Thursday, June 27, 2013

Hey, How Are You?

What if everyone who said...”Hey, how are you?”...really wanted to know. It would be a different world wouldn’t it? “Not bad.”...could no longer be the standard response if the asker really cared about the askee. The askee would sense the sincerity and be obligated to give an answer like, "Truthfully Bob, I've been a little out of sorts lately." There would be follow up questions. “Are you getting enough sleep?”..“Are you regular?”..."Sit and tell me all about it." People would be late for work because of time spent discussing in detail with a caring asker, the little gas problem, probably from those frozen burrito supremos, that kept waking them up during the night. And that's not to mention the non health related “Hey, how are you?” “Well, since you’ve asked, I’m quite concerned about Float Quoted Market Values actually.” An arm would be thrown over a shoulder...a caring hug...there are emotions to be shared here. Maybe it would be nice though. Someone asking "Hey, how are you?"...actually cared and really wanted to know. But then again, too many extended outpourings about chronic heat rashes, hours of shared concerns over Indicative Calculated Closing Prices and the time spent listening to all that heartfelt advice about home pricing in a volatile real estate market just might tend to slow down the national economy. In the end, it’s probably better that we’re the shallow, superficial society that we are. “Hey, how are you?” “Not bad.” And that’s it. We get a lot more done this way.

Friday, June 14, 2013

From Dad

As I heard myself say, “When are the kids coming over?” I suddenly had a very strange thought. The kids…are all in their thirties. The kids…have kids. The kids finished college years ago. Two of the kids have Master’s degrees. The kids have traveled the world. They own their own homes…and I still call them the kids. "They’re not the kids any more are they?" my brain asked. Well…it was my heart that answered…"Yes they are"…they’re MY kids. And always will be. My oldest is a father now with two beautiful little girl kids of his own. But I can still remember the blond haired, blue eyed little boy who used to hold my hand and kiss me good night. He’s still my kid. My youngest son has a Master’s degree and lives in Chicago now. But once, at a three year old’s birthday party at Chucky Cheese, said costumed rodent scared the bejesus out of said three year old. I can still see the pizza and pop scattering in every direction as he scrambled across the table to get to the safety of Daddy’s arms. I’m still the Daddy. He’s still my kid. And my youngest kid…my daughter…a Mom to two little boys of her own. A teacher and a holder of a Master’s degree in Education. But there are times when I can still see the same little angel who used to fall asleep on my shoulder in that old rocking chair. She’s still my angel. She’s still my kid. So yeah…for as many years as I have left I guess I’ll always be asking, “When are the kids coming over?” because they’ll always be…my kids.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

For My Dad On Father's Day

19 years ago I lost my hero. At the time though, I didn’t know how much of a hero he would become to me. It’s been mostly during the years since he’s been gone that I’ve slowly discovered how much he had really taught me about the responsibilities being a man…of being a father…of being able to love…and being able to be loved. Mostly by just watching him live. 19 years ago…I lost my Dad. Now, he wasn’t the smartest man I ever met…or the most creative…or a spinner of great yarns…or teller of great jokes. Those are all good things to be though and I admire those efforts. My Dad’s mission in life however, was not to be a great man among men. His mission in life was to be a great man among…me. And that he did. He accomplished that in my eyes by doing what I believe was sacred to him. He did it by always trying to do the right thing…in any situation…no matter how hard…no matter what the cost. Sure, he fell short sometimes, but he always tried. That was how he lived his life. And I think he hoped his life lessons would teach me to try to do the same. I know I’ve let him down more than once…but I’m trying Dad…I’m trying. 19 years ago I lost my hero. I’ve never told anyone this, but late in the evening of the day my Dad died I was standing alone in the dining room of my home looking out the window at a very dark, night sky. I remember saying to myself, “I just need to know you’re OK Dad, I just need to know you’re OK”. At that very moment a shooting star lit up a corner of that very dark, night sky. I saw another shooting star tonight. I’m still trying Dad…still trying.

Thursday, June 6, 2013


Bugs...Hmmm...Now that the weather is breaking they’re everywhere aren’t they? Bugs...They come in all shapes and sizes. You’ve got your hard ones and soft ones...big ones and little ones...your crawlie ones, flying ones, hopping ones and some that do all of the aforementioned activities. Some bite, some sting and some just buzz around your ears at night while you slap yourself silly trying to send them to bug heaven. Wouldn’t it be interesting to sit down over a cup of coffee with the Big Guy himself and ask...”So, just what did you have in mind here with the Bug thing?” Maybe He just had a bunch of leftover spare parts and nothing to do one afternoon. Or maybe He just couldn’t pass up a great buy on legs and anntenae at heaven’s dollar discount warehouse. Or maybe He looked down and thought...”You people really bug me there’s an idea”. Or maybe...we’ll just never know the reason for our...Bugs. So, maybe it’s just live and let live. On the other hand...s’cuse me while I go whack that fly.