Friday, June 13, 2008

I still miss him..

Sunday is Father's Day. My father passed away in 1989 unexpectedly from heart failure, apparently just as Tim Russert did today. I was very fond of Tim Russert and the passion that he demonstrated when doing his job. I was watching one of those tribute programs this evening and then my emotions got the best of me. The tears weren't because of some apparently decent man that I had never met, but they were for my father. The father that I haven't talked to for almost twenty years now. I miss him terribly. He left a big hole in my life when he left us. He wasn't the Cliff Huxtable or Ward Cleaver father. He wasn't perfect and he was flawed, but he was my father. He had a passion for WWII history, sports, his hometown of Rugby, his parents, and our family. I never really talked to him about school but I could tell that he was proud of me. I remember the day of our football state championship he was more nervous than me. He had participated in tournaments of that caliber and he could relate to what I was going through. He was so proud of my athletic achievements and he was the ONLY person in my family to see me play college football. He showed more concern for me than anyone else did as I started to slide off the deep end in my second year in school. He wouldn't talk to me about these things, but I could tell that he knew something was wrong and that he cared.

He would have been a wonderful teacher and coach, but circumstances led him down another path. I could tell that occasionally he wished he had taken another path, but he accepted the choices he made in his life. He worked very hard, and at the end of his life he would work an entire Saturday every week as he just couldn't keep up with the demands of his work. He knew that he had to work hard to provide for his family that he loved so much. I remember the deep cracks in his hands, and the tired eyes that would try to lighten the mood with a joke at dinner. I can still remember how he smelled when he carried us to bed when we were little. He would always stay up to watch Carson's monologue and my brother and I would laugh just because he would laugh even though we had no idea what was funny.

The hardest thing about all of this is that I can't share my present life with him. I wish that Lorelei could have met him. My father would have loved her. I wish that he could hear Maddy read a book, or watch her at her ballet recital. I wish that he could play ball with Edison or watch an episode of Spongebob Squarepants with the kids. Most of all, I wish that he could see that I got through the dark period in my life that I was in when he died and I came out the other side a better man, husband, and father.

I miss you dad. I miss your laugh, your twisted sense of humor, your love of "The Jerk", your stories of playing football for "Broken Bone #49", and I miss the talks. We will meet again, share a laugh and a story, and have another heart to heart talk as the sun rises like we did when I graduated from high school.



Saturday, June 7, 2008

Dream Vacation in the Dells

There is this song by the gear daddies called dream vacation. It is about packing up the car with the kids and going to the dells for vacation. Tomorrow morning the Dokken's will go on our first vacation by ourselves as a foursome. To celebrate m being done with school we are heading out to the Kalahari. It should be a good time. It will be E's second time in a water park. The first time he was pretty nervous but he is really intrigued by the slide at the YMCA.

Work was, was work last week. It is hard to concentrate with two windows in my office. When our building is finished this fall I will be moving into a new office without windows. I will welcome the move as I should be able to concentrate better. Our boss is still a moron, but my group is totally on one page and we are working as hard as we can.

No bike rides this week as I was recovering from last weekends efforts. I did go out for a quick 20 miler on the mountain bike. I changed out the big 2.2s to some 1.8s and I can really feel the difference. While out on the green circle, I noticed large groups of people walking. I slowed down to find out what was going on...Walk across america or something like that. I bet I saw over two hundred walkers enjoying the green circle. The circle isn't much for mountain biking, but it is an opportunity to get out into nature without leaving the city. There are a few good singletrack spurs to go on, but in large part it is just a long gravel grinder. The green circle is one of the many reasons that I don't want to leave Point when I graduate from my program. I have started talking to my boss about potential positions for me when I am done. He may give me a position that he thinks is good, but I KNOW that I have the skills to run the entire organization. He told me about the things I would be responsible for (things I do now!). I will have a heart attack when I show him the average salary of graduates of my program. There is an adjustment to Stevens Point dollars, but the average salary is over $93,000. I can't wait to show him the data. He also told me last week that because I wasn't a pretty girl, I probably wouldn't be successful at sales. In our line of work being a pretty girl doesn't make a laboratory or doctor send us a test that isn't offered anywhere else in the world.

Well, I should have a picture or two to post of our vacation next week.



Sunday, June 1, 2008

Stickin it to the man!

In my futile attempt at disrupting the oil/gas/auto industry, I am going to start commuting to work as much as I can (once per week for a couple of weeks, then two times per week through the end of the summer). I started this spur of the moment on Friday. It wasn't even good weather for this. Cross winds, temps in the mid 60's, and a light misty rain. When given the choice between bball and riding home I chose riding home. I mapped out a new course (45 miles) that allowed me to ride on US10 for only 400m. Considering that the longest I have been out this year was 20 miles, the ride went pretty well. My legs and lungs held up, but my neck and ass were killing me by the time I got home. When I go back tomorrow I will load up with butt butter, that should help. It took 2:22 to get home. The ride through point was very low key as I needed a cool down. I got home, changed clothes and went to the YMCA with the family and went for a swim. It was just what I needed. We went out for a fish fry (12 ounces of baked haddock! yum! Yesterday we had some old friends and their kids come over for a BBQ. I mowed the sod for the first time yesterday. It used to take me about 10 minutes to mow the lawn, now it takes over 45 minutes. Anyway, the hard work is paying off. The front yard looks like a putting green from a ways and when you get closer it sill looks pretty good!

Today has been spent taking care of the family as Lorelei isn't feeling well. I love to take care of the kids. I made french toast at Maddy's request. E just wanted cereal and fruit. I am not going to try to talk him into eating dessert for breakfast (french toast).

Work seems to be getting a little better. My boss threw me a couple bones last week and told me he didn't want to lose me when I am done with school. Pay me and treat me better. Pretty simple. I will expect at least a 20% raise when I am done and I want some authority to make and execute decisions. Simple plan, hard for some people to let go of control.

have a good week