Thursday, December 25, 2008

Santa Claus is Coming to Town.

I got the rare opportunity the other night to sit in a chair with both of my boys. It is not that rare that I get the sit in a chair and be still but most of you that read this know it is rare that they are ever still. I had a long day at work and all that I really wanted to do was sit still and be quiet. Billy wanted to watch Santa Claus is Coming to Town. They both climbed up in my lap and started watching.
It is funny how a memory will slip up on you when you are least expecting it. I think that I heard Ben say that smell is the one thing that triggers memory more that any other thing. I remembered clearly sitting on the couch with my mother and watching this very same movie. I was near Billy’s age. This was before the age of video and cable. This was before there was a channel 21 so all we had was 4 channels, 6, 13, 42, and as an absolute last resort 10. The Rankin/Bass productions would only come on once a year. This meant that you could only watch them once. My mother was very good about making sure I got to see them. I remember crying when she said that we would have to wait till next year to see them again. I can remember the smell of the cigarettes that my mother smoked. I can remember how warm she was as I got really close to her when the Winter Warlock was going to get Kris Kringle. This memory came to me in an instant as I sat with my own children watching the same movie on crystal cleat DVD but I could imagine the grainy reception we got from our foil covered rabbit ears.
I started getting a little choked up. I told Billy that I remembered watching this movie with my mother when I was his age. He said, “Yeah, I remember that too.” He knows that my mother died and went to heaven. Sometimes when I am telling him about her he will tell me that he misses her too. I believe that he and James Robert would have liked her too. She was the glue that held Christmas together for my family. I did not realize until much, much later that she very intentional in the way she was creating these memories for me. I took so much for granted as a silly little kid.
Every good and lasting memory that I have of Christmas as a boy is wrapped around the love that she had for me. She would sing these carols to me in her smoky voice. I got my voice from her. When I am reading to the boys I hear her voice coming out of me.
Her last Christmas was a good one. The cancer that would kill her six months later would not take it’s last swing at her until January. Her mind was sharp and she was beautiful that Christmas. Her children were married and my nephews were on the downhill side of high school. She was still trying to make memories that none of us would really appreciate until we had a Christmas without her.
I say all of that trying to get to something that I think is really important. For me anyway. If you are surrounded by people that you love make those memories. I hope that Billy can remember one day when his hair is starting to go gray sitting in a chair with his brother and his father watching a movie. These memories are part of who he is and the man that he is. The love that I am trying to give him and James Robert is something that is passed down. I hope that they do not take for granted these memories that we are trying to make. If they can remember only half of the love that I have for them then their treasure chest will be overflowing.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

It feels like 1992 all over again.

Let me explain.
If my math is right this was 16 years ago. I looked something like this

or this

Either way it was a long time ago. She is still really pretty.
Me not so much.
But I digress.
It really feels a lot like 1992 on at least 2 fronts.
1. I am not so pleased that we have elected a socialist for president. There was a time in my life when I feared that the Commies were going to take us by force (See Red Dawn or The Day After...these movies made my blood run cold when I was but a wee lad in the heady days of the early to mid '80's). But now I see that we will keep electing them. And while I'm at it services like roads, teachers, fire service, police service, etc are not socialism. Empires have the very same things. They just keep the proletariat happy. Wait a minute....Either way I was in the same frame of mind as a freshman at the University of Alabama in the fall of 1992. But I survived fairly well up to this point and I imagine that I will forge on into the future.
2. Alabama is undefeated and #1 as God intended. Alabama beat Auburn 17-0 in 1992. I missed the biggest play of the game because I was going to get Cokes for my friend Dale and I. We were ushers at Legion Field in the North endzone where they usually put the visitors. Alabama just lately beat Auburn 36-0. We were not there but I was with Dale. I didn't miss any of the big plays although I did have to go to the bathroom several times. I pee a lot when I am nervous. Is that weird.
3. In 1992 I wanted to be a teacher of English and History somewhere. God changed my plans. I was restless then. I am restless now. I feel that there is something on the horizon.
Either way it is feeling a lot like 1992 for me. Some of you may remember 1992. It was a wonderful time to be alive. 2008 aint so shabby either.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

These are things that made me smile this week. I publish these are a public service for the students @ Westwood. You may wonder why and you would not be the only one.

Debbie and Dracula. Or is this a nun. Daniel A. Moore painted this picture. No kidding.

My first car. The ladies really dug the Rambler. And the mullet.

The ugliest dog in the world died this week. In honor of that I am listing posting pictures of ugly animals.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

1st Blog

There is a tiny wizard standing on a bridge somewhere in my body. He is facing down the giant Balrog (kidney stone). He is slamming his little staff down and saying, "You shall not pass!!"

Not much for a first blog. But these are the things that comsume by brain. And there is only one person that really cares what I think anyway.