Memorial Day (long weekend)

My long awaited phone call with a Social Security clerk came at a little after 2 pm on Monday. I sent a note to friend Dot, who visited the DeKalb County court house to get the certificate of marriage.
That note follows.

I had my phone call with Victor of the Yakima office of the Social Security Administration on Monday afternoon. I either had to drive to Yakima (100 miles round trip) or mail the certificate of marriage.
I have no other reason – just now – to go there, so I mailed it on Wednesday.
The talk was as expected, except he asked if I could read small print. Maybe if I said no I’d get a large print version of whatever he will send to me.
It is also odd that a surviving spouse or child may receive a special lump-sum death payment of $255. This payment has bedeviled congress and the SSA since the beginning.
The amount of $255 was set in 1954, but with price increases since then the amount today would be $2,532.
I will ponder the use of my $255 as I await its arrival in my bank account.
I’m slowly making credit card and other changes as I figure them out.
A tangled web, as you know.

The last line is a reference to the things that followed the death of Dot’s husband Bill over a year ago.
– – – –
Five of Nancy’s friends and I spent hours sorting and packaging stuff, mostly clothes, from a bedroom, including from on the queen sized bed, from closets, dressers, floor, and hanging on doors. Mid-morning Sunday two of the kind folks will be back for more of the same.
I’m too exhausted to write more tonight.
I should have spent more time over the past few weeks doing some of this, but not being in that frame of mind – and knowing help was coming, I didn’t do much.
A further distraction this past week was serious work on the last major project of the house remodel. Namely, concrete and joists for the deck were 95% completed. Photo #1 below. Photo #2 is the nearly finished entrance sign. This pulled the workers away from the deck; my choice.
However, the entrance structure and sign have been a goal of mine, and I wanted it to be there to greet some long-time friends.

The Nordic horse is a symbol of welcome (Välkommen, Swedish, or Velkommen, Norwegian). This one was painted 35 years ago in Troy ID.
On this Memorial Day (long weekend) spend a few moments remembering those who served.

I’ll put flags out Sunday and Monday.

from the Naneum Fan

Cold here this week . . .

. . . and not a lot going on.

I did find out something about credit cards.
I was trying to respond to a Chase credit card notice, but did not see a card with that name. Finally found them.

The card(s) [one in Nancy’s wallet, one in mine] were hiding in plain sight.
The card is, in fact, the Amazon Prime card with that name and VISA (big white letters) on the front. The Chase name is on the back. I discovered this Thursday, but still wanted to do an on-line access of the account.

I didn’t know what user name Nancy used nor the password; although she had a note on her computer, it was no longer valid. I tried to do things on-line by trying to type into the form, but that didn’t work – because I was using the number keypad and it was inactive because I had hit the “num lock” key, turning off numbers and turning on other functions {up, down, side-wise, etc.}.That revelation came just as I had gotten to a person and was explaining my problem.
Having solved that issue, but also having explained about Nancy and why I was trying to access the account – – I was transferred to another person who promptly canceled the account. I was not the “owner” of the account; I was just a tag-along on Nancy’s. The support tech was able to confirm Nancy’s death from some data base, maybe SS.
However, there is (or was) an auto-pay from our bank to that account scheduled for next week. Oops! The pay date is extended 60 days upon the owner’s death, or some such thing.
The local Chase branch is in the Fred Meyer (Kroger) store so I can go down there and give them a check.
I was directed to a Chase web page where I signed up for my very own Amazon card. That seems to provided immediate use on Amazon’s site and a credit limit of $5,000. A hard card is to arrive in 10 days, or so.

Other stuff:
Early in the week I bruised my left heel. Having much to do, it was not a fun week. Seems to be a bit better now.

Saturday morning, Walter the contractor arrived with the “french door” for the south side of the house. He brought the main posts and beams a week ago. A trench is dug, for a critter barrier and post support wall. Concrete pour to come next week – I think.

I’ve got 97% of the work done on a long anticipated sign for the entry near the county road. Blue letters on a rough cut plank. Photo next week when it is complete. It says

From the Naneum Fan

Saturday evening

IMPORTANT: Get your system backed up, and do it on a frequent and regular basis.
There are many dozens of files, tips, addresses, phone numbers, and more now gone.

