Sunday, March 31, 2013

Saturday, March 30, 2013

NYC

What a cool city!


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Maundy Thursday

These verses always leave me with a heavy heart, even knowing how it ends, especially given that Jesus prays to the Father to take the burden from him, if it is His will.  And then his disciples desert him.


Matthew 26

New International Version (NIV)

Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial

31 Then Jesus told them, “This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written:
“‘I will strike the shepherd,
    and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’
32 But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.”
33 Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.”
34 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.”
35 But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the other disciples said the same.

Gethsemane

36 Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
42 He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”
43 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. 44 So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.
45 Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”

Jesus Arrested

47 While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people. 48 Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.” 49 Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him.
50 Jesus replied, “Do what you came for, friend.”
Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. 51 With that, one of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.
52 “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.53 Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?”
55 In that hour Jesus said to the crowd, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I sat in the temple courts teaching, and you did not arrest me. 56 But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Last Supper

Such a powerful passage:
Matthew 26

New International Version (NIV)
The Last Supper
17 On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?”
18 He replied, “Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.’” 19 So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover.
20 When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve. 21 And while they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.”
22 They were very sad and began to say to him one after the other, “Surely you don’t mean me, Lord?”
23 Jesus replied, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. 24 The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.”
25 Then Judas, the one who would betray him, said, “Surely you don’t mean me, Rabbi?”
Jesus answered, “You have said so.”
26 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”
27 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you.28 This is my blood of the[b] covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
30 When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Wrong Side of Tuesday

Today turned into a challenging day.  Full of regret after my decision yesterday regarding the new young lady I recently met and and hit it off with and then told her I didn't think we were a good match, I woke up from a fitful sleep with about 10 minutes to get ready to work if I wanted to arrive on time.  I made it, but the tone for my Tuesday was set.

I had an afternoon management meeting, followed by a budget meeting which ran overtime.  This left me with very little time to get to the school to pick up my daughter.  However, my boss announced at the end of the budget meeting that we needed to meet back in 15 minutes to discuss some furlough issues regarding our employees.  Unfortunately, many of the affected employees had already left for the day, including all of my managers, leaving no one to cover for me at the meeting.  I would have to go to the meeting.  But I had to leave to pick up my daughter.  What to do?  I left.  My boss called my Office Administrator (OA) and asked where the representative was from our office.  Then my OA called me.  Sounded like I was in trouble.  When I called my boss, she wasn't very understanding.

Bottom line is that I had to choose between my daughter and my job.  My daughter will win that one every time, but it really isn't that simple.  Obviously my job is important, too.  I have a responsibility to my employees, as well as to the mission of our organization, which is to provide aeronautical charts and publications to General Aviation pilots across the US.

I explained the situation to my boss and I hope that this will prompt a future discussion.  Part of the problem is half of our organization is in the Central Time Zone, while my half is in the East.  The work day pretty much ends at 3 p.m., but since it's only 2 p.m. for the folks in Central, they tend to forget about us.  That's the problem.  Anyway, I'll be praying about this situation.  As a Christ-follower, I know that handing my problems over to Him is the answer.

Another issue that came out of today is the fact that we didn't get a chance to visit with my in-laws after my mother-in-law (MIL) invited us to dinner yesterday.  The snow kind of messed up those plans, so we didn't get a chance to see them, but she called tonight and said she wanted to see us before we leave for our Spring Break.  The problem is we're running out of days and we have a lot to do to get ready for the trip.  That's not a good enough excuse for MIL. I still have to get an oil change, do laundry, get a haircut, shop, pack, clean, eat, shave da beard, clean the hamster's cage, get the dog groomed, wash the car, pay the bills, go to work, and finish off our planning for the trip.  But we'll do our best to drive alllllll the way out to Damascus to have dinner with them.  My wife was an only child, and my daughter the only grandchild, so it's important for her to see them.

So, yeah, it was quite a day.  Vacation can't come soon enough!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Ending It Before It Begins

Well, I'm either stupid or doing the right thing.  I can't decide which.  As I detailed in my last blog post, I met a wonderful young lady.  We really hit it off.  But, as usual, I tend to complicate things by over thinking the whole situation and I doom the relationship before it begins.

Ms. Erin is 27.  I'm 43.  She definitely seems to have her act together.  I'm what you would call "established".  She has her whole life ahead of her.  I've been around the block.  She's getting her career started.  I'm thinking about retirement (okay, I'm not THAT old, but I'm on the downside of my career).  She's in shape.  I'm slightly out of shape.  I'm guessing she may like to have a family someday.  Unless God has other plans for me, I'm not looking to be a father again.

As much as I really like this young lady, and I think we really made a connection, I decided to let her know that I didn't believe we had a future together.  She took it well, I think, as far as I can tell.  She didn't cry.  I might cry later.

Honestly, how much did we really have in common?  She deserves someone a lot closer to her age, someone who she can grow old with (as opposed to watching me turn old), have a child with, and have something more in common with.  I need someone in my life who I have more in common with, too, who won't later regret entering a relationship with a guy who has a bit of life under his belt, and who doesn't mind a guy with my imperfections, but will be a wonderful match for me.

I prayed about this situation a lot, and I feel God leading me in this direction.  I trust that He has someone for me, and I just need to have patience.  So that's that.

***

We finally got our snow this morning.  My daughter and I stayed with my parents last night just in case the weather turned bad, so I could try to get to work on time and she could stay with Mom & Dad if schools closed.  That's exactly what happened.  It was a dicey drive in to work, however, taking me almost an hour and a half instead of my normal 30 minutes.  It snowed more that predicted, was worse than predicted, and traffic was horrible, as predicted.  But it sure was a pretty snow.  Was it Winter's last gasp?  Probably.  With our Spring Break coming next week, I sure hope so.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

May Versus December


I was invited to a Bull Roast last weekend.  I agreed to go, even though I had never been to one and didn't even have a clue what a Bull Roast was.  I had this image in my head of a large side of beef on a rotating spit over a roaring bonfire.  Either that or something like the old celebrity roasts from the 60s with Dean Martin and his buddies, only with a cow and other farm animals making insults about the bull ("That bull is so dumb....").

