Monday, September 26, 2016

Speak of the Devil

MM#8 If You're Going Through Hell (November 12, 2007)

Guess what.  Life sucks.  Life is a bed of roses, thorns and all.  (you don't have to say 'AMEN' that loud.)
And sometimes, we get discouraged. 
But we've got to keep going.  We're not going to get anywhere doing nothing but measuring how short the paycheck is, how screwed up the family is, or how much of a moron...never mind.
But people have come to a conclusion.  Things get better.  Not that life is a cycle of good and bad...but the rain falls on both the just and the unjust. 
And sometimes, when life has dropped a whole ton of lemons on your head, and you're either on your knees or knocked flat on your bottom...
Keep going.
"(T)here's angels everywhere out on the street
Holding out a hand to pull you back upon your feet"
It ain't over yet.

I posted that on November 12, 2007.  7 years to the day after I proposed to my now-wife.  I divide my married life into three parts.  The first seven years, the Great Tribulation, and the current era.
The 'fasten seat belts' light was on, the money was starting to get tight (although, honestly, I had no idea how bad things could get), and I was stressed.  At this point, I owned that piece-of-junk grey van...

Well I been deep down in that darkness
I been down to my last match
Felt a hundred different demons
Breathing fire down my back
And I knew that if I stumbled
I'd fall right into the trap that they were laying, Yeah
But the good news
Is there's angels everywhere out on the street
Holding out a hand to pull you back upon your feet
The one's that you been dragging for so long
You're on your knees
You might as well be praying
Guess what I'm saying
Yeah, If you're going through hell
Keep on moving, Face that fire
Walk right through it
You might get out
Before the devil even knows you're there

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Honesty, the brutal kind

"I was once asked what my best characteristic was. My answer was 'I have none.' "

That answer surprised my wife (who answered "my desire to be a good father") and my pastor's wife (who commented that that answer was "just wrong"), but in my honest moments... That's my conclusion.

 It just hurts when I take a reasonable assessment of my life and realize how much I've wasted; too many opportunities I missed; how little I've improved, if improved is even an accurate verb to use. I probably didn't realize how spot on my warning to my friend was 15 years ago, don't marry a lesser man than me.  Some days, I conclude that I have no good qualities anymore.

My contribution to the family is approximately a paycheck smaller than my wife's, 20 fights a week,  and an amount of chores done that the four year old at church would exceed, more complaining that all four of my teenage children, less faith than any of them, and interests in politics, math, video games, it's all useless. Just like me.

I suppose there is some sort of rigorous routine of directed action that would mold me into the man I was supposed to be, the man I want to become something useful. But I don't know what I would have to do, and experience shows I don't have the endurance to carry it out three days, let alone 90 days or a lifetime.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Now at Cruising Altitude

MM#93 Leavin' On A Jet Plane (new)

All my bags are packed
I'm ready to go
I'm standin' here outside your door
I hate to wake you up to say goodbye
But the dawn is breakin'
It's early morn
The taxi's waitin'
He's blowin' his horn
Already I'm so lonesome
I could die
So kiss me and smile for me
Tell me that you'll wait for me
Hold me like you'll never let me go
'Cause I'm leavin' on a jet plane
Don't know when I'll be back again
Oh babe, I hate to go
Now the time has come to leave you
One more time
Let me kiss you
Then close your eyes
I'll be on my way
Dream about the days to come
When I won't have to leave alone
About the times, I won't have to say
So kiss me and smile for me
Tell me that you'll wait for me
Hold me like you'll never let me go
'Cause I'm leavin' on a jet plane
Don't know when I'll be back again
Oh babe, I hate to go

Ten days in 2003.  Three days in 2004.  Fourteen days in 2005.  Twenty days in 2006.  Five days in 2007.  Thirty-five days in 2008.  Five days in 2009.
Nine trips, totalling 92 days that paid very well, but took me away from home.  Four of those trips took me over the Pacific to support US-Korean war games.
Packing suitcases.  Triple-checking itineraries, tickets, passport, hotel reservations, taxis, and airport shuttles.  Long goodbyes.  Sleeping on the flight.  Making airport layovers and transfers.  Finding my hotel.
I learned a couple programming languages that I don't use anymore.  Discussed a new feature on a program that isn't used anymore.  Supported a wargame in preparation of a war I pray never happens.  Observed how my program interacted with other programs made by other companies.  Got paid good money.
Missed only one birthday.

I know the kids are glad to have me home all the time now. last flight in '09 wasn't the last time I was away from my precious children.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Track Skip

MM#92 Severance Day (new)

Well, when you throw the word "Severance" in a Spotify search engine, you get a bunch of songs.  This one is the one that made it onto other playlists.  And, frankly, it's a screamer.
But, for a city that I called home for 9 years, 5 months, and 5 days, it kinda fits.  From April 2004 to September 2013.

