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Showing posts from 2010

Roller Coaster Ride: A tribute to 2010

As I sat down to ink a fitting good bye to the year 2010, I planned to write about the years experiences and new adventures. It has been quite a year, from South America to playing in the sewer, I traveled more than ever and saw things I never thought I would see. But I had a change of heart as I typed the words. You can see where I have been and what I have experienced on the pages of this blog. 99 of them before tonight, covering 10 months. And January and February, which came before blog entry one, had their own set of new adventures and experiences. While that was a very good part of my life, it is best to leave it unpublished. Instead, I am going to use this one hundredth published blog to talk about what I have learned in the past year.

October 5, 2010 my divorce became final. After 18 months of separation, and many years of drifting apart, Angel became my ex wife. It was an often bitter and difficult journey, and I had imagined a party like no other that night. Instead, a little…

It's not just dinner, it's an adventure

I like to have fun. No matter what I do, laughing and having a blast is always better than the alternative every day of the week. Don't get me wrong, I know when to be serious. At work, I am focused and driven. When things go south, I know how to take the train and set it back on the track. But most of the time, I like to keep things loose and fun, as it seems to keep the team moving in the right direction. And when not at work, I enjoy keeping the people around me smiling. So when you take me out somewhere, be advised it's not just dinner, it will be an adventure.

As far back as high school, I have been at the center of what I am sure are stories of restaurant lore. On senior year prom night, my date was so embarrassed when I put the straws together and drank the water from the fountain at The Olive Garden. Probably not the best idea, especially when you consider the upset stomach that followed the next day. Another time I managed to accidentally find my way into the ladies ro…

Hazy days of winter

Its cold outside in Columbus, Ohio. It has been for weeks, with the local weather man informing us that it has been more than 2 weeks since we last were above freezing. Now, I love a White Christmas as much as anyone, but with then that white fluffy powder that we ooh and ahh over on the 25th becomes a matted, ice covered slip and fall on your backside hazard by the 28th, it makes me long for spring. And it may come sooner than we think, with the weekend warmup that they say is on our way. It would be a nice way to cap off 2010.

Of course, this week has been very different for me the last two years. And from 08 to 09, the difference was night and day. It was during this month 2 years ago that Mom went back into the hospital, never to return home. Within a day or two she had been put into a medically induced coma to see if she would regain any strength and to make her more comfortable. I never heard her voice again. I had made ten or so trips back and forth, including Christmas. The doc…

Milestones

Tonight marked another first for me. My Dad is in town, here to see my brother, sister in law and their kids, as well as Angel, the boys, and me. Jewish by birth, he has always celebrated Christmas with us. At first it was in very small ways, as he would tell us that Hannukah Harry came rather than Santa. Over the years his dedication to my mom led to a Christmas wonderland in her house, with the villages and carousels and decorations everywhere. Even putting lights on the house the last few years, something he said would never happen, then surprising her one year with the house fully decorated when they returned from their annual Cape Cod Thankgiving trip. She was so surprised and happy.

Last year, as you can imagine, Christmas was very subdued. I didn't even make it all the way there, as the boys and I got iced in somewhere in the middle of nowhere Indiana on Christmas night. The next morning, Dad got in his car and drove to us, where we had Christmas in the Fairfield Inn and Sui…

A Simple Request

Every night, before I go to sleep, I say my prayers. No, I am not a go to church every Sunday, preach at you, if you are not like me you are going to hell kind of guy. But I have my faith, and I believe in prayer.

In tonights blog, there will be no story about mom, or travel, or todays activities. Tonight's day after Christmas blog is asking you, whoever may read this, to do something for me. Whether its before bed, or when you get up in the morning, or on your way to work, or whenever you take time to talk to God, please pray that everything turns out well tomorrow. No this isn't about me, so please don't be concerned about that. I do not want to go into any further detail, only to say that he knows the need.

A couple of small changes to the blog as you may have noticed. Please note it is now available in a mobile edition for those who can access the blog via cell phone or mobile device.

Good Night All.............

Heart Shattered

I have spoken quite often of my friend Bethany. She has been such a great source of support and encouragement for me since the day I asked Angel for the divorce. Watching me make mistake after mistake, she carefully nudged me in the right direction until I got my feet off of shakey ground. That was not small feat, but she was beside me the whole way.

