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My 9/11 memory

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Like all of you, I have a story. Burned into my memory like a bad dream, I remember precisely where I was 16 years ago this morning. I remember the phone ringing, listening to someone tell me about the first one, turning on the TV just in time to see the second. I remember the room I was in, the people who were there, the color of the TV. We lived in the flight path for Port Columbus, and I remember the eery silence of the rest of the day. I specifically recall the sadness on everyone's faces, and even the lady's face who told me I could not donate blood because of a previous transfusion. And I remember the look on our Presidents face.

 No matter what happened after, or how you feel about his term in office, on that night he did not look like a diplomatic President, ready to downplay the moment or tell us what lessons there were to be learned. No, President Bush looked ticked off, like a mad Texan looking for blood. And I was right there with him.

In those days, I was a restaur…

To anonymous

This post is intended for one person, the person who left a comment on my blog this morning. I appreciate your prayers for my wife. And I also am very interested in hearing about the reason you stumbled on my blog. You stated you were looking for my birth father, John Michael Slusher. Sounds like someone you once knew. And I would love to chat with you about that. See when I was very little he and my mother (Linda Hodge then) divorced. And he remarried and entered the Air Force. he served 19.5 years before he passed in 1996. During those years, we saw very little of him. In fact, I can count the number of days I can actually remember spending with him on one hand. So I know very little about him, other than a few stories I have gotten from his family since. I haven't spent a lot of time with them either, so those stories are extremely rare. So if you were a friend of his from long ago, I would love to chat with you and see what other blanks you may be able to fill in.

If you are w…

Wake me up when June ends

Its usually December for me.

That one month of every year when things seem to jump off tracks, when the world seems to be turned upside down, and where heartache seems inevitable. And despite Christmas and new Year's Eve and Tanner's Birthday, December has more often than not brought a little more pain than I have wanted. It has, for most of my adult life, been that month that my stomach turned a little as the calendar changed.

But this past year, December was better than usual. Tiffany was feeling good, and had even been put on the Heart Transplant List on the at the beginning of that month. The holidays were really good, and as we closed out the New Year I was grateful that the December doldrums had finally went by the wayside.

But BOOM. Along came June.

On the 5th day of the month, I was sitting in a restaurant in Northwest Columbus enjoying lunch with a colleague and a few insurance adjusters. As we were chatting my phone rang. I looked down and saw "Little Red" …

8500 pinwheels

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As has become our habit over the course of the last month, Tiffany and I made the rush hour drive across 670 through downtown Columbus this morning. We do this about twice a week now as she has to see the LVAD team, anti-coagulate folks, and get her blood drawn, all to make sure everything is working as it should.

This morning, it was a bit overcast and we chatted about whether her weekend gardening plans were going to have to be put on hold. I am hoping they are because I would like to take a drive tomorrow, maybe stop at a yard sale or thrift store or small town museum. Just go exploring and see things we have never seen

Of course, as we chatted, I was thinking about how grateful we are to even be having such conversations. A couple of months ago, we were debating whether or not she would have the device implanted that would, for the time being, save her life and get us back on track for our final solution to her health difficulties. Those were hard conversations to have. But after …

The Pocketatch: Year 7 of a Christmas Tradition

Seven years ago today, I wrote a post entitled "The Pocketwatch". It is a story about my mother, who was my best friend and is the inspiration for this blog.  It is my favorite Christmas story, and has become an annual tradition. Thank you for allowing me to share it with you.



As a kid growing up, Christmas Eve was always the most special day of the year. Aside from the Santa visit, the day was filled with so much tradition and family that is was more like an event than a holiday. Everyone would gather at my grandparents house for Christmas dinner. Cars would fill the drive way, be parked on the hill, and even in the front yard. My Uncle Ronnie would read the Christams story.  And there was always a feast, with us kids pushing everyone to finish their plates so we could get to the presents. And there were a lot of presents. Whatever car mom was driving, from the Pacer to the Nova, would always be packed full by the end of the evening, and many years required a second trip ju…

I'm a sap

I'm a sap.

If you have read this blog for very long, this is probably not news to you. After all, mosts of my posts contain come sort of story about my experiences in life, whether that story is the focus of my writing or anecdotal in the latest chapter. I have been told I have a story for everyting, and I love being known as that guy. After all, my Mom was a story teller. I get that from her. Not the only thing she passed to me though.

She was a sap too.

This time of the year is a little tough for me.  It was during this time, 8 years ago, that we spent our last days with my Mom. And while this by far has been the best Christmas season since that happened, what with Little Red getting on the transplant list and all, I still have my moments of sappiness, wishing she could be here now. One of those happened tonight

Tiffany asked if we could go for a drive to look at Christmas lights. She hadn't been out all day as she wasn't feeling great, so I was happy to oblige. We jumpe…

One body of awesomeness

306-C West Johnstown Road, Gahanna, Ohio 43230.

At 19 years old, I knew it all. I bought my first car for $150.00. I had quit college to save money so I coud marry a girl. And I had moved out of my parents house (after they told me I had too) to my very own apartment. It was my life. My freedom. My place. Well sort of.

Rent was $525.00 a month. That was a lot. So I had to have a room mate. Well 3 actually. I had to share a room with my best friend Brad, while my crazy, gun nut, con artist other roomate shared the second bedroom with his girlfriend. It was not a good situation. Still, though, it was my first taste of adulthood. And while the girl dumped me and the car broke down (who knew a $150.00 car would not be reliable?) the memories of living in that place have stuck with me through the years.

I remember one day in particular, as I was walking to work, I saw a man in the driveway of a home along the way. He was teaching his son, who could not have been more than 4 or 5, how to ri…