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Feb 21

The Joy of a Colonoscopy!

Posted on Tuesday, February 21, 2012 in Family

Oh what a blast it is turning 50! I hit the big 5-oh back in December.  Three days after my birthday I had foot surgery to remove a planters wart from the ball of my left foot.  Now, 6-7 weeks later it finally feels as good as new. This ends nearly 6 months of nagging pain with this stupid wart. But that’s another story.

One of the things recommended for anyone turning 50 is to have a preventive colonoscopy.  I had a sigmoidoscopy done about 10 years ago, and that’s a completely different violation of the human body which can only be experienced to fully understand.  There is no pain with the colonoscopy, the discomfort is in the “prep”.  And I might also add, a liquid diet the day before the procedure no party, even though I could have milkshakes all day!

The day before your procedure and the morning of your procedure, you must chug a quart of liquid that tastes like, and has the thickness of, lemon fresh Joy dishwashing liquid. My brand was called MoviPrep. It is almost comic in its efficiency. About 45 minutes after the first 8oz gulp of this goop you think a volcano is going to erupt in your belly. And it does. Many times over the next hour. Then peace reigns, until assault part 2 begins the next morning!

After part 2, your colon is picked cleaner than Cindy Lou Who’s house on Christmas Eve after the Grinch got done with it! By the time I  was in Ephrata Hospital ready to be wheeled into the OR, I couldn’t wait to be put under by the anasthesia, because I was  so insanely hungry I pondered eating my own fingers!

God only knows what kind of jokes the doctor and staff are cracking while the roto rooter is trolling your intestines, because you are OUT. I remember rolling over on my side and then waking up in recovery about an hour later.

They found polyps, as they did 10 years ago. Almost 4 weeks since my colonoscopy and I haven’t heard anything about the diagnostics on the polyps. I’m mildy concerned about the polyps themselves, more concerned about the bill! Because I checked with my insurance carrier before the procedure. As a “screening” it’s at no cost as a provision of health care reform. However, if they find polyps, it’s diagnostic and the free part is thrown out the window. Or so I’m told, we’ll see.  I will report on it when I see it.

Did I mention I got my AARP card?

Jun 19

Father’s Day 2011

Posted on Sunday, June 19, 2011 in Family

It’s Father’s Day 2011.  I became a father a week short of my 37th birthday.  In my mind, a man at 37 is probably fairly well established in his chosen profession, and secure in all things financial.  Three months after Kate was born, I was let go from my chosen field, little did I know at the time that I’d be out for good.  Staying in broadcasting would likely have meant a move out of town, probably out of state.  Been there, done that, and didn’t want to do it again, especially with a family in tow.

Unemployment gave me 6 months as a Mr. Mom and a special introduction to fatherhood.  I certainly wouldn’t trade that time for another meaningless 6 months in radio. 

12 years later a recurring theme is readily apparent.  12 years of work, selling beds, cars, loans and insurance have been fun and occasionally fruitful, but really…almost meaningless.  Suffice to say I haven’t changed the world.  All of the above was a means to an end, supporting a household.

Decisions on employment could be second guessed eternally, but the underlying consideration in all judgments was my kids.  I wanted flexibility and freedom to be an active and willing participant in their lives.  I work hard and enjoy work, but I am not a workaholic.  After losing my own Dad at 13, I couldn’t bear the thought of being the guy who looks back on his life and wishes he spent more time with his children.

Those 3 am feedings and changing poopie diapers was not just for Lori.  Bathtime and bedtime were playtime.  If it was the straw that broke the camel’s back, it will be the piggyback rides that do me in.  There’s pages of stories in my noggin between peek a boo and training wheels, and just as many from that first bike to the first lacrosse practice just  3 months ago.

I’ve made mistakes as a parent and would welcome some do overs, but that’s life.  I guess my most sincere hope is that I’ve set a good example, as they learn so much more by seeing and experiencing than they do from hearing me lecture about life.

In 6 months I’ll turn 50.  By then I’ll have a teenaged daughter and a 9 year old boy.   Exiting college I imagined great things for a 50 year old Bri.  I’d have logged decades ruling the radio dial from behind the mike in some major market.  Perhaps I’d have retired triumphantly and gone into station ownership.

Alas, I’m just a guy making a living in Anywhere, USA.  Yet I feel wealthy as hell, because I AM LUCKY TO BE A FATHER, SO BLESSED to have Kate and Nathan.  Time invested in them always brings great returns.  They are my pot of gold.  So greetings from the end of the rainbow on another great day, that just happens to be called Father’s Day.

Oct 31

Trick Or Treat Night

Posted on Saturday, October 31, 2009 in Family

Here’s a photo of Kate and Nathan before going out Friday night for Trick or Treat.  We were tearing up rags to make Nathan’s Mummy costume only moments before.  Less than an hour in the neighborhood filled their bags with a ton of goodies.

