Monday, May 28, 2012

Thank You Bobbie

If you have read along here you know who Bobbie is, she is my lovely wife’s mother.  And an angel she was if you do not know this simple read a few of the posts about this one of a kind woman who I was proud to call my Mother in law.  I loved her like I loved my mother a sweeter woman has never graced god’s earth.  As you might have read Bobbie left us last September to be in heaven.

We are blessed to be able to ride stand by on a major airline due to my wife’s long and storied career.  So we often take trips to wonderful, places.  Bobbie had a love of coins that is the stuff of legend; she loved and collected them for years.  Well a tradition has grown from this love.  Shortly after Bobbies’ passing we were trying to get on a flight that was extremely over booked.  We only can ride if there is an empty seat and the way it is today that’s very rare so we choose our flights with great care.  But we decided to stand by anyway and see what happened.  As we were going through security my wife looks down and finds a penny.  She picked it up and said this was a sign from Bobbie that we were going to be just fine.  I said great and we headed to the gate.  As we sat there it looked no better.  Suddenly the gate agent called our names and we got 2 seats and they were  together and we were the last two names called.  I was stunned to say the least and the wife looked at me and said Bobbie has once again taken care of us.  Since that happened we have done this a number of times always at the last minute we are boarded and off we go.  I am starting to look for those pennies now!!

Well my wife’s son turned forty last week.  He wanted her to be there in the worst way and she wanted me to go with her.  So understand this is on a Thursday and I have to work on Friday.  So the plan was to go to Minneapolis Thursday afternoon and return at 6am to home for me to work.   We arrive at the airport and as we are going through security the TSA holds out a small bowl and tells my wife you left something in your contents bowl.  Yes Sir it was a penny!!!!  We head to gate full knowing Bobbie is on hand and working hard to get us to the birthday dinner, because Bobbie was a huge influence on my wife’s son.  She watched/raised him while my wife worked evenings at the Atlanta airport years ago when he was a small boy.  So as the flight get closer it fills up.  There is a decision made that if we go to Chicago we can then connect to MSP, from there and all will be good.  So we quickly get the last 2 seat to Chicago and head north.  We are on our way and Bobbie is with us.  We arrived in Chicago the MSP flight was the next gate, thank you Bobbie, we sat there and the flight fills and leaves without us!  What has happened?  We were to be on that flight?  As my wife and her son search for options there are simply not any.  As I sit in the gate sadden because I know how much this means to my wife the decision is made we will return to home through Atlanta.  We will get back home around 11pm but no birthday dinner.  A very sad mother tells her son she loves him and we head to get something to eat.  We find all of the restaurants are over flowing so we get something fast and return to the gate.  Now across the hall there is a MSP flight that had cancelled from the morning there.  The wife has asked if her status as a retired instructor would allow us to ride what is called a ferry back to MSP.  The gentleman behind the gate, a pilot, says he doesn’t think so, so sadly we continued with the retune home plans.   As we sat down to enjoy our fast food we hear from across the hall our names being called.  What we looked at each other and promptly left all of our food and drinks sitting there and ran across the hall.  We were given two First Class boarding passed and escorted onto and empty plane except for 2 flight attendants and one other person.  All in first class and happy as larks!!!!  The wife calls her son.  He answers with the following statement “Mom I was just sitting here wishing you would call me and tell me you were on the plane and heading to eat dinner” much to his surprise she told him we were and would see him shortly!  He simply couldn’t believe it and kept repeating shut your mouth!! But all seemed to forget, save Bobbie, that  this was a very special occasion and one needs to always travel to special occasions in style.  Well a 140 seat airplane empty except for you and 3 others is pretty special.  We arrived took a cab to the dinner spot and had a wonderful evening.  Thank You Bobbie!!!

We returned the next morning it was very uneventful thank goodness.  I think Bobbie knew she had me maxed out the day before.  She did always love to mess with me.

I will never look at a penny the same after this trip…..


The Blessed Man


Well my adopted sister is getting older!!!

She recently turned 58, still as pretty as a picture and even prettier on the inside.  We have seen a lot together in the 10 years or so we have been together.  The marriages of all of her children except one.  The birth of her first Grandbaby which is turning out to be the smartest baby in the world, imagine that, and the announcement of the coming grandbaby two.  And numerous other things I think are special.   

