A Sense of Thanksgiving

With Thanksgiving but a week away, this year will be somehow be quite different.
For reasons that are for the most part mysterious and unknown to me, I’ve lost my sense of smell.
I didn’t leave it anywhere per se but it has all but dissapeared.
I’m confused, angry, sad and have nothing to blame my emotions on.
I can’t even smell my own farts, for God’s sake.
That alone can drive an old Boy Scout crazy.
The biggest problem in my mind is that I’m also a cook.
And I love cigars, beer and my amazing smorgasboard of aged pipe tobacco.
Sucks to be you, Michael.
Sense of smell is such a primal and primitive thing and something I’ve always taken for granted. Until now.
My mouth is now filled with odd and nebulous specters, the whispers of ghost flavors manufactured by a stumbling brain trying to make sense of what the hell is going on with my sleeping nose. And what my brain creates is pretty much horrible, nasty crap.
I really miss the taste/smell of a nice cup of coffee or tea, my spaghetti sauce simmering, fresh cut summer grass, Pamela’s Apple Crisp slow baking in the oven.
I miss the smell of people, well, certain people (you know who you are). Wow. That was a weird one.
I’m even missing the smell of me.
Feels like a small part of me has inexplicably disappeared.
The ENT confirmed that this was not an allergy complication but more likely the result of a viral infection (flu) that cold cocked the pants off my olfactory nerves.
So what does one do when they have to cook for Thanksgiving and the potatoes taste the same damn way as the carrots?
I’m thinking that this is one of the reasons someone came up with something called the ‘recipe‘.
I can’t trust my non-existent sense of taste and smell anymore but I’ll be damned if someone else will put their mitts on my Butterball.
In my heart and mind, I’m jarred to the core on this one but I also know that there are people counting on me to do what I’ve done for the past 33+ years. And will continue to do.
I can promise that this house will be filled with all the familiar smells they’ve come to know and love.
And although I won’t be able to truly take it all in this year, the smiles I hope to see as they come through the kitchen door on Thanksgiving is all I’ve really ever needed anyway.
For now, I’ll continue to pray that my missing sense decides that there’s no place like home for the holidays.
~m

Me and you

I see me and you sitting on a park bench somewhere.
Might be in New Hampshire, Vermont or Maine.
Maybe even on the West Dennis Beach.
We’re just sitting. Me and you covered in a flannel grey world; our lives now gone silver.
I’m still in love with you and you with me because that’s what we signed up for. And we’re still signed up.
We’ll talk about the many days gone by and people we love that are no longer here and you’ll cry. And I’ll cry.
But they’re happy tears of the stuff that we got right, the things we always agreed on and as a ‘Mom and Dad’.
Time has a way of making you look at things from a different perspective.
And God only knows that we have perspective these days.
While we sit, I lean over and smell your hair in a flirty and funny way and say ‘gee, your hair smells terrific‘ because it does.
And I know that deep down you like that I notice anything about you at this point in our lives.
Truth is, I still do.
In my mind, it’s fall and the leaves are raining down in sheets of tangerine orange, copper brown, apple reds and
‘Hannah-Banana’ yellows.
You mention that we have some raking to do and I nod in agreement.
It’s in that moment that I feel something in my heart, a bittersweet knowing about our life story and the enormity of all things we’ve shared and endured.
It’s also in that moment that I realize that there’s no one else in my life that I could ever love more than you.
And I also realize how much I hate raking leaves.

~m

ps. wrote this about a year ago. Just found it tonight.

pps. this post was inspired by my daughter, Sarah

 

 

Maybe I’m amazed

She’s all I ever wanted and all I ever needed.
But I knew that 35 years ago.
We bought a home in ’84 and made it a place where love could grow and we raised a family, side by side.
With three incredible (and all grown up) daughters later, I understand that she was a gift to me from heaven.
Much water has flowed under the proverbial bridge since we said ‘I do’ but I need her to know a few things;

I love you still and I always will.
And you will forever be the favorite part of ‘my story‘ and the very best part of my life.
because there’s nothing we can’t do, when we’re side by side.
This video/song reminded me of a woman I love called Pamela . . .

Happy Anniversary.

M

ps. Baby, I’m amazed at the way you love me all the time 😉

pps. 11/6/1983 = anniversary

He Listens

I arrived home tonight in my semi-usual foul mood wondering what the hell I’m really here on earth for; an almost daily thought for me these days.
A crappy commute with overwhelming traffic, a job where customers never respond to email and never answer their phones, mounting bills with interest and a car that still isn’t fixed.
A garden that never seems to grow no matter how much I water it, a lawn that’s close to dead and another 20 things that I’ll just refuse to list. (okay, my crumbling front steps is first)
I’m bitchy a/f and think that I’ll be going to bed this way.
(Pamela channel surfs and starts watching the 2018 ESPY awards, really?)
Then I watch Jim Kelly accept the Jimmy V award for perseverance.
I watch and halfway through, I start to cry for the guy and then think about my chronic daily bitch fest.
And then I think: Jesus Krispies, Michael, you little whiny bitch.
Just.
Stop.
Honestly.
There are moments in life when we realize that ‘said’ higher powers are listening.
This was one of those moments.
Regardless of what you may personally think of Jim Kelly, his life and his story gave me some serious pause.
My Man was listening (and watching) from upstairs and didn’t like what he saw in me as of late. And He would be totally correct in His assumptions.
I was being a whiny little turdface in need of a proverbial celestial dope slap.
That slap was graciously granted courtesy of Jim Kelly. And the ESPY’s.
So thank you, Jim Kelly.
And the ESPY’s, I guess.
I seriously needed that slap.