Since last Friday (see previous post- Stuff Happens) I have had to get a new computer and jump through hoops to get it functioning properly at home. Having accomplished that, I now have to get sites – such as WordPress {WP} – to accept the new configuration.
I lucked into getting WP to like me on the Dell laptop. So this is from that machine. However, I have a tendency to touch the track-pad that is below the space bar. Further, the pointer (mouse) acts oddly, or maybe the cpu doesn’t keep up, and the keyboard doesn’t have all the keys I am used to.
There have been interesting happenings these last 2 weeks (not significant), but I need a real computer to work with. Not there yet, but maybe in another day or so.
It is almost 10pm. I’m headed for sleep.

Stuff happens

NOON Friday update:

3rd trip to bring computer health –
Most problems (see below) solved, but the default router-to-computer connection is assumed to be a cable. I need WiFi.
Old box and the new are back in town to see if the wifi of old will fit in the new. If not, I’ll have to buy a new one. Most components are smaller now than 7 years ago.

B e l o w:
The good: I just figured out how to use WordPress on the Dell laptop Nancy used — and I dislike bigly.

The bad: The computer I used (large tower, 2 monitors, wireless mouse and keyboard) went to the Great Trash Heap. I brought a refurbished Dell home but it doesn’t recognize the mouse or keyboard, and only 1 monitor appears.
I’ll call in the morning, but I may have to go back in with all the parts to get help.
Other than that it was a nice day.

Keeping busy

I have several projects on a daily basis, none particularly interesting.
The animals and I have to eat and this also requires purchases and clean up. Boring.
Each day I try to fill one bushel-size box with stuff destined for a land fill. Much of this would burn, but that isn’t done in this area. Mornings have been windy and cold, a good time to stay busy inside. Dust. Boring.

I do a bit of landscaping every day, and some rebuild of fence where a couple of posts rotted off after 30 years in the ground. I’m also cleaning up an area under some trees where I had an outside workbench. It became a place for stuff that should have been discarded.
This area is under a row of Austrian Pine – obtained from the plant sale I volunteered with before they decided to go with “native only” material. I have just 5 and they are not happy. From the web I learned they “ look like they’ve had some “winter-burn”, caused by dry soils in winter and/or sudden and drastic temperature changes.
” Sure enough, that fits the Naneum Fan characteristics.
They are only 15 feet tall, but right beside them are two (native) Ponderosa Pines about 30 feet tall. They have two issues. I planted them thinking I would relocate them, so they are just 2 feet apart. Still, growing like weeds, they are next to the utility lines and too close to the buildings for my fire sense.
A neighbor (2.5 miles) has a personnel business of tree removal, trimming, and chipping. For him to work, I need to clean out the mess I’ve made over the last 30 years. Also, the trees along the driveway need trimmed, and I have a dozen brush piles that need removed.
The only good thing about all this will be the feeling when the project is finished.
Then there are horses. I’m working with Rodeo City Equine Rescue to foster the 3 Tennessee Walking Horses. These we bought in 2010 when Nancy was set on getting back on a horse and riding with friends. The horse she had been using was old, so she found new ones. Then the medical folks said “Bad Idea”!
We are in the beginning of this process. The horses haven’t been handled or trailered for 10 years. About every other day I get them in a small enclosure, halter them, and do a bit of ground training.
I planned on doing some of this today – but horses find wind objectionable. Things that shouldn’t – move and noise comes from all directions. Below is a chart of our wind today:
The purple numbers indicate the high wind gust for the previous hour.
I don’t like those sorts of winds either. So I decided to do errands in EBRG. I need gas in a can for the lawn mower, so needed to take a truck. At some time (when?) I had the radiator cap off and while the 50 yard trips on the place didn’t bother the engine, the 20 minute drive to town did. Just as I made the turn into the first store, the engine quite, steam came from under the hood, and the electrical power (steering & brakes) quit.
I, sort of, made it into the parking lot and out of the way. Then I found that my new iPhone was not well charged. I learned how to operate the phone on “Low Power Mode.” Triple A (AAA of Washington) was great in acknowledging where I was, and that I had a phone that might go away while we talked. However, the towing service had two truck issues today, so a driver was in Yakima getting a replacement.
About 80 minutes later, Kim of AAA called to make sure I was getting the service I needed. I explained, and she (in western WA) was able to check and tell me the driver was “on Canyon Road south of I-90 and heading north”. That told me the unit was less than 5 minutes away.
Because of Panic20/21 I had to ride home in my truck, facing backward, and perched up on the flatbed transport vehicle. The photo below shows the idea – but my truck was aimed the other way.
My truck is a 40 year old Chevy, so this may be the end of it – 10 years overdue.
I did use the 90 minute interval to walk to the grocery store just 2 blocks away. I ate an early supper while I waited, so did not have to fix anything but pour a glass of wine, after the animals were fed.

