Saturday, April 26, 2008

Feeling Low

I wish I could write that being a grandparent is a wonderful, exciting time in my life, but unfortunately that just isn't the case right now. I haven't gotten to see the baby since it was in the hospital and I'm not likely to for a long time unless the baby's mother has a change of heart and decides our family is worthy to see him.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

It's a Boy

I officially became a grandpa yesterday at precisely 9:17 A.M. Still not sure what to make of it yet, but it was a little exciting. Everybody is doing fine and I'll probably put some pictures on here soon, just like a typical grandpa.

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Blessed Ones

I have two cousins (my dad's cousins, so I'm not sure what that makes them to me) who are very active in our church. There were three of them, all sisters, until the oldest died a few years ago. They are the model Catholics, attending every function, never missing a holy day, teaching CCD. None have ever been married, and I'm not sure if they've even dated, so dedicated are they to the Lord. They are a rarity in these times, and anyone seeing them might think their devotion a bit eccentric, but compared to the religious lives of people in other countries, theirs is a normal existence.
One thing that has been brought to light since the first Gulf War is the role that religion plays in the lives of other cultures. Probably most of the citizens of this country, myself included, are looked at as ungodly heathens because of our passive attitude toward our proclaimed faith. Muslims, Buddhists, Hindu's and so many of the world's religions are very rigorous in their daily prayers, fasting and alms givings. Reading blogs of other Catholics around the world has made me ashamed of the way I practice my religion, while at the same time filling me with an admiration for them and a feeling of relief that there are so many who make God the first priority in their lives. It makes it seem as if the world isn't quite as chaotic as it sometimes appears.
I know that I'm nowhere near where I want to be in my Catholic life, and every time I take Communion I ask for strength to guide me, but it's not easy living a traditional Catholic life in this day and age. I really admire my cousins, who may be seen as a bit odd, but who are surely looked upon fondly by the Master they serve.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Empty Bottles in the Fridge

I guess maybe we weren't very good parents when it came to teaching our kids to do things like pick up after themselves. As I sit here looking at dirty glasses and dishes sitting throughout the house, and piles of laundry which still hasn't been put away by the rightful owners I realize that whatever my child-rearing strategies were, they just plain failed. All three of my sons' rooms are death traps most of the time, and they could care less. No one bends over to pick anything up from the floor, and a lot of times it seems like no one knows what a trash can is for. Just today I took two empty bottles out of the refrigerator, and it's not unusual to find empty bowls that have been put back in there. How did things get this bad?
Even as I look forward to a grandson in a week I can't help but wonder how my son will ever be able to raise him to be a responsible person since I've obviously failed him in the same objective. This, the same son who was awarded the highest honor in Boy Scouts, leaves his dirty clothes scattered around the house and lifts not one finger to do any chores.

I love my family, but sometimes I have to look at things from several different angles to find that love.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Free Money for the Asking


I shouldn't be writing right now because I'm fairly fired up and I'll probably say things that I don't really want to clutter up my blog with right now but I'm going to anyway. My mother-in-law got her monthly check last Thursday and on Sunday she called and wanted to "borrow" $100 because she was broke. She had evidently blown all her money because her son told her he was going to give her some cash, but then he vanished - which happens all the time but she always believes him when he says he'll give her some. She was actually crying on the phone to me when she called, which doesn't faze me anymore, but I told my wife and she said she'd give her some. I just found out that she took some of the money and sent it to her other son, who's in prison. This infuriates me to no end, that I work to have my pay given to her to buy her cigarettes, let alone have it sent to a criminal.

I apologize to anyone who might happen to read this because I don't like to waste space writing about my mother-in-law, but since this is mainly a journal of my thoughts then I'm afraid you've stepped into a cow pie from my mind.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Back To Work

Vacation was good for me, even though all I did was work at home. Getting away from my job for those few days helps me to step back and see that there is another side of life where the only demands are the ones I place on myself. I'd love to visit that side more often, and I wondered if that's what it's like being retired, or being independently wealthy, or living off the government. Seeing that my lottery ticket gave me no cause for rejoicing, I'll just have to wait until my next vacation to find those precious moments of freedom, so sparsely disbursed throughout the drudge of the work year. Until then I'll try to remind myself that, when I get too boggged down, there are those days coming again if I can just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Friday, April 04, 2008

I Am The Lion

I'm in a Neil Diamond mood this morning, so the title is a link to one of my favorite songs from his Taproot Manuscript album. My brother had the record when I was young, and on the cover, Neil had written his inspiration for making the album, which was that he had fallen in love with a girl whose roots were in Africa and he found that exciting. Many of the songs on there are related in some way to the passion he felt for the Dark Continent, and it definitely ranks as one of my favorite albums ever.