Thursday, December 27, 2007

A Titanic Anniversary

10 years ago today a mighty vessel set sail hurdling towards an unknown destination. Its crew was inexperienced at best and more than a little naive as to how to handle the new ship. History told them the seas would be bumpy and they would face giant swells followed by death defying plunges toward almost certain doom. Still with one glance thrown across a crowded market place, they knew it was a journey they needed to take. That maybe by taking that first step aboard they would be swept away on the adventure of a lifetime.

10 years ago tonight Lucy and I went on our first date. I've told the story here before of how I insisted it wasn't a date, but merely a chance to see the Box-office Bombshell Titanic. But I was only fooling myself. Had I not wanted a date with Lucy I could have very well have gone by myself. As for Lucy, we all know she's too clever to get stuck on a date with a dud. Her cell phone rang at that pre-determined time. A favor from a friend offering her a way out just in case.

Maybe it was a joke I tossed out. For all I know I could have gotten something in my eye that caused me to wink over and over. It could have been something as simple and subliminal as the scent of oranges I was using to cover the musky odor that had permanently attached itself to that old Dodge Raider I was driving at the time.

Whatever the reason, if not for that first night.that beginning moment.there would be no Christmas wedding, no Fred, no life that either of us would recognize ten years later.

Some of you have seen her pictures, some of you have read my tales about how wonderful she is, but nothing I will ever put on paper could ever describe my Lucy. There's just something about the twinkle in those blue eyes, the angel kisses across her cheeks, and that attitude that somehow manages to come off as strong and fragile at the same time.

On DEC 01, 2001 we were married in a church outside of town and though I was always told it was bad luck to see the bride before the wedding I just couldn't wait. So as the bridesmaids were being gathered together for pictures with Lucy sitting in the middle in front of the church alter .I found myself several feet above peering through a crack in the stained glass. What I saw was not just the girl of my dreams laughing and smiling, as she should be on her wedding day. What I saw was my future in all it's beauty laying a path for me to follow.

There have been more than a few ups and downs. At times the seas were rough and the swells never lasted as long as I wished they would, but as of yet our love has managed to avoid every iceberg that has gotten in the way. Sometimes by going around them, other times we simply tucked our heads, grabbed hold of each other, and barreled right through them.

10 years ago tonight while Jack and Rose did everything they could to get off their sinking ship, Lucy and I began a voyage that has taken us beyond anything ever shown on the silver screen.

Near, Far, where ever you are.stop with me and share a dance in honor of that first night together.


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A New Twist To A Grand Ole Holiday

So that was Christmas. Everything's been opened and we all somehow survived. You know you've had a successful holiday season if you don't find yourself standing in a return line on the 26th of December.

We are fortunate to have a large family and even more so that every year it gets larger and larger with new Blockheads being add to the clan every month (more on that in the days to come). I can't imagine being on the downside of a family. If you think about it every family starts with two people who begin a life, have children, grandchildren, etc.until at some point they peak or loose that grandparent that held everyone together and eventually they begin to dwindle back down until in some cases they disappear.

As the Blockheads grow and life spins people off in different directions, Lucy and I decided it was time to set some traditions of our own. We both have surviving grandparents, which we have been visiting on Christmas day since we were too young to remember. With Fred it's different though in that he is lucky enough to have great-grandparents on both sides that are alive and well. This means that while Lucy and I grew up only having to go to 1 or 2 places, Fred could be shipped all around the world and still not run of grandparents to visit. And though they would all love to see him, it eventually becomes too much.

Christmas should be this living, breathing, free flowing, time of wonder and amazement for a kid. A time filled with laughter and toys. Movie marathons with dad and baking cookies with mom. Not deadlines and due dates and having to worry about eating just enough at this persons house so as not to offend him/her but not too much so that you are too full to eat at the next stop and risk offending them.

This year we all sat and watched A Charlie Brown Christmas while making sure to dance with our feet pointed out and our heads pointed down.

This year instead of rushing off at the crack of dawn, we spread the word that Fred would be opening his presents from Santa around 7 am and anyone that wanted could come for breakfast with the baby at 8.

This year cookies were made for Santa and sprinkles were added by Fred.

This year it was Nani's (formerly known as Nana) the day before Christmas Eve.

This year everyone that could come, gathered up in the Edge on Christmas Eve and joined Fred for a drive through a forest full of Christmas lights.

This year Lucy took the day after Christmas off and let Fred play. No schedules, no daycare, nothing but enjoying his new gifts.

This year Pop's, who normally skips the holiday, came to our house for Christmas dinner.

And because of all of this and more, next year will be filled with memories of how great Christmas 2007 was instead of what a hassle it turned out to be.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

2-Feet Tall And Bullet Proof

Yes I'm still here. I know it's been awhile and I'm going to do us both a favor and skip the usual excuses. Just going to jump write in.get it write..right.never mind here we go.