The invitation came from Addie, the former principal of Reservoir High School, where my wife, Teresa, used to teach.  The Bull Roast is an annual fundraiser for the athletic department of the school.  The event consists of lots of good food, games, drawings, prizes, and a silent auction.  Addie further explained that, a few months ago, during the school's Activity Night (which Melody and I attended), a woman who was volunteering that night at the snack counter heard the story of Teresa's death and saw Melody and me.  She decided to purchase a ticket to the Bull Roast for me so that I might have a night out, which she figured I probably needed.  Addie did not know this woman, but a common friend/volunteer/parent told Addie what the woman wanted to do, and Addie phoned me.  I would be Addie's guest for the evening.  Mom and Dad agreed to watch Melody for the night so that I could attend.

The evening of the Bull Roast, I met Addie at Savage Mill, where the event was taking place, and while checking in, we found that we were going to be seated at separate tables.  I was a bit bothered by this, since I wasn't quite comfortable attending big events like this one, especially when I might not know anyone else.  Addie, recognizing this, assured me that we could probably get away with sitting together at either her table or mine, since there were plenty of activities and not everyone would be eating at the same time, anyway.

Addie and I entered the ballroom where many tables were set up (the crowd was relatively sparse since it was still somewhat early in the evening), along with a buffet table, roulette wheels for prizes, a DJ, and dance floor.  Soon after we entered, a woman came up to us and introduced herself as the person who bought the ticket for me to attend the Bull Roast.  It became clear that she intended me to be her date for the evening, which is why I was assigned to sit at her table.  I got nervous, thinking this was going to be an uncomfortable situation.  The last thing I was looking for was to be set up with anyone.  And I smelled a set-up.  The woman seemed nice, but I could tell she was not my type.  I think Addie recognized what was going on, too, and could tell I wasn't thrilled.  I tried to make the best of the situation, though, and try to enjoy the evening.

We got some food at the buffet table (barbecue beef, Maryland crab soup, potato salad -- all delicious!) and sat down at the table.  Addie was seated on my right, the other woman on my left.  My "Date" began to throw a series of awkward personal questions my way, and I was quickly becoming uncomfortable with the whole arrangement.  She told me she was really into golf, and that she had a Harley Davidson motorcycle, neither of which are things I was interested in.  I really didn't like the way things were going and I thought I might just leave early.  After she tried to get me onto the dance floor for a rambunctious "Booty Call", or whatever it's called, I decided it was time to go.  I thanked Addie for the invitation and the "Date" for purchasing the ticket, and I made a hasty retreat.

It was still somewhat early, so I went for a drive.  I was wrestling with a lot of emotions, as this was not the first time that I had been set up.  There's a certain feeling of security when you're married, and Teresa and I talked about it many times.  We both felt better about being out of the dating world.  Neither of us enjoyed it, and we were very thankful that God had brought us together.  Now, here I was, no longer with that secure feeling, trying to ward off single women (well, okay, ONE single woman) anxious to get a hold of an eligible bachelor who had been able to make a commitment to marriage at one point.  It made me sad to think this was the stage my life was at.

I decided to stop at a frozen yogurt shop for a nonfat vanilla frozen yogurt shake.  I would drink away my problems the only way I knew how:  with ice cream, minus the sugar.  I ordered, and then sat down at a table to enjoy my shake.  It was about 8 p.m. and the place was empty, other than the teen-aged boy behind the counter.  Suddenly, the door opened and a very attractive woman entered the store.  And when I say "entered", I mean she commanded the attention of everyone in the place.  She was very tall, almost six feet (though she wore incredibly high heeled shoes).  She had very curly, very long fiery red hair, and a pretty, angelic face.  She looked to be in her mid 20s.  She walked very confidently with long, graceful strides.  She was wearing a long trench coat, but it was clear she had a very nice figure, with a subtle athletic build.  I figured she must be a model.

She walked up to the counter and asked the clearly flustered teenager for a nonfat vanilla frozen yogurt shake.  Her voice was soft, smooth, confident, and articulate, very much like a newscaster’s.  I watched as the boy attempted to make her yogurt shake, but he was so nervous that he dropped the cup on the floor because his hands were shaking so much.  He was obviously intimidated by her.   His second attempt ended up spraying the entire counter with milk because the setting on the mixer was too high.  I felt for the kid, since I could see myself reacting in the same way in the presence of a beautiful and confident woman, but it was quite humorous to watch.  I used to get flustered by Teresa this way quite often when she would turn on her confident charm (though, fortunately, not in public...).

In the meantime, the woman seemed to be oblivious to the young man's problems.  She had her cell phone out and was attempting to make a call.  I saw her mouth the words, "Battery's dead".  She had a look of concern on her face.  She put the phone back in her pocket, and then she looked around and turned my way for the first time.  I hadn't realized I was staring, so when she smiled at me, I was a bit embarrassed.  She noticed.  She walked over to me and said, "Hi.  My car just died and now my phone is dead.  I hate to ask, but is there a chance you have a cell phone I can use to call AAA?"  I did, so I handed my phone to her.  She made the call and, after about 5 minutes of giving the operator directions, she sat down at my table and handed me my phone.  She thanked me profusely and offered to pay for the call.  I told her to forget about it.

We made small talk for a few minutes and she told me a little bit about herself.  Her name was Erin.  She's 27.  She was originally from Indiana, PA, (Jimmy Stewart's home town, and a favorite of mine).  She attended school at Indiana University in Pennsylvania.  She played basketball there, which didn't surprise me, since she was so tall.  She majored in Business, and she received a job offer with a small company in DC.  Unfortunately, the job didn't work out, so she decided to go back to school for her Masters degree and is currently a grad student at the University of Maryland in College Park.  She's been in the area for a few years now, but it doesn't feel like home.  She is a huge Steelers fan.  To make ends meet and help pay her school bills, she started working as a waitress at the restaurant next door.  She said the only reason she was working there was because the tips were so good, and working there helped her pay for her grad school.  She was heading home, but then her car wouldn't start.  She came into the yogurt shop to call AAA and wait for a tow truck, and then discovered that her cell phone was dead.