As I was surfing the internet the other day I saw something that really caught my eye.  It was a framed grouping of dates and at the bottom it said what a difference a day makes.  Well this was it.  My wife and I totally agreed this was the only thing we could have gotten her that would stand the test of time.  So we contacted the youngest daughter got all of the dates and I made the date page and the wife framed it.  Which by the way looked like a professional did it very nice!!

As I looked at that piece I realized that the most important date, to me, was missing.  That’s right the date I met her.  I remember it as if it were yesterday.  We were invited to a dinner party at a friend’s house and she was there with sitting next to this guy she called her  “date”!!  We sat across from each other and had a blast.  Then about a week later we were at her “date’s” house for mystery dinner and got to meet her husband, what a guy.  He has turned out to have become one of my closest friends.  If you have read one story on these pages you know what these people mean to me.

Back to the gift; we made the picture.  I had made her oldest son a set of lamps from two large format wine bottles.  We had a wedding shower at our house for them and had everyone who attended sign the bottles.  Then I made the lamps.  Never mind it has been well over a year since they married!!!  Well anyway he shows up to get his lamps and sees the gift.  He stares at it then says this is so cool!!  He says you know she is going to cry!!!  She comes in the door we have the picture where she always goes first and sure enough she didn’t even get all of the way through it and started to cry.  Of course she started taking pictures of it and emailing all of the kids.  The dates we used were the day they married, then the birthday of each child.  She seemed to really like it which is all that matter to the wife and I.  We love these people like no one will ever know.  They are much closer than friends they are in some strange way closer than family.  I think that because family you can’t do anything about, they are there whether you like them, or not.  We have a special relationship because we do not have to be together, we stay together because we love each other.  We have made it through some bad times with my son.  My adopted sister and I do not share the same opinions about him but we still are together.  Simple friends might have not been able to get over a difference like a child but we are closer now because of my trails with him. 
So as I look back on what we all thought was just another dinner party with friends.  It turned into a night that changed the lives of two people forever, those people my wife and I.

So I really do agree
What a difference a day makes
Happy Birthday my dear thank you for sharing your special family and life with us…..


The Blessed Man

The Last

As everyone was enjoying their wonderful Memorial Day holiday weekend in a small local funeral home a passing happened that is landmark to a small group of brothers.  You see my friend Scott lost his mother this weekend.  She was the last of the parents of the three stooges as were so fondly referred to in our youth.  So now all we have is each other. 

Ricky, Scott and I were inseparable during our High School years.  Every weekend we were together and sometimes school nights.  We learned to drive together, learned to drink together, learned to fight together, and learned about girls together.  Well, all we could so to speak.  And our parent took us as each one theirs.  I can remember Scotts Mom and Dad getting on me as if I belonged to them.  We had to live by the same standards in each other’s houses as if we lived there!  I can remember in each place there were rules that were to be adhered to no matter what or who you were.

As I walked in the Funeral home on Saturday and I saw my friend.  He looked up smiled and eyes filled with tears.  You see I haven’t see Scott in over 15 years.  He said as we embraced I was hoping you would be here.  I looked up with tear filled eyes and told him I would be no other place.  We hugged for a while and then he realized we were being unmanly and awkwardly parted. What a special moment for me.  You see Scott was our wild child, after high school he fell into a rough group.  Joined a motorcycle gang and was a rather wild in all parts of his life. I can remember shortly after high school his parents had an annual gathering at their home.  The three stooges had always been included and we were once again.  Ricky and I showed up right on time and were catching everyone up on our doings since the last gathering and here comes Scott rolled up on his Harley dirty blue jeans, tee shirt, leather jacket, long bread and hair.  His Mother told him he had forgotten all of his raising and shouldn’t disrespect them as he was doing.  Scott not saying a word got back on his bike, and rode away.  Only to return in about 30 minutes in a three piece suit that he barley could get into. Vest buttons straining like a dike in Amsterdam, pants barely covering his boots, a shirt that he couldn’t have buttoned around his arm and a tie that is was obvious he had forgotten how to tie years ago.  But he was in the best thing he had.  His mother looked at him and walked over hugging him and kissed him on the cheek and whispered in his ear.  “I will never do that to you again.  You are my son and I love you just like you are.  Thanks for trying to please your Dad and I.  Don’t ever change”.  What a special moment we all had right then.  Well, that special lady is gone now and the three stooges are without supervision.  What a scary thought. 

