A small attempt to pen those precious moments that seem to go by all too quickly. Things that would easily be forgotten.....may they always be remembered....here's hoping this site never crashes. :)

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Bird

Well....here I am again, blogging about something I wish I didn't have to. This past Saturday night January 24th, my sweet ole Bird (my grandfather, I will get to how he got the name Bird in a minute) went to be with the Lord. What a sweet reunion he is having. Not only getting to come face to face with Jesus, but also being reunited with his wife and sweet little girl Lou Anne whom he lost when she was 14.

As I explained to my own children that The Bird had gotten to go to heaven they were SO excited for him!! They were excited for him to get to go to heaven and see Jesus, for him to get to see his "husband" as CT said, otherwise know as Memaw Brown. They were excited that he got to get a new body and run fast! As I thought about how excited they were for him, I was excited for him too. That's how we should look at it. Of course I am sad, because it's hard to be the one left here, and to lose someone you love, but one day soon we will all be together again.

Let's see....where do I even begin. "The Bird" all started around 10 years ago. The summer of 1998. I had just graduated from college, my best friends dad had just had a massive stroke, and my grandmother was dying. It was the summer from you know where. Anyway, I had the job of driving to Tulsa to pick up my grandmother's sister and her husband to be here for the last few days before my Memaw Brown passed away. My grandfather was sending me in his car. He was so afraid that I was going to lock the keys in the car, so he made me wear the spare key on a rope around my neck. Granted I had just graduated from college. :) So I did as I was told, but not without a "How are you going to know if I really wear that key or not?" He replied, "Oh a little bird will tell me." So as I became the little bird, he became the Big Bird or just Bird. :)

As sad as I was to see my grandmother pass away, it was a good 10 years that I had with just the Bird. I didn't know him very well while she was alive. He was such a private and quiet person that she did all the talking for him. ha! Also she just liked to talk. Once she passed away, he didn't have a choice but to talk.

There are many stories to think of and tell, but I am going to write down some of my favorites. I will probably add to this as I think of them. :)

As far back as I can remember, we would meet them every Sunday after church for Sunday lunch. Although my grandparents didn't attend church, they were always dressed to the tee. We only ate at two places Furr's or Luby's. I used to hate it when I was little, but grew to enjoy the time we had with them.

After my grandmother passed away, we still had our weekly Sunday lunch with him at Luby's. There was this lady (a little off her rocker) that worked there, that "knew" him from him eating there so much. She would pay attention to him, and try to talk to him. He would get so frustrated with her, and would say to us "Here comes the ole battle axe." Of course he was nice to her face.

He was such a mess and funny. When he would pay the bill at a restaurant, he would kiss each bill goodbye as he layed them down on the table. My grandmother used to get so irritated with him, but I would crack up.

When you would call his shop and get his answering machine, it would say: "Ray's ordamatic (automatic) answering service. Leave your name and number, and Ray will personally return your call."

As a little girl he had this HUGE plastic light up Santa that he would put in the window of his shop. I always thought that it was so cool. I saw it the other day at his house, and it made me smile.

The Bird grew up in Coal Hill, AR which was in Johnson County. So anytime I was headed that way he told me to make sure I rolled down my window and to take a big whiff of that fresh Johnson County air. He said it didn't get any better than that.

One of the biggest "debates" we would get in would be over his love for his main man "Willy" aka Bill Clinton. I don't know that he really liked him all that much, but he knew it would rial me up when he talked about him. So when these elections rolled around he started talking about his main woman Hillary, b/c she would bring his main man "Willy" back to the White House.

A couple of weeks ago, I came to visit him. The kids and I went over and hung out with him. He was still answering his work phone, even though he was no longer working or capable of working. Someone had called to see if he had a certain part. Of course he didn't tell them he was no longer working, but told them he didn't have that part, and probably wouldn't for a long time. Not to long after that he had my Mom turn his phones off. He told her he sure was glad she finally did that, because he was tired of coming up with excuses of why he couldn't make a call or didn't have a part.

As I think back on the Bird, and the 82 years that went by all too fast, a few words come to mind. Tall, dark, and handsome, gentle giant, not so patient :), hard worker, giving, loving, fun, cut-up, very private, and an all around great guy. I am very blessed to have called him grandfather. Love you Bird!

