Tuesday, December 12, 2006


This one comes from my son's family, enjoy:

so we were on our way home saturday night when we heard it.

we'd spent the better part of saturday rushing around like crazy people and unfortunately, it all culminated with a dreaded (but necessary) trip to The Mall to purchase ezra's big christmas present: a buzz lightyear doll. I should also preface this whole thing by saying that the ez has been a little out of sorts lately. nothing major, just the usual toddler stuff-- super wiggliness, extra grouchiness and a whine that makes you to want to pull your eyelashes out one by one. by saturday night, we were all on the verge of something big and ugly, but somehow, we made it. we made it through without any major meltdowns and with the dignity of the family fairly intact. I think I even had some eyelashes left. most importantly, buzz lightyear made it to the car with ezra none the wiser. doesn't seem like a major feat, but not too much gets by the kid and ward and I were basking in it. we were feeling pretty cocky, ready to celebrate. best of all, we were finally in the car and headed towards home. the crying and the wiggling and the whining had finally stopped and when I caught sight of ezra's heavy-lidded eyes, I felt the sort of relief that only comes at the end of this kind of day. the car was silent. dear readers, it was a thing of beauty.

and then we heard it. loud and clear and from the trunk:


ward and I looked at each other with great horror. we looked back at ezra-- his eyes immediately popped open and he was wild with excitement. as if the rescue he'd been waiting so long for had finally come, as if he'd always known it would happen this way. his mouth made the tiniest little 'o' shape and his eyes were wide as silver dollars, he could barely speak. ward abruptly stopped the car. we kept looking at each other, waiting for some sort of divine intervention. then ezra began to scream for buzz, pointing upwards and backwards, laughing and struggling to turn around in his car seat.

we made a quick decision to play dumb. what else could we do? we pretended we had not heard the Voice From The Back. we turned the radio on, spoke to him soothingly, pleaded with him to go back to sleep. but the child, he knew. HE KNEW WHAT HE HAD HEARD. and he was not about to abandon hope. he kept screaming, "MY BUZZ! MY BUZZ! MY BUZZ!" and I'm sure he was thinking I KNOW I'M NOT CRAZY, I KNOW WHAT I HEARD. but what else could we do? nothing to do but keep on driving. we were desperately hoping he would fall asleep and forget. and he did (finallly) fall back asleep. but he did not forget. at three in the morning, he remembered. at six in the morning, he remembered. by eight o'clock, he was trying to put a set of car keys into the hands of his very groggy father, pulling him towards the front door. buzz! buzz! buzz! in back, he'd say. slowly and with great emphasis, just in case there was any confusion as to the exact location of the beloved buzz. still, we continued to feign ignorance.

and it broke my heart just a little, but it had to be done. come christmas morning, the pay-off is going to be monumental. cameras will be charged and ready to go.

unless we pull another rookie stunt and mess that up too.

Ward's add-on to the story:

When I was wrapping Andrea's birthday gift today, Ezra sauntered into the room and after taking one look at the wrapped present, he looked up at me, pointed at the gift and said, "My Buzz? Yes, my Buzz."

And later on in the evening, we were at one of our favorite restaurants and after eating, I walked outside with the boy so he could get all his wiggles out. There were some short bushes in a nicely landscaped area near the front of the building and it wasn't before long when I found Ezra going through each one, peering into the shrubbery looking for his Buzz.

Kid's got a ONE TRACK MIND.

Friday, December 08, 2006


Marriage has made me even busier than before. I spent most of the week raking leaves in the morning, running around noon, and playing golf until dark in the afternoon. I know that I should not complain about my mostly goof-off retirement lifestyle, but I could use a few more hours in the day to go online and check my email, write a book, look up some relative that lived long ago or update my blog like now. Being a software guy for all those years it feels strange to have to ask one of my kids how to do something on the computer. The laptop has slowly crept into their daily lives like the TV did in my day. I rarely visit either of my children when they are not multi-tasking, cooking dinner or watching TV while they photoshop a picture, make an entry to their blog, or update their website using their laptop. My son is always asking me about how it was in "my day." The urge is to tell him that it still is my day, but he means no malice so I let it go while at the same time realizing that
technology is changing our lives at a record pace. And speaking of records, It was 78s, then 45s, then tapes, then CDs and now iPODS. What will it be tomorrow? Do I need an MP3 player? My cellphone is outdated because it won't play music, though I can reach the Internet and take pictures with it. Everyday it is something new. That's what makes life exciting though. Think I will go recharge my batteries.


How was Thanksgiving? I did my usual routine. I got up at four in the morning, took a showerand drank a quart of fat-free chocolate milk. I was then "race ready" and drove to theChamblee MARTA station to take advantage of my preparations. After sitting in my car forabout 30 minutes watching the early arrivals prancing around in the nippy morning air, Igot up the courage to leave the warmth of the SLK and proceed up the hill to the Clairmontbridge where the starting line for the half-marathon is. I had a good gauge on what to wear from my previous observations of what the early bird arrivals were attired in. I usually pick something a little on the warm side of the middle wear. Too old for the cold. I had a good race strategy as it turned out as I ran within a minute of my 2000 time. Kind of erased 5 years of slowing down in one race. My plan was to push it early as the first 7 miles are mostly down hill while the last 6 miles contain some really steep hills including the one by Piedmont Hospital that the Peachtree Road Race runners grumble about each year. It went so well that I was 2 minutes ahead my planed split time at the 7 mile mark. I just tried to hang on the last 6 and beat last year's time by 16 minutes. I think the new neighborhood has helped because it is so huge compared to my Snellville neighborhood which only had one main road that was about a mile long. You had to get out on a major highway in order not to feel like a gerbil.