As I listened to her talk, everything seemed to slow down.  I was really taken by her, and not just because she was so articulate and beautiful.  She had such a warm personality, and I was very comfortable talking with her.  I told her a little about me and my situation, and I told her the story of Teresa's death, and all about my daughter, Melody.  We continued talking for quite some time, and I was struck by the irony of the situation.  I had spent the first part of the evening feeling sorry for myself, and here I was, with this beautiful young woman, connecting like we had known each other for years.

The teenage employee finally called Erin over to get her shake, so she went back up to the counter to pay for it.  It was quite a mess, as was the young man behind the counter.  There was milk splattered everywhere, including all over his face, apron, and hair.  She thanked him and noticed for the first time that we had ordered the same thing.  This made her laugh.  I noticed outside the flashing yellow lights of a tow truck, and I told Erin that her "ride" was here.  I went outside with her.

The man driving the tow truck was a big burly guy, very gruff and not very friendly.  He looked like he had just rolled out of bed.  He reminded me of a very greasy version of John Goodman, except without any hair.  Erin whispered in my ear, asking if I would pretend to be her boyfriend so that the driver wouldn't take advantage of her or anything.  I said I would.  She put her arm in mine and pointed out her car -- a bright yellow Mazda MX-5 convertible (another coincidence -- I have one, too, though mine is black!)!  The driver asked where she wanted it towed, and I suggested to Erin the same Mazda dealership I get mine serviced at, in Burtonsville.  Erin asked if I would mind if she rode with me (instead of the tow truck).  This was fine with me.  I really wanted to continue talking to this beautiful lady, and this would certainly be a way to do that.  It was apparent she felt the same way.  I think we both knew we had made a connection.  I told the driver where we wanted the car towed, and he knew where that was.  It was about a 15-minute drive.  We followed him over and he dropped the car off.  The dealer was closed for the evening, so Erin would have to call them in the morning.

The driver left and I offered to drive Erin home, since it was on the way home to my place.  She asked if there was somewhere else we could go to talk.  I suggested the Bull Roast at Savage Mill (no, not really).  I knew there were a few restaurants that were open late in Columbia.  I started to sweat!  I mean, here I am, 40+, a somewhat out-of-shape father of a young daughter, hanging out in the middle of the night with a significantly younger, very beautiful woman.  This kind of thing just doesn't happen to me!  I didn't say anything, but my body language must have given her the impression that I felt a bit out of place.  Well, she pulled me close and surprised me with a nice little peck on the cheek.  She laughed, then said, "C'mon, let’s find something to do!"

With that, we continued our journey:  a journey looking for a place to talk, and a journey towards a new and fast growing relationship.  We found a nearby restaurant and talked for several hours.  She really is pretty awesome.

It was coming up on 1 a.m., and I knew we really should call it a night.  She hinted that it might be fun to watch the sun rise, but my heavy eyelids persuaded her that we should head home.  I drove her to her house and walked her to her door.  And then we said goodnight.

I walked on air back to my car, glancing back at her just before she shut her door.  She smiled and winked.  Then I went home.  Even though it was right around the corner, it was one of the longest drives I could remember.

So now I don't know what to do.  When I arrived home, I couldn't sleep.  All I could think about was Erin.  Self-doubt entered the picture, though, as I began to think about our age difference.  That always seems to be a hang up for me.  It has been a week now and though we have talked to each other on the phone, we have not seen each other.  So now what do I do?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Mix and Match Up

Life can really be complicated, even when something great happens.

I met someone recently.  It was a random thing.  We kind of hit it off.  She told me, even though I've only known her a few days, she thinks about me all the time.  I don't know what to think.

While this could be a very exciting thing, I'm scared to death.  There's a bit of an age difference between us.  The age thing always gets in the way.  She's 27.  I'm 43.  That's a pretty big age gap.  And it isn't just the years.  It's the life experiences, the generational differences, the expectations, the fact she's young and cute and I'm a bit...aged.  Plus there's the fact that I'm old enough to be her father!

I've often joked that my wife did me a major disservice by leaving me in this life at a time when I was just beginning to approach over-the-hill status.  I didn't think I would be back in the dating pool, let alone having to keep myself in shape to make myself attractive to the opposite sex.  Teresa & I used to kid each other that we were so thankful we had each other because we hated the dating process so much.  It felt good not having to worry about it ever again.  Then she died.  And now I'm worrying about it again.

I've been down this road before.  Several years after Teresa passed away, I was set up on a blind date.  This wasn't your typical blind date.  My pastor and his wife set me up with a young lady they knew from our church, thinking that we might be a good match.  They prepared an incredible evening of entertainment for us.  We were blown away.  It was amazing how much work they put into the preparation.  It was an unforgettable evening.

First, Mark, my pastor, had me come to the church to pick up a package.  Then we were instructed via email to meet at the Joanne Fabric Store in Columbia, and to take a stuffed animal with us so we could identify each other, at 5 p.m. on the following Saturday.  So that's what I did.  I took a stuffed animal puppy with me to Joanne's and walked around looking for a young lady carrying her own stuffed animal.  With a little trepidation, I approached a woman holding a stuffed monkey.  I figured she must be my date.  I'm glad I was right.

We introduced ourselves to each other and exchanged pleasantries.  Then I pulled out an envelope from the package I picked up from the church that told us what to do next.  We were to go to the Arundel Mills Mall and go to the Bass Pro Shop, then open up the next envelope.  So off we went.  We chatted a bit on the way.  She seemed really nice.  Mark & his wife, Lu, had also given us a list of questions to ask each other, so we got to do that, too.  At Bass Pro, we were instructed to go to the shoe department and ask an employee if we could try on waders.  This was kind of different....  The employee pulled out a couple of pairs for each of us.  They looked like thick rubber pants.  So we put them on.  We then were instructed to ask the employee to take a picture of both of us using a throw-away camera they supplied.  We were both rather embarrassed, but it was fun and a good ice-breaker.

