Eli, Rue and the rest of the Crew- from 2015

There are stuffed animals lined up in the hall. Three Teddy bears being taught by a monkey in a green plastic chair. I know this because that is what my three year old Rue told me. She showed me a page with super hero stickers all lined up in a row and told me it was her “lesson plan” I’m sure the monkey can handle it.

Outside next to my storage building is a little pile of rocks of different sizes, shapes and colors. This is Eli’s collection from our hike across the old apartments lot on Park Avenue yesterday. I let him out of the stroller and he picked and chose, throwing the ones he didn’t like as far as his little arm could chunk them.

Paula and I have been keeping these two for over 3 years now, since they are both closer to 4 than 3. When we started, I was still a very sick man. I struggled with heart and chest pains. I was on the verge of diabetes and had very little energy. As these two progressed from helplessness to walking, to running, to talking and thinking….to becoming little humans, I realized that I would like to be around with them a little while longer. I didn’t do much about it at the time though. When I found out last year that Matt and Courtney were finally having a baby, I decided to become more active.

So I started walking. I went to the gym because Paula was doing rehab, and I have kept on going.

I got one of those fitbit things for my birthday back in October and as of today I am nearing a million steps on it. I still am not “healthy” as a normal person by any means, but I think having these youngsters and now a new baby have kept me from going downhill. Instead I have come uphill a bit. I still go to sleep all the time. Rue was poking me this morning while she was sitting in my lap in my chair saying “Wake up Papa…wake up”

I have beautiful teenage granddaughters I want to see graduate from high school, and a young adult granddaughter I want to see get a good start on life. I’m trying to teach Auttie a little guitar too. She’s doing really good.

Not even to mention my three children who are my friends and my dear wife. We have a fiftieth wedding anniversary coming up in a few years, and I got to make plans to be here for that. I think we are going to Disney world.

Yet…my goals are all attainable short range deals. One day at a time, and stack them up like bricks at a kiln.

So, I’ll leave the stuffed animals where they are for now, and the rock pile too. They will remind me of the two who put them there and how much I love them….and how much I love them all.

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