Life’s misunderstandings


As first – yesterdays event : just last night Tyche and I went shopping. We were going to Kaufland, but first she wanted to visit a store called KIK. As we looked around she saw a stick horse. Most of us have seen them. They are horses heads attached to a broom handle. Kids play with them and pretend they are riding a horse. As Tyche is from Croatia she had never seen anything like it.  When she saw it, she was very surprised to see something like this, and said: “Who would want something like that, a horse head with a stick attached to it ???!!!”. And with a laugh I said “I guess you have spoiled your birthday present”.  What else could I say – I am pretty sure she will not be getting a horse head  on a stick  for her birthday… 

 Thinking about differences between worlds, sometimes I laugh to myself about things that happen, some things just strike me as so funny.This is actually what I want to write about, I want to share a few experiences. I have been around most of Europe, seen and interacted with a lot of different people. I should probably write a book about all this – maybe when I retire I will. Bosnia was probably the hardest place for me to be out of all the places I have visited. I was there from September 2000 until March 2006.  I laughed a lot there. Sometimes I laughed so much I cried. Things were different, indeed .My landlords were really good people, they meant well, but sometimes they did things that went beyond funny.My landlord’s son called me and asked if I would want to have a barbeque after work. I came home around 5pm to find they were making a fire in the driveway; the concrete was poured less than 6 months prior to this. This was going to be the fire for the grill. (For those who have never seen what can happen to some kinds of concrete when it gets hot – it can explode with a nasty vengeance and cause serious harm to anyone near by.)  I raised my concern but no one saw it was a problem. So I did the next best thing, and moved where we were going to eat far away from the fire. Now that that was done, and I am thinking – great there will be no problems tonight. Seems I was wrong.  Things went ok until after we had cooked all the meat. The grill we used was home made – it was a sheet of stainless steel that was cut and welded in the corners to resemble a pan. And then it had legs welded to it. There were no drain holes for grease to escape. So, the pan was cooking on the fire and the grease from the meat was bubbling over into the fire. When landlord saw this, he ran into the garage and got a black nylon jacket and laid it over the fire. When he lifted it up the all the nylon was burnt away from the pan being so hot. Then it got worse – he ran back into the garage and got the seat cushion out of his car, and was going to smother the fire with the cushions. I stopped him and said it would be ok and that he didn’t need to bother with the fire it was causing no danger because it was away from the house and it would burn it self out, at that  moment his wife can along with a big bucket of water and threw it on the fire it sent flames shooting up 30 feet into the air. She was so close to the fire that it burned her eyebrows. All I can think of is how do these people live from day to day without getting seriously hurt. 

It really makes no difference where you are from, these kinds of things do happen, and there will always be misunderstandings. Tyche found this out when I took her to Texas.  We went to visit my family in Wichita Falls. While we were there we went to a big open market in a nearby town called Bowie. I was looking at something and she kind of wandered away from me.

A man with about 9 children and a huge truck who was selling potatoes, struck up a conversation with Tyche. He realized that she didn’t  have any kind of local accent, and that her way of talking was different, and just as I rejoined her he said to her “You are not from around here, are yaa ? Where you from? Arkansaaa ?” I was almost in tears when she told him she was from Croatia, and of course he didn’t know where Croatia was either.  That was this man’s world – it extended to Arkansas. It went no farther than Arkansas. Which is actually about 200 miles (300 kilometers) from where we were, BTW I occasionally tease her about this and call her my Arkansas Girl.    That’s about it for now stay well,

 See ya 



I read this article and wanted to share my thoughts about it on my blog. It’s a story about a man who had a dream, something he really wanted to do. I believe it is very important to pursue your dreams while not always practical – it is important. Kent Couch, the pilot of the lawn chair wanted to do this so badly, it more than likely it would have haunted him until the day he died. And now he has fulfilled his dream and I am happy for him.

Dreams are what can keep us going when there is nothing left. Dreams are what keep your mind, body and soul young, Dreams which are ignored can fester like a cancer and eat away at your spirit, the essence of your soul. So, whatever your dreams are, I hope you have the time and the energy to go after them – no matter what they may be…

(Kids please don’t try this at home!!!)

Good Luck

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Lawn chair pilot flies with 105 balloons

 BEND, Ore. – Last weekend, Kent Couch settled down in his lawn chair with some snacks — and a parachute. Attached to his lawn chair were 105 large helium balloons. Destination: Idaho. With instruments to measure his altitude and speed, a global positioning system device in his pocket, and about four plastic bags holding five gallons of water each to act as ballast — he could turn a spigot, release water and rise — Couch headed into the Oregon sky.Nearly nine hours later, the 47-year-old gas station owner came back to earth in a farmer’s field near Union, short of Idaho but about 193 miles from home.“When you’re a little kid and you’re holding a helium balloon, it has to cross your mind,” Couch told the Bend Bulletin.“When you’re laying in the grass on a summer day, and you see the clouds, you wish you could jump on them,” he said. “This is as close as you can come to jumping on them. It’s just like that.”Couch is the latest American to emulate Larry Walters — who in 1982 rose three miles above Los Angeles in a lawn chair lifted by balloons. Walters had surprised an airline pilot, who radioed the control tower that he had just passed a guy in a lawn chair. Walters paid a $1,500 penalty for violating air traffic rules.It was Couch’s second flight.In September, he got off the ground for six hours. Like Walters, he used a BB gun to pop the balloons, but he went into a rapid descent and eventually parachuted to safety.This time, he was better prepared. The balloons had a new configuration, so it was easier to reach up and release a bit of helium instead of simply cutting off a balloon.He took off at 6:06 a.m. Saturday after kissing his wife, Susan, goodbye and petting his Chihuahua, Isabella. As he made about 25 miles an hour, a three-car caravan filled with friends, family and the dog followed him from below.Couch said he could hear cattle and children, and he said he even passed through clouds.“It was beautiful — beautiful,” he told KTVZ-TV. He described the flight as mostly peaceful and serene, with occasional turbulence, like a hot-air balloon ride sitting down.Couch decided to stop when he was down to a gallon of water and just eight pounds of ballast. Concerned about the rugged terrain outside La Grande, including Hells Canyon, he decided it was time to land.He popped enough balloons to set the craft down, although he suffered rope burns. But after he jumped out, the wind grabbed his chair, with his video recorder, and the remaining balloons and swept them away. He’s hoping to get them back some day.Brandon Wilcox, owner of Professional Air, which charters and maintains planes at the Bend airport, on Thursday confirmed Couch’s flight. Wilcox said he flew a plane nearby while Couch traveled, and a passenger videotaped the flying lawn chair.Whether Couch will take a third trip is up to his wife, and Susan Couch said she’s thinking about saying no. But she said she was willing to go along with last weekend’s trip.“I know he’d be thinking about it more and more, it would always be on his mind,” she said. “This way, at least he’s fulfilled his dream.”

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