Good Grief

I have no earthly Idea how a person can have good grief. But what is upsetting is here it is April 13th and the high today was 71 ye-hall. But as I am writing at 9:38 pm the wind is howling the temp has dropped to 39 Degrees F. We are supposed to get 1 to 2 inches of blowing snow with a low of 26 degrees F. So much for it being spring time.

That is the way it is in the Texas panhandle, if you don;t like the weather hang around five minutes and it will change.

Monday Meeting — Ohio Boy Pays It Forward


This is such a touching and wonderful story about an eight year old boy and his paying it forward. We all need to follow his lead. Thank you Miles.

Originally posted on Soul Gatherings:

Meet 8 year old Miles Eckert, a boy who finds a $20 bill in a Cracker Barrel parking lot, and see how he “pays it forward” to Ohio Air National Guardsman Lt. Col. Frank Dailey.

Video Credit: CBS Evening News; “On the Road with Steve Hartman”

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St Patrick day

I wish all a four leaf clover for the Irish luck. For the last 44 years I love March 17th and St Patrick day. My first born came in to this world on this day. I have written before about how she was 5 months old before I was able to see her. My ship had just left Pearl Harbor heading back to Vietnam when I received a message form the Red Cross that I was the proud dad of a baby girl.

We always try to see her on her birthday so we went to Kansas last Wednesday so we could spend some time with her. This morning though we had to get back to Amarillo because we had a class tonight plus Charlotte had a Symphony rehearsal. We were up bright and early gave our sweet girl a birthday kiss and hug, wished her a great birthday, and left heading home.

I know she will be reading this so I am going to take this time to let her knowP1100424 and the world know that her mother and I are so proud of how she has turned out and that we love her with all our hearts. Happy Birthday Sis. Love dad.

Birthday Cruise Day Seven (All good things must come to an end).:(

Every thing was going a lot faster than it was when we came on board ship. While I was up getting coffee the girls are getting their last shower and getting ready to leave. I went back to the cabin to help with our carry on luggage and we went up for breakfast. We heard an announcement that all the ship was waiting on was for customs to come aboard the ship and give the okay to disembark. Jeff and his family came up and joined us for breakfast while waiting for the word that we could leave. Some where around 08:00 they started the disembarking process, and they started with deck one with people carrying all of their own luggage. Jeremy’s family decided to take this option so they were one of the first ones to leave the ship. We did not get to see them before they left the ship, and it was close to 09:30 before the rest of us was able to disembark.

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When we made it down to the line to go through Customs the line was pretty long and I thought well here we go again. But a security lady came by and said if you have your passports you may enter this other line. We passed all these other people until we were almost at the custom booth. Then I heard another person saying if you do not have a passport then have your birth certificate and ID out, I thought every one was supposed to have a passport.

I got on the bus to take me to the parking lot and picked up our car then drove back to ship, picked up the luggage, and the girls. We headed off to Houston and Jeremy;s house so we could give them a good bye hug and kiss before we headed home. Jeff had stopped by there also so we were able to give all the family hugs, I told Jeff to be careful driving home, then we left for we had to take our daughter to Hobby airport. It was around 11:00 when we dropped her off and then the long drive home, we made it home safely in Amarillo around 21:00 Aah home sweet home.

Birthday Cruise Day Six an Extra Day.

Well this was supposed to be the end of our four day cruise. I woke up early as usual expecting the ship to ether be pulling up to the dock or already be there. I went up to get my last cup of coffee while on board ship. It was still very foggy P1100403and the ship was still anchored out. The time was 06:00 and we were to be out of our cabins and ready to start disembarking around 08:30. The captain announced on the intercom that the port was still closed and that we would be sitting here until the fog lifted enough for the pilot from Galveston could make it on board to guide us into port. Every one was in limbo waiting for the words that we were heading in to the dock. Some where around 10:30 the captain announced that instead of being out of our rooms we could wait in the cabins if we wanted. Charlotte and I had gone down to ours and we could tell that the steward had been there to start cleaning for the next group of people that would be coming on board, so we tried not to go in for we did not want to mess up what he had already completed. So pretty much all this time we set on the lido deck in our usual spot with the whole family. The crew was as friendly as they could be seeing as how they could not get the ship ready for the ones who were to come on board after we were gone.

