Category Archives: Family

Sunday Lunch

“What does Sunday Lunch cost each week?”

My son’s question caught me off guard. I’d never really thought about it.

My mind slipped to money mode as I mentally scanned items on an imaginary grocery checkout line.

“About $50 to $75 a week, depending on the menu, and how many are here.”

Honestly, it doesn’t matter. It’s just money. It costs what it costs.

The big expense isn’t money. It’s energy.  A normal Sunday Lunch includes menu selection, grocery shopping, group texts to see who’s coming. 

There’s time to prep, cook and clean.  There’s lunch time itself, dirty dishes, cleaning again, taking out trash, putting up toys inside and out.

Now and then, the physical and emotional energy tank is on empty while puttering on fumes. It’s an act of the will on those days.

Regardless, Sunday Lunch is a normal thing. It’s just what we do. Besides, you can be empty in energy, but full in the heart.

Continue reading Sunday Lunch
Advertisement

Oh, Joy!

Janet talked about getting a dog for a good while.  She wanted a little one, a lap dog, about 5 pounds full grown.

Fine with me.   

If I had another dog, I want an outside dog, a Golden Retriever, maybe a Rottweiler. 

Sometimes wants aren’t practical. We have plenty of room for a big dog to roam, but our neighbors have 17 or 18 horses. The fence keeps horses in, but I have no way to keep a big dog out. I’m content with that.

So, when Janet started finding pomapoo puppies on line (half Pomeranian, half miniature poodle), I was que sera sera.

She settled on looking at one in a nearby town.  They texted pictures of two puppies left, along with a video of a little monkey they have as a pet playing with the puppies. 

The Pomeranian dad was supposedly 3 pounds with the mama allegedly an 8-pound miniature poodle. 

The smaller, calmer one was the one Janet picked.  It was December 13, before Christmas, so she named it Joy for the season, and for the fruit of the spirit.

I’ve since wondered if Satan, or maybe Little Lucifer, for thorn in the flesh, would’ve been a better name.

Anyway, life at our house changed, a lot.

Janet and Joy, December 13, 2022

Joy only weighed 2 pounds when we got her, but was “expected” to be about 5 or 6 pounds, at the most.  She’s 10.2 pounds now and growing. 

Janet keeps asking the vet how big Joy will get. The vet just shrugs and kindly smiles, “We’ll see”.

Continue reading Oh, Joy!

For the Birds

It started as a little quiver, a passing thought that somehow nose dived into an idea, then exploded on the runway into all kind of notions. 

I don’t mean for them to, but some ideas just keep growing. A simple idea takes on the persona of a cute, tiny green yard lizard, which promptly blows up into a huge heap of ideas that look like an angry T-Rex on a Jurassic Park rampage.  

It’s happened before.

Happened again. 

I was just going to make a few plain bluebird houses to go with the standard design half dozen already out on trees.

Then there was the little lizard idea to make a birdhouse like the church where Janet I got married.

That’s when Jurassic Park started. The little green lizard metamorphosed into big, cumbersome dinosaurs.

Before I knew it, I’d sketched twelve different birdhouse ideas! Soon I was adding cutouts, individualized painting, and attaching unique perches.

It ended up being the one for Janet, plus eleven more, one for each of our eleven kids and their respective family units. 

Continue reading For the Birds

April 4, 2024

It’s the day I’ll be the exact same age as my dad when he died. 

I figured out the date 10 years ago.  It’s been on my work bulletin board ever since. 

Now it’s less than a year away, 47 weeks to be exact. 

It’s not a day to worry about, just be aware of.

Maybe I’ll take off.   

Maybe I’ll go fishing at a nearby lake at the dam, a place where the turmoil of the released water churns up choppy white waters until finally slowing to a gentle roll farther downstream.

Maybe the day itself will feel like that. I don’t know.

Is it any coincidence my thyroid is acting up now?  Possibly the beginning of a hypothyroid with a plausible diagnosis of Hashimoto Thyroiditis. 

That’s what’s on my dad’s death certificate. The doctors tell me Hashimoto’s doesn’t cause death.

Continue reading April 4, 2024

Selling Fire

I sorted the large stack of mail on the counter: Jeff. Janet. Janet. Junk mail. Jeff. Junk.

My eyebrow raised involuntarily on the last piece. Janet, or junk mail? 

Janet.

I was wrong. Junk.

