Playoffs!

It has been a whirlwind of a week!  Soccer playoffs, new girlfriend, Easter, shopping, work, practice, etc…  Therefore, I have not had time to update my blog.  I want to… I have been thinking about it but just have not had the time.  Which is all good.

Lets break it down:

Soccer Playoffs:

The girls are playing tonight at 7 in the third round.  They have won the first two games.  I posted a blog before the 1st round here.

We blew out the first round with a 8-0 victory.  My little B scored 2 goals in that route.  R was bored in the back and didn’t let anyone take a shot the entire night.

The 2nd round was a tough game against a solid team from a town north of Houston.  Two of their players have verbal commitments to Texas A&M.  So what???  Our girls were a little intimidated at first.  Both my daughters came home and said that the team was down on themselves and they didn’t think they could win.  Luckily my oldest, R, started telling the girls “we can do this”.  (If you don’t know R was a freshman 2 years ago and our team went to state and lost in the semi-finals.  One of the top 4 teams in the state of Texas… so, she has been there.)

Game day.  It was a defensive battle and we went down 0-1.  I watched the body language of our team slouch and give up.  R yelled at her teammates to fire them up.  She ran out of position and sprinted past an opponent and blasted a ball at the half-way line into the goal box.  It was a moon-shot… This gave time for little B to run underneath it and collide with the goalkeeper and another defender taking them down to the turf as she headed the ball into the back of the net!  We were instantly tied and the girls did a “dog-pile” ontop of B.  Amazing…  Then the team loosened up and we scored another quick goal and then little B put another ball into the back of the net for a win of 3-1.

Little B was player of the week in the main Houston newspaper today.  Pretty impressive for a freshman.

Tonight we play another town’s team that we should beat.  They happen to be in our district and we have lost one and won one against them.  This is labeled the “rubber match”.

New Girlfriend:

Yes, I use the title.  It fits.  We are having a blast.  Meeting each other’s families, kids, friends, etc.. Laughing all the time… Watching movies and sports with each other… Just spending time enjoying each other’s company.  I’m excited and for the first time in a long time looking forward to the future.

Easter:

The new girlfriend and I went to church together.  Both of our kids were with their other parent.  So that was quite nice.  Then we all got together with my girls and went out to my parents for Easter Dinner of pulled pork sandwiches.  The girlfriend past the last test… My mother… lol

Work, etc.. all the same…

I’m off to route my girls on to victory!

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Two Heroes

Blog life comes and goes.  There are days when I can’t get enough of looking, reading, learning, meeting new bloggers…  Sharing the thoughts I have with the unknown world.  Sharing thoughts I have with others that may be going through similar situations or experiences.

Then there are days that I am full.  Days that my “regular” life is happy.  Days that I don’t need to share because I can share with loved ones personally.

There is a happy medium that I must find.  That we all must find.  Where is this medium?

Life on March 13, 2015 is one of ups and downs.  Refer to the post about this being the first Thanksgiving, first Christmas, first New Years Eve without my ex-wife.  Well, as some of you may recall, I am an educator.  Being an educator means I have spring break off from work.  This is my first spring break without my ex-wife.

A blessing and a curse.  I only left town for a few days with my father to attempt a 3-day golf excursion with my uncle (father’s brother).  It snowed.  It rained, it froze.  Golf was not played.  But what was played were the memories shared between two 70-ish something brothers.  One fought in the Korean War and then raised a family by working for a major oil company.  The other was a First Lieutenant going off to Vietnam in 1968 but was miraculously called to Germany for the duration of the war.  He then came back and raised a family by working for a different major oil company.  Both men are modern day warriors.  Both men are Heroes. Both men are role models of the last of the Great Generation.  They believe in God… They believe in what is fundamentally right… They believe in conservative values… They believe in helping those that can not help themselves…  They both believe in love.  They believe in integrity.

I followed behind them most of the trip.  I took pictures from the background.  These two fine gentleman sharing their stories, drinking Bourbon and wine, eating fine food, and enjoying the life they have created.

Each one has experienced tragedy.  Each man has lived.  Each man passes their knowledge to a 44 year old educator who struggles to follow in their footsteps.  I try and pick up any morsel of wisdom that drops from their lips.  It comes in the image of a joke, a thought, a statement, or a question.

I will remember Spring Break of 2015 for the rest of my life.  I walked with giants.

God give me strength to become at least half of the man these two brothers are before I lay my head down for the final time.

Music That Haunts

Music That Haunts

I lived for 4 years of my young life in an amazing town called Memphis, Tennessee.  Memphis is filled with so much history, so much strife, so much tension, crime, hate, racial divide, etc…  But it is the home of the Blues…  It felt like “home” to me on a soft summer night.  Running the hills of a suburb named Germantown.  Chasing my friends with flashlights or swinging whiffle ball bats at the lightning bugs.  Exploring the woods, and the city…  The options seemed endless in Memphis.

