Saturday, October 3, 2015

Neon Moon

As I was walking this morning this was the first song that played, Neon Moon, by Brooks and Dunn.

My Son when he was very small, maybe two years old, was a huge country music fan.  Mostly I am sure due to the fact his Mother was one in the same.  His favorite song was Neon Moon.  I have the most vivid memory of him in a Spiderman outfit holding his guitar and singing every word of this song at the top of his lungs.  It didn’t matter where he was or what was going on if the song came on you were about to be entertained.  He loved this song.  He would strum his guitar with such passion.  He would sing with such emotion.  Throwing his heads back I truly will never forget it. 

This morning as I started out I didn’t get very far when I was taken straight back to that little bitty living room in the same house I grew up in watching my Dad play his bass.  Remembering all the good times we had.  Then I was rushed forward to the times that were some of the toughest of my life a young son and a wife no money.  Trying to make the ends meet as best I could.  Then watching that little boy singing not knowing how tough it was, him just singing his heart out the joy in his voice seemed to take all of the worry away.  As I reflect now it seems he was what kind of got me through those times.  I have no idea what happened or when it happened that his role in my life or the way I look at him changed, but it did.  

It was so nice to walk today the wonderful breeze blowing as I walked, in my mind watching that little boy in that Spiderman outfit singing his heart out brought a tear of joy to my eyes I would be lying if I said anything different.  It’s funny how the most simply things, the smell of a pie, the sound of a song, can bring you to a time of your life that defined you.  We have made it out.  Him working and finally understanding that even if he is the smartest person on the planet he still needs people skills to survive.  Me living a dream, walking through paradise listening to the music of my life.  How Blessed am I?


The Blessed Man

The Music of My Life

With things going so well now that I have moved to “American’s Friendliest Home Town”.  And my young Son seeming to try to be on his own this space has been neglected a bit.  Well as I am aging I am realizing more and more the need to stay active.  Well I have taken up waking!  I have always loved Music.  I guess I get it honest from my Father.  He was a wonderful Bass payer and enjoyed a bit of Fame in Memphis for his talents in Memphis which is a Music town second to none. So I get it honest!

The following posts will relate songs to memories as I work my way through my IPod.  I hope you enjoy the music, each song will be tagged, and the stories. 

Well here we go the Music of the Blessed Man


The Blessed Man

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


What did you think when you read the title of this one?  I bet it had something to do with conversation.  Either the spoken word or a rebuttal of some sort; maybe words of wisdom as a friend of mine says all the time.  But I bet never you never thought of one of the sweetest most genuine people you have ever met, did you?  Well I did.

Her name is really Aunt Sarah to all.  Yes, she is everyone “Aunt Say”.  And buddy she was hell on wheels.  She lived every day of her life to the fullest.  May we all strive to be like Say.  She laughed, said what she though, did what she wanted, and really didn’t care.  I loved her.  I can remember she was a vicious Spade player; she always wanted to play quick.  We have a friend who used to play with her often.  She nicked named her “Christmas” because she said she took so long to play her turn.  That was Say.

She was always dressed to the nines as well. Most times with the most beautiful hat.  She helped raise my adopted sister’s husband, so I got to be close to her on a lot of occasions.  She lived by herself and took care of herself.  She was a great role model for any young person.

My favorite Say story ever:

One night we were headed out to dinner with my adopted sister and her husband.  Say calls and says he needs to come by her house before we go eat she was in terrible need of his expertise.  Well we get in the car and he announces he has to go to Says before we eat.  You see Say had a little trouble sleeping and sometimes she had to use, let’s just say a medical herb to help her fall asleep.  Well this medical herb was in the form of something like tobacco, kinda.  Well it seems my adopted sister’s husband used to; well roll his own cigarettes so to speak.  And Say was in dire need of his talents to help her get this medical herb into cigarette form so to speak.  Well I don’t think I have ever laughed as hard sitting there in the parking lot of her condo watching him roll up Aunt Say medicine.  You see her medicine wasn’t the purest medicine that was available.  There was a lot of junk in it and he was complaining about the quality and how that affected the way it was rolled.  We were all just howling laughing.  Say, right there with us just screaming laughing as well.  Well needless to say the medicine finally got into the correct form and Say left us sitting there with tears running down our faces from the laughter.  I can’t remember where we ate that night, the wine we had, or anything else.  But I remember how much fun we had with Say.  I was blessed to know her.