A boring week, except for the last few hours.
Hope things were better for you.

From the Naneum Fan,

A mix of things

A planning note at the end.

Tonight is going to be heavy on images. The first is frivolous.

I ordered a small cable to connect an iPhone to a tower computer. I need a USB-A to Apple’s Lightening connector. The deal I found was from Best Buy, and the item is in a small box that hangs on a pin in a store display. There is a plastic hanger glued to the back of the white box.
The white box came in a brown box; the volume of the white one is 6.2 cubic inches. The other is 334.7 cubic inches, or 54 times larger.
The two-dollar bill is for scale. It was not in the brown box. Nothing other than the small white package and air was therein. And, yes, it rattled in there. It took 5 days to come from 35 miles east of LA.

Now a prettier item.
Because of Panic2020/21 I need an official Certificate of Marriage for the Social Security Administration. The previous post showed a false one from our Book of Memories. Below is a modern certificate.

I am certain we never had any such thing. Note the last line –As appears in my office this 14th day of April, 2021

Actually, also appearing in the office that day was friend Dot. Dot is Nancy’s longest known friend. She and hubby Bill provided a party for us the evening before our wedding. I called and she knew where, who, and how to get the necessary Marriage Certificate. Good friends are a blessing. Thank you, Dot.

Next is a certificate saying a cluster of trees will be planted in memory of Nancy. This friend, Paul Baumann, came to us via the University of Cincinnati. The story, provided by Paul, is below the document.

With respect to the University of Cincinnati, I had one of the first graduate assistantships at the University’s Academic Computer Center and when I left UC in 1966, Nancy received the assistantship that I had held. The Center had an IBM 1620 and Calcomp Plotter. The 1620 was a second generation computer that was programmed to use a very early version of Fortran; thus, Nancy was exposed to the digital world during a period when most colleges and universities had not yet acquired their first computer. This exposure made her an early user of this technology in the field of geography, especially in the areas of computer mapping, GIS, and remote sensing.

When I worked in the Center, it was necessary at times to use an IBM 1410s employed by the University Administrative Office and an IBM 7094 maintained by the Med School. More than likely Nancy, during her tenure in the Center, worked also on these machines. To provide some historical perspective the 7094 was IBM’s largest computer at the time and it was based on vacuum tube technology. Cincinnati was one of the few schools to have three computers mainly due to its strong engineering program.

After leaving Cincinnati I kept track of Nancy’s career but it was nearly twenty years later, around 1985, that we came together again. This time we were both participating in the joint meeting of the American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing and the American Congress of Surveying and Mapping. The meeting was held in Anchorage, Alaska. One evening Nancy and you and Barb and I drove down south of the city and had a very nice dinner together. Nancy and I shared some of our experiences at Cincinnati. It was about this time that Duane Nellis who is now the president of Ohio University asked me to chair the NCGE’s Remote Sensing Task Force. Shorty thereafter I got Nancy to join the Task Force.
Over the next twenty years Nancy and I put on major computer based workshops at the NCGE’s annual meetings. These workshops were sponsored by the Task Force and were two to three hours in length. On many occasions we offered two such workshops at a meeting. They dealt with GIS and remote sensing. These workshops were physically and mentally taxing. One of the first workshops that we gave was at the annual meeting in Orlando, Florida. The workshop was held in a large room with 20 PCs situated on nice tables. There was a master PC with PowerPoint. The day Nancy and I arrived we had a late dinner and after dinner we went to check out the room. Our first workshop was at 8:00AM the next day. As we tried to boot-up the machines in order to load software and data sets we discovered that none of the machines worked. The machines were not plugged into any electrical outlets. Then we found out that the room had only one electrical outlet and there were no extension cords available. At midnight we were able to get one extension cord provided by the hotel. We connected this cord to the master PC and redesigned the entire workshop using PowerPoint. Over the years we had other such experiences in offering the workshops. Our last workshop was in Portland, Oregon. She told me at the meeting that due to health issues she could no longer participate in the workshops. I elected not to offer any other workshops after that meeting.

