On Miles and Moments

My Daughter lives in another state. I’m not talking about her mind, another subject entirely. She lives in Missouri. Now I don’t have any personal feud with the Show Me State, but the fact that it is located 9 hours from my house is the problem. You see 9 hours is not one of those drive times that you can do and still have time and energy left in that day to do much. At least for me it isn’t. I could go on and talk about my younger days, okay I will, of running to Florida just for a sunset. Or striking out to Texas, 14 hours one way, for the weekend to pick up my Grandma’s Piano. Yep in my pre-40 days, I was a road burner with still enough left over at the end of the trip to light some fires! Not-ne-more. I still love the driving. It’s just my legs are loosing their memory too. They forget how to walk after about 3 hours of sitting.  I get about 3 to 5 hours per Johnny stop depending on cola and coffee intake. So, between my 5 hour bladder and forgetful legs the stops come pretty regular. Add my wife in there and it’s a wonder we get out of sight of the house.

My Daughter and Son-in-Law bought a house! Their first house. They closed on Oct 31st. It was a day of awesome memories and a tad of anxiety. This was a high for my daughter, son-in-law the whole family with congratulations all around.  It will be a memorable day as my Son-in-Law carried his bride across the threshold, they got their first trick or treat’r and deservedly enjoyed one of life’s successes. Lisa and I weren’t there for that, and you know what, we didn’t need to be! That was their moment and well done and shared between them as it should be. We don’t know when we’ll get to see their house. Maybe New Years, maybe later. The issue is, those moments that might be no more than Lisa helping Kelly put in shelf paper, me changing out light bulbs or seeing their dog Molly do zoomies around the back yard for the first time, are those times I missed and yep, I’m a little sad.

When I speak of my daughter moving away to my friends and family, they say things like, “be glad she has a job” or “be thankful her husband has a job” or “technology will keep you close”. I know that what they are saying is all true. And I remind myself to be thankful for those things, but to me life happens in moments between the big things. It happens between the highs and lows, between the holidays and celebrations. Life happens in small instances you don’t even know you’ll cherish one day. Life happens when you’re moments away.

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Four Speeches with a side of Toast

Reflecting on my own speech, I thought of lots of antidotes and wisdom I should have mentioned. Upon further reflection, I am glad I didn’t. I did not write anything down, I just had a general idea I wanted to impress upon our guest. My heartfelt thanks for their attendance to this celebration and that this couple are fans of each other and want what is best for the other. I think I accomplished that. The Groom’s Dad also had encouraging words and kept to the code, short, sweet and sincere. I was a little worried about our younger speakers.

It turns out, as with most everything, I worried for nothing. The Best Man did a terrific job. He did not fall victim to the power of all eyes and a large crowd listening to his every word. He kept his speech and toast short and personal. All of us in the crowd that knew him and his relationship with The Bride and Groom got the inside jokes, but even those that didn’t could feel his sincerity. The Maid of Honor was nervous and confessed to me many times that she did not speak well in public. But I think her speech caused the most choking up, at least it did for me. She spoke straight from her heart and after all, isn’t that what a Wedding is all about!

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Dog Gone, but not yet!

Turbo and his Moms

A Marriage is a beginning for the happy couple, but for me it’s the ending of a beautiful relationship with mutual respect, unmatched trust and perfect compatibility. Turbo is going to live with his Mom. Turbo is Kelly’s dog. He was a gift to her, he loves her and she loves him. The problem is Turbo has been living with me for 4 of his last 5 years while his Mom was doing that college thing. And I’ve gotten a wee bit attached. Some would say, I’m nuts for that dog and he and I are best buds.

When I first laid eyes on him, I really planned on hating that little ball of fur. I mean what would a guy like me do with a fru fru little Yorky? He looked like something that belonged on the end of a leash held by Paris Hilton. Ugh!  Not me, no sir, that dog barely deserved to be called a dog. A companion dog, that’s what they call Yorkies. I figured that meant they were small enough to carry with you like jewelry or a purse.

What I didn’t know until he began staying with me full time is that companion means Yorkies like to hang with you. They really like to just hang around and be with you, and not “cat rubbing all over” be with you. Just next to you. That raised my brows, so we started doing stuff together. We started going to the mailbox, doing tricks, grilling, watching some TV you know, guy stuff.

So now, he calls me PawPaw. He hangs with me at every step. And he misses me when I’m not there and I, well I miss him. He goes to his Mom’s regularly and that’s going to turn into a more permanent situation at some point. But for now, Turbo and I are watching TV. He barks at the occasional dog, horse or elephant that crosses the screen and we’re chilling out together,,, for now.


