Tag Archives: fall leaves

Tuesday’s Tune: “Love and Marriage”

Monday was our anniversary. It was our twenty-fourth wedding anniversary. It seems like the other day I was waiting for my mom and step-mother on the sidewalk outside the church. They had gotten lost on the way from the hotel to the church. I can’t blame them, it’s easy to get lost on country roads. I still get lost when I go back to Ohio for a short visit and I get off the beaten track.

My brother David and I had been pacing outside the church, waiting. My other sister-in-law, B’s older sister had checked on us and asked what was up. It was the time before cell phones or at least inexpensive cell phones and few folks had one. I had no idea, I explained I thought they were lost. She seemed to accept it and went back inside the church. I can only imagine what was going through B’s head.

They arrived, more than several minutes late – my mom, step-mother, and sister-in-law climbed out of the car and hurried inside. My mom apologized and I smiled a nervous smile and muttered, “You’re off the Christmas card list,” under my breath.

I was kidding, of course. She gets a Christmas card every year and a call Christmas morning to wish her a Merry Christmas. She reminds me she got her Christmas card. And, we laugh.

She also reminds me that if they had arrived on time, the sunbeam, that had illuminated B and I at the precise moment we said our vows, would have missed us. Completely missed us, divine providence.

Much happens in 24 years – kids are born, parents and other family members pass away, there are job changes, career shifts, smiles, laughter, people change and grow, and all sorts of things that make a marriage strong. There are other highs and lows of life along the way.

I have much more grey hair than I did in 1991. Then, it was just coming in, and it’s longer, too. But, I still have my laugh and sense of humor and sarcastic wit, forged by experience and life’s hard lessons. I’ve learned to shovel snow, rake leaves, and be somewhat of a happy handyman that comes with being a homeowner.

Love and marriage, love and marriage
Go together like a horse and carriage
This I tell you brother
You can’t have one without the other

Frank Sinatra is right, you can’t have one without the other.

Saturday morning I was at the flower market and got a dozen pink roses. They are beautiful, like B. They’ll last the week and then some, if we care them, like a marriage.

It was a busy weekend and time got away from writing, but that’s okay. I had time for the important stuff – family and love. Continue reading Tuesday’s Tune: “Love and Marriage”

The Can Crush

It’s been over two weeks since I wrote a post. It’s not because I haven’t had ideas. I’ve had loads of ideas and I even started a post last Sunday morning, but I ran out of time. That post died on the vine, it’s no longer relevant.

Since my last post, O has been to her first middle school social. The social was the day after her birthday and she had a wonderful time and could not stop talking about on our way to W’s final regular season football game. We arrived with a minute left in the second quarter to watch the Tigers score a touchdown and take 14-9 lead to the locker room. They needed to win the game to make the playoffs. This is how they did it.

Since then, W’s football team has ripped off two more wins and next weekend play in the state playoff quarterfinals. The team’s first playoff win was in the blinding snow and howling winds on Halloween night with a last minute field goal to tie and a touchdown to win in overtime. The second win was yesterday afternoon – it was a beautiful fall afternoon, perfect for a high school football game. Continue reading The Can Crush

It’s a Girl! Throwback Thursday Edition

It snuck up on me, I don’t know how it did, but it did. Today is O’s birthday. She’s 12 and it doesn’t seem possible. I remember the morning we went to the hospital. The delivery was scheduled and B’s parents were here from Ohio to keep an eye on W and help where they could. When we came home with O – she didn’t have an official name, yet – we would decide between two choices: O and Hannah. We stuck with O and I’m glad.

October 23, 2002 - "It's a Girl" fly from the mailbox and leaves litter the ground. It's fall.
October 23, 2002 – “It’s a Girl” fly from the mailbox and leaves litter the ground. It’s fall.

So much has happened between then and now – O’s growing up and is now in sixth grade. Sometimes, she’s sassy, but most of the time she’s my O.

Today’s her birthday; and there will be more birthdays to come. There will be more growing and probably a lot more sass, definitely a lot more sass; but she’ll still be my O, and B’s too, but I write this blog, so she’s mine for now.

Last night we looked through the photos of her first day and we snuggled, laughed, and cried. It was a special day twelve years ago and I captured it with our first digital camera. The photos look grainy but we don’t have similar photos of W – he’s pre-digital and I didn’t think to bring a camera into the delivery room when he was born.

O and I - less than an hour old all swaddled and warm...
O and I – she’s less than an hour old and all swaddled and warm…

Since that first camera, we’ve had five more – including the two we are using now. And, we have loads of photos, more than I can process. I am not including our phones, which happen to have better cameras than that first digital camera from 2002.

O came into the world about 8:35 AM on a Wednesday morning. I had a sub in my classroom and my students were researching in the library. I don’t have a sub this morning, but I’ll share the photo and a memory. Later this morning, my science students will be researching in the library – just twelve years later; my how some things change and some things simply stay the same.

