12 things my daughters have taught me

Having three girls, there are things that as a man you just know, or don’t know.
I’ve been thinking about this for sometime and have come up with a list of things they’ve taught me.
Sometimes it’s just observing their bizarre womanly ways and sometimes I get a hands-on lesson.

  • I can spot a Vera Bradley handbag from 100 paces. (yeah, I know. Scary)
  • Orlando Bloom is hot, but Jensen Ackles (Supernatural) is way hotter.
  • Folding laundry is quite natural now except when it comes to folding a bra.
  • “I love you, Daddy,” loosely translated means, “I need something and you will get it for me.”
  • Girls can be downright nasty to each other.
  • Nothing dries tears quicker than a trip to Hollister.
  • They know the ins and outs of Itunes way better than I do.
  • They can use the T9 word when texting on their cell enabling them to send me the “Gettysburg Address” in less time than it takes me to text the word, “Ok” and hit send.
  • There are countless stars in the sky, but every one has its place.
  • Never honestly comment on a new hairstyle. Just say, “It looks very nice.”
  • Not all facial moisturizers are created equal.
  • Patience. (4 women getting ready to go out for a Saturday evening is excruciating)

Look for a future post and update.
Learning about women is an ongoing process and I’m still a beginning student, apt but beginning.

~m

A small, insignificant and relatively stinky Haiku for Bob

How come you so big?

You scare my wife and keetons

Bobby try diet . . .

Sarah informed us that Bob would be returning for a few days.
His stay will be mercifully brief because he’s outta here on Sunday morning when we bring her back to school. {excuse me, college}
Bob is currently residing in the hallway upstairs.
I found that out last night (1:34am) when I was needlessly mugged by a dark-hooded Hollister sweatshirt on my way to the bathroom.

My only thought today was where in God’s name did the summer go?

I’ve already noticed a few brave trees offering up their chlorophyll, preparation for a special place on the ever popular New England Autumnal Palette.
The hands of time are moving too damn fast for me these days.
I just said ‘hello’ to summer and now I’m sadly saying ‘goodbye’.

And I hate that.

I really, really do.

Relinquishing my sacred seat on the porch has never been easy.
I used to love the fall but even that has changed for me; probably because the autumnal equinox is the natural pre-cursor to the personal arctic abomination I now refer to as “freekin’ winter”.

The past few days have kicked my ass but the computer is once again up and running and the ‘blue screen of death’ is but mere memory. Ahh . . . .
And thank my lucky stars because I can already hear Bob calling me for more space.

I promise to catch up on my “comment absence” by early next week.

keep the faith,

~m

PS. Happy Birthday, LiHo!!!!!!

Wrong Number

“Hello?”

“Hi honey. This is Daddy. Is Mommy near the phone?”

“No Daddy. She’s upstairs in the bedroom with Uncle Paul.”

After a brief pause,

Daddy says,

“But honey, you haven’t got an Uncle Paul.”

“Oh yes I do, and he’s upstairs in the room with Mommy, right now.”

Brief Pause.

“Uh, okay then, this is what I want you to do. Put the phone down on the table, run upstairs and knock on the bedroom door and shout to Mommy that Daddy’s car just pulled into the driveway.”

“Okay Daddy, just a minute.”

A few minutes later the little girl comes back to the phone.

“I did it Daddy.”

“And what happened honey?” he asked.

“Well, Mommy got all scared, jumped out of bed with no
clothes on and ran around screaming.
Then she tripped over the rug, hit her head on the dresser and now she isn’t moving at all!”

“Oh my God!!! What about your Uncle Paul?”

“He jumped out of the bed with no clothes on, too.
He was all scared and he jumped out of the back window and into the swimming
pool. But I guess he didn’t know that you took out the water last week
to clean it. He hit the bottom of the pool and I think he’s dead.”

***Long Pause***

***Longer Pause***

****Even Longer Pause****

Then Daddy says,

“Swimming pool? Is this 486-5731?”

~m

The alchemy of tears

They were the best of friends during the best of times and it was the same for the worst times.
Wally, Ginny, Ray and Joanie were so close I always thought of them as “The Inseparables”; and how inseparable they were.

