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

 

Advertisements

Fast Forward for Papa

IMG_0849

*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 . . .

IMG_6681.jpg

~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

 

Grandfather, still Dad

This is the first post I’ve done since Christ was a baby (seems like that anyway).
I’ve left my self posted blog and have gone back to where I first discovered blogging and the wonderful interaction with people that happens when you do it religiously.
Life happens, things change, people die, babies are born, the sun shines and the rain continues to fall and here in New England there’s the Gaad-damned snow.

For the two people that may still possibly follow my RSS feeds, much has happened since I slid off the blogging grid years ago.
After losing two parents to Alzheimer’s over the course of 15+ years, my ass was kicked, wrapped and sent to Timbuktu for inspection.
It just came back today and I am happy to tell you that while my ass was a bit wrinkled in the process, they tell me that it shouldn’t affect my writing.
Thank God for life’s small favors.
I’ve realized on my distant sojourn from the blog that I miss writing about these small snippets of my life that I can share with the world.
They seem to make more sense to me when someone else weighs in on them.
Whether I agree or not is a moot point.
It’s the human connection/interaction that makes all the difference. [or not]

I’m a grandfather now but I don’t feel that I look like one. Yet.
I’m not old and withered as many Google images would portray me to be.
I’m grey, okay?
Just deal.
I’ve earned every single damned grey hair. And then some.
My granddaughter is Meryl, a 5+month old bundle of wonder.
I love this little lamb and look forward to writing about her wanderings here at my old/new place.
She is for me a chance to share my love, my thoughts, my music, my strange sense of humor and one day my all consuming love for cooking.
I still love smoking cigars. And my pipe.
And I just got a new iPhone 6s. (you rock it, Grampa)
Stick around, this might get funny.

M

 

Size of Sorrow

My sister and I have noticed some changes in our father.
Whenever we talk to him about ‘old times’ (instead of just sitting there staring vacantly out the window) his eyes fill with tears. He’s not totally crying but something is definitely going on.
We wonder what’s really going through his mind?
It was this thought and some help from the band “Tears for Fears” that are responsible for the inspiration behind this post.
I didn’t plan on posting tonight but sometimes you just have to let some of your writing go.


the Size of Sorrow

Carbon-copy days
Stain my mimeographed life
Wondering if today is some strange and future tomorrow

Time meanders away
some perpetual 36-hour day
But what is the size of sorrow?

a Fool on the hill
a sad silhouette of your absence
what remains breaks the heart of the borrow

Tomorrow is near
like an invisible tear
I’m wondering what is the size of your sorrow?

~m

Not drowning, waving

Wanted to check in and just let you know I’m alive and well.
I thank all of you for continuing to visit.
I’m trying hard to make my way around the bloghorn but somedays are just hell.
Once things settle down a bit, I will be back.
I have so much writing in my journal just screaming to be posted but . . .
Be safe and be well, folks.
See all of you in a bit.

~m

for a friend

If there was a star in the sky
I’d wish upon it
better days for you . . .
But sometimes it feels the stars
are all taken, leaving the sky dark and godforsaken; a desperate space

this self-imposed penance is just that
as is the self-denial of a solace richly deserved

the light of the soul never dies
but occasionally flickers;
a sign that things do change
black to white, night to day

there’s a star in the sky
and I’m wishing on it
better days for you . . .

if you’re left wondering about the star
i put it there
just remember I may need you to find me one someday . . .
I wish you faith, love and a belief that life goes on
because it does.

M