Monthly Archives: January 2014

Very Seventies

When I was a kid in the 70s it seemed like every television show was talking about couples going on separate vacations. It was the height of Women’s Liberation to go where you want to go for your vacation and not have to hang out with your boring husband or significant other. To be honest, I never got why it was supposed to be such a big deal, but I’m a dude. Clearly I was not meant to understand.

Every year about this time, Peggy and I relive the 70s and go on separate vacations. Actually, she goes on vacation and I stay home and take care of our pets.

Peggy is a Personal Trainer and she works with many of her clients at a gym that was built for the Recreation Ministry at our church. Every January, the Recreation Ministry takes a group on a ski trip, and Peggy is required to go as part of the ministry staff. At least that is the story I get…

I am always invited. I was a respectable athlete as a young man, and I spent quite a bit of time on skis. Behind a boat. In the water. When I had back surgery in 2005, the surgeon told me that unless I wanted to have the same surgery again I needed to give up long-distance running and snow skiing. Let’s just say that neither seemed like a giant sacrifice.

Peggy has so much fun on these trips, and I have fun receiving the pictures of her having fun. And I don’t have to get cold or wet. Win-win…

Seriously, since we don’t live in Katy anymore I don’t know that Peggy will be participating on future trips, so I really wanted her to go this year and have a great time. And it looks like she is.

Meanwhile, I am at home planning a trip we can take together. That’s just the kind of guy I am…

January 20, 2009

As I was sitting at my desk today I realized it was January 20, the day the newly elected president gets sworn in every four years. No president is getting sworn in today, but seeing the date reminded me of this day five years before.

I cannot remember another day in my lifetime that brought so much hope to so many people. The inauguration of Barack Obama was a landmark day in American history. I never believed that I would see an African-American president in my lifetime, and I know that most of my African-American friends would (and did) say the same thing.

At that time I worked in an office where more than 60% of my coworkers were African-American. We all stopped working to watch the president take the oath of office, and there were more than a few tears as it took place.

Barack Obama is sworn in as the 44th president of the United States by Chief Justice of the United States John G. Roberts (DoD photo by Master Sgt. Cecilio Ricardo, U.S. Air Force/Released)

The day after election day had been rowdy in the office, but this was much more significant and solemn. One of my friends, as she cried, said, “It’s really happening.” It was almost as if she could not believe it until she saw the oath of office administered.

As a person who remembers the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, it was amazing and humbling to see this result only a little more than forty years later. I know that forty years sounds like a long time, but that is rapid progress. Not rapid enough, but faster than I ever thought could happen.

What I remember most about the rest of that day is going to the Houston Rockets basketball game that night against the Utah Jazz. I’m sure the game was exciting and I seem to remember that the Rockets won the game. But what I most remember is the National Anthem before the game and the way the people in the Toyota Center were singing along. I wasn’t in New York after September 11, but I have never been part of a sports crowd singing the Star-Spangled Banner with more gusto than what I heard that night.

Something was different. Everything was different.

Family Tradition

I’m never quite sure how some traditions get started. I have also noticed that you really only have to do something twice before it becomes a tradition.

Since we moved away from Dallas in 1994, a tradition has developed where we see our close friends, JR and Sue, most years for New Year’s. It actually started when we lived in Dallas because we would usually go out with a group to celebrate New Year’s. Once we moved JR and Sue just liked keeping the tradition going, I guess.

I’m sure the fact that all three of our boys were such close friends had something to do with it, too, but the tradition has continued even now that the kids are grown. We aren’t always able to ring in the new year together, but we try to get together as close to the beginning of the year as we can. This year, they came down to Austin to see the new place and to visit.

Peggy has been scouting out the places she wanted to show off on the initial visit, so we had to go up to Mt. Bonnell for the view over the Colorado River. It really is an impressive sight that is a little surprising since it is almost in the middle of Austin. Here is a picture of Sue and Peggy from the top of Mt. Bonnell:

A beautiful day for a visit

JR and I were up there, too, but the pictures with all four of us make it impossible to see the view! It was a perfect day to be outside and seeing sights with friends.

The only problem with the visit was that it wasn’t long enough, but we take what we can get. We haven’t lived in the same city for almost twenty years now. We are used to making the most of quick visits whenever we can get them! It is a little easier now that the kids are grown, though.

We don’t get tired of showing people the sights, so come on down to visit! And Happy New Year!