Hell of a Guy
Freedom of Press is limited to those who own one - H.L. Mencken

Thursday, December 26, 2013

‘Twas the Day after Christmas…


And all through the house – blah, blah, blah, and so on.  Sounds “Grinchie,” doesn’t it, but all in all I can easily mark this one down as a successful Christmas, a joyful Christmas. 

As The Nancy and I have done for many years, we spent Christmas day near Grafton, West Virginia with family.  Here, the grandchildren are getting older (soon to be 19, 17, 15, and 13) and as one might suspect, Christmases are tremendously different than they were just a few years ago.  I could say one of the greatest differences is the variety of gifts the children receive.  Where the room used to be littered, that should read as “overly littered,” with toys of all sizes, these days the gift boxes contain mostly apparel.  The few “toys” they want and get are of those of this digital age – electronics.  These kids are techno savvy, and it shows via the variety of the devices they carry and use almost constantly, but they are well dressed when they use them.

As the children age, it is easy to take notice just how much the tone of our interactions have changed, the kids can actually carryon an adult-like conversation, even though they are often punctuated with word “like” and an impulsive childlike giggle   The Nancy and I find ourselves rather enjoying the grandchildren at this age.  They are more like young adults than children, especially the older two.  Last night I was having a conversation with the eldest grandson (17) about his desire to go to medical school after college.  This is a change from the last time we discussed his future when he spoke of a career in engineering.  At least he has an eye on his future, and that is thrilling to me.  Wow!

We stretched out the Christmas Holiday as best we could yesterday.  Ours started about 8:30am and we were on the go until after 9pm, as probably were most of you.  The bed last night was a welcomed convenience, for sure.  In years past when the kids were young, Christmas day began much earlier.  A mere few years ago The Nancy and I were often a wakened very early morning, long before sunrise by kids excited beyond their capacity to withstand it.  The older they get, the later the morning begins, and that, my friends, works very nicely for us.  The Nancy was more than happy to sleep until 8 yesterday morning (and 8:30 today).  I awoke at almost my usual time on both days of about 0600.

The best part of this holiday for us is that it is not quite over.  We all refer to the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day as the Holidays, and what a wonderful week this has always been, and one I have always looked forward to – it’s my favorite week of the year.  And tomorrow it continues with a visit by two daughters, a son-in-law and our two youngest grandchildren for the weekend.  I hope one year we can get them altogether on a Christmas day– that is my ultimate Christmas dream.

This has truly been the Best Christmas Ever.  I could not have asked for it to have been more.  Well, maybe I could have asked to win the Powerball or Mega Millions lottery, but that may have been going a little overboard.

And that is all I have to say about that…

Friday, December 20, 2013

Deck the Halls…


Only four more shopping days until Christmas 2013 is here and gone.  It has been reported this year’s Christmas shopping season is reduced by seven days.  I am not entirely sure why it is important, other than to retailers, but, frankly, I have not noticed it at all.  You see, at this point in my life those I love may get a gift I carefully selected, or a gift card or even just a check, perhaps cash, and I am not afraid they won’t care for it, because I know I can expect either a “thank you” or a prolonged silence.  Either one is more than okay with me.

Please, don’t get me wrong; I love Christmas and I especially love the Christmas Season.  What I have come to not like so much is the shopping in crowded stores with tons (literally tons) of people who seemingly are on the verge of a mental breakdown.  The angst exhibited by some shoppers wears me out.  People get grouchy in stores when things don’t go their way.  Rudeness takes over, and the true meaning of the Season – Peace on earth goodwill toward men – is lost in the midst of the “me first.”  It really sours the moment for me.  So who is to blame?  Me!

I remember my mother speaking of her childhood Christmases.  Her father was a Methodist preacher.  The Christmas Season for them, her folks and their six children, was all about the birth of Jesus.  The highlight of Christmas morning for her, as she told it, was perhaps to find fresh oranges, some Christmas candy, and maybe some exotic nuts under their tree.  Often times her father would bring home less fortunate people and put them up in his children’s beds on Christmas Eve, and share his family’s Christmas with them.  Mother said she loved those Christmases.  Christmas in the early 1900’s was not a commercial holiday, it was a religious holiday, and it was celebrated as such.  Families actually got together and enjoyed one another, and no one expected to get a present.  Imagine?

A Grinch I am not.  I love to give at Christmas, sometimes to a fault.  I am afraid over the years The Nancy and I have spoiled a few of the grandchildren into expecting a big haul each and every year, and that is a little sad.  My joy these days comes from being with those I love on a holiday I hold dear.  I am a Christmas lover.

And that is all I have to say about that…

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Retirement’s Downfall…


It’s a downfall alright.  I have come to realize retirement is not all that good for me.  I am finding it is detrimental to my overall wellbeing, especially where the waistline is concerned.

The Nancy and I used to be good about watching our weight.  She and I made it a habit to step on the scale and record our weight every Friday, though lately we have managed, by design, to avoid it.  When we hit a certain number, or the scale wailed in agony, we would resort to our emergency weight loss program; that being a quick-fix diet called “Weight Loss for Idiots.”  This is an 11-day program wherein you eat four small meals a day made up of specific foods.  It worked well for us, especially if we did two stints on the program. 

My issue these days is the daggone refrigerator; the doors open way too freely and someone keeps putting my favorite snacks in there.  I am convinced an evil minded spirit has access to a key to our house and sneaks in in the middle of the night to re-stock high fat, high calorie victuals specifically intended for me to consume 24/7.  It seems I cannot pass by that damned appliance without grabbing the handles and peering inside to see what I missed.  Our electric bills are on the rise.  Apparently, the doors are not supposed to be opened hundreds of times a day.

When I retired two years ago my weight stood at 212lbs of manly mass (note I did not refer to the mass as muscle).  I felt pretty good about it since I am a long way from the mid-life crisis stage I had to endure twenty years ago when I got down below 190.  I have matured.  Anyway, I forced my soon to be morbidly obese body onto the scale as the scale shivered in fear of the trauma it was about to endure, and was not so shocked as the digital scale ran up to a number of 225.6.  I knew it was coming, but was not so prepared for the immediate depression that accompanied the scale screaming “Get off!!!”  I have reached the point of no return.  A decision has to be made.  Do I diet or do I purchase larger clothing?

Something deep within my medulla oblongata is telling me I have to do something and do it soon, I have to try to get this snacking habit under control.  Then I get this ringing in my ears, it’s Yoda’s voice and I can clearly hear the words.  “Do or do not, there is no try.”  Stay tuned for further developments. 

And that is all I have to say about that…