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Near Perfect Wedding

The bottom line is, the wedding was near perfect. Here’s the near part. I know my daughter is going to read this, so I’m going to tell you right off that I had a great time and I believe most people there did. I don’t know how many times I was told that the venue was awesome and most did not want the dancing to stop.  And although the MOB and myself at one time believed we had actually accomplished the perfect wedding, that few days of rose colored thinking eventually subsided to a more pragmatic view.

I have decided there are three things that must be good at an outdoor wedding. The weather,  the weather and the food. Well, I can tell you the first two were perfect. Not too cool, not too hot with a slight breeze. The third, was half great. The Bride and Groom selected Chicken Cordon Blue and Sliced Roast Beef. The chicken cordon blue was awesome, the sliced roast beef not so much. It was dry. I mean it was even too dry to be excused by the extended photo session after the wedding. But most folks invited to the wedding were of sufficient breeding to not mention it. It just goes to show how awesome these guest were.  They also didn’t mention that we ate off clear plastic plates instead of the “china” looking upgraded plates we were told we would have. So maybe the three most important things for an outdoor wedding are the weather, the food and the guest!

There were some other minor snags that we navigated without too much trouble. However, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention them. First, the parents and their parents should have been formally escorted away after the ceremony was over. Not doing this caused an “informal” receiving line. In other words, we all wanted to talk to each other. So, we did. Also, it was dry and that was good, but that meant it was a little dusty too. Everyone had to be cautious about brushing up against cars.

It ended too soon. Or did it? It seemed everyone enjoyed themselves right up to the end and that is hard to beat. The Bride and Groom were ready to go and I think most folk’s light fantastic was tripped too. So although it felt cut short, I doubted we could have sustained the party level or at least I couldn’t. As you can see all these were minor bumps in this wedding’s road.  Mostly it was a smooth trip!


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Mom is still Mom

You know, I had forgotten that bra is short for brassiere. That is just one of the unintentional lessons I got from my Mom while she was here for The Wedding. Her generation is not into short cuts, even in speech. Mom generally thinks I hung the moon, or she makes me feel she does. Maybe that is the secret of being a Mom to boys. At the same time, she talked to me about my posture, my not so eloquent language and my less than stellar attendance  at church. Somehow my Mom got in all her planned lessons and still made me feel like I was the apple of her eye.  She is a school teacher. Or was, for 25 years. For the last 19 years she has been the owner operator of Little Fannie’s Country Retreat.  Quite an accomplishment to build a business from scratch. So I listen to her, but when you do that prepare to learn some things on purpose and some accidental.  She is afraid to fly, but she did for The Wedding. And when the plane on the way back began to experience problems on the taxiway and return to the gate, she calmly called me and said, “I just thought you would want to know. Just in case.” My wife and I were dancing and we saw my Mother and her Father talking. So we grabbed them and when my mother and I got to the dance floor, she said she wouldn’t trade this moment for a million dollars. My Mom is always teaching me something. Even if it is accidental, on purpose, totally crazy or absolutely brilliant, it is her delivery that always catches me off guard and sometimes the content.

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Journey’s End

This morning the centerpieces were taken apart, the moss was removed and lanterns boxed, the caramel apple gifts gone and barrels stacked, memory table pictures wrapped and placed in boxes. Kelly’s DIY, cake topper, menu display, direction signs, card holder and vine hearts all packed up neatly in boxes for the journey home. The Dress was returned to it’s bag a bit untidy, not garnering the great care as it once did. Lisa’s dress were prepared for travel as well. My oldest is handling my Tuxedo’s return. What took my wife, mother-in-law and Kelly months to plan, create, put together and deliver, took less than an hour to pack.

There was little time to contemplate all that today would end. We rushed around to get out of the cabin on time and then we headed home. Our Wedding journey had ended. And Kelly and Daniel’s marriage journey had just begun.

As I sit here alone after my Mother, cousin and Lisa went to bed, I thought again of all the family and friends who shared this most precious and intimate moment with our family.  Their smiles and hugs literally sustained Lisa and I as we tried to control and yet enjoy the wedding. I want to tell you all sincerely, that we Thank each of you for being a part of our lives.  And for those of you who have followed along with this blog, Thanks for clicking in.

I have many more things to share about our wedding journey and I’ll be posting them this week. Please join again as I continue to just “talk plain” .


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Wedding Day 12:30 am

I am still awake and I am exhausted. We have finished the rehearsal and the dinner was awesome. I was happy with everything that went on today. So, why am I awake and feeling like I just did not get it all done? I don’t mean the wedding stuff, I mean the teaching stuff. The stuff that I intended to pass on to my kids. I am rolling through my mind my short comings of being a good father. Did I guide my daughter correctly? Did I leave too much unsaid? I do not know. I’m going to “give you away” today. I hope Daniel knows what a precious gift that I “give”.

So much in mind to write about, I can’t put it together. Now to sleep, if it will come……


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