Tag Archives: dinner

Birds on a Wire

For some reason on my walk this morning, I noticed the birds. The sky was clear blue. No clouds. I noticed different groups of birds fly overhead. They all glided to the north, which was the way I was headed. After three blocks I saw many of them perched on the telephone wires. There were robins, grackles, red crossbill, and a few I didn’t know the name of.

Image by Queven from Pixabay

They would swoop onto the wire. A few would fly away only to return after a second. Some of the birds stayed on the wire the whole time I watched. The morning was filled with their different songs. At one point it seemed like the whole wire was filled with birds. It was a cool moment.

I continued on my walk, thinking about the birds. Thinking about how it didn’t matter what type of bird they were, they all had a place on the wire. Yes, my thoughts turned to our turbulent times, but took a turn to an idea of the wires we have in our society.

Old men at the gas station getting coffee.

Barber shops and hair salons.

Coffee shops.

Fishing at the lake.

I thought about all the games of dominoes and pitch I played in college.

Sunday dinner.

I thought about how sitting on a wire, talking, helped build a community. A bird, any bird, was welcomed on the wire. They were free to stay or leave. Right now, it seems that no one is talking. Right now, it seems there is no wire for us to sit and be, to be welcomed because we showed up. To share stories, to feel like one community.

I so wanted to grow wings to join the birds this morning. To sit with them on that wire and add my song to theirs.

 

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When dad gets sick.

Sometimes, things don’t go as planned. We were looking forward to the first weekend where we only had one activity on the calendar. I was going to get grades caught up. Spend time with the family. Watch the Super Bowl. Enjoy the downtime.

It started as a little tickle in my throat when I woke up Friday morning. We had a teacher in-service that day so the morning routine was relaxed. At lunch time we were going to pick up my blood pressure medicine. I got some cold and flu medicine, too. I thought it would be best to nip the scratchy throat situation before it got worse. By the end of the day I told my wife that I was going to get some rest when we got home.

I wasn’t feeling horrible, but I was tired. I thought part of it was the cold and flu medicine. Things turned for the worse. When bedtime arrived my throat was feeling tight and scratchy. I thought I just needed another dose of medicine, a good night’s sleep, and everything would be good in the morning. I was wrong.

We would go to convenient care in the morning. The doctor would talk about the option of draining my uvula if the antibiotics didn’t work because it was so swollen. I had strep throat. But I didn’t know that Friday night. I had one of the worse nights of my life as my throat and uvula worked together to make me feel as if I was choking on something all night. I would drink some ice water and the sensation would go away for a few minutes. I would close my eyes only to be jolted back by the closing of my throat.

I could not find a position that would alleviate the sensation. Your mind starts to panic in the darkness of the night. So many thoughts ran through my head in that darkness. At one point I did panic. My heart raced. I couldn’t stop thinking something was terribly wrong. But I survived. The night passed.

I would spend all day Saturday and part of Sunday in bed. Away from the kids. Away from the routine of my life. I could hear the laughter and conversation at dinner.  My little girls would stick their head in to say they loved me. My wife would fill my water for me. (I drank so much water!)

My sickness reminded me of a few things.

The first is that family is about routine. Now, not in the boring definition, but by what you do everyday. Each member of the family has a role. A family is the whole of all the parts. A family changes over time. Children grow, routines change and adapt to new situations. But the definition of a family is founded in what each person does. That is why I felt so sad as I listened to my family enjoy dinner Saturday night. They laughed. They talked. I missed that. Dinner time is part of our family definition, part of our routine.

The second aspect of life that was reinforced actually came during my struggle Friday night and maybe because I am only a few years away from being 50 and maybe because we have read the poem, “The Road Not Taken,” in class. (I have written about the poem before in the post, “Only Time Will Tell.”) But time doesn’t wait for your dreams. Time doesn’t wait for your happiness. Time doesn’t wait for anything.

Ironic that I wanted Friday night to end quickly, but it didn’t. But the saddest belief we have is that tomorrow will make our dreams come true, that we will be happier tomorrow. I see this in different ways. My seniors believe that they will be happier next year. I live it every time I pass up an opportunity to fulfil my goals. But time will pass no matter what. Time doesn’t care.

The last thing: I hate it when I get sick.

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Snowy Day

The snow cancelled basketball.  The girls stayed in pajamas.  I shoveled the driveway.  It was one of those relaxing snowy Saturdays when you eat too much, we made sugar cookies, and you get the chance to spend serious family time.  We had a great moment at the dinner table where we all were laughing so hard we were crying.

We read stories; a few of us took naps (yes, I was one of them).  But technology allowed us to do some creative things.

My oldest son wrote a song, “There ain’t room for both of us” as a Christmas gift for his grandparents.

He is learning to play the clarinet.  If you remember a past blog (“Miles Davis: So What”) you will recognize the similarities of the beginning of his song.

This day gave my other son the chance to make his first Lego movie, “ARC Troopers: Ambushed”

I helped with technical parts, but he was the director and producer.  He had the script done, a staging map for the Lego men, and ideas for the sound effects.

These projects are not earth shattering, but allowed my sons to pursue things they are interested in or working on.  This day gave us the opportunity to build memories that we can experience for along time.

I can’t wait for the next snow day…

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