Hell of a Guy
Do, or do not. There is no 'try'. - Yoda

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Home Alone…


The house is quiet, the cat lay in the chair opposite me fast asleep, The Nancy gone to her office for a while, and I am alone to my own devices.  The Sirius New Age station is beaming some soft, mood music throughout the house.  That is “mood” music, and not Muzak, as my son-in-law refers to my choice of musical genre.  I have time to think and to reflect, and that is good and not so good.

I have been trading emails with family members the past couple of days with memories of my father.  The 24th would have been his 106th Birthday had he not passed away Thanksgiving Day, 1997.  I have shared memories of my own, and received some from my “much older brother” and my younger brother, as well.  We have been spurred on by our children to share what we can.  I am personally thrilled by this, that younger members of this family want to know what their grandparents where like, and love it that I get to share the memories this is bringing to the forefront from deep in my brain.  Neat!  In this day of high tech communication, a screwed up economy, wacked out politicians and a hazy future, it is comforting to know family history still means something. 

My dad was soft-spoken and led a very simple life.  He dropped out of school because of necessity at a very young age.  While he lacked formal education, he had a knack for numbers.  He could do math computations in his head faster than most people could do on calculator.  His smile could light up a room, and he loved a good joke, even if it were a little off color.  I never heard him cuss or say a cuss word, though he did have his own words for things, like referring to people “fadumptyasials” or maybe saying “concarnit” when things didn’t go as they should.

I can remember visiting the basement in our house where he would be working on a project and asking him what he was doing.  His reply to questions like that was always, “I am building a layover to catch meddlers.”  I was too young to get it then, but now I know it was his way to tell me to go find something to do and leave him be.

Our dad was a pious man, but quiet about his love of God.  He was active in the church, a Presbyterian by birth and a Methodist by marriage.  His total and unconditional love for my mother could never be doubted.  And six months after her death he chose to join her and willed himself to be with her in eternity.  He was loyal to a fault, kind, considerate and while he had the prejudices of someone born at the turn of the 20th century, he would never have been unkind to anyone, ever.

Now, more than twelve years since his death, I can honestly say I still think of him every day, and miss him all the more.

And that is all I have to say about that…

Monday, February 22, 2010

Roger Ebert and Me…


My daughter sent me blog post written by Roger Ebert and his thoughts on the existence of God.  I read it with mounting interest; it was almost like reading something as if I had written it about my thoughts. I could so relate to his questions about God and what God is about.  Ebert was raised Catholic and I was as a Methodist. 

I was raised on the church doctrine.  My mother’s father was a Methodist preacher, as was her maternal grandfather. About the time I became a teenager I began to find the stories in the Bible to be mostly sensational, hard to believe, fairy tales.  I questioned God from the time I was very young and waivered on agnosticism/atheism for about 45 years. While at Millennium3 Education in Dallas for a workshop in 2004 I had an overwhelming sense that I was there at that time with that group of people because I was destined to be.  It was there I got the sense of being totally connected to my fellow man (and women), something as I had never experienced before.  It is where the “Universal Presence” and I connected for the first time in my life.

Fast forward two years: Capital Ale House, Richmond, VA on Father’s Day.  My daughter gave me “Conversations with God” by Neale Donald Walsch.  I read it in a couple of days.  I was captivated by it.  The book answered every question I ever had about all things God. It is a mixture of philosophy, spirituality, quantum physics and quantum mechanics. Some of it is very far out, but I excused it because it defines a God with whom I am comfortable, one so different than the God of my parents.

I finished the book.  One night as I lay in my bed, Nancy fast asleep, I asked the question in my mind, “God, are you there?”  It got very spooky.  My eyes were closed tightly, but I became very conscious of a blue hue that grew brighter and brighter in just a few seconds, and then as clear as I can hear the people around me I heard, “I am here.”

Chuckle, if you wish, laugh out load, I heard it and I sensed it in every bone in my body.  And since that time I believe I have had my own conversations with God.

Don’t by what I have said here think old dad is suddenly a Born Again anything, nothing could be further from the truth.  But you can count on I believe I am an individuation of a power greater than I am, and I love it.

Has it ever struck you as odd how one day you have a passing thought about someone and later, maybe hours or the next day, you hear from or see that person?  It is because of connectivity of all things.  God, in this sense, is nothing more than the All of the All, the total sum of everything that is - everything I see, touch, sense and imagine.  This realization made for The Best Day Ever.

Walsch describes Jesus and others who attempted to get that message across as God’s masters, who were all ignored. The Dalai Lama may be one of God’s masters. He certainly is ignored by many, and more miss the meaning of his simple message to love one another. God does not control you.  God will not punish you for using the “Free Will” He gave you.  God is simply an observer wanting you to be who you truly are.

