đź“… Calendar convergences and driving Ms. Hayden (and Mr. Allistair)

stormtrooper jeff gordon weekend yard sale driveway

Even when you ain’t writing, you’re writing.

Kinda like the Rockies’ bats lately, my words have ground to a crawl. When this happens, you churn on. There are no timeouts in soccer or life. Your life GPS won’t direct you around it. No, the only way is through.

So when the calendar ambles along for an intersection for your kid to move to college and it’s also the 19th anniversary of the day your dad died, well, there are stories.

Even if you don’t have time right away to write them. Or maybe you try and get seven graphs in and realize you’re so not doing the feelings justice. It’s like getting Frosted Flakes but pouring them into skim milk. WHO DOES THAT?

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đź’› A Father’s Day post written after Father’s Day (and posted way after Father’s Day)

tie fighter pilot airplane june 24 posting san jose airport

I keep a foot in happy and sad each Father’s Day.

The happy is easy: I have three wonderful daughters who enrich my life beyond measure. I also miss my dad. He died of leukemia three months before Hayden was born. This Father’s Day I again considered visiting his grave.

It’s in a beautiful spot, just under a mimosa tree that since has grown incredibly.

But it’s not where he is. It’s not where I feel him. I felt him so much more in the years just after his death. I’ve written about things I can’t explain. I feel as if my dad had to expend a lot of cosmic energy after death just to keep me from self-destructing.

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Mindful Monday | My first baseball mitt

outsmarted baseball
CGP

We’re excavating our garage like it’s King Tut’s tomb.

Not finding golden statues or mummified cats, if that’s what you’re thinking. Yet. I found my first baseball mitt, though. Even as I revere the beginning of baseball season, I felt a wave of emotion as I put on my glove.

Most of it was awful.

This cheap chunk of leather – real leather? I’m not sure – represents my introduction to a game I love today. It harkens a loyalty to a team and a reliance on hope. For what better an example of hope? A sport that lasts all summer and breaks nearly every heart.

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#AtoZChallenge: F is for Finally, he’s writing again (Thanks Cheryl Strayed!)

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So, it’s been a minute.

And by a minute, I mean a month. Holy hell – how did April get outta here so fast? Everyone’s wrapped up their #AtoZChallenge, and I’m still stretching my hamstrings. Yes, I’m on the letter F. And there’s plenty to post about.

I have a guest post from Madison, even, that she sent me as a PDF and why do post-millennials do things so differently than we do?

I also have a guest post from Lauren Mayhew that you’re going to love. And the rest of my posts about looking for my next job. I got plenty of words: What I don’t have is plenty of space in the day to write such things.

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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.

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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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