I am hoping you have an Aunt Say in your life.  If you do, call her tell her you love her.  Tell her how much joy she brings to your life.  If you have had one, like me, then enjoy the memories and think of her often.

Well I guess all that is left to do is send up a small pray to the good lord, I need to tell him something he already knows, Aunt Say is there now and the party can really start. 


The Blessed Man

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Father's Day 2015

This has to be the biggest conundrum day for me of the year, as I’ve stated several times before….  I am surrounded by some of the best Fathers I have ever seen.  Many of them documented in these humble pages in earlier posts.  Some of them brand new Fathers others Fathers of fully grown men who have their own sons and daughters today.  Then there’s me.  A lost soul in a land of great Dad’s.
I think back on my Father.  A real man; a man’s man. A loving husband dedicated to his wife and family to a fault.  We never wanted for anything we needed.  Of course the key word in that sentence is needed!  He provided a safe, loving home for me and my three sisters.  He made sure my Mother was a stay at home Mom when others were out in the work place she stayed with us and made sure we were being raised to his standards.  Him, always putting us first never himself.

Now as we have celebrated another day honoring our Fathers I am again as confused as a person can be.  As I sit here, not hearing from my son today, I am not hurt or saddened.  Now I am guessing that this makes those reading this either sad or confused.  However, if you have read anything in this blog you know this would be a normal thing.  I do not think my son has the capacity to love or care for another human being especially me.  I spend all of my time trying to get him to see the ways of the world and he spends all of his time telling me how stupid I, and the world are for being like we are. 

I wonder if one day, after I’m gone he will feel like I do today.  I am missing my Dad as I do every Father’s day.  Well really every day in some way I see him think of him wish I had him to help me.  But my fear is he would have killed my son years ago!!  He didn’t play the disrespect game he earned his from all he knew.  I guess me, not so much, at least from my son.

Well I am blessed to be alive.  I am blessed to have the greatest partner a man can have on earth.  I am blessed to have the greatest friends a human being can have. I am blessed to have an extended family of friends that has a group of great Fathers in it.  So in the end as I have always said I am a Blessed Man.

If your Dad is alive, call him, hug him, tell him you love him.  And most of all tell him what he means to you and how much he has impacted your life, if he has.  These are the things I was so blessed to be able to tell my Dad before he left this life. 

Words I guess I will never earn, but I promise the world I gave my all.


The Blessed Man

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Rumble Britches

Last night something happened that was very special.  I got to spend the night with my adopted niece and her wonderful husband and the newest member of our extended family.  It was the first time I ever got to spend an evening with just them. 

It was a real wake up call for me.  As I sat there watching and taking it all in, her being a mother, him being a doting father it occurred to me that I watched this young lady come home from school in her little uniform carrying a bag of books complaining about home work.  And now seeing her in the mother role it was quite a memory jogger.  I started looking back over the years of all of the times shared with this family.  I realized how much these people mean to me.  How much I have weaved them into the fabric of my life.  This child has been there through the trails with my son, the untimely death of my Mother.  The tragic loss of her brother. The wonderful times we spent with my wife’s mother at our home and her passing.  Her schooling, the relationships she had.  Then her wonderful husband came into our lives and it seems like everything hit hyper speed.  It all happened so fast; Marriage, nursing school, now she is a mother, and a great one.  She had a great example in her own mother who is the finest example of unconditional love for your children there will ever be.