Take the time to read the book. Take it all in. It makes no difference to me whether you buy into it or not.  There is life after death as matter cannot be created or destroyed.  So you will be around forever just as you always have been.  It is that it is.  You are an individuation of the All of the All.  And that is the Universal Presence some call God.

My granddaughter taught me a huge lesson about “The Best Day Ever.”  You see, it is all about attitude.  The Nancy and I have spread the word about the The Best Day Ever.  The phrase has had a life of its own and it is growing. Some people look at us strangely when we tell them this is The Best Day Ever.  Just think for a minute how the world might change if everyone declared tomorrow as The Best day Ever.  God has smiled on a little girl in Glen Allen, Virginia, because she gets it.  And, she does.

And is all I have to say about that…

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Counting the Days…


Quite a few people know I am now less than a year from retirement, and I know a lot of people who are already retired.  Some of them encourage me to do it now.  “Why wait,” they say.  “Why not do it now?”

A little over a week ago we got nearly two and a half feet of snow dumped on us at The Farm.  The Nancy and I were trapped.  Had we begun to dig ourselves out, we might still be digging.  I estimated there to be 5,866 cubic yards of snow on the half-mile of gravel driveway from the house to the road.  There was no way in hell I was going to even move a shovel full of snow from the driveway.  We were stuck.  And, stuck we were for five days.

Five days with The Nancy is a blissful way to spend time; however, not when forced to do it.  If she were here watching me write this I would say the same thing, and I bet you a bucket full of snow she would say the same thing.  Since we were forewarned of the impending incarceration, The Nancy did bring home her laptop and was able to do some work.  I relocated my office to the basement of our house back in July (whatever I was thinking at the time leaves me clueless), so working was not a problem since all my stuff was already there…except. 

The “except” part is I didn’t want to do any work, though I did and I can tell you it took a great deal of focus on my part.  What I wanted to do was light a fire in the fireplace, grab a book and a beer, and settle in a soft chair and read away until I fell asleep – generally about ten pages or so.  I never got to do it.  The reality of being stranded in your own home is that all you really want to do is get out of it.

Contemplate retirement: if you are not wealthy, or at least somewhat well off, retirement is nothing more than confinement.  If retirement is so damn wonderful, why are retired people always looking for something to do?  I have had friends tell me they are going to retire, but in the same breath tell me they will have to find “something” to do.  What? 

What the hell am I going to do if I retire as planned next February?  My dreams of becoming a geriatric porn star may not materialize because of possible faulty, irreplaceable equipment.  Plan “B,” the micro-brewery, takes a bunch of money and I do not have enough set aside to risk it.  Plan “C,” I do not have one.

The gist of this is simply this, if retirement is so frigging great, why am I waffling on it?  On the other hand, is it at all possible to speed up time to 2-9-2011?  God, how I hate conundrums.

And that is all I have to say about that…

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine’s Day



I tend to be somewhat sentimental on Valentine’s Day…okay!  Well, I tend to be a great deal sentimental and a little emotional, especially when it comes to The Nancy.  Today there was a moment where this hit me right between the eyes.

One of the things The Nancy and I love to do on Sunday mornings is watch the TV show on CBS named, ironically enough, “Sunday Morning.”  We like to watch it as we enjoy a late Sunday morning breakfast.  The late breakfast because Sunday is The Nancy’s day to sleep in and I dare not attempt to awaken her before the appropriate time set before she goes to bed Saturday night.  I received my instructions last night not to awaken her prior to 9am, and that is when I gently, lovingly awakened her this morning. 

The theme for “Sunday Morning” was all things Valentine.  One of the segments featured the critically acclaimed movie “Crazy Heart” starring Jeff Bridges.  Something he said this morning caused me a huge emotional, somewhat tearful moment of joy.  Bridges said something about his wife that got me to thinking romantically, and thinking of anything romantic, especially about The Nancy, gets to me.

Jeff Bridges and his wife have been married for thirty-three years.  In this film he has to act out being in love with his female co-star.  It was this thing he said about his on-screen relationship with the female character that hit me and got me all glassy-eyed.  When he had to do a romantic scene all he had to do was think about how much he loved his wife and the scene would take care of itself.  It sparked a thought. 

As he spoke it crossed my mind of just how many women are on this planet that I love.  I am not so sure there is enough memory in this laptop for me to name them all.  If I counted them beginning with my mother and my daughters, my first wife who I have never stopped loving, and all of the fantastic women who play and have played a part in my life, I don’t think I could name them all.  The list is just that long, but there is someone in my life who simply is my life, and that is The Nancy, my Nancy.  I cannot help but love this woman.  She is the all of the all to me.  There are times when I look at her I am overwhelmed with her beauty and at a loss for words, tears immediately fill my eyes. When she catches me in that moment, she signals the love right back at me without saying a word.  We just know, and that ain’t bad.  This morning presented one of those moments and it was wonderful and made my day.

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

And that is all I have to say about that…

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