Monthly Archives: December 2013

Disaster written all over it…


December 23, 2013

Ellen/Reid: I suppose one can take singular pride in that I didn’t venture once this holiday season over to Charlotte’s showpiece mall less than a mile away. You guys made shopping (online) incredibly easy so there was no need to fight the traffic or the shopping zealots. Actually, it likely would have been faster to walk to the mall than drive and try to find a parking space. The traffic was just bonkers over and around the mall and there was absolutely no need to watch the Santa machine churn through a line of whining kids while parents flashed a credit card for photos. I do reserve the right to go over for the post-Christmas sales once the crowds have died down, however.

Some friends have cajoled me to play golf on both Christmas and New Year’s Day and that seems like a pretty good idea.

What seemed like a good idea on paper - play golf on Christmas day - had disaster written all over it. It was 28 degrees at the start. This photo doesn't begin to show all the shivering.

What seemed like a good idea on paper – play golf on Christmas day – had disaster written all over it. It was 28 degrees at the start. This photo doesn’t begin to show all the shivering.

I don’t mind being down here for the holidays, and I know what kind of pressures are on you guys to go hither and yon. It’s good your mom is in the Twin Cities with both of you. John has invited me over to dinner with his family after he’s done preaching the Christmas Eve service at Caldwell Presbyterian. A mild protest was made to not interfere in his precious family time, but secretly I didn’t mind being asked. It’s good of him and he’s a good guy. I’ll take over some of that breakfast bread they can bake Christmas morning.

Caught a couple of flicks the last couple of Friday nights. The latest Hobbit installment is kind of Continue reading

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The Animal Channel…


I’ve got a soft spot for the environment but as of late it has hardened a little bit. As long as I’m above ground, Ellen and Reid will continue to know the land and water is worth caring about.

————–

December 16, 2013

Ellen/Reid: This week felt like an episode on the Animal Channel. It was amazing to see that owl eating the hawk a few feet away from me on Friday night and only a few yards off of six lane Fairview Road. Too bad my iPhone camera went into meltdown mode.

The owl sits atop its prize. Not 20 feet away, three lanes of traffic zipped by on Fairview Road.

The owl sits atop its prize. Not 20 feet away, three lanes of traffic each way zipped by on Fairview Road.

What a picture that should have made. When I got too close to the raptor to get a better shot, it struggled to get airborne with its heavy prize. About 6:30 the next morning on my pick-up-trash walk, a young six point buck wandered out of the woods another 10 feet from me and the two of us just stood there, gawking at each other. I made a step and he loped off in no particular hurry. ‘Just another two legged human’ he thought. Later in the morning I tried to dodge the rain while I walked Renaissance Park, a local golf course. As per usual, I was rummaging for balls when a 3 foot copperhead – there is some conjecture if it was that or just a harmless corn snake – slithered through a

sand trap near my errant shot. The low 40 temps had him moving very slowly, but it was fun to see (from a safe distance). I had my sand wedge

The variety of snake is somewhat a mystery to all but herpetologists, but what is known is all it wants to do is survive. And it shall.

The variety of snake is somewhat a mystery to all but herpetologists, but what is known is all it wants to do is survive. And it shall.

with me and while I have trouble hitting the ball I would have had no trouble clobbering him. Nah, I never would have throttled him/her. He/she was just trying to survive. Let him/her live and be on his/her way. Why a snake isn’t hibernating is beyond me. A couple of holes later, a small flock of turkeys was moseying across the fairway and in no real rush to escape just another hapless golfer such as they’ve seen before. I like see all that life in motion in the middle of the city. They persevere despite the odds. What I don’t like seeing, at this moment and as we speak, is the water bottleIMG_2845 floating in the stream behind the house. I retrieved a plastic milk jug and several polystyrene cups bobbing up and down this weekend. We just can’t seem to get out of our way, environmentally speaking.

I’m thinking hard about a kayak. There is a lot of good water down here, and I especially want to get down to the low country and try to fish the flats and the reeds for what Tim would call “Reds.” I like that sort of world and can’t figure out why it took so long to come to this conclusion. It’s something I can do by myself. There are a number of Meetup groups down here that specialize in kayaking the Catawba River and Continue reading

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The week that was…


Alas, trips long in the planning come to an end all too soon. All you have are the memories of a week that was.

————-

December 9, 2013

Ellen/Reid: Damn, that Thanksgiving extravaganza in Hilton Head went by too fast. You were all there, and then, just like that, you were gone. Those are the sorts of trips that we’ll remember, as much for Emma ruling the roost as you, Reid, working until all hours on computer/geek stuff. Really, I was sweating bullets with all the gloom-and-doom weather

Reid and his niece Emma take a spin along the shore at Hilton Head. Dad was on foot. All the better to watch my crew whiz by.

Reid and his niece Emma take a spin along the shore at Hilton Head. Dad was on foot. All the better to watch my crew whiz by.

forecasts about people being stranded in airports, etc. Even if you got in a bit later than expected, you still got in the same night. Nothing beats cooking for you guys and hearing you all yammer at once (when you’re not checking your mobile devices, of which I am also guilty). By our standards the weather was paltry, but for you Midwesterners it must have felt almost balmy. It was so much better than what you had at home. The offer of the timeshare is still open for either of you but as you know, some advanced warning and a range of dates are needed. If you want to conspire on a joint week, be my guest. I don’t have the foggiest about which unit you will ultimately get, but it would be one in the vicinity. Hard to beat Hilton Head for just Continue reading

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What I would have said…


There was no letter last week to Ellen and Reid. The kids were coming to Hilton Head Island for Thanksgiving; there was no need to write.

But as I watched them play, relax and laugh (and try to manage the high-high-high energy of Emma), I wondered what I would have written had my keyboard been in front of me as I witnessed a daughter and son be themselves. It might have – or should have – gone something like this:

Nov. 28, 2013

Ellen and Reid: I’m trying to think of the last time I wrote the words ‘I love you’ to the two of you, and nothing comes to mind.

But I do love you both very much. Tim and Emma and Liz, too. As I watched you riding bikes

Ellen, Tim, Emma and Reid cruise an all but desert beach.

Ellen, Tim, Emma and Reid cruise an all but deserted beach.

and walking and cautioning me against that extra piece of pie, I couldn’t help but think how swell you guys have turned out.

You make your mom and me proud of not only your professional lives, but how you’ve turned out as

Not that their parents are in the rear view mirror, but Ellen and Reid have rolled on with their lives. I like that.

Not that their parents are in the rear view mirror, but Ellen and Reid have rolled on with their lives. I like that.

people. That is probably the big thing; how you care for others, your sensitivity to those with less, your sense of fair play and your plain smarts. You’ve gotten by without us, but isn’t that the point?

You have given us a lot to be thankful for, not only today, but in your formative years gone by and most likely the years ahead, too. So let me say ‘thank you’ for who you are and who you each have become.

Allow me to look ahead to Christmas but not from the angle of gifts; you gave me everything this weekend in Hilton Head. There’s nothing else a proud dad needs or wants.

Love,

Dad

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