The rest of the evening was much more of the same.  Kind of a combination of fun activities and scavenger hunt.  We chatted quite a bit, too, and it gave us the opportunity to find out a lot more about each other than we probably would have under any other circumstances.  We were even given a gift card for a nice dinner.  Mark & Lu really went all out.  It was so kind of them!  I'm so appreciative of their generosity.

The only issue I had was that I had doubts about just how much we had in common.  She was a teacher. So was Teresa.  She even kind of resembled Teresa, in some ways.  It was clear that we may have been matched due to her similarities to my wife.  The other issue was the difference in our ages.  It was clear she was significantly younger than me.  She had just turned 30.  I was 37 going on 38.  Once I knew that, I kind of doomed us.  Though there were clear differences between us, and we really weren't a very good match, once I knew the age difference, I backed off.  Way off.  I just wasn't comfortable with it.  And she could tell.

We actually went out a few more times, but I broke it off with her.  I never told her it was because of our age difference, but I think she knew.  Mark & Lu also mentioned to me later that their success rate with these match up dates, of which they had planned several, was a big fat 0%!

So what do I do about this new young lady?  She really is pretty awesome, and awesomely pretty.  I just feel so dirty.  I'm not supposed to feel this way about someone that much younger than me.  What a dilemma.  Why are women so complicated?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Refusing To Do Nothing

Last week, I found myself with a little extra time after a morning doctor's appointment, and I stopped at the wine store to pick up some more chocolate wine.  I found four different bottles to try, along with the one that I had bought once before and actually kind of liked a little bit.  I picked up some Chipotle for lunch, as well, and went home.  (Chipotle has got to be one of the best "fast food" places I still go to!)

After eating my lunch, I decided to try my taste-test again, which was to pour a little bit of each wine into styrofoam cups and sample them.  Two seemed to be okay, with the other two, which ranked higher in "consumer satisfaction", as I read later, not tasting very good to me at all.  Within a half-hour, though, I was snoozing on the couch, catching up on some sleep.

Three hours later, my alarm went off alerting me that I needed to go pick up Melody from school.  I was having a lot of trouble waking up, let alone getting up.  My head hurt, I felt sick; I didn't know what was wrong with me.  I finally picked myself up and drove over to get my daughter (about a quarter of a mile away).  When we got home, I fell back onto the couch, still feeling miserable, and it lasted well into the evening.  Then it hit me why I was so out of it:  the WINE!!!  I had never drank so much at one time and I guess I had managed to give myself a mini-hangover!

I'm just a bit concerned that I might have a small drinking problem.

***

My daughter and I went out to dinner tonight with my in-laws at the Double T Diner in Ellicott City.  It was delicious, as usual, with their typical single plates containing enough food for four.  After dinner and visiting, we all drove over to our new favorite dessert place, Sweet Frog!  They have self-serve frozen yogurt and a toppings bar, and it is delicious.  The "FROG" in Sweet Frog stands for "Fully Rely On God".

As we entered, I happened to notice a couple sitting just inside having a rather "romantic" moment.  The woman was someone I had dated 4 or 5 times about a year ago.  She recognized me immediately, kind of mumbled a "Hello" as I said hi to her.  It was awkward.  It isn't often that I see someone who I used to date (she broke it off with me), so I was a bit taken aback.  Especially given the way they were sitting.  I knew that she did not like public displays of affection (she essentially broke up with me because I dared put my arm around her in church, and she was afraid her former boyfriend might see us!).  We had gotten along well, at least well enough to go on four or five dates, so when she sent me a text breaking it off, I was just a bit shocked.  And it hurt.  And it bothered me.

So what did I do about it?  Nothing.  What could I do?  They left a few minutes after we arrived and that was that.  But I did wonder about the whole situation.  Is there an etiquette associated with how you handle meeting an ex?  I'm guessing not, but it probably depends on how well the breakup went.  If it didn't go well (and my situation didn't go well, in my mind), then it might not go well later.  But what if you're both Christians, and go to the same church?  It might get a bit complicated.  I don't think being a Christian should necessarily mean you can't be disappointed, but it would not be right to hold a grudge or feel anger.  So I need to make it right, at least in my own mind, and forgive her.  And I hope she'll forgive me for whatever reason she felt I wasn't a good match for her and break up with me.  And maybe we just weren't a good match for each other, and it's no one's fault.  I just know that the fact I had felt uncomfortable seeing her was a red flag to me, and something I need to fix, whether I ever see her again or not.  Something to pray about.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A Message From Mom

My wonderful wife, Teresa, wrote this in a memory book shortly after our daughter was born...


Message from Mom

Dear Melody Grace,

I hope that you will choose to be a Christian early in life.  In this one wish, I cover all things a parent wants for her child.  I want you to be happy.  As a Christian, even if you have sad times, you will always have access to joy.  I want you to have an easy life – as a Christian, even if you have trouble (when you have trouble), you can have great peace.  I want you to make wonderful choices, of a loving husband and fulfilling career – as a Christian you will be gifted with great wisdom to make those choices!  May you always feel God’s love for you, as well as the love of your father and me.

Love,
Mom

Monday, March 18, 2013

Potsie, Ralph, and Peter Tork

At the age of two, my daughter was a fan of HAPPY DAYS.  It probably helped that I was a big fan of the show and we watched it together every afternoon after I got home from work.  I'm sure she didn't understand everything that was going on, but she quickly learned who all of the characters were.  So, when I got a postcard in the mail from a collector/promoter advertising that Anson Williams and Donnie Most would be attending a signing at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds on an upcoming Saturday, I knew we had to go.

Dad and I took little Melody to the fairgrounds, rounded a corner, and there they were:  Potsie and Ralph!!! There were very few people there, so we had them to ourselves, and they very graciously allowed us to fawn over them, take pictures, talk about the show, and just generally be foolish fans.  And Melody knew who they were, even if she didn't say anything to them.


Our experience with the Happy Days Gang led me to look for more opportunities to take Melody to meet celebrities.

Melody loves listening to the Monkees music, and we always take a few Monkees CDs with us in the car on road trips.  When she was three, Aunt Jody let us know that former-Monkee Peter Tork was going to be in Greenbelt on Labor Day for a concert with his band, Shoe Suede Blues.  I told her we would be there!  Aunt Jody's friend was in charge of entertainment, and Jody figured we may get a chance to meet Peter.