Watching my wife hold this child was very moving.  As she looked into those beautiful eyes and the baby smiling back at her it was such a moment.  Look where we have come from, we have been there living along side of this beautiful little girl from school girl into motherhood.  I am so blessed.  Thank you my dear for coming over last night and allowing us to start the next chapter of our lives together.  Now we start with Carrigan (aka Rumble Britches!) I get to see him from sitting in my lap to wherever this journey takes us all.

Well R.B.  you can bet the Blessed Man is in for the ride. 

Let’s Do This!!!


The Blessed Man

Friday, May 1, 2015

Budfest 2015

This past week I have had the great pleasure of watching something so special that it is rarer than a unicorn sighting.  My angel wife has had 4 of Elementary school buddies at the house for what they has called “Budfest 2015”. 

They have laughed, cried and supported each other for over 50 years.  And it all happened again this week.  They gather around a table sit and talk about things my ears do not want to hear.  All of the things that at even this stage of their lives scare them make them happy and bring comfort and joy to their hearts.  They talk all at the same time and never miss a word the other says.  A trait that I am sure women alone are blessed with.

A diverse group for sure, one still working, 3 retired.  All having different things they bring to the group making each a very special part that without them the group would not be as strong.  Unconditional love is the key ingredient I am thinking as I watch the group, each taking the time to allow the others to have the group attention during their specific time of need.  It is a blessing to be this close to a group that means so much to each other.

As they prepare for their departure they seem a little closer if that’s possible for the time spent together.  Each holding onto the other just a bit longer to insure they know how much they mean to each other even though time and distance separate them from this scene being played out on a much more regular basis.  Some tears, some laughs, all love.  A more moving exercise I haven’t seen in a while.

As the glow is dimmed from my wife’s face I see a look of pure joy come over her as she understands that these are her peeps.  These are the go to people we all need in our lives to keep our heads above the waters; the people in your darkest times that simply show up and lift you up whenever you do not have the strength to go yourself.  These girls are the poster girls for the US Navy Seals Motto “No Man Left Behind” and of course in their case it’s no woman.  They help each other cook, clean, and just in general making sure each one is included in the good times.  It brings me great happiness to watch not only my wife, but these women who mean so much to each other.  May we all be so blessed as to have friends of this caliber in our lives. 

My mind drifts to my own circle and I’m so blessed to have a few people like this in my life as well.  Think I will go call a couple of them and tell them how much I appreciate them. 

You should too!


The Blessed Man

Monday, April 27, 2015

Thoughts are Things

However, if you asked my son he would disagree with passion.  In my life I have always been told Thoughts are things.  If you think it you can manifest it.  I have seen this happen in my on son’s life.  He is the perfect pessimists.  Everything he talks about is negative and then he rants at me that everything in his life is bad.  I try to, softly, explain my views but am always cut off at the heels by his beliefs which I always honor.  I even go as far as suggest he look at my life as an example.

Well enough negative.  When we left Memphis I started thinking how great it would be to get my Memphis family all to move t the villages with us.  Well one by one they came to visit.  Some liked it others thought it was a joke.  Well it’s been about four years since I started. 

First to arrive, the couple we never thought would ever come.  They have been consumed by the lifestyle.  They pickleball, and socialize so much we rarely see them.  How fun to see these two people we love so much expand themselves into a true “villagers”!!

The next to arrive were regular diners around the tables in Memphis.   He’s a pilot and she’s an entrepreneur with her own business.  They have always been in the middle of the social scene in Memphis.  Her, connected from birth to the scene, him a down to earth simply great guy, true friend, great husband, caring father.  A man I am proud to call my friend.  They rented for a couple of years then found a house and boom they are here and live very close to us which we enjoy a lot. 

Well today the last members moved in, my adopted sister and her husband.  They left Memphis where they had children, grandchildren, and friends for well over thirty years.  I am not saying they moved here to be with us, but they moved here to enjoy the retirement years of their lives.   Needless to say I am excited beyond words.