Nathan & Kate Get Ready to Trick or Treat

Nathan & Kate Get Ready to Trick or Treat

Jul 28

Lawnmower For Sale: You Can’t Afford it

Posted on Tuesday, July 28, 2009 in Family

Nathan's Priceless Lawnmower

Nathan's Priceless Lawnmower

While cutting the grass last night Nathan had HIS lawnmower out.  He was sitting on his swing on the swingset, just kind of holding onto the lawn mower.  For the last couple years, he would occasionally mimic me as I cut the grass…you know, a boy pretending to do as his Dad does.

Before he said anything, I could tell he had cut his last blade of grass with that mower of his.  He’s my little man, but not THAT little.  It wouldn’t be cool to be seen walking around with a toy mower.  Not anymore.

Most times these gentle shifts and changes in my kids go unnoticed, as they transition from one thing to the next repeatedly and effortlessly, but this little moment tugged at my heart. My buckeroo continues to grow up, darn it!

I kind of choked up relating this story to Lori. 

Nathan was not so moved.  As I turned my mower off, he said, “Dad, I think I’m gonna sell this (his mower), I could probably get 3 bucks for it.”

I’m thinking the price may be a million times higher.

Jul 28

Another Visit With The Doctor…

Posted on Tuesday, July 28, 2009 in Family

And it’s good news!

3 months ago I went in for a routine physical and bloodwork.  Cholesterol levels were borderline high so Dr. Calusic prescribed a “statin,” which is I guess the generic term for cholesterol inhibitor.

Cholesterol wal 231 and borderline high.  High is 240+.  I’m now at 156!!!

Triglycerides was borderline high around 150, it’s 62 now!!!

HDL, the good cholesterol is steady at 43.7, with high risk at ,40 and optimum at >60, so there’s work to do here.

LDL was 140ish and borderline, I’m at 99.9 now!  Just inside the “optimal” region.

And I lost another 5 pounds from my last visit!  Makes sense.  I am very deliberate with excercise, working out 6 out of 7 days, which according to the book Dr. Calusic prescribed, Younger Next Year, is what I must do for the rest of my life!  So be it.  Lately I’m on the Ephrata track 3x a week.  Trying to run that 6:30 mile I had to run 30 years ago for football.  Sadly, I can’t break 9 yet!  But I will.

Working harder on the nutrition.  But it’s been 4 weeks since I’ve been to the Golden Arches.  I can’t believe it.  Did have a burger at Friendly’s…but no fries!  Loving the whole grains, and eating more fruit than i already was, and I love fruit.

I’m feeling healthy.  I’m ready to go for another 30 years, at least!

If you are a male 40 or older, or love one that is…check out the book Younger Next Year:

Jul 27

A (yard) Wasted Weekend

Posted on Monday, July 27, 2009 in Family

Oy!  My aching back!  I trimmed the low hanging branches of a couple of hemlock trees in my backyard on Saturday and Sunday.  Trimming was the easy part.  Bagging the sh$! up was the hard part.  I filled 24 40 gallon yard waste bags.  Good’s Disposal will need to send a fleet just for us.

Saturday afternoon the manual labor was pleasantly put on hold, as Lori and I attended a reunion of her first team from Biggest Loser.  No one was counting calories at this bash!

Sunday was more man against yard.  Call it a draw.  I visited 5 Open Houses in Ephrata, to see what’s for sale  in town.  Still a buyer’s market my friends…giddy up.

Kate and Nathan played Guitar Hero for approximately 9 hours.  Kate only quit to watch the Jonas Brothers marathon on Disney.  Lori gleefully escaped the noise to go to work.  I napped through some of it, but honestly can’t recall Sunday night cuz my back and bones still ached.

Jul 20

A New Addition To The Family!!!

Posted on Monday, July 20, 2009 in Family

Kate has been begging for a pet for a long time, and more so since she went to a Petsmart in VA.  Friday we went to the Lancaster Petsmart and she got a guinea pig, which she eventually named Nelli.


Shortly after getting Nelli situated, Kate took her out and let Nathan hold her, but not for long!  “It feels like she’s pooping on me!”

Jul 6

4th of July Getaway: Smith Mountain Lake, VA

Posted on Monday, July 6, 2009 in Family

Every 4th of July since 1996 Lori & I have spent the 4thof July at her folks place on Smith Mountain Lake in VA, about 40 minutes South of Roanoke and Lynchburg.  It is a grueling, unpleasant drive for an hour on the PA turnpike, 4 to 5 hours on Rt.81 and then an hour on local roads twisting and turning to we get there.  It’s worth it!  The refreshingly cool lake waters are just a short walk down the steps from the lower deck of Dave & Marcia’s house.

