Saturday, May 27, 2017

62


What a great number.  If you make it then you finally get to draw Social Security!!  I mean you paid into it for years’ time for a “little pay back” as they said back in the day!   Since moving to The Villages I have been rather quite on this lowly space.  I have often wondered where my urge to share thoughts and comments had gone.  Then it came to me, I am happy and satisfied beyond my wildest dreams.  Not that all of the comment and posts were unhappy, or insincere it’s just my days are full of things that make me happy and fulfilled.  Talk about the Blessed Man I am truly living it now and had no clue of this life when this Blog was named.  Well last Thursday night I had one of those moving moments that prompted this post.


You see one of the people I love the most.  Well, really the person I love the most behind my wife had her 62nd  birthday.  That’s correct my adopted sister.  As we sat around that table with a few new friends I was thinking back on all of the times we have shared.  They have been wonderfully happy, and unimaginably sad.  Together, we have welcomed new life.  We have said goodbye too soon, to young life.  We have shared Wedding, Birthdays, Anniversaries, and traveled to some amazing places together.  She has held me up during dark times.  I have tried to always be there for her.   It was because of my wife, and her that I have done things I was absolutely not doing and as it turned out they were correct.  I would never tell them however, as I would never live that down. 


As we sat around that table I was so thankful that her and her husband moved down here to enjoy The Villages Lifestyle.  And just like in Memphis they have expanded our friend base to add a new group of wonderful people.  I have always said she is a collector of people.  And what a great collector she is.  I believe I am the bane of her collection but it’s too late to do anything about me now as after close to twenty years I’m not going anywhere!


As I reflected on our friendship I was reminded of her willingness to share all things family with us.  I have never felt like her friend I have always felt like her brother.  We fight, well not really she just doesn’t see things my way and I always forgive her for being so misguided.  We were always invited to the family nights.  I have eaten more meals with her children than I have with mine.  This is also a bane for her but that’s another post. 


I guess what I am really trying to say is she means the world to me.  We don’t get together as much as we used to but I treasure the times we do.  Strangely enough, we live further apart now than we did in Memphis!  However, we do make an effort to get together as often as possible and I relish each opportunity.


Well in the immortal words of Winnie the Pooh,

Friends are like the walls of houses
Sometimes they hold you up,
Sometimes you lean on them but
Sometimes it’s just enough to know
They’re just standing by!!


Well Happy 62nd my dear, may we celebrate many, many more together.  Thank You for including us for the last 20 something years.  What a ride it has been.  We are looking forward to adding to the collection and enjoying each other for another 20 years.  Love Ya’ my dear!


Well I had better finish here call my adopted sister and see what I can say to agitate her!!


Peace,

The Blessed Man

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Evelyn Wells Mercedes Sledd


Yes my dear friends we have a new Chicken!!!

That’s right number six in the lineup of chickens now.  Number three in line in her siblings and number five member of her wonderful family.

Lord knows the Blessed Man has no Crystal ball but something tells me this one is going to be one for the ages.  Her battle to be born was one of strong will and commitment.  

What might the future hold for this wonderful little girl?  Let us look to the numbers for a little guidance.

The third child in a wonderful family, so what does the number three tell us about our newest member?

3s are imaginative, expressive communicators and artists. They are tolerant, joyful, 
optimistic, inspiring, talented, jovial, youthful, and dynamic ... the list goes on and on!

So we can expect this wonderful little girl to bring us great things.  I can see Evelyn leading her class in all areas.  Elected class president, if they still do that, in the drama club being a special part of everything she does and bring her on inspired touch to us all.  I can’t wait for that!!

The Fifth member of her extra special family: Her Mother and Father that have seen many posts on this lowly blog. Then there is her extraordinary brother and sister, as well.  What might we expect her to add to this already loving environment?

5s are energetic, adventurous, daring and freedom-loving. They also tend to be versatile, flexible, adaptable, curious, social, sensual, quick-thinking, witty, courageous and worldly.

Well more great things here. Now we have the one that will be jumping out of a perfectly good airplane.  Zip lining over an alligator farm. Then afterwards going into work, in her own company, making plans to expand globally and grabbing the bull by the horns and getting it all done with a smile that will melt any ones heart in the room.