She opened it, shook her head, and laughed while tearing it in two. 

It was an invitation for a free Italian meal at a local restaurant!  Of course at first, I thought cheap date.

The catch though, and there’s always a catch, was you had to listen to a pre-pay your own cremation sales spiel!

No joke! 

Cremation is both a legit, and best option, for many. Recent studies show 50% of Americans and 70% of Canadians opt for cremation. In fact, it’s usually one-quarter to a third of the costs compared to a traditional funeral. I’ve had family members cremated. You probably have too.   

But selling cremation over a free meal, well that burns me up!

They even included the menu of “free” Italian entrees!

To keep in step with the delightful cremation dinner conversation, 6 of the 8 meals were “sauteed”, and a 7th was fried.  Kind of figures, huh!?

Continue reading Selling Fire

Blue Plastic Egg

Saturday I was on a mission to pick up Janet at the end of the day at a Houston airport.  

I stopped to get her dinner and sat in front of the second Chick-fil-A drive through line waiting on my order. 

It’s always the same, no matter where you go.  They bring it out and ask your name to confirm the order while handing it to you.  I say, “Thank you.”  They say, “My pleasure.” 

Normally, I’m itching to get it and roll on.  This time though, I wanted to just sit and watch.

A guy walked out of Chick-fi-A with a coke in his hand.  His pants were a size too big, his belt missed a loop or two, and his shirt peculiarly looked like it was from the 1960s. 

He didn’t have on ear buds, and he wasn’t on a phone, so he was definitely talking to himself. 

He stopped at the crosswalk talking away, as if an imaginary person was sitting on his shoulder.  He didn’t bother looking either way. He just stepped out in the drive area, staring at the ground. 

Continue reading Blue Plastic Egg

Familiar Feelings

On May 29, 1981, we were mostly 18-year-olds ready to catch a ride on the coattails of life and change the world.  We waltzed across the stage, grabbed a diploma, and ran out to live. 

That was a long time ago. 

We had a class reunion this past Saturday, April 15.  A lot has happened between those two dates.

To be exact, 15,296 days have happened. Over 2,185 weeks, 504 plus months, almost 42 years! 

Continue reading Familiar Feelings

Ump

It was a coach pitch All-Star tournament for 7 and 8 year old players. One of the grandsons was playing, so it was double fun!

But between mamas letting their little boys loose, daddies holding their tongues, and coaches reliving their Little League glory days, drama and emotion can quickly ooze into the games.  

It’s usually from the coaches and parents more than the kids.  Boys like the competition, but at that age, the biggest concern for most of them is what flavor of snow cone to get after the game. 

And the poor umpires? They often get blasted from both sides! This day was different though. This game had a short, stocky, 40-year veteran umpire.  

In the first inning, I heard him tell someone while rubbing his head that every gray hair he had was from umpiring.  He winked adding, “I was 6 feet 7 inches tall when I started umpiring, but I’ve been chewed on so much over the years, I’m only 5’ 7” now! “

Continue reading Ump

Must Be Quantum Physics

Saturday.

Work calls.

Never good.

Hurt employee.

Stuck finger where finger doesn’t go. 

Drive to work. 

No blood. No cut. No bruise. 

Young man.

He holds hurt fingertip tightly, only letting go to adjust the rubber band keeping his hair in a man bun.

Says, “Hurts really, really bad. Like on a one to ten scale, 10 bad.”

Load him up and start toward an urgent care clinic.

For five minutes he gives an instant replay, blow by blow, of how the injury happened.

When he finished I simply asked, “So, why did you put your finger there?”

“I don’t know.”

Continue reading Must Be Quantum Physics

Hallmark Holidays

It’s not right! Hallmark just makes up holidays to sell cards!

It’s like October 6. One one of my daughters posted on Facebook that it was National Transfer Money to Your Daughter Day.  Parents everywhere were requested to transfer money to their daughter’s account.

Psft!  That ain’t happening!  Not unless I go to the bank and got them each a nice, shiny new penny.

Besides, transferring money to your children has been around for years!!  It just goes by different names!  

It’s called child rearing, shoe buying, food, clothing, shelter, prom, cars, Happy Birthday, shoe buying, Merry Christmas, Easter, college, just because I love you day, and of course, shoe buying.

The last “official” day of National Transfer Money to Your Daughter Day is called probating the will.

Continue reading Hallmark Holidays