Behinder Update 2-18-17

Thought I’d be back to update before now, but it has been a nutty month.  I continue slogging through the mire of my incompetence while observing; deriving satisfaction from improvements in my life here and there.

For one thing, I can close my bathroom door so that it latches. That means, one would surmise, that I can welcome guests over, knowing that they can use my bathroom with some sense of security, knowing that no one’s going to hear whatever’s going on in there even if they’re standing next to the door in the hallway. On the downside, I still can’t flush the toilet. On the positive side, I learned recently that feces do break down and emulsify in the water at the bottom of the bowl. A very slight stream of water comes into the bowl and carries the well-emulsified, stirred (with a toilet bowl cleaning brush) “brown” liquid and eventually the water is clear again. So dispite the happy news about the door and the eventual clearing of the water, I don’t dare invite friends over. That and the fact that I have nothing to offer but conversation (no money for wine and munchies) limits the sense of accomplishment from this minor improvement in my “quality  of life” to only what I am privileged to share with myself.

I ran my first load of laundry in the basement about a month after the plumber fixed the water leak — still no working drying since previous upstairs PIGS, the Hamiltons, broke MY dryer — and my practice of letting my clothes dry on hangared and closet door knobs continues. I’m amazed how nice and unwrinkled my shirts and wash & wear slacks look when they’re dry. But I know I will never be able to RENT my upstairs which has been vacant, not producing the $700 monthly income it produces when people live upstairs, until the bleeping dryer is fixed. I’m lucky I was able to cut back on expenses, including FOOD for the past month and a half. But that water leak was WAY MORE SERIOUS THAN I IMAGINED it would be. The bill from water usage alone was just more than $700! HOLY CALONEY! They’re giving me an adjustment since  I had it fixed but still it’s a WHALE of a BILL. My second of promised $740 payments to the plumbing company is due February 21, and I KNOW I’ll have to get another loan to pay that payment. A final $740 payment will be due March 20, after which that debt will be paid, and I can fix the floor upstairs in April in the hope that I will find new renters for the upstairs. I can’t sustain my high falutin’ lifestyle (Ramen noodles and half a can of Campbell’s Chunky Soup  for dinner most of the week) if I can’t find upstairs renters.

Life goes on at the airport, though my museum is not getting the attention it merits since I’m so depressed with the rest of my life as well as the lack of progress with the museum.  I’m still working part time at my employer, and that means grocery money; average grocery expenditure:  $50 a bleeping week.  And I’m not living as lavishly as that figure suggests. I had been taking two peanut butter & jelly sandwiches to work with me Tuesdays through Fridays, but I’ve cut that back to one sandwich.  Most nights for dinner it’s the half can of soup stirred into drained noodles with instant iced tea or wine (cheap Carlo Rossi Burgundy by the gallon jug).  A gallon lasts about a week, though on the seventh day, its paucity is felt. I need to cut back on the wine. It’s not helping, I think.

I’ll continue this blather in a few days.

Thanks for reading it.

P.S. This blog has picked up some new “followers” over the last few weeks, and I’m truly grateful for that. I wish you all lived next door so I could SEE YOU AND TALK WITH YOU. A long-time friend and follower,  a nice LOCAL gentleman whom I’ve not seen in more than TWO YEARS, sometimes comments words to the effect, “Hang in there Job. I hope it all works out.” I post Honey & Quinine to leave tracks; NOT TO ASK FOR SYMPATHY or even DOLLARS. It’s important for me to leave a record of what is happening to me, something to share with the infinite life of the Internet.  Footprints in the snow.,

Live long . . . . . . . . and proper


Late Late Update

These days (since after the big election but before the coronation) I’ve been pessimistic about my life for a year I imagine I will not see through to the end. I’m 69 and in the best physical shape I’ve been in since my 20s. Yes, my hearing is  not as sharp. I miss 60% of what I hear on the radio sometimes. If I am five feet or closer to the person speaking to me, I usually don’t ask the person to “say again, please?” And often it’s easier to nod my head and say “wow” or “oh, right” if I’ve  heard enough to suppose that’s all that’s appropriate. I have two expensive hearing aids which I’ve not worn since before Christmas because: 1. I misplaced them and didn’t find them until I found them in a shirt pocket a week ago. I know the batteries are dead. I have batteries at my airport museum office, but I’ve not bothered to put new ones because they won’t help matters much. 2. I think my hearing will be okay until it’s time to “go.”

My eyes are okay. In November when I got around to renewing my drivers license, I passed the eye exam at the license bureau, I passed by a hair. I’m “street legal.”

