Friday, December 25, 2009


This time of year this word defines us all, like it or not; we all are defined by where we come from. I have a very unique situation as my blood family lives in Alaska, which sometimes is not far enough!! I have what I call my Memphis Family, a small group of people whom I depend on like they were my blood family. It is a special bond where genuine feelings and heart felt love abound. As I sat around a Christmas Eve dinner table last night I started to think about family. As all of my Memphis Families, real families, started to gather the personalities that gathered were amazing. What is truly amazing is how at certain times of the year we all get a little more tolerate of each other. Giving one another the benefit of the doubt, a little more space than we might give during another time of the year.

Then I remembered what must be my most memorable Christmas ever with my parents. I have an older sister who always wanted to be something akin to Martha Stewart!! Well she was coming for Christmas, and wanted to cook Christmas breakfast. I can remember my Dad like it was yesterday telling my Mother it was going to be a disaster and to be prepared to save the day with the normal family fare. I was old enough to be able to make a little fun and took every opportunity to do so. On Christmas Morning my sister was up before the sun making these candy cane sweet rolls. I had gotten up early just to watch the show, I was not disappointed, and the kitchen could only be described as a disaster, flour and ingredients everywhere. My sister, trying to make this Christmas, a Christmas to remember, in a way other than I am seeing it as I write this. Along with my sister came her husband at the time a salesman from Miami, who my dad never really trusted. They brought with them their first-born son who was about 2 at the time. My Dad was a drill instructor for the 101st Air Borne he was a tuff no nonsense guy. My sister was trying to be a good parent, in her eyes, as a “Please and Thank you parent” needless to say this was as foreign to my dad as the candy cane sweet rolls. We could not keep this kid away from the Christmas tree for anything. My Mother ever trying to be the mediator was watching this kid like a hawk because my Dad had already said he knew how to solve the problem. Once again me being at that age I was dying to see my Dads wrath bestowed on this little brat. Well it happened, we were sitting in the living room watching T.V. and he comes little precious walking right toward the tree. He reaches for a bottom ornament and my dad, in his best drill sergeant voice says” LEAVE THAT TREE ALONE BOY!!!!!” well this innocent little angel from heaven above wet his pants and falls into the floor in the fetal position screaming crying. Well here comes the women brigade from the kitchen, my Mother leading the pack. She scoops up little angel and off to the bedroom all the while giving my Dad that stare like later we will get this straight. She rarely crossed my Dad, but we both knew he would pay for this one later. My sister stood there not knowing what to say as she had grown up in the house and knew the drill. And here was salesman guy as scared as his kid knowing he was the last person in Memphis that could say something to my Dad. Me, I am rolling on the floor laughing which was not making things better.. My Mother after claming the chosen one down comes in and asked me to come to the kitchen and help her. I knew it was dead. She asked me why I had not stepped in and stopped my Dad from yelling at baby wonderful? I told her baby wonderful needed to, know what discipline looked like. I asked her to take a look at her children and see if growing up with Dad had hurt us. She smiled, and said that the only thing hurting was our bottoms sometimes! I hugged her and we laughed. God I miss her.

That story was relived I every Christmas, that my oldest sister was not home, for the rest of my parents lives. That is what Christmas and family is all about.

As I write this is I am getting a little misty eyed thinking about my Mother and Dad. How he worked 2 and 3 jobs during this time of the year so his family would have some things they wanted. That’s what Christmas means to this Blessed Man. A family working together to make sure each other has a better Christmas than the other. Being willing to give up your Christmas so that someone else might have a better one.

Once again as I wind this one down I sit here and realize what a blessed life I have always led. There are millions of people that have never had half the blessing I have had in my short life. So as I close this little post, thanks to my dad and Mother for showing me how to recognize a blessing and hopefully how to pass one along.
Merry Christmas to all and may 2010 bring you the blessing you want and deserve.