Then she is the sixth Chicken in the coop. Each with a different personally but in a room together you can easily see they all have the social skills of their parents.  One gift I am certain she will receive

6s are responsible, loving, self-sacrificing, protective, sympathetic and compassionate. These loyal, maternal figures are domestic, fair and idealistic healers or teachers.

WOW it just keeps on getting better. Could she possibly become a teacher?  What lessons she will be able to share.  Those taught her by her unbelievable family, each a teacher a giver of love and trust. 
Well Miss Evelyn that is what the numbers say.  Here is what someone who loves you has to say. My friends Rascal Flatts say it better than anything I could ever write and yes my sweet one this is my wish for you

My wish for you is that this life becomes all that you want it to.  May your dreams stay big and your worries stay small. You never need to carry more than you can hold. And while you’re out there getting where you’re getting to I hope you know somebody loves you and wants the same things too for you. Yes, my angel this is my wish.

Well welcome my dear to this crazy thing called life.  We are all here to help you along, and watch you develop into someone who we all will be proud of and love.  Be true to yourself. Love your family. And never forget you got one Blessed Man cheering from the sidelines and that is willing to get in the game anytime you might need a blocker.  Love you my angel

I will never be able to read this one to you.  One day ask you DeDe what that means!!!!!

Peace,


The Blessed Man

Evelyn Wells Mercedes Sledd


Yes my dear friends we have a new Chicken!!!

That’s right number six in the lineup of chickens now.  Number three in line in her siblings and number five member of her wonderful family.

Lord knows the Blessed Man has no Crystal ball but something tells me this one is going to be one for the ages.  Her battle to be born was one of strong will and commitment.  

What might the future hold for this wonderful little girl?  Let us look to the numbers for a little guidance.

The third child in a wonderful family, so what does the number three tell us about our newest member?

3s are imaginative, expressive communicators and artists. They are tolerant, joyful, 
optimistic, inspiring, talented, jovial, youthful, and dynamic ... the list goes on and on!

So we can expect this wonderful little girl to bring us great things.  I can see Evelyn leading her class in all areas.  Elected class president, if they still do that, in the drama club being a special part of everything she does and bring her on inspired touch to us all.  I can’t wait for that!!

The Fifth member of her extra special family: Her Mother and Father that have seen many posts on this lowly blog. Then there is her extraordinary brother and sister, as well.  What might we expect her to add to this already loving environment?

5s are energetic, adventurous, daring and freedom-loving. They also tend to be versatile, flexible, adaptable, curious, social, sensual, quick-thinking, witty, courageous and worldly.

Well more great things here. Now we have the one that will be jumping out of a perfectly good airplane.  Zip lining over an alligator farm. Then afterwards going into work, in her own company, making plans to expand globally and grabbing the bull by the horns and getting it all done with a smile that will melt any ones heart in the room.

Then she is the sixth Chicken in the coop. Each with a different personally but in a room together you can easily see they all have the social skills of their parents.  One gift I am certain she will receive

6s are responsible, loving, self-sacrificing, protective, sympathetic and compassionate. These loyal, maternal figures are domestic, fair and idealistic healers or teachers.

WOW it just keeps on getting better. Could she possibly become a teacher?  What lessons she will be able to share.  Those taught her by her unbelievable family, each a teacher a giver of love and trust. 
Well Miss Evelyn that is what the numbers say.  Here is what someone who loves you has to say. My friends Rascal Flatts say it better than anything I could ever write and yes my sweet one this is my wish for you

My wish for you is that this life becomes all that you want it to.  May your dreams stay big and your worries stay small. You never need to carry more than you can hold. And while you’re out there getting where you’re getting to I hope you know somebody loves you and wants the same things too for you. Yes, my angel this is my wish.

Well welcome my dear to this crazy thing called life.  We are all here to help you along, and watch you develop into someone who we all will be proud of and love.  Be true to yourself. Love your family. And never forget you got one Blessed Man cheering from the sidelines and that is willing to get in the game anytime you might need a blocker.  Love you my angel

I will never be able to read this one to you.  One day ask you DeDe what that means!!!!!

