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Local Focus – Global Reach

I was discharged from the Navy in 56.
Not many jobs were available.
Bucked hay bales for about 3 days.
The skin between my fingers
had blistered from using hay hooks.
Yes I was wearing leather gloves.

My next job was working for
Charles Porter, who had an Apiary.
In late summer, we would go to
his Bee hives. Wear long sleeve shirts,
with collars and sleeves buttoned tight,
put on the hat with the screen mesh,
pull on my gloves, then to the hives,
to take the Honey by lifting out the comb
that was covered with Bees.
Puff up the Smoker, brush the Bees
off with a soft hand broom.
Didn't want to harm the Bees.
Harvest the Honey but leave some
for the Bees would have food.
Go back to the building, where
Mr. Porter had a centrifuge to extract
the Honey. Put in the combs, turn on the
steam, turn on the centrifuge and we would
have golden Honey. Fill up the 5 gallon tins,
stack them away and repeat the process
until the end of the day.
The combs were not thrown away as
the beeswax would be harvested.
I couldn't wear gloves inside, as the
Honey could be very sticky so I would
be stung 10 or more times, on the
back of my hands until they looked
like Mickey Mouse hands, fat and puffy.
I would finish up, change my clothes
then go to the bus garage to drive
the afternoon bus, #16 and head to
the grade school, and high school.
You did what could to bring in money.
I would also have some sweet Honey.
Great times to remember most of all
especially when we are heading towards
the beautiful Fall.

Pulling into the Chi Chi Jima Harbor, I could see
a rusted hulk of a tanker, sitting idly
in the harbor of this beautiful island.
It has been many years, quite awhile
and thinking of it, made me smile.
This island, all hilly and green
was used to fuel the propaganda machine.
This all happened, as I suppose
you have heard of that person, "Tokyo Rose"?
The radio tower, is down on the ground
and no longer broadcasts a musical sound.
The propaganda was full of inaccurate news,
but the music was good, so what's to lose?
Directed at young men and our boys,
Rose played with their emotional toys.
Those days now gone, no longer here,
all I wanted now, was the free beer.
The Captain had provided a picnic lunch
and we obliged by eating and drinking, a bunch.
Budweiser and Philippine San Miguel beer.
That's all the news wanted here,
of course, excluded were some men on the ship,
as they "had the duty" and missed the trip.

I see my love, every day.
We talk about when she
was having radiation and chemo,
for treatment of lung cancer.
The good news; Cancer is in remission,
Bad news, early onset dementia.
I believe this was triggered by
or accelerated by the chemo treatment.
We saw that early, when she
couldn't remember our anniversary
and she was unable to balance
the checkbook or pay bills.
Her mother had dementia, in her late 80's.
I am seeing similar behavior
in my love. She can't remember names
or the names of objects. She does remember
one name and that is our Granddaughter.
Confuses the names of our two sons
and our close friends.
She told me that she didn't know my name.
Evenings are the worst. There is a tendency to wander
or get in a discussion that is close to an argument.
Then I'll hear "Put me in a home.'
I tell her no, that's not going to happen.
There is no logic or reasoning present.
I'll talk to her and she won't hear me,
so I raise the volume of my voice and
then she tells me, "you don't need to shout.
Tonight, in the space of 10 minutes, she
asked me if it was raining. I replied No.
That upset her as she said, " you know I
can't hear.
Sorry for the whining.

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