Severance, KS. population 94.  No grocery store, no post office, no churches, no cafe, no school.  Had to go out of town for any of those.
Politics was a mess - and that was a long story and a generator of many blogs.
I was lonely, isolated, and burning gas like it was going out of style.
But the water of the Wolf River flows through my veins.  I was born in Leavenworth, but I'll always be a little bit Wolf.

Call this restitute
Call this open truth
Call this my salute
Call this severance

Call this retribute
Call this misspent youth
Call this my abise
This is my severance day

My way
And it's all of my soul that i give
And it's my way

Call this non-dilute
Call this ill repute
Call this tainted fruit
Call this severance

Call this over-shoot
Call this double proof
Call this my uproot
This is my severance day

HBD, Paula

Saturday, September 10, 2016


My blogs, tweets, and Facebook posts are few and far between not because my life is boring, but because I have a high (in  comparison to my cohort of American 30-somethings) threshold for whether I consider something worthy to host. Very high on Facebook, about as high on blog, a little lower on Twitter.  I don't post recipes, memes, or countdown until Christmas.

But, instead of hinting at what i could say.. I'll just say it.

I remember once having so many topics to write on that I had a link for upcoming attractions possibly as many as 15 ideas that turned into about a dozen blogs. And I'm only days ahead on my automatic posting of Monday Melody of my life feature although I know the songs that will bring me to the current by the end of the year.  Had trouble with a song by Montgomery Gentry I ended up scratching off the list.

Quick one about perspective and revival, etc.  In a nation that claims to be 70% Christian, but only 35% go to church weekly...
And is our internal definition of revival any different than our definition of political victory?  Christendom has its advantages... And disadvantages.

I like my job. It keeps me busy, I'm good at it, and I can provide excellent customer service.  I have some great co-workers, including my delivery team and service desk team. I would like to move to a full-time position, when the right one opens. (management knows, but most openings are part time or overnight) And that pumpkin headed Halloween decoration that we are selling really freaks me out.

If I had my choice, either Senator Cruz or Senator Rubio would be the GOP nominee. But I don't, and I'm not sure where my irrelevant POTUS vote (If KS goes blue, former SecState Clinton won in a landslide) is going. Johnson, write-in, blank, ???

Honestly, there's only name on the ballot that I know that I am marking, my friend and State Representative Tony Barton. Our family is on his campaign team #teamtony !!

Last Tuesday, August 30, we set our personal record for finishing our routes, throwing the last paper at 4:25pm.  Takes a lot of motivation, a couple teen-agers,  and a few gallons of gas to get it all done.

My younger daughter loves babies, and with our church with four pregnant women... She's looking forward to holding all the infants... But not all at once!
My wife commented that if we ever had another baby, we'd be there for the birth, and then Olivia would take care of her sibling for the next several years..

My next Saturday blog will begin,
"I was once asked what my best characteristic was. My answer was 'I have none.' "

Monday, September 5, 2016

Ready-made family

MM#91 He Didn't Have To Be, Brad Paisley [New]

My loyal blog readers (all four of you) will understand that I have frequently commented on what I've often described as the "worst-kept secret" in our family, more on xanga than on SwS.  And September 16 (stepparents' day) is a marked day in my house for other reasons.  I reblogged a post I submitted to momaroo (yeah, now I'm dating myself) a few years ago.  No other new insights about it, so I'll link to the reblog 7/6/13  and just discuss the song.

The song was on the radio in late '00 and/or early '01.  (And actually, it was the number 1 country single in December '99, but it wasn't on my radar at that point.)  And from the first time I saw my friend's daughter, I cared about her.  A few months later, when I was engaged, my future wife asked me, "what do you want Molly to call you?"  My conclusion was, "I know what I want her to call me when she's 5, which will be the same thing she calls me when she's 4...which is what I want her to call me now.  Daddy."

When a single mom goes out on a date with somebody new
And it always winds up being more like a job interview
My momma used to wonder if she'd ever meet someone
Who wouldn't find out about me and then turn around and run

I met the man I call my Dad when I was five years old
He took my Mom out to a movie and for once I got to go
A few months later I remember lying there in bed
I overheard him pop the question and I prayed that she'd say yes

And then all of a sudden oh it seemed so strange to me
How we went from somethings missing to a family
Lookin' back all I can say about all the things he did for me
Is I hope I'm at least half the Dad that he didn't have to be

I met the girl that's now my wife about three years ago
We had the perfect marriage but we wanted somethin' more
Now here I stand surrounded by our family and friends
Crowded 'round the nursery window as they bring the baby in

And now all of a sudden oh it seemed so strange to me
How we've gone from somethings missing to a family
Lookin' through the glass I think about the man that's standin' next to me
And I hope I'm at least half the Dad that he didn't have to be

And lookin' back all I can say about all the things he did for me
Is I hope I'm at least half the Dad that he didn't have to be
Yeah, I hope I'm at least half the Dad that he didn't have to be
Because he didn't have to be, you know he didn't have to be

But...after 15 years, it really sucks when you find out, that for once, the difference between legal guardian and custodial stepparent exists, and it's not a good thing.