Monday, February 22, 2010


I had an experience last night that was as rare as a sasquatch sighting! The wife and I went to one of the many wines events we are privileged to go to on occasion and when we returned the Mother-in-Law needed to be fed. So my wife feverishly works to gather something on the plate after consuming 25 wines from the Rhone Valley. The Mother –in-Law comes down and sits at the table. We always try to gather around the table as a family so the wife and I sat with her. I was doing something on the computer and the wife making conversation. As I do, rarely, I felt the almost uncontrollable urge to make, shall we say, a man noise. I looked over an noticed the mother-in-law didn’t have her, "ears", in so I let her rip. Well the wife sat there in total disbelief! I never took my eyes off the screen. The Mother in law must have felt the movement in the force and ask the wife what was that? The wife tells her I “pooted”. Well the mother in law starts to laugh. She suddenly was out of control. She had her head thrown back eyes closed and laughing almost out of control. Well if you have ever been in a room where some one starts laughing like that it is more contagious than swine flu. Before you know it we are all sitting here laughing uncontrollably. I was the first to gather myself then the wife. Finally the mother in law gets it back together. She starts to eat again and damn if she didn’t almost choke because she started laughing uncontrollably again. The wife asks her what up and she says the coolest thing I have ever heard. She says” I can’t remember what was so funny I just know it was funny” well I fall in the floor laughing and here we go again. We sat at that table, 3 grown adults laughing like 3 year old kids for what seemed like 20 minutes. One would stop, then another would start and it was one of the most joyous things I can remember happening around that table. When it was finally over and the wife and I got into bed she said it was so good to see her mom laugh like that. I think about how many of us suppress the urge to laugh like that. You know that laugh that makes you snort, or makes that crazy sound when you breath in or the one that makes you ribs hurt. I have been blessed I laugh like that a lot. May we never lose the ability to laugh. I think I read somewhere the other day where laughing is good for you. Maybe that will explain my good health. I live by the rule we should laugh loudly at least one time a day.

As I sit here writing this I guess my wish for us all is when we are 92 years old we all have the ability to laugh that hard, especially if we do not know what we are laughing about. How cool is it to laugh simply for the pleasure of how it makes you feel on the inside. I hope I get to share many more laugh-a-thons with my family.

Once again proving how blessed we really all are, we have been given the ability to laugh. Not only at each other but at ourselves, more importantly.

Well I’m off to work and you can bet I will be looking for my laugh out loud opportunity today for sure.

The Blessed Man

Friday, February 19, 2010


As has been mentioned here I have recently returned from Vacation. This was not your average vacation but more of a journey for sure. I have written about the start now I will write about the experience.

We stayed in a style to which I could become accustomed too quickly. We were about 3,000 feet above Acapulco bay and looked directly out over this vista that every morning almost took your breath. There are views in your life that sear themselves into your memories. This was such a view. The first time I saw it was coming down the steps and into the open-air area of the patio it was stunning. The sun shining and the bay below were simply beautiful. Then at dawn the next morning is the sight I will never forget. The sun rising over the softly rolling hills, the first light of day cascading over them and onto the far points of the bay below. The colors of orange and yellow remind you of a Vermont forest as the seasons are changing. The flicker lights looking like fireflies dancing across the bay running up the hill, as to say, the sunlight would steal their life, like the sun destroys a vampire. Watching this scene play out morning after morning gives you a sense that there truly is a power larger than us and that that power wants us to understand it knows beauty.

Now that is the place I’m in, here is the circumstance. I am with my Memphis Family. There are 4 couples as diverse a group as I guess you could arrange. Not quiet like Gillian’s island, but close. What sets us apart is the unconditional love we have for each other. Think about your situation is there four couples of your friends you could go and spend a week with in a 5 bedroom house that you know going in your are not leaving for a solid week? We played games, watched TV, read and listened to books. Gathered at every meal and simply had a blast. It is so comforting to be in the arms of people that love you. I was allowed to do whatever I wanted, and was not judged if in the middle of the day I wanted to go into the room and take a 3-hour nap. I have friends I will call the “Vacation Nazi” every minute of every day is set for an activity and we are sticking to this schedule and we will have fun DAMN IT!! Not my style.

As the week progressed you could see the stress leaving all of us. A sense of calm came over the house like the morning fog as it rushes up the San Francisco bay. Bathing everything in a calming cloud of peace. We became closer we started sitting around talking about our feelings and how we enjoyed being at this place. When it finally came time to go I think we were all ready to return to the hectic lives we lead comfortable in the knowledge that we had each other to fall back on in times of need. We also had the memories of this wonderful place, and they were a simply thought away. I have been back now for almost 3 weeks and there hasn’t been a day I have not closed my eyes and pictured that early morning scene standing there watching dawn take control of another day giving hope and promise.

