Holidays on the way

I had a pretty good weekend. I went grocery shopping with Renee on Friday night as we picked out all the great munchies for Thanksgiving. The cart was full to overflowing as we left Stater Brothers grocery store including my favorite, pecan pie. We got home and managed to get everything packed into the refrigerator.

Saturday morning, I was up early working on my weekly battle image for the NAPP forums before heading to the driving range to meet two co-workers. I recently bought an old set of irons and a golf bag for a whopping $35 after deciding that 43 might be a good age to try and learn how to golf. I played some tennis in high school and college, but never tried golf. I arrived and paid $10 for a JUMBO basket of golf balls(195) not knowing what size I should get. I then spent the next couple hours taking my swings. According to my co-workers, I did well for a beginner. I hit the majority straight and learned some of the technique involved in swinging a club. On one swing, the club head flew off the end of the shaft as I made contact. So much for my 7 iron, at least until I get it repaired. 😛 On another swing, I cut a ball in half, though I suspect it was an old ball and it would have happened to anyone. I returned home for a hot shower and icy hot on my back. That night, we ran to Best Buy and purchased Up and Star Trek on DVD. We watched Star Trek that night before heading to bed. Great movie!

Sunday morning, we finished straightening the house and awaited the arrival of my mother who had flown in to Las Vegas on Saturday night. My hands felt like I had been running a jackhammer the day before and muscles were letting me know that I should not hit as many golf balls next time I go to the range. Mom called to say she was still tired and planned to get some more rest before driving down the I-15. I relaxed and enjoyed watching the San Diego Chargers win their 5th straight game by defeating their division rival Denver Broncos. As the sun was setting, mom called to say she had just awoken from her nap and that we would not see her until the following afternoon. I finished the evening watching the LA Galaxy lose the MLS Cup to Real Salt Lake on penalty shots.

Now for the short work week before the holidays arrive in full force. I am not sure if we will attempt any Black Friday shopping as we usually don’t. We will enjoy a great Thanksgiving feast with my mother and the next day the Christmas Tree and lights will go up. Let the festive season begin.

Two months later…still going and going and going

Two months ago life was going along as normal. My Chargers were just beginning their season and the Angels were looking at making a run in the post season. Since then the Chargers fell to 2- 3 and have manged to climb back to 4-3. The Angels won their division, swept the Red Sox in the playoffs only to lose to the Yankees.

On September 17th, I recieved a call I had aniticpated one day recieving, but wasn’t entirely prepared for. My father, who had been in declining health for a number of years, had passed away of a heart attack at home. My family and I immediately flew to Florida to be with my mom and help her in any way we could. My younger brother arrived a few days later and we helped mom around the house as much as we could. While going through my dad’s workshed, we found his stash of cigarettes and laughed at the irony of us finding it after we hid so many things from him as teenagers. There were many tears as we reminisced about his story telling, refusal to ask for directions and his ability to fix anything mechanical. I brought home many souvenirs of my father and will always cherish his smile and laugh until I see him again in heaven.

Returning from FL, I had two days of work before leaving for Las Vegas to attend Photoshop World. I enjoyed the few days I had there with my son also attending. We left early as I had my 25th high school reunion that following weekend. I attended the Homecoming game on Friday night (which we won) and then toured the campus on Saturday before Renee and I attended the dinner. We ended the weekend with a family get together with classmates at Straw Hat Pizza. That evening we went to our friend Marilyn’s house to watch my Chargers lose to her Steelers.

The following Friday, I was on a plane to Columbus, OH where I met up with my brother Chris. We stayed the night there and drove to West Virginia to help my mom with my father’s memorial service. It was held at Leatherwood Missionary Baptist Chruch in hills outside Elkview, WV. An hour before the service began, mom handed me 4 pages of notes and asked me to speak for her at the funeral. I quickly composed an outline from it and gladly told of how they found love 45 year ago. I told of how my father always loved her and how he was a proud marine until his dying day. After the service ended, my brother and I cleaned up the church and reception hall before returning to Columbus and flying home the next day.

The last two weekends have been filled with music. We were invited by the owner of Open Grave Records to attend a CD release party in Fresno, CA. We drove up last Saturday and were glad to enjoy some great live music and the hospitality of the musician and his family as they BBQ’d and then performed. Last night, we drove to LA to see Stryper in concert at Club Nokia. It was my first ime seeing them despite having been a fan for 25 years. They played a really great show and it was cool to share it as a family.

As we head toward the holidays, I hope each of you cherish your family and enjoy every moment you have in life.