B's parents welcome O - grandpa passed away this summer - we miss him dearly - glad we had the memories of his laugh and the twinkle in his eye...
B’s parents welcome O – grandpa passed away this past summer – we miss him dearly – glad we had the memories of his laugh and the twinkle in his eye…

Tonight, will have dinner and a cake – a delicious Italian Cream Cake. It’s our birthday cake, homemade with real buttermilk and frosted with cream cheese frosting. You can’t beat it. A birthday in our home isn’t the same without it. But for now, I’d better get moving. It’s gonna be a great day. I know it and I can feel it, so I had better jump up, jump in and seize the day. Making the days Count, one day at a time, one memory, and one birthday at a time.

Have you ever come close to forgetting a birthday? Or, let one sneak up on you?

Weekly Photo Challenge – Dreamy

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the two maples work in concert to brighten our front yard – dreamy

Trees are ablaze around us. It’s fall. We have two trees, which appear as if they are afire; yesterday the sun’s light reflected into the bedroom and illuminated it in an orange glow. Soon the leaves will be falling to the ground and covering the lawn. Soon, my weekend activities will shift from dreaming to working on the lawn clearing leaves. That’s okay, that’s is what happens at this time of the year; the days get shorter and the dreams become stronger.

The dream of the lake, the pull of the lake.

I long to see the sun rise over the lake and watch the sun’s rays slowly bring the hills and trees to life. It’s quiet at the lake at this time of the year only a few people visit in the late fall. I’ll be there soon enough, I have a few chores to do before winter sets in. Last year I went alone, this year it’ll be a family affair and all of us will venture north for a short weekend of working the yard and getting the cottage ready for winter. It’ll be all hands on deck and then we’ll get to rest and relax Saturday night and dream.

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the lake on early summer morning, mist rising off the still lake and the sun slowly bringing the hills to life on the opposite shore – dreamy

In the meantime, my dream is to finish grading lab reports and articles of the week today. It’s going to be a great day, the weather is cool, misty and the forecast calls for rain. Perfect weather for sitting down and working. My dreams will have to sustain for another day. Making the days Count, one day at a time, one trip back in time, one dream to keep me going.

What dreamy place gives you a ‘gentle push’ when you need it?

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campfire and the moon when the sun sets – dreamy

Today’s post is in response to the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge – prompt – at Word Press.  The week’s prompt is “Dreamy.” This week, we’d like to see an image that looks dreamy to you. A photo of a place you often visit in dreams. A snapshot of your dreamy boy- or girlfriend. A scene that looks a bit out-of-this world. Take us on a flight of fancy!

Death of a Tree – the FINAL CHAPTER

I did not feel well yesterday, and when a teacher does not feel well, that’s not good. I came home and went to bed. I took two Motrin, crawled under the covers, and fell fast asleep. I could have slept much longer had it not been for the stump grinder coming to finish off the tree. We lost that tree this past June, a week after the arborists came for that tree, B’s dad passed away. He was a sturdy as a tree and he’s been on my mind ever since. The stump grinder coming to finish it off was just another step in the circle of life.

the remains of our tree..
the remains of our tree..

I have been thinking about that tree and all of the trees we’ve lost to Emerald Ash Borer. But, I’ve had more on my mind that just trees, I’ve been thinking of the poem, “Trees,” and its poet – Joyce Kilmer. Sgt. Kilmer was killed in the Second Battle of the Marne on July 30, 1918 and is buried at Oise-Aisne American Cemetery in northern France. Continue reading Death of a Tree – the FINAL CHAPTER

Weekly Photo Challenge – Nighttime

There was a time in my life when I was a nighttime creature. Thirty years ago this past summer, I met a girl and I was attending summer school full-time, working full-time, spending the weekend nights with her and her friends – up all night, and sleeping part-time. I could do it then, but not now.

the end of game discussion - the South end of the field

the end of game discussion – the South end of the field

Thirty years later, that girl is my wife and next week – in seven days – we will celebrate 23 years of marriage.

Thirty years later, my eyelids are heavier than they once were and I can’t hang out too late, but on Friday nights in the fall – there is Friday Night Lights. I have been a high school football fan for a long time and I enjoy watching the games. It’s even more fun because W is out there this year – hanging on the sidelines. He has yet to play Friday night, but he’s there for film, weights, conditioning, and practice working and waiting for the moment when the Tigers will need him. Every Tiger player was there once, too. It’s the way things are. Continue reading Weekly Photo Challenge – Nighttime

Sunday morning, quiet time

washingtonstrong_teeshirtThis is the best part of the day. It is the time when everyone is still asleep, the sun is rising and the day is just beginning; it is the time when I can catch up on writing and reading. Being a blogger causes me guilt – the guilt of wanting to write more often than I am able and I taking time to enjoy reading what other bloggers are writing. However, for right now, this moment I can really only write weekly. There was a time when I wrote daily. It was that first summer when I wrote a daily post about what happened during the day and the ways the day counted. There was the trip to take my dad’s cremains to France and there were the three summer camps I wrote reporting the day’s events to anxious scout parents back home. I had time, I made time, but other things didn’t get done at my blogging’s expense.

