Sad News

There are so many things racing through my mind I don’t really know what to write about and writing about everything will only make things worse. So I must pick one topic and stay with it.

This morning I received a call from the wife of a very dear friend. The instant I saw her name come up on caller ID I knew what it meant. She called to tell my that her husband died. Her husband happens to be a lifelong friend from grammar school days. How many of us can brag about being in touch with a kid from the eight grade? For seventy years we stayed in touch, and kept up to date.

A childhood song immediately popped into my mind and the melody keeps replaying in a loop through all the confusion in my mind. Sung in 1956 by the most popular quartet of the day, The Four Lads.

Watching All the Girls Go By

Standing on a corner watching all the girls go by
Standing on a corner watching all the girls go by
Brother you don't know a nicer occupation
Matter of fact, neither do I
Than standing on a corner watching all the girls
Watching all the girls, watching all the girls go by

I'm the cat that got the cream
Haven't got a girl but I can dream
Haven't got a girl but I can wish
So I'll take me down to Main street
And that's where I select my imaginary dish

Standing on a corner watching all the girls go by
Standing on a corner giving all the girls the eye
Brother if you've got a rich imagination
Give it a whirl, give it a try
Try standing on a corner watching all the girls
Watching all the girls, watching all the girls go by

Brother you can't go to jail for what you're thinking
Or for that woo look in your eye
Standing on the corner watching all the girls
Watching all the girls, watching all the girls go by

This song documents the most popular activity I found myself engaged in during my 12-14 yo period. Many times my buddy Bob was standing right next to me, along with Kenny, and Jack.

Now it is time to put on my best shirt, and my smiley face to celebrate Bob’s entry into eternal peace. It is wine time! Here’s to you Bob, keep playing those sweet songs on sax for the angels.

Broken Glass, Bleeding heart

This week as I helped clean the table after supper I placed my empty wine glass on the counter and then proceeded to knock it over. My first reaction was to step back and survey the floor for broken pieces. Next i went for the broom and dust pan. I know that when glass breaks and scatters it goes into mysterious places that don’t make any sense. I wound up sweeping the entire kitchen being careful to get under the cabinet skirts. I collected a small pile of chards and dumped them. Next, I did the same with the counter top. Again, there were glass chards in places where one does not usually look. when it was all over, it dawned on me that the glass that broke was over sixty years old. It belonged to a set my wife Barb and I received for our wedding. For years, we guarded the crystal set of wines, water, sherbets like they were sacred. eventually, after Barb died, I began to use the glasses every day. They were beautiful, pure thin glass without blemish, and had a unique hexagonal shaped stem. They rang with a harmonious chime when clinked with a knife or fork. The set remains partially intact as the dessert glasses and a few small wine goblets remain. What I have concluded is that I’ve been using the water glasses as my wine glass, the actual wine glass holds but a fraction of liquid as the water glass does. I liked the healthy amount of wine I drink using this glass.

Crystal Wine Glass Number 8–RIP

Drinking from the crystal allowed me to swirl the wine and determine the hold time for the wine to recede, thus giving me some information as to the quality of the beverage. When I hold the glass to the light I see the clarity and richness of the color, and when I poke my nose to the rim, I can smell the scents of the fruit, the barrel, and flavors emitted. All of this was included with a flash back of Barb telling me to be careful handling the glass. Often, I am reminded of the times when we, as a young family, sat at the supper table and enjoyed a bit of wine using the crystal. One time in particular Barb adventurously poured a bit of wine into the crystal glasses for our toddler children, Steve was four and Jacque was three. Jacque clenched the hexagonal stem in her chubby little fist and not realizing what she was holding squeezed her hand tightly not to drop our precious glass. As soon as she raised the glass to toast with us, I noticed the round bottom of the stem stayed on the table. Without alarm I quietly grabbed her tiny arm and helped her guide the glass away from the table where a sharp edged stump of stem awaited her hand to return. Luckily, there was no blood shed, and there was no panic to stress the child, but number one of a set of eight crystal wine glasses was dead. On this day some fifty-three years later I carelessly killed number eight.

