Monthly Archives: August 2009

I didn’t know they were in any danger?

So as many of you know, this summer has brought some interesting health challenges for me.  As a result, there were many things I put on the back burner – cleaning my floors regularly was one of them. Now, my peeps here made sure that the house didn’t go unvacuumed and the kitchen was clean, the laundry was done, however, the task of actually moving things around and getting behind couches, toy baskets etc – well, that was something I just needed to jump back into for myself.

So today I determined that I had enough in me to tackle the floors ‘my way’ and proceeded to move some things around to get to those “hard to clean” places like under the shoe basket (definition: basket of shoes resulting in more predictable containment than kids’ closets). When I pulled the basket away from the wall, I saw a piece of paper – nothing unusual in my house as our middle daughter is obsessed with all things paper (rolling, shredding, coloring, gluing – and combinations of all 4 on a regular basis). It was a small piece that had been tightly rolled, scroll-style, so I carefully uncurled it to see what little nugget of inspiration my sweet one had left for me to find beneath the shoes . . . it read simply: “HELP VEGGIES!!”

I’m still fairly perplexed. I mean, there are several angles I could take here. Should I be concerned that she is being stalked (ahh, I crack myself up) by veggies in her dreams? Is it a cry for help? Or is she genuinely concerned for the safety of veggies everywhere? Does she want to become a fruitarian? I have a feeling only she will know – so maybe this will need to be a 2 part blog. If you care, I should have this mystery solved sometime after completing car pool today.

And for those who need to know – no veggies were harmed in the making of this blog.

What the Pilgrims learned, revisionist version.

“That’s right buddy, the pilgrims learned to grow corn from the Indians.”

“They did!?! What else did they grow?”

“All sorts of things!  They grew corn, wheat, beans and tabasco.”

“They did!?! Wow!”

“Yeah, except they smoked the tabasco, and that’s not good for you.”

Processing, or attempting to. . .

This summer has been incredible.  I really don’t know how else to describe it yet.  It was a good summer, but it was not without its difficulties.  One might say that often times in life the best roller coaster rides are often the ones with the highest highs and the lowest lows.  I am beginning to wonder if this is also true of the palindrome that is life.

On July 5, 2009 my father died. 

I was fortunate. I had the opportunity some people never have. Dad and I had several conversations in which we said most of the things that needed to be said before he left. (The rest I will ask him later.)

I knew my dad first and foremost a provider. He was the driving force in my education, making sure that I got the degree. . . “You must have that piece of paper, son…”

One odd thing about life is that just about the time you start to live it, you realize that you have missed out on many areas that have sort of just been going on around you the entire time. For 18 years I lived in his house, ate at his table, went to church and sometimes to work with him. After that I worked for him and with him, and watched him go through incredible difficulties with his business, his career, his health.

It wasn’t until seeing some pictures of him as a young 20 something in the military that I realized what it was I had been missing. I didn’t really know him as a young adult. I wondered if he and I were to meet at the same age, would we be friends? Would our interests coincide, would our beliefs and ideas align, or would we say hello in passing and go our separate ways?

My sister seems to think that we would have definitely been great friends. “He was an electronics nerd, you are a computer nerd – you guys would definitely have been friends.”

Dad was a Vietnam Veteran, yet another side of him which I knew very little about. He very rarely talked about it. He clearly did not enjoy talking about it. I cannot imagine the horror of what he must have gone through. It took him almost 30 years to begin to talk about it – enough time for me to grow up, graduate, leave home, get married, start a family, and begin wondering how to do this father thing in a way that honored him.

5 of the 6 that honored my dad

Driving up to the cemetery we were met by six strangers who never knew my father, never talked with him, and yet they served together. These six strangers stood in 100 degree heat, 100 percent humidity, dressed in uniform, and performed the solemn duties assigned to them with precision. They honored my father and his service to our country in a way that I will always remember.

Someone once told me that as parents, we should strive to make our ceiling be the flooring for our kids. My dad sort of went nuts with that concept and did that to the extreme. He always had a penchant for doing something to just about every house we ever lived in. He would get up one morning, think “Hmmm. This would be a nice breakfast room. Where’s my hammer?” and go to town. Dad wasn’t satisfied with the ceiling. He had to add on a few rooms above the garage.

When he stopped adding on to the house, he left a massively high floor for each of his offspring. Five kids, six diplomas between us – not bad. My success in life is due largely to the fact that my father provided most of it for me as I grew into the person I am today. And that legacy will continue to live on, as I pass it on to my own children.

I love my dad. Knowing him has made me want to continuously become a better person. And so we move on, striving, raising the ceiling just a bit higher for the next generation.

Bambi VS Shamu

Today our budding 4th grader returned home from what according to all accounts was a banner start to the year. (Naturally the bar is set high considering that on her first day of 2nd grade she puked in the trash can and came straight home – but that’s another post entirely.) 

Excitedly pulling a brown paper sack from her book bag, she proceeded to tell me how they had to fill the bag with something from each of the 8 categories designated by the teacher on the assignment sheet. We went over the categories together discussing what she thought might be a reflective respresentation of each until we reached the one titled “A place you’d like to visit.” Smugly I thought of her international heritage, her trip to Australia, her love of thumbing through the pages of our vacation albums which include pictures of France, England, Israel, South Africa and other exotic locations I was sure had piqued her curiosity many times over. “So how will you narrow, THAT one down?” I asked. She paused for a moment, then said, “I thought I would put ‘The Bass Pro Shop’ because I really want to go there.” There was no mistaking the incredulous look on my face – I could feel my pupils dilating as I listened to her answer, all the while formulating eloquent and supportive comebacks to this answer, but in the end the words “are you kidding me?” were all I could get out. Pondering my response, but undeterred, she shrugged obligingly, “Well, or, we could just put Seaworld?”