It was getting around lunch time and the crew started putting out food so we could eat lunch. Guy’s Burgers opened up, The Pizza place and the taco place opened, also the buffet so we did not hurt for food. While we were anchored I never did here the fog horn going off but every once and a while I could here another ships horn. The fog lifted some a little later in the afternoon and we could see four or five tankers anchored around us. Some where around 16:00 the captain came back on and said that we were going to raise anchor and head out past the 12 mile limit so that the ship could dump its gray tank due to maritime law. He said he was announcing this so that we would not be getting our hopes up about going in to port. The ship started moving very slow and the fog horn started back to sounding every two minutes.

There were several people who needed to get to the airport to catch flights home, or needed to get home so they could go to work or school the next day. Cell phone rates was like 1.99 per min. to call from the ship. The ship said that if you need to call home, employer, airlines, etc. that you could go to your cabin and call from your room phone for no charge. I felt that they did the right thing there for even though this was not the ships fault that they could not get back to port, it was a mother nature thing. Also every one had put their luggage out to be picked up and delivered down so it could be unloaded when the ship docked, so no cloths to change into. The captain announced that all the luggage would be brought back up to the rooms for we were going to be spending another night on the ship. When we have cleaned up and got the clothes out that we needed to please set the luggage out again so the crew could pick it up again. I felt sorry for theses guys that meant double work for them and not much rest.

Even though we had already said our goodbyes to our waitress down in the dinning room we went back down for dinner. I told her that she just thought she was through with us. She took exultant care of us and gave each of us  another big hug as we were leaving. We stayed up late visiting and watching the fog go by until time to turn in. What a surprise the next morning when I looked out and saw lights out the balcony window, when I got up and looked we were docked at the pear, I have no ideal when we came into port,

Birthday Cruise Day Five

After the ship sailed from Cozumel we went down to the main dining room for dinner. The only part of the family that did not join us was Jeremy and Aubrey, They said that they were going to eat up on the lido deck. So after we finished our meal we met up with them on the lido deck and visited until bed time.

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The next morning I was up early as usual and went up for my morning coffee, it looked like it was going to be another gorgeous day. Around nine everyone decided to go to the main dinning room for breakfast.

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We had a fun day at sea and it was warm enough the kids wanted to go swimming. Of course Charlotte is like a fish out of water so she went in with them. Every since she has lost all her weight she gets cold fairly easy. Even P1100395 P1100396though the water was cold, when it comes to her kids or grand kids she will do it. They had a blast but I think the two youngest ones enjoyed the showers better than the pool, made me wonder if it was warmer than the pool.

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We noticed that it was starting to get foggy again, in fact every two minutes we could hear the fog horn. Around 1800 we went down for our last dinner in the P1100402Paris dinning room. While we were eating we could feel the ship vibrating with a rumbling noise. Every one was looking at each other wondering what was going on, I told them that the ship just dropped anchor, even though it has been years since I was in the navy I remember that sound. Shortly after that the captain came on the intercom telling us that the port of Galveston was closed due to the fog and that we can not enter the harbor until it opens again. We were to have our luggage packed and setting out next to our state room door by eleven o’clock so that it can be picked up and taken down to be off loaded when the ship docks.

Birthday Cruise Day Four

It is so hard to believe that just one week ago today we were in Cozumel Mexico. (02/22/2014) I woke up as usual before the girls so I went up to get my coffee. It was so nice and warm out side and I was able to see land off the starboard side of the ship. It was some place in main land Mexico. After having my coffee andP1100329 P1100330 some cinnamon rolls I went back to the cabin and the girls were still in bed so I went out on the balcony for awhile. Finley the girls got up and joined me.

We went up and had breakfast on the lido deck until they announced that we could get off the ship. The boys and their family’s decided to go on a shore excursion to the beach so they left right away to catch the bus. The wife and daughter went P1100334down to get dress to go ashore and do some shopping. What imagine that women, shopping, I should have known. I have been to Cozumel before so I decided I would just stay on the ship and relax, Oh yea and eat Ice cream. I tried to yell at the girls so I could get a picture of them on the pier but they could not here me so I took the picture of their backsides. I had a good time on board, I found a old movie called The Sons of Katy Elder. It has been a long time since I have seen it so I just laid back and watched it. I guess I dozed off after the movie for I did not here the girls come in P1100333 P1100335and so they took my picture in one of my favorite poses. Every one had to be back on ship by 16:00 and I knew the kids excursion ended at 15:00 so I stood out on the balcony to catch them coming back in.

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The two older grandsons came up to watch a Royal Caribbean cruise ship set sale.Then watch our ship being unhooked from the pier, make a u-turn and head back out to open waters. This was just a four day cruise so we were headed back to Galveston Texas.

