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Posts Tagged ‘family’

I’m back from a week long vacation with the family.  It was a great time.  Scratch that, it was great the first two days, good the third day, OK on the fourth day, I’m ready to be done on the fifth, I question if I like these people the sixth day and wow, I hate you guys so much on the seventh day.  All in all, a great week.

I’m an introvert (a blog for another time), which means social interactions drain me.  It doesn’t mean that I hate being social, which is a common misconception about introverts, but as the social interactions continue, my energy levels drop.  I enjoy hanging with the family, I really do, but the need for quiet time and isolation increases as time goes by.  It is even worse when screens are not allowed on our family vacation.

No screens is the brain child of my wife, God bless her.  It is her desire for us as a family to focus on each other for a week.  As far as I can tell, she loves this concept and enjoyed the tech-free week.  And I will admit, it was good for the family and it was good for me.  I recommend it to all the families out there to spend time together unmolested by internet, Facebook, Instagram, snap chat, etc.  But for me, it’s as appealing as exercise or an enema (roll credits).  There is no doubt that exercise is good for you, but most people don’t look forward to exercising, especially if you aren’t used to it.  And don’t get me started on enemas.

But just like exercise, dieting, etc., you get to a point where it feels good.  You start to wonder why you haven’t done this sooner.  The same is true for eliminating screens from your life.  Taking a break from email, Facebook and the internet is a wonderfully cleansing activity.  But then you get home, and the TV is back, Wi-Fi is back, and it’s like at the end of a good run is a Dunkin’ Donuts and you decide, “One donut won’t hurt.”  Next thing you know, you haven’t run for years, because donuts and watching TV are way easier than exercise.  I’m not ready to give up my devices, but I love the fact that I have kids and a wife that don’t mind (or at least they fake it well, which is all I really ask) focusing on our relationships together as a family.


I was at Walmart today buying a gift for my daughter’s birthday.  Some glitter from the gift got on my face.  The cashier pointed it out to me and highly recommended that I clean it off before returning home.  I looked at her and knew exactly why she was telling me that I had glitter on my face.  I had to laugh.  Walmart, saving marriages from gross misunderstandings every day.  Where is this commercial?

 

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So, the following blog is emotional diarrhea.  I suggest that you do not read it.  I apologize.

I am not struggling with death, I am struggling with dying.  For the last 24 hours I have been thinking about how I want to die.  How do you want to die?  Or a better question:  How do you want to live?  You see, my father is not dead.  I can’t even say that he is dying, but he is alive.  I should be happy that he is alive, but I am not.  I want him to be living.  I have never understood the difference between being alive and living more than I do right now.  It is amazing how unprepared I am for this situation.  Why am I so unprepared for this?

In part I am angry at the church.  I have been to church most of my life.  My father is a pastor.  I have read the bible from beginning to end.  I believe, have faith in, trust and obey God.  I can think of the countless number of sermons I have heard regarding death and the afterlife, but not one of them ever addressed the fine line between life and death.  I have been thinking about Terri Schiavo.  Remember her?  She was big news for a while.  Terri Schiavo had a heart attack in 1990 and suffered severe brain damage.  For several years, doctors attempted to improve her brain function, but eventually she was diagnosed as being in a vegetative state.  In 1998, her husband petitioned to have her feeding tube removed.  Terri Schiavo’s parents attempted to block her husband’s petition.  It made national news.  Several politicians, including the President of the United States, George W. Bush got involved.  After years of court battles, people protesting in the streets, and massive news coverage, her feeding tube was finally removed in 2005.  Luckily, my situation is nowhere near the severity of that case, but all I can think of is how dare we get involved in that family’s business?  How dare we!  Why do we fight to keep people alive under any and all circumstances?  Is it the sanctity of life?  Is this what the Bible teaches?  Does a woman in a vegetative state in bed for well over a decade glorify God?  Were her parents just happy that she was alive?