As noted in previous blogs, Bethany shared a storybook romance for four years with the man she believed she was going to marry. It is difficult to describe how they were as a couple and how the little things that I preach about meant so much to them. All of those solitary moments that will live on forever came crashing down on September 4th of this year. Since then I have spent hours on end trying to find the right words to say, only to come up empty. I advised her she should start blogging, as this has been such an outlet for me and I thought it could be very therapeutic for her. She took my advice, and her words fill the pages beautifull…

The Pocket Watch

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. It 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 just to make sure we had it all. After we opened gifts, many of us would pile into cars and go caroling at Mrs Soth's, The Smiths, and several other homes.

I still remember some of the gifts I got on those days. There was my 10 speed bike the first year mom was married to Mike. There was the race car track when I was eight, and my first trai…

Purple by moonlight

Last December was one of new adventure for me. Unlike the previous year, when I was dealing with my mother's illness, it was a time of firsts for me. As I have mentioned before, I took my first plane ride, from Columbus to Portland, Oregon via Minneapolis. While there I saw the Pacific Ocean for the first time. I also enjoyed a weekend in Seattle during my first trip out west. But by December 21, 2009, I was ready to come home. I had been gone a couple of weeks, and good night calls with the boys just weren't cutting it when I knew there were hugs to be had. And there was another reason I was anxious to get up at one a.m., and drive the three hours from my hotel back to Portland to catch the plane.



When I first arrived in Oregon, I found myself with some time on my hands. I had been meaning to write an ad and post it on a dating website. I decided my first night out west I would do that, and publish it in Columbus. That way if I got any substantial replies I would have a couple…

It's a Krispy Kreme morning

I spent the fall of 2009 in Louisville, Kentucky at Norton Medical Center. A 100 year storm had left the entire city under water, and I was assigned to the hospital along with Terry Guinn, a National Project Manager. During the stay, every few days Terry would look at me at 7 am and say "Mike, it's a KrispyKreme morning". With that, I would jump into my truck, drive 12 miles to the only KrispyKreme donut shop in Louisville, get 3 dozen original glazed and have them back by his 8 am meeting. It became a funny ritual and a foot note in my travel tales. Flash forward to today.

Terry has yet to feed that craving while we are on our current project. Thinking he wasn't even aware there was a store to buy that glazed goodness, I figured I was in the clear. But at 6 pm, just as I was walking out of the project today, he said those words. Tomorrow, as it turns out, is a KrispyKreme morning. Which means I will be up a little earlier tomorrow to get the treats to Mr. Guinn by 8…

A December to Remember

I have spent a good amount of time lamenting about December of 2008 recently. Maybe its the thought of being alone on Christmas that has me thinking about that December that I wish had never happened. But in shifting gears a little, last December was actually a time of excitement and new experience. It was a time in my life I will never forget.

A year ago I was in a hotel in Springfield, Oregon. I had flown out to help that office wade through dozens of claims thanks to a deep freeze not seen there for 50 years. I spent my days driving up and down I-5 with snow capped mountains lining each side. Truly one of mother nature's most majestic scenes, I often stopped on the side of the road to snap photographs. I remember standing on the shore in Coos Bay thinking that just a week earlier I had been standing on Virginia Beach. This trip out west marked so many firsts for me. My first time on a plane, from Columbus to Minneapolis, then on to Portland. My first time west of the Mississipp…

The Drive

By this time two years ago I had known my mother was sick for 8 days. In that time I had tried to get used to the idea, though I don't know that I ever did before she left us. In those 8 days I had already made three trips to see her. Three times I had made the 400 mile trek there, spent as much time as I could, and returned home. I still had a job to do and we didn't know how this was going to turn out. Though I can say in the month long time she was sick I missed 18 days of work and was never penalized, nor was I charged an hour of vacation, PTO, or sick time, a gesture from Belfor I still appreciate to this day. But I digress. I remember this drive more than any other that month. Before I left Angel and I had told the boys about the situation. Probably the hardest conversation I have ever had, I answered the questions I could and promised to hug and kiss her for them. Then I was on the road.