Monday, December 21, 2009


I recently found out that a dear friend’s child just got accepted to Norte Dame, quiet an accomplishment! I found this out at brunch with my angel of a wife. I asked her;” Would you like a redo?” she said what do you mean? I said like our friend child going to college and a damn good one at that! Would you like to go back and redo your life? She thought for a minute, and said she wished she had finished college and some other stuff. Then she added the most important piece, if I could end up right here, maybe I would take the redo.

I got to thinking what would I do over, and at what expense? I have lived a full and wonderful life. Have more friends than anyone I know, a loving wife and family a great job. What’s the point of a redo. If had gone to UT like I planned until that knee injuring. What would have happened and whom would I have missed. Would the road have been easier? I’m not sure. What about my son, would I have met his Mother and shared those 19years? Would I have gone to Culinary school and worked at all of those cool restaurants. Would I be doing what I am today, which is way cool. Like my granny always said the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. However, if you have ever jumped the fence you find sometimes it might be greener but it could be to bitter to even eat!! As I look back at my life I have few regrets. Maybe, I would have liked to go work on the Alaskan pipeline with my granddad but that would have altered everything. So I guess once again I recognized, I am truly blessed. I have avoided any major illnesses and haven’t gotten into to much trouble in my life. I think we all wish we were better parents and spouses during certain parts of our lives, but would we change where we are today. If your answer is yes, then I also most feel sorry for you. I think when the time comes to stand in front of my maker. I truly believe he will say at least you didn’t leave anything on the table. Will he have some things to be concerned over, absolutely? Will there be something he is proud of me for, no doubt? When it’s all said and done I owe my Mother for teaching, and allowing me to be all I could be and to live by the Golden Rule. I always try to treat others as I wish I could be treated, great advice even at this late stage of the game.
Well as I close, I am now assured; I do not want a redo. I don’t think I could ever get this far, on this little, ever again. The choices I have made to this point have not all been correct, but the lessons out weight the free ride, immeasurability. I know what’s is like to mess up, and how to recover. Something I am scare my son has no clue how to do. Only time will answer that question.

One fact still remains, as always, this is one Very Blessed Man. I hear something red and wet calling my name. I think the toast tonight will be to times passed, and how important they are to today.


A Very Blessed Man

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I know I have you running for the dictionary now but I had to find the right word for this post. Histrionic, means overly dramatic. In an effort to try to stick to the one word theme of this Blog I had to do am little searching for this post!

I had lunch yesterday with the closes thing to a brother I have on this earth. I have known Red for 50 years. We grew up together have done things together we are proud of and some things, maybe more than we would like, that we are not so proud of. We have been through the deaths of our parents together and the birth of our children. I think you get the picture we are close.

I was feeling rather sorry for my plight and myself yesterday so I decided I would eat with Red and tell him all of my worries and see what he thought. We I opened the lunch with, what I thought to be, a sack full of problems. He listening intently as he always does and offered his view, which is always a different, prospective from mine and I found it to be helpful to me.

Then I asked the sixty four thousand dollar questions. “How are things in your world?” What followed was a five-day span our occurrences that if they had happened to me I would be going down I-55 on a pogo stick naked!!! His middle daughter is leaving her husband, and moving in with him and his angel of a wife. Then his brother gets kicked out of his house for some improper behavior and he moves in. Here is a good place to say his brother and his wife are vinegar and water not mixing them! Then his youngest daughter loses her job and tears up her jeep in the same day. And the end of this brief period he has picked up 2 more mouths to feed and 2 more cats bringing the total cat count to 12!!!

As I sat there listening to him my mind couldn’t help but wander off thinking what a dick I was. Here I was feeling sorry for myself being so over dramatic, hence the word histrionic, as to think the little bit of unrest in my life was worthy of all of this fretting I am doing and here is my best friend in the world literally going though circumstances that, if it were me, would have sidelined me. And he is working and plugging along as if nothing is really a matter. What a crybaby bitch I was becoming. I offered support and a comedian moment or two during his story and we parted both better for the lunch. Me, due to the fact he opened my eyes to how truly blessed I am. Him, for a quiet moment where we slipped back in time to a place where there was no kids, responsibilities and pressure and enjoyed just simply being together as best friends.