We arrived in Greenbelt to a thunderstorm, but the show was going on anyway and we rushed over to the stage.  Unfortunately, we had been given the wrong time for the Shoe Suede Blues set, and we missed their performance.  Peter had already returned to his hotel.  Jody realized that we had missed him and took us over to her friend.  Her friend, upon hearing that Melody was such a fan of the Monkees, immediately called Peter, then told us to go to his hotel and he would meet us in the lobby.

Melody, Jody, and I hopped in the car and rushed over to the hotel and went into the lobby.  Within 5 minutes, the elevator door opened and out walked Peter Tork!  He came over and chatted with us, then spent about 10 minutes of one-on-one time with Melody.  She was just a bit shy, but they looked at some old pictures (from a book about the Monkees that we had brought along) and autographed to Melody.  He was really great and we had a nice visit with him.  Melody seemed pleased with the experience, but she didn't think of it as anything but a normal thing to meet a celebrity.


We were fortunate enough to catch a Monkees reunion concert a few years ago for what ended up being Davy Jones last tour with the Monkees (Micky Dolenz & Peter Tork) before his untimely death last year.  The concert was really great, though we didn't get to meet any of them this time.

Now we're looking for more celebrities to meet. Hopefully there will be a few actresses I had crushes on next time.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

A Few Of My Favorite Things

A few of my favorite things:

...waking up to the smell of French toast and fried eggs at Mom & Dad's house.

...cresting the ridge of The Summit before arriving at my grandfather's house, knowing my journey was nearing its end.

...when George & Mary are walking home from the high school dance after falling in the pool, and enjoying watching the romantic tension grow between them.

...the start of a road trip and seeing the sun rise over the horizon.

...coasting down that first drop of the Loch Ness Monster at Busch Gardens.

...the feel of cold sheets quickly being warmed as I lay down to sleep on a cold winter's night.

...the taste of a hot out of the oven slice of Ledo's pizza topped with pepperoni, mushrooms, green peppers, and black olives.

...the crunching sound of new-fallen snow under a moonlit night during a romantic stroll.

...the excitement of waking up on Christmas morning, even as an adult, with great anticipation.

...reflecting on a powerful message from my pastor after a church service, and making a plan to incorporate it into my daily routine.

...the cool taste of a slice of pumpkin pie topped with whipped cream.

...holding hands for the first time with a new love.

...the excitement of a Terps hoops victory over Duke.

...giving Faithful Pup Scout a belly rub EVERY morning, then picking her up and getting a thank you lick on the cheek.

...the feeling of the wind in my hair as I pull out onto the road in my 2-seater with the top down on a warm Summer evening.

...the smell of burning wood on an Autumn day driving through the countryside.

...waking up in a hotel room without a care in the world on the first day of a vacation.

...picking up my daughter every day after school ends and asking her, "How was your day?"

...catching your wife or girlfriend's smile across a crowded room when glancing at her.

...walking into an amusement park with my daughter and listening to her come up with our agenda for the day.  She's becoming such a little leader.

...awaking on the couch after an unintended nap on a rainy Sunday afternoon and feeling well rested.

...getting a really good haircut followed by a scalp massage shampoo by the stylist.

...watching an episode of the T.V. show "Ed".

...the powerful sound of big band jazz performed live.

...singing "Pleasant Valley Sunday" with my daughter at the top of our lungs as we cruise down the road in our 2-seater with the top down.

...watching the Steelers live and in person at Heinz Field (and, even better, at Three Rivers Stadium) with 60K friends.

...careening down an icy slope on an inner tube at exhilarating speeds.

...giving, then receiving a full-body massage by your wife.

...big, warm hugs from my daughter.

...driving a sports car through the mountains at just a tad bit over the speed limit.

...the feeling of soreness after playing a competitive tennis match with a good friend.

...making out with your wife or girlfriend like you're a couple of teens.

...driving down old Route 66 in the Mojave Desert of eastern California, knowing you are the only person within several miles, and thanking God for His beauty.

...knowing I could just keep on writing this list for the next few hours because there are SO many favorite things!

...praying for my loved ones.

...thanking the Lord for blessing my life so much.


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Pi Craving Pie

I was introduced a few days ago to "Pi Day".  I had never heard of it, but I sure like it!  I'm a big fan of pie, so Pi Day just seems naturally likable. Pumpkin pie is my favorite.  My family has a somewhat secret pumpkin pie recipe, affectionately known as "The Recipe", that is made by the dozen every Thanksgiving.  This year was Dad's first experiment with "sugar-free" pumpkin pie, and it came out delightfully authentic.

I have never attempted to make The Recipe myself, preferring to eat food prepared by anyone else but me.  In fact, I only have three dishes that I make that I actually like, though the preparation time makes them special-occasion meals only:  Chili, Jambalaya, and my homemade pizza.  None of these help my pie craving.

The wonderful young lady who writes the blog Flexible Dreams (a link for which you may find on the right-hand side of this page), recently posted a few pictures of her own pumpkin pies, made especially for Pi Day, which is what got me on this pie kick.  Pi being approximately equal to 3.14, March 14 is Pi Day.  And I have been craving it all day.

I attempted to alleviate this craving by attending a fundraiser with my daughter at our local Chuck E. Cheese restaurant.  There really is nothing like going to Chuck's with 200 elementary-aged kids and their parents.  Also, a "pizza pie" from Chuck just does not satisfy the pie craving.  I don't think we can really even qualify Chuck's place as a restaurant.  So I'm still searching for a way to alleviate my craving for pie.

So I've been digging around the pantry looking for something, anything, that I might be able to stuff into a couple of slices of bread, or even a tortilla, that may help me with my pie problem.  I actually found a chicken pot pie kit, but no chicken.  I found cans of mushrooms, black olives, peas & carrots, cream corn, pineapple slices (hmmmm....), spaghetti sauce, and tuna fish.  None of these are really going to do it for me.  So it looks like I'm going to have to go with something else entirely:  a bowl of Frosted Mini-Wheats.  Oh, well, I guess that's better than nothing.  And I guess I could eat it out of a pie tin.