My thoughts as I headed west were about the surgery that was to take place the next …

The Ultimate Best Friend Sin

I have had some truly embarrassing moments in my life. There have been moments when all I wanted to do was bury my head until no one was looking. There was the blurting of the wrong thing at my sons birthday party. Everyone had been talking, but when I said those words, everyone had gone silent a split second before. There was the moment when a child informed her mother that the bed frame in her mothers room had been bent. I wanted to get up and walk out my face was so red. There was the moment I woke up in the middle of the night and....yeah, not sharing that one. But when your best friend reveals a secret vowed to be kept private, the audience and reaction made me want to slink under that table and disappear.

When you have a member of the opposite sex as your best friend, you don't have to worry about regular issues. I am never gonna sleep with one of Bethany's exes, and vice versa. We will never show up with the same shirt on, nor will we both call dibbs on the red head at t…

The third wheel

I am not a matchmaker. I have never said this person would be perfect for that person. The thought has never crossed my mind to hook my friends up with the next Mr. Right, Or Miss Right Now. And yet, I somehow have gotten myself into that very situation. They meet tonight, this whole package blond and the southern son of a bitch. I am not really sure what to expect, I only know that I am to be there as their chaperon for the evening. And that is fine. As they chat and get to know each other, I can check out the waitresses at the bar or watch women'svolleyball on ESPN 9. But really, no one wants to be the third wheel, right? So the point of this short lunchtime blog? If you are free tonight feel free to hit me up, and join us for a Miller Lite or adult beverage of your choice. I could use the company. And you might enjoy the show!

Don't give up, don't ever give up

If you know me you know I live by a number of creeds. I have blogged about a few before, an certainly will again. Don't give up, don't ever give up is one of them. And it is certainly one that is relevant during this month of December.

I first heard the saying when I read a speech given by Jim Valvano at the ESPY awards in the early nineties. He was receiving the Arthur Ashe award for courage. The head basketball coach at North Carolina State, he had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. A few weeks after the presentation he was gone. If you have never read the speech, I highly recommend it. I read it almost daily. Just google Jimmy V Speech.

He said in the speech there are three things we all should do everyday. Three things that make a day fulfilling. We should laugh. We should spend some time in thought. And we should have our emotions move us to tears. Those words speak so loudly to me everyday, but on this day they are like a neon sign flashing in my head. And I did in fact…

If you build it, he will come

20 years ago the movie Field of Dreams graced us with one of the classic lines from the 80's. If you build it, he will come. It was based upon the theory that of you believe in something strongly enough, then it will become reality. The romantic in me always subscribed to the theory, thinking that if you wanted something so much and believed in it, then it would happen. It was my favorite movie, right up until I saw Walk the Line. Sorry, but Ray Kinsella and Shoeless Joe have nothing on Johnny and June. But I always thought that if you believed in the magic, it would happen.

I have learned recently that just because you build it, it doesn't mean anything or anyone is going to come. I have laid the foundation more than once, only to see it washed away by someones fear or lack of faith. They turn away and I am the one left with a baseball field in the middle of the corn field. I am the one wondering what the heck was I thinking.

Of course a more evident example is Miss Bethany…

A Mix of this and that

As you can probably tell, December is thick with memories for me. From the very special Christmas Eve's at my grandparents home as a kid, to the welcoming of Tanner in 2003, from my mothers battle 2 years ago to the very cool memories made last year, I will be sharing a lot of my past during this month. It's been such an up and down month over the years that it becomes both easier and more difficult to enjoy the Holidays as time passes. I only wish I had been blogging for much longer so I could have captured my thoughts in those moments. Woulda, shoulda, coulda right? But I will do my best to describe the memories, if only for my own personal journal reasons. Hopefully I won't bore you to tears. Apparently I haven't so far.

For the first time today I looked at the stats that blogspot keeps for me. I was exploring, trying to figure a few things out since all I know how to do is post and put it on Facebook. In looking over all the information, I found that this blog has b…

The conversation

It was so cold today. Much like the last few, the frigid air and wind whipped right through my layers of winter clothes. It is very similar to the weather then, when I made that trek to see her. I parked my Belfor F-150 in the parking lot of the hospital, put on my knit hat and gloves and battled the freezing cold to the main entrance. Up the elevator and to her room, I found my Dad sitting in the chair beside her bed. She was resting in the hospital bed, the back raised so she was almost sitting upm I told my father he needed to get some sleep, and he went home. At that time I had the last one on one meaningful conversation I had with her. Well at least the last while she was alive. Many times I have sat by her headstone asking her advice. But that's for another blog.

