Archive for June, 2011


I have spent most of today with a big smile plastered on my face.  I think I am especially excited about the summer this year because there are fewer unknowns than we had last summer.  Last June I could see the end of my time as a stay-at-home Mom.  When IB came home in January, September seemed a million years away.  As SD and TF finished school last year, suddenly I felt like the clock was ticking.

IB was headed to school full time in the fall and we weren’t sure how that was going to go.  I won’t lie.  September was rough, but we made it through.

IB now has a full year of school under his belt. He knows what school is about.  Most importantly, he understands that all five of us have places to go during the day, but we all come back to Kay Nou at night.

He is very excited about kindergarten.  He has been to his new school and is eager to point it out every time we drive by.  He knows he’ll be going there after the summer is over.

Until then we’ve got a busy, busy summer ahead of us.  Here’s what we’ve got cooking: Continue reading


Bittersweet Surrender

Do you remember learning to ride your bicycle without training wheels?  That sublime mixture of freedom and terror, often accompanied by abrupt conference with pavement.

I remember.  I distinctly recall my dad running down Rigger Lane holding my bike by the back of the seat.  My father, who later became a marathoner (and ran a portion of the 1984 Olympic torch relay) never got tired.  His encouragements to “steer into your fall” made no sense at the time.  These directions were counter-intuitive.  But they worked. Continue reading

Provost Marshall

When my father became a grandfather he was undecided about what he wanted to be called.  We joked that his grandchild could call him Dr. Marshall.  Even immediately after Subway Dude was born my dad had not chosen a name.

As SD grew and visited with my dad, my father would entertain SD by popping his cheek with his finger.  Eventually, SD would point to photos of my father and say, “Pop!”  My dad liked it and Pop was born.

These days, IB is known to see photos of his namesake and will say, “That’s MY Pop!”  IB is still working on sharing.

My dad in his favorite reading chair.

Continue reading

My Father Was a Funky, B.A. Melon Farmer

Here are some pics of the man I call Dad.  Some of these photos have not seen the light of day for 30 years.

His headshot for Western Electric

He was a trainer for the Bell System (RIP). I have always wondered what this training was about.

Continue reading

A Recap of Our First Ride of the Season

Last summer The Major convinced me to buy a road bike.  He had discovered a love for the sport and wanted to bring me over from the Dark Side.  You see, TM has never quite embraced my love of long distance running. 

I bought myself a nice Scott bike and got out a few times last year.  I enjoyed the rides I took last year for the most part.  Let me be frank and say that on each and every excursion last year I took a spill.  I invested in the clips (pedals that physically attach to your shoes) and from the “get go” and they made me very nervous.  Invariably, I would not quite get out of my clips in time and I would fall to the ground.  I was never truly injured, but I earned my fair share of bumps and bruises. Continue reading

Ch-Ch-Changes. Turn and Face the Strange.

When I was younger, I tended to over-sentimentalize change.  A departure from a summer job or the end of camp might bring about a round of farewells that was perhaps out of proportion to the actual experience.

As a middle-aged guy looking back on early experiences, I now realize that this was my manner of dealing with the anxiety of change.  As humans, we may be biologically programed to fear change and its fraternal twin, the unknown. Continue reading

Counselor’s Tales: Making A Man Cry

[Note:  This file has now been closed.  I wrote this post some time ago and waited until the proper time to post it.]

The instructions from my client to me were clear: make this guy cry.

The guy (we’ll call him “Rush” based on his fondness for Oxycontin) was making a claim for an injury he sustained on the job.  Let’s just say that there were questionable circumstances surrounding his fall from a truck.

One man's gold.

Additionally, Rush’s history as documented by his medical records did not qualify him for automatic induction into the Hall of Greatness Continue reading