Posted tagged ‘fatherhood’


March 30, 2017


I am most often a grateful person who can look to the good things that life has given me instead of focusing on the difficulties.  That is not an ability I was born with, in spite of the fact that I am the son of a woman who could do exactly that, even in her later years when the effects of diabetes were making her life harder and harder.   Fortunately, pragmatic optimism and an attitude of gratitude can be learned … my particular education came in the rooms of a 12-Step program but I am sure there are other places it can be found.  However, for the last few months … and in particular, the last few weeks … issues with my adult son have dragged me downward.   A clash of lifestyles made it necessary for us to (finally) push him out the door and this week, after several false starts, he moved out … not, of course, without some nasty arguments with us on the way.  To say life at home has been stressful is an understatement and it certainly doesn’t end with his moving.  He is still our son and still on our minds. (more…)

Departure Day

March 29, 2016

mountainsYesterday was Departure Day for our eleven day visit with our daughter, son-in-law and three grandkids.  That is the most time we have ever spent under their roof, which to some may not seem like a big deal, but for my wife, Muri, and I it was.  We are a strong-willed bunch, from the the oldest (that would be moi) to the youngest (that would be sweet but strong-willed Savy girl).  Muri and I have always needed alone time (that would be quiet alone time) even from each other, a need that seems to get greater as we age.  That is hard to come by in a house with three beautiful, rambunctious and chatty children, not to mention their chatty mother.  And we all know how seniors love their routines, don’t we?  And how they get grouchy when their routines are interrupted or unavailable.  So, in spite of how anxious we were to see those grandkids, we approached the week with some trepidation.  Did my daughter and son-in-law felt the same way?  You’ll have to ask them. (more…)


March 19, 2016

cheerIt is interesting to me how things I said to my children as a father with Younger Eyes comes back around to Older Eyes via his grandchildren.  Recently, my grandaughter, Savannah, joined a competitive cheerleading team, The Elite Academy Heat.  Originally, my daughter enrolled her in dance but Savy wanted to cheer.  This week, we are here in Utah visiting and we got to see Savy’s team compete.   As we were waiting, Savy asked her Mom, Why didn’t you do cheer, Mommy?   My daughter told her a fact I hardly remembered … Papa said I couldn’t.  Hmmm.  She then leaned over to me: Don’t you remember?  You said you thought girls should do something more than stand on the sidelines cheering for boys while they play sports.   Oh, yeah, I remember that guy … in fact, I’m still him.   But Savy loves cheer (as cheerleading is called these days), and her team isn’t cheering for anyone … they are competing against other teams.  I guess Older Eyes can live with that.   My daughter couldn’t resist adding one more bit of information.  You know the high school cheer team did this kind of comptetition in the off season.  I guess Younger Eyes was wrong.  Nothing new.


January 5, 2016

I awoke early today to the sound of raindrops on our roof and stumbled to the bathroom where they beat a staccato beat on the plexiglass skylight above our vanity.   Fortunately, I was able to fall back to sleep … the Fitbit HR my daughter and her husband gave me for Christmas has been giving me hell for not sleeping enough but today, it was satisfied.   Somewhere in its software, it says that six and a half hours sleep is enough for an old guy.   The rain was still falling and outside it was gray … the same way I felt inside.  There were discussions to be had and I was expecting the worst.    My first sponsor, Don, used to tell me, Bud, don’t always expect the worst.  Things are just as likely to go well as badly.   Today he was right.  Things went as well as could be expected.  Where I expected confrontation there was calm.  Sadness instead of anger.  So, now, I’m sitting in the park, collecting myself and watching the storm lift, at least until the next one rolls in tomorrow.  El Nino, you know.  It’s beautiful in its own gray way.

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Dad and Veterans Day

November 11, 2015

In 1942, my father quit high school and joined the Army Air Corps, in spite of having been accepted to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the fine engineering school in Troy, New York. It was a story he repeated many times with regret … I thought I was a big shot, was the only explanation he ever gave.  I know enough about Dad’s father, Arthur, to think that my Dad just needed to get away and that the Army was the quickest out. In a time when going off to war was portrayed as heroic, it probably didn’t seem like a terrible option compared to dealing with his father. My parents were married while he was on leave, then moved to Caspar, Wyoming while he went through basic training. I was apparently conceived there. When Dad was shipped to Europe to serve a maintenance supervisor for (more…)

Monday Smiles – 2/2/2015

February 2, 2015

californiaI have now been a resident of the State of California for 44 years.  And of Orange County, California for 42.  When we moved here, we told our disappointed parents that we were only going for a few years.  I don’t know if we were just kidding ourselves or lying, whether we knew even then how much we’d like it here.  We certainly had an inkling that we would … we’d visited college friends in Santa Monica and they loved it.  Our best friends had recently moved to San Diego from Rhode Island, where we met them.  We were at that age when friends seemed easy to make, whether through work or putting in yards in a new neighborhood or kids’ activities.  Yes, there were things to get used to.  There was traffic, freeway traffic the likes of which we’d never experienced but we learned the art of planning our outings to avoid rush hour or checking for traffic reports before setting out.  These days our GPS takes care of that for us.  On the day we drove into Southern California, down the San Bernadino Freeway, a blanket of smog was hanging low over the shabbier neighborhoods along the freeway in the San Gabriel Valley and we wondered, What have we done?  But the smog lifted and nicer neighborhoods were only minutes away.   Over the years, the smog has lessened (more…)

Christmas Eve – 2014

December 24, 2014


In five or six hours, Muri and I will head over to my daughter’s house to spend Christmas Eve with her family.  In their tradition, Christmas dinner is on Christmas Eve.  The kids will be be nearly bursting with excitement, making it hard for them to behave at the dinner table.  They’ll each likely get in trouble once or twice and bedtime will take forever, in spite of Santa Not Coming threats.  After that, there are presents to assemble.  So, this is my time for Christmas nostalgia. I’ve shared here before that my mother loved Christmas as much as anyone I’ve ever known … my Dad seemed to go along for the ride.  And yet, my favorite memory of my Dad is attached to Christmas.  After I’d stopped believing in Santa, I’d get to go out with Dad to deliver and collect presents from relatives, a story I told in Fatherhood – A Dad Story: (more…)