Friday, August 29, 2014

If You Don't Like College Football I'll See You Tuesday

The world is back in alignment, there is a God, shoes fit better/food tastes better/ugly people are prettier…because college football season is here.

Now, for those of you who are poo-pooing my point let me ask you this, “Is there an event/person/situation/belief in your life that, in the absence of it, makes life feel less worthwhile?” Or, “Is there something in your life that, when it’s present, makes life feel bigger/grander/more wonderful?”

If you have something like that you know what I feel like when college football kicks off every year. We all need experiences that gives us a…YES! kind of feeling. If we don’t have them we have lesser lives and as long as the experience is a positive thing who cares what it is.

So, don’t be a hater about college football…or hunting…or ping pong…or children…or going to church…or liking Duke.

Wait…mmm….that last one…forget the last one.

Have a great Labor Day Weekend! Do something fun!

PS…for those of you who had wonderfully kind thoughts about the whole kidney stone thing…it, not unlike Elvis, left the building at about 2 am.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

It Won't Kill You, It'll Just Feel Like It

At 4:15 am an ER doc here in Raleigh walked into the bay (the examination area, kinda like where they put your car to look it over, except with curtains) in which I was lying on a gurney and informed me that I have kidney stones.

I’m not going to bore you like some folks do by talking about pain/meds/too-much-info details about the experience.

I will tell you that when I was pumped with morphine and in the CT Scan machine I heard a woman’s voice say, “Hold your breath. Now, you can breath,” twice. I’ve always worried about that…I mean, I thought it was the voice of God and if God is a woman I’m in big trouble….but, I digress.

What I can say is that the first thing I did this morning was call folks I know who have experienced this and ask, “What did you do to deal with kidney stones and how do you continue to handle the situation?”

My friends had a range of tales/suggestions/predictions. What I learned is that there are some similarities, but everyone is different and has to experience this situation in their own way.

Whatever your challenge in life someone else has been there. I don’t care how outrageous/serious/sad/happy/unique it may seem, someone else has been standing right where you are. If you’ll get your ego out of the way and ask some questions you’ll be surprised what you learn. It won’t kill you, it’ll just feel that way sometimes.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

What's That Smell?

Funky smell in the car this morning.

No, I didn’t.

As I’m cruising down the interstate I see a light vapor coming from the AC vents.

My first thought is the radiator because that’s probably the highest priced repair (which may or may not be true but that shows how much I know about vehicles) and luck being what it is I’ll end up with a $1000 repair bill which I can ill afford since it’s the end of the summer and without a steady stream of gigs my cash flow is close to depleted and the end of the month is coming so what bills will I have to flex so I can pay this HUGE car repair bill and it ain’t like I don’t have a ton of other stuff to worry about and how will I get around if the car is in the shop for a couple of months and you know I’ve been thinking of….

But, I’m noticing that my engine temperature gauge is not moving which means the engine is not overheating which means it may not be the radiator.

I stop at my car repair shop near my house and Scott, one of the wizards of car repair, tells me it’s probably the AC/heat and I need a little part that costs $46. I realize this might turn into $460, but right now $46 doesn’t sound as bad as what I’d been worrying about. Heck, I’ve got $46 in coins in a beer mug on the bookshelf in my bedroom.

I scoot back home and put my bike on the rack on the car, drive back to Scott’s, drop the car off and ride the bike back home.

So far, so good.

Letting worries run away with us doesn’t help. And yes, sometimes our worst fears and worries are realized, but the worrying blinds us to the beauty we’d miss. Riding my bike back home with the sun breaking through the trees and the dew on the grass and wonderful summer smell of morning was wonderful.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Let's Be Salty

As usual, I get messages when I need them and it always seems that on the infrequent Sundays I go to Zebulon Baptist Church to hear Reverend Jack Glasgow…I need to be there.

Yesterday’s sermon was about being “salty.” The opening question was, “How do people react when you tell them you forgot to put salt in a dish?” Forget about the potential health issues (which, by the way, are now in question if you read last week’s news), usually the reaction is that the food will be bland.

Jack’s message was that our saltiness is our uniqueness; those actions, attitudes, behaviors and beliefs that make us who we are.

He added that, yes, sometimes our saltiness reveals our less-than-best sides. But, the balance is that by being our unique selves we are presenting life with a gift, a chance to experience our good sides and offer them to others.

I’ll tell you what…let’s be salty…you be you, and I’ll be me…and let’s hope we both have patience and appreciation in good measures.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Pick Up the Remote

"Your Life Has No Remote, So Get Up and Change It"

Message on a sign outside a little church near Simpson, NC

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

This Won't Shower Me With Glory

This blog won’t shower me with glory. It’s one of those messages that has the potential to make folks feel uncomfortable…heck, I’m writing it and it’s making me uncomfortable.

This won’t go in the direction you assume early on…and, it’s terribly judgmental…but, here goes…

The loss of Robin Williams is a blow to fun, laughter and joy around the world. Even folks who don’t speak English loved him. Simply watching him with the sound turned down could make you smile. So, yes, his death is a loss.

However, there are folks bemoaning his loss who wouldn’t walk across the street to check on members of their own family. If one of their neighbors was sick they wouldn’t take a moment to check on the person or stop by with a dish of something (a Southern tradition).

Why? Because it’s easier to feign concern and emotion about someone at a distance, a “celebrity,” than it is to connect with someone close to you; someone in whom you really need to invest some time and emotion, someone who really matters.

Again, why? Because Kim Damn Kardashian won’t come to your house and want you to listen to her complain for an hour about her feet/kids/money/car/boss/preacher. She won’t ask you to invest time and emotion in a real relationship, something that matters.

Let’s be honest. I’m sure there are a fair number of people who saw Robin Williams perform live but for most of us he was a digital image on a screen. He wasn’t someone you could reach out and touch; someone in whose life you could matter.

Robin Williams had the extraordinary ability to connect with people, even through the screen. So, if you really want to honor him…really…think of someone you know, maybe someone you love but haven’t had some contact with them in awhile…and call them…don’t email or text them, those technologies allow you to remain at a distance…call them, or better yet, go see them. Get together for lunch. Ask them, “How ya doin’?”

And really listen.