HAROLD GENE KISER, 95, of Malden, passed away July 25, 2020.
Gene was a loving husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather who was very generous with his time, talents and gifts. He was always willing to give a handmade wood working gift, share the abundant harvest from his annual summer garden and volunteer at church.
Gene served in the United States Navy during World War II on the minesweeper U.S.S. Starling. After the war, he worked at Libbey Owens Ford Glass Factory until a work injury prompted him to go back to school and earn his GED. He then graduated from Morris Harvey College and went on to work for the State of West Virginia as a social worker, helped establish the state Food Stamp program and later served as Assistant Director of Donated Foods before retiring.
Gene loved the Lord and accepted Christ as his Savior at the age of 72. His favorite day of the week was Sunday. Gene and his wife of 71 years, Ruth, who preceded him in death, were very active members of Elizabeth Memorial United Methodist Church in Charleston and regularly demonstrated their love of Christ to others.
Today my grandfather died. He was 95 years old and was physically failing even before we received the devastating news that he tested positive for COVID. Whether he died from or with COVID is immaterial to those of us who loved him and are mourning his loss. But COVID definitely has impacted us. Let me tell you what COVID has caused – COVID prevented my family from being at my grandfather’s side during his passing. COVID prevents me from being around my husband and children, parents, aunt and uncle, brother and his family, cousins and extended family as we mourn – because some of us were with my grandfather before we received the news that he tested positive and are now in self quarantine. COVID prevents my grandfather from donating his body to science (his final gift to this world). COVID delays our gathering together to celebrate the life of my grandfather, a WWII veteran. His generation is often referred to as the Greatest Generation because of the sacrifices they were willing to make. I fear we will be referred to as the most selfish generation because of the sacrifices we are NOT willing to make. Why did my grandfather contract COVID? Because somebody, somewhere, did not follow the guidelines. They did not wear a mask or did not wear it properly. They did not follow the recommendation to social distance. They did not cover their mouth when coughing or sneezing and/or did not wash their hands afterwards. My grandfather may not have been able to donate his body to science, but he still has a final gift to give to this world. Please join me in honoring my grandfather’s life by protecting the lives of others – wear a mask and wear it properly, social distance, wash your hands, follow the guidelines. Give others the gifts of being at their loved one’s side when they pass and the comfort of family as they mourn.
Today my baby boy turns 14! I just cannot believe it. Honestly, he just makes me so proud and I have enjoyed (almost) every minute of watching him grow into a young man. It’s funny, just last year he was shorter than me and, really, still just a boy. In the year since, he truly has grown into a man…certainly physically, but also emotionally. I don’t mean to say he is all adult yet but he has progressed so far into adulthood and that process has been amazing and awesome and fun!
I suppose every parent goes through it, but I continually struggle to give him room and to let him become more independent. I still remind him to brush his teeth and feed the cat, but that’s just stuff that Emily still reminds me to do. What has been most exciting to witness is his ability to make up his own mind on politics and humor and right and wrong. Certainly we discuss those things and sometimes we disagree but he is critically considering lots of things and can usually offer a solid explanation of his thoughts. That’s the stuff that matters more to me right now. Dental hygiene is important but a kind who thinks for himself…that’s amazing!
Anyhow, happy 14th birthday to my boy, Isaac. I couldn’t be more proud of you and I love watching you grow up into a fine young man!
I was fooling around a little more at the cabin and as I turned over a patch of sod I dug a few days prior, I discovered another spider friend! This is also a wolf spider I believe but he is much more gray than the last one I encountered…although just as big! I love finding these critters out there!
In other news, I switched mobile phones. I ditched my iPhone and got a Samsung Galaxy S4. It’s cool and mostly I really like it. I know iPhone has similar things that you can get but I took a few pics and manipulated them with built-in editing software…I think it is very cool!