Peace,


The Blessed Man

Monday, October 24, 2016

Rex


aka: RexRod,
aka : Rex-a-roni,
aka: Rexer
The best damn cat to ever live in my world!!!

We had to let Rex cross over the Rainbow Bridge on Saturday and it was a very hard thing to do, harder than I ever dreamed.  I have always thought of myself as compassionate and caring but this was an animal.  I come from a back ground where you name a chicken and then two months later you asked about “Ole Daisy” and Granny told you you ate her last Sunday for dinner!!!!  You never named anything on my uncle’s farm once you ate “Ole Daisy”! 

My Mother always had a dog.  Mostly small dogs or lap dogs as some people call them but little yappers is what me and my Dad called them!!  She went through her Great Dane Stage which was short thank goodness.

So when my lovely wife wanted to get a cat when in the early part of our lives together I had really no experience with them but knew they were much easier than dogs, so I was in.  It was 1999 and we had a dear friend Alyce who was highly allergic to cat dander.  So my wife on a business trip to Minneapolis visited a girlfriend who had Cornish Rex Cats.  They are hypo-allergenic cats!!  She was so excited came home and started looking for a breeder near us.  Well found one in Nashville went up got Rex and the rest as they say is history!  Seventeen years I shared a house with that cat and he never caused one seconds trouble.  I knew he was special but you never know how special until your wife looks up at you and says “We need to let him go”  I never would have believed the impact that statement had on me even now as I type I’m teary eyed.  For god sakes it was a cat!  Nope he was a family member and a damned important one.  I never realized until that moment that he meant so much to me.  What a treat to share a house with him.

The funniest story ever about Rex is this one:  As you know by reading this blog we entertain a great deal.  One weekend shortly after we bought him we had a dinner party on the guest list was my boss and his wife, a cat lover.  They came in and my boss saw Rex and then found out we bought him.  He states” Good God man you bought a Cat!” I said “Yes” Then my wife told him it was a Cornish Rex.  He said he thought there were only two kinds of Cats a Cat and a Calico!!  I thought my wife and his wife and me were going to die laughing!!!

My wife’s brother gave him the Rex Rod name.  He loved that cat as well.  You see everyone who met him liked him.  He was the calmest sweetest cat I have ever known. 

He slept for seventeen years on my wife chest every night, she got into bed he jumped up on the bed the covers were thrown back and he climbed into his place.  I have to believe that is going to be a very lonely place for the next couple of weeks.

This is as good of a place as any to mention Cleo.  She is our Calico Cornish Rex.  CRAZY as a bed bug, and has been forever.  She for the last four days was really nuts.  My wife and I believe now she was trying to tell us that Rex was so sick.  After the X-Rays we found out she was so right!  We got back home from the vet my wife cleaned everything and Cleo has calmed down so much it is uncanny.  She lays on my wife’s lap slept next to her last night, not on her chest, but next to her where Rex did sometimes when he got over heated.

The house isn’t the same with Rex gone.  In his later years he had slowed a great deal.  Not jumping and running all over like before more of the laid back gentlemen enjoying his golden years eating the best food and laying in the sun all day.  You know the other side of that Rainbow Bridge is beginning to look like a great place we have Ramey now Rex.  And if you believe like I believe Rex is jumping from my mom, Billie, to my wife’s mom, Bobbie’s lap back and forth. I will never forget the last time I was able to rub that cat’s head and grab his ears.  I can only hope he knows my heart has never had paw prints on it before but it sure does now. 

Rexer, miss you buddy.  Take care of Billie and Bobbie for us.  See you on the other side.

Peace,


The Blessed Man

Monday, October 17, 2016

Chickens


We were having a family dinner the other night and my adopted sister said something that really hit me.  We were talking about her daughter and a conversation they had about our extended family and how important it was to her.  Then she told her mom that she thought everyone had the same but after marriage found out that what we have is very special.

As I sat there recalling all of the wonderful times we have had together.  I realized like her daughter, that not everyone has this organization to fall back on when you need support and encouragement.  I have a dear friend from Boston that recalls he was 16 before he ever had a cookie that wasn’t homemade.  He came from a large Italian family where they all lived in the same neighborhood from grandfather and grandmother to uncles and aunts.  He had the system.  What happens when there is no large family group to circle the wagons when you need it?  Well that is when you build something special.  I am very blessed to be a part of a unit of people that do just that, from weddings to funerals to birthday parties to births we have all been there and through it all we seem to emerge a little bit closer every time.  As I sat there last night looking at the table I couldn’t help but remember when these same people held me up when I was at my weakest.  These people were there when I am my happiest like the moment we were sharing right then around a dinner table solving the world’s problems.