I think people are afraid of death.  I don’t care if you are an atheist or a lifelong bible thumper, you are not likely to run in to death’s arms.  You will most likely go kicking and screaming.  Whether you are the atheist praying to the God that you don’t believe in as your plane is crashing to the ground or the believer that is praying to not be taken to that supposedly awesome place called heaven, no one wants to die.  As I stated in my last blog, I have no fear of my father’s death.  He will be going to a great place, but he is not in a great place right now.  How long should he remain in his current state?  How long would I want to remain in his current state?  The whole situation pisses me off.

In part, I am angry at science.  I know how the body works.  I know what every drug that is being pumped into my dad’s body is doing and what it is for.  I look at the blinking screens and can explain to you what each number means.  I also know that if it weren’t for science, he wouldn’t be alive right now.  I blame science for being in this current situation.  Before all of our medical technological advances, people died.  It was sad, but it was part of life.  Science teaches that if we can just figure everything out, we can cheat death.  Who would not be happy about this?  Babies are being born now that would have certainly died 10 years ago.  You can smoke and be 100 pounds over weight and be confident that there will be a drug that will allow you to continue to live in your “horrible life decisions” state.  Major disorders are being cured at the genetic level.  Our current generation believes that technology will fix everything, so why worry about your diet, exercise or health?  And why should they worry?  Technology is doing amazing things right now.  Eventually, no one will die.  Right?

I don’t know what the answers are to my situation or any other situation that involves death and dying.  I want him to be more than alive, I want him to live.  I wish I could talk to my father about this and discuss our current situation and ask him what he wants to do, but I can’t right now.  But one thing is for certain; I need to talk to my family about this; my wife, my mom, and eventually my kids because I would prefer to not be in this situation again.  I don’t want people fighting and trying to figure out what I would’ve wanted.  It is difficult to deal with the death and dying of a loved one.  Everyone is dealing with the issue in their own way and everyone is stressed and sad.  I don’t want my family fighting.  I don’t want my family to stop living while I am dying.  I want my family to bask in the knowledge of my love for them and trust that death will not be the end of me, but just the beginning.  I also want my family to focus on how awesome I was in life.  For all those reasons, you can let me go.  But if I am going to make sure that happens when the time comes, I am going to need to have the hard conversation about death.  If you are still reading, and if you haven’t already, maybe it is time for you to have the hard conversation now too.

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How do I want to die?  If all goes well, the earth will be attacked by aliens.  I will discover the weakness in the mother ship and everyone knows once the mother ship is destroyed, the remaining ships will follow.  Using a disguise of cabbage and cranberry juice poured over my body, I will sneak into the mother ship, killing at least 10 aliens with hand-to-hand combat, steal an alien weapon, grab the keys off a dead guard that I had to shoot, release the earth prisoners, which would include the President, hand the alien weapon to the President and explain to her how to get out of the ship safely, of course she will say, “What about you?”  I will say, “Mrs. President, it’s the 4th of July, and we haven’t had our fireworks yet.  It’s time for the big finale.”  I would then place my arm around her and give her a big kiss and say, “If you don’t mind, could you give that to my wife.”  The president and the other prisoners would run out of the ship.  I’d make it to the engineering room, overload the engines, find a button that will destroy the whole ship.  The alien commander bursts into the room, looks at me, I look back at him and say, “Yippy Ki Yay Motherfu…” -BOOM!!!  The whole world looks up and sees the explosions of all the ships and the Earth is saved.  The President says, “We owe our lives to that man.  We will honor him for years to come.  He was a father, husband, a great American, …” and then as a smile comes over her face, “and a great kisser.”  Pan out, show awesome alien ship explosions, cue 1812 overture and roll credits.  I’m just sayin’ …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love it when you stay to watch the credits and there is more movie.  Especially if after watching the credits it suggests a sequel.  For example, after I explode the mother ship, it turns out that by pushing the button, it automatically placed a force field around me.  I am encased in this bubble and I begin to float down to Earth.  I am shocked that I am still alive.  I start to laugh hysterically about how I just cheated death (This is important to any great movie.  Americans hate it when the hero doesn’t survive.  See blog above).  As I am floating down to earth, I stop laughing, quickly sober and realize, “Crap!  My wife is going to kill me because of that kiss!”  Continue credits.