Happy Pi Day!

(Thanks for the inspiration, Amy!)

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Hernia


Not too long ago, I was assisting my employees with moving a bunch of very large, very heavy steel flat drawers which are used to store our aeronautical charts, plots, and related material.  We were in the midst of a large reorganization, and the drawers needed to be moved to a different area to allow for the building of approximately a dozen new cubicles to be used for contractors.  Did I mention the drawers are very heavy?  I was trying to avoid any injuries to my employees, so I took it upon myself to move many of these drawers myself.  I guess I should have been a little less altruistic.  The result of all of the heavy lifting left me feeling a little sore.  It was the end of the week, and within 8 to 10 hours of arriving home, I began experiencing a great deal of pain in my nether regions.

NOTICE:  Since I think I have a mixed audience of readers of this blog, I'm going to try to be as polite as possible in my description of the events that followed.

There is an area on most men that could be regarded as the most sensitive area of the male body.  In fact, I believe most self-defense classes would instruct a victim of a physical attack by a male to aim at this area and strike it with as much force as possible, which should result in a great deal of pain.  It was in this area that I began to feel some discomfort.  By Saturday morning, the "one" on the left started to ache.  Soon, however, it really started to hurt, to the point that even my clothing was causing pain.  I looked at it to see if I could figure out what was wrong, and realized it had swelled to about double the size of the one of the right.  Then it got very painful, and I was downright miserable.  It began to burn.  I was home alone, fortunately, and all I could do was sit with nothing on with a fan blowing on it and hope that it would stop hurting.  I was too embarrassed to think about going to the emergency room, but I really didn't know what I could do.  It hurt all day!  Then I had one of the worst nights I can remember.  I couldn't get any relief.  I tried to self-diagnose my problem, and I was convinced I had a hernia.  I had never had one before, but I thought, given all of the heavy lifting from the previous day, that was the only explanation.  Sunday was even worse, and I came very close to just packing it in and heading to the hospital.  But then the swelling started to disipate, and I began to feel less and less pain.  By Sunday night, it was still sore, but it looked normal.  It was still bothering me on Monday morning, but it was clearly getting better.  I figured I had better go see my doctor, though.

I made an appointment for that afternoon, and went to see him.  I explained what happened.  He lectured me for not going to the ER.  He said, and I'll quote, "If one of MY balls swelled up as big as a grapefruit and was causing me a lot of pain, I wouldn't wait around all weekend for it to go back to normal.  Go to the hospital!"  Anyway, he said it seemed normal, and there was no evidence it was a hernia, however he recommended that I get a sonogram to get it checked out.  I said okay, not knowing what I was in for next.

A few days later, I entered a lab where I was going to get a sonogram to see if I had a hernia.  It soon became my own personal nightmare.  I'm a modest guy.  I'm not about to let just any woman see me without my pants on, even if it's for a medical procedure and she's a medical professional.  I'm a gentleman, so it's going to take a special girl to see me with nothing on.  In fact, my wife is the only female who has seen me with nothing on since I hit puberty.  Well, that all came to a screeching halt this day.  Throw modesty out the window.  My worst-case fear with this sonogram, and the main reason I decided not to go to the ER, was that I might have to drop my shorts in front of an attractive young female nurse, doctor, or technician.  Well, my fear came true.  Guess who I got?  A very attractive young lady, early 30s, single...exactly the type of woman I would want to meet anywhere but here.  I was truly mortified!

She told me to get undressed and handed me one of those gowns so common in the medical profession, and explained that I should put it on with the opening in the front.  I did as told and covered up as best as I could, then walked into the examining room.  I didn't know what to do.  I felt ridiculous.  I just stood there with my hands in front of me, guarding my privates as best I could.  I cleared my throat, then asked, "What happens now?"  She turned to look at me, smiled big, and said, "Just lay down on the table and open your robe.  I said, "So, I'm just going to throw any modesty out the window?"  And she said, with a wicked little smile on her face and in a very authoritative voice, "Yes.  You can just look at this as the Woman's Revenge."  Yes, she really did say that.  I'm sure I turned several deep shades of red.  I climbed onto the table, leaned back, closed my eyes, and said, "Please be gentle, and wake me when it's over."  What happened next I'm pretty sure would require us to be married in most states.

You might think my biggest fear was that I might get a bit aroused.  I mean, here I was, practically undressed, with a cute young lady who was about to examine a very sensitive part of my male anatomy, using lots of lubricant and a probe.  It turned out this WASN'T my biggest fear.  My biggest fear, which became reality, was just like an episode of Seinfeld involving "shrinkage".  I certainly wasn't relaxed, and it was very cold in the examining room.  Plus, the lubricant was cold, and I think Ms. Technician was enjoying making me squirm.  On a number of occasions, she "pressed" a little too hard, and I let out a little painful yelp.  At least she said she was sorry.  The exam lasted almost an hour.  After it was over, I didn't know if I should run as fast and far away as I could, or buy her dinner.  The good news is she didn't find anything wrong.  The bad news is she didn't find anything except what was supposed to be there.  There was no sign of a hernia, she said.  I thought the sonogram was going to be able to tell them whether or not I had one, and if it could return.  Apparently that wasn't the case.

In all seriousness, the exam wasn't all that bad, but I hope I never have to be in a situation like that again.  She was completely professional, thank goodness, but I'm hoping I have one of those kinds of faces that's not easy to remember.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Our Faithful Pup Scout


It's hard not to love a cute little white furry Maltese puppy.  Scout is our Faithful Pup.  She is named for the little girl in my wife's favorite novel of all time, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD.  Everyone thinks she's a boy, though, since her name is Scout.  She's now eleven years old, and weighs about 9 pounds.  We got her when she was 10 weeks old and all of just a few pounds.  My wife, Teresa, fell in love with her and she was an instant member of the family.  You might say she is our first "child".  After my wife died, Scout became my dog, but I still tell anyone who asks that she's my wife's dog.  She's a bit too girly to be mine.  I love her, even though she's a pain in the neck.  She's reached old age somewhat gracefully, though she has been slowing down quite a bit.  Our walks used to be runs.  Now she just gets the runs, and our walks are long and somewhat tedious, and usually end with me carrying Scout back to the house.  Her hind legs don't always work right, and she hates stairs.  She doesn't like jumping off the couch anymore, preferring to just bark at me until I lift her to the floor.  She still has a killer bark, but she gets scared by loud noises.  In fact, when she has gas (which is much too often anymore), she hasn't figured out that she's the one making the noises, and she looks around and barks as if it's coming from somewhere else.  She snores louder than me, which is saying something.  I have to wake her up multiple times every night or else I don't get to sleep.  When it's time for bed, she knows it, and she tries to get me to take her upstairs with me every night.  She has her routines.