John now: The Portland (2011) meeting, being fairly close did not involve a long airline flight. She had been warned by her cardiologist about blood clots and other dangers because of a replaced Mitral valve. The next NCGE meeting was to be held at Texas State University, San Marcos.

A note from, Sharon, a more recent friend – one of the music group – wrote of the emergence of new life around their home. I had the same thought that day and took a photo of one of the piles of dirt and rock scrapped from near the front of the house. These were piled up as the new front to the house was begun a year ago. The red arrow points to a single Daffodil. I rescued many of the bulbs, but missed some.

I have set May 29th, a Saturday for a time to deal with Nancy’s clothing and other items. A friend will come from Moscow, ID so I’m thinking she can get here about Noon. We can work for a few hours, and have dinner (here or in EBRG). If need be we can do more Sunday morning, followed by lunch.
I am flexible on this, so if anyone has ideas let me know.
1-509-925-3304 or

That’s it for this week – from the Naneum Fan

Certificate of Marriage

I’ve not a lot to write about this week, but here are a couple of items.

I was told I need to have a Certificate of Marriage to accomplish changes with the Social Security System. I don’t think we ever had an official certificate. There is a page so titled in the white leather-bound Memories of Our Wedding book, shown here:
The ceremony was in a Baptist Church with both Catholic and Baptist officials. The writing is all the same (and very nice). My mother, the one witness, signed her own name. It seems odd, but it is what it is. I’ve no idea who did the rest of it.
Apparently, the SS folks now want an official document. This may be a Panic20/21 thing. Prior face-to-face visits – I’ve been told – did not require one. Anyway, Nancy’s longest-time friend, Dot S., went to the DeKalb County courthouse and came away with the required official paper; now in the mail. She knew where, what, and who – I hadn’t a clue. Thanks, Dot.

NEXT ITEM – – – – – – – –
Early this coming week I will deliver a letter to 3 of our local health people – all with the Hospital. The 3rd person on the list has been our eye-care specialist for about 20 years. He is also President of the Board of Commissioners of the hospital. {& I haven’t sent him an e-mail about Nancy, yet!}
– – – – – here is the letter – – – – –
Julie Petersen, CEO
Dr. Kevin Martin, CMO
Dr. Bob Davis, B of C

I currently have two issues with the health/medical system.

The first has to do with visit-triggered auto-surveys such as the one attached to this letter. [Only JP gets this.]
Note the visit date of discharge: 3/12/21
This is a 2nd copy of the survey; the original was returned.
I suspect there will be another survey because Nancy was discharged a second time from KVH on March 27th. She was transported to Memorial in Yakima. There she died.

A copy of her obituary is attached.

The other issue: Both Nancy and I have long had the “Donor – red heart” symbol on our driver’s license. When Nancy died early Tuesday morning (about 6:30) the fact of her death was entered into the donation registration list administered by LifeCenter Northwest.
Within hours, that prompted a phone call to me, at home.
I was questioned – probing disquisition – for about an hour about my wife’s medical history, social activities, sexual habits, and more than I can now remember. It is an understatement to say this was disturbing. I suggest you obtain a copy of the questions and ask yourself if you would like to be answering these within a few hours of a death of a spouse or family member.

There has to be a better way. I have suggestions, but you don’t need me to figure this out.

When I die there is no one to respond to the questions that I answered regarding Nancy. Therefore, I removed my name from the organ donor list.


– – – – – – – – END OF LETTER – – – – – –

Lastly, for today . . .
By the end of May I hope to have many of the official actions, that follow a death, taken care of. I’m advised there will be more for a year or so. I am alternating among those things, normal house and yard duties, and getting rid of enough “stuff” that Nancy’s clothes, related items, and possessions can be examined for dispersal (term?).
I will invited a few friends to help with this. Perhaps on the last weekend of May. Six weeks ought to give me time to clear the rubble.