I asked how she was feeling, she told me that was a silly question. We talked about what the doctors said, the possibility of surgery and what I would say to the boys. Then she said something that made my heart dropp…

A Day That Will Live in Infamy

Tomorrow marks a dark day in the history of our nation. I need not go into the story of how Japan jumped our nation into World War II, as it has been taught to each of us since kindergarten. No, this day has much deeper meaning to me. This is my Pearl Harbor Day story.

I will never forget the ringing of the phone that night. I relive it everyday, answering it and hearing something so unbelievable that I still shudder when I think about it. He had always been a strong, quiet, calm man. With the exception of the occasional stern calling of my name when I was a rebel without a clue in my teenage years, his voice had remained steady since mom married him in 1986. Since that day he had been my mentor, and a tremendous role model. He was larger than life until that moment. Until I heard him say, with his voice cracking, that she was sick. Not just sick. Cancer. Stage 3 Gastric Cancer. She is in the hospital now. The words cut through me like the sharp edge of a sword and I fell to my knees.…

The Brady Bunch

I have mentioned several times how many great friends I have in my life. My ties to them have been well documented in the pages of this blog. One of them has been unrecognized here until tonight. Jenn has been a friend of mine for only a couple years, yet we say all the time that it feels like much longer. And God knows we have been through a lot in that short period. But she knows she can count on me, and vice versa. So today when she asked a favor, it was a no brainer.

Six kids are sleeping in my house right now. That's right, six. Jenn's 3 girls came over about noon today and will be here til the morning. Now most of the time that many all at once would be a handful. But not in this instance. Just as she and I get along famously, so do the kids. The older 3 play video games and hang out together, while the younger ones color and watch PBS kids. It has always been that way since the first time they met. I adore those little girls and love having them over. So days like today,…

The weight of it all

I often sit here at night, lost in thought.I replay the choices I have made in my life, both good and bad. I think about the people who have come and gone and who has had the biggest impact. And I feel like from everything I have learned, I am none the wiser. Take today for example.

I watched a movie today. Not a movie I willingly sat down in front of. But I watched none the less. The message of the movie- no matter who you are, where you are, whether you meet someone once or are with them for years, you know. The connection, the gravitational pull, the way things come just naturally let you know that person was placed in your life. Not forced. Not pushed upon you. But meant to be there. I am grateful for those people. But what about the ones who don't see it? Who hide behind fear and misguided wisdom? Will those people ever accept that there are higher powers at work? And what happens if that person, that skeptic, is the one person you are supposed to be with? Its a very dishearte…

I am thankful

Throughout the years, I have enjoyed several different traditions for the Thanksgiving holiday. When I was younger, we used to go to my grandparents house for some of the finest home cooking you could ever taste. Mama always made the feast, complete with banana pudding for dessert. When my mom married my dad, we started going to Cape Cod for the holiday every year. How neat to go to Plymouth Rock and the Mayflower as part of the celebration. When I was married, Angel's mom made the turkey and sides for their annual feast. Her cooking rivaled that of my childhood. Last year it was the first major holiday without mom, so I was in Illinois. This year, a small celebration with Bethany and the boys. Who knows where we will be next year.

I am so thankful to have my boys. They are my whole world, and I love each moment I have with them. I am also grateful for a great family and the best friends anyone could ask for, especially Miss B. She has been my pillar of support this year, and she m…

Cushions

Between the ages of 18 and 22 if you needed to find me in the evening, you needed to look no further than Cushions Billiards. Nestled in a shopping center in Westerville, Brad and I used to close that place every night. Through the years it has been the sight of many notable moments in my life. My 21st birthday. Shooting with Brad and another old friend a few years ago. Being there with Bethany and Angel on a turning point night in our marriage, a sure step on the path towards out divorce. But I hadn't been there since December of last year when, after a long, grueling day of travel, I was rewarded with a beer and great company at the bar. So last night when I decided I wanted to shoot pool, I asked Josh to go the my favorite place to play.

