Hell of a Guy
The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it - Henry David Thoreau

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Ten Years Ago Today…


The Nancy and I are in Marco Island, Florida on a sort of mini-vacation with the sole purpose of celebrating our 10th Wedding Anniversary.

It has been 3652 days since we were married on a gorgeous day at sunset under a blue sky dotted with extremely white puffy clouds as we stood barefoot in the sand at Makena Cove, Maui, Hawaii.  As waves of the Pacific broke over lava rocks behind us, the Reverend Alalani Astara Hill joined us as one with a wedding ceremony based on the Hawaiian culture.

There were just five of us on the point that day, The Nancy and I, the preacher, the wedding planner and a videographer, who served as our witnesses.  After nearly eight years of being an “item,” as it were, and seeing one another only about twice each month, we made the decision to be married somewhere barefoot on a beach at sunset, Hawaii seemed a good choice.  We could not have chosen a more beautiful spot or a more perfect day.


I fell in love with this woman long before I knew her.  Sounds weird, I know, but I feel it every time I see her or hear her voice.  There is “Something in the way she moves,” there is a rhythm, a sway, a saunter that draws my eyes to her even now.  Her voice, “Attracts me like no other lover,” is music to my ears, a symphony I love to listen to over and over.  There is prosody is her speech, a poetic rhythm and meter in the way she says certain words, certain phrases.  I am drawn to her as a moth is to a light. I love to watch her from across the room when we are at social events, her majesty and grace are always present.  She is my princess.

Josh Groban sings a song entitled “When You Say You Love Me.”  When I hear it I have to close my eyes, the first few words bring me a mental picture of The Nancy, and that picture triggers my emotions and gets my heart to racing and my eyes glistening.

Like the sound of silence calling,
I hear your voice and suddenly
I’m falling, lost in a dream.
Like the echoes of our souls are meeting,
You say those words and my heart stops beating.
I wonder what it means.
What could it be that comes over me?
At times I can’t move.
At times I can hardly breathe.

When you say you love me
The world goes still, so still inside and
When you say you love me
For a moment, there’s no one else alive

You’re the one I’ve always thought of.
I don’t know how, but I feel sheltered in your love.
You’re where I belong.
And when you’re with me if I close my eyes,
There are times I swear I feel like I can fly
For a moment in time.
Somewhere between the Heavens and Earth,
And frozen in time, Oh when you say those words.

When you say you love me
The world goes still, so still inside and
When you say you love me
For a moment, there’s no one else alive

And this journey that we’re on.
How far we’ve come and I celebrate every moment.
And when you say you love me,
That’s all you have to say.
I’ll always feel this way.

When you say you love me
The world goes still, so still inside and
When you say you love me
In that moment, I know why I’m alive

When you say you love me.
When you say you love me.
Do you know how I love you?

Florida may not be Maui, Hawaii.  The Hilton Marco Island may not be Makena Cove (makena is “abundance” in Hawaiian), though the sun still sets in the west here, too.  But some things don’t change and really do remain the same.  The Nancy has not changed.  She is still the most beautiful woman in the world with the blue-gray eyes I fell in love with many years ago and drew me closer to her.  There is a grace about her, a gentle personality people are drawn to.  She is sincere and open, vulnerable, joyful, competitive, trustworthy and sweet.  There just isn’t a single thing I could change in her to make her better.  The Nancy is a giver, not a taker.  She gives so much and asks for little.  My love for her is unconditional, and she is so easy to love.  All she has to do is just be The Nancy; the rest is up to me. 

At the end of the movie “The City of Angels” Seth, the angel played by Nicholas Cage is asked by Cassiel (Andre Braugher) if giving up immortality to be with Maggie Rice (Meg Ryan) for such a short while was worth it, Maggie died after being struck by a car as she rode her bike.  Without hesitation, Seth said, “I would rather have had one breath of her hair, one kiss of her mouth, one touch of her hand… than an eternity without it. 

As The Nancy and I stood on the shore at MaKenna Cove ten-years ago today, I toasted our marriage with that story as the sun slowly drifted below the horizon.  Each year as we watch our wedding video, I think of those words and how they are so exactly true for me each day.

For one breath of her hair, for one kiss of her mouth, one touch of her hand…

And that is all I have to say about that…

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

How Old Am I?...


Last week our granddaughter sent a text to her grandmother asking for her and for me to participate in a school project.  She sent us several questions to answer with regard to our thoughts on aging.  I don’t remember them all, but I do a few.

The first question was “How old do you feel?”  I am not sure what The Nancy answered, I said fifty.  Another question was to the state of health we each felt we were in ranked one to ten, one being very healthy.  I said two, because I think I am in pretty good shape.  At least I thought so until shortly after I answered the question and then I re-visited it for a little while.  I originally selected a “two” because as I approach my sixty-seventh birthday, knowing I exercise nearly everyday, have very good stamina, believe I eat right most of the time (well, at least half of the time), watch my weight (The Nancy and I weigh in every Friday), I truly thought of myself as a healthy “hexagenarian.”  I should not be allowed to think, ever; my pondering gets me into all kinds of trouble. 