As we visited at the funeral home it was like old times we relived many of our most legendary moments from the past.  All of Scott’s children standing agape as the stories seemed to get crazier as we continued.  His son finally looked at us and said y’all were a lot crazier than you ever allowed me to be.  To which Scott replied yep and that’s how it will always be.   We all laughed and enjoyed the time together. 

When the service was over we all made the promise to get together soon and try to stay in touch.  I sure hope we all do that.

I can just see the table in heaven right now.  Googie and Bobbie Faye, Ricky’s parents, Bernie and Roberta, Scotts parents, and Bill and Billie, mine.  Are all there reliving our escaped and laughing at the thought we always thought they never knew. And, I hope being proud of the job they did with all of us.  I know I am proud to say I am one of a few that had 3 sets of parents and didn’t come from a “Broken home” I had an extended home and at every place was loved, corrected, and cared for as if I was born into that family.  Talk about blessed.

God Bless each of you my parents.  And please be with the three stooges as we try to become whatever it is we will become. 

Thanks for the help…


The Blessed Man

Friday, May 18, 2012


You know we all have a mindset about the generations that is either in ahead of us or behind us.  I can remember looking at my granny’s hand and thinking wow they were wrinkled and hard.  They were riddled with arthritis and all knotted.  She never complained always there cooking every meal and cleaning afterwards never a complaint.   Then there was my Father always tired.  Selfless to a fault always giving up anything he wanted or needed to make sure my mother and the children always got wherever the need was at the moment.  So my perception of these generations is one of sacrifice and pain.

Well until last night.  I was out with friends to dinner.  They were driving so we were sitting on the front porch waiting when they pulled up.  We got into the car and exchanged hellos and how are yous the normal stuff you do with friends.  Then as we were leaving our house the driver informed us we had to make a brief stop to roll a joint for his aunt!!!  Now this is no ordinary Aunt.  She is mid 80’s and full of live and spunk.  I have loved this woman for many years.  And she has a terrible time sleeping.  Well about 2 years ago somehow she found the wacky weed and presto she slept.  So now it’s medicinal for her.  She really needs it for her peace.  This is a woman who is a wonderful spade player and a true joy to simply sit and talk to.  She reminds me a lot of my granny.  A soul you can see from the outside a truly compassionate person and a giver of time and advice to all who would be so smart as to listen.  Always dressed to perfection and beautiful, I really enjoy this lady.

So here is a lady from 2 generations from me who is living life every day.  She never looks back only forward.  Living in the moment for simply joys and love.  Makes me wonder what the generation behind me sees.  Do they see a loving caring hard working group?  Or do they see a group of selfish conceited people who only think about themselves.  I think, or at least hope, they do not.  I think the generation behind us is what I described earlier;  as parents we have enabled an entire generation of people to not know what work is to not know what struggle is to not know what broke is because we had those feeling and they were not fun.  So being what we thought was good parents we have now raised a generation of people who do not know what work ethic is and that call their parents every time that they stub their toe’s.  Good bad or ugly it is what it is.  We will all be fine. This generation of kids will find out soon enough that the world is an unfair place.  I will never forget whenever I would whine to my Dad that it was unfair.  He would tell me “The fair is something that’s down on South Parkway where they judge animals and eat cotton candy” it would piss me off to no end. But you know what he was right.  I have been fired, laid off down sized and abused and none of it was fare.  However, ever trouble made me a better man.  So as we wrap up may we all learn from my friends Aunt; Live life, do not be a passerby get involved be a part it’s quite a ride.  I promise!

I suddenly have a craving for some potato chips or cookie’s


The Blessed Man

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Pork Chop

When to a local place last night and had dinner with friends.  This place is the hot place in town right now and they are pig experts for sure.  I ordered the pork chop and was brought out a half of a pig rib section it was huge!  And it was wonderful.  It was so large that I couldn’t finish it.  I took it home and just finished eating it for lunch.  As I ate this wonderful chop it reminded me of my Mother.  She loved a pork chop better than anything I guess.  I can remember us having them for dinner and how she would be whistling while she cooked.  She was happy.  Then the first bite you could literately taste the love ooze out from the meat.  My Dad was so happy when we had them, my Mother was so happy it was quite a memory for me.   