Yesterday, I was a lazy day. I needed a lazy day or I thought I needed one. Continue reading Sunday morning, quiet time

Beware, the ides of November

my MO, it's growing in
my MO, it’s growing in – go ahead click me!

It does not exactly have the same ring as the classic line from William Shakespeare’s play, “The Life and Death of Julius Caesar” warning Julius Caesar of his impending doom; “Beware the ides of March.” I don’t have a soothsayer to remind me, I don’t need one, because I know the Ides of November – the middle of November – is a tough part of the calendar for me, it always has been.

Last Sunday was my birthday, I rolled over one more year, and I feel great. My birthday was a great time. W treated me to the Bears vs. Lions at Soldier Field. We had a great time. We took the train – the ‘8:15 into the city’ (“Takin’ Care of Business” – Bachman-Turner-Overdrive). Actually, it was the 8:53 and we arrived without fanfare just before ten. W read his book for English class and I read a book, too. Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick was just beginning to get good when we pulled into the train station. We caught the express bus to the stadium and we were inside watching the teams warm up before eleven. It was W’s first professional game. Even though he’s seen countless high school football games and a couple of Division III College games, the NFL experience is something to experience. It was my first time at Soldier Field for anything. I was impressed. I grew up on games inside in the Astrodome in Houston. They don’t play pro games there anymore, and I have heard they are thinking of tearing it down. Sad. The stadium is right along the Lake Michigan shoreline, America’s great inland sea. It was an absolutely beautiful day – clear skies, cool and sunny. The temperatures stayed in the forties and we were comfortable the entire day. It was Veterans Day weekend and the game was one of the games the NFL selected to be “Salute to Service” games where the league recognizes America’s soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen. American military and national pride was prominently on display. Continue reading Beware, the ides of November

It ain’t over ‘til it’s over, and the gun goes off

'77' is for Red Grange a Wheaton alum and NFL Hall of Famer
’77’ is for Red Grange a Wheaton alum and NFL Hall of Famer

The Tigers lost their playoff game Friday night and their season is over. I am sad. My son played his last game a couple of weeks ago when the regular season ended and is now waiting for wrestling season to begin this coming Monday. It will keep him busy and fully exercised during those lean months of little sunshine and bitter cold. It’ll give me and B something to do on Friday evening and Saturday. He wrestled last year and had a good freshman season.

If you have been following MtDC over the past several years or high school football seasons or however you want to count it, you know I am a passionate high school football fan – especially the Wheaton Warrenville South Tigers. Even before W got into high school, we were there on Friday nights. It was our Friday evening entertainment. B grew up in a small town in southwestern Ohio where her Tigers were legendary in the small school section of Ohio high school football in the mid to late 1990s and early 2000s. She played in the marching band in high school and marched Friday night in the late seventies before graduating and going off to college. Her dad played for the high school team in the forties and later at Miami University after his navy service at the end of WWII. When W was a little kid we went to watch my nephew play for the Ohio State Football Championship in Paul Brown Stadium in Massillon, Ohio. They won 26-0 and it was a good game, and it was worth every minute of the four-hour drive there and the four-hour dive home.

I guess that’s why I am so agitated this morning and was even more agitated last night. The Tigers began the season rated in the top twenty and knocked off the defending 7A state champion in the first game. In the second game, they defeated another state power. In the third game, the Tigers were up against the crosstown rival Wheaton North. In a hard fought game, the Tigers dominated the Falcons in every way. The Tigers had a bump in the road mid-season and lost a game to a team they should have defeated and were soundly defeated in the second to the last game of the year to last year’s 8A state championship runner up and possibly this year’s 8A state champion. Who knows? Regardless the Tigers finished 7-2 and qualified for the playoffs. They won last weekend and moved on to the second round.

The Tigers have been successful, very successful in the nineties and ever since. Continue reading It ain’t over ‘til it’s over, and the gun goes off

Movember

MG474-MO13-LogoIt’s Movember, the first Saturday in November. There is a chill in the air and after a couple of days of gentle rain to soak the ground, it looks like the skies will clear and it will be a sunny day. I can only hope.

Last week at the time, I was just waking up. Friday night I watched W play his last football game of the season and then driven north to the cottage for fall cleanup and a couple of last season chores. Saturday morning I was alone. The phone was ringing and I needed to answer it. I must have sounded horrible because my mom asked if I was okay. I was okay, just exhausted and spent. But, it was a good thing, I told her I would call her back and I crawled out of bed. I brushed my teeth, started the coffee, and began the day. I was still sleepy as I looked out onto the lake, shrouded in grey with the windows splattered with rain. It was a dreary day. It was windy, cold, and wet; perfect weather for a day spent in the yard raking and doing fall cleanup.  I sipped my coffee and stared out onto the lake. The lake has power, even a grey cloudy rainy day lake. It has the power to relax, the power to heal, and the power to rejuvenate. I needed the lake and the cottage needed me. I called my mom back, sipped my coffee, and gazed out at the lake as we talked. Continue reading Movember