A Thousand Hits

I just noticed that there have been over a thousand hits on my blog.

I can only hope that it's being enjoyed.

Hit on, brave cyber readers, hit on!

And thanks.


The Older I Get

Earlier today, I was at McDonald's getting some fries when I took a minute to prefold my parking money.

You know how those things are. If you don't pay for a monthly pass, you gotta slide your money into those coin-width slots on that metallic parking lot piggy bank. I'm OCD on some things. I always check the number on my space at least three times before I go to the appropriate slot on the bingo board. And to be sure the attendant or the security guard knows I paid, I leave the little, flat push bar thing that helps you shove your money all the way in stuck in the slot of my space.

Anyhow, back to McDonald's. I waited at the counter for them to bring up a new batch of fries. I carefully folded my money into a half. Then I folded that half. And then I folded the 3rd half. As I did this, an older guy- white beard, white hair, wearing a hat -laughed.

OLD GUY: You're as nit-picky as me.

He laughed again and I stopped folding my dollar bill.

ME: I wonder what that says about me.
OLD GUY: Nothing. You're just a young nit-picky.

For a few months, nay, years, I've been feeling the persistence of time. Each year just affirms what I've been trying to avoid. The long shadows are setting in and one day, in 10 or 15 years, I'll be avoiding all those things I've often found myself running headlong into.

Take booze for example. Fred, my long standing drinking buddy, and I have noticed that a six pack doesn't sit as well with us as it use to. We've always been the kind to pace ourselves. Speed drinking is for rookies and people who enjoy the taste of puke. And while I never condone mixing, I often like to sneak a martini or a tequila shot with a bunch of beer. A couple of girls at a bar in Arkansas I use to drink at tried go gig me one night with two Irish car bombs, a cement mixer, some shot that tasted like branches off a Christmas tree and some cinnamon schnapps. I'd already had a few shots of tequila and I was drinking beer the whole time. I woke up that morning feeling like a million bucks. And that was just a few years ago.

Not now. I mix and I pay the next morning.

I find myself telling Terrance, my youngest, things like "When I was your age..." What the Hell is that? I'm turning into my Dad. I see those kids with the baggy pants or the emo haircuts and I'm suddenly Abe Vigoda: "You crazy kids need to keep it down over there! Young whipper snappers." I've started dispensing that mumbling criticism of things I can't understand. "I don't know where they get that mumble mumble mumble mumble..." All I need is a cane to shake defiantly in the air when I'm being a crotchety bastard.

The irony of it is that I still like some of the music that's coming out these days. I don't care for the fashion; I've never been that kind of guy. The stuff I wear now is the stuff I wore as a younger guy. I like some TV shows they spin these days and I'm into some of the films they produce.

And I'm not old. I'm fucking 35. I'm still old enough to know, but young enough to ignore and claim total ignorance. Or maybe I'm not and I have to face that facts that if I don't start to act like a real grown up, I may continue to feel this way.

What's worse is when I think about that last statement, does that mean that I've become one of those guys I hate that refuses to get with his responsibilities and thinks that if you're not a rebel by 18 you've got no heart, but if you've not sold out to the man by 30 you've got no brains?

I always thought of myself as a child, in some respects. A child in the way that I always want to learn and invent and explore and create. A child, at heart, they say. But what's that line from 1 Corinthians 13:11...

"When I was a child I spoke as a child I understood as a child I thought as a child; but when I became a man I put away childish things."

My body is getting older. I am a married man with to teenage sons. I have a mortgage. I have bills. I have a job. I am not a child. I know this. But sometimes I feel like that's a sensibility that has always kept me thinking from a fresher stand point. But I think it's also a sensibility that spurs selfishness.

I looked at that old man today and I felt insulted. I'm not old. I'm not old. But in the morning, when my knees make that popping sound as I climb out of bed and I've got a hangover from the EIGHT BEERS that I had the night before, I have to wonder.

I stare at the toys on my desk. The pictures of my wife and my kids. I wonder, what's in store for me next?


Correct Me If I'm Wrong...

It was a sinus infection, not a chest infection, that ended up preventing Aaron's surgery. A chest infection would have been more serious. Tonya alerted me that I put down the wrong kind of infection on my last entry. Just wanted to clarify it for everyone.



We got up early Friday morning and made our way to Santa Rosa Hospital for Aaron's long awaited surgery.

Shriner's Hospital has turned us down some time back. They didn't have the critical care staff needed to care for Aaron after the surgery. Long story short, we were very disappointed. Tonya is still mad at the doctors there. They just didn't listen to her.

We got to Santa Rosa early and waited almost an hour before we were called. Before long they had Aaron in a gown and were walking us up to meet with the surgeon and the anesthesiologist.

They were prepping him for the IV when the anesthesiologist stopped the nurse.

They were all worried that with Aaron's most recent chest infection, it would open the door to a possible infection to the hardware that would be installed into his leg. It wasn't anything we'd thought of at all.

Tonya was upset. Nearly at the brink of tears. We had been fighting to get this surgery going for some time now. We spend a year getting ready for it with Shriner's just for them to turn us down the day of surgery. Tonya did her best and kept her composure. In the end, she understood the reasons, but couldn't help but still be disappointed. I was just as upset, but also understood the reasons for the delay.

In the end, they rescheduled for the beginning of March. Days before Aaron's 18th birthday.

Oh, that's something else we didn't see. The last time that the surgery was rescheduled, Aaron was relieved. He never really showed signs of being disappointed. He spoke about it sometimes, but never really revealed any feelings other than looking forward to getting it over with. This time, he was mad. He spent the morning being worried and when we told him we were going home, he was confused. On the ride back to the house, we watched him sit in the backseat with a scowl on his face. Tonya began talking to him and it became obvious that he wasn't scared. He was pissed off. He's had to endure so much hype about the surgery only for it to be stopped twice. I'm not sure how he'll take it once it comes time to try again in a month.

The doctors suggested we finish his antibiotic treatment and get Aaron rechecked and cleared by the surgeon before his scheduled date.

Thanks to all of you who sent us positive thoughts and for all who donated your time and money to Aaron.


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