My daughters wanted a cat several years ago. I put my foot down. Absolutely not! No cat! Zero! Zilch! None! Ever!
They kept on. I said no, no, no! They kept on. I said no kitten, no way!
They kept on. It was like verbal water boarding, so finally, I agreed to go look, but that’s all! Just look! Understand? No cat, period. Just looking!
We adopted Carl the next day.
Continue reading Carl, The Cat!
It’s official! The old 96 GMC pickup has been driven solo by all eight of my kids!
My Dad would be proud! Or maybe, just maybe, the floors of heaven opened up for just a minute so he could see Jessica, the last of my Mohicans, drive the truck he bought new before he died. In that case, it’s safe to say he IS proud!
It’s a wonder the ole white beast truck has survived at all! Clocking in at just under 200,000 miles, it has seen better days, but it’s still a solid truck. It’s just good to have solid metal surrounding a teenage driver, ya know? Even with no radio, air conditioning, fan blower and a tailgate that won’t open without a pair of pliers, the old fellow just putts along. And besides, who needs air conditioning in Texas anyway??
Continue reading The Old White Truck
A front end alignment appointment at 8 AM on Saturday seemed straight forward, but trucks, cars and mobile equipment were everywhere. Inside, about fifteen men were waiting. Interestingly, all were wearing boots, jeans and a plaid or denim shirt, except for the tire shop owner who was dressed up because he had on a Magellan fishing shirt. That’s not an endorsement or condemnation of anyone, just a local clothing colloquialism.
When a middle-aged man walked in wearing designer shorts, spotless, name brand tennis shoes and a lime green dress shirt with a fuzzy vest over it, he stood out like a leprechaun at a slam dunk basketball competition. Even more so, his overly bronze face and legs looked more like a tanning bed accident rather than nature’s sunshine reward and he seemed, I don’t know, awkward. Each black and silver hair was perfectly in place and not one of them moved, even in the wind.
Continue reading Tire Store Epitome
I’d never heard this story from my four sons until a few years ago, but here’s the true talking points of an ever changing set of “official facts”, depending on who you talk to. The bottom line was they were playing Cowboys and wanted to rope calves. Since we didn’t have calves, they told Clark, who is the youngest and only four years old at the time, that they would give him candy if he would run wild while they chased him down and roped him. “It’ll be fun Clark”, they told him, “It’ll be fun”.
Most of the time when mischief was involved, there was a common thread of how it went down. Blake, the oldest, was the mastermind. Jared, the second born, did it. Todd, the third, got blamed. This time, however, they were all in it together. They envisioned themselves as a hard riding, straight shooting, rough and ready band of true blue cowboys…at least in their imaginations. But in reality, they were a barefooted, t-shirt and shorts, backyard, band of boys 12 years and younger. Continue reading Calf Roping Little Brother
It’s pretty much the same every time. “Daddy, there’s a boy I want you to meet. Can he come over?” It starts with a 30 to 40 minute interrogation about who he is, who are his friends, where’s he go, how do you know him, what do his parents do, does he have a prison record, etc. I usually get his height and weight too, just in case I have to dig a shallow grave in the woods.
If he makes it through that hurdle, then I’ll get, “Well, Daddy” – blink, blink and a puppy dog expression – “Can he come over?” I put my hand on my forehead, not to be dramatic, but because a major headache is setting in, and I blurt out a foolish, half hearted, “Ahhhh! Yeeeees. He can come over.” And with that, another one of Beelzebub’s workers has an appointment to “hang out” with one of my daughters. Continue reading Beelzebub’s Workers
It was way, way out of my comfort zone, and certainly NOT my idea! We were on a beach in Cozumel and a lady approached Janet with a brochure about a massage. Janet was all in on that conversation, so I wandered over to the water’s edge looking for any little fish I could spot.
A few minutes later I wandered back and she had booked one – a one hour couple’s massage. Ouch! The lady who made the sale stood staring at me looking like her children wouldn’t have shoes if I refused. Continue reading First Massage
Some asthma as a kid along with a few bad respiratory infections as an adult and wala, it’s the perfect potion for a phobia fear! I hate, hate, hate not being able to freely breathe. Even with that, it never crossed my mind that snorkeling entailed semi-restricted breathing through a tube, and that maybe, just maybe, I ought to think twice about putting a mask over my eyes and nose so you can only breathe through the tube just above water.
Even on the boat ride out to a volcano rim off the Hawaii island of Maui, it never occurred to me that breathing is restricted in snorkeling. Continue reading Rookie Snorkel Vision
Mango, my black mouth curr dog, has a staring problem. It’s hard to be stared at. It’s even worse when it’s a longer than average, full fledged, laser stare, the kind where every move you make is calculated and the pupils of the eyes follow you, anticipating every move you make. It gives a shiver down my spine!! A stare like that from a person or stranger can start a fight, and one like that in a dark alley is why there are concealed handgun laws.
On the other hand, even if it’s a stare full of hope, love and adoration, after the initial amusement, it can get almost spooky, to the point you want to close the curtains and hide.
Mango puts his paws up on the backyard window sill and stands there staring inside the Continue reading Dog Day Stares
There’s a teenager I know who recently turned 92 years old. You have to do a double take when you learn her age because she looks twenty years her junior.
Her hair is grey, with a smidgen of blue from her hair coloring. She walks with a little limp, not much, just enough to know that her hip bothers her sometimes, even though I’ve never heard her say a word about it. She has lines of time’s grace around her eyes and cheeks, and her hands and fingers show the wear of work over the Continue reading 92-Year-Old Teenager
A co-worker came and stood in my doorway and started talking, fast, really, really fast. This lady is excellent at her job and has a good sense of humor. She is normally somewhat reserved and by all accounts is a highly ethical, together and classy person. She was going office to office handing out a pile of new phone books. Normally, she is NOT a morning person and certainly not a big talker early in the morning. In fact, she usually has an invisible wall around her until about 9:30 AM when the glaze disappears from her eyes after having a cup of coffee or two.
She was wearing glasses, which I’d never seen her wear before except to read. As she talked in NASCAR Jimmy Johnson speed, she asked, “Do you wanna a new phone book?”
I was about to answer, but she started talking at 70 mph and gathered speed. “I don’t know why they print so many of these phone books because I have three different ones Continue reading Maybe It Runs In Their Family