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So, I have spent most Thanksgiving holidays at my mom’s house.  I may have missed two over the last 40 years of my life.  So, it is a bit unusual to be home for Thanksgiving.  The real unusual part is that my mom is here now.  She is having Thanksgiving with us this year.  Am I nervous?  Of course I am.

Basically, if you live anywhere near my mom’s house and know my mom, you are expecting to have dinner with my mom.  The fact that she is here as thrown off a lot of people’s lives and stomachs.  She is a very good cook, and people from all around the country can think of a dish right now that would make them drool a little.  Thanksgiving at my mom’s house is pretty basic: It includes, turkey, ham, duck,sometimes ribs, stuffing, mashed potatoes, collared greens, sweet potatoes, homemade mac n cheese, green bean casserole, rolls, and of course can-shaped cranberry sauce.  For dessert, lemon merengue pie, sweet potato pie, sometimes pound cake, and my favorite, apple pie.  Sound like a lot of food?  Well it usually is and it doesn’t matter if five or 50 people show up, she would cook the same amount regardless.

As I put the turkey in the oven this morning, my mom was there.  When I made the stuffing last might, my mom was there.  Going through my mind the whole time was, “Do no harm.”  So, hopefully everything will go OK.  Our meal will be about the same, turkey, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, rolls, and my wife has added a mushroom wild rice dish, which might only be eaten by her.  That might sound harsh, but it is not meant to be a commentary on the quality of the dish, it is just outside my Thanksgiving box.  I will of course eat some and take one for the team.  Again, I think it is a good dish, just not a huge fan of wild rice, it makes me feel like I should be a rabbit rather than a human when I eat it.  What animal eats wild rice?

My mom did make the sweet potato pie and apple pie yesterday, which is good, because to not have her apple pie would be wrong.  So, I am looking forward to the day.  I have two friends coming over later.  We should have a lot of food.  And of course some good football games (for a change).  Hopefully my mom will not have any major problems with my cooking.  If she does say something bad about my turkey, I will just have to lower the thermostat tonight and misplace her extra blankets.  Because is it my house and I pay the bills up in here.  Am I leaving the door open?  Yes, and as a matter of fact, I do live in a barn.  Payback is a bitch.

To all of my family and friends,

Happy Thanksgiving!

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A couple of weeks ago, I saw a mother shopping in Walmart wearing fish net stockings.  Despite the mental image of a mother wearing fish net stocking in Walmart, does anyone look good in fish net stockings?  Have you ever looked at someone wearing fish net stockings and thought, “Classy”.  It is one of the few items of clothing that I am surprised people still wear, outside of Halloween.  Here’s a tip:  Unless you are a prostitute, or make bank deposits in the form of a thousand one-dollar bills, burn the fish net stockings.  You do not look as good or as hot as you think you do.  Trust me.  Burn them now and thank me later, unless you are trying to send the message that your daddy failed.  I’m just sayin …

The only acceptable leg with fish net stockings. Christmas Story, Classic!

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So, today someone said something to me that indicated that they could predict my behavior in a particular situation.  Yes, I am being vague on exactly what happened.  But the bottom line is, after thinking about their comment, it struck me how people think they can say certain things because they believe they know you.  Does anyone really know anyone else?  After this person’s comment, I wanted to say to them “You don’t know me.”  Interestingly, I often want to say this to people even when they predict correctly.  However correct, predictions still do not indicate that you know a person.

