Father’s Day

Those that know me best, know that I come from a one parent home, but that’s not exactly true. It is true that the man that was my biological father was absent for much of my life, but that’s not to say that I did not have a father growing up. That role would fall to my grandfather (on my mom’s side). He helped shape me to become the man that I am today.

I remember the little things he’d do for us growing up, food shopping, always getting a little goody or two for me to snack on during the week, he’d always get the noname stuff, working so hard all your life makes you come to respect that money doesn’t come easily. Listening to 80s Celtics games on the radio, him explaining to me things I’d ask about or did not understand. When I was little I guess I had a knack of bumping my head on the corners of the kitchen table, which were sharp right angles. He sanded them down to rounded edges so I wouldn’t hurt myself on them anymore. The times weren’t always fun and games though – if I needed discipline , he’d give it as well. There would be Friday nights when he’d take me down to the mall and we’d get a pizza. That’s what grandpa’s do.

He helped me with financial aid and times when I needed rides. I can still remember the time he tried to beat the Green E Line subway by gunning the KCar across the subway tracks and scared me half to death. He had a daredevil way about him. Looking back know I laugh at it. I miss that. In many ways he helped get me going and starting out on my own. He never helped me with any homework, but he taught me a lot of other things. And although he never openly showed us love, I knew in my heart of hearts that he did.

One of the saddest days of my life is when I saw him die. He had been suffering from congestive heart failure for a few years toward the end. He probably could have prolonged his life further I bet by not being so stubborn and doing what the doctor told him, but that wasn’t his way. I caught him a few times sneaking a cigarette by the side of the house, he had been a smoker since he was a teenager. Of course back then , he told me he took it up because my grandmother at the time had considered it “manly”. My, how the times have changed. His face always lit up when I visited him in the hospital when he saw me, even covered up by all those tubes and oxygen masks.

I can remember telling him “Thank You for everything!” as he looked at me with my tears streaming from my eyes, myself being unable or even unwilling to try to stop them. I can remember him looking up to the ceiling after that, all loaded up with morphene to ease his pain, and it looked like he was seeing something, and then he tensed up, and let out a sigh, kind of, and that was it. He was gone, but I think he didn’t really want to go, but I think he held on just long enough to see that we’d be alright and able to fly on our own now.

Even to this day, I can sense him watching over me, especially in the times when I feel I need him there, by my side, in spirit. That’s what grandpa’s do. That’s what father’s do.

So now today I am who I am thanks to his guiding hand. And I like to think he watches on me from above in all that I’ve accomplished and have yet to.

Job well done, “Dad”.

If Chipmunks Could Smile

We saw a very strange and annoying yet somewhat cute sight this morning while looking out the back yard picture window. We have a strawberry plant that is producing quite nicely but it’s hung up on a planter hanging by a hook type setup.

chipmunk
The culprit , AKA “Chips”, seen in an earlier encounter.

Lo and behold, a chipmunk had somehow gone up the stairs and took a flying leap into the container and was gorging himself on the ripened strawberries thus far – a veritable fruit buffet of such delights that I don’t think a creature could ever be so happy as that chipmunk.

“No doubt to relish in the spoils of its labor”

We purposely did this and placed the setup as so as to make it difficult for this to happen. We tried to get a picture of the crime but the little bugger would hide underneath the canopy of strawberry leaves.

And then, without missing a step, it fell right out of the pot (looked upside down to me) and into the waiting arms of the buffeting hosta leaves, and then was gone, no doubt to relish in the spoils of its labor. It was kinda cute though seeing the head pop out from under the leaves, and did I see a smile on its lips?

Uhmmm…what?

Well back from the bike ride! Some observations though, who put this ride together? I realized that there didn’t seem to be any theme to this ride. And also, who picked the route? It happened to go up to the highest hill in town – so steep I had to walk my bike up. Now I remember why I like the Cambridge ones better. Speaking of the bike, it performed great, so I’m very happy with that. Well anyway, there were photos taken – maybe I’ll be in one looking all haggard. We’ll see.

Currently on the reading docket: Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed. I’ve heard some good things about this book – hoping it’ll be an interesting read.

Also, not a weekend goes by that we don’t take a visit to Home Depot of Lowes for something. In the meantime if you’re looking for a good game try Blackened. It’s sort of like Sokoban but different. It took me a while to solve all the levels but I found them enjoyable.

Trying Out New Old Things

Let’s try to get caught up on a few things that have been going on since the last real update. In no particular order: Last weekend just browsing one of those Buy Nothing Facebook Groups I saw this bike available. So I threw my name into the hat, and wouldn’t you know I got picked!

So I went to meet the woman giving it away and came away with this sweet cruiser. A little banged up and serviceable. I spent part of last weekend fixing it up a bit, getting rid of some stuff she had on there that I didn’t want, such as a broken rear view mirror. Overall it seems to ride pretty well. I saw that Somerville is having a Bicycle Committee Community Bike Ride today so I’m going to go down there with the group and really give it a go. I think this will make a nice companion ride to my old mountain bike. Great to have options!

In other news, in case you were wondering, I did finally get the blade off the mower and installed the new one. Cuts really nice now, should be great going forward.

Speaking of moving forward, the Ladydoc finally decided to get some real home improvement work done over the last week. Namely, redoing the bedroom with newly painted walls, and finally removing the age old carpet which had great hardwoods underneath. They needed to be sanded and buffed and all that but they were in great shape to begin with. I guess being under that carpet so long preserved it! Apparently most of the house has these hardwoods but the previous owners covered much of it in carpeting, which naturally has been left, at least up until now. Also went down and got a new ceiling fan that’s made of brushed nickel and looks pretty cool. LED lights and all. Still need an electrician to come in and install a recessed light that LD wants over a chair in the room by the window to assist in reading.

In the plants realm, I did break down and buy and plant a new butterfly bush to replace the one out back with looked like it was regrowing and then suddenly went kaput. Not sure what happened there, although I think one night last winter when it got crazily cold may have put it over the edge. Otherwise, everything else seems to be blooming like crazy, especially the rose bushes, columbines, and clematis. Also the raised box vegetables are really starting to grow now. I love it when a plan all comes together!

What else? Well, last night while going out to dinner, we did see a red tailed hawk just sitting by the road. Majestic looking creature. Sadly, upon closer inspection he had what appeared to be a recently deceased baby bunny under his talons. He stayed there for quite a while as folks got out their cell phones and took some shots of him. We did too, until we saw what he had done. I know it’s nature and all but it kind of put a damper on it for us. What can I say? We’re a little sensitive.

And finally, speaking of dinners, I did get a chance to take my mom to a place called Earl’s in Assembly Square last weekend. I must say I was impressed with the decor of the place. (We had gone there after visiting my grandparent’s gravesite). Probably the most stunning thing about the visit though was our waitress who legit looked exactly like Jennifer Aniston. She said she gets that all the time and dresses more like her for Halloween. Well, if Jennifer ever needs a younger double, she’ll know where to look!

New Beginnings

Hello Everyone! As you can see I’m in the process of doing a complete redesign. It’ll take me a little bit to get everything the way I want it, but bear with me. You may see things come and go as I experiment around. Overall, I think this is going to be a much better site that it was going forward, as well as being designed to display responsively on different devices, although curiously this particular post looks very different depending on device and browser. I prefer Chrome so that’s what it’ll look best in.