Monday, April 20, 2009


I lost a friend this week. She was a unique soul. It seemed like she just saw the world through different eyes, from an odd perspective. Maybe she just saw the world for what it really is. But somehow she seemed a little sad, like she couldn't find a comfortable place in life. On the other hand, I only saw her in crowds and I just don't think she enjoyed crowds. My dad is like that. I can't get the man to go to a football game with me. So why do I judge them for that? If it makes them uncomfortable, why should they put themselves through it? Truth is, they shouldn't have to. I should accept it. I should want them to be happy. My friend was also a singer. Did I mention that? She had a following, but only once did I bother to go listen to her sing. Some friend I am. Maybe that's one of the things she'll leave with me, a greater willingness to accept people for who they are and to wish them happiness without judgement. Thanks Becky. I've always said the secret to happiness is to pay attention. There is good in everyone, and there is love and joy all around us if we just take a moment to look for it. It doesn't come in one big moment for most of us like hitting a walk-off homerun in the World Series or winning the Lotto. It comes in a smile from your kid or a "Daddy, I love you." It comes with the first warm breeze of spring, or the smell of barbecue at a tailgate with friends. It comes to me when I watch my children sleep. I wish I'd paid more attention to you, Becky. But I'm watching and listening now, and I know you are too.

Friday, December 19, 2008


Let me start by saying, I'm a Republican. More importantly, I'm a conservative. I would vote for a Democrat if there were any conservative Democrats left on earth, but never a liberal. I am afraid that we are headed squarely toward socialism, gun control, tree-huggin', whining, none-of-this-is-my-fault economics, and social decay, but I am a realist. Our great country has changed. There are more weirdos than normal people. It's hard to tell what's normal, in fact. Since that is the case, we might as well make the best of it. One good thing that could come of this is that nobody has any excuse for not aspiring to greatness. If a guy we don't know anything about except that he has kept some pretty questionable company through the years can become president, anyone can become president (if he or she has enough money and the right connections and a good screen presence). With that in mind, I must say that I hope he doesn't screw it up. The Republicans had an historic opportunity to fix our problems since they owned both houses of congress and the presidency, but they were like all politicians apparently, too interested in their own wealth, too corrupt, and too self absorbed to cooperate. So, let me say it again. I hope our new president doesn't screw it up. For that reason, I need to offer him one piece of advice. The first thing he needs to do is slap the shit out of Nancy Pelosi and for Heaven's sake don't believe a word she or her cronies tell him.

The one thing that bothers me, no it breaks my heart, is this. How many babies will die because this man was elected? I hope God will lead him away from this idea he has that abortion is ok. Once upon a time I believed as he does. I'm ashamed to say it, but it's true. That was before I held my own children in my arms right after they were born. There are so many people out there praying for a child. I know how they feel. I've been there. Adoption is the answer, not abortion.

I'm also worried what he'll do to the supreme court, but that's another story. Actually, it's probably the same story. I'm no expert in constitutional law, but I'll bet the new liberal court will make all abortions legal in the future. I just can't wrap my head around that. How can it be right?

Saturday, December 13, 2008


I mentioned in the first post that I work for a school. For some reason I figure I shouldn't mention the name of the school, but suffice it to say It's a great high school. We have great kids and great parents. I'm an administrator, and sadly, I only get to meet many of our kids when they get into trouble. But today, I got an opportunity to meet some great kids doing great stuff. I was assigned to attend a swim meet at the Ramsey Center at UGA. Our kids were competing for the region championship, and even though I enjoy watching sports events, I was a little bummed out that I had to do this instead of hunting. I don't get much time for myself, what with five kids in the house and a job that drains every ounce of mental energy at my disposal. I had covered a basketball game until late the previous night, so I just didn't really feel like going to this event. Of course somebody's got to do it, so I showed up on time and sat down with my bottle of water and bag of Skittles ready to do my share of hand shaking and congratulatory high fives. What I witnessed was undescribable with mere words, but I'll try because everyone needs to know the good stuff that goes on in high school, not just what you see in the newspapers.

I sat through several races and spoke to the coach and parents satisfied that this would end like most events like this and I'd go home a little bored and ready to see my own kids for a few minutes before bed. Then the announcer sent out a call for the 50 meter freestyle event. The coach walked down to a young man sitting alone, grabbed his hand and led him to lane 8 at the far end of the pool conspicuously separated from the four other competitors by several lanes of open water. I recognized him as one of our special ed kids. I don't know what his disability is; sadly I haven't taken the time to talk to him although I see him everyday. But it is obvious that he suffers from a serious mental disability. He walks to lunch by himself and feeds himself, but he sits alone most of the time. Today, without realizing it, he would bring me face-to-face with my own shortcomings.

When the buzzer sounded he jumped into the water awkwardly and swam and swam and swam, all the way down to the other end, made a perfect turn, and swam back just like a champ. His form wasn't perfect. He didn't win the race, not even close. But he became my hero forever. He climbed up out of the pool, and when his coach pointed out to him that the entire arena was cheering for him, he raised his fists in victory.

What courage! What a competitor! I thought to myself that if that had been me, I would have been afraid. I would have been afraid to get in that pool because I would have known that I couldn't beat the kids from those other schools who looked like Olympians and swam like fish, those kids with perfect physiques and high scores on some test the rest of the world uses to judge us all. In fact, if it were me, just as I am, they would need to have an ambulance waiting to take me to the hospital. I would probably have a coronary. And I thought to myself, the only challenge I face every day is whether or not I can resist a stack of cookies left in the break room at school.

Truly, this young man faces challenges everyday, simply getting through his day, that I can't even imagine. But he competes. He fights. He succeeds. He gets in the pool and swims his heart out in an arena that only the best can hope to conquer.

Yes today I found a new hero, and when I managed to get the tears out of my eyes and the lump out of my throat, I yelled out to him, "great job Ryan." He and his dad were beaming. His coach was beaming too. By the way, she's a hero too. No doubt she could have been posing for pictures with the winners or strategizing with the next group, but she was making sure Ryan had the opportunity to compete. I am so proud of them, and so thankful that God sent me to this event to remind me that there is so much good out there if we are just looking for it. There is determination, and there is amazing courage. You just have to pay attention and open your heart and mind when God wants to show it to you.


Sometimes you just shouldn't ask questions. God has a plan for your day. I had to take my kids to school the other day because my wife had hurt her back. Mind you, we have five kids, four in school (a long story), all in kindergarten. It was raining. I had to be late for work. What a pain. I pulled into the school, struggled to get the kids out, wondering how my wife does this every day, and finally got them all fitted in their coats and backpacks and herded them to the front door. We walked into the school and down the hall to their respective rooms. "By daddy, they called out, and went on excitedly about their business, all except for Skyla. She's my free spirit. She's sort of in a world of her own. Everything is really great, or really terrible with her. She went into the room and didn't give me a second look. I turned around, disgusted with the whole process, already thinking about all of the things I needed to be doing at work, when as I walked away Skyla stuck her head out of the door and yelled out in front of every one, "I love you daddy!" The teacher looked at me and said "Awwww, that'll make your day." And make my day it did. I waived goodbye and smiled and went on to work understanding completely how blessed I am to have such a great family. More importantly, I walked into my own school realizing that I shouldn't complain about little things, and I shouldn't question God's plan. Inspiration is all around us. We just have to pay attention.