The desire to predict someone’s behavior reminds me of our strong desire to label people.  I know I do it, but I also know that I hate it when it is done to me.  We also want to prove to be people that we have labeled them correctly.  How many times have you said to someone, “Oh you wouldn’t do that.  I know you.”  Or maybe you have said, “Well, that’s how you are.”  Really?  You mean to tell me that you can predict my behavior in any and all situations?  I don’t think so.  But we do this all the time.

To some, I am a liberal, but I promise you, to others, I am quite conservative.  Labels are never more prevalent than in politics.  I think I may have blogged on this subject before, but am too lazy to look it up.  The reality is, being a democrat doesn’t define who I am.  So, who am I?  In many ways, even I don’t know, but here is some information that I will give you, so that at least on these subjects you can say that you know me:

  1. There is probably nothing I think about more than whether or not I am being a good dad.  I know I am not perfect, but I take my parenting job very seriously and if my daughter ends up on a pole, I will have failed.
  2. I think most people are stupid.  I wish I could sugar coat this fact, but I can not.  It is what it is.  However, I try very hard not to make people feel stupid, despite my feelings.
  3. I have an inner circle of people in my life.  If you are in this inner circle, there is nothing I would not do to help you.  It is impossible to lose membership to this inner circle.  You may have decided to treat me different, but I have not.
  4. Lastly, I require the television to turn my brain off.  I am constantly thinking.  I can’t turn my brain off.  It actually makes blogging a blessing and a curse.  On one hand, it gives me an opportunity to share thoughts, on the other hand, I usually have about 1000 thoughts per day and can often not decide which to blog on.  For example, this blog was not supposed to be the blog, but has bumped my blog on my recent near death experience (To Be Continued).

Is the above list exhaustive?  Of course not, but the reality is that most people do not know me and it is presumptuous to think that you do.  I barely know me.  So, please, please, please do not make predictions about my behavior.  You may be right, but it does not mean that you know me, it just means that you have a label of me in your mind that can’t possibly characterize the whole that is me.

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I got upset at my son, Brett Jr today, because once again he forgot to give us a document from school that needed to be signed.  This document was due Friday, and we just got it today.  This is an old issue, and he knows it.  So, I gave him a talk, signed the paper and moved on.  One minute later, he told me and Leah that he was not allowed to watch TV on Monday and Tuesday.  I told him that I know that he doesn’t forget on purpose and he did not need to be punished.  He said, no, he did need to be punished for forgetting the papers from school.  So, we said OK, no TV on Monday and Tuesday.  My son just punished himself.  That’s crazy.  He is awesome.  Of course, now we have to come up with something to do that does not involve TV.  Well, that sucks!  I’m just sayin …

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Happy Christmas!

So, supposedly there is a war on Christmas, at least if you believe  anything that Fox News says.  Of course, I don’t believe Fox News for  most things as they make more news than they report on.  What is even a more cruel twist of fate, evil irony, or just plain devil incarnate (Can  you tell how I feel about Fox News?) is that they report on the news  that they make up.  If you pay attention, you will discover this for  yourself, you do not have to believe me.

A war on Christmas? Really?  Here is the big issue, they hate the fact  that people are saying Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas.  So,  freaking what!?!  Are you telling me that if people suddenly begin to  say Happy Holidays instead of Christmas than the United States of  America will suddenly become a Muslim state?  Seriously?  Do you think  the Jewish people are complaining that people are saying Merry Christmas?  Find me one, just one! They don’t care.  What about the  Muslims?  Contrary to what Fox News might tell you, the Muslims that  live here, want to be here and like it here.  As a matter of fact, go  to your local Muslim owned gas station, and you know what will be  written on their windows?  That’s right, Merry Christmas.  They are not stupid, they know that their culture and belief system will not be  destroyed by experiencing the local culture, which is Christmas.