PSA-220216-Wisdom for the Ages

  • The ability to speak several languages is an asset, but the ability to keep your mouth shut in any language is priceless,
  • Be decisive. Right or wrong, make a decision. The road is paved with flat squirrels who couldn’t make a decision. 
  • Happiness is not having to set the alarm clock.
  • Getting another set of teeth would be much more useful at 60 than at age 6.
  • “The starting pay is $40,000. Later it can go up to $80,000.”
    • “Great, I’ll start later.”
  • Trust science. Studies show that if your parents didn’t have children there’s a high probability you won’t either. 
  • If you’re not called crazy when you start something new, then you’re not thinking big enough.
  • Only in math problems can you buy 60 cantaloupe melons, and no one asks – “What the Hell is wrong with you?” 
  • “I’m 85 and my body is full of aches and pains.”
    • “Well, I’m 85 and I feel like a newborn baby.”
  • “Really?”
    • “Yep, no teeth, no hair, and I just wet my pants.”
  • When the pool re-opens, due to social distancing rules, there will be no water in lanes 1, 3, and 5.
  • Tip: Save business cards of people you don’t like. If you ever hit a parked car accidentally, just write, “Sorry” on the back and leave it on the windshield. 
  • When I get a headache, I take two aspirin and keep away from children just like the bottle says.
  • Just once, I want the username and password prompt to say, “Close enough.”
  • Becoming an adult is the dumbest thing I’ve ever done.
  • Life is like a helicopter. I don’t know how to operate one either.
  • Did you hear about the restaurant on the moon? Great food; no atmosphere.
  • If you see me talking to myself just move along. I’m self-employed. We’re having a meeting.
  • “Your call is very important to us. Please enjoy this 40-minute flute solo”.
  • I envy people who grow old gracefully. They age like a fine wine.
    • I’m aging like milk. Getting sour and chunky.
  • Does anyone else have a plastic bag full of plastic bags, or is it just me?
  • I hate it when I can’t figure out how to operate the iPad and my tech support guy is asleep. She’s 5 and it’s past her bedtime. 
  • Today’s 3-year-olds can switch on laptops and open their favorite apps. When I was 3, I ate mud.
  • Tip for a successful marriage: Don’t ask your wife when dinner will be ready while she’s mowing the lawn.
  • Sooo, you drive across town to a gym to walk on a treadmill?

I Think I Sent This Before

1. Dad, are we pyromaniacs? Yes, we arson.

2. What do you call a pig with laryngitis? Disgruntled.

3. A commander walks into a bar and orders everyone around.

4. Never buy flowers from a monk. Only you can prevent florist friars.

5. How much did the pirate pay to get his ears pierced? A buccaneer.

6. I once worked at a cheap pizza shop to get by. I kneaded the dough.

7. When I told my contractor I didn’t want carpeted steps, he gave me a blank stare.

8. Bono and The Edge walk into a Dublin bar and the bartender says, “Oh no, not U2 again.”

9. Prison is just one word to you, but for some people, it’s a whole sentence.

10. I’m trying to organize a hide and seek tournament, but good players are really hard to find.

11. I got over my addiction to chocolate, marshmallows, and nuts. I won’t lie, it was a rocky road.

12. What do you say to comfort a friend who’s struggling with grammar? There, their, they’re.

13. I went to the toy store and asked the assistant where the Schwarznegger dolls are and he replied, “Aisle B, back.”

14. What did the surgeon say to the patient who insisted on closing up her own incision? Suture self.

15. I’ve started telling everyone about the benefits of eating dried grapes. It’s all about raisin awareness.

Inspiring Challenge

What would you do?….you make the choice. Don’t look for a punch line, there isn’t one. Read it anyway. My question is: Would you have made the same choice?

At a fundraising dinner for a school that serves children with learning disabilities, the father of one of the students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its Dedicated staff, he offered a question: ‘When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature does, is done with perfection.
  
