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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 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!