As I sit here and rethink the entire lunch I realize that basically we all are histrionic in some form. We all feel like our problems are greater than anyone else’s and woe is me. When really all it takes is a ride downtown, a trip into a hospital lobby, or numerous other places where we can find people with much heavier crosses to bare than our on. So in the end as always I find that I am truly a blessed man once again. Here my best friends taught me that there is always someone who is worst off than you and we should find the blessing wherever we can. Red even told me that as we were wrapping up. He said at least I have my familt together for the holidays. Damn what an attitude all of the pressure and stress and he is glad to have all of his family close. Turns out he is blessed as well.
Well I am going to try to live as if I understand there are people out there much worst off than myself and if I find one maybe reach out a hand an offer a little help.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


We all have made those life-changing decisions when we were younger. They always seemed to work out. Rarely did we feel like we were making the decision of our life. How blessed are we that most of these choices, we make when younger, we are always able to recover even from even the worst ones. We never imagine facing one, as I am later in life. I’m at a crossroads. I am in the process of making choices that will drastically affect the rest of not only my life, but also a lot of people who I love and depend on me. When your young it is very easy to listen to your gut and just go for it. When you reach a place in life where things are really pretty good and all seemed comfortable then to have to make a choice that could change that well it is daunting to say the least. I can take the easy way out and stay status quo and maybe everything will stay its course for a while but nothing is guaranteed. Take the new challenge and totally get out of my comfort zone. Doing this will open up a huge opportunity for me that could pay huge dividends in the end but again no guarantees! This is the kind of stuff that keeps you up at night. As we age I think we have a built in safety net in our decisions making that makes us very carefully review our choices and take everything into consideration before making choices like this. One hand likes the gamble side, that would be the younger man inside this old one wanting to conquer one more time something that some people tell me that I can’t do. Then there is the older side that looks at our lifestyle and says why would you put everything on the line again? Interesting is my wonderful family is supportive of whatever I chose. So this means whatever I do the results of my decision are squarely my responsibility! So here we are again at the beginning; what to do. Some how I thought I would feel better or maybe see the light by writing about this, but not so much!!

I guess that at this age of my life I should feel blessed that I might have a choice to make a change. I am sure there are thousands of people out there who would kill to have a chance to change things. So in the end, as always, I am blessed. As long as that never changes I guess I will always make the right choices. Well I’m off to church and a special dinner with special friends. Bet there will even be special wine drank how blessed can one man be??

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


I played football when I was younger and thought I understood pressure when we faced a third down play. As I got older then I thought I understood it again when my son was born and he would cry because he was hungry and the pressure of making sure there was something for him to eat. Today I again, thought I understood it as sale quotas and goals pile up near the end of the year.

I now understand it better than ever. My wonder wife is under tremendous pressure as her 92-year-old Mother has moved in with us, after the death of her Father in May. She has to balance so many things. Her Mothers safety, eating, cleanliness and general care; She also is trying to work during all of this as well. She does a wonderful job of keeping all of us taken care of, except her. She gives tirelessly of her time and talents so that the two people living here are taken care of as far as anything either of us ever need.

I pile it on her; I am coming to know, as I am always inviting friends over for dinner. I cook but she has the much larger job. Cleaning the mess as well as making sure her Mother is able to eat, then gets her up to bed and makes sure everything is taken care of perfectly for her. Then returns down stairs to try to get the kitchen in order for the next day. I can always tell when it is getting to her as she gets a little pissed at me when I do things I shouldn’t be doing. My wife takes care of EVERYTHING in my house. The bills, cleaning, clothes washing, drying and ironing! The entire time I am walking around totally oblivious to her situation. So sometimes she has to slap me back into reality! Today was such a day.

So pressure is not a third down play, putting food on the table or selling some commodity. Its having the women who birthed you living with you and placing your entire focus on her and trying to make a self centered husband happy as well.