Santa the God Destroyer

The funny thing is, you know what is really killing Christmas?  Fox  News, no, just kidding.  Seriously, the killer of Christmas is Santa  Claus.  For those of you that may not be aware, Christmas is the  celebration of the birth of Baby Jesus.  Santa and the shopping season  as so destroyed that concept that many people who I know make comments like, “We don’t have Santa with our kids.  We are not Christian.”  That is an actual quote from a person that I know.  The idea that people  equate Santa and the commercialism of gifts and Christianity is the  real killer of Christmas.  If you know me, or read my blog, you  probably know that I am a Christian and we celebrate the birth of Jesus in our home and I don’t give a flying Fahrvergnügen if you say Happy Holidays or not.  Why should I care?  You can say Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukkah, or Rad Ramadan (you like that? Just made it up) to me and it won’t affect my beliefs.  The biggest lesson that most people need to learn is that “What you do ain’t got nothin’ to do with me!”  So, don’t let Fox News convince you that you are doing something wrong by saying “Happy Holidays”.  Since when did it become wrong to care about not hurting other people’s feelings.  As a matter of fact, it sounds like something Jesus would do.

Oh, and you left-wing, tree-hugging, liberals, I got something for you  too.  Chill out!  Do you know what the most popular holiday in the US is?  That’s right, Christmas.  And that’s a fact.  Well, I don’t know if it’s a fact, but I do know that if you are off of work right now, it is because of Christmas.  You know why?  Because you live in the United States of Frickin America, that’s why.  If I lived in Israel, do you think I would be complaining about Hanukkah?  Like it or not, if you live in the US then deal with the fact that Christmas is popular.  So, say Merry Christmas!  If you are offending someone, just say “Sorry, my bad, I did not realize that by saying Merry Christmas I was rejecting your culture, or claiming that your religion was wrong.  Or maybe you are just a little too sensitive about what I say as a greeting?  Maybe you need to reevaluate what you believe in if a two-word salutation by me is going to rock your faith or lack thereof.  Or maybe, just maybe, you need to be worrying less about what I am saying and more about how you can spend more times with your kids and wife instead of worrying about what other people are saying or doing.  Now, get out of my face before I go Bad Santa all over your ass.  Oh and by the way, Merry Christmas!”

So, the moral of this story is do what you got to do.  Say Happy 
Holidays if you like, you will not destroy Christmas.  Say Merry 
Christmas, and if someone is offended, then say sorry and move on, or try my suggestion above.  Regardless, I hope you have a great and loving time with your friends and family this holiday season.  And I believe that Gumby said it best, “Merry Christmas Damn It!”

Eddie Murphy as Gumby. Awesome!

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Over Thanks giving, my got mad because I hated the fact that I had to wait in line as a kid at the grocery store while she ran off and got something she forgot.  She pointed out that I didn’t mind it when she waited in line at Disneyland so that me and my friends did not have to wait going from ride to ride.  She is right, but I still hold to the fact that I hated it.  But it makes me think of my own kids as we take them to Mall of America for Christmas Eve, spend hours upon hours looking for the items that we know they want, or drive from place to place so they can go sledding, see friends, or go to the mall with friends.  And they have no idea what we go through to make them happy.  Just as I did not appreciate my mom waiting in lines for me at Disneyland, neither my kids will appreciate until they have kids.  Nonetheless, as parents, it is what we do.  Thanks Mom!  And Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.  I’m just sayin …

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I’m in Minneapolis right now, and it is the freakin’ ice age up here.  There is like 2-3 feet of snow on the ground and it keeps snowing.  What amazes me every year is the number of black people who I see living here.  Black folks and snow? Who knew?  I get the white folks.  They are crazy, but the black folks?  What is the world coming too?  I’m just sayin (Part Deux) …

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So, today is Wednesday.  You know what that means in the Woods household?  No TV day.  Isn’t that the craziest thing you have ever heard?  TV has given so much and asked so little.  A while back my wife requested that we have at least one day when the television is not turned on.  Of course my response was, “Why would we do that?”  “I don’t know, so that we could talk as a family. Get to know each other maybe.  Bond.” She replied.  Silliness.  Down right silliness.  Which brings us back to today, no TV.

