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.