The kids were down since the Saturday before the 4th, and Lori and I came down Friday the 3rd.  Lots of sunning, reading, floating, splashing, boating, eating, eating and more eating.  Marcia makes 3 huge meals every day, with more than just a little help from my brother-in-law David.  (Somehow I dragged my butt out to jog 3 miles each day!)

Weather has been great.  Only 1 rainy day.  We used that day to go to “The Bridge”, home to a ticket arcade, where Kate and Nathan played skeeball and other games to win tickets to trade in for fabulously wonderful prizes that would be overpriced in a Dollar Store.

We spent time inside playing Clue, Monopoly, Shut the Box and Farkel.  Ever played Farkel?  It’s a simple yet really fun dice game.

Four days is the right amount of time here, as we were just at the shore for a week in mid June.  The kids will be back in a month for more Nana & Pops time.   Nathan cashed in on his first ever attempt at water skiing.  Nana and Uncle Davey each gave him 20 bucks to get him to try it.  He is quite the negotiator!

Lori read The Quickie by James Patterson.  I finally finished Younger Next Year by Dr. Henry Lodge.  The Daves and I spent many hours watching Wimbledon tennis.  Crushed by Roddick’s tough loss.  No HBO in our house, so I caught Knocked Up one night.  Hilarious!

It’ll be tough to depart Tuesday morning, but always good to be home too.

Jun 24

Happy Father’s Day!

Posted on Wednesday, June 24, 2009 in Family

Father’s Day was low-key and pleasant.  We were still missing the shore, and not up for much.  The cards from Lori, Kate and Nathan were great.  See the kids cards below. 

Nathan and I took out the R/C plane he bought the night before at Target.  The fields at Charity Gardens are convenient for such fun, but the winds were too strong to really make it work.

I took the kids into Lancaster for the open house of the new Marriott and Convention Center.  Very cool!  The views from the rooms are wonderful.  The Rendezvous Lounge is unlike anything else in town.  The name taken from the legendary basement restaurant at Watt & Shand.  I hope it’s a big success!!

Before heading for home we stopped in at the newly relocated Fractured Prune on the corner of Queen and Walnut.  Fresh hot doughnuts with the toppings of your choice.  Oh man, it’s probably good I don’t work downtown anymore, I’d be hitting this place way too often!

Jun 23

Who’s Your Daddy?

Posted on Tuesday, June 23, 2009 in Family

This is a letter I wrote 4 years ago in one of my monthly letters/newsletters to clients family and friends as Father’s Day was approaching.  It was called, “Who’s Your Daddy?”

I hope you had a chance to thumb through my new newlsetter recently.  What was your favorite “Dad-ism?”  Many a road trip anywhere resulted in a threat of, “Do you want me to pull over?”  (Heck no Dad!  Hurry up and get us to Woolworth’s so I can spend my 15 cents allowance!)  I also remember how my Dad loved to sing while awaiting dinner to be served…”Mares eat oats and does eat oats and kids’ll eat ivy too…”  I’d like to hear that one on American Idol!

I’ve had a lot of time to think about my Father.  Last month marked 30 years since the single worst day of my life, the day my Dad died.  Heart attack.  He was 56.  It’s a good thing God gave us an infinite supply of tears, because otherwise I’d surely have exhausted my lifetime supply by the age of 13.

Al Williams was a “shop” teacher, I think it’s “tech ed” now.  He was the Driver’s Ed instructor and tennis coach too.  I’m darn glad that he and my Mom didn’t quit at 7 kids, or else I wouldn’t be here.

My Dad took me to the town library quite often, even though I only ever checked out Harold and The Purple Crayon or Curious George Goes To The Hospital.  He found a station on the radio for me that broadcast every single NY Knicks basketball game!  He took me to see the Harlem Globetrotters one year, that may be my all-time favorite Christmas gift.  I forgot to bring the coupon I clipped off the Alpha Bits box good for a free game of bowling, but Dad still let me bowl an extra game anyway.  He taught me 5 card draw poker, and it was okay if 2’s, 4’s, 7’s and one-eyed Jacks were wild.  There was never a summer supper that wasn’t followed by a game of 21 on the backyard hoop, or a round of mini-golf on my makeshift 18 hole course carved out in our tree-cluttered half acre of crabgrass and dandelions.

He was not Super Dad.  He wasn’t Ward Cleaver or Mike Brady.  He was just MY Dad.  I miss him now, like I missed him then, like I always will.  I tried to praise my Mom once for her positive, easy-going attitude.  She laughed and said, “That was your Father.”  That was my Father.

The passing of my Dad has shaped my life more than anything else.  I learned a long time ago what it takes many a lifetime to figure out.  Each day you have on Earth is a brightly wrapped gift with a bow and your name on it.  Tear it open with the unbridled joy of a child on Christmas morning.  Be forever grateful for every such gift, for one day…there won’t be one with your name on it.