Well, well, well. Look who’s back…

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This is my first blog since May 18th. I guess this is the longest I have gone between blogs and many have sent private messages wondering if I am doing okay. My good buddy, Max, sent an email asking about me and it took me a while to write him back. Knowing I work in the medical field, and knowing how often I blog, he feared the worst. Needless to say, he was relieved to hear back from me. I figured if folks were worried if I was still around, I’d take some time to write.

It is not that I haven’t had stuff to write about, because I certainly have. I guess I was just having a hard time motivating myself to do so. It has been a very emotional month. So where do I even begin?

When I last wrote, I had just celebrated my 50th birthday. It seems that every time I hit a mile stone birthday, something happens to remind me I am getting older. This birthday, I found myself trying to read and really having difficulty seeing the words. I had Lasik surgery done years ago and I have had no real issues with my vision. I was told that the only thing that they couldn’t correct was if I needed reading glasses. I need to make an appointment to have my eyes checked, but until then, I am reading with these ridiculous readers on!

Speaking of birthdays, I feel bad because two very important ones came and went since I last blogged and they certainly both deserved a full blog. My wife celebrated at the beginning of the month and my youngest son officially became a teenager just a few days ago. Birthdays in quarantine suck. I didn’t get to really do anything for either of them! It will be a week or two before I see my son, so I am planning on doing something for him when he is back here with me.

I got Amazon gift cards from my mother and father-in-law, and from my dad. I decided I’d get some vinyl to play. One for laughs and one for music.

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You can’t go wrong with Frank Sinatra. They remixed his Nice and Easy album and I picked that up.

Next, I found an album I had years ago that is loaded with laughs from the great Soupy Sales.

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Graduation on the Internet

My oldest son graduated this year. You may have seen something about his school, as it made national news. They rented the Drive-in theater in town and showed all of the commencement speeches, staff speeches, and called out every graduate’s name (while showing their pictures) on the three big screens. Sadly, only one car per student was allowed, so Sam and I watched the live stream from home. It was certainly not the way I thought I would see my son graduate.

I emailed the principal and voiced how disappointed I was that only one car was allowed per student. Certainly there were more divorced parents than just me! I had hoped that he would return my email, but that didn’t happen. So, I cheered and cried when they read his name from my living room. He wore his cap and gown to the ceremony, but I haven’t gotten any pictures of him in them. I am hoping that he will come by with them so I can at least get one.

Back to Work

I returned to work two weeks ago. I really wasn’t sure I was ready to return, but the doc thought I’d be okay. The lab where I work is open, but only a few of the staff is back there. The rest are still working in a labor pool at jobs that they are assigned to. When I returned to work, that was where I went. The only bad thing is, the labor pool is going away and that means I will have to take a temporary lay off.

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The thing that scares me is wondering if they will ever call me back. I know of many people in radio who were told they were being laid off temporarily, only to have the companies eliminate those positions and terminate them. This is happening all over as many companies are doing whatever is necessary to keep their business alive. In the weekly trade magazine that comes our for just country radio stations, there is almost three pages of people LOOKING for jobs, while there is just a half page of stations looking to hire people.

Father’s Day

Father’s Day I was up early to meet my sons for breakfast. It was the first time we’d eaten in a restaurant since things opened back up. It was nice to see both of them together. Lately, I have only been seeing Dimitri, as Dante’ is now working and usually hanging with his friends. We had a nice breakfast and I enjoyed my time with them.

When I came home, Sam had Ella all dressed for Father’s Day.

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I received my Father’s Day/Birthday gift from Sam between my birthday and Father’s Day. She ordered me something that was made special for me. She had hoped it would be here by my birthday, but it took a few weeks to make. I was floored by this when it arrived. It was a book –

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She got to design how I looked, and how Ella looked. She said it was hard because her hair was still looking red some days and blonde on others. There were various stories to put in the book. She had Ella point and those were the ones that ended up in the book. She asked me to read it and I could barely make it through. It made me so emotional. It was the perfect gift and I will treasure it forever!!

My Baby Girl

The one thing that has been a plus though all of this is the time that I have gotten to spend with Ella. She brings me so much happiness. On nice days, we always try to take a walk around the neighborhood. She loves it! We look at the squirrels, listen to the birds, say hello to neighbors, and just enjoy the nice weather.