The first time we did this, we announced to only Brett at the time that Wednesday would be no TV day.  He of course asked “Why?”  Mighty fine question son.  Leah explained the deal, and he again asked if we had to, looking to me for help.  I gave him a look as if to say, “We are on the losing team on this particular battle, son.”  Once he saw no help from me, he said, “Fine”.  I still remember that first night like it was yesterday.  Brett Jr. had gone to bed, and the first thing I do is turn on the TV.  Which of course met resistance from my wife.  “What are you doing?  It’s no TV day.”  “What?!?  You meant me too?  Why do I have to have no TV day?” was my response.  “So, we can talk.” She said.  “AAAAAAAHHHHHHH! Ugh, I say.”  Which brings us back to today, no TV day.  We have been doing this for several years now.  At has become part of us.  Everyone knows that Wednesday is no TV day.  I remember when my brother and his son was staying with us for a while.  I even made him obey the no TV rule on Wednesdays.  He was not impressed.  Of course it led him to want to move out of our home quicker, so that was a bonus buy.

We will have dinner tonight.  Go around the table and everyone will talk about their days.  After dinner, the boys will “play” fight until the 3-year-old cries and then complain to us that his older brother is being too rough.  To which we will reply, “Then don’t fight with him.”  Thirty seconds later, he is fighting with his brother again, until once again he is crying and the circle of life continues.  Once a little three year old energy has burned off`, at least a little, we will either play a game or watch a movie.  The choice will be affected by how tired we are, which is interesting, as I think most decisions in this house are determined by the adult fatigue level.  Which brings us back to today, no TV day.

Things have evolved over time.  No TV day has slowly become Forced Family Fun Day.  Sometimes it is good to not only NOT watch TV, but get out of the house and do something fun.  The first time we did this, it received the same resistance.  Brett asked me “Do I have to go?”  “Yes” I replied, “As a matter of fact I have to go too.” Hence the term, Forced Family Fun Day, as everyone is forced to enjoy the day.  This is probably mostly for me, as I can be a pill sometimes.  We will be having FFF Day this Friday, which means a second day of no TV.  How did that happen?  I’ll tell you how that happened.  It turns out that kids enjoy hanging out with the family.  Brett Jr. suggested we have family day later this week.  “Traitor! He has been turned over to the Dark Side!”  Well, what do you do?  It turns out my wife’s crazy brained idea has been adopted by the entire family.  Yeah, I don’t mind them either.  What’s a little Forced Family Fun among friends?

So, I will go without TV for two days this week.  I guess it is not a bad price to pay for a family that enjoys being around each other.  Makes you wonder if you shouldn’t consider having a No TV Day of your own, or maybe a FFF Day.  Of course if you do, and your family looks at you crazy, don’t blame me, I’d look at you crazy too.  No TV. Bah!

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You know what is funny?  I got up this morning and it was zero.  ZERO!  That’s cold.  On my way home I think the temperature was around 25.  Now, here is the funny part.  I took OFF my jacket.  In what world is 25 warm?  The Wisconsin world that where!  No one should live here.  I’m just sayin …

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So, I am at home visiting the family for Thanksgiving.  My wife, and three kids braved the crazy airport scene to arrive in California where most of my family resides.  If you can avoid LAX, I highly recommend it.  We landed at 8:45 pm and did not get out of the airport until 10:15.  Here is the thing, we got all of our bags at 9:20.  It took us almost an hour just to get out of the airport, CRAZY!  The bizarre thing is that I was born and raised in LA, but now this place feels like a foreign country to me.