For the past year, I’ve not had a working kitchen faucet. I’ve carried dish washing and coffee water from bathroom to kitchen in gallon glass jugs (washed, of course) that once contained Carlo Rossi Burgundy, the least-expensive wine I can find.
— I had new year’s resolved to stop buying wine, but a depressing encounter with a new friend Sunday led to my “re-thinking” of that vow. I bought a fresh gallon going home from the airport. —
Things were okay with the “krippled kitchen” arrangement, but it was depressing. Just before December 31 of 2016, I discovered a water pipe in my basement crawlspace had burst from the cold weather. To avoid paying for an emergency call to a plumber I trust (Mike Williams Plumbing) I waited until January 2 to call to get it repaired. I also did something I should have done after the first time the pipe burst several years ago: had the man wrap the problem pipe with heating tape. I could have bought heating apparatus (tape) at the hardware store, but I didn’t think I could successfully install it. That’s something of an un-truth; I didn’t consider looking into what I’d have to do to do it myself. Even though friends told me I could do it, I didn’t even try. While the plumber was here, after he fixed the leaking pipe he also turned on the water line that went up to my kitchen. That line had been turned off a year ago by a friend of a friend who stopped an earlier leak on the same pipe.  While plumber was in the house Jan 2, after he turned on the kitchen faucet and I discovered the return of running water to my kitchen (Huzzah, Huzzah), we also noticed the faucet was worse than I remembered, and he replaced THAT as well. All of this to save the expense of another service call. It made sense. I’m glad I took the flying leap. It will all be paid for by the end of March. All that crazy progress January 2 without residents living in the upstairs of my duplex (I live on the ground floor). It made no sense at all, but I had access to capacity to  pay, and even though I’m paying interest on the loan, I’m also enjoying water that comes from my wonderful new faucet.

I’m ignoring MANY other bills beyond utility and telephone during this time. I am eating exceedingly modestly, but I’m not going hungry. I don’t resent people who eat more than a meal a day regularly. I’m glad to be losing some weight. I’m a long way away from “thin city.”

I have much more UPDATE to share and will try to do that later this week. In my next post, I’ll include pictures from home.

Thanks for reading this.

Live long . . . . . . and proper.

So that I can share posts about my life in general, though not  in private, the chronology of every poem I’ve written and published in one of my books and beyond is now being shared at my new blog Word Man’s Ramble. If you’re curious and if you dig poetry and lyrics, please visit mine new  blog — Word Man’s Ramble

My midnight  confessions that I don’t write at midnight , really, but just might, re-zoom here at Honey & Quinine starting  in the late AM, Wednesday  December 28, 2016.  Please come back if your curious about me, Job Clifton Conger, IV, whose life,  at my decrepitating age of 69, going on 17, has impacted the world with the weight of a bag of horsefeathers.

Live long  . . . . . . . and proper.

Poems on the Move

Over the last week, I decided that Honey  & Quinine, my “personal life” blog was not a good fit for the many MANY poems and song lyrics I intended to share with you here. I really needed to  create a new blog, expressly for the purpose of  sharing what I promised to share with friends and strangers, especially any of either who would be inclined to invite me to share my craft at their special events or performance venues. Updates not connected to my aviation and aviation history blogs will continue here.  If you’re curious about what I’m doing with my AeroKnow Museum in Springfield, Illinois, please visit AeroKnow Day to Day      the AeroKnow Museum occasional essays  and AeroKnow Museum’s Gallery of Flight    mostly  closeups and extended photo coverage of special aircraft blogs.

Today I created the new blog to continue posting, in chronological order, my poems and song lyrics. It’s called Wordman’s Rambles, and it’s located at http://jobcongerpoems.wordpress.com

THIS is a surprise. If I hadn’t been rearranging a smaller bedroom today, I would not have re-discovered this unpublished Christmas poem/song lyric I wrote just two years ago and forgot. Here is my bonus best wishes gift to me and perhaps to you, on this auspicious day.

by Job Conger

Hear the voices caroling so sweetly
Through the crispy cold December night.
Candy canes and tinsel now completely
Decorate the tree to our delight.
How the days of yester-years return as
Tintinabulating chimes ring distant, clear.
I will spend this special day with memories:
Memories of Christmas this year.

Sister’s family here from West Virginia
Gee how fast Bob, Steve and Julie grow!
Paul and Linda, sweethearts since September
Kissing coyly under mistletoe!
Catalogs from Sears and Roebuck thrilled me.
Most of Santa’s toys all came from here.
I unwrap the presence of sweet memories:
Memories of Christmas this year.

See the blazing Yule log flames before us
Halls are decked with boughs of fa-la-las
Names of relatives almost forgotten
Especially dear grandmas and  grandpas
Lovers too, so sad I never married
Still I  had my share, shed many a tear.
So today I’ll hug and kiss my memories.
Memories of Christmas this year.

