Thursday, July 30, 2020

Civic Duty, Family Responsibility and a Celebration

As I write this post, we are in Day 132 of Covid-19 self-isolation.  Like many others, we have discovered that because we’re basically confined to our home, we’ve undertaken tasks that we’d probably put off for years…or maybe we’d never get around to digging into them!

But first, it was all about our civic duty!

We’d never voted via absentee ballot before but when Covid-19 and the 2020 primary elections rolled around at the same time, I checked it out.  I learned that, at least in Tennessee, if you are over 60 years of age, you qualify for an absentee ballot, even if you would be in town for early voting in person…or the actual election-day.  Great news!  We handled our civic duty and stayed away from another gathering… Be sure and get out and vote!

Love that new patriotic face mask…but it didn’t fit my noggin, so it now belongs to Laurie! 

On to familial responsibilities… Laurie is the ‘historian’ and ‘caretaker’ for her family’s history and we have piles of photos, documents and other items that evoke memories of times past.  When her sister Bonnie was down here for a visit, the 2 ladies weeded out hundreds of meaningless photos that were in our care.
However, she’d also been the recipient (via her niece Judy) of her older sister Glenda’s and Glenda’s husband Ken’s slides…  That big plastic container is jammed with them.  In addition we had 6 of those metal boxes on top that were also full of slides.  The metal boxes are very nice and if they had only held the number of slides they were designed for, the total in them would have come to 900.

So we got out our old slide projector.  I set it and the screen up in my cave/bonus room/computer room.  Those metal boxes were jammed full of slides…bundles of slides.  Instead of 150 per box, I’m estimating that they averaged at least 420 slides each!  That’s at least 2,500 standard slides...or a minimum of 31+ loaded carousels.  

The shelf in this photo is now laden with stacks of slides labeled for delivery to appropriate family members.  We probably tossed 200 – 300 slides that were blurred or faded out… One small stack on the shelf is actually for Laurie!

But wait!  Remember that big plastic container shown in the second photo?  That big container was also loaded with slides!  The problem was that they were ‘stereo slides’…as shown in this photo.  There were at least a couple thousand of them!  (This photo shows the relative few that were most meaningful to Laurie and her younger sisters)

One problem with stereo slides is viewing them… It required a stereo slide viewer and a lot of extra effort.  We put out a request on our neighborhood “Nextdoor” network, to see if we could borrow one.  We got lucky and Laurie was able to start going through these ‘special’ slides.  They are special in that you can only put one at a time in the viewer.  Then you have to push a button to turn on the battery powered light in order to see the slide.  Laurie’s hand was hurting after days of viewing the slides!  What a trooper!

Then of course, the light bulb burned out.  Also, if we were to going to keep some of these slides, we needed to be able to view them.  So, off to eBay for a bit of shopping.  I found a working viewer (shown above) and I bought some extra light bulbs too.  The good news is that the ‘task’ is done.  With a little luck and a coronavirus vaccine, we should be able to return the slides and various boxes to appropriate family members by mid-2021!

Yes, it was time for a celebration too!  But this time it was because I’m still here to celebrate yet another birthday…my 78th.  Laurie always gets more birthday cards than I do… She is after all more social and lovable.  This year however, perhaps due to Covid-19 and social distancing, I may rival her total.  We’ll know in December.

Laurie insisted on a ‘selfie’ on this august occasion.  It looks like I was gritting my teeth in an attempt to smile. (I’m notorious for not smiling, especially for photos)

So how did I spend my birthday?

I’d been to the doctor the day before my birthday and he noted that my numbers were good and that I’d lost about 5 lbs.  So of course, the first thing I did to celebrate my good health was to stop by Master Donut in Lenoir City Tennessee.  For my birthday breakfast, I had juice, coffee and this blueberry Danish.  Oh yes, I ‘might’ have also had an apple fritter…

So what for dinner?  I’d decided that we’d run a couple of errands and following that effort, we drove up to Oak Ridge Tennessee for a Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburger ‘fix’.  We love Freddy’s burgers and fries and it had been quite a while since we made the trip.  Since we were going to dine in the car, Laurie planned ahead and brought paper plates and extra napkins.  

After finding some shade for both the car and to enhance our dining experience, I ‘managed’ to down 2 Bacon and Cheese Double Steakburgers and part of an order of French fries… Best yet, I didn’t ‘wear’ any of my food despite eating in the car. 

I’d had my birthday burgers in late afternoon…which worked well when it came to my birthday ‘cake’.  Actually, I’m not a big cake guy…but I do love a good pie.  One of our earlier errands was to stop by Fresh Market in Farragut Tennessee and pick up a nice French Apple Pie! 

So, when it was time for pie, Laurie put a slab in my bowl.  Then I heated it up in the microwave and added a scoop of ice cream on either side of the pie.  Laurie inserted and lit a candle…and then she sang Happy Birthday to me!  Later on the family checked in with birthday wishes…and there were presents too.

All in all, it was a good birthday, especially in this Covid-19 era.  I'm back to watching my diet to ensure that I celebrate 79 years in 2021… We even gave half the pie to the neighbors.

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them.

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Stay Safe and Take Care, Big Daddy Dave


  1. Belated very Happy 🎂 wishes, Dave, and despite the low-key celebration with just you and Laurie, it seems you had a very good day. You deserved the treats after the good medical report. As you said, you can go back to watching your diet after😀 Enjoyed the selfie of you and Laurie too.
    That slide project was a major effort and kudos to Laurie for getting it done. Years ago, I took slide images as well but years later got rid of all including the projector. Now I have a collection of digital images.

  2. Wow that is a lot of slides - I think I may have some stashed somewhere. We early voted at the election offices in Loudon this week and it is very well done. I felt as safe as in my living room and there was no waiting - will do the same thing in Nov.

  3. very neat placement, i like it and happy weekend

  4. a lot of collections...slides must be interesting....awesome.

    stay safe, healthy and virus free.