Thursday, March 29, 2007

I'm Outta Here!

In just a few hours now, I'll be off to Taneycomo for a few days. These days at Taneycomo are always very rejuvenating. Spring brings a fresh start for nature, an awakening. It's no different for me. This annual trip to Taneycomo kick starts my spring, and refreshes my spirit. A cleansing of sorts, I guess.

Thoreau said "Many men go fishing all their lives without knowing it is not fish they are after". How true indeed.

Have a good week.


Sunday, March 25, 2007

Five Days

Only five days left until my fishing trip. Boy am I ready to go!

Not much new to report here. Spring break is over, and the girls head back to school tomorrow. We are all glad about that. They'll get their real spring break in a few weeks when we go to Florida.

The weather here has been typical spring weather. Sun, rain, wind. We slept with the windows open last night, first time this year. Damn I love that. It's nice having the birds wake you up in the morning instead of a buzzer. It was 82 degrees here today.

I tilled the garden up today. We've never done much gardeing until the past couple of years. Every year we enjoy it more. Must be our age. We're excited about it this year again. We'll plant lots of cucumbers (for Scot's "Wickles"), some peppers, tomatoes,& brocolli. I want to try pumpkins and lettuce this year too. We planted some sugar snap peas last fall. They are supposed to be able to take the cold weather pretty good. October was very cold though, below zero, and wiped them out. I thought about planting them again this spring, but I might pass this year. We should have strawberries again too. They are popping up already. The tulips are a few inches high as well. Spring is sweet.

I've been listening to "Walden" by Thoreau, on CD, in the car back and forth to work. What a wise man he was. His words really speak to me.

I'm sure this week will seem like two, since the fishing trip starts at the end.


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Remember Again

Twelve years ago today, at about 1pm, Angie and I were at the used car lot, in the cold drizzle, looking for a replacement car. Three days earlier our car had been stolen and totaled by some 15 year old punk. The car he took was the one that Angie's Aunt Kathleen willed to her when she died. It was the car that we had driven both Alex and Robby home from the hospital in. We were standing in that drizzly car lot when our lives were changed forever. That's where we were when Robby died.

A half hour later I was walking in the door at home and the phone was ringing. When I picked it up, our friend Terri was on the other end. She was frantic and crying. She told me that she found Robby in his crib, not breathing and blue. Her husband Sam was giving him CPR and the ambulance was pulling into the driveway. I told her I'd meet her at the hospital and rushed out the door. I'd watched lots of the "Rescue 911" types of shows on TV, and they always saved their patients. I was worried, but thought for sure that the medics would bring him out of it. On the way down the street I met Angie. I jumped in her car and we raced to the hospital.

The next scenes I have in my mind, I will remember forever. I can still smell the place; I can feel the temperature of the rooms, the hardness of the chair I sat in.

We parked the car and ran in. The front desk clerk knew right away what we were there for and ushered us in. The hospital Chaplin took us into a little waiting room and told us that they were working on him and that the doctor would be right in. Everyone looked sad, and I knew it wasn't good. Sam and Terri were sitting in the little room with us, bawling. I don't remember talking to them. The doctor came in and told us that they were doing everything they could, but that Robby wasn't breathing on his own. He told us that he would not come out of it. He told us that it was most likely SIDS. I remember crying harder than I ever had before, and yelling.

The doctor left for a few minutes and then came back. He told us that Robby was dead, and that we could go see him if we wanted to. I remember walking out of the little room, around a corner, into a bigger room. The bigger room had clouds painted on the walls, just like Robby's room at home. I don't remember seeing anyone else in the room, but Robby. There he was, lying motionless on a big operating table. He was white, his eyes half open, with a tube sticking out of his mouth. At that moment, it was real. I could not go in right then, but had to go back to the little room, and cry some more. Now louder than before.

When I finally did go back into the big cloudy room, Angie was sitting in a wooden rocking chair, holding Robby for the last time. He was wrapped in a blanket. She was rubbing her mouth on his fuzzy little head, like she had always done. I remember making a few phone calls. I think I called my sister Tina and my Mom. I don't remember who else I talked to. A little while later, it was my turn to hold Robby. I think I held him a long time. He seemed heavier than before, and grew colder as I held him. The nurse cut a lock of hair from his head for us. Eventually we knew we had to let him go.

Twelve years is a long time, and time does heal. For a while I thought I’d never stop feeling pain. It did go away for the most part. Funny, now I sometimes wish for it again. Sometimes I feel like I’ve forgotten him when I don’t hurt. Every now and then, I’ll grieve a little for him and my throat and eyes will swell. I cherish these feelings now.

A few days ago, on a photo website that I frequent, someone asked a question about which photo you would walk into if you could. Immediately, I thought of the box of photos we have of Robby. If given the chance, I would walk into any of those, just to hold him again and kiss his fuzzy head one more time.

I hope you don’t think it’s morbid that I tell this story today. Sometimes I like to tell it. It helps me remember it. I need that.


Sunday, March 18, 2007


I just wrote a bunch of stuff and the stupid computer lost it all. I hate these things somtimes. This is the condensed version.

Angie & I had a date night on Friday night. It was fun.

Abby, Madeline and I went camping Saturday. We had snow at the beginning of the day and a nice sunny afternoon. It was fun too.