The place has changed. More coin tables have replaced hourly tables. The bar is bigger, and the customer service has gone downhill. To top it off, I cannot remember ever shooting so poorly in my life. I could not hit water if I had fallen out of…

Popeye the sailor man

I've had all I can stands, and I can't stand no more. I remember Popeye saying that just before he downed a can of spinach and his arms filled with muscles. I loved that show. We all knew when he had enough of Bluto's bullcrap, and we loved watching him open that can of whoop ass on him.

At work we have had a lot of change recently. A new general manager has taken the reigns of our office. And he is the worst example of leadership I have ever seen. Through his temper tantrums and profanity laced tirades he has managed to cause one person to walk out, and has had heated confrontations with several others, both from our office, other offices, and our national team. Being who I am, even keeled and a guy who gets along with everyone, I had managed to stay out of that path. Even from the sidelines, I was becoming more appalled and angered by this guys atomic temper and childish behavior. So today, when he decided I should be the guy in his crosshairs, I decided I've had all …

I need a new knee

Many years ago I hurt my left knee after falling on the ice. Knee braces and physical therapy were all the thing I committed to in order to avoid surgery. Some of you may know that I am not a big doctor fan, and that I need to be down to my last breaths before I am cut open again. However, as a result of that decision I have a chronic knee problem. At first the flair ups were every few months. It would swell to the size of a volleyball and I would be off my feet for a week or two. But through the years those times became less frequent, more like every couple years. However, after 8 hours stuffed in a airplane followed by three 12 hour days on my feet, my California adventure came to a quick end Saturday when I could barelt walk. I stumbled my way onto an airplane and was grateful to have an entire row to myself all the way back home. Now, after 2 days back, I am still in a great deal of pain. But I can walk. And tomorrow, I can work. Hopefully soon I will be back to 100%, but I cannot…

In and Out Burger

This morning I got up and my knee pain was as bad as its ever been. I have had a chronic knee problem as long as I can remember, but the plane ride out combined with two twelve hour days on my feet had me nearly unable to walk. I knew I could not sustain another day, so I stayed behind and rested. Pain killers, ice, heat, and sleep seemed to have calmed it down some. though the pain is still there, it is not nearly as sharp as it has been.

Several years ago, after a Fiesta Bowl win, I heard Troy Smith f the Buckeyes talking about a burger joint called In and Out Burger. He said that the reason the tried for the Arizona game was to have a burger there. I made mental note to try it if I ever came across one. Then on the plane, a gentleman from the east coast told me when he comes to Sacramento twice a year , he stops at In and Out before even visiting his parents. So naturally, I decided I needed to try it tonight. And I did not regret it. While it will never compete with The Gahanna Gr…

Organized chaos

We are called to all kinds of projects all over the work. In Chile, it was a mega quake that knocked the Earth off its axis. In Tennessee, it was driving rain that flooded an entire city in less than an hour. And here in Sacramento, a mentally disturbed individual got the idea to light an entire mall on fire. I cannot imagine what kind of tortured mind devised that plan. I only know is that the right company is in place to make it right.

A crew of 200 always brings some sort of chaos. Checking everyone in every morning, assigning them tasks, and following through keeps me hopping normally. But not here. I am not the Project Manager here. In fact, I so far having been running a small team with dedicated tasks. And while the change of pace is a throw back to my field days, I cannot resist the urge to jump in. Far too many project managers seem to be make conflicting decisions regularly. At one point today we spent 2 hours outside while they put their heads together to decide what to do n…

California Dreaming

I woke up this morning at home. Got up very early because I knew I had a lot to accomplish before my 1 pm flight to Dallas, and subsequent flight to Sacramento. I rushed through the early part of the day and was sitting at the gate at Port Columbus when they informed us that the weather had shut down the Indianapolis Airport. Simultaneously, I got a text from a friend in Louisville telling me that they were under a tornado warning. We boarded early and were wheels up before one. As we ascended to 27,000 feet I could see out the window the impending monster storm that was about to hit Columbus. The first 15 minutes were a violent ride through winds and airpockets. But once above it we sailed smooth all the way to Texas. The connecting flight was brutally long but not uncomfortable. Very little turbulence made for an uneventful trip into Northern California.

So now I am sitting in the hotel in Sacramento, actually Roseville. My first trip to California just starting, there is a lot I wan…

2 feet stay strong

This is actually my second blog tonight. The first one I am going to keep private. So on we go.