Scout still thinks she is supposed to go with us whenever we leave the house, even though she actually only goes with us about 2% of the time.  When she does get to go with us, she barks continuously until she gets in the car, and then she shakes nervously for the first 15 minutes until she relaxes.  When she stays home, we place her in the kitchen with her "pooch pads", which she uses liberally, and the kitchen floor.  I always have a mess to clean up when we get home.  She even uses the floor when she gets mad at us for not giving her the attention she wants.

Seven years ago, my daughter and I were having a typical quiet evening.  She was two years old, and talking on the phone with my parents.  I walked into the kitchen in my bare feet (I usually wear socks around the house, but not tonight, for some reason).  About three steps into the kitchen, I hit a "slick" spot on the floor which sent me flying.  My foot slipped out, sending my body into the air, and I landed on the floor, slamming all 200 pounds of me into my left shoulder.  I was in immediate pain, but I had knocked the wind out of me and I couldn't make a sound.  My daughter was still on the phone with my parents in the living room, oblivious to what had happened.  I tried to make a sound, but all that came out of my mouth was a soft grunt.  I could feel a damp spot growing on my legs and realized quickly that what I had slipped in was caused by our lovable little Faithful Pup Scout, and it was now all over my legs.  I finally caught my breath, and I called for my daughter.  She finally heard me and came in.  I told her to tell my father that I had fallen and hurt myself pretty badly.  She relayed the information to my dad, which generated a bunch of questions that Melody just couldn't keep up with.  I finally had to take the phone and I told my parents what happened.  I kept them on the line while I attempted to get up.  Once up, I assessed the damage.  I definitely broke something, either my arm or shoulder.  It wasn't an emergency, but I definitely needed medical help.  Dad elected to come over and take care of Melody, if I thought I could drive myself to the hospital.  That sounded doable to me, so while he drove over, I tried to clean myself up.  I still had Scout's mess all over my legs, and I knew I needed to jump in the shower.  Getting undressed was next to impossible, but I got it done.  Dad arrived and I went to the ER at Howard County General.  Yup.  Broken shoulder.  My stupid dog broke my shoulder.  Dumb dog.  Man's best friend.....right.

But we love little Scout.  She is a good little dog.  Everyone loves her.  All of the neighbors know her and wave to her as she fiercely barks at them from the kitchen window.  Every morning, when I get up, Scout rolls onto her back and awaits a belly rub.  She won't get up until she gets it.  I know she's nearing the end of her days with us.  But she will always be our little mutt.  She's a wonderful companion and a great comfort to me.  I'm blessed to have her.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Bucket List

I'm fascinated by lists like this one.  An ex-girlfriend sent this to me a few years ago when we first started dating.  I think the name "Bucket List" is inappropriate here since this is a list of things that actually happened, not necessarily things I would want to do.  But I didn't name it.  The "X"ed items are mine.  Some of the girlfriend's answers (which I am not sharing) are likely why she is an "ex" girlfriend. :-)  Have fun.  Share with your friends.


***

BUCKET LIST

Place an 'X' by all the things you've done and remove the 'X' from the ones you have not. 

(x) Gone on a blind date

(x) Skipped school

(x) Watched someone die

(x) Been to Canada

() Been to Mexico

(x) Been to Florida

() Been to Hawaii

(x) Been on a plane

(x) Been on a helicopter

(x) Been lost

(x) Gone to Washington, DC

(x) Swam in the ocean

(x) Cried yourself to sleep

(x) Played cops and robbers

(x) Recently colored with crayons

(x) Sang Karaoke

(X) Paid for a meal with coins only

(x) Been to the top of the St. Louis Arch

(x) Done something you told yourself you wouldn't.

() Made prank phone calls

() Been down Bourbon Street in New Orleans

() Laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose or elsewhere

(x) Caught a snowflake on your tongue

() Danced in the rain naked

(x) Written a letter to Santa Claus

(x) Been kissed under the mistletoe

(x) Watched the sunset with someone

(x) Blown bubbles

(x) Gone ice-skating

(x) Gone to the movies

() Been deep sea fishing

(x) Driven across the United States

() Been in a hot air balloon

() Been sky diving

() Gone snowmobiling

() Lived in more than one country

(x) Lay down outside at night and admired the stars while listening to the crickets

(x) Seen a falling star and made a wish

() Enjoyed the beauty of Old Faithful Geyser

(x) Seen the Statue of Liberty

(x) Gone to the top of Seattle Space Needle

(x) Been on a cruise

(x) Traveled by train

() Traveled by motorcycle

(x) Been horse back riding

(x) Ridden on a San Francisco CABLE CAR

(x) Been to Disneyland --- or Disney World

(x) Truly believe in the power of prayer!