Yet my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do.?? He cannot understand things as other children do.  Where is the natural order of things in my son?’
The audience was stilled by the query. The father continued. ‘I believe that when a child like Shay, who was mentally and physically disabled comes into the world, an opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself, and it comes in the way other people treat that child.’ Then he told the following story:
Shay and I had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked, ‘d o you think they’ll let me play?’ I knew that most of the boys would not want someone like Shay on their team, but as a father I also understood that if my son were allowed to play, it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging, and some confidence to be accepted by others in spite of his handicaps. I approached one of the boys on the field and asked (not expecting much) if Shay could play. The boy looked around for guidance and said, ‘We’re losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we’ll try to put him in to bat in the ninth inning. ‘Shay struggled over to the team’s bench and, with a broad smile, put on a team shirt. I watched with a small tear in my eye and warmth in my heart. The boys saw my joy at my son being accepted.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay’s team scored a few runs but was still behind by three. In the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the right field. Even though no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be in the game and on the field, grinning from ear to ear as I waved to him from the stands In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay’s team scored again. Now, with two outs and the bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base and Shay was scheduled to be next at bat. At this juncture, do they let Shay bat and give away their chance to win the game? Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible because Shay didn’t even know how to hold the bat properly, much less connect with the ball. However, as Shay stepped up to the plate, the pitcher, recognizing that the other team was putting winning aside for this moment in Shay’s life, moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least make contact.The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed. The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly towards Shay. As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit a slow ground ball right back to the pitcher. The game would now be over. The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could have easily thrown the ball to the first baseman.  Shay would have been out and that would have been the end of the game. Instead, the pitcher threw the ball right over the first baseman’s head, out of reach of all team mates. Everyone from the stands and both teams started yelling, ‘Shay, run to first! Run to first!’ Never in his life had Shay ever run that far, but he made it to first base. He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled. Everyone yelled, ‘Run to second, run to second!’ Catching his breath, Shay awkwardly ran towards second, gleaming and struggling to make it to the base. By the time Shay rounded towards second base, the right fielder had the ball. The smallest guy on their team who now had his first chance to be the hero for his team. He could have thrown the ball to the second-baseman for the tag, but he understood the pitcher’s intentions so he, too, intentionally threw the ball high and far over the third-baseman’s head. Shay ran toward third base deliriously as the runners ahead of him circled the bases toward home. All were screaming, ‘Shay, Shay, Shay, all the Way Shay’. Shay reached third base because the opposing shortstop ran to help him by turning him in the direction of third base, and shouted, ‘Run to third! Shay, run to third!’ As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams, and the spectators, were on their feet screaming, ‘Shay, run home! Run home!’ Shay ran to home, stepped on the plate, and was cheered as the hero who hit the grand slam and won the game for his team.
That day’, said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, ‘the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of true love and humanity into this world’. Shay didn’t make it to another summer. He died that winter, having never forgotten being the hero and making me so happy, and coming home and seeing his Mother tearfully embrace her little hero of the day!
AND NOW A LITTLE FOOT NOTE TO THIS STORY: We all send thousands of jokes through the e-mail without a second thought, but when it comes to sending messages about life choices, people hesitate. The crude, vulgar, and often obscene pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion about decency is too often suppressed in our schools and workplaces. If you’re thinking about forwarding this message, chances are that you’re probably sorting out the people in your address book who aren’t the ‘appropriate’ ones to receive this type of message. Well, the person who sent you this believes that we all can make a difference. We all have thousands of opportunities every single day to help realize the ‘natural order of things.’ So many seemingly trivial interactions between two people present us with a choice: Do we pass along a little spark of love and humanity, or do we pass up those opportunities and leave the world a little bit colder in the process? A wise man once saidEvery society is judged by how it treats it’s least fortunate amongst them. ‘ You now have two choices.

May your day, be a Shay Day.
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