M

 

Mother

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When I think about all the words associated with my post title, I am gobsmacked.
Loving, true, comfort, wisdom, nurture, beautiful, understanding, compassion, forgiveness, beauty, home, food, safety, empathetic to a fault, funny, cranky and sometimes (but not often) tongue-tied.
There’s much more but the above will do for now.

I go every year to buy my wife a Mother’s Day card that will suit her.
I’ve come to the obvious conclusion that said card does not exist.
And I refuse to pay for the awful a/f  #hallmark prose that means little to nothing.
So I come here to my little corner of the sky to post my thoughts on what she means to me and our three girls.

Pamela,

On this Mother’s Day,
please know that you are loved.
And You are cherished.
And You are the glue that keeps this family together.
When we’re lost, you show us the way.
When we’re down, you cheer us on.
When we’re confused, you show us light.
When we’re tired, you offer us your own tired shoulders.
Today is a wonderful day to let you know how truly blessed we are.
Happy Mother’s Day.
We love you like crazy.

~m

ps. 3 Mom’s in the above photo!

 

 

Engrish got me like

I saw this the other night and lost my shit.
Finishes. The word that ends the above sentence is finishes not finish, ffs.
Regarding correct grammar, I lose my junk on a daily basis. (an annoying Word Nazi? Guilty as charged)
Do I use words on a daily basis that make people scratch their heads wondering what said word means?
Sorry. I do. It’s a word thing and I make no apologies because it’s in my hard wiring.
Profanity doesn’t bother me.
On occasions, I can even deal with commonly misspelled words. (I know. Unreal.)
But what is up with this sudden dropping of tenses and random obtuse meanderings of the English language?
Does anyone talk like this?
Or write like this?
Or communicate like this?
Sweet cheeses, I think not.
And if they do, get a helmet, your damn head needs a quick (and possibly violent – not violet) shake.
I guess it’s the way the web and the world-at-large works these days with all its apparent abbreviations.
Hell, my wife even thought ‘a/f ‘ was a shortened version of Abercrombie and Fitch.
Maybe it’s me, or maybe I’m just too set in my ways, or maybe I should just shut the hell up because it will never change.
No sense in reinventing the wheel, methinks.
Or maybe I’ll just listen to Samuel L Jackson’s advice and go the fuck to sleep.
Sounds like a plans . . .

~m

 

Fast Forward for Papa

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*I found this post in my queue from a few baby steps/years back

When I became a grandfather I knew that my life as I knew it would change;
nothing drastic as in a ‘we need a bigger house’ way, but in smaller and somewhat expected ways.
And my life has changed.
My living room now has toys galore, kids books, a ‘Little Tikes’ a maniacal cow with a head that lifts up where you put coloured balls in to make the cow go ‘mooooo’ as it plays a crazy version of ‘The Farmer in the Dell’.
What the hell is a ‘dell’ anyway? (Adele? I know who she is)
I’ve fallen deeply in love with this little cupcake and she doesn’t even speak yet.
She does make some wonderful (and weird) sounds these days and I’ve proudly introduced her to the raspberry.
On occasion, she does that quite well.
And I am impressed.
Although I did hope for a bit less raspberry drool. (We call her ‘Droolia’)
And she loves when I do my impression of the Swedish Chef from Sesame Street, with his ‘Boort, boort, boort’ signature voice.
She crinkles her face and she quite simply melts my heart.
I was watching her sleeping on Father’s Day (in her stroller) and wondered if maybe she could change the world someday.
Maybe I’ll never know.
Funny thing is is that babies grow up to be daughters and sons and sometimes they surprise you.
I’ve been surprised (or not so surprised) three times now.

(Fast Forward 2 years)

I went to take Meryl (pictured above) home after watching her for an afternoon.
She no sooner gets buckled up in her car seat when she says, “Hey, Papa, how about some music?” I oblige and smile, knowing that my granddaughter is slowly growing up.
I put on Sara Bareilles “King of Anything” and she starts bopping her head.
It’s all good. For now, anyway. And her taste in music is pretty cool.

(Rewind 5 months)

It’s Christmas Day and I’m watching football with the boys (Jonathan, Aaron and Yukon).
There’s one present left to open for the ‘already’ grandparents and I don’t even notice the opening.
I hear a happy scream (is that possible?) and ultimately find out that I’m going to be a “Papa V.2”.  (long story)
AND as it turns out, it’s going to be another little girl. I’m surrounded by women and truth be told, I love it. I love cooking for them, writing songs for them and watching them grow into incredibly wonderful and intensely caring people.
My daughters are amazing.
With another granddaughter on the way, I’m wondering if I have enough love to give to another little girl. Truth is that my heart will always have room for more.
But for now, the current love of my life is below.
Meryl Grace . . .