Tomorrow is Monday, boo. Only 10 more working days until Taneycomo, yay.


Thursday, March 15, 2007


It's my belief that every man has an inherent need to explore his world. This is instinctive to him and he can not change that. It's because he is a mammal. He must wander and hunt.

Every year about this time, everything starts to get to me. The kids, my job, my house, yes, even my wonderful wife. I feel this urge to escape it all. Eleven years ago, three friends and I had a discussion about this very thing. We decided to do something about it. We packed our fishing gear and headed to southern Missouri for a few days. Fifteen days from now we begin our trip down for our eleventh annual trip. The trip has grown from the original four to a group of six. It has also grown from a three day weekend to a five night vacation. Things are starting to get to me again. I can feel the urge to escape building inside me daily. Sometimes 15 days can feel like a million.

This week has been nice and warm. All of the snow is gone. The rivers are full and the fields are flooded. The photos I've posted tonight are more of the meltdown.

I am taking Abby and Madeline out camping this weekend. We are going with my sister, her husband, and their son (Tina, George, and Jordan). I've been waiting for the snow to melt so that I could pull my camper out of the backyard and park it in the driveway, to ready it for camping. Well, Tuesday night, I tried to do just that. I got the van backed through the yard part way and decided that the ground was just too soft. Too late, I was stuck. After an hour of pushing & digging, a friendly neighbor with a giant four wheel drive finally came over and pulled me out. I always bitch about the "rednecks" and their loud trucks running down the streets here in Cambridge. Irony is funny sometimes.

Have a great weekend.


Sunday, March 11, 2007


What a great weekend. The weather was warm and we had no big plans. We spent more time outside than inside for a change. The fresh air has been invigorating to say the least. I finally feel like I had a refreshing weekend for a change.
Girl Scout Cookies are in. For those of you that ordered some from Abby, we will be contacting you for a cookie/money switch sometime this week. I gave up sweets for Lent, but Sundays don't count, so I've have way too many today. I think we went through three boxes today. I feel like crap now.
Have a good week.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Things I saw today

These are some of the things I saw on my morning run today.
The sun feels warm today and it's exciting.

Here are a couple close photos of the trees that fell on the car two weeks ago. They are still attached at the top and very heavy, so I can't remove them right now. I'm going to have to find a chainsaw I guess. It doesn't look like they did any damage to the car.

Have a great weekend


Thursday, March 08, 2007


The fog was pretty heavy this morning. I suppose it's all the melting snow in the air. I love this time of year, when the sun breaks the horizon on my drive to work. It's nice to feel the sun on my face before I go inside the cube farm for the day. Daylight Saving time starts this Sunday. That means it's back to dark morning drives for a while.

For those of you who've seen lots of my photos, you'll recognize these corn cribs. They're on a road I often take to work. I use them often.

Here are a couple signs I saw on a morning walk at the Clover Ridge Resort last weekend. They struck me as a little funny with the snow.


Wednesday, March 07, 2007


Setting Moon and Drift

Monday morning, Madeline's sitter called to tell us that she threw up and needed to go home. Angie picked her up and spent the next 24 hours by her side. Poor kid couldn't keep anything down. It was coming out both ends. She feels better now. Alex is sick today with the same thing. Boy I hope the rest of us don't catch it. I can't wait for the weather to warm up enough to open windows and air the house out. Shouldn't be long.

I've been hearing the birds singing in the mornings. It always makes me smile. They know spring is coming too.

Why does it always seem like there are a million things that need to get done? Why is it so hard to handle it all? I've been having a hard time lately keeping everything in balance. I need a good spring cleaning I guess. I need to figure out what doesn't matter and get rid of it, quit worrying about it. What does not add, detracts.


Friday, March 02, 2007


Every time we've had a blast of winter weather in the past few weeks, I keep thinking it's the last one of the season. It's got to end soon, doesn't it?

We've had blizzard conditions for the past 24 hours. We've had snow and winds around 30-50mph. I played dumbshit this morning and actually drove in to work. There were periods where I could not see anything in front of me. I took it very slow, and made it there and then back home. There were lots and lots of cars in the ditches along the way. Thank God I didn't end up one of them.

Angie and I had plans to meet another couple at a condo at Lake Panorama for a quiet weekend away from home (the kids). We've been doing it every year for a long time. We usually go around Valentine's Day. We planned to go for two nights this year, tonight and tomorrow night. The stupid weather has us socked in at home though. It's supposed to be better tomorrow. We need the time away, so I pray that it is.

The girls had Monday off of school because of last weekend's snowstorm. They had yesterday and today off because of this snowstorm. They are really getting on each others nerves. We all have cabin fever bad. COME ON SPRING!!!

The long skinny photo posted above is actually a stiching of nine photos I made of our yard today. I took the photos during a brief break in the weather. If you click on it, you should be able to see a much larger version. On the left you can see the fence that our neighbor crashed through last weekend. Then you'll see the trees laying on our car, camper, and shed. Then you'll see Abby's basketball hoop, the snowy driveway, our house and garage, a pile of downed branches, and the main drag in town. This is the first time I've used the stiching software that came with my little camera. It worked slick. Expect some more of these from me.

full moon and snow, shot through the back window