Its Mother Day and what better way for me to remember my mother than by eating her favorite thing in the world.  I miss her so badly.  Anytime she comes up it is strange I am not sadden by her being with my Dad now I am feeling the void of her presentence in my life.  Her constant concern for me her ever present love and deep need to be a part of my life no matter what stage of it I was into at the time.  She had the most amazing ability to always know what I was feeling and thinking.  I can remember one time when I was a small child I fell from something hit my head and was taken to the doctor’s office.  Well this was long before CAT scans and other diagnostic procedures of today.  They had me hooked to some machine I was of course scared.  I was told to lie still so the machine would get a solid reading of my brainwaves or whatever they were measuring at the time.  I can remember my Mother reaching over to the bedside and me holding her hand.  The machine reacted strangely I guess because the doctor asked my Mother to release my hand for 15 seconds or so then hold it again.  She did and the doctor was amazed.  He said whenever she released my hand my brainwaves changed a bit then settled back to the reading prior.  Then when she held my hand it changed briefly and settled by again.  His explanation was when my mother was holding my hand it was like we were one brain activity!  He checked us several times then when in and got his colleague and he tested us.  No one could quite believe the results.  They sent them off to New York City or something like that as I remember nothing really ever came of it.  But I am telling you its hard growing up with a Mother that knows what you are thinking at 16 and 17 years old!  Just remember what you were thinking at that age…

Now skip forward to today.  My Memphis family is about to have another addition!  My claimed sister’s oldest son and his wife are about to become parents.  It will be here in December and no one is more excited than DeeDee and PaPa.  So next year we will have one more mother in the family and one more chosen one to spend time with, how exciting is that.  Can you imagine the joy this child is in for?  You see the in laws live in town as well so this child’s feet will not hit the ground until it walks across the stage to get its high school diploma!!  Spoiled I think so.  The Mothers family is remarkable as well.  Sound and loving, sisters and children everywhere this child is in for a wonderful introduction to family and unconditional love.  Maybe if it is lucky it will have the relationship and special gift I had with my mom.  If so I know Mother and son/daughter will be closer than they can ever imagine.  I can’t explain the feeling I get when I remember being with my Mom it is special beyond words.  I pray for this pair to have that bond. 

Well as I sit here with damp eyes dreaming about go grocery shopping with my mother I will leave you to ponder your Mother.  Special wasn’t she?  Beautiful wasn’t she?  Loving wasn’t she?  If she is still here go kiss her, Call her, Email her reach out to her you will be better for it and she will love it!!!

Can you have Pork chops for lunch and dinner?????


The Blessed Man

Saturday, May 12, 2012

What If ?

Ever thought about what if?  What if I had taken a different path where would I be, and would it be worth losing what I have today.  I had a moment of that today.  Part of the Memphis family had a son graduate today, a fine young man who graduated from a high school where my son attended briefly.  Then he exercised his ability to make his own choices and moved to another state to live with his Mom.  Now this move saved a lot of things.  My sanity first and foremost, possibly my marriage, possibly his life, and a lot of hurt and pain I truly believe.  However sitting there watching the ceremony I couldn’t help but get a huge case of the what if’s. 

This is not a normal high school this is a school, with great regularity turn out bright and successful member of society.  These young men go on to be the leaders of tomorrow.  There are numerous graduates who are major parts of the community today. I know many of them and they are great men.  This is the school where my son learned to fence.  This is the school where it was revealed to me that he is talented as a writer beyond my belief.  This is a school where, what if he had stayed?  Am I willing to give up what and where I am today to see that result?  Now that’s the 64 million dollars question. 

Where I am; nearing the end of a wonderful career, on my way to Florida to slow down and enjoy the rest of my days.  So content with my wife and surroundings that in brief moments of pondering I start to cry.  Knowing that my claimed sister and her wonderful husband are coming there as well.  And others who mean the world to me are planning their arrival as well.  Truly I am at a very happy place.

