On a day with my girls at the auto fair, it kind of felt like dad was there

stormtrooper car neon black
photo credit: DocChewbacca Back to the past via photopin (license)

All my dad needed was a glimpse of a tail light.

He could tell you the make, model and year, just from that. Just from a red glow, a glance of it. That’s when cars had cool names, like De Soto and Falcon and GTO. Not Prius and Altima and Cruze. Those aren’t even words, let alone cars.

Dad and I picked out a 1962 Buick Skylark for my first real car.

Maddie was white with red interior. Full-bodied, four-door, hardtop sedan. Sleek lines. We installed glass-pack mufflers with dual exhaust and low-profile tires with sweet chrome rims. She shined brighter than Grace Kelly, Debbie Boone and Brooke Shields.

Combined.

Continue reading “On a day with my girls at the auto fair, it kind of felt like dad was there”

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Who we’d go back in time to hug, in 6 words

stormtrooper darth vader hug
photo credit: Kalexanderson The imperial reunion (square version) via photopin (license)

Behold, the hug.

6 words graphicIs anything in the universe as potentially awkward and comforting as the hug? Humans (or many mammals) have the innate ability to express love or like, congratulations or condolences by simply opening their arms and pressing together their bodies.

I compile a monthly post called 6 Words. Ernest Hemingway inspired it when he said any story can be told in six words. I ask bloggers, friends, strangers, and a few strange blogger friends to respond to a prompt.

Here’s the prompt for August:

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Behind The Scenes Of My Big Beautiful Eclipse Day

stormtrooper eclipse glasses USA america

My schedule eclipsed my ability to write about the eclipse.

The experience though. It began in line before 6 a.m. in a Shoney’s parking lot. It ended with lots of thoughts and yet no time to write about them. It took equal parts cunning and patience to even get my hands on eclipse glasses for the family to share.

And I don’t know about you parents out there. I felt like we were tons more enthused about this whole event than the younger generation.

And that’s fine. I couldn’t wait for eclipse day when I was a kid. I was a dinosaur/space/NFL nerd then. (And now.) It felt like that pressure our parents put on us as kids when the Peanuts holiday specials came on because we MUST watch this!

Because of course.

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#AtoZChallenge: U is for Unconventional Loves

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I’d wanted to write, during this A to Z Challenge, about my girls’ stuffed animals.

UAll three have one that has meant something to them over the years. Haven’t we all? I had a stuffed dog I found in a park when I was a boy. I named him … boy. I loved him until he fell apart.

One of my girls loved a German Shepherd, so big she could use him as a pillow.

Another slept with a bear named Daddy. I last saw him tucked behind her headboard. Unceremoniously. A third girl kept a rasta monkey I won her at her bedside. I scrapped the idea, although to read the first four paragraphs here, you wouldn’t know it, right?

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#AtoZChallenge: E is for Eight Things I’ve Left Behind

stormtroopers sunset romance

If only it was only eight.

EIt’s eight – times something. Eighty? Eight thousand? Eighty-eight thousand? That depends on if you count car keys and wallet as two things, left behind regularly, or one for every time. I wouldn’t want to do that math.

If God had a cosmic lost-and-found bin, even The Great I Am would assess me a storage fee.

I’ll forego listing the plastic dinosaurs I buried beside my house just before dad put on a sidewalk, or the UNC Charlotte sweatshirt left on the bus in Louisville. Same, too, for the stormtrooper Tervis, the actual stormtrooper from my youth, a few tons of innocence …

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Dad in the Kitchen: Brown & White Sugar Waffles (For People of All Colors)

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I love me some symbolism.

Like, red in the Colorado flag, to symbolize the state’s red soil. Or the Mandala, to stand for eternal harmony. Or even a blue star on the side of a silver helmet. This stands for a team allergic to playoff victories.

Symbolism isn’t lost on me in the kitchen, either.

Here’s the recipe for my Brown and White Sugar Waffles. They’re representative of my children, actually, part brown like dad, half white, like mom. In perfect harmony, ironed to light and crispy perfection, with a hint of vanilla.

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Go Ask Daddy About Genetics, Likenesses and the Bottom Rung of Fast Food Quality

GAD 3 10 lede stormtrooper blood
photo credit: Leoraul Prop Shot Lighting, Finn Stormtrooper Helmet via photopin (license)

Back in my day, there wasn’t such a thing as a spoiler.

GAD GRAPHICWell, unless you went to see The Cannonball Run before everyone else and could tell your friends how Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. place in the race. So that was me, age 9, in the middle of a Greeley, Colo., movie theater, with mind blown.

Before mind blown was even a thing.

I was watching The Empire Strikes Back – Episode V, for you dinkledorphs who insist upon that – when one of life my life-altering utterances occurred right there on the big screen. [It was hokier than I remember. See it here]. When Leia tells Han that Luke is her brother.

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Would You Slather on Beard Balm? Here’s What Happened When I Did

beard-lede
photo credit: DocChewbacca Behind you via photopin (license)

I’ve grown some things in my time.

Three girls. A blog following. Up, kind of. I’ve grown a sometimes-unruly mop of hair, eyes on potatoes, and a ragtag soccer team or three. Growing, though, isn’t always a slam-dunk. I’ve grown restless, I’ve grown weary, I’ve also grown impatient now and again.

Maybe, if I had some sort of ointment, something magical, to make stuff grow better.

I’m talking about a beard, guys. A magic potion that will help me grow something rad, a face rug that extends ear to ear, a beard worthy of lumberjack status. At least of Kenny Loggins or Kenny Rogers but probably closer to Roger Rabbit.

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I Nearly Gave Up On Santa. Here’s What Happened Next

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photo credit: Nukamari Preparing Christmas via photopin (license)

I can’t even blame Christmas.

Would it shock you to hear that even though my blog has collected moss like a molasses-slow manatee, I feel more on top of my game than ever? I feel a better grip on my carry-on? I do.

I have faith that this wresting back of control will lead me to hit the publish button soon, and often.

I have ideas – with no expiration dates, thankfully. I still want to write about elephants. I have a Go Ask Daddy thisclose to finished. The six words express steams on. I’m in talks with fantastic writers about guest posts.

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#GirlsRock: An Interview with Crossfit Trainer Dana Mather

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photo credit: kurt.stocker stormtoopers via photopin (license)

In all of the uniform fitting nights for all of the soccer clubs in America … she walked into the uniform fitting for the soccer club I’d been coaching for.

cd-interviewsShe’s Dana Mather, Crossfit trainer. That night, though, she was Dana Mather, matchmaker. As her sons tried on the club’s new kits, we talked soccer. Pay attention, and you can learn volumes about someone in a single, initial conversation.

My impression of Dana: Optimistic, energetic, in all the way in all she did.

Dana carries a quiet confidence that falls short of swagger, mostly because of her humility. A mom, wife, and athlete, Dana surprised me by asking lots of questions about my own coaching. That night, my coaching future was uncertain.

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