Birthday Cruise Day Three

After getting a good night sleep I was up early. I got dressed and slipped out of the room for I did not want to wake the wife and daughter. Our state-room was forward on the port side, (for people who do not know that is the left side of the ship) and the coffee was on the Lido deck aft. At least I was getting my exercise walking back and forth to the room. I always enjoyed getting coffee and setting watching the white caps on the water passing by as the ship slides through the water. On all the other cruises I have been on it seems like there would always be three are four of us old salts in that huge dining room drinking coffee, I guess no one else wanted to get up that early.

When I made it back to the room I found these two doing girl talk, you would think P1100305they never get to talk since our daughter lives nine hours away from her mother. It seems like no mater what you can always get beautiful pictures of sun rises out on the open water. It was a great day starting off out at sea and even though it was still a little cooler than we expected I had to step out on the balcony to get a couple of shots of the sun rise. Although the sun had already came up it looked like the sunrise breaking over the clouds.

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After a little bit Jeff and his two little ones came up to visit us and of course those P1100308two had to go out on the balcony so they could watch the water go by. We decided that we would P1100313go to the main dining room to eat breakfast. Noah was so impressed when they brought a fruit plate out and the fruit looked like a happy face. He would not eat the grapes because they were eyes. Afterwords we went up on the Lido deck and caught up with the rest of the group eating their breakfast and of course I had to have an ice cream cone.


Every cruise ship has at least one night that they call dress up night in the main dinning room. The girls had told the ship that it was the boy’s birthday cruise so that while we were at dinner and it became desert time they brought a birthday cake and sang happy birthday to the boy’s. You could tell that Jeremy and JeffreyP1100317 was surprised but they started to know something was up when we told Jeremy to go down by Jeff so we could get a picture of them.. I do not know how our waitress does it but we only told her our name one time and every night no mater where we set she would call us by name.

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Birthday Cruise Day Two

Our 4 day cruise starts today 02/20/2014 aboard the Carnival Triumph, That’s right the same TIshiptilejpgship that was in the news back in February 2013. If you remember the ship had an engine fire and was stranded for four days in Gulf of Mexico. We knew the ship had been repaired and cleaned from stem to stern.

Okay here is how our first day ended up. We woke up and was excited about getting started on our cruise. We were to report to the dock around 12:00 pm to start the boarding process and the ship was to leave around 4 pm. We received a text from Carnival about 8:30 am saying the ship was being delayed due to fog and that they would keep us informed by text and do not come to the ship until they said it was okay to do so. Finley we got the go to come down to Galveston and star going through security at 3 pm. While we were getting in line to board the ship there were people still trying to get off the ship from their cruise. We ended up in line for two and half hours going through security and then getting our boarding pass from Carnival before we could go on board. My feet and back was killing me by this time, my kids kept telling me to go set down and they would get me when we reached the desk for our boarding pass. Like a dummy I said no I will stay with them.

Harbin clan cruise

Finley we made it to our cabin so we put away our carry on luggage and made our way up to deck nine where the food was. We found where they were serving Guys burgers so we got us one set down to eat. We barely finished when we had to go to the abandon ship drill that all cruise ships have you do before they can leave port. Here again we had to stand packed in like sardines for a good 45 min while they explain how to put on your life jacket and show that this is where you come in case something happens. This was well and good if you have not been through these drill before and if you could understand the person talking, and if we could get the three women standing next to us from talking so loud where you could not hear anyways. It was starting to get foggy again but we set sail around 6: pm. We went back up to the Lido deck which is deck nine, there was some ice cream machines where I could get Ice cream 24 hours a day woo hoo. We visited and tried out the different foods until time to hit the sack.

Birthday Cruise Day One

Back on January 4th I blogged about the surprise my two daughter in-laws had for their husbands. Well the time to go has come and gone we left around 5:30 am on Wednesday morning 02/19/2014 to make the long drive to Houston Texas. It only took us ten and half hours to make the drive from Amarillo Texas. We pulled into the motel around 4:00 pm checked in called our son to let him know that we made it safely and that we would be at his house after we freshen up and stop and get fuel for the car.

We  visited with him until his kids came in from their school activities and Aubrey came home from work. Our other son was running about two hours behind us and they also made it but they hit some of the five o-clock traffic. Our daughters flight from Kansas was coming in around 6:40 pm so mom and I left to pick her up at Hobby Airport. The boys decided that they wanted Sushi so they called to tell us where we could meet them for dinner. I just have not been able to eat raw fish so I ordered chicken and a fork to eat it with then had fun watching them eating with chop sticks. Afterwords we went back to Jeremy’s house to visit a little more before going back to the motel for the night.

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