This past weekend we made the 4-hour jump down south to see my grandparents. As some of you may know they are getting older and my grandfather isn't walking as well as he has in the past. What made this trip different is that normally when we go, 1,000 other various relatives drag their screaming kids along and we all take turns stomping on my grandfathers last nerve. This time it was just Fred, Lucy, and I. Understandably growing old isn't easy especially if you're used to being 10 feet tall and bullet proof which is the way I always think of my grandfather. Except that now he's having these leg issues and he's not always in the best of moods. What do you do though. He's my pawpaw. My job is to let it roll off my back and enjoy the fact that he's even still around. This past weekend I caught a glimpse of the man he is in my mind and heart.

It took Fred a few hours to warm up to him. Maybe it was that Fred is really into swords, baseball bats and such. My grandfathers cane is shaped like the perfect lightsaber. Soon they began a game of tug of war that lasted all weekend. Fred trying with everything he could muster to yank that walking stick from those giant hands. Maybe it was the simple invitation grandpa made to Fred, asking him if we would like to sit in his lap and color.

They say that impersonation is the best for of flattery and by the end of the weekend Fred soon began walking like the man towering above him. As my grandpa moved through the house bracing himself against this wall or that chair, right behind him some 6 feet closer to the ground Fred made sure to touch the same spots.

Together they strolled through the church building. Grandpa using a walker to move about and Fred riding on the seat using it as a chariot introducing himself to the masses. By the time we left Fred knew that blowing kisses and waving goodbye just wasn't going to be enough.what grandpa deserved was a firm handshake. As those giant hands collapsed upon Fred's tiny fingers it was all I could do to get in the car and travel home.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

One Small Request

Dear God,
        I know that this may seem silly and I probably ask for too much on a weekly basis as it is.but as I sit here on this 6th day of December I feel like I need to make a special request.

Maybe it's selfish.
Maybe it's foolish.
Maybe it will never be granted.

This December I'd like silence.

I've thought about it and though I'm sure you could grant Peace On Earth, I feel a need to ask for more than that.

You see everywhere I turn and everywhere I go I hear the cries of those in despair.
I hear mothers crying over lost children. I hear soldiers fighting for what is right.
Car wrecks and catastrophes abound in this big'ole world you created, and I'm just not sure how much more we can take.

Yes I'm sure we are to blame for our current circumstances.
Yes I know your son will be back someday to save us.
But until then can we just have a month of silence.

Just 25 days of warless, deathless, victimless silence.
Just 25 days to allow us all to hear ourselves think.
Just 25 days to see beyond our own selfish desires.
Just 25 days to feel complete love for each and every part of this beautiful planet you created for us.

If you think about it 25 days is merely a grain in the sands of time. A crumb of what's come before and what remains.

I understand this can't be the way it is forever and I know things happen for a reason.
Come January 1st I'm fully prepared to accept all the mess and the muck of life.

Bring on the high-speed chases.
The fights between races.

Go back to putting us through life's paces.

But for today..for these next 25 days.can we just have time to catch our breath before we run out of it completely.

Can we just have one Holiday Season where we can all look back without feeling the pain that comes from the loss of a loved one?

Just 25 days of silence.
Just to catch our breath.
Just to remember what to be thankful for.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Confessions Of Dropper Offer

One thing about having a two year old or a kid at any age for that matter is that regardless of where you go or what you are doing you always have to bring along a portable toy chest. Now depending on your child and where you are taking it (or him/her whatever pronoun you prefer) you might be able to get away with something as simple as a couple cars in the bottom of the diaper bag or you may just have to bring a separate "bag 'o' toys".

This week I find myself facing a certain dilemma with Fred involving toys in the car. Being the dropper offer (Lucy the quicker picker upper) I'm in charge of getting him to school alive and making sure he at least pretends to wear a hood long enough for her to kiss him goodbye and close the door every morning. Now to get him out of the house and away from mommy without throwing a tantrum we bribe him. There's nothing wrong with it. We just shake a pair of sunglasses or a set of plastic keys in front of his face and it's all good.until it's time to do the actual dropping off.

This is when I'm faced with having to take the bribe that worked so well to calm him down five minutes before away from him so that I don't end up donating half his stuff to the daycare. Some days he understands, some days he thinks I a just being a jerk. In my defense I'm really nice about it. I don't just yank them away and scream "MINE MINE MINE!!" like he does when he takes my stuff away from me. As I said I try to be nice, but I'm literally taking candy from a baby. So that's why at least once a week Lucy gets an email at work along the lines of "He wouldn't let go of my cell phone..remember to ask for it when you pick him up."