Memories


20
Jul 10

My Dad and I

My dad and I had sort of different personality types. His jokes were a little more corny, he liked to do different things, and we liked different foods. But people will often tell me that I look like my dad. Sometimes they’ll say I remind them of him, that they see a lot of him in me, that I write like him, or even that I walk like he did. I can’t help but smile a little when people say things like that. It’s apparent that he had more influence on my life than I had previously realized.

May 23rd, 2010 is a date that will always stick out in my mind. My family had gathered at my parents’ house to celebrate the birthday of my sister. Despite being sick, my dad came downstairs and ate with us. He socialized better than he had in recent weeks, and I remember feeling hopeful that his condition was improving.

A while after we had eaten, he called my brother and I up to his office. He wanted to show us some of his favorite videos on this neat new website called Youtube. You could tell that my dad had recently just discovered it, and was having a good time finding all sorts of videos that reminded him of special things in his life. He played a song called “This Old House” and told us it was his theme song. Looking back on it now, I think I understand  what he was trying to tell us. I didn’t know it at the time, but that would be the last time I would ever hang out with my dad.

I would see him conscious only two more times. I saw him briefly as we rushed to publish the June 2010 issue of his newsletter. I was picking it up for corrections and my dad was busy getting ready for a doctor’s appointment or something, so we didn’t really say much to each other.

The final time I would see him conscious was on June 8th, 2010 when he opened his eye and awoke from his coma right before he passed on. That moment too, will be one I remember forever. 

Since the death of my father in June, my life has been changing in ways I never would’ve imagined. I never expected to be where I am now and doing what I am doing. Sometimes I feel scared, but then I remember that I can “do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me.” (Philippians 4:13) Conversely, I’m constantly reminded of Jesus’ words, “without me ye can do nothing.” (John 15:5)

And most of the time, when I hear Scriptures in my mind, it’s in my dad’s voice.


18
Jul 10

Grocery Store Incident

Did you hear about the incident at the grocery store the other day? Apparently there was this guy named Artie and he was shopping in the produce section. He went up to this guy and started choking him and said, “Give me a dollar!”

The man refused. “No I’m not going to give you a dollar!”

So Artie went up to another guy and started choking him. “Give me a dollar!” he demanded.

“No!”

Finally, Artie went up to a third guy and choked him too while demanding a dollar. Like the other two men, the third guy also refused to give Artie a dollar.

The next day, the headline in the newspaper read, “Artie chokes three for a dollar at local grocery store.”

That was one of my dad’s jokes. Yes, they were a little corny, but I miss hearing them. I’m sure his jokes will be popping into my head for years to come and probably the rest of my life.


2
Jul 10

My Briefcase

A few years ago when my birthday was coming up, my dad asked me what I wanted for a gift. At the time I really couldn’t think of anything to ask for, so I decided to request something off-the-wall and slightly ridiculous as a joke. I told my dad that I wanted a “briefcase full of cash.”

Of course, I wasn’t serious and my dad knew that. But when my birthday arrived he presented me with this briefcase.

briefcase

Inside it were two hundred one-dollar bills.

When I see that briefcase now, it serves as a constant reminder of my dad’s sense of humor and generosity. I miss you, Dad.


15
Mar 10

I Was A Weird Kid

I was a weird kid. On one occasion, I decided I wanted to eat a bowl of cereal. But unfortunately on that day we had no milk. We did, however, have root beer. I’ll let you guess how that turned out.

Sometimes I would take a pile of cheese, put it in a bowl, melt it in the microwave and then eat it with a spoon. I guess I’ve always been a true Wisconsinite at heart.

I would go to great lengths not to eat my vegetables. Sometimes I would hide them under the napkin, or stuff my peas into holes in the chairs’ upholstery. I even buried peas in the backyard once just to avoid eating them.  (I really hated peas.)

Of course, sometimes I couldn’t get out of it. One night I prayed and asked God to make the vegetable beef soup I was about to eat “not taste bad.” It kinda worked, as the soup wasn’t as horrible as I had expected it to be.

Of course, every now and then I would try to eat healthier. One day I told my mom I was going to go to the grocery store to buy an orange. But when I got there the oranges didn’t look very good. So naturally I bought a doughnut instead. My mom wasn’t happy.

By the way, not only was I a weird kid, I was also a fat kid.


23
Feb 10

Lego Blocks & Computers

lego_building

One thing I sort of miss from my childhood is playing with Lego blocks. I had a super cool collection of forts and even a pirate ship with a treasure chest and a compass that really worked. I loved my Lego blocks.

I don’t know what happened to all of them. I think a few might still be in the basement of my parents’ house, but I imagine the majority of them got swept or vacuumed up.

A few years ago, I thought it would be fun to buy to buy Lego blocks again. So I did on a few different occasions, but it was an ultimately frustrating endeavor because I didn’t have enough of the pieces I wanted, and too many of the ones I didn’t need.

Perhaps someday if I have a son we will amass a huge Lego collection together. Maybe we’ll spend many fun hours building massive Lego structures. Come to think of it, I’d want to do that with a daughter too.

Sometimes when I tell people that I like to build computers, they’ll ask questions like, “wow, isn’t that hard?” Truthfully, it really isn’t that difficult. Building a computer is a lot like playing with Lego blocks. The only difference is that the pieces cost hundreds of dollars. Heh. There’s probably a correlation between my enjoyment of Lego blocks as a child and my enjoyment of building computers today.


30
Jan 10

Tales of Sleep and Slumber

doghouse

I love sleep. It’s peaceful, relaxing, a break from the perils and stress of everyday life, and a chance to recharge. I like sleeping so much that I do it every night. Sometimes I even do it during the day. I have spent approximately one third of my life asleep.

Of course, sleep doesn’t always go perfectly. There’s the occasional bad dream, noise interruptions, insomnia, scheduling conflicts and so on.

During my teenage years I had a paper route. While it was normally an afternoon route, the Saturday paper had to be delivered in the morning. I was expected to have my route completed by 8am every Saturday morning.

Well, after being late a couple times do to alarm clock issues, I started staying up all night on Fridays. Normally I would sleep on Saturday mornings to make up for it, but one Saturday we had a family outing and I didn’t get a chance to sleep.

It just so happened that my family always went to prayer meetings on on Saturday nights. By that time, I had been awake for quite a long time and was quite exhausted. I kneeled down to pray, and it pretty much went down like this; “Dear Lord… zzzzzzzzzzz.” Yes, I had fallen asleep while praying! When I awoke, everyone else had already finished their prayers. I don’t know if they all knew I was sleeping or if they just thought I was extra holy that night and praying for a long time.

I also recall one evening when I was soundly slumbering in my bed. I was awakened by mom pounding on the door and yelling “Go to sleep!” Of course, I couldn’t get to sleep after that.

I’ve had some pretty interesting dreams too. I once dreamt that I and my family was sent back in time to the 1950s by the New York Yankees. I was desperately trying to get back to my own time, but my parents wanted to stay because they loved the 50s. And for some unknown reason, I was being chased by the Monopoly man in a wooden truck. It was one of the best dreams I’ve ever had.