30-Day Writing Challenge: Day 16

30-Day Writing Challenge: Day 16

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Day 16: Something that you miss.

This one is easy. I miss my dad. My dad died on November 11, 1996. He had experienced some health episodes, but his death was unexpected. I miss him a lot. Here are some things about him that I miss the most:

  • He was funny. He had a quick wit and a dry, sarcastic sense of humor. He passed that on to me, and I’m afraid that I have passed that along to my son. All of my friends thought he was funny. They would stop by and chat with him even if I wasn’t home. I worked at a pizza place all through high school and college. My co-workers would nearly throw punches as they argued about who got to take the delivery when Dad ordered. They still recall funny sayings and “dadisms” that were unique to him.
  • He spoke in similes, metaphors and artistic exaggerations.  He never stated things in matter-of-fact terms. He was never “a little warm today because of the humidity.” He was always “hot as a match” or “hot as a firecracker.”
  • He loved bluegrass music. He played a decent rhythm guitar, but his gift was his classic bluegrass tenor voice. As a teenager, it was not unusual at all to come home from working the late shift at the pizza parlor on a Saturday night and find Mom and Dad and some of their music friends playing bluegrass music in my living room…or on the front porch, if weather permitted.
  • He was a crier. Babies, sad stories, happy stories, Christmas gifts, Fathers’ Day gifts, the weather…you name it. Tug on his heart strings even just a little and get ready for the waterfalls.
  • He was smart. He only completed the 8th grade, but don’t let that fool you. He liked to read…mostly westerns and the local paper. He read every word in that paper every single day. I would often find the paper on the kitchen table opened to a particular page with an article circled and my name written next to it. That meant that it made him mad, made him laugh, or validated a position that he had taken on some political issue. He knew a lot about history. He had a big vocabulary. He was somewhat skeptical of formal education. He was supportive of me getting a good education thanks to my brother who had blazed that trail ten years before me. He had no use for somebody who had “book smarts” but didn’t “have enough sense to come in out of the rain” or who couldn’t “find his rear end with both hands.”
    • I attended college locally, and I commuted from my mom and dad’s house for my junior and senior years. I rushed down the stairs from my bedroom one morning eager to grab some breakfast and hit the road. I couldn’t help but notice that my dad was sitting at the table flipping through my college’s semester courses catalog. I asked why he was looking at it. He told me that he was looking to enroll me in a college class that would teach me how to tie up the bread bag when I was done and flip the light switch off when I left a room.
  • He loved his family. He was a homebody. His favorite place on earth was at home with his family. I wish that he could have gotten to meet my kids. They would have surely stolen his heart, and they would have LOVED him. I wish I could have heard his dry, sarcastic (but completely in good fun) comments when I told him that I was going to be an elementary school principal. I wish he could see the house where I live. I wish he could “eat like he was going to the electric chair” at a summer family cookout at my place. I wish he could see his grandkids open presents at Christmastime.

I can just imagine him visiting my house on one of these frigid Ohio winter days. “Son, go turn that thermostat up a little…unless you’re fixin’ to hang a side of beef in the living room.”

In true Dad fashion, I was unable to get through today’s writing challenge without my own waterworks. But it was a good waterworks.  Good memories for sure.

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30-Day Writing Challenge: Day 15

30-Day Writing Challenge: Day 15

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Bullet-point your whole day.

  • Woke up.
  • Fell out of bed.
  • Dragged a comb across my head.

Okay, that’s for the Beatles fans out there… Now for my real highlights of the day.

  • Cats woke me up at 7:00 AM.
    • They wake me up if their breakfast is late.
  • Fed the cats.
  • Got caught up on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Ate some breakfast.
  • Fixed breakfast for my kids.
  • Fixed my pot of killer chicken tortilla soup.
  • Shoveled snow and put down some ice melter on the driveway.
  • Cleaned out the cats’ litter boxes.
  • Picked up a prescription refill.
  • Ate that killer chicken tortilla soup for dinner.
  • Checked the news, weather, etc,
  • Paid some bills.
  • Caught up on the 30-Day Writing Challenge after being delinquent for two days.
  • Perhaps a little TV before bedtime…

30-Day Writing Challenge: Day 14

30-Day Writing Challenge: Day 14

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Day 14: Post your favorite movies that you never get tired of watching.

  • Star Wars- any of them…all day/every day.
  • Major League
  • Caddyshack
  • Goodfellas
  • Rocky
  • The Sandlot
  • A Christmas Story
  • Christmas Vacation
  • Bang the Drum Slowly
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
  • The Quiet Man

30-Day Writing Challenge: Day 13

30-Day Writing Challenge: Day 13

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Day 13: What are you excited about?

  • Baseball season is right around the corner. My son starts winter training this weekend. Ordering uniforms for his Knothole team. Spring training for my beloved Reds starts next month. Opening Day about two months away!
  • I’m looking forward to making a killer pot of chicken tortilla soup this weekend.
  • I made it home from work before the ice and snow hit.
  • Three-day weekend!

30-Day Writing Challenge: Day 12

30-Day Writing Challenge: Day 12

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Day 12: Write about five blessings in your life.

  • Family. They make me laugh. They love me unconditionally. I am so proud of each one of them. I love them.
  • Job. I am passionate about public education. I am proud to be an elementary school principal. My job allows me to help kids and their families.
  • Faith. My faith gives me hope. I can make it through the worst of the worst days as long as there is hope.
  • Country. I can barely watch the news anymore. I can’t follow politics like I used to. Many of my fellow countrymen are exhibiting increasingly horrific behavior. But I can worship freely, live where I like, work where I like, express my opinions, and envision my children becoming happy, successful adults. For that, I am most thankful.
  • Neighborhood. I can still trust that my kids can walk a block to their friends’ houses and arrive safely. Their parents hold to many of the same values as we do. My neighbors are nice people. The tree-lined streets are beautiful. The schools are unparalleled.

30-Day Writing Challenge: Day 11

30-Day Writing Challenge: Day 11

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Day 11: Something you always think “What if…” about.

I don’t have a lot of regrets. I don’t do a lot of second-guessing. I tend to live in the present…perhaps to the detriment of dreaming about the future. I definitely don’t spend much time in the past.

But to honor today’s challenge…

  • What if my dad was still alive?
  • What if I had decided upon another career…sportswriter, chef, singer?
  • What if I lived in another part of the city…or state…or country…or world?
  • What if I hated baseball?
  • What if those WERE the droids we were looking for?

30-Day Writing Challenge: Day 10

30-Day Writing Challenge: Day 10

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Day 10: Write about something for which you feel strongly.

  • I believe that school teachers (and secretaries, bus drivers, principals, school nurses, etc.) are the closest thing to superheroes that we have today.
  • I believe that people who put their lives on the line for their fellow man (police, fire/EMT personnel, military, etc.) are worthy of thanks, praise and respect.
  • I believe that my kids are going to become pretty cool adults.
  • I believe that great things are on the horizon for my beloved Cincinnati Reds.
  • I believe that the Eagles are the greatest American rock band ever.
  • Whether or not he fired first or second, I believe that Han Solo was justified.