Sons A Beaches

I vote we go to the gulf of Mexico
You and me by the sea
Palm trees call me
Oh, that's the place I want to be
Down where the southern breezes blow
On the gulf of Mexico
Teddy Gentry

Bon voyage, Wiseman's and Melissa,

What an adventure Kate and Mark have gotten themselves into...or maybe I should just say Mark...traveling 17 hours to
Gulf Shores with 5 of the most opinionated, considerate, articulate, witty, entertaining, and humorous girls in the midwest as far as I'm concerned.

If one could title this vacation it would most likely come down to "The Girls of Gulf Shores" or "Shore Girls", or "Gulf" or "Girls" hopefully it doesn't turn into "The Girls Do Gulf Shores" or "What Happens in The Gulf Stays in Shores" ok, ok, I'm just making stuff up now to keep my insanely jealous streak from rearing it's ugly head!

Seriously, I pray that you have an awesome plus one, minus one family vacation. I hope it's all worth an extended blog entry when you get home. Here's to good times, renewed friendships, and refreshingly warm weather! Keep your eye on my baby! And, thank you!

Family Ties

The ball don't lie, the ball don't lie, the ball don't lie." ~ Rasheed Wallace bobble head

I am enjoying everyone these days, even Mark. It seems like our hard work, sacrifices, prayers, discipline, and measly attempt at unconditional love has paid in giant personality rewards. I don’t think there is anyone I would rather spend time with than my family. Ben got to spend a week in Chicago visiting old friends and relaxing. They arrived home early Saturday afternoon so he and Mark could turn around and head to Detroit to watch their beloved Pistons win in overtime against the Celtics. Jen, Annie, Melissa and I all got in our jogging pants (a joy in and of itself) and watched “Finding Neverland” which is now one of my top 10 favorites. Melissa got 2 swim suits in her hypothetical Easter Basket. Ben got 2 gas gift cards and Jennifer got 1/2 of her uninsured warts removed. The sun is shining, the forecast is finally representative of spring, and I will wear jeans to Mars Hill tonight to celebrate Easter. I am blessed.

Who taught the sun where to stand in the morning?
And who told the ocean, you can only come this far?
And who showed the moon where to hide till evening?
Whose words alone can stop a falling star?

The very same God who spins things in orbit.
Runs to the weary, the worn, and the weak.
And the same gentle hands, that hold me when I'm broken
They conquered death to bring me victory.
Now I know
My redeemer lives
He lives to take away my shame
He lives forever, I'll proclaim
The full payment of my sins
Was his precious life he gave
And now he's alive and
There's an empty grave!
I know
My redeemer lives.
Let All creation testify
This life within me cries
He lives.



"Love your neighbor as yourself" ~ The Ten Commandments

Ever wonder how all the events in one’s life can accumulate to bring you to one space and time? If certain events hadn’t happened or different paths were chosen you would have never arrived at this exact point in your life.

My neighbor died last week. She was born in Yorkshire England, December 13, 1945, not that long ago, and yet she ended up living next door to me for 28 years. Her obituary neatly wrapped up her life in 6 or 7 lines, but obviously I have a few things to say about her.

She was stubborn and funny.

One time, when the kids were little, they begged me to ask her if they could swim in her above ground pool. After the day was over I sheepishly asked her if they had been too loud and obnoxious. I guess I expected her to lie and say they were fine and so her one word answer took me by surprise. Yes.

And then there was the time when we were going to really spruce up the place. We trimmed her hedges and ours, fertilized, dethatched, and sowed extra grass seed in both lawns, planted 8 or 9 flats of flowers, and had her pool sparkling. I had just been to the art fair where I had seen these darling house shingles to place out in your yard or hang from a tree. You could name your house and then the artisan would paint your title and house numbers on the shingle. I suggested to her that we name our cute little cottages...her response....”What would we call them....dump & dumpier?”

She made some mistakes, actually two big ones. She chose to never quit her teenage habit of smoking....well she did quit, eventually, after her lung transplant. And she could have used a strong dose of super nanny. She pushed her daughter's buttons constantly, until she pushed her right out the door and onto a desperate path of poor choices.

As I reminisces about her life, in ways I’m indebted to her. She was her own person with no pretenses. Real. And even though most of her life was against the wind, she lived with her circumstances and all of life's ifs, ands, or buts!

 By most standards she lived a lonely unhappy life, but you couldn’t tell her that. She was a very private person and declined numerous Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter dinner invitations, only to end up dining alone. And yet, last month, when she was homebound, she treated me like the queen of England over a late night sloppy joe.

More than anything she wanted to come home to die, but it was not meant to be. I’m sure she’ll receive the key to a heavenly mansion on a street paved in gold. She’ll probably say, “No thanks, just a cape cod with lots of flowers will do just fine.”

I will miss her.


It's A Date

What has happened to the hopeless romantic?

Am I so old fashioned that the art of dating has literally gone the way of the rotary dial?

Do guys call girls and ask them out on a date? Or does everybody just hang out?

I don’t EVEN want to know what the term “friends with benefits” mean. I can’t really get into specifics but I don’t think my subject matter has ever “been on a date.” Not that there’s anything wrong with that. And I don’t lay the blame entirely on their opinionated-intolerant-narrow-minded-most-guys-turn-out-to-be-jerks attitudes. I’m not even sure they have been asked out. So there-in lies the problem.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to push, shove, or manipulate anyone. Me? And the group thing can be good, it can also be a cover. You’re bored silly with someone you can always engage with someone else in the group. But you’re out on a date and someone talks non-stop about themselves, or drives a good conversation right into the ditch with endless banter…you kinda have to finish it out or think of some creative way to move from the date to washing your hair.