I spent the afternoon on the beach at Alum Creek. It was a really great experience. The place was virtually deserted, and the wind was very strong. A frew stray windsurfers and bass boats dotted the horizon, but for the most part we had the beach to ourselves. We rolled our pant legs up and waded out a little, stopping to snap a few photos, then we sat on the beach and enjoyed the breeze, mixed with the sun. It was a very cool day and it's something I intend to do again.

Of course being around the water always is a good time for me to think about things.thus the private blog lol. But I will say the further I go down this path alone, the more I realize I am on this path alone. I hope that makes sense. I remember a creed that someone told me they lived by. Two feet stay strong. I understand it now, though I didn't then. And it means a lot to me today. Let's go ahead and add it to t…

Far from extraordinary

Today was another day in what is becoming a routine in my life. It is a pattern I am growing very comfortable with, one that will serve me well for the forseeable future. Up early and into the office, focusing on my tasks at hand, and, for tonight, scooping up the boys and bringing them to my house for a night of movies and playing. If I don't have them, I take the dog for a walk, settle into a book or a movie, go have a drink with a friend, or whatever else may present itself. Its not planned. There are no appointments. Sure, I am having breakfast with Beth Saturday for her birthday. But overall, no calendar, no rushing not to be late, no worries. I am loving the spontaneous nature of my days. And when that becomes routine for you, it makes life a lot more fun. And a lot less stressful.That is a welcome change in my ever evolving life.

Another thing may have changed this week as well. Without going into specifics, it was one of those moments where you say exactly what is in your b…

The Box

This is my favorite time of year. The leaves are changing colors, the crisp mornings turn into perfect afternoons, OSU football is in full gear, and Halloween is just around the corner. Autumn can be seen as a great segway in the world, transitioning us from the warmth of summer sun to the frigid temperatures of winter.

This fall has also been a time of great change for a close friend of mine. A few short weeks ago she was on the path to real happiness with what seemed like the person she was supposed to be with. Watching them gave inspiration to all of us around them who are searching. Yet he walked away and left her broken hearted. Since then she has been a shell of who she had been, trying to grieve without anger and find a way to stay connected. Tonight, Bethany crossed the bridge into acceptance, cutting all ties to the man she had planned to marry. As I watched her hesitate before hitting the delete button, which would sever the biggest connection to him, I remembered her doing t…

My Dad

Sitting here in the breakfast nook at my Dad's house in Springfield Illinois, I feel comfortable and at home. No, I didn't grow up in this house. They moved here in 2007 from Gahanna and I had never been to this town before that. Yet when I look around I see my mother in every room. I feel her here with us, look at the photos of her on the wall, and even half expect her to come walking around the corner to sit down here with me. It is a comforting feeling, which is different than the other times I have been here since we lost her. The sadness I felt driving up and tears in my eyes as I saw her image hanging in the hall did not surface this time. This weekend was a celebration of my Dad's birthday, and the visit has been filled with hearty laughs and great conversation. I am grateful for weekends like this and wish that I lived closer to share more of these times with him, my sister, and her family.

My Dad is not really my father for those of you who do not know. He is my s…

Where were you?

I remember that cold morning in 1986. My sister, my brother, my mother, and me were in our cramped two bedroom apartment and watching the shuttle launch when it burst into flames. 1989, while watching a world series game, I remember the earthquake hitting San Fransisco. I remember 9/11/2001 my niece calling me to say that plane had crashed into the world trade center and turning on the TV just in time to see the second one hit. I remember all of these moments and more in detail because of their magnitude and how they changed the world we live in. I bet most people do the same.

Today we witnessed another one of those events. Only this was not a single moment of tragedy. It was 24 hours of jubilation. As the escape pod lifted each of the 33 miners who had been trapped for 69 days to the surface, cheers could be heard from around the world. From the first two weeks when we didn't know they were alive to the moment the foreman stepped out of the snall vessel, the world has been captiva…

Transitions

The last seven days have been somewhat of a whirlwind on many different fronts. If you have read recently you know that my divorce was final on Tuesday of last week. An end that I had become anxious for came and went with very little fanfare. Following that, I began to think about what's next. And I realized that there doesn't have to be a next, at least for now. Content in my solitude, I am not looking for the next big thing or Miss Right to grace my life. Sure, I had a date last evening with a delightful woman. But I do not have any expectations. I have stopped planning and decided that I will let the good things come to me.

