Abandoned Prosperity

America, for all its supposed wealth and prosperity, has many abandoned places. From natural disasters, to foreclosures, to budget cuts, to rebuilding; I've seen quite a few in my short life-time. All across this vast country people are homeless, when there are many buildings and places that could be "repurposed" to house them. This blog is all about the places I've lived and explored, over the past 47 years. It also involves other things of interest to me, which will become apparent as I continue along. Most places and events I can only remember and right now, I'm active in exploring the current state I live in, Tennessee. Follow along in my foot-steps as I clambour over and sometimes into the abandoned debris of our society...from junkyards to cellars to my own mind.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Eternal Voyage

Do thy duty; that is best; leave unto the Lord the rest.~Longfellow

He that will learn to pray, let him go to sea.~Herbert

Surely oak and threefold brass surrounded his heart who first trusted a frail vessel to the merciless ocean.~Horace

Warren A. Cleveland~April 21, 1940-March 11, 2014

He did his duty. He learned to pray. And he went to sea. A voyage that lasted 23 years. And from what I remember of my Uncle Warren's personality, his heart was surrounded by more than just an oak and threefold brass. It was surrounded by courage and commitment. By honour and duty. But most important...by his love and caring for his family and friends. He had a firm voice but a gentle soul. I found that out back in 1973. Now that I think of it, 'twas that one thought...one single memory of the past...that braced me as I attended his funeral, week last. I'm not sure Uncle Warren's son, Tim, would remember the event but, perhaps he may recall it, anon. Isn't it strange how we remember things, places and events?

 I wish I'd gotten to know him better over the past 28 years. Oh, we conversed via 'phone, usually during the holidays. And he'd talk your ear off if you let him, heh, heh. Every now and then we'd both swap sea stories of our time in the Navy. I can only imagine the stories he didn't tell me. And I usually surprised him with the things I knew about his era of the military. This was usually the one way I could get in a word edge-wise. But even so, we both had the utmost respect for one another, especially as Navy veterans (even though we were of two completely different eras and divisions of the Navy~Uncle Warren was in the surface fleet and I was in submarines.)

 I could go on endlessly quoting and remembering here but, there are some things that are more personal and left between family and friends and not on a blog. Better to share the best memories of those you love in person and not on a computer screen, right?

 I know that someday I'll be with my Uncle Warren and all my other Naval brothers and sisters who've come to serve before me. We'll be able to swap stories once again as we sail on the becalmed ocean into eternity. So long for now, Uncle. Know ye that we have safely arrived at our home port.

 Your loving nephew,

 Todd


 For those of you that actually read this blog o' mine, you can go HERE to visit with my Uncle Warren.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Is It Spring yet?


Despite the lingering cold and lack of snow, the robins are out and about here in Massachusetts. I had a couple fly in front of my car just yesterday and I had to wonder...either they're lost or they're just so accustomed to the cold, that they never left. Or perhaps they know something we don't. Everywhere I go, it seems, I hear the age-old griping about the "damn" cold. Yes, it has been a rather colder year than most. Even NOAA got it wrong as they had predicted a much warmer winter that it actually has been. But then I've been saying for years that you just can't predict the weather. But as we are oft to say here in New England, "If you don't like the weather just wait a couple of minutes." How true that is.

 I had to laugh at the latest weather report for the southern states, that implied or "predicted" that the highs would be in the 70's. Above average for the time of year but, considering the mess that Atlanta went through with all that ice a couple weeks back, I'm sure it'll be more than welcome to bask in the suns rays. That's when I laughed and remembered that, we do that up here when it's in the 20's, as long as the sun is out and the wind is low. Hell, even the hard-core bikers come out to play!

But if you have a bad case of "cabin fever", don't worry too much. It'll be over soon...maybe. I mean, I've seen it snow up here in May, for crying out loud! And lest we forget, we can still get a major snow-dumping in March or April... So, if you're tired of looking at the dirty snow and ice, just concentrate on the picture of Brierly Pond above and think warm thoughts :)