I don’t know. It’s just a date, for crying out loud, it’s not a prenuptial agreement. I’m thinking it’s a lost cause, this dating thing and now I have gone ahead and risked the fact the two people in my life may never talk to me again.


Morning Walk

Only 8 days left until a glorious spring in West Michigan! Hint Hint

I'm getting serious now, because in a laughable sort of way, it's ridiculously beautiful.

Our high school production of the Broadway Musical "Working" is in the books. The whole thing seemed a little "iffy" to me from the very start. Vignettes, monologues, song and dance about the everyday working man?? No real story line. High School kids trying to portray steel workers, factory employees, cleaning women, and retirees? 18 lead roles? Not to mention that it closed on broadway after 2 weeks.

But oh my good gosh! Once again, I stand in awe of the fact that a high school cast can do the work, pull together, put aside petty teen-age differences, and perform like pro's when they finally hit the stage.

At the end I couldn't really decide on my favorite songs, (except for Melissa, of course) Each performer nailed their act and the whole company seemed like a big family. I think the loudest applause came from backstage.

No one impressed me more than the mother of this awesome family Molly L. I say.... it would still be open on broadway if she would have had anything to do with it. Thankfully she didn't take her talents to New York and both of my girls have had the privilege to study under her.

Melissa, you continue to amaze me, not only with your talent, but with your attitude, hard work, new skills (how about that playbill?), leadership, and determination. I have a strong feeling this will not be your last musical!

Hey Somebody....namely Allegros!

If I Could Have Been anywhere else the last three nights, I wouldn't. You have worked All The Livelong Day... and even though Un Mejor Dia Venora, you will always have this accomplishment to your credit and it WILL be Something To Point To.

So take a bow, fade to black, and keep Movin'


March Madness

7:00a So tired, want sleepy, need to see Melissa off before I can't anymore.

7:30a Scavenge around for breakfast food. No luck.

8:00a Figure out what to check off my list during lunch hour.

8:30a Try to pack a lunch, hoping against hope that someone went to the grocery store between 7 & 8

8:45a Start my car because it is STILL ridiculously cold.

9 - 5 What a way to make a living

5:30p Change clothes, pack for evening at h.s. Why would I think anything different about dinner food?

5:45p Begin 9-lap trek with the only form of entertainment being a couple of birthday banners on about 1% of the 8,000 blue lockers

6:30p Check in for work assignments on set construction crew

6:35-9:35 Paint skyscraper....somebody better remember to thank me in their cast bio.

10:00p Head home, throw in a load, charge iPod, view dishes in sink, maybe catch some Tivo

11:30p What would be wrong with going to bed now? No, I start on WORKING head shot boards for lobby. This IS going to be a great show!

What am I doing on here?

I'm looking forward to various occasions.
Spring Break in the midwest
Angela's baby shower
Easter with family
Baseball opening day
Road Trip 8.19.05 - 9.09.05 Maybe I should play those numbers

Could I care less about Michael Jackson and Martha Stewart?

I'm bored with my blog. I wish I knew somebody that could make me a cool layout.
What am I still doing on here?


My Kind Of Razzmatazz

My kind of town, Chicago is.

By 8pm Thursday evening, I had finished my walk at the h.s., Melissa wrapped up her "Working" rehearsal and we were on our way to Chicago for Jennifer's "Ed's After Dark" Show.

It still seems somewhat odd to sit in that downtown diner without Ben, but his hand prints are all over the E.A.D. show. In fact, I'm pretty sure he invented that show? And call me prejudice, but the skits with Jen in it were hilarious. Those British band girls could be at any comedy club in Chicago and hold their own! I have a few video clips I hope to post to the web site soon.

So if you're ever in the area, check out "Ed's After Dark" on Thursday Thursday nights. I hope to live there again someday.

By 6am Saturday morning I had finished about 4 hours of sleep, packed up the jeep and headed back to the land of ice, snow, and hockey. It's weird how you can be asleep in a Chicago flat one minute and the next minute watch your h.s. team capture the regional hockey trophy.

Good times, good company, and even though The Cheesecake Factory is one of my favorite Chicago restaurants, nothing beats a good old burger at the Station.

Now back to the real world and that pesky little thing called "Working."


It's A Girl

Dear Jennifer Grace,
You are so beautiful, to me, can't you see?
I wanna be just like you!
Dream chaser, heart breaker!
Have I told you lately that I love you?
You've got a friend in me.
Whenever I see your smiling face, I have to smile myself!
Someday, when I'm awfully low, when the world is cold, I will feel a glow just thinkin' of you.
Before I put on my make-up, I say a little prayer for you!
Your love keeps lifting me higher, than I've ever been lifted before.
Unforgettable, that's what you are!
Lean on me, when you're not strong!
And remember,
Somewhere out there, beneath the pale moonlight.
Happy Birthday Sweetie,
I know you think the special ones are all gone, but I hope this birthday is filled with fun, laughter, hope, and happiness! When it comes to daughters, I could not ask for more!
Your mom and friend