Second helpings, Sharon’s mashed potatoes
Home-made apple pie served a la mode.
Leftovers sent home with guests departing.
Golly, how the wine and laughter flowed!
Days of wonder didn’t last forever.
Neither did the friendships held so dear.
I will share my ham and Swiss with memories,
Memories of Christmas this year.

— 2:10 pm, December 23, 2014

In 2014 I dined on ham and Swiss on rye bread. In 2015 I switched to sliced deli turkey on Swiss. The peoples’ names in the song, which I’ve  practiced but never sung in public, belong to real kin and real friends. And that’s okay because they will never see their names, and they will never know how much I miss them.

What Star in the Sky
by Job Conger

There’s a tale, often told, of a star in the sky
guiding wise men and shepherds so giving of self, so certain of self
that they followed that star to the birth of salvation,
not knowing the where-fore, the who-for or why.
They altered their lives for an uncertain calling,
and in grand recompense for their faith in a star
came the gift of a better forever.

There’s a tale, yet untold of a star in the sky
which good folks in the wilderness see day and night.
It shines — not for Christ or Muhammad or king,
yet that star marks the path to salvation.
It calls the seeing but unknowing to follow in faith,
trusting the mover of heaven and earth
to guide them out of the darkness.

Now could be just the moment for a star in the sky:
illuminating truths shared by a bitter sister,
your shadow on the sand as you’ve never seen it before,
a sign from on high to change for the better.
Not a hand on the shouldere or advice from a preacher,
though they are stars in some lives, too,
but Divinity calling, a light that’s meant just for you.

Though borne of this earth, you’re a star in the sky
whose light leads to hope in the wilderness.
The generous gesture, the smile to a stranger,
ears that listen to songs in the darkness.
Though many  won’t hear you, there are many who will.
Radiant with goodness, your life may show the way,
and a soul you won’t see will follow to a better forever.

— 2:15 pm, December 25, 2001
It had been too long since I had written a Christmas song or poem, and I knew it. I thought about it often in the week or so before the big day and nothing had come to me. Finally it did about noon on Christmas 2001. I don’t remember anything about  the day except that I wrote the poem. I might have been invited for an afternoon meal on Christmas eve with friends across the street who share their hospitality and superb kitchen skills with me more often than most people who know me might think. I shared this poem with those friends later in the week, and about a week after that I was at the house across the street, talking with those friends when I saw the copy of my poem What Star in the Sky refrigerator magneted to the Kelvinator.  I shared my delight and said “Thanks. ”
Said he, “I thought it was a fine poem.”
. . . . .   Thanks to all readers of this post or any other post here at Honey & Quinine. To you I send best wishes for a warm, reverent and rewarding Christmas.

Passion Flower
by Job Conger

To a virgin in the night
In a land almost forgot
And a time when faith grew dimmer by the hour,
From a manger’s meager light
Came  the dawn of a new day
With the birth of God’s own son, his passion flower.

Passion flower, planted simply to atone
For the sin and the hate not of his own
And to show, show the way beyond the pain
To eternity and sweet salvation.

Joyous news by angels came
To the shepherds with their flocks.
And the wise men with their majesty and power
Hear the word shared in God’s name
Journeyed far to find the town
And the manger with the mighty passion flower.


Many saints have come to  be
Since the seed of God’s desire
To restore his covenant with souls grown sour
Bloomed for  all humanity,
Yet, so many still don’t share
The joy and hope of the  desert passion flower.


May the love — that heaven scent —
Reach the hearts of everyone
And then lead wayfaring strangers grim and dour
To the heavens’ firmament
Promised to the ones who  seek
To know  God’s son, His redeeming  passion flower.


December 12, 1993

CORRECTION:  when I posted the lyrics to my Christmas song Season of Love yesterday, I was relying on my memory for the date and story behind it. The date shared here is the date that I wrote this song lyric and song.  I hope that if you want to share the  story, you click on “Poem 33” to read the lyric and the story.
———– When I was regularly attending First United Methodist Church in lyrical downtown Springfield, Illinois, I opened my heart and mind as I sat down in a pew, like unfolding a blanket onto grass in the park before a picnic,  sometimes solo, sometimes with friends. The hope  was that if there was any thought shared by Reverend Roger Rominger and his excellent associates during the service, they would become evident to me on that blanket, and that I would reach for pen and paper (usually the back of an unused donation  envelope, write the thoughts down and take them home to develop them into a poem or song.  Roger didn’t say the words “passion flower” but the concept came to me like a bolt from the blue during his sermon. After returning home, the song — usually a melody first (strangely, perhaps) — then the lyric framed for the melody  and rhythm. And sometimes the lyric came first. The first line of  the last verse is an intentional double entendre, a  “gift” from an unseen “ghost writer” that I truly believe helped me write  this song.