I have been blessed in my life, to travel many places. I will go back to this place every year the good lord gives me the resources, and the health to return. What makes this place special; it’s not only its place, but my people, my family, my peace and comfort. Making it the most special place I have ever been.

So as I close, imagining the feeling of the breeze blowing and the sun warming my face. My wish for you is to spend a week like I have. To understand that it takes more than you to make you. To understand how important family and friends are in ones life. To learn to trust and love unconditionally and the amazing benefits that come from that bold life style.

I think I will go sit in my chair and go back to Acapulco one more time before I start to work. I can almost taste the fresh Guacamole now.

The Blessed Man

Thursday, February 18, 2010


As I write this I have not yet found the word for the heading. I feel like as I write what I am feeling the word will become very clear. Of course it is up now but please read on!

I have just had, what I thought to be a very minor procedure done on my ever failing right knee. This is an on going problem of well over a year and a half. I finally got to the right guy, he identified the problem, told me a little surgery would possible fix me for some five years maybe. I was ecstatic to say the least.

My Father had always taught me to be very what I call, independent. Others call it other things. I am a man of privacy and never want to interfere with others lives unless I can be of help. I have just found out that is a two way street. I also just found out I have a little trouble with that concept. Seems I am quiet fine with being there for my friends and family but I am very uncomfortable allowing them to be there for me. I have the most wonderful group of friends and family as I have stated here too many times. But I digress.

I go to get this done and I’m thinking it’s no big deal and the calls and the prayers start the night before!! I have a dear friend who has breast Cancer and is fighting a fight like you can’t imagine, another’s father is battling brain cancer. And still another member of the groups Mom’s brain cancer has returned, and here I am having a very routine knee operation and I’m included in a group pray asking to be watched over!! Give me a break watch over the ones that need it I’ll be just fine.

Then after the fact the closest thing to a sister, in Memphis, I have and a woman I love very much came by to see me after the surgery and her and my wife couldn’t believe I didn’t tell my son about the surgery. My son is in a very critical time he is really making headway in getting on his own and he didn’t, in my mind, need to be worry about something I found to be so minor. I was told by both of these women, whom I love, how unbelievably wrong I was. Something in their words tripped a switch in my head and I started thinking about what they were trying to get me to see. It was not about me, it was about allowing people the space to care. I always just have taken the space and never asked. However, in my case I was not allowing them to care as they have all allowed me. When my wife’s father passed away she allowed me to be there for her and let me care for her as best I could. I’m not real good at that but she was very kind in making me think I was important to her during her time of need. My Memphis sister has always allowed me to be there for her. When her husband feels a little rocky, when one of her chickens as she calls her kids is in a bind. When her father who’s in his 80’s is maybe a little under the weather I am always allowed to so compassion and caring and they always seem to appreciate it as well. When my other Baby Girl was having some many issues with her son I was allowed to be right in the middle of the fray fighting for her sons life and sanity side by side with her. And now here I am trying desperately to keep the people I love the most on the outside. It really hit home when I was told I was not allowing my son to experience and go through these things with us as a family member.

I reflected back to when my Father had Cancer and all the things that happened to me that have more then likely formed the man I am today. And then the thought comes to me how I am not allowing my son to go through this with me seems almost selfish. I never have thought of myself being selfish. I have always prided my self on my selflessness. Then when it counts I am what I always try to avoid, very strange. There are other things in my dealings with my son that I have failed in as well. But I will work hard to rectify them as well. Well today I call him and tell him of my surgery and apologize for not including him in my life. I will not try to justify my actions either, which is another thing I am always trying to do. I will just say I’m sorry and lets move on. I am also making a commitment to handle other unfinished business it him as well. He needs to know that there are times in your life when you must have friends and family to survive. I am Mr. Family and have cut off a member of my own what an eye opener. And I owe it all to my wife and my dear sister friend, if that is what I can call her. Strange thing is my wife and Son have had quiet a love hate relationship for the better part of their lives together. But each separately tells me how much they think of the other. My son has learned more from my wife than he will ever learn from me fairness, responsibility, and respect. None of which I think I taught him. I think he does well today for the brief period, tumultuous, as it might have been; he spent learning the important things from her.

