Sunday, November 12, 2017

Grandsons, travel and good books

I certainly did not mean to let a month go by without a blog post, and I always refrain from saying, "I've been so busy." I'll just say there have been other pressing matters.

Wife and I just returned from seeing Grandson #2 (from henceforth, I'll refer to them as GS1 for the first grandson born, and GS2 for the second one. I started this code language when I started this blog in 2008 and it's not like I'm protecting my identity or anything  . . . but I gave everyone names from the start, so I'll continue with it).

GS2 is one month old and is doing great. Older Son and DIL are learning the ropes and Wife and I had a delightful time with them. This was my first visit since he was born, but Wife made another one in the interim, staying with DIL a few days while Older Son was traveling. She did the same thing last week, going on Wednesday, and I joined her for the weekend. Older Son went to the Auburn game yesterday so we spent the day with DIL and GS2.

GS1 is four months old and doing splendidly also. Daughter went back to work a few weeks ago and is still adjusting but is doing well.

So far, I'm enjoying the GrandBob gig.


Wife and I made a visit up to South Bend, IN to see Younger Son the last weekend in October. Having had a pretty warm October here, it was a bit of a shock to go there where the highs were in the 30s both days we were there. We were prepared, however, and took plenty of layers to wrap up in.

We went to a Notre Dame football game, which we thoroughly enjoyed. It's such a classic place, and it was really fun to experience a game day there. Younger Son was working, of course, but managed to spend all of the morning and the early afternoon w/ us. His experience this year has been much different than last, with ND having a winning season. Up until yesterday, when they experienced a nasty loss to the University of Miami, they seemed to be in the running for the college football playoffs. Those hopes were dashed, however, with this loss. Still, they have had a much better season than the last one.


One thing I have made time for lately is reading. I seem to have hit on a bunch of page-turners recently. You might be surprised to learn that one of them is Hillary Clinton's "What Happened," her retrospective on the 2016 presidential election. When I heard about it, I put my name on the list at the library and was second on the list.

Besides being self-serving and the way she blames everyone but herself for her loss to Donald Trump, it is extremely interesting reading. If you are a political junkie and can look past her biases (and there are plenty, of course), I would commend this for your reading. If you don't want to risk supporting any cause related to Hillary, do what I did and get it at your local library.

As is my practice, I'll share my other favorites at the end of the year, but so far it's been a great year of reading in 2017.

We will have a houseful for Thanksgiving next week. As usual, there will be staggered arrivals and departures, and for at least a couple of nights we'll have two babies in the house.

Wife and I are starting to get prepared and making those "go with the flow" speeches to ourselves.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The life of empty nesters

Sometimes Wife and I ask ourselves how we ever had time to raise three children.

We say it laughingly, of course, because all seasons of life are different and you adjust your schedules and priorities accordingly.

I am hesitant to even put it in writing, but Wife is planning to retire in about six months! She has threatened it for years, and in the past she never knew if she really wanted to.

Now, she tells me, she knows. It's time. More on that later.

My point is: I wonder if Wife will feel any less busy once she doesn't have a day job? We will see. Again, more to come on this.


And speaking of busy times . . . .

Younger Son arrived last Thursday night and will be here until the 16th. He's working a lot while he's here but also getting to see friends and spend time with his parents, of course.

He knew when he came that we would be "sitting on go" awaiting the birth of our second grandson to Older Son and DIL in Atlanta.

That call came early Sunday morning. DIL's water had broken at 5:30 a.m. and they were on their way to the hospital.

In less than an hour, Wife and I were on our way and were at the hospital around 1 p.m eastern time.

Grandson #2 arrived at 5:20 p.m. with his umbilical chord wrapped around his neck. Due to this complication, he had some fluid in his lungs and was whisked away to a transition nursery. We could watch him through a glass and his breath was labored, but the medical team did not seem overly concerned.

By 3 a.m. yesterday (Monday) he was in the room with his mom and all was well.

And we once again have full hearts.


We came home last night; got here about midnight. We both worked today. Reports from the new parents are good, and they went home with their new bundle of joy, all 6 pounds, 15 ounces and 21 inches of him, tonight. DIL's parents are still there with them.

I'm GrandBob twice over now.

This empty-nesting can get rather exhausting.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Bitter with the sweet

As visitors here know, I am a weekly columnist for a local publication.

I have been writing "What I Know" for about six years now, and truly, it is one the most enjoyable parts of my life. In addition to this blog, it gives me an outlet and a forum and I feel privileged to have people read what I write.

From the beginning, I was given license to write about whatever I please. I generally write as Everyman, an observer of life, similar to what I do here.

Occasionally I'll dip my toe into something a wee bit controversial and I know, when I do that, I might have a difference of opinion with a reader. I almost always make it clear, however, that I don't hold myself up as a final authority or as one who knows all. But I will offer an opinion from time to time.

This past Monday I did so, here:

I don't get a lot of feedback, but for this one, a reader posted a comment telling me this is a topic I "should have left alone" and he went on to tell me I had lost a reader -- "permanently."

Honestly, I thought I had presented a pretty balanced view. I wonder if it was my comment about President Trump that pushed him over. The comments are made through Facebook. Since I don't have a FB account, I can't ask him about it.

Another reader sent me an email, saying she liked and agreed with what I wrote and thanked me for a "reasonable and thoughtful" piece.

It was my installment from two weeks ago, however, that really set someone off:

A reader named John sent me a lengthy email telling me I was giving fuel to the fire of all the "Apple haters." He said I misrepresented the part about the presentation of voice recognition at the unveiling of the iPhone X and suggested I get a "young kid" to adjust the settings on my phone so I would not be "passively accepting" things I didn't want it to do.

In my response, I explained to John that I occasionally write self-deprecating pieces about technology in which I poke fun at myself and do so with tongue planted firmly in cheek. I told him I like my iPhone and enjoy the many conveniences it affords me. He did not respond to my response.

Oh well. If I put myself out there, I have to be willing to accept both compliments and criticism. Truth be told, since I don't get a great deal of feedback, I'm happy to get both.