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We like to play with her toys on the floor, she likes to bounce in her jumpy seat, we nap together, and occasionally, we’ll watch Bubble Guppies together (she likes the music on that show).

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Sometimes, I will put on my Dean Martin or Frank Sinatra albums and we’ll sway and dance in the living room. Having this precious time with her has been a blessing. With the layoff, I will have more time with her and that will be the positive in a negative situation.

Classes

My DVD’s arrived for my Bible classes. I am currently re-watching the first year (the stuff that I had already done) and will continue with the new classes when I am finished. Just revisiting these classes has been very beneficial for me. I am glad that I decided to return.

I certainly feel like my spiritual life is moving in the right direction. I have a lot of peace right now, despite the uncertainty that lies ahead. I have faith that no matter what is ahead of me …. Every thing will be okay.

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With that being said, I guess that brings you up to date. I hope to not be so long between blogs. Thanks for reading!

Halfway to 100 …

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I received my invitation to join the AARP early last week. A week earlier the letter from the Secretary of State telling me my plates were about to expire came in the mail. Both served as a reminder that I was about to get older. Three days ago, I completed my 50th trip around the sun.  I celebrated the 11th anniversary of my 39th birthday, as I like to say. My milestone birthday was celebrated in quarantine.

All over Facebook there are “quarantine items” you can have made.  You can have things like: “Our first anniversary – in quarantine,”  “Class of 2020 – the one spent in quarantine,”  or “I turned 50 in quarantine and all I got was social distancing,” put on T-shirts, coffee mugs, or just about anything. I’m thankful that I didn’t get any of that stuff for my birthday.  As a matter of fact, I am glad it happened while in quarantine!

Why would I be glad about that?  Well, I know my wife.  She would have found a way to throw me some sort of party.  Don’t get my wrong, I would love to see all my friends and family.  I just wouldn’t want all the hoopla surrounding my age.  I can see all the black “Over the Hill” balloons, “Look who’s 50!” banners, and I’d receive gifts like a cane with a bicycle bell and rear view mirror on it!  No, I don’t need that.  Besides, most of my close friends are all turning 50 this year, too.  I’m sure there will be some sort of birthday party down the road for one of them.  I can go to that and celebrate with them!  Hell, maybe a joint party is needed?

We had some errands to run early in the day, so I was out when my oldest son called me.  I felt bad, because he drove to my house to surprise me with a card.  He left it in the door for me and he had me video chat him when I got home.  He told me he couldn’t find a Tim Horton’s card, so he opted for Burger King, because he knows I drink their coffee, too!

Another friend texted me and said “Yo!  What is your favorite beer?”  This made me chuckle.  I told her that was the weird text of the day and told her two of my favorites.  On the drive home, I received another text from her that simply read: “Yo!  Check your porch!”  When I got home there was a six pack of each of my favorite beers and a wonderful heartfelt note.

One of the errands we had to run was for my wife.  She had me stop at this local bakery and sent me in to pick up her order.  She had asked me earlier in the week what my favorite ice cream was.  I told her it was probably Mint Chocolate Chip.  This little bakery made me a Mint Chocolate Chip birthday cake.  It was simply delicious!  It tasted just like the ice cream!

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She and Ella made me a very special birthday gift.  I cannot even begin to tell you how special it is.  She took Ella’s footprints and made a heart.  I cried when she gave it to me.  I always hope that she will see me as her first love and her hero!  I can’t wait to hang it up.

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Ella’s feet were busy this week.  10 days earlier, for Mother’s Day, I had also used her feet for an art project.  Funny how my wife and I think alike … I heard Sam singing “You are My Sunshine” to Ella one day and then found this idea, and made it for her.

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Throughout the day, there were countless Facebook messages, calls from my son, brother and father, and text messages from friends and family.  Getting to spend my birthday at home with my wife and daughter meant the world to me.  As a matter of fact, it was the perfect way to spend the day.

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Her smile just melts my heart!

So what will 50 bring?  I don’t know.  What do I wish for?  Good health.  Weight loss.  A growing family.  Less stress.  Job security.  More family time.  To be a better husband and father.  Less debt.  Better time management.  A deeper and stronger faith.  To be more forgiving.  To be less angry.  The ability to let go of the things that hold me back.  To be more positive.  To make amends for wrongs I have done.  To look at each day as a gift.  To listen more.  To smile more.  To love and cherish those who are important to me.

Cheers to another year!

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