Her daughter finding out that not all people are blessed like us was an eye opener not only for her but for me as well.  You can’t ever give up on your people.  Maybe we don’t see each other like we did at one point but nothing will ever wavier my love and dedication to these people, my family. 

As we sat there I realized how much I miss seeing the Chickens!  You see the Chickens are my adopted sister’s kids and father.  We ate together at least 5 nights out of 7 back in Memphis.  And every time they came to my house we always got a chicken count and let me tell you the higher the chicken count the happier I was.  You see if you are a reader of this lowly blog then you know what we are talking about when I say this is a very special bunch of Chickens.  These children have social skills beyond their years, always fitting into the conversations never sitting on a couch playing with their phones, but always engaged in whatever we were talking about. 

As I write this I can only hope you have Chickens in your life.  I know I am so happy to have mine.  And the blessing is they would all be there for me just like their mom and dad would be and us for them.  You see that’s how this thing works.  If you don’t have this I am wishing it for you.  It’s not something that you can just go out and pick up.  This is something that has to grow naturally like a beautiful flower.  It is so unconditional so pure so part of a place in your heart that you really didn’t even know it was there until suddenly you are a part of it.  I am sure that in my friend’s family back in Boston it was just part of the DNA.  However, when you have to build it, it’s really special.  I simply love my extended family and never want to ever be without them or the support.

I am wishing for every single person that ever reads this you have what I am so blessed to be a part of an, extended family!!!

Guess I’ll go and check on the Chickens!!!


Peace,


The Blessed Man

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Ramey


Now if you are a wine enthusiast you instantly think David Ramey, right?  Well believe it or not you’re not far from correct.  You see Ramey was one of the most special dogs I have ever known named after the incredible David Ramey.  Or at the very least the fantastic wine he makes.  

One couple, from the Memphis family, quite by accident got a puppy.  I was really shocked when they introduced us to the new member of the family and was really shocked when they told me that Ramey was the dog’s name.  You see this couple was the number one buyer of Ramey wines in the state of Tennessee at the time.  Yes, I said family!!

A few years later I took some very important members of my Memphis family, including Ramey’s Mom and Dad, to Napa Valley.  One of the places we visited was Ramey’s winery.  He showed us around and entertained us in grand style.   And of course these people bought a ton of his wine to be shipped back home to them.  David was so kind he gave them each an signed, etched Three liter bottled.  My friends had a picture taken of Ramey sitting by the bottle sent it back to Ramey and the next time we were in the winery a few years later  the picture was framed and hung in the middle of his tasting room.  We were all shocked to see the picture in such a prominent place.

So now you know the name story,  let me tell you the real story of the power of Ramey.

When Ramey arrived into the house the man of the house was a powerful, hard nosed, take no prisoners businessman.  He was the guy everyone wanted on your side of the deal and no one wants to deal against.  He was, and still is, a man’s man.  He, most times, is the smartest guy in the room.  OCD to a fault, but also one of the truest friends you will ever have in the world.  So Ramey arrives and just like a sharping stone she slowly starts to work on the rough edges of my friend.  This animal reveals something I have always known about my friend.  Ramey shows the world my friend is really; the kind, gentle, loving, caring, generous, and compassionate guy we all know and love but few see. 

I remember one time we were visiting a friend of ours in the country.  Ramey always went with us and loved to swim in the lake.  One day we go to visit the friends father.  He has a dog that he says doesn’t get along with others.  We are making sure the two dogs are not near each other.  Well as fate would have it Ramey, being the friendliest dog on earth, got a little to close and the other dog jumped her.  My friend, in the blink of an eye leaped into the pile of dogs and took the aggressive dog down.  Now remember these two dogs were fighting, biting, scratching digging and barking like crazy.  He was ready to kill the aggressor as was everyone else.  We loaded up and came back home without anything losing it live but trust me more than one of us was ready to do the deed.  Nothing attacked Ramey and didn’t pay a price.  It was a classic example of the love this man has for this dog.  And it really was only the beginning. 

