Been over 6 years...

After I had the heart attack it got a little hard to type so I haven't done much on the computer except read books. I am trying to get back into this web page a little. We will see how that goes.

Even before the heart attack, my family and closest friends have been helping out with things I can no longer do. In May/June of 2008 my brothers, my son John P., my friends John Carney, Denny Dittiacur and Joe Neighbors, and even my Uncle Joe helped us rip out our kitchen and rebuild it to make it more accessible. Brother Tom performed major repairs and refinishing on the hardwood floors in 2009. The next major project was brother Paul replacing our deck in 2015 with John P., Carney, Dittiacur and brother Tom helping. The following year Paul, Tom, Mike and John P. gutted and rebuilt the bathroom to improve accessibility. Over the years, the brothers and others have managed routine upkeep chores when needed. Recently Mike, Paul and Tom replaced the shell of my porch roof, repaired damage on the bay window and fixed a bunch of other issues that have cropped up. Of course Heidi had a hand in all of it. I supervised or tied to say out of the way, as allowed. It is a blessing to have friends and family.


The Sibs
The Sibs... Jim, John, Tom, Mary, Pat, Mike and Paul. (l-r)

The grandkids, Mary and Caleb, do occupy a bit of our time. And provide a bit of amusement.
John P. was feeding Caleb lunch a month ago. He heard Caleb say, "I love you."
John said, "Why, Caleb... that's sweet. You've never said that to me."
Caleb replied, "I was talking to my noodles."

Caleb and Grandpa napping.

Mary taking grandpa for a walk


Our last trip to Grand Cayman

Heidi, Ruth and I had a great time on the August (2012) dive trip to Grand Cayman despite a little problem that popped up.

After three days of diving we took a day off and just lazed at the beach all day Sunday. Keith, 'the MAN' at Neptune's Divers and Cayman Custom Cycles made a beach wheelchair for me. The chair worked great. After a few hours just floating in the warm, crystal water we got out and enjoyed lunch on the beach. Then it was back in the water for a couple more hours.

Fireball and me at lunch

Unfortunately, at the end of the day even with five people helping I wasn't up to the task of getting back in the chair from the water. During the effort to heave my old carcass into the seat I felt a crushing pain in the center of my chest and then it felt like my heart was being ripped in half. At the time I thought I was going to die right there in the water.

I did manage to help the folks get me into the seat and they pulled the chair up the beach and to the van. Two guys helped me slide into the van and while Heidi loaded the chair I caught my breath and decided since I was still alive it couldn't have been a heart attack, so I didn't mention it. We went back to the hotel, took a shower and then Heidi picked up stir fried jerked chicken with rice from Tim Buc Tuu for dinner.

The first dive of the next morning went well. As we approached the mooring line and looked up at the surface we saw a thunderstorm had blown in with lightning, thunder, hard rain and wind whipping up impressive chop. The boat was bouncing around pretty good.

I hooked an arm through the rescue ring on a line behind the boat waiting for some of the other divers to clear the water so I could be hauled out. Plenty of air in my tank and my B-C inflated, I was doing fine up to the point where the pitching of the boat snapped the line and I started to float away. I raised my left arm and waived goodbye as the boat receded in the waves.

Captain Casey dove in to rescue me, followed closely by Divemaster David. I tried to help swim back to the boat without much effect, no fins and it felt like I'd really strained a muscle in my chest. Nonetheless, we made it back to the boat, I doffed my gear and they hauled me aboard. I scooted into the cabin out of the rain and rested, deciding to skip the second dive.

After two more days of beautiful diving and a day to out gas nitrogen - and enjoy a night out with the crew - we flew back home. Almost a week later I finally decided to get that strained muscle checked out. It was indeed a heart attack.