Friday, November 8, 2019

New life and other stuff

These past couple of weeks have been crazy.

I'll start with the best news I know: my new granddaughter was born Monday, October 28th at 11:35 a.m., weighing in at 7 pounds, 4 ounces. She joins her older brother, two years and a few months old, and two proud parents (Daughter and SIL).

Daughter giving birth was much like the last time around, as if it were simply on her to-do list that day.

We saw this new little bundle of joy soon after she was born, and she's a beauty. Is it possible to get wrapped around a tiny little finger in a matter of seconds?


While we were awaiting the arrival of this little one, Wife and I received a text message from Older Son in Atlanta. They had gone to the ER earlier that morning with GS2 (our other grandson), as he was having breathing problems.

He had been admitted to the hospital with croup, which is a terrible cough that probably sounds worse than it is. But they were understandably concerned, as we all were.

My plan had been to drive to my office in Birmingham (about 1.5 hour south of Huntsville, where our granddaughter was born) Tuesday morning the 29th and work there until Thursday. Wife planned to stay in Huntsville and help until they were home from the hospital, and a day or two after.

As I was driving to Birmingham that morning, Wife called and said she had talked to Older Son and DIL. They had been put in ICU overnight, as GS2's condition was worsening.

"Someone needs to be there with them," she said.

"That someone will be me," I told her.

I arrived in Birmingham and worked a few hours. I got my team together and told them I would probably need to be in Atlanta for a couple of days. I loaded up my laptop and off I went, 2.5 hours east to Atlanta.


I stayed in Atlanta until Friday morning. Older Son and DIL insisted on staying in the hospital overnight each night, but were glad to have me there as a reinforcement, and so one of them could leave during the day from time to time. It was a crazy, scary, emotional time, and before it was all over, GS2 not only had croup, but also RSV and an ear infection. He was one sick little guy.

I'm leaving out plenty of details, but suffice it to say, by the time I left Friday morning, he was stabilizing, and he got to go home Saturday morning.


Backing up a little, Thursday night, the night before I left to come home, it had become clear I was getting something -- probably just a cold, but with everything I had been exposed to in that hospital, I decided to be overly cautious. I went straight to see the doctor when I got home.

He checked me out and said I obviously had some type of virus and that viruses are everywhere. You have to be careful, he said -- wash your hands often, disinfect, even wear a mask if you think you're going to be exposed to something.

I had already been advised by the docs in the hospital in Atlanta that I should not go around my new granddaughter for at least two weeks, with what I had been exposed to in that hospital. Now it was even more certain I would not be making a return visit anytime soon.

In the meantime, Wife had come home with plans to return in a few days when SIL would go back to work. I immediately started wearing a mask at home so hopefully she would stay well.

By the next day, however, she was also down. We had apparently picked up the same thing somewhere, maybe in the hospital in Huntsville as we awaited our granddaughter's birth. Who knows?


Wife was able to stay home and rest this past week; I wasn't. She got better; I didn't.

I made a return doctor's visit Wednesday after two nights of coughing and little sleep. I got a shot and some other meds. Today (Friday) I'm feeling better, but I'm not 100 percent. This weekend we will both focus on getting well.

My fervent hope is we've gotten this stuff out of the way early this year and will be healthy throughout the rest of the cold and flu season. I'm sure planning on it.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Culture and subculture

In today’s culture wars, one of the things that annoys me most is how people, usually on the extreme ends (and who are usually the most vocal), make snap judgments.

One side might preach “tolerance” until they’re asked to tolerate something. Another side is quick to label someone, or give a person unsolicited advice, before even thinking what it’s like to walk a mile in a person’s shoes.

Not only are there culture wars, there are also subculture wars where some folks want to tell anyone on what they believe to be “our side” how to conduct his/herself. It’s all very tiresome and I attempted to address it in a recent column I wrote:

Monday, September 16, 2019

Pretty warm around here

I don't begin to understand all the ins and outs of global warming. Because I'm a middle of the road kind of guy, I tend to believe -- and I guess I want to believe -- that the extremists are way too extreme about it, but those who deny it exists are burying their heads in the sand.

Things on the earth change, including climate. Is that 100 percent caused by humans and their negligence? I don't think so, but we certainly play a part in it (in my opinion).

It's kind of like my house. It's about 35 years old. Although we perform routine maintenance, it's never going to be the same as it was 35 years ago. On the other hand, it's incumbent upon us to take care of it because we live in it, it's a huge investment and, well, we don't want to live in a house that's falling apart.

I know I am way oversimplifying it, but that's my thought today. We don't have the same planet God created in the very beginning because everything ages. We can't do anything about that. But we do, I believe, have a responsibility to maintain it just as we do our house. I believe God entrusted this planet to us.

Does that make me a raging liberal or a right-wing nut? I don't think so. It's just my thought for the day. Remember, middle of the road.


And global warming or not, September, which is supposed to be the month we begin to feel a nip in the air and anticipate cooler weather, has been a scorcher here in Middle Tennessee. We've been breaking records, flirting with 100 degrees many days. I can't see autumn, or autumn weather, on the horizon.

I've whined about heat before on this blog and I'm sure I'll do it again. And I really don't like the heat in a month when I think I'm supposed to be feeling cooler.