Monday, July 12, 2004

Information Technology II

I am sitting in the breakroom at the IT building after taking a quiz. Tomorrow I will have my final exam, and I will be done with the School of Information Technology. I will be sorry to see this time period pass. We go in at 0830, and we end at approximately 1600. Soon we will be going to Basic Electronics back at Greeley Hall and I think we will be back to the 1700, 1730, or even 1800 release days.

I talked to my wife last night, and she told me that she was safely back at home with the kids. I could hear my daughter screaming in the background, and I could hear my sons running wild. I really wish I could be with them. The week that my wife spent with my really whet my appetite to be back with them again. Well, I suppose we are about midway through the course, so I shouldn't be complaining too much. Well, that is all for now...back to class.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Missing you...

Renee,

Just in case you ever wonder, you are my everything. I love you with all of my heart. Thank you so much for coming to visit, now that our ways had to part, I realized how you have made me whole.
Mack...

I marveled at your strength,
The way you smashed bricks to dust.
Grinning over warm gin,
working side by side next to Dad.
Vain stories told by the dozen,
in a crude way,
of the blessed younger days,
Vietnam, street women and cheap wine.
Every day you always had a smile,
You always did something for somebody, for nothing.
You were good, but you were bad.
Nobody ever tried you,
Nobody ever would.
Damn...it's so ironic....
Even Cancer couldn't do,
what a sharp curve on a highway could.

Dkelsmith


My dad's best friend died in a car accident down in Alabama this past spring. His name was Mack Bowie. I don't know what made me think of him this evening, but nonetheless I have been thinking about him for the last few hours. Mack was younger than my father. I am not sure how old, but perhaps in his late 50's or early 60's. Mack was a strong man, I remember when my Dad was remodeling our house, Mack cut a hole in a brick wall with a masonry saw and a sledge hammer in under 20 minutes. Scarcely six feet tall, and weighing perhaps 170 pounds, I saw him heft anvils with what seemed to be relative ease. He loved fast cars, fast women, and Seagrams Gin. His nickname was "Kite", because he was "in the wind" so much. He was a great man, though he was a lot of things that my father wasn't. I kind of liked the wild streak in him, and I learned a lot of things from him. Things that Dad wouldn't have taught me...things that Dad would have felt were inappropriate. Three guesses who let me look at a Playboy magazine at the age of 9? But for all of his vices, he was an integral part in my upbringing. Certainly not on the level of my parents, but he was important nonetheless. Mack was old enough to be my Dad, close enough to be my uncle, and trustworthy enough to be a blood relative, but I always called him by his first name, and I don't know why. Ordinarily my father would have tanned my hide for calling an adult by their first name as a child. But, it was okay with Mack. He probably would have objected to being called, "Mr. Bowie." He used to accompany us fishing, and hunting, and working around the house. He came to help out, just for the hell of it. My father was doing some work on the house of Mack's long-deceased older brother. A larger, more powerful, and meaner-looking man spirited some of Dad's tools away in the middle of the night. Mack discovered who did it, and beat the man senseless in only a few minutes. I never did understand what made my Dad and this man friends, Dad is professional, degreed, staid, and modest. Mack was the antithesis...on all counts, but he was still perfect to my young and adoring eyes. I think Dad always felt the same way, too. The two of them were inseperable. Mack had only moved to Alabamam about 6 months before he died, but I remember Dad had tried to talk him out of it. Dad didn't want his best friend being so far away. They were from two different walks of life, yet they were cut from the same cloth. Dad, tolerated his idiosyncracies, and Mack tolerated Dad's straight-and-narrow approach to life. I remember one summer when we were putting a new roof on the house, that Mack felt it appropriate to let my father know his shortcomings. Mack felt that we were taking such a long time with the roof because Dad was "nailing shingles like a woman." (pronounced WOE-man) Dad simply shook his head and pursed his lips. Later as I was using a chalk string to set our last angles, I noticed that Dad's fly was unzipped. I said, "Hey Dad...X,Y,Z". Dad looked down and zipped his pants. Mack snorted and said, "Shit, you can say your ABC's and count to 100 if you like, it ain't gonna matter, cause Fred ain't got shit in them britches." Dad stopped working, his hammer resting on the last nail he drove home. He didn't say a word, he simply stared at the shingles beneath his knees.....I found myself at a scintillating quandary. The nagging resentment that someone talked about my father in such a way, yet the thrill that somebody would talk to my father in such a way. I waited to see his response, suddenly Dad put his head way back and literally started bellowing with laughter, Mack and I followed suit. Mack was something else, I will never forget him. But, after all of the years of knowing him, and months after his death I discovered something about him. I just now realized that he always treated us as if we were his family, and I always loved him for it.


Saturday, July 10, 2004

Melancholy...

Main Entry: melancholy
Function: adjective
1 a : suggestive or expressive of melancholy ..sang in a melancholy voice.. b : causing or tending to cause sadness or depression of mind or spirit : DISMAL a melancholy thought2 a : depressed in spirits : DEJECTED, SAD b : PENSIVE


I would have to say that merriam-webster.com cannot adequately capture the feelings I have with any word. But, I suppose melancholy is the most adequate description available. I have been sent TDY to Ft. Gordon and that equals approximately four and a half months away from my wife and kids.

Renee came down last Monday to visit me, and now she is preparing to leave. This has to be one of the fastest weeks of my life. I hate the fact that she is leaving, but I know that she has to go. I miss her, I miss the kids, I miss all things familiar to me. I do have to admit that this time away has given me new perspective on my relationship with my wife and my children. I suppose that I have a good idea of all that I have taken for granted now that I have been deprived. I love my life, but I miss my wife already.

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Taking things for granted...

I suppose the worst thing that people do is to take others for granted. But, I can look back on my behavior towards my wife and kids and easily say that I took them for granted. I see that now that I am not in a position to be around them all the time.

I suppose I took all of the time that I could have been spending with my kids for granted. I can't think of the number of times I was tired after getting home from work, and I turned down an invitation to "come play" with my kids. How many times could I have sat and played with them instead of laying down for a quick nap.

I also look at my relatioship with my wife and wonder the same thing. It is just amazing to think back on the number of times that I would be in my own world, doing something I wanted to do instead of talking to her. It is so easy to read a book, watch television, fart around on a weblog, or otherwise not interact with my wife after a long day. I suppose I overlooked the sparkle in her eye when she is telling me about something that caught her eye during the day. Hell, I guess I took the sound of her voice for granted when she micromanages me when I am driving. I took for granted the feeling of waking up next to her in the morning. I took for granted some of the smaller, yet noticeable things that she does. The way she curls her hair behind her ear when she reads. The way she crosses her legs as she talks. So many things....so many things. I don't have the inclination to write about it, I suppose I just want to think about it. I can't wait to see my wife again......