Having been a bit preoccupied with the sawmill and graduation and such I have failed to check on my dear friends from the b**groll lately. In fact I don't even HAVE one at this site yet. When I do get around to setting it up, there will be one place on the roll that I will sorely miss...that of my old buddy Hossie. During a rare quiet moment at work I visited a couple of folks and learned that he died two weeks ago. He was sick and tired and fortunately Oregon allows assisted suicide for the terminally ill.
When I first began blogging he was one of my favorites from the get-go. Lowell Gene Maudlin was his real name but he quickly became Old Hoss or Hossie to those who visited Old Horsetail Snake for daily laughs. If I had a nickel for every time the smartass gave me a belly laugh, I'd be on my boat to Fiji. He became sort of quasi-famous as an elderblogger and attended a convention in Vegas a few years ago. His itinerary also included visits to Tennessee, Texas and Michigan. I was his host for the Tennessee leg of that trip and boy did we have some good times. My friend picked him up at the Memphis airport and we met halfway at another friend's tea room for the big swap. This was AFTER a last minute stop at the local Lincare to pick up an oxygen tank.
He was struggling for breath until we got the oxygen on him because he had been without all day on the plane. After that little rest stop we headed toward the house some 45 minutes up highway 51. He was absolutely awed at the sight of our little lane draped in pecan limbs and fluttering with birds. We did our own things for the most part....I cooked dinner and did yard work while he watched TV. He slept both nights with Butterbean snuggled up to his bony butt.
The next day, after breakfast, we went off exploring and visited my Mom and Dad a bit before heading into town to hit up the boss's yard sale. We bought a bottle of Jack Daniels and proceeded to get to know each other. He was a brilliant man....former speech writer for the governor of Oregon and humorist extraordinaire. The time flew and we took off late afternoon to explore the fishing hole. That's when the trouble started.
We passed over Samaria Bend onto the field road toward the river and got stuck in the mud about a halfa mile into the muck. Note to self: Camrys don't do well in mud.
Last time I saw him was at the airport again, sittin' in a wheelchair headed in a plane to Tish's place in Texas and a few days of hanging out with her family. I cried because I loved him and I knew that time was short and we would never see each other again, me and this smartass guy who flew a brazillion miles without oxygen just to meet live and in person.
Hoss taught me a lot...about dung beetles and "so it goes" and scientists muttering "too bad." But mostly, I learned about living life to the fullest and enjoying the moment, skunks and all. Peroxide and vinegar can be had for cheap.
Last time we talked was a bit forgetful so I had to remind him about leaving him out there to die in the wilderness. Told him I loved him. If only real life afforded that kind of luxury for closure, ya know?
God bless hospice and Scamp.