February 27, 2007
February 20, 2007
I remember finding out that my first wife was pregnant, right after my Dad passed away in 1979. They say that for every soul departing, there is another arriving... I always kinda hoped that the news was "the big guy's" way of returning my Dad to us.
My oldest son B, was the most mellow child. Rarely did he fuss, rarely did he cry, he slept through the night very early on. As a matter of fact, we were taking him out to places within weeks of his birth, and he was always so "easy" for lack of a better word and always seemed to be able to entertain himself...
There would probably never have been a number two son, if number two was born first!
E came into the world at 10lbs 13oz, and had a full head of blond hair. He was the "nastiest" little baby (sorry son) he cried all the time, never slept through the night, cried all the time, puked, burped, farted, and pooped endlessly, and did I mention he cried all the time? He always needed attention... At 24, I had never been exposed to anything as needy as this little thing was...
As time progressed, the infant needs subsided. E was no doubt the one interviewed, when whoever it was coined the phrase "The terrible twos". "Sdat?" (what's that) and "Upme" (pick me up) were his favorite words/sentences. After a while even my Mom commented to me... She said something like "You know something Tom, after all the heck you put me through when you were younger, you deserve him!!!" (E and I actually look alot alike too).
Tweens and teens were spent with his mom and brother, alternating weekends with me and a new family of siblings. At home, his mom kept him involved in scouting (he got his eagle). With me he was "one of five" and always an entertainer and irritator. We (the five collective children, my second wife and I) took a couple of vacations in rented motor homes... E was always training the younger kids in the ways of a boy scout, teaching them how cool an open fire was, and how to fish for trout in a 24' above ground pool... "My last meeel... was a peeece of corn" became a family joke, (imagine the phrase uttered in a middle eastern accent) that's what E muttered as he opened and closed the trout's mouth when they returned to our campsite with $60 dollars worth of fattened fish. Many a time I would hear his name hollered by a younger brother or sister from the other end of the house, as if he had just set their bed on fire... He had a way of pissing all of them off and getting blamed for anything that went wrong... Probably more times than he really earned on his own...
Today E still lives in South Florida. He and I talk periodically but not nearly enough. He has grown into a polite, handsome, caring (and somewhat twisted) adult and seems to be happy...
Happy Birthday Son!
I will always love you more than you know!
Over and "Out" from Toano, VA
February 17, 2007
Over and "Out" from Toano, VA
February 16, 2007
February 9, 2007
PLEASE READ THE ENTIRE EMAIL AND YOU SEE WHAT IS MEANT BY RED FRIDAY.
Heading out I asked?
No. I'm escorting a soldier home.
Going to pick him up?
No. He is with me right now.
The realization of what he had been asked to do hit me like a punch to the gut. It was an honor for him. He told me that, although he didn't know the soldier, he had delivered the news of his passing to the soldier's family and felt as if he knew them after many conversations in so few days. I turned back to him, extended my hand, and said, Thank you. Thank you for doing what you do so my family and I can do what we do.
Upon landing in Chicago the pilot stopped short of the gate and made the following announcement over the intercom.
"Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to note that we have had the honor of having Sergeant Steeley of the United States Marine Corps join us on this flight. He is escorting a fallen comrade back home to his family. I ask that you please remain in your seats when we open the forward door to allow Sergeant Steeley to deplane and receive his fellow soldier. We will then turn off the seat belt sign."
Without a sound, all went as requested. I noticed the sergeant saluting the casket as it was brought off the plane, and his action made me realize that I am proud to be an American.
So here's a public Thank You to our military Men and Women for what you do so we can live the way we do.
February 7, 2007
February 6, 2007
You got it... The Gay Capitol of the U.S. of A... San Francisco Cahleeforneeah. It's been about 20 years since I have been and I am getting just as excited as Jim is. We booked the flight, using an American Airlines frequent flyer ticket for me, and got the matching flights for Jim on Priceline.com for $249.00 round trip. We have been researching and emailing (over the past week) different hotels in the city to determine the best place to stay, and have finally decided on the Parker Guest House, in the Castro District. We have decided not to rent a car unless we really need to, relying on packaged tours for the Muir Woods/Napa Valley tours, and public transportation along with our 4 good feet for the rest...
Any of you with suggestions and places to go or see are welcome to comment...
I spent the first 12 years of my life in Northern California, but as I said earlier, my last visit was 20 years ago, and I'm sure that things have changed a little since then. I also want to know if there is any locale in SF that even closely resembles "28 Barbary Lane" from the "Tales from the City" books and series?
Anyway, no doubt I will be rambling on this subject for months to come!! For now, it's back to reality, laundry, shopping, housekeeping... Oh and it was 14 frigging degrees out this morning when I got up! brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr...
Over and "Out" for today, from sunny, but chilly, Toano, VA