Ray L. Brown

The Bird is the little boy on the bottom left. Isn't he precious?

The Bird starting his career.

The Bird is on the far right.

Memaw Brown and The Bird

The Bird with my Mom.

The Bird as I remember him. Keeping up with the latest news, and wearing those coveralls. :)

Christmas time.

Chillin' on the swing. This is my dad with The Bird. I miss that ole swing, and that ole Bird.

The Bird and his friend Nancy at my brother's wedding. She was my grandmother's best friend. After my grandmother died they did a lot together.

The Bird in his famous truck! He was an appliance repairman. He had advertisements ALL over this truck. Once he got rid of this truck he bought a car. We tried to talk him out of it, BUT he decaled the back bumper of his car with Ray's Appliance and Services. :) He was such a mess.

Nancy, The Bird, and his brother Bob at my wedding reception.

The Bird, me, and CT at my aunt's house on the 4th of July.

My family eating out with the Bird. We did this OFTEN. In fact that was what we probably did most with them. Eat out! My grandparents are responsible for my aquired taste for cafeteria food. I'm a sucker for any Furr's or Luby's. So you can imagine my excitement when they came out with Furr's Buffet. :)

My brother Chris and The Bird. This was when Chris got his jeep for Christmas. The Bird thought he would take it for a spin!

My brothers Chris and Chad with the Bird in front of the infamous truck! :)

Monday, January 19, 2009

Trip to Mimi and Poppi's

January 16th. This past weekend we headed over to Mimi and Poppi's (the new name they have coined for my dad). Our purpose in going was to go and visit The Bird (my grandfather) who is battling lung cancer. We don't know how much time he has left. We were able to spend some time with him while we were there. We were also able to squeeze in some good eats and time with Mimi and Poppi.
Eating at one of my favorite restaurants, Market Place. The flaming queso is FABULOUS!
CT learning to play checkers with Poppi. CT didn't like it much that Poppi wouldn't just let him win. :)

Not quite like we had hoped.

January 8, 2008. I again am behind on my blogging. The kids geared up for the National Championship by wearing their OU outfits. They were very excited about the game! We also had our friends Dave, Limba aka Melinda, and Peyton over for a fabulous RIB dinner. Limba cooked the ribs. :) The food and fellowship was fun, but the game was a let down. Although I have to say Florida's quarterback is a stud Christian guy. I am happy for his successes.

KG and CT sporting their OU gear and our OU brownie cake.
Boomer Sooner!

Sometime in the coming years we are hoping to be rooting for the HOGS to be playing. :) Well, I am anyway.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Please Pray for Baby Harper!

Please pray for my friend Kelly and her family. She had her first baby on Friday, and the baby is having some complications. You can read up on the story HERE.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!!

We had a pretty low key New Year's Eve, but had a great time. We had our friends Andy and Keara over for dinner. We made drip beef sandwiches (recipe below), brownies, black eyed peas, and cornbread. We also played a little Guitar Hero and Mario Party. T hated Mario Party because he lost. :) We were all so tired we celebrated a little early and went to bed. :) I did watch a little Times Square celebration.

CT and KG blowing in the New Year. KG kept saying, "Happy Holly-Days"!
CT watching Andy and Daddy play guitar hero.

I think Daddy lost this game too. :)

Princess KG ready to ring in the new year! She dressed herself. :)

Keara and Andy shooting off our poppers.

Black Eyed Peas and Cornbread with Sparkling Cider. Got to bring in that good luck! Maybe I will win that Publisher's Clearing House they have been promising me. :) ha ha!

Happy New Year!! May your 2009 be full of blessings!

Drip Beef Sandwiches
1 Roast
1 jar Pepperocinni's (found by the pickles)
Hoagie Rolls
Swiss Cheese
Put roast in a crockpot. Pour the Pepperocinni's on top, juice and all. Cover and cook for 4-6 hours. It should pull apart pretty easy. Serve on Hoagie rolls with swiss cheese and whatever else you like on your sandwich. These have a great flavor and can be a little spicy. Each Pepperocinni jar is different.