Saturday, December 06, 2008

Only because Jen is a new friend and I don't want to hurt her feelings ... yet ...

Okay, I hate this kind of stuff. But I made a new blogger friend and she asked me to. So here goes. I've got nothing else to blog about today anyway. She's MAKING ME tell you 4 things about myself that nobody knows. Problem is, I've been around too long and I don't hide much. So it's a challenge ...


Okay, I want to have a submarine. No, I don't just want to ride in a submarine. I want my own. And it has to be a really good one because I don't swim. But I think cruising the ocean, sneaking up on entire countries, would be an incredibly cool way to spend a year or so.

And, uh. Well. I hate stop lights with a blazing passion. I mean my tolerance level is zero. Z-E-R-O. I'll do nearly anything to eek through even on the slimmest margin of yellow. Oddly enough I have never once been stopped for this much less ticketed. Oh, I'll gladly cut through parking lots to avoid them too. But only when my wife isn't in the car.

I'm only on three? Sheesh. Let's see. I hate morning so badly that I have this black sort of mesh Nike t-shirt that I keep beside my bed. If I manage to wake up before the sun rises I throw it over my eyes so as to fool my brain into thinking that it's still dark after the day light. Yes, really. And it works. Don't you judge me...

And finally. I count things. Anything. For no reason. I don't know why. I just do. People. Cars. Days on the calender. I can't help it. Things need to be counted. Somebody has to keep track of things and so I just do it. But sixty seconds after counting something I couldn't tell you what the total was. Because the total doesn't matter. It only matters that they were counted.

Four. So there. Feel very honored, Jen.

Oh, drat. I've got a number 5. I cannot STAND the thought that I might have hurt some persons feelings. (That's why I'm dong this list thing in the first place ...) I have to find them and fix it NOW. Even if I'm innocent. Because, in my mind, I'm guilty until proven innocent!

This confession thing might get addicting...

Thursday, December 04, 2008

A Guest Blogger ... My Niece Tanya

My niece wrote today in honor of my father. He would have been 89 years old today. I miss him more than I can say. But Tanya says it pretty well ...

I am thinking about my Grandpa today. I think about him allot, he is on my mind at the oddest times. When I am watching Foxnews and I wonder if I could have convinced him to watch it with me, probably not. He was a die hard democrat as far as I remember. I think of him when I see a large American flag and I remember how he loved to fly his flag in his front yard and he never let it get torn or worn out.
He loved the flag because it stood for what he was willing to die for. He was a true American hero. I wonder what he would have thought about 9-11? He probably would have had a few choice words to say.
He believed in God, family and our country. He loved to play with us grand kids. I remember playing chinese checkers with him when we would visit his house for the holidays. I loved going to my grandparents home while my parents went on youth trips, for 2 weeks during the summer. I remember Grandpa taking us fishing on his boat and the time he made me believe that I was steering it straight into the shore. He was laughing in the back of boat as he steered it from the engine. I remember singing "She'll be coming around the Mountain" in the front of his ole red truck while grandpa pulled the boat around the hills to the lake. I will never forget his smell, although most times it is a smell I hate....cigarettes. But now when I get around someone who smokes that same brand I take in a deep breath and think of him, my Grandpa.

Each time I see a simple wooden swing hanging from a tree, I think of the one he built for us in his back yard in Tinley Garden.

You see, he was a simple man and maybe a little rough around the edges. When us granddaughters (the first two grandbabies) came around he was a instant "softy." This tall slender man who fought in WWII and refused to discuss it became a warm lap for us to crawl into. He loved us and there was not any doubt. I wish he had lived longer.
He would have loved to watch his 5 great-grandaughters grow. They too would have crawled up into his lap and been loved without any conditions. I miss him today and each day. He may have lived to be a old man but he still left too early.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

I've Been Stolen

I woke this morning and walked through our concrete apartment, climbed into a hot shower, and heard my wife banging on the door. She was shouting something about hockey purchases and the Internet. It takes a lot to pry me from a hot shower but that worked. Seems she was on the phone with the company that holds our sole credit card. They wanted to know if we really were in the UK buying hockey tickets and hockey equipment. And for some reason she felt it necessary to ask me in the shower if I had been in the UK overnight doing those deeds.


I assured her that I had been by her side all night long. And thus ... our security ... our personal credit card number ... had been hacked. Compromised. Stolen. Whatever you want to call it. Nice, huh? Like the good company they are the people down at Chase canceled our card, promised to have a new one in our hands by Monday, and agreed to not charge us for any fraudulent purchases. Cool. I can finish showering now.

I"ve heard of "identity theft" before. But who would want to be me? If I were going to steal someone's identity ... it wouldn't be MINE. I'm a lowly pastor! I live in a rented concrete apartment! My 401(K) isn't even a 201(K) anymore! I cheer for teams that habitually lose!

I mean, come on. Would you want to be me? As I sit here in my "fuzzy buddy" (formerly known as "The Date Chair") I'm wearing mesh shorts and a Toledo Mud Hens t-shirt. Does that sound stylish to you? I think not. The only flat-screen I own is on my back door. Oops. Wait. I sold my house. I don't even own that flat screen anymore! I'm drinking Coke out of a can because I'm too lazy to pour it into a glass which would just require washing anyway.

I repeat. Would YOU want to be ME?

Somebody in the UK really needs to get a life. And I hope the seats I bought them are behind a steel beam in the nose bleed section.

Monday, December 01, 2008


I have smudges on my laptop screen. Little smudges. Couldn't figure out where they came from. I got to work this morning and almost wiped them off because, I mean, they are just .... there.

Then I remembered.

"The Amazing Elle" (aka: the worlds most awesome granddaughter) was sitting on my lap on Thanksgiving and she wanted to see pictures. I asked her which pictures she had in mind. She told me "mountain pictures." She was talking about the pictures that I took at Christopher and Laura's wedding in Beaver Creek, Colorado back in October.

No problem. Elle wants to look at pictures with grandpa? Elle will certainly get to look at pictures with grandpa! I pulled them up and we reminisced. Well, we reminisced as much as a 53 year old can with a 2 year old. Hey, it worked for us.

When Elle looks at pictures she points. She touches. Usually, nobody touches my laptop screen and walks away without twisted fingers. "Tess" the laptop is under a direct "order of protection" issued by yours truly. But Elle? She can touch. Not a problem.

And touch she did. Over and over. Evidence indicates that she touched about a dozen times. And now that I'm sitting here 600 miles away from her ... well ... those smudges are more precious than they were when she put them there. They are her. It's her fingerprints. Her DNA. And for a grandfather they are warmth and love and hugs. They are joy and laughter and giggles.

And they aren't going anywhere.