As part of that I did enjoy and evening out Friday. With no notions of something bigger, I had the time of my life. 3 bars in 6 hours, capped off with seeing the Menus made for a great birthday celebration for a great friend. A day with the boys Saturday and a DJ event Sunday, followed by the aforementioned date last night filled out my weekend. Then tod…

Friends

Over the last 18 months, I have had a lot of people come and go out of my life. But my core group of friends have and continue to be the greatest support system amyone could ever have. Brad, thanls for always having my back no matter how stupid I am being. Ralph, thanks for always making me think about things from a different point of view. Bobbi, you always seem to know the right word, whether they are something I want to hear or not. I am always amazed how one of us can be so down when we start talking but we are both laughing hysterically by the time we are done. Dave and Sara, perfect timing with needed distractions more times than I can remember. And last but not least, my Miss B.Bethany, you have been my rock during all this. You saved my life. You deserve so much happiness and I hurt with you right now. I love you. I love all of you. I couldn't be me without you, and I look forward to the next 1000 memories that each of you will bring:)
2 blogs in one night. Everyone happy …

Transitions

As I sit tonight, writing this blog, I look back over the past 18 months at what a wild ride it has been. April 1 2009, I packed my things and left the woman who had been in my everyday life for 13 years. Along the way we had three tremendous children, yet I knew as I left that what I was doing was in the best interests of them. Now, a year and a half later, on a road full of whiskey, women, and monumental mistakes, I will go to bed tonight as someones ex husband for the first time. My divorce being final at 9:45 this morning, I feel as though a tremendous weight has been taken from my life. My plan was to meet friends and get piss drunk tonight in celebration of this long awaited event. Yet as the day progressed, I instead decided to have a quiet evening with the boys at home, watching Ironman 2. Seemed like a much more fitting tribute to the end of this era in my life. As I wake up tomorrow, it will truly be the first day of the rest of my life. And I would be lying if I didn't …

Wake me up when September ends

It always amazes me how the whole world can turn on a dime. One moment you can be riding the wave, the next you are drowning. The ups and downs, twists and curves of life often leave us exasperated, throwing our hands up in the air and screaming stop the world, I want off.

The last weekend of August marked a much anticipated trip to Mohican. Bethany and I had planned this for so long, our annual camping expedition but with her Doug and my Shaun by our sides, the forst time either had come. We canoed down the Mohican river, made camp food, drank too much, and had an awesome time. It was just an amazing weekend and we didn't want it to end. Little did either of us know how everything was about to change.

Last Saturday, the fourth, I was packing the boys into the car to head to our family reunion in Gallipolis. The phone rang and Bobbi's voice on the other end was one of panic and alarm. She has been going through something for over a year, and that day had gotten very bad news. He…

Whats for you won't pass by you

Through the last 2 years, I have had my fair share of heartache and starting over. I have met some amazing people, swung for the fences and missed and, most of all, learned a lot about myself and the people around me. Through it all, my pillar of support has been Miss Bethany. My arch nemesis when I was in high school, she has become my closest friend over the years. Through the separation, the women, the alcohol, and all the other monumental errors I have made over the past 20 months, she has always been there to voice her concerns, throw her support behind me, lend me an ear or shoulder, and be a true friend. At a time when I have questioned everyone in my life and felt very alone, she made sure I knew I wasn't. I am eternally grateful for that.

To say that Bethany is heartbroken tonight would be like saying the Titanic bumped into an ice cube. More appropriately, I would say that her heart has been shattered into a million tiny pieces that may never be picked up or put back toge…

My brothers keeper

As I sat here with my brother Monday evening I saw a side of him I have never seen before. Josh has always been a rebel, a wildchild, and, in his own words, a jerk. Ok maybe he didn't say jerk, but the blog is PG rated. But on that night I saw a Josh who is hurting badly. Not because of what he is going through with Heather. Not because of anything with Chrystal or the kids. No, Josh is still having as tough a time with the loss of our mother as he did on the day we lost her. He cried as he told me how he feels like he lost the only person in this world who has ever truly understood him. He cried as we recounted her final days. And he wept uncontrollably as he told me of her final breaths. I too shed so many tears because I chose not to be in the room when that happened, and this was the first time I heard about those few moments right before we lost her. I spent the better part of the last 2 days worried about my baby brother, as he tends to disappear for long periods of time. Wi…

Angel Wings

Rest in peace young Sam Bish. Though I didn't know you, your story hit close to home, touched my heart, and left a footprint on my life.