If you are from the Midwest, which now I must say I am a Midwesterner (You have no idea how sad it is to write that.  I am even looking at it now and thinking if I should erase it, but sadly, I can’t, the Midwest is my home now. Sad clown), you should consider a trip to LA for the experience.  I promise you, the city will not let you down.  It starts with the flight into the airport, where you will see more lights on the ground then possibly anywhere else on the planet (and I have been to a lot of the planet).  When you arrive, you will see every walk of life; black, white, hispanic, asian, muslim, greek, jews, gentiles, you name it, they will be there.  Also, foreign languages will be spoken all around you.  When I go to the grocery store near my mom’s house, the dominant language by far is Spanish.  You might find that odd, I find it very cool.  The bottom line is, despite having way too many people, too many cars, traffic at 3am, and times of smog that could kill a canary, I love LA.  However, I now must say, great place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live here.

Alright, now that was a huge digression.  I want to talk about family, my family, all of my family.  On Thanksgiving we ate at my Dad’s house. 

This picture is nothing like dinner at our house. First of all there are no ribs in the picture. Secondly, there is no can-shaped cranberry sauce (A must have. Don't eat, but must have). And who eats fresh green beans? Where is the green bean crap?

At the house were my father, stepmother, stepsisters and their families, my stepbrother and his family, my sister and her kids, my cousins, my family, some random people I didn’t know and my mom.  There was like 35 of us.  The dinner was planned and hosted by my stepmom and it was a great time.  There were babies everywhere and multiple generations.  We shared stories, laughed, and ate; we ate a lot.  Looking around the gathering I couldn’t help but think to myself, this is who I am, this is me.  All of this is what has made me who I am and if you are like me, I would encourage you to embrace that fact.  Your family and my family has made us who we are today.

My sister who tells a story of my father’s arrogance.  She says, “Am I right? He is arrogant!”  My father notices that no one is disagreeing with her.  Everyone in the room doesn’t say a word as everyone looks at each other and bust out laughing because we all know it’s true.  Even my mom chimes in on how my father has the ability to smooth talk his way through any situation, fully expecting to get his way. – this is me.

We share how my mother used to make all of us stand in line at the grocery store as she headed back into the store to find more items.  If she came back and we did not hold our position, or if the checker made us move, she would get mad at us for not standing our ground.  Always stand your ground. – this is me.

My father talked of not knowing his father and being raised by his mother.  It is very clear that despite not being raised by his father that he did not take that path.  He broke his cycle, and became a father to his kids, all of his kids.  You see, my sister’s dad is not my dad, nor my older brother’s, and obviously not my stepbrother’s and stepsisters’, but you wouldn’t know it in that room.  He may not be the father by blood, but he is father by action. – this too is me.

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, I hope you spent the time with your family.  Maybe it was stressful, maybe it was joyous, maybe your drunk uncle got out of control again, but remember this:  Your family has made you who you are, some for the good, and some for the bad, but all you, and if you take a moment, you will see the little origins of you in the faces and actions of your family members.

I could go on and on with family stories from this weekend, but what I will remember most is that we may not be the Brady Bunch, the Cleaver’s or even the Cosby’s, but we are truly the Modern Family.  They made me who I am.  And remember this, if your family is the best at pushing your buttons, you shouldn’t be surprised because they are the ones that installed them.  Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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I went golfing with my father, brother and stepbrother yesterday.  It was awesome.  So awesome we are going to try to do it every year.  The funny thing is we all complained of the cold.  I live in Wisconsin, so it made me laugh because the temperature was about 60.  I now know why I hate Wisconsin winters so much, I clearly have a California weather gene.  I’m just sayin …

I’m Just sayin … (Part II)

Is it just me or when you go home you walk through a time warp and the family dynamics become that of when you were a kid?  I’m a grown-ass man with kids, but when I am home I can’t help but wonder why it’s Thanksgiving and my mom has not made my apple pie yet.  I may throw a tantrum soon.  Wrong? Yes, but true.  I’m just sayin …

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