Category Archives: Personal

Daddy’s Home

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My dad was born on October 31, 1924. He passed to new Life on July 9, 2012. He is survived by my dear mother and his loving wife of 65 years, and by my two bothers, two sisters, 14 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren.

Dad grew up doing the usual things – swimming, fishing, hunting and sports. He graduated from High School in 1943 and immediately joined the US Marine Corps. He served his country from 1943 until 1946 when he returned home and joined his father and brother in the family business. Dad was a volunteer fireman, active in Lions Club, and a member of the Christian Church where he served in most elected positions of those groups.

Here’s a little of what is was like for me growing up; a tribute to my father:

Can you hear that? That’s the six o’clock whistle. People can hear it from all over town. I’d better get for home quick, he’ll be there soon.

I’m standing by the front door now, all out of breath. I see a green GMC pickup truck barreling down Main Street. It downshifts, takes a wide turn at the corner, and slides to a stop out front. Someone jumps out and swings the driver’s door shut hurriedly behind them. The handsome young man walks briskly out around the truck, and in just a few quick stiff-legged-strides, he’s heading up the walk. I can finally catch my breath again and I howler, “Daddy’s home! Mommy? Daddy’s home!”

Growing up for me was special, because I was special. To my dad, I was “Tiger Tom.” I was the number 76 written on a piece of cardboard hung around my dad’s neck on parent’s night at a high school football game. I was, “that’s my boy,” and “rawr, rawr, rawr,” and “go get ’em Tom.” Whether I was on the field or on the sidelines, I could always hear him cheering me on from up in the stands.

The year I graduated High School they held our annual awards presentations in the middle of the day during school hours, which makes it kind of tough for working parents to attend. I know it wasn’t easy for him to get away from work to be there for me. He probably had to work it out with my uncle, changing lunch hours around and all. Lord only knows everything he gave up for me, but he was there. He was there for Me. I can still remember walking back to my seat, after actually receiving an award, and looking up and seeing him sitting there watching me. I didn’t know ahead of time if he’d be able to make it, but there he was. It felt so good and I was so proud that He was my dad, and to have a dad like that.

I remember when Dad used to take me along on the Lions Club trips to Bears Stadium in Denver to watch the Denver Broncos play. Now That was back in the day. We had some great times together, just us. And then 20 years later, my oldest son and I had the honor of attending a Promise Keepers Men’s Conference with Dad at that same stadium. Of course by then it was renamed Mile High Stadium. Those trips to Denver hold some great memories for me, and I know my son has special memories of his trip there too.

Another thing about growing up with my father is that I could never lie to him. I simply could not bring myself to do it. It just was not in me. Although, I have to admit, I tried it once. It did not work. Suffice it to say, he knew I was lying. Which is partly why it didn’t work. But mostly it didn’t work because I didn’t need to lie to him. My dad always believed in me, even when no one else believed in me. I just could not make myself look at his unconditional love straight in the eye and not be honest with him.

I will miss him. I know I will miss him. I already do. I love you Dad.

Shhhhh! Can you hear that? It’s the six o’clock whistle. Daddy’s home. Daddy’s finally home.

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Somebody Famous

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No trip to Amarillo would be complete without a stop at a bookstore. Our Super Walmart Store in Guymon, Oklahoma, has a nice little book section, but the operative word in that description is “little.” Other than Wally World, Guymon currently offers no other options for bookworms like my wife and kids. Not being an avid reader myself until just recently, I too have always enjoyed looking through the many books and magazines available at a full-fledged bookstore. Our trip to Amarillo last week was to be no different.

Before heading back to Guymon on Wednesday night we stopped to get a Starbucks at the Barnes & Noble Bookstore and spend a few minutes looking around, knowing, full well, we would need to leave ahead of the impending winter ice storm that had been heading for the Panhandle. With soy mocha in hand, I hit the bestsellers rack.

I felt such pride when I picked up and held Unbroken, a book I had read on the Kindle such a short time ago. Thumbing though the pages of a copy I had pulled from the shelf, I read a paragraph, put the book back on the shelf, and took a step backwards. “I belong here,” I thought to myself. “I read that book. I am a reader.”

The real treat for me was when I found the book Dark Prophecy. My nephew’s wife, Angie Bare, is the photographer who took the cover photo for the book, and the man pictured on the cover is my nephew. I was in the process of reading the book on my wife’s Kindle, and had only viewed pictures of the book cover online.

Read the article on Level26.com web site about Angie Bare at http://www.level26.com/post/interview-angela-bare-photographer

This was the first time I had seen the actual dust jacket itself, live and in person. I flipped to the back of the book, where I knew I would find the credits for Angie, and ran over to show my wife. I felt as if I were a relative to somebody famous.

I guess I am.

Trifocals

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The lady from my eye doctor’s office called me at work on Monday to tell me my trifocals came in. I hurried to my vehicle and drove straight there to pick them up right away. I have not worn eyeglasses before, so this was a new experience for me. After properly adjusting and fitting the frames to my perfectly dimensional face, the lady gave me a few instructions on the proper care of my eyeglasses. I received my “free” eyeglass case and complementary cleaning cloth and was on my way. Whew-whoo!

I have learned a lot since wearing eyeglasses these last few days. Probably learned things that those who have worn glasses for years already know about, but this is all new information for me. Here are 10 things I have learned so far, in no particular order:

  1. I had no idea how much I was NOT seeing.
  2. I paid my bill. It turns out the complementary cleaning cloth was NOT free.
  3. My nose in NOT perfectly centered between my eyeballs.
  4. Either my right ear is lower than my left ear, or my right eye is higher than my left eye, or both.
  5. Right angles are not 90° when viewed through corrective lenses. 90° is just an average in this scenario.
  6. The focal point for any object that I wish to see clearly is not equal to any of the three focal points for which my trifocals were prescribed.
  7. When eye muscles wear out, neck muscles are probably not far behind.
  8. My eyes, ears, nose, cheeks, and forehead are not symmetrical, not even close. If I were ever to lose my job, the old saying, “heads will roll” does not apply to me. My head would never roll, not even on a steep slope. It’s too out of balance.
  9. My headaches have nearly gone away in just three short days, so I hate to take my glasses off, ever.
  10. When it rained yesterday, I would have been better off without having left my glasses on.

When I asked my eldest daughter what she thought of my new glasses, she told me they make me look smarter. I am not sure if she was implying anything about the way I looked before I wore glasses, but I will take “smarter” as a complement any day.

Live and learn.

Moved

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To all my faithful readers, assuming I have any left, I apologize for not writing in my blog for so long. I have been in the process of moving my office space from my den to my bedroom and have just not had a single minute of free time.

But now that Granny is off the sofa-sleeper in the living room and into her new bed in my den, I hope to get back to a more normal existence. Yes, there will always be a certain amount of honey-dos to keep me away from blogging, but I should be much more reliable now that I have completed the big move.

Plus, I have accumulated all kinds of valuable information about putting together furniture-in-a-box kits, setting up wireless-computer-networks, and putting up with mother-in-laws.

I can hardly wait to tell you all about it.