Ever had one of those mornings?

Well if you take that morning, multiply it by 9.4, kick it in the nuts twice and tell it that its no good, that was my morning. Seriously, I can never remember feeling so much anger and hurt all at the same time. And the ironic part is that it was not even necessary. By the time the dust settled, Angel and I are still not divorced, and neither of us are to blame. In fact, we absolutely agree on who is trying to drag this out, and changes are coming. That's all I can say.

On the flip side, I spent a great evening with the boys before I head back out of town for the next few days. Then I will be in Cincinnati all next week, followed by camping at Mohican with Shaun, Miss B and her guy next weekend.

That's all for tonite guys, gotta be up early tomorrow.

The dying heartbeat of America

No matter where I am, I always try to make an effort to go for a drive and explore the area. I-5 in Oregon and Washington lined with mountains on each side was breathtaking. Bardstown Road in Louisville boasts a lot of local mom and pop bars and restaurants, intermingled with book stores, art shops, and tattoo parlors. And there is nothing like Music City USA, with the neon lights and a trying-to-make-it-big band in every door. So when I rolled into a town in the northeast region of my home state, Ohio, I was anxious to explore somewhere I had never been. Ashtabula, the hometown of my very good friend Dave Burnham, offered a very different experience. And I realized I was in every small factory town in America.

As I drove through downtown, the very first thing I noticed was the street. Small jogs in the pavement around landscape islands were proof that this had once been a beautiful, thriving area. But the cracks and potholes in the pavement, the dirt where the grass used to be, and t…

Keeping the Faith

Nights like this one are my favorites. Just me and my boys hanging out, playing XBOX, watching movies, and playing. The adjustment to the apartment has been easier for them than I thought. They love it here and I love having them. They are really great kids,I could never have asked for more. I am a very lucky Dad indeed.

My prayers go out tonight for a number of people. An old work friend who is struggling to find light at the end of the tunnel. I am here for you brother, and things will look up soon, I can feel it. Then there is the girl at work is is so pregnant she is about to burst but her family is strepped right now. Keep your faith, God will lead the way. And myself. I feel as though I am at the top of the mountain right now. And I pray for guidance to keep me where I am. Why echo my bedtime prayers? The reason is simple.

Not long ago I asked a lot of people to review my blog. Strangers. I got a lot of responses, mostly positive. But one really bothered me. He told me to give up …

Pardon the interruption

It has been over a week since my last blog. Sorry for the delay, but things have been very hectic. Moving into the new apartment, getting things unpacked and organized, and a couple other unexpected distractions have kept me busy.

After settling in here I have had the chance to look at where I am now compared to where I was. That night on the point was so therapuetic for me, so calming. I remember making a couple of decisions that seemed very major at the time. Decisions to let go of the past and change the situation I was in. At the time the thought of doing that was daunting, and I wondered if I could follow through. Now here I stand, those choices having been made and a clear direction in front of me. I have a plan and intend to follow through, with more drive and focus than I have ever had. But I also have come to realize that life is very fluid, and sometimes you have to bend a little when the end result could be really beneficial. So while the weight loss and healthier life styl…

I Hate Moving

So I haven't blogged in quite a few days, mainly because I have been moving from my house into an apartment. I am excited about the fresh start, but I really hate the actual act of moving. Seems like whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.

I had already moved some things into storage by the time Friday came along. I figured with me taking a half day and starting about one o clock I should be able to finish by 8 or so. Especially with the 3 guys I had coming to help. Left work and headed to get Brad, who has been a HUGE help (as always) during this process. Unfortunately he was the only one who showed up. I regrouped. We will just get the big stuff and I can handle the rest Saturday morning by myself. Great plan huh? We loaded the truck and headed for the apartment. We pulled into the complex, which I had chosen due to its proximity to New Albany (the Beverly Hills of Columbus) and because how quiet it was. As we turned the corner, though, we saw 5 Gahanna patrol cars and two SWAT van…