I will try to do better for sure she deserves the very best just like she gives every person that crosses her path. A lesson this blessed man needs to learn and learn quickly!!

Maybe we take her and Mom to dinner with a special bottle of wine and an unspoken promise to try to put my self-centeredness behind me while Mom is here and try to lend a helping hand around this place.

Friday, December 4, 2009


I have been in a funk for the last 10 months. Unable to put my finger on the cause I have been wandering thru my life just going through the motions. I have known I was doing this but just didn’t have the wherewithal to do anything about it. Well I have been looking for something to wake me up or get me back on track. I was searching around on Itunes the other day and ran across a book by the Chicken Soup for the Soul guy Jack Canfield. It was all about the Principles of Success. Something told me to listen to the trailer and it was exactly what I’ve been looking for so I downloaded the book and have been listening to it for the pasted 3 days. The interesting thing about the books is the first part is all about taking responsibilities of your situation. So, as the book has taught me, I’m the reason I have been wandering for the last 10 months!! It also tells me the only person who can change me, is me!

So here we go. I am going to start posting my progress on this page in the form of the words that fit the circumstances. I’ve picked me a person to kind of check on me and keep track of what I’m doing and where I’m going. And I will also post things here. I understand and know no one reads this but me, however the books tells me it is good to write things down it is like a commitment to me.

My wife, whom I love madly, and if you ever read the prior posts you will see that. We had a moment last night that I feel like truly changed my life. I have tried this a million times before but this time something is hugely different after what from now on will be known as the “incident” something clicked in my head that I have to do this. Was it the fact that she smiled and told me good luck, was it when she said, “I know you we have been down this road a 1,000 times”. I don’t know but something in my head clicked and now it is a challenge. I have always been a competitive kind of guy. I played football I play Golf when my knees work and have never like the fact when anyone tells me, “sure go ahead” and “I will believe it when I see it”. Now it’s on.

I love a challenge and will keep everyone posted here. What is the challenge you ask?

Well I am going to lose 50 pounds by January 31, 2010. We leave for Acapulco on that day. I also have goals set for my personal and work areas that we will go into as the process gets up and running.

So here we go this blessed man is on a mission and will be a much better person for this.

Well got to go to dinner at my favorite place tonight going to drink a special bottle of wine tonight to celebrate the first day of the rest of my life.

Wow talk about being blessed.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


When you get over 50 I think change becomes the hardest thing you can try to accomplish. As I said in my last post my company has been sold now for 2 years and the change is hard for me. The company is a good company, they treat me fine and payday always comes on time. Nothing has changed as far as the people on my team or the upper management that leads. But the absences of my mentor and friend who owned it for the first 12 years I have worked here leaves a large whole in the feeling of the business. The new company has a wide reaching operation. They work in 3 states with numerous operations within those states. I feel quite certain the new owner could walk into my office and not be able to call my name, would be clueless to my wife’s and son’s name, as well. Now the $64,000 question, is that important? He, the owner, has provided me with the exact same things my previous owner did, security, a good job and benefits.

So where is the change you ask. Well I think it is more personal. And as we age I think we recognize the importance of personal. The previous owner and I played golf, ate dinner and grieved when his best friend, his golden, died. I don’t even know if my current owner has a dog. I hope to retire from this company after many more years working for them. However, I will always miss by friend who gave me a chance at the greatest job in the world.

So I guess this blessed man needs to read his own posts and understand he has been blessed to be sold to a larger company that has the ability to survive during the harder times since the operations is spread out across a large cross section of our great country. And when the recovery comes we will be in the middle of it ready to grow this already large company.

So I guess change is good for us no matter at what age. So this blessed man is going to do all he can to make sure that when the new owner comes to Memphis he wants to meet the guy that has done such a good job for his new acquisition. It’s like my Dad always told me your attitude is the only thing you choose each day. From now on mine will be one of gratitude for the chance to grow and prosper in my new company.

Thanks Dad, miss you everyday..