Saturday, May 16, 2009

Today I ...

-Woke up at 9:15 (EDT). Sweet!
-Realized I was in Richmond, Virginia and had a sudden craving for tobacco. Odd. I've never used any in my entire life. I resisted. I won. (Thanks to "The Patch.")
-Got a wasp stuck up the sleeve of my t-shirt and got stung 4 times resulting in numb fingers and a shoulder playing the "1812 Overture."
-Mowed my father-in-law's HUGE yard (we are talking acres here) with his nifty zero-turn-radius mower. Had a blast.
-Found a concrete slab with the hand print and initials of my son and my brother-in-law left there when my son was about ... 10 years old. I had "A Moment."
-Found out that Lama's really do spit. No joke. They do.
-Had another encounter with a wasp as I was putting the mower away. He got me twice on the leg before I even knew he was there. Today's score? Wasps - 6. Ron - 0. Not acceptable. I have numb toes and a swollen calf. (Not the animal kind. The leg kind.)
-Ate steak and 8 deviled eggs. Marveled at how "ate" and "8" sound the same and yet have totally different meanings.
-Talked to my real estate agent in Illinois who told me that I sounded oddly relaxed and that I must be having a nice vacation. Suddenly realized that I was.
-Drove 2 kids that I don't know around my father-in-laws property on a golf cart. I found that ball I lost back in 1987. Not really.
-Drove Bud The Dog around the grounds on the golf cart until he fell off. He looked at me like I had pushed him. I had not.
-Taught same two unknown children to salute the flag.
-Watched 15 minutes of Nascar and craved tobacco again. Currently looking for another "patch."
-Missed Costco.
-Threw a steak to "Bud the Dog" which never even came close to hitting the ground. Bud is "a dogs dog." If only he could kill wasps.
-Vacuumed a gazebo.
-Sat with my brother-in-law and made fun of our wives without their ever knowing. Until they read this blog. (If I do not blog again in a couple of days ... print this and take it to the Hanover County, Virginia Sheriffs Police.)
-Thought about how much I will miss Towerview Baptist Church tomorrow.
-Left in my rental car for an hour and no once noticed. I was pleased.
-Said "good night, planet earth."

Friday, May 15, 2009

My brother-in-law fishes for bass

My brother-in-law fishes for bass. BIG bass.

That is all.

Stealing Sky Malls and Lusting After Waffles

I like to blog from way up in the air. Yeah, they just told me that my laptop is hovering 39,000 feet above … uh … well, they didn’t tell me where. Must be close to Indiana by now. The clouds are thin but the world is invisible. How many places can you go where the world is invisible? Last night I lay in my bed toying with the idea of sleep. I was in that sweet spot where the tension of the day had faded into the “who gives a darn” of the night. I thought about closing my eyes when a huge gust of wind hit my outside wall , coinciding with a clap of thunder that would make applauding angels jealous. We are talking loud here. But that puny little 70 mph gust can’t compare with the 500 + mph with which my current vehicle is rushing across the continent. We left St. Louis 45 minutes late but not to worry. We’ll land on time. The nice man in the big chair with the blue suit and plastic wings on his chest says so. I believe him. When I boarded I almost asked him if this was the plane that lands in the Hudson or the Chesapeake. I thought better of it. Sounds rather terroristic to me. Some things are best left unsaid.

It took me 53 years to learn that truth.

A young lady who lives far away from where she will sleep tonight just handed me .75 oz. of peanuts. HONEY ROASTED peanuts. This is what separates us from the rest of the world. Some dream of peanuts on the ground and ask “why?” I eat them in the air and ask “Why not?”

I have also pilfered three copes of Sky Mall” from the seat backs in front of me. The little sticker on them says it’s appropriate to take one and they will replace it. I read the sticker three times, which entitles me to three magazines. One for Topher. One for Scott. One for Jim. They will thank me. But they will not really order anything. That’s because they are married. When you are married you are allowed to read Sky Mall but you are not allowed to purchase anything in it. It’s a shame really. They have truly good stuff. Like real motorized “bumper boats” for your pool. No matter that they don’t have pools. Just owning your own bumper boat would be a great reward in itself. It’s alright if you don’t understand. But if you don’t … I’m betting you are a girl.

