Wednesday, April 23, 2014


I’m not talking exhausted from a work out, not from running a marathon, not from babysitting grandkids for a long weekend.  Not even from helping you significant other spring clean the entire house. I am talking total and absolute exhaustion from a social event.  Last night I had the opportunity to attend a dinner party.  The guest list was a bit rare as this particular mix has never been in the same room together, and like Haley’s comet passing hopefully that will be the next time this group gathers!

The group had a couple of people in it that are the greatest one uppers I have ever heard speak the English language.  If one had a mansion the other had an estate.  If one had seen Mount Everest the other was on top of the mountain when they were there as well.  In all of my life I have never seen people try so hard to be better than the other.  I will never understand why this is important to some people. As I sat there in mouth gaped amazement listening to this competition I was reminded of a guy I worked with years ago.  We would sit around a large table at lunch and listen to stories from the “old guys” in the business.  This one guy was the all-time leader in one uppers until last night, sadly he has been dethrone and not one place but two!   I will never forget the day when we went into lunch determined to get something over on him.  We had a lot of veterans working around and one of them decided he would tell a huge lie about flying with the Blue Angels.  Well after the story we all waited and sure enough here comes “Liar Lair Pants on Fire” he proceeds to tell the group, with a straight face, he was on the USS Nimitz during a tour of duty and was called to ride in the back seat of a Blue Angel airplane and was shot off the deck of the aircraft carrier.  We all sat the in utter amazement looking at this guy until we just erupted into uncontrollable laughter.  He got his feeling hurt and stormed off swearing the story to be true.  WHY?

As I sat there listening to this BS last night my ears bleeding like someone had stuck a pencil through my ear drums I was once again in total awe of people who get so caught up in being better, faster, richer, smarter, been there done thater than anyone in the room.  What a sad curse to have placed upon you.  And sadly I watched as people I know that do not have this syndrome get pulled into the fray like a moth to a flame.  Good people, who I love and respect, suddenly telling stories that are more than likely true only to be dashed by the one uppers.  Then they walk away hurt and mad because they want so badly to tell another story but realize that it too would only be topped.

What a sad state of affairs.  As my wife and I rode home all we could talk about was how it turned into this feeding frenzy of I’m better than you and can prove it.  People who seem normal on the outside but once challenged they turn into these story telling zombies that totally take over every conversation in the room. And if you try to turn the conversation back to something resembling the truth they say I wasn’t finished with my story.  That’s when I got up and when to a comfortable chair!!!

My wife and I made a pack last night on the way home.  If either of us ever starts down the one upper road the other will simply say “Merry Christmas”!
May you never have to sit through what we did last night. Trust me it’s painful!

Well let me leave you with a story about the time I was playing golf with Jack Nicholas, Arnold Palmer, and Lee Trevino at Augusta National.  I was only up by 3 with 2 holes to play.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


The Blessed Man

Monday, April 21, 2014


What a wonderful emotion.  It puts us in other people’s situations and life experiences.  I got a front row seat to the best example I’ve seen in years yesterday. 

If you have not figured out the blessed man has fallen into another family here in America’s Friendliest Hometown in Florida.  You can never replace my Memphis family; however we have been blessed to find likeminded people here who enjoy the same things we do in many regards. We, like in Memphis, eat together almost nightly.  Share in our family issues and love one another unconditionally. 

One of the guys in this group is a man’s man.  Great golfer, great friend, great cook I think you get my drift.  He is also one of the kindest gentlest men I have ever known.  He has been smitten by a wonderful woman.  And I mean smitten.  Like hit over the head with a brick bat smitten!  He is crazy for her.  And shows it through actions which we all know speak much louder than words.   Well we were together for a late lunch / brunch yesterday.  Being we start every meal with a blessing of the food and each other this day being a little more special as we gathered holding hands and prayed.  My friend stopped us all as we were about to break and in a broken voice that you know came straight from the middle of your heart.  You know the place I’m talking about that place that your kids live.  The place where that first person you fell for left their name written on the wall; the place where you really are not in charge of but try to guard but never can.  He asked us all to take a moment and remember his lovely companion and hold her up as best we could as this was the 20th anniversary of her first husband’s death.  As I stood there watching him struggle for the words the feeling he had for her was nothing short of amazing. It was an Aha moment for me.  There are times in your life when you see love.  They are few and precious beyond imagination.  When you see fathers hold their children for the first time.  When you see mothers watch their daughters walk down the aisle to become a wife.  When you see grandparents holding their grandchildren.  Moments that simply take your breath away.  This was such a moment.  What an expression of Love.  To be so in tuned with your partner that you are asking others to support her for the loss of another husband.  I was blown away.

I have always loved this man.  I now hold him in the highest regard.  To be able to forego your love and feelings so your partner can be supported in a time of need is truly the purest form of love.  I believe they call it Agape love.  How proud I am to call these people my Villages Family.

Well dinner at my house tonight.  Think Chuck Roast, potatoes, carrots like my granny used to cook. Everything cooked with love.  Cause I know you can taste it!!!

The Blessed Man

Sunday, April 13, 2014


Have you ever been as happy as a bird with a French fry?  Well I was this last week.  Please allow me to explain.

If you remember the post about a friend and her daughter then you need to know the rest of the story.  A small group of her friends here got together and held a fund raiser for her daughter trying to offset a small amount of the medical bills that must be piled so high you can’t see over them.  The event was a huge success and raised close to ten thousand dollars for her and her family.  The Mom, a dear friend wanted to thank those on the planning committee to say thank you.  I have few god given talents one is an amazing art of BS, the other is I am a fare cook.  So I volunteered my meager efforts to try to help her thank her supporters by cooking a “Thank You” dinner for the committee.

So the dinner is planned menu’s written, food purchased, plated and silverware set, and flowers arranged.  It had all the hallmarks of a wonderful thank you.  Then the fun part!!

As many of you know my adopted sister and her husband have taken the villages by storm and they have established themselves as members of our Villages Family.  Well the host of the event whose daughter was the benefactor of the event and the home host who gave up his home to this event are very close to them as well.  In town for a couple of months were two of our Memphis family members who stepped up and volunteered to serve at the event.  Then my adopted sister and her husband heard about the event they wanted to come and serve at the event as well as an act of love and kindness for the hosts.  Well the plan was set and tickets purchased and us sworn to silence.

Now a small bit about the home hosts for this event.  A couple that truly represents the way we should all strive to live in my mind.  Honest to a fault, loving unconditionally, helpful and supportive at every turn.  Simply put these are people we all want in your lives.  A brief example of my point; as the host went back to change and prepare for the event we snuck our surprise servers into the kitchen.  As he emerged from changing we surprised him with our servers.  As he saw them he was moved to tears knowing the circumstances the family has been through of late with the passing of their son, to be here was truly amazing in his eyes.  The scene was repeated when his partner arrived after changing as well, then a third time when the mother of the honoree arrived.  A truer feeling of pure love was filling the room.  I am so proud to say I was there to witness this out pouring of emotion and love.

The evening continued as the guests arrived and one by one they were surprised to see our guest servers.  I think it did my adopted sister and her husband as much good to see them as it did us to see them.  The meal was served the wine drank and the people thanked for all of their hard work.  As the crowd left the hugs and “I Love You’s” were everywhere talk about happy!!!

And that my dear reader is Happy as a Bird with a French fry……

And in case you never seen this click the link to understand HAPPY!!!!

May once in your life you know this feeling, me I have known it many times talked about being blessed, MAN!!!!!!


The Blessed Man