Ramey loved him so much she supported his OCD.  Walk at 5:30am. Then the hurry, hurry calls for her to do her morning constitution.   Followed by a cart ride around the square, Ramey reveling in her back seat throne taking everything in as she was driven around like a princess.  This happened every morning before Daddy went to play Pickleball.  Ramey never wavered always answering the call like the trooper she was.  She had much rather stay in bed as the evidence would show if Daddy ever left her in Mom’s care!!   

Mom, wow she was already a lover, and the main treat giver but Ramey brought a new level and an example of unconditional love that elevated everyone who she met to understand.  I think you can understand at this point this was a very special animal. Mom loved her so much.  Ramey cared for Mom when things weren’t going very well you could always count on her to walk in the room lay her head on Mom’s lap and you could see the stress and pain leaving her face for a brief moment while loving on Ramey.

Ramey also loved my wife.  My wife was about the only person outside her family that she wouldn’t bark at when we arrived at their home.  I can remember walking into their house and them saying “What Ramey didn’t even bark!” Ramey would walk over lift her face up and my wife would rub all over that dog’s nose.  Kiss her and love on her and she just stood there loving every second of it. The family told us no one else could touch her face but my wife.

Sadly Ramey has crossed the rainbow bridge.  But how blessed we all are it was very quick and hopefully painless for her.  She got sick one day and the next she was gone, only fitting for an animal that touched us all in such a special way.  Somehow I can see Ramey lifting up her face and Bobbie, my wife’s mom who also loved that dog, kissing that dog’s face and Ramey smiling.  I can see her going hurry hurry with Jordan who also loved that dog.  She is in a better place a place where all the chicken treats she wants are there all the time. And no more 5:30am!!!

I am going to miss that dog and I never thought I would say that in my life.

Love ya Ramey, kinda wish I had that picture hanging in my house now.  Wonder if David Ramey knows how special that picture really is???

If you have a pet go hug it and give it a treat they don’t stay forever. Think I’ll go get Rex and sit on in my chair for a while.

Peace,


The Blessed Man

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Vacation


Everyone loves a good vacation.  I can remember when I looked so forward to getting away for a week or so and just relaxing and living worry free for a minute.

My wife and I often slip off and play nine holes in the late afternoon or Saturday mornings.  These are my favorite rounds these days.  I can remember when it was “I will never play golf with a girl”!  Back in the day with my buddies we would see someone playing with their female partner and just laugh and think how miserable they must be not having any male friends to play golf with them.  Well, let it be known I play golf with a girl and simply love it!!! We talk, laugh, give each other tips, and just in general have a great time and get to spend two hours together doing something we both enjoy do much.  She only took the game up when we moved to “The Villages”.

We were walking off the ninth hole last week and she said something so powerful to me.  She said “We live on vacation”!  I was stunned she had hit the nail on the head.  I have often sang the praises of this place and she put it all in one simply sentence.  We live on vacation.  No stress no worries we are both blessed to have our health.  We have our Memphis family here.  We have made wonderful new friends.  We eat well every night, we drink well every night, and we live a dream.

I often talk to my old golfing buddies back in Memphis and the surrounding areas and they always seem to be just a little bit jealous about my lifestyle.  You see I was the one that was the crazy one.  I can remember Rick working every single moment that the company would allow him too, not because he had to but because he loved it so much.  I can remember one time the company he worked for actually had to call him and tell him he needed to cash his paychecks so they could close and accounting period.  I also can remember Larry the same way always and still frugal to a fault.  Me not so much, I was the guy who lived paycheck to paycheck.  I closed down more bars than the law should have allowed.  I have lived like there was no tomorrow and had a blast.  They worked like a slave doing what I thought was looking to the future.  And now they both are trapped in a situation that neither can escape and I am living on Vacation.  I guess the good lord works in mysterious ways for sure.

Well I guess it about time to get ready to go play Wednesday night Couples golf!!  We play every week now, that we live on vacation. 

I love playing with my girl!

Peace,


The Blessed Man