Ray and Joanie were our neighbors across the street from where my sister and I grew up as children; they were a second mother and father we never realized we had until several years ago.
And they really were the best friends my mother and father ever had.
Right up until the very end . . . thick and thin.

But Ray and Joanie are moving next month to the Midwest to be closer to family and my sister and I couldn’t let them leave without saying a very special goodbye.

This story is about their love, their patience, the passage of time and all the little things we as human beings hold so dear.

This story is for Mr. & Mrs. P . . .

Last Sunday night, we had two longtime friends over the house for supper.
It was a happy gathering overall while on another more subconscious level it smacked of something sad, albeit bittersweet because we were ultimately gathered to say our goodbyes.
Ray and Joanie lived across the street from us for what seems like forever and I feel we’ve known them our entire life.

I always considered them to be something of a second mother and father to my sister and me even though they had two daughters of their own who are now married and off raising their own families.

At every significant event in our lives they’ve both been there.
They were also the very best friends to my mother and father refusing to let Alzheimer’s come between them regardless of how difficult their visits to them would someday become.

Believe me; I understand the difficulty and frustration involved in sitting with a person that no longer knows you.
There would come a day when it seemed that no one really cared about my mom and dad and the bewildering fog they were both passing through.

But Ray and Joanie did; day by day, week by week, month by month, year by painful year with their seemingly endless reserve of love and compassion.

Yes, these two were special. And still are.

My sister and I decided we needed to get together and give them something unique and deeply personal not only to remember my mother and father but us as well. After a brilliant suggestion from my wife, I think we had the bases covered.

We ate Chicken Shish-kabob from the grill, Caesar Salad and Rice Pilaf and sat reminiscing on the deck and laughing about the many better days long since past.

With the evening winding down, I gathered everyone on the deck and presented Joanie with a pretty decorated box.
I looked at my sister and could already see the storms brewing in her eyes.
Funny thing was this felt good and so right.

Joanie opened the box and reached in, pulling out something small and wrapped in emerald green tissue paper.

That’s for you, Joanie, I said, from my mother.

Inside the tissue paper were two of my mother’s Hummel’s, a young girl holding a butterfly and another of a little boy smoking a cigar.
Judging from her expression, she knew these two figurines well.
(*as we hoped she would)

She reached back into the box and pulled out something wrapped in royal blue tissue the size of a roll of paper towels.

That’s for Ray
, I said.

Here, Ramie, this is for
you, she said.

Ray tore the royal blue paper off to reveal a German beer stein, something from my father’s collection that I know Ray had seen gracing their hutch for years.
When you lift it to drink, it plays music; kind of cool and totally Ray.

All of us (9) were a bit teary at this point but it seemed so utterly natural.

The tears we cried were the alchemy of many wondrous things: sweetness and sentimentality, happiness and sorrow, loss and regret for the people, places and things of our countless yesterdays past; but most of all they were tears of hope for ourselves, our families and the future of our precious lives and possibly of a world we seldom understood.

Maybe crying was what we were supposed to do at a time like this.
Granted, it was a tender, almost “Walton Family-like” moment but it was sweet nonetheless.
And my God, it was real; real people, real tears.

We said goodbye that night accepting of the fact that for as much as we feel rooted in the mundane routine of our daily lives, we must move on to new journeys and adventures. . . like the one Ray and Joanie are currently undertaking.
I wish them both peace, health, laughter, good times and endless games and conversations with their grandkids.
That’s the very least I can do.

~m

Reeling in the years

I’m laughing right now which is odd for me . . . somewhat.
The reason is quite simple — it’s been 30+ years since the release of this album and this is the first time I’ve listened to it in its entirety; my bad.
I’d love to tell you what the album is but that wouldn’t have you guessing, now would it?

I’ll give you 8 hints though.
Let’s see who can guess the album and the artist . . .

*The band’s name was derived from two blues artists

*I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore

*Piggy

*Analog synth up the ass

*Alan Parsons definitely listened

*Slight existential motif

*A song in 7/4 meter put this band on the charts

*Time

There ya go.

One guess per visitor.
Winner gets a burned copy of the album signed by yours truly. {exciting, eh?}
Name the band and the album. First correct answer wins!!!!
And begin . .

~m