That’s it, from the Naneum Fan

Looking back

Photos below from July 12, 1969

We were in Cincy from summer of 1965 until June of 1967. June 11 began “the long hot summer” in the City, including Avondale, just west of the University’s Scioto Hall tower where Nancy lived. I only remember a few things from the graduation time.
I remember the riots, watching from the balcony of her apartment. I remember seeing Jeeps with Nation Guard folks tucked under trees along the Campus walks.
The ceremony was held outside in the football stadium. Dignitaries were on a raised platform in the field. Mid-ceremony a large Collie came onto the field, wandered out to the platform, and anointed it with his pee, providing a highlight to an otherwise less than memorial event.
I also remember taking the photo of Nancy in the gown she wore. I did then, and still do think it is the best of the many photos taken of her.

The other two images were taken two years later. After years, scanning, and digital adjustments for the web, quality is not great. Shame.

Nancy’s father died when she was in 9th grade. Her mother’s second husband died when Nancy was on a 9 week tour of Europe; at the end of her time as a student at Georgia State University. Nancy flew home and missed the last few days of that trip. Just a short time after the funeral, she traveled north to graduate school in Cincinnati. Her mother did not handle the situation. Nancy went home to her mother and a teaching job at GSU. I went to The University of Iowa. Thus, our wedding was delayed by 2 years.

The car – Fordie, a 1935 Ford, was a company car that her dad drove for 2 years, then bought when the company replaced it. Nancy learned about cars and motor sounds with her dad and an elderly mechanic. It was her mobility when she got her driver’s license, and became our honeymoon transportation. Years later Fordie was sold to a lady who also had a childhood connection to ’35 Fords. She also had the money to have it restored to new-like status, and protect it, something we did not have the resources to do.

One of the many photos from the wedding. We had a joint ceremony of Baptist and Catholic, held in the church of Nancy and her mother. The catholic church was a few blocks away. We sat with the priest and minister and wrote the wedding vows. An audio recording was made; I think we listened to it once. I don’t remember a lot of the day, but do remember a child of the caterer tripping while carrying a large bowl of melon balls in the asphalt parking lot.
We stayed that night in a motel at Stone Mountain, then went back to her mother’s place to help her settle in to being alone again. Next we went to my folks place in Clarion, PA for two weeks before heading west to Iowa City. We stayed on there for 2 years after my degree, as an assistant in a research office, Nancy as a student. We moved farther west and settled in Troy, Idaho in 1974.

Next weekend I hope to have a few insights about “what happens after.”

{News of the hour: I-90 is closed in both directions because of snow and related accidents. Here: sunny, cool, windy}

April 3rd The 5th Day

Stunned at the void

First, I’ll suggest if you are new to these pages you can get the background by scrolling down until you get to the beginning of March, then read forward.
I provided Brookside Funeral with a text and photo (2019, April) of Nancy holding her violin. I have tried to show important things in her life that many may not know. Most will know that her career was that of a geographer at the college/university level. There is more of that aspect on the CWU Geography page.

Friend Elise has provided a ‘pdf’ of the obituary that you can see by following this link:
Nancy’s Obituary

The Funeral home – Brookside, Ellensburg – folks, Kelly and Charity have been great. On that page – Brookside – they have added the banner across the top, and the “remembrance” things under her photo. Please do not do those things. We planted lots of trees, some now 50 feet tall, and our Tulips and Daffodils are soon to bloom.
I have not yet gone there to see the guestbook nor the condolences. It is too soon for me.
While there has been much to do this week, the hardest was taking the obituary to the facilities where the Fiddlers and Friends played and asking if they could place the page on a bulletin board therein.

There is no service planned. Later in the year I expect there to be a couple of gatherings with sort of a theme list; maybe neighbors one time, musicians another, just friends another. I suspect these to be more spontaneous, rather than planned or elaborate.

Nancy’s ashes will be brought back to the Naneum Fan, her home for 32 of her 77 years.

There are several things about what happens when a person dies that I want to share with family and friends. That will have to wait, until next Saturday or the following one. They are just “things” and do not belong here.

Thanks for all the good thoughts.

The saddest news.

Nancy’s life ended Tuesday.

We were preparing for a move to the Rehab in Ellensburg during mid-day.
I was called about 6:30 am. with the news of her death because of pulmonary aspiration (blood in her lungs).
This was unexpected because her episode of bleeding late Friday had been suppressed by 3 am Saturday.
Her body did not cooperate.

This has been a sad and busy day.
I will write more later in the week.