So after rereading this piece the name or word is as clear as a bell, Allowing. That is what a blessed life is all about allowing other into it. Not during just the good times but the bad times or times of need are the most special times of all. Allowing the people that care the most for you to actually show or act out that love instead of just professing it is a huge part of being family and friend. And a bigger part is allowing it to happen. To all my family and friends I’m so sorry and will never stand in the way of love and care again as long as I live. Thank you each and every one who cares for me in the least little bit I need it more now than ever before.

Talk about a blessing. That is to realize before it’s to late to allow people to love you.

Think I’ll go and hug my wife and give her a big ole kiss. Then ask her to do something for me!!!! How Blessed!


The Blessed Man

Sunday, February 7, 2010


Everyone has heard the old adage “When life gives you lemons, simply make lemonade”. I have quiet a story for you here. As I might have mentioned here I had planned a very special vacation with my very special Memphis family.

As fate would have it this vacation was planned almost a year ago. We were all headed down to Mexico, Acapulco, to be specific in the summer. Well here comes the swine flu and Mexico was all but closed. We moved our trip to the first week of Feb. If you were in Memphis that week you know it snowed and iced on the last Thursday in January. Our flight to Houston to catch the flight to ACA was canceled. My wife jumped on the phone and began desperately trying to save this trip. She started looking for options, and finally were able to get a plan B. If we could drive to Jackson Mississippi on Saturday, we could catch a Sunday morning flight out of there connect in Houston and be in Sunny Acapulco by two pm. We were all over it.

I jumped on line and started trying to find a 12 passenger van I could rent here and drop off there. Every car and van rental company in Memphis was out of cars and vans!! What were we to do? I finally found a van but it had to be returned to Memphis, Light at the end of the tunnel I thought there is a way. I knew I was not going to allow Captain Crash, my son, to return the van lord knows I could not have slept for 3 days if that were the case. I call one of the family who came up with an amazing idea. He had access to a van and he thought he had access to a driver. This is looking better by the minute. He made some calls and sure enough it was going to work. We headed out the next afternoon at noon piled into this van and down 55 we went. One of the family had made, munchies, Tuna salad, pimento cheese. We had Brownies, Rice crispy treats and then came the real fun. The group had Mimosa’s and Screwdrivers, as well. I can tell you honestly I have never enjoyed a drive more than this 3 hours. A group of like minded adults simply driving to a place, to go to a place, so we cold be together for a week. It was magical. We arrived in Jackson safe and sound, got all checked in, and opened up some wine. As we thought about dinner we order pizza and salads and sat around drinking wine and having a blast. The dinner order is another post all together, as it was simply a CF if you will. Leave it to say the poor driver had to come back to our hotel 3 times!!! And the really cool thing about it was we just didn’t care so much. So we all got up the next morning and headed to our destination. We had a very uneventful trip to one of the coolest places I have ever been. We spent a week bonding, eating, drinking and simply enjoy being together. I will explain this place in more detail very soon here. But I have said all of this to get to this point. As we sat around on the last night there the question was asked what was your most special memory of this trip? As it when around the couches with all of us full from an amazing dinner sitting looking out at one of the most beautiful scenes I have ever seen, with the breezes blows lightly across our faces full of joy. This is a breeze that makes you forget your troubles, and makes you feel like you are wrapped in the arms of someone who loves you unconditionally.

In all families you have your nick name, same in ours. As the stories of best time of the week go around we come to the very special person we call “Baby Girl”. Now this is an angel that walks the earth. I have known a lot of people in my life but no one like her. She possess a heart of Gold, an eye for your needs, and always there to support and love you without question. She has had her trials, but through it all she has never lost her attitude. I wished I could bottle just a little bit of her and keep it for when I’m feeling a little down. She always spins whatever it is into the best possible circumstance. As you will see as I continue the story.

We get to "Baby Girl" she says I think the best time I had was the drive and the joy of being together on that trip to Jackson. As we all sat there looking out we suddenly all agreeded she had hit the highlight of the trip. We agreeded that without question that special trip down was the thing that set the tone for the entire vacation. I think it is best said in a text we all got from her.

When life gives you lemons you make lemonade. When life gives you snow, drive around it. If everyone had a friend, that had the ability to get a van, who could find a driver, who would make a 3 hour drive so much fun, because with this friend, who has the van, who found the driver, we are on our way to sunny Acapulco with mimosa’s, screwdriver's and munchies. Now… that’s making lemonade ...”

Proving once again how truly blessed I am. As I sit here writing this in a house that is colder than I like. I simply close my eyes and go back to that special trip. May I always have the ability and the sense to make lemonade this sweet.

The Blessed Man