They are currently running a CBS review of his life, after I started writing this, on the CBS golf coverage I had on the TV when I started writing. Curious how these things happen.

This is the way we "retirement age" folks think about these things. How does it compare to us? He was 17 years older. Johnny Carson always said that an "old person" is someone at least 15 years older than you are. Jim McKay was an "old person"... just barely!

It is those folks in the home town, or current town, that you see dying that are in their 50s and early 60s - these make you stop and think: What am I doing to hopefully not be like them? We never know, of course. But, you do stop and think. More on this as we go along, of course!

It it another good day!

Dr. Bill ;-)

Saturday, June 7, 2008

The First Day of the Rest of My Life

With twelve months of work life left before retirement, it seems appropriate to begin some observations and record the activities that accompany this important passage of time.

The day was highlighted by Big Brown NOT winning the Triple Crown in racing and Hillary Clinton suspending her campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination and endorsing Barack Obama.

Nancy and I recently finalized our decision for me to retire at the end of my new contract, just signed, that is June 13, 2009. Shortly thereafter, I will celebrate my 70th birthday and the following month we will celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. Seems like appropriate timing. This contract will finish the 15 years here at Emporia State University that I planned to complete on arrival.

It was a good day!

Dr. Bill ;-)