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~m

 

by your side

Pamela,

I’ve sewn you into my heart, painted you on my soul and tucked the mere thought of you safely away in a corner of my mind where you will always be surrounded by the places and people you love.

33 Years ago we were both getting ready to set out on a journey that has led us to this moment.
Each year, I think of many things on our anniversary and today is no different.

Memories of long walks when we didn’t worry about our daily Fitbit goal, our minds uncluttered by things we didn’t know were coming, some wonderful and awesome, some sad and bittersweet, some seemingly sent from the heavens above.
We’re growing old together and for that I thank the good Lord above.
He knew we were cut out for the long haul and I mean that in the sweetest way possible.
I think about the first night I saw you, really saw you. And I remember the staggering feeling of simply knowing; knowing that someday ‘you and me‘ would ultimately turn into ‘us‘. It was a magical feeling and one that still lives and breathes inside this old heart of mine.

We have been blessed with a life that’s been good, maybe different than what we expected but it’s been quite the wonderful ride.
There’s the love/hate relationship we have with the house we’ve lived in for 32 years, the autumn leaves that always seem to find their way back into the driveway, 33 years of birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, food, friends, laughter and tears, hellos and goodbyes, songs from the heart, midnight ‘I love you’s and obviously 33 years of cats.
And a healthy dose of our ‘family’ in Australia for good measure.
And then there’s three of the most wonderful daughters that we ever could have hoped for.
Raising them has been such an incredible and fulfilling journey and one that continues.
And then there’s our precious little granddaughter, Meryl. [Insert *sigh* HERE]

I can’t imagine any part of my life without you by my side.
And I wouldn’t change a single thing.
But if I could, I wish I would have found you sooner.

Happy Anniversary to the gentlest heart, most beautiful soul and my very best friend.
I am with you always . . .

~m

Letter to My Dad

Dad

Hi Dad,

Yes, I’m thinking about you tonight because tomorrow is Father’s Day.
I do this every year but this year it’s somehow different.
I’m slowly beginning to forget the subtle things about you, small and insignificant as they may seem it bothers me because I want to remember all of you; the sound of your voice calling my name in the middle of a Little League baseball game, the touch of your hand on my shoulder when I was the losing pitcher, your infectious laugh, your bad singing (not so insignificant, according to Mom), your funny stories, the aroma of your homemade western omelets and the always present bowls of Quaker Oatmeal that you made on the stove on Saturday mornings, the feeling of your hand in mine.
I miss you dearly and pray that I’ve made you proud.
I like to think I’ve been a pretty good Dad myself.
And that’s because of you.
You rocked it, Dad.
And I thank you.
Hope you’re still watching over me.

Michael

Happy Father’s Day to all the Dad’s out there.
Anyone can be a father but it takes someone very special to earn the coveted title of ‘Dad‘.

ps. I’m the one in the red bow tie (thanks, Mom). My cousin Tim was visiting another planet. Don’t worry. He made it back safe. 😉

M

When God Winks

I am currently reading two books: “Book of Shadows” by James Reese and “Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage” by Alice Munro.
I always have several in the backpack.
The count was three as of earlier this evening before I finished
When God Winks” by SQuire Rushnell, a belated birthday gift from my sister
(actually, wicked belated :mrgreen: ).
WGW is a book that explores the deeper meaning of coincidence in our lives.

God Wink
; a personal signal or message, directly from a higher power, usually, but not always, in the form of a coincidence

My sister bought it for me simply because she and I are intensely familiar with God Winks.
There’s this.
Or this.
Or this.

The book goes on to explain that these instances of coincidence (or serendipity, if you like that better) are signposts from the heavens that we’re on the right track; cosmic signals that we are not alone.
I’ve had many “winks” in my lifetime.

A few years after I began writing, I entered a contest at Writer’s Digest.
Ten people could win $100 in WD writing books and a year’s subscription to Writer’s Market, a WD site that helps find a home for that oh, so lonely priceless manuscript.

Months passed and I forgot all about the contest BUT I was still writing.
I remember sitting at the computer one day and staring at the damned blinking cursor thinking, “What the hell am I doing? I can’t write. This is stupid.”
Feeling disgusted and totally unoriginal, I closed Word and checked my email.
Spam.
Spam.
Spam.
Word of the Day.
Spam.
Writer’s Digest.
Writer’s Digest?
Hmmm.
I opened the email and started yelling.
I won.
Ask my wife. I NEVER WIN ANYTHING. Truth.
A wink to be sure.
And hey, I’m still writing, right?
Now I pass the pen to you guys. I love coincidence and I love winks.
Tell me about one.
Come on, now. You have at least one if you really think about it.
If you haven’t, you’re not looking hard enough. 😉

MMM