Baltimore is calling. Enterprise is waiting. Washington D.C. is in the way. Richmond is open late. I wonder if they have a Waffle House?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

My Stuff

I was just crunching numbers in my head and realized that I've spent the last 19 months living in 3 different apartments. That's not a really big deal. Then it occurred to me, I have not lived on the ground in 19 months. That gave me an entirely new perspective on the issue. I've lived on the 9Th floor facing a huge lake. I've lived on the 3rd floor facing a huge lake. And I now live on the 3rd floor facing what will eventually be a corn field. I've noticed some coyote's prowling about in that field lately. Thank God they aren't dingo's. Lot's of kids in the neighborhood. I wonder if the lack of altitude will affect me. Maybe the nose bleeds will stop and the heart palpitations. Okay, I'm kidding about all of that. Calm down.

If God were to say to me, "Hey Ron! I want you to live in an apartment for the rest of your life!" I could easily say, "Okie dokie. No problem, God!" I mean, I don't live in a grass hut, a mud and cardboard shack, or a tenement slum. All of my apartments have been nice. No complaints. Well, there were some amazing snow storms coming in off that big old lake but you've already heard those stories. Did I mention that it got down to -14 degrees on that lake shore this past winter? I did? Never mind then.

Then I remember "my stuff." Throughout these months most of my "stuff" has been in the house it took me a year to sell or in the basement of some of my bestest friends, Bob and Cindy. And occasionally, when reaching for my undies or socks in my Tupperware type dresser, I remember my real dresser. It's all wood and shiny and really, really heavy. And I go, "Hey! I miss my stuff!" Then I feel a little bit guilty. I think about my hammock and they way it feels when it's tied between two trees and I go, "Hey! I miss my stuff!" And I feel even guiltier. I miss my bricks. I don't expect you to understand that but I have these bricks that are really important, memory-filled bricks. One is from Old Comiskey Park where the White Sox use to play. My dad use to take me to ball games behind that brick. We walked under it together but we didn't know it at the time. One is from the outfield wall at Wrigley Field. One is my "paver brick" that's got my name on it and the date of the first time I took my kids to Wrigley Field. It's a replica of the real one that's on a patio there at the ball park. My kids bought it for me. Very cool. There's just lots of "stuff" and I think when I open the boxes again in a few weeks it will be a little bit like Christmas morning. I'm sure I've got "stuff" that I've even forgotten that I own.

Which brings me to the fact that I bought a house. Did I mention that? I did. It's a "Villa" which means I share a wall with a neighbor. She is a solider in the United States Air Force. She has a 2 year old little boy. I think he and I are going to be best friends. She has a gun so I'll probably be very polite around them. Anyway, It's like a condo only I have to mow my own lawn and shovel my own driveway. I really, really like it. From the outside it looks rather small but when you open the front door and go in, it's like ... WHAM! It opens up really quickly. It's actually bigger than the house that we raised our kids in. I have no idea why we bought a house so large except that the price was right and we prayed and God kept pointing at it like He was saying, "Hey, buy this one! I saved it for you!" In reality I actually believe that He did exactly that. More about that in a later blog. The house has one of my favorite things ... a wood burning fire place. And a finished basement. And a special hidden away room with no windows that I'm going to turn into a secret office that nobody knows about. Not even Debbie. I mean, she'll know I'm in there doing who knows what but it will be SO off-limits to her. It's going to be my "Man Cave." Pictures will never be published so don't wait around.

So that's my confession for the day. I miss my stuff. I can live without it. But it will be neat to have it again. After living a little sparsely for nearly 2 years most of it might wind up on e-bay. Bid high. I'll have a mortgage soon.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Guggenheim for (nearly) 3 year olds