What about my son?  What if he had stayed?  He had an offer to fence for a world renowned SEC school.  He would have when on and used his god given talents to become what?  Lawyer, Doctor, Writer. And there is where the rub comes.  Could we have weathered that storm that was raging out of control when he left our lives?  Could he have gotten himself under control to become a part of that school and a classmate to his other peers?  Or are we better off with the road traveled?  He has struggled mightily during the years since he left us.  He had many failed attempts and is still to this day experiencing hardship many of his classmates haven’t and hopefully will never.  But who is really the victor here.  My son?  He knows what failure is in the real world.  He knows hunger, pain, being broke, living from hand to month. Suffering the feeling of the world has lined up and the entire populous is out to get you and you alone.  Or is it the Classmates?  They, moving on the college are just now getting to see what the real world has to offer.  Will their education in a classroom trump my son’s school of hard knocks degree?  His father is the valedictorian of his graduating class of the school of hard knocks.  Would I go back and redo my life?  Go to college get a degree maybe miss the friends and loves I have had along this road.  HELL NO!!

Well then I guess I really have my sons answer as well.  I will keep the picture of him at a book signing people lined up around the corner and him and me sitting after the signing drinking a special bottle of wine and reflecting on his success.  I will hold on to the hope that like his dad he will find his way and become larger than life and a huge success.  And I feel like even if he does reach my expectation at least he will meet his and for that I am extremely proud of him.

So to our graduate of today; Good luck son.  Choose your steps wisely because you can’t go back.  Every decision, every choice, makes you who you will become.  And I look forward to seeing the next graduation you take part in, be it from an Ivy league college or the one my son and I are alumni’s of.  One thing for sure the choice is yours.


The Blessed Man

Monday, May 7, 2012


Think of all the meaning there is to this simple word. We can stand by as parents and allow our young children to fall or get into a bit of a scrape. And as for me, we then allow them a chance to get out of that situation and I believe they grow a little every time. We can also allow people into our special places; our hearts our minds. I have allowed my precious wife to totally take away my heart. I have slowing started allowing my son back into my life and am rather enjoying his changes of late. We can allow other to control the way we see things. This is what drives me back to this place. I have been in a rather bad place for a long time.

I have allowed others to steal my Joy, and my vision. I have for years loved and enjoyed sharing my feeling with really no one as no one really reads this. But, I allowed a circumstance to steal this joy from me. There is no doubt that no one will ever want to make a book / movie about the musings of a silly old man. However the simple joy that those musing bring to this simple old man is truly something that is special to him. So whatever you do whoever you are please do not allow anyone or anybody to steal your joy. So let’s agree to start allowing ourselves to be in control of our life’s and thoughts. And let’s also agree that even when we are at our lowest there is a special lesson to be learned from this circumstance. I have learned that I am at a huge transition point in my life. I am about to make some major changes.

I have found my nirvana. Yes, a place that brings me to such happiness that it is a feeling like none I have ever experienced before. The place is a simple place called The Villages. A place, where my claimed sister sits and openly weeps as she watches grandparents dance with their grand children. A place, where you can dance like no one is watching and love like you will never get hurt. This special place is a place where an old man dances around a square where his wife, of no telling how many years, is sitting in a wheelchair and looking lovingly into his eyes like she is 21 again and she is loving every minute. A place where when you try to clear the dance floor by asking how long you have been married it takes 65 years to be the winners. A place where everyone seems to understand that nothing really matters but friends and family. A place where every single person I have ever taken there falls in love with it in a matter of one evening on the square. A place where we have already made numerous friends and have enjoyed their company ever trip we return. My joy has returned!!!!

My post might be calmer now not as much stress, nothing but the joy from this day forward. The mostest bestest thing ever is my claimed sister and her husband have been looking for a place down there. Another couple we love is also looking for their dream place as well. Now if I could get my brother down there I might not ever write here again because I would be crazy busy playing golf, pickleball and just doing all of the things that are there. Last night my angel from heaven above and I when for a golf cart ride at 10:00. We just rode and talked and had a blast. What joy I had. I felt like we just met each other for the first time. I loved her more last night than I ever have. and all because of this place, this feeling, this atmosphere. I want that every day of my life. I am not so naive to think that everyone would love this place. However, this place is for me and my angel from heaven above. I am so blessed!!!

As the title to this blog, that was born years ago, I now totally understand. This is where I was headed for a long time. How blessed I am to have found my place. And then add the blessing that my Memphis family, well some of them, are considering making the move as well. Why would I ever let another steal my joy? So my dear friends, The Blessed man is back and so proud the have come out on the other side of this darkness.

Thanks to my baby girl as well for always being there in my darkest hours and always showing love and caring for this very cloudy and stressed guy. You know who I’m talking about!!! Love you


The Blessed Man