My father was transferred back when I was completing the 3rd grade.  I remember hating the large men from the moving company that took all my stuff.  I remember hating everything about the move.  I was living in New Orleans, my beautiful place of birth, and Dad came home and said, “Pack some boxes son we move Monday to Memphis!”

I hated the idea.  I was a total ass to my family.  I cried, I threw fits, I did not want to go.  I liked my school, my friends, my life.  How dare he?

It took me only a few days to fall in love with “The Mid-South”.  I loved sitting on the river banks watching the paddleboats.  I was introduced to Mark Twain around this time.  I would often dream of being Huck Finn or Tom Sawyer.  Jumping on a raft of the river and floating away.

Memphis…. A majestic place.

peabody

I often return to Memphis due to the fact my extended family lives across the Mississippi River in Helena, Arkansas.  Memphis is the closest large city.  My ex and I would book a room at the famous Peabody Hotel and drink vodka martinis while we watched the ducks in the lobby.

I can honestly look back on my childhood and say that my happiest time was those 4 years in Memphis.  It will always hold a soft spot in my heart.

One of my favorite singers of all time is Jeff Buckley.  Buckley loved Memphis like I did.  One fun night of partying and drinking on Beale Street ultimately led to Buckley’s death.  There are many accounts and versions of his death but the bottom line is this…  He was drunk and drowned in the river between Memphis and Mud Island.  The Mighty Mississippi is indeed mighty.  I have swum in the exact location of Buckley’s death.

The last time I was in Memphis, I walked down to the shore line and played this song on my iPhone.

Childhood Memory Closing

I was never a Boy Scout.  I wanted to date a few Girl Scouts!  I soon realized that by joining the Boy Scouts there would be no “mixers” or exclusive rights or easy access to the Girl Scouts.  This is false advertising in my opinion.  I never understood why others do not think as I do.  So I did not join.

To know me would be to understand that as a young teenager I had two thoughts:

  1.  Have fun
  2.  Meet girls.  Try and woo girls.  And everything that Webster says ‘woo’ means.

I was always mesmerized by girls.  So if I could meet girls then I would have fun…  Boy scouts didn’t offer either.

Regardless.  They are closing down a Houston Boy Scout Institution, Camp Strake.

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Why do you think I care???  Because I have two great memories from this place.  And they both fit snuggly into my two teenage categories; fun and girls.

Back in 1983ish when I was 13-14 years of age.  I was indoctrinated into the Methodist Chuch through Confirmation.  This was a relatively easy process of accepting God.  Most of my peers at the church joined Confirmation to focus on God. Don’t get me wrong, I am a Christian and I did (and still do) fully accept God as my savior.  I just had a side benefit to Confirmation.  I could spend a week at Camp Strake with my buddies in one cabin and the girls that were going through the process in the next cabin.  Think about this!  A cornucopia of fun… God, Girls, and Fun!

Boy did we have fun!  We studied, we ate in fellowship, we prayed, we told stories of our lives, etc…  And we sang!   But after the organized activities concluded we had “free time”.

Free time consisted on my trying to figure out a way to convince little Kathy Wheatley, beautiful creature with snow white blond hair, how to allow me to kiss and fondle her.  I often think back and reminiscence about her… or maybe fantasize?  I lost track of her after that glorious week at Camp Strake but still think of her.

Bed-time came and lights went out.  My two best friends that happened to be brothers, Jason and Jeff, made a distraction so I could slip out the window and meet little Kathy Wheatley.  Kathy and I wandered down on the dock of the small pond.  Bathing in the moonlight I fell in love for one of the hundreds of times in my life.  Thank you little Kathy Wheatley for the memory.

Sneaking back in the window, I fell onto the bunk that Jeff was sleeping in.  This created a huge ruckus.  Candy, cookies, pillows, crap started to fly across the bunks.  A huge throwing fight ensued.  Damn we must have been loud.  The associate preacher (our chaperone) busted in the room clad in boxers and socks.  B.T. Williams began to shout for us to shut up!  We all pelted him with our full arsenal.  His anger disappeared as he dove behind Jason’s bunk and joined in the fight!  I’ll always respect Rev. BT.  Not only for his mentorship but his ability to have fun.  On the bus ride back Rev BT walked by me, placed his hand on my shoulder and whispered, “She is a cute one… Did you enjoy the pond in the moonlight?”  Then walked away.

Thank you Camp Strake for the opportunity.  Thank you Rev BT.  Thank you Jeff.  Rest in Peace Jason.

I drive by Camp Strake on I-45 often and think of that experience.  The road sign that announced the exit is something that will no longer be there.