Tag Archives: Family

Reprise

It’s tedious.  Removing calcium deposits from pool tile at the water line.

Our pool’s never been cleaned, so three tiles at the water line had to be scraped and scrubbed.

Doing a 20 by 40 foot pool with a hand scraper is like an ant sized dental hygienist cleaning your teeth.

A pumice stone polishes off the remnants, but that hard crusty stuff, it only comes off with scrapes, scratches and scrubs.

Continue reading Reprise

Clear Skies

Alone.

Yet, not.

Large families.

There are 33 people on the wall. Kids, kids-of-heart, grandkids, Janet, myself.

There’s always something going on in a big family. Someone’s always around, nearby, or on the way.

Continue reading Clear Skies

Junkyard Explosion

Once upon a time there was an explosion in a junkyard. 

It all started with increasing nitrogen gases expelled from overheating debris in the hot summer sun. 

It was epic! One of a kind! Never to be duplicated!

I can’t prove it, so just trust me, it was the PERFECT storm to create such a powerful explosion!

Continue reading Junkyard Explosion

Forty Years Ago

Someone posted our high school class picture from 40 years ago!

Forty. Years. Ago!

That’s how long Moses and the Israelites wandered in the wilderness!

A little over 300 of us, all in purple gowns, grabbed a diploma, walked across the stage, and waltzed into life. 

When we graduated 40 years ago — Ronald Reagan was fresh on the job, the space shuttle had just made its maiden voyage, a new disease called AIDS would be announced two weeks after graduation, and two months after that, IBM would introduce something called a “personal computer”.  

With the unbridled power of technology and social media, it’s been fun to “reconnect” with some I haven’t seen since graduation day.

Continue reading Forty Years Ago

Dear Addie K,

Dear Addie K,

You burst into life a year and half ago!  At first, we loved you solely on whose you were, but now we love you because of who you are.  Your first 1 1/2 years of life have gone by way too fast!

Life is like that. Before you know it, you’ll be looking back and remembering in sepia toned colors.

Seek wisdom, Addie.  When you look back, you’ll smile at the vibrant, bright memories that wisdom can bring!

Continue reading Dear Addie K,

The Best Love Letter Ever!

Seriously, it was the best love letter!

I was in high school.  The summer before my sophomore year, I lived with and worked for my uncle in another town about an hour away. Through their church, I met two sisters, one also about to be a sophomore and one a junior. 

I was pretty naïve then, like Forest Gump at a dogfight naïve.

Continue reading The Best Love Letter Ever!

Age to Age

When my first grandchild was born, I found it interesting how you can love a newborn so much.  Throughout his life, we’ll share DNA, and the same last name.

He’ll carry our family name down the generational rivers entering a sea of names.  Maybe it’s just a man thing, but that’s downright satisfying!

I looked back at a flash drive of old family pictures that included a scan of an article my grandfather wrote in 1974.  My Grandpa is my grandson’s Great, Great Grandfather.

He only had a 6th grade education, so to write a life summary and family history is phenomenal!  It was exhilarating to read! Continue reading Age to Age

Like a Verdict

My wife, Janet, had surgery two weeks ago to remove a kidney tumor. The doctor said it’s an 85% chance of being malignant.

The last two weeks have been fast, and slow, lightening quick, yet forever.

Yesterday was the surgery follow up appointment, complete with the pathology report. It was also Janet’s birthday.

Strange, really. You find out about continued life, one way or the other, on a day designated to celebrate life.

The doctor came in quickly, and asked Janet how she was doing.  He sat down.  I asked to record the doctor on my phone so we could listen and rehash as much as we needed to later.

He agreed. I pushed the record button. He asked if I was ready, and took a deep breath…

Continue reading Like a Verdict

5 Course Meal Celebration

Last Friday I took my wife Janet out on the town! A five-course dinner date! I know! Right!?

But we live in the oldest town in Texas, and there’s not a great deal of five star restaurants in Nacogdoches, Texas. So we created our own “fine dining” experience in a mobile, drive around way.

I wrote down twenty restaurants and fast food joints up and down our hometown main drag. Each place was cut to its own little strip, and I put them all in a styrofoam cup that had all 5 courses scribbled on the outside. Janet blindly reached in the cup and pulled the first slip for the first course.

It was Subway. Janet objected. She said Subway had the most expensive drinks in town, so she wanted to go somewhere else. Eventually, she acquiesced, and we ordered one large half and half tea, two straws.

The second course was Bottle Cap Alley for appetizers. A quarter mile drive and we were there, but they didn’t have many choices. Basically, we settled for fried onion rings. Besides, the next course was vegetables, so we could get something healthy then.

The third course drawn, however, was another fast food place, Taco Bueno! My five-course meal deal idea was falling apart.

We had to be creative, but guacamole with fried chips was as close as we could get to vegetables.

The fourth draw for the main course drew a groan from both of us, and then the laughter. Dominos Pizza!

While they made the extra thin crust vegetable pizza, we munched on the chips, guacamole and onion rings. After that, the pizza tasted like saltine crackers with onions and tomato sauce on it.

There’s a bloated, clog up your arteries with grease feeling that was kicking in, but we were committed to a 5 course meal…

Dessert! Should’ve started there! A quick draw from the cup and it was Whataburger, the Texas standard for fast food burgers. It was a no brainer choice!

But ice cream and milkshakes don’t mix with lactose intolerance, and the scrumptious home style cinnamon rolls were 580 calories a piece! We settled on apple pies that were only 200 calories each. Did I mention they were fried?

It was fun though, and totally random! We’ll do it again, but not tonight.

Tonight Janet will be in the hospital.

We’re in Houston. At this very moment, Janet is in surgery to remove cancer from a kidney. She was diagnosed three weeks ago.

I’m scribbling to redirect my emotions, blind my thoughts, dull the heightened awareness that the future has changed.

How much, and to what extent it’s changed, we won’t know until the pathology report comes in next week.

If all goes well, this will be a one and done surgery.

If it goes really, really well, next Friday we’ll be celebrating the 15% chance that the cancer is benign.

That’ll be worth a five course meal for sure!

A Heartbeat Away

Between almost awake and half asleep, my brain registers discomfort.  Oh no! An earache!  I had so many earaches as a kid and hate ‘em. Just hate ‘em!

The throbbing’s the worst. Each heartbeat bangs on the ear drum.  No matter how you twist or turn, you literally feel, and hear, every beat of the heart.  Like a marching band, the regular beat on the drum creates a disconcerting percussion concert.

It’s fingernails down the blackboard!

I try to go back to sleep, but things on the “to do” list start cluttering the mind.  Too tired to get up, too conscious to sleep, several hours of nothingness tick away in the dark with only my thoughts and the striking of the ear drum with each beat of the heart.

In a way, it’s fascinating.  The never seen heart constantly pumps life in rhythm.  The body, soul and spirit, it rises, and falls, in a life dance with the ever present heartbeat on the ear drum. Continue reading A Heartbeat Away