() Been in a rain forest

() Seen whales in the ocean

(x) Been to Niagara Falls

(x) Ridden on an elephant

() Swam with dolphins

() Been to the Olympics

() Walked on the Great Wall of China

() Saw and heard a glacier calf

() Had more than one sexual partner

() Been water-skiing

(x) Been snow-skiing

() Been to Westminster Abbey

() Been to the Louvre

() Swam in the Mediterranean

(x) Been to a Major League Baseball game

(x) Been to a National Football League game

() Thrown up after riding a roller coaster or other carnival ride

(x) Buried a pet

() Auditioned for a television show

() Visited the Taj Mahal

() Been to Iran

() Given birth without drugs

() Walked on the bridge at Royal Gorge

(x) Been knocked out

(x) Been to a National Hockey League game

() Been to Jamaica

() Been offered money for something you made, and turned the money down

(x) Been in front of "tons" of people and performed

() Been married more than once

(x) Bought a CD, tape, or LP of a band or singer you know

(x) Been to a College Football Game

(X) walked up a waterfall

() Been Whitewater Kayaking/Rafting

() Slept on your roof

() Been told you could be paralyzed after an accident

(x) Seen the Bellagio fountains in Las Vegas

() watched your pet die in front of you and could do nothing about it

(x) Been paintballing

() Been to a BCS Championship Game

() Been to Graceland

() Been to Australia and snorkeled in the Great Barrier Reef

(x) Climbed a mountain

() Stayed awake longer than two consecutive days

() Been to the 102nd floor of the Empire State Building

() Fired a gun

() Flashed a French beach

(x) Skinny dipped

(x) Been camping for more than two nights

(x) Been on a date that lasted more than 8 hours

() Swam with a shark.

(x) Seen and/or spoken with a famous person.

() Brewed your own beer

() Been to New Zealand

() Been to The Super Bowl


(x) Been to the Grand Canyon

(x) Driven onto and ridden a ferry

() Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower

() Been in the audience of the David Letterman Show

() Attended a Presidential Inauguration

(x) Driven Across Kansas

() Stood on the Top of a Mayan Ruin

() Been in a fist fight as an adult

(x) Been inspired by someone not famous

(x) Been to Mt. Rushmore

The Resolution


I DO solemnly resolve before God to take full responsibility for myself, my wife (should I ever remarry), and my daughter.
I WILL love them, protect them, serve them, and teach them the Word of God as the spiritual leader of my home.
I WILL be faithful to my wife, to love and honor her, and be willing to lay down my life for her as Jesus Christ did for me.
I WILL bless my daughter and teach her to love God with all of her heart, all of her mind, and all of her strength.
I WILL train her to honor authority and live responsibly.
I WILL confront evil, pursue justice, and love mercy.
I WILL pray for others and treat them with kindness, respect, and compassion.
I WILL work diligently to provide for the needs of my family.
I WILL forgive those who have wronged me and reconcile with those I have wronged.
I WILL learn from my mistakes, repent of my sins, and walk with integrity as a man answerable to God.
I WILL seek to honor God, be faithful to His church, obey His Word, and do His will.
I WILL courageously work with the strength God provides to fulfill this resolution for the rest of my life and for His glory.
As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. ---Joshua 24:15

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Where Art Thou, Snow? Duck!

The day started out great!  It was snowing, schools were closed, and the government was shutdown.  It was a day off for me and my daughter!  It appeared that the forecasters nailed this one, and we were in for a nice blizzard and lots of snow.

As the day went along, though, reality kicked in.  While there was snow falling at various times throughout the day, it really didn't accumulate much.  I think we finished with about 2 inches total.  Hardly a blizzard.  Definitely a disappointment.  There would be no sled riding.  No long walks in the snow.  No snowman.  No snowball fights.  Not even any snow shoveling.  In fact, we didn't even spend any time outside at all because it was raining more than snowing.

And, thus, Winter ends with a big ol' THUD.

***

So what did we do today?  Not much.  We watched some T.V.  Caught up on some of our Tivo watching, including the latest episodes of The Amazing Race and America's Funniest Home Videos (I can't help but notice that, while still quite funny, there is a higher percentage of videos involving injury than there used to be).  I took a little nap.  I actually started feeling better after a week-and-a-half with this stupid cold.  I did some laundry.  We put away some of our Christmas gifts.  We did some reading.  We ordered some Papa Johns.  We played with Faithful Pup Scout and little Macy the Hamster.  All in all, it was a pretty fine day.  There just wasn't enough snow.

***

Upon the recommendation of a colleague, I watched an episode of Duck Dynasty.  I didn't know what to expect, really, though I knew it was immensely popular and, apparently, very funny.  After watching it, I can't help but feel that this show is some kind of statement on our country.  The stupidity that is put on TV is kind of scary.  TV, in my mind, should be about learning as well as entertainment, and not, as it seems, to create celebrities out of stupid people.  That scares me.  Even AFV, which I've enjoyed for years, seems to focus on the stupidity of people.  The fact that everyone videos every stunt that they try in hopes of capturing something stupid to share with the rest of the world is an example of this.  It's scary to see a parent continue to hold their camera phone on their young child after they've fallen off the swing set because the dog got in the way instead of immediately checking on them to see if they're injured.  Capturing the event on video is more important than the safety of their child!  And America laughs.

I guess I'm turning into the Grumpy Old Guy.  I'm no longer the target audience for much of what is on TV anymore.  Or maybe I'm just different.  I don't know.

I will give credit to Duck Dynasty for one thing:  Seeing the entire family sitting around the table for dinner, and praying together before beginning the meal, was really nice to see.

***

So, because of the lack of snow, it appears that tomorrow should be a normal day.  Back to work, back to school, back to reality, here comes Spring!

Lord, thank you for your blessings!  While we are disappointed by the lack of snow, we are thankful for your safety, the fact that we have power tonight when so many do not, that we had a nice, relaxing day in the middle of the week, and that we could spend the day together.  We pray for a wonderful, safe, happy, and healthy day tomorrow, for us and our family & friends.  Thank you, Lord, for all of these things.  Amen.

A Date With My Girl (One Year Ago...)

One year ago....

With a quiet evening looking at them ahead,
"Let's do something different!" to his daughter he said.

They hopped in the car and took off in a flash,
They dodged rush hour traffic and avoided a crash.

They went out to eat, a fine meal they both had,
McD's for the daughter, Chipotle for Dad.

They talked and they laughed, good company both,
Stories they told, and fun jokes they doth quoth.

Then off they went; time for the Big Show;
To the IMAX they went, and Dad shelled out the dough.

Two tickets were bought, then popcorn and drinks,
A package of Goobers, and two hot dog links.

Then into the theater they ran really fast,
To get two good seats, and not stuck in row last.

They watched the previews, and started to relax,
And the feature began, Dr. Seuss's THE LORAX!