What had me vexed?  Firstly, I thought about how I wake up in the morning with AM pains.  I do not bound out of bed as I used to do; I sort of roll out slowly.  Then I thought about the back pains I have intermittently, which basically means most of the time.  From time to time I get aches in my knees and elbows, and have had tremendous leg cramps in the middle of the night several times a week for a few years. I notice sometimes when I awake in the middle of the night for personal relief (a nice way to say pee) I get a little wobbly as I make my way from the bed to the bathroom – a balance issue, no doubt, that I remember my dad suffered.  These days I don’t quite bend over as quickly to pick things up, and touching my toes if a laugher.  I even find myself grunting as I plop down in my favorite chair these days.  And we won’t even touch on “regularity.”

Another question had something to do with changes I would make to make my life better.  I could list them here, but I think you would succumb to boredom before you finished reading the list.  Briefly, I would get more sleep – at least sleep each night until daylight awakened me.  I would say I would give up any and all sexual activity if there were that much to consider giving up (hells bells, I am still working on the free six-pill sample pack of Viagra I got at the end of my physical in 2001).  I would eat abstemiously and healthily 100% of the time, and so on, and so on, blah, blah, blah…

Now maybe the above stuff is not the end of the earth, but I sure as hell didn’t experience any of that when I was fifty, back then I had enough hair I could brush from my eyes. I could jog for an hour or more, and did five-six days a week.  My weight was lower and I know my cholesterol was a heck of a lot better.  I was the picture of health.

If today I were able to compare the two pictures I have described side by side I would probably have to revise the answer I gave to Jessica for her report.  I now think I feel a lot like I did when I was 65.

And that is all I have to say about that…

Sunday, October 24, 2010

College Football and The Nancy


The final score was 19-14 and The Nancy’s team was not on top.  The stadium was subdued and stupefied for a few moments as 65,000 fans began to exit the steel and concrete structure that brings them intense pleasure or immense pain.  Today, it was the pain.  As the shock of the loss sank in, thousands of amateur sports analysts began to dissect it, and the consensus opinion seemed to be, for a team that now has a season record of five wins against two losses, the loss could only be attributable to poor coaching.  It was determined the coaches have to go, and that change alone will allow the West Virginia Mountaineers to never, ever lose another game.

I love the see WVU win.  It makes The Nancy happy; therefore, it tickles the hell out of me.  I can look at West Virginia football from the standpoint as an outsider, and can be, I think, a bit more objective in my analysis than the diehard Blue and Gold fans.  The Nancy did not and would not criticize the coaches, but was saddened by the loss.  She understands some games are won, other are lost.  That is why they call them “contests.”  Not so with some fans, if the team loses they blame it on the coaches, but cannot attribute it to the fact the other team may have just out played them.

The West Virginia football program has not had a losing season since 2001, and has had a national presence for as long as I can remember.  This team has the best winning record of any football team in the country that has never won a National Championship, and has an overall win percentage of .559 throughout its storied history.

I am not a sports nut, I may not even be too bright, but I think a team that finishes a season with a winning record is a heck of a lot better off than one with a losing record.  WVU’s football teams have acquitted themselves well over the last decade.  The present coaching staff has done an outstanding job considering the mess it was left with three years ago when the previous staff walked away after the fans demanded their heads when the team was not 11-0 every year with a bowl win and a shot at the National Championship. 

It’s very easy to criticize.  We as human beings do it all the time.  Most of us can give it, but can’t take it.  These West Virginia fans are a fickle bunch, and it is guaranteed if WVU wins next week, especially if by a large margin, the coaching staff will again be held in high esteem.  It is just the way it works.

And that is all I have to say about that…

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Football, Basketball and the Upcoming Election…


It’s that time of the year.  As we approach the middle of the college football season, the beginning of the college basketball season, as well as the end of the 2010 election season, I have come a realization – actually a couple of them.

If the college football and the NFL season where to end today, it would not bother me.  As for basketball, I have little or no interest, so the beginning of the season means absolutely nothing to me, but the upcoming election means a lot.

The Nancy, as I have reported many times before, is the sports fan in this house.  My enthusiasm for any sport can be maintained on Mondays just with a quick read of the statistic section in the sport pages, but the election is a different story.

I like to think of myself as an independent, but I have to be honest with myself and all of you.  While in my voting life I have voted for Democrats, I have to admit my views align with Republicans at least 75% of the time – while against abortion, I am not in favor of denying any woman of her right of control over what happens to her body; I am totally for strict gun control; and as a spiritual person but not a religious one, I resent fundamentalists of any religion controlling a political party.  I very much believe in less government involvement in my life. I am not in favor of a national healthcare program run by politicians who have screwed up everything it has ever managed – Social Security, the Postal Service, Cash for Clunkers, Medicare and so on.  I am a fiscal conservative and want to see a Constitutional Amendment to force the Federal Government to balance its budget.

I believe, while he might be a great guy to drink a beer with, Barrack Obama may go down as the worst president we have had since Jimmy Carter, who, in case you are too young to remember, was president from 1976 to 1980.  When he spoke at the Democrat National Convention in 2004, I was energized by the guy.  When he declared himself a candidate I really though I would give him my vote; however, the more he talked, the more I realized he and I were miles apart on the issues confronting this country.  Now, two years later, I know I was right, he scares the crap out of me.

Some of you are shaking your heads in disagreement, and that is okay, it’s our right as Americans, but let me say this to you, don’t forget to vote your conscience on November 2nd.

Enough politics, let’s get back to football and basketball?  On second thought, let’s not?

And that is all I have to say about that. 

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