I was getting ready for work the other day while Abigail was fixing herself some frozen waffles. I heard a crash and then silence. That never bodes well so I walked into the kitchen where I discovered Abigail staring at a mess on the floor,her mouth fully agape. She couldn’t believe that a maple syrup bottle could break. It was plastic after all! Friends, if you have never had to clean up a bunch of sticky syrup, you are fortunate! It just smears!
It’s been pretty weird around our place lately. From flowers and phones and spiders to spilled maple syrup, I guess it’s been a little of this and a little of that and absolutely nothing in particular!
A couple of years ago I got a wild hair…I am a sucker and looked at the local pet shelter’s web site and felt like I needed to get a dog. I had a dog as a kid and it seemed easy to have a dog. Fast forward a few years…I am not a dog person…neither is anyone else in my house. As a parent, not a kid, I see that it isn’t easy to have a dog. Ginny is a really great dog, as dogs go. We just don’t care all that much for dogs.
Dogs aren’t easy, I have learned. I didn’t want to have an outside-only dog so it is a constant battle letting her out, cleaning her muddy feet, keeping her from enjoying the delicacies in the cats’ litter box, etc.
I can’t just turn her loose or let her go to someone who would be cruel to her, so friends, is there any one of you who would like a really great dog? She’s house trained and a really friendly dog who loves cats and kids. Please help me find a family for Ginny that will really enjoy her company and give her the attention she needs. I’ll set you up with everything you need!
We were at the farm last weekend after Emily’s return from FL. She was exhausted so we sent up an awning for her to sit under (and sleep). That was the idea anyhow. It turns out the wind was so bad that she ended up holding on to the thing so it wouldn’t blow away. Meanwhile, the kids and I scurried off to do other things.
Isaac and Abigail found the neighbor kids. Isaac borrowed a bike and the kids pedaled about 3-4 miles down the old dirt road. Someone had a phone to call a pickup truck to haul them back (the up-hill part). Abigail played in the mud mostly and made some serious mud-pies.
I have not yet seen the entirety of the property so I took off exploring. I was hoping to find some morel mushrooms on my hunt for the property lines. I know it’s prime mushroom season right now but I found not a single one. I did find one edge of the property line though so that was cool.
In my hunt for stuff, I found a few interesting things…sort of an impromptu scavenger hunt. I love a good scavenger hunt. I also love peanut butter and waffles and pina coladas and getting caught in the rain…and the feel of the ocean and the taste of champagne…wait…sorry…channeling Jimmy Buffett (EDIT: apparently this song was actually done by Rupert Holmes though there are tons of references to JB too…) there for a second.
Anyhow, it turns out there are at least three small streams on the property. I am not sure whether they run all year but as I was walking, all I could hear was the sound of running water. No cars, no horns, no planes. It was magnificent. I walked several deer trails (which wandered past the water of course) and stepped in deer poop. It was magnificent. I saw the tiniest white and blue and purple flowers everywhere. The trees had pink and green tinges to them as spring appears to finally be taking hole. It was magnificent!
I am in Las Vegas on a business trip…no…really…a business trip. We left Charleston, WV at 6:01 this morning and got here 10 am local time. That left us with…well, all day to explore and see some sights in Las Vegas. It’s already 1:22 am on my “brain time” so I am about done for the day…but I will leave you with a few pictures with more to come when I get back home…
After minutes and minutes browsing the World Wide Web coupled with my experience playing doctor as a child, I have determined that I have gynencephaherpalitis. That’s right…it’s full blown and apparently not getting better on its own. Don’t cry for me though friends. My affairs are in order and if the worst should happen, I have entrusted my son with my prize booger collection and all of my cigar rings. It’s my poor wife I worry about…how could she possibly go on with out me?! I am that amazing. No doubt, the pain would be too great…oh, please watch out for her dear friends…
Ok…hold on…not ready for that yet (I hope). I went to the doc last Friday and was fully stocked up with medicines and salves and elixirs. I tried incantatory chants and even sang a little Barry Manilow hoping to get this junk to go away. It was all to no avail. I called the doc again and she said if I wasn’t on the upswing by today that she would get me in for a chest x-ray and a high colonic (for good measure).