I am looking forward to many years of dinners, and a continuing the wonderful life we thought we left behind in Memphis.   I can see the fun now eating at each other’s homes as we did back in Memphis.  However, now we are all living in adult Disneyland!!!  Doing things we love to do with the people we love the most.

So the next time you think thoughts are not things.  Remember the Blessed Man and how his most secret thoughts all came true.  I believe anytime you think with unconditional love it just has to come true.

Think I will start thinking great and powerfully about my son, couldn’t hurt huh?


The Blessed Man

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Perfect Round

I am very blessed to live and work in America’s Friendliest Hometown The Villages Florida.  My job is at one of the golf courses here.  I drive around and make sure the players are having fun and enjoying their round.

Last week I saw something that moved me enough to place it here in this lowly place.  I close the course one evening a week.  Part of the closing duties is to make sure the entire fleet of rental carts are back and secure before we can leave. Therefore we never like to rent a cart after 4:00pm.  Because that means we might have to stay later than the 6:30 we are all due off work.  Keeping me from happy hour at my house with my wonderful wife, well sure enough I get the word that we rented a cart at 4:45!!!  I was on my course when it happened so I didn’t see the customer’s.  There was a part of me that was a little upset but I knew this was a rule when I picked up this job but, I really needed a glass of wine this night. 

Well as the night progressed, I came upon the group.  It was an elderly gentlemen, a man of my age, and a younger man.  All playing and having a good time; I quickly ran by them in an effort to make sure they saw me but not enough to slow them down as they played in case this would make them finish quicker!!

Well as fate would have it the next time I saw them it was on a tee box.  All were out of the carts waiting on the elderly man to hit.  As I sat there it became very clear to me that this was a very special threesome.  As the elderly gentleman hit I told him great shot.  He smiled and said I should have seen the one his grandson hit from the back tees, a look of pride like a father looking at his son for the first time.  Then the middle man so to speak, told me that the elderly man was his father and they were in town celebrating his 90th birthday!  He was his father and the younger man was his grandson.  What a threesome.  The look on the grandfather’s face was simply priceless.  At that moment I thought about my father.  I still have the score card from 1961 my first nine holes with my Dad.  I thought what would I give to tee it up with him one more time?  I knew it was almost anything I had.  Can you imagine playing golf with three generations?  What a treat.  Suddenly it didn’t matter if they ever brought that cart back.  I want to follow them around and try my best to steal a brief moment of their joy, trying desperately to put myself in their place so I could experience their joy. 

They played until dusk.  I was almost saddened when I saw them coming in.  I knew that the grandfather’s special round was ending.  They stood in the parking lot as the sun was setting and I couldn’t help but think how special this moment was for them all, even if it was wasted on the young man.  What a memory, playing golf with your father and his 90 year old father.  Really?

I know this place I live is special.  I just never knew how much until moments like this happen. 
What I would give to be able to say just one more time “Dad let’s go tee it up one more time.  I promise to let you win no matter how bad you play.  Sure wish Grand Dad was here.  Come on get in the cart I can’t wait for this Perfect Round.”

Love and miss you everyday


The Blessed Man

Monday, March 23, 2015


I have been told for many years that people come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.  I have been very blessed to have all three and have been smart enough to recognize them as they entered and left my life.

I can remember the first reason friends.  I was fresh out of culinary school and took a job working for two gay guys.  They were fantastic!  They taught me so many life lessons.  They taught me how to treat team members.  They taught me everyone is important and has bad days.  They taught me how to be serious when you have to be but how to work and enjoy your days even if you are so busy you can’t catch your breath.  They taught me how to appreciate your partner.  They taught me how important a positive attitude is in your life.  They taught me how to forgive people who didn’t know you and hurt you or took advantage of you; and how it is important to forgive those people for your benefit and peace of mind.  Then in the blink of an eye they both were gone.  AIDS is a terrible thing and took two of my friends far too early in their lives.

I have had numerous season friends.  Being in the airline business for many years I got to know a lot of people.  I spent many happy seasons with a lot of folks.  Then I transitions into the cooking business met so many cool people you can’t believe.  The food business has to be one of the most unknown fun businesses yet.  Most people have no clue what goes on behind that kitchen door and how much fun is had back there.  Then it was the wine business.  The best business a person can ever be in.  I have met some many great people over a glass or bottle of wine they are way too numerous to mention. But truthfully, most were season people.  The funny thing about season people is that I believe, in your mind, they all start out as lifetime people. 

And the blessed man has had many Lifetime people.  I still am in contact with many people I when to high school with.  Now I’m not talking about a Hi on Facebook.  I mean knowing what is happening in their lives every week.  Talk to you on a daily basis friends. 

Here is my dilemma.  There are people in my life that have been here for well over twenty years. I consider them lifetime people.  But as we grow older and change environments things change.  Whenever I am with them my heart sings and I know without a doubt that they are lifetime people.  Then it might be weeks, or even a month before you see them again and I miss them.  However, they are moving in another direction.  I have decided to look at it like a parent.  There is always that day when you must let that son or daughter go.  They are still your child, but they aren’t there every night anymore.  Do you love them any less?  I think not.  As they say absences make the heart grow fonder. This I can promise is a life truth!  I guess I will simply look forward to the times we spend together.  Enjoy them, love them, and be there for them in every way.  And allow them to go and possible find them more friends.  Who knows they may even bring back a few people I can enjoy.  

Be it a reason, a season or a lifetime.


The Blessed Man

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Welcome Carrigan Michael Davidson Berryhill

I am very proud to announce the arrival of a very special baby boy Carrigan Michael Davidson Berryhill.  This is the newest addition to my adopted family.  This wonderful child has two of the best parents I know.  Both have been mentioned in the lowly blog numerous times.  The mother my adopted sisters only daughter, the father one of the finest young men I have ever had the pleasure to call my friend.

Many changes have occurred inside this fine family over the past year.  With the loss of a dear son, and the addition of this wonderful son.  Neither will ever know the other but somehow, in my heart, I know they met before young Carrigan came into this world.  I can almost see the meeting, Uncle Jordan sitting there little Carrigan on his lap learning every little thing that Uncle Jordan knew about driving his sister crazy.  Sharing the knowledge that Carrigan's Dad is one of the finest men he knew.  The inside scoop on his wonderful aunts and uncles, the exciting news of how smart and talented his cousins are.  Then the most precious information about how to make sure he got anything he wants from DeDe and Pop.  Yes, I truly believe this happened.  And I caution all to watch in the coming months as young Carrigan begins to share and use the knowledge that he was given by his Uncle. 

A word for Carrigan:

Young man you have been blessed.  Not only do you have one of the best families to watch over you, teach, guide, and share your life with and so it’s perfectly clear this is on both sides your Mom’s and your Dad’s.  You have a support team second to none.  You come into this world with 3 great cousins that will teach you how to have a blast.  Always remember cousins are your first best friends and will remain that way as long as you want it to be that way.

A word for the parents:

Please enjoy every moment with this gift from God.  Love and care for him for as we all know there are no guarantees in life.  God has given you this life to take up and bring up in his light.  Since I know you both this task is one that will be very simple.  Love this child as each of you were loved by your parents.  Remember when this young man goes astray how you were treated and emulate that treatment as it is quite clear it was the correct action.  The main thing to remember is, do not blink.  Because in that blink you will have a young man strong and handsome ready to take on the world thanks to your wonderful rearing. 

A word from the Blessed Man:

Carrigan, my young friend, live each day to the fullest.  Stretch your imagination.  Love true.  Be honest.  Care for others.  Be a good friend.  Be a good Son.  Make your family proud.  Better yet make yourself proud.  Get your Dad to teach you to fly! (I always wanted to learn how too)

Good Luck my young friend.  But I know you will never need that.  See you have more guardian angels than the Romans had foot soldiers.

I Love you young man.


The Blessed Man