Category: Holidays

Guide Me O Thou Great GPS–And Talk Sexy To Me While You’re At It!

garmin_nuvi_750_001.jpgI did a double take when I filled up the trusty German sports sedan at Sam’s Wholesale Club the other night.

Was the final total really only $33? I took off my glasses, checked for smudges, rubbed my eyes, put them back on again and stood there staring at the digital readout. I wasn’t seeing double. I was seeing half.

I looked around and the mood among my fellow customers was one of great jubilation. One man was happily chattering into his cell phone, “Can you believe this?” Another finished filling up his Ford F-150 Double Cab, stared at the final total and started bawling like a baby, tears of unadulterated joy flowing like a river down his ruddy cheeks.… Read the rest

United We Win

On this Veterans Day, I pause to honor my favorite vet of all time:


That’s my Dad on the left (in case you couldn’t figure that out) with a crew mate on the deck of the submarine USS Cubera, circa 1953. Part of the unfinished business that remained when my Dad died at a young age are all the unanswered questions that I would like to ask him.

Such as: What was your friend’s name? Where was he from? Was he the only black crew member or were there others? Was he a steward or an Engineman like you? What was going on at the moment that picture was taken?… Read the rest

All American Plans

Sorry, but this one was just too sweet not to post again.

I have big, big plans for the 4th:

  • Put up a blog post (check)
  • Water my new sod in the front yard (working on it as I write)
  • Run 5 miles
  • Watch a little Wimbledon (but where have all the McEnroes gone? Thank goodness for the Williams sisters)
  • Go see a movie (I’m open to suggestions, but I’m leaning toward WALL-E)
  • Cookout with the parents-in-law (FIL grills the best burger in Huntsville-seriously)
  • Go see the Huntsville Stars play the Birmingham Barons and watch fireworks afterwards
  • Catch a little of the US Olympic Track and Field Trials from Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon (no cooler T&F venue in the universe)
  • Fall blissfully asleep on the couch
  • Wake up at 1:00 AM and stumble to bed

If those aren’t All American plans, I don’t know what is.… Read the rest

Wake Up and Run For Your Life

Numbers One, Two and I ran the Cotton Row Memorial Day Run in downtown Huntsville this past Monday. None of us had been running much lately (I’ve had a bad case of “turf toe” since February), so a 5K for fun (and to get the t-shirt) seemed about right. We were running late, so we ended up at the back of the pack at the start.

As we stood there waiting for the gun to go off, we suddenly heard the people around us applauding and cheering. We looked up and saw the very last 10K finisher (it had started nearly 2 hours before) crossing the finish line.… Read the rest

Not “Mom,” But Something Close

I’m going to go ahead and lower expectations for my community column which will appear in this Sunday’s Huntsville Times. I know that many will be expecting a Mother’s Day Special, but it ain’t happening. Sorry.

Here’s the truth: When I was coming up with a topic for this month, I completely forgot that my column would appear on Mother’s Day. In fact, I didn’t realize it was this Sunday until, oh, about 3 days ago (and my deadline was a week ago Thursday).

If you’re looking for an ode to get you in the mood for honoring your favorite mama, then you’re barking up the wrong tree, my precious coon dogs.… Read the rest

The Audacity of Resurrection Hope


Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.”

A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands.

Read the rest

An Interesting Turn of Events

Talk about an interesting turn of events.

Yesterday, Eyegal, Number One and I made our way down to our favorite beautiful old downtown church for a Lenten liturgy fix. I had not adhered very well to my promises this year, and I was eager to make amends. Lent, after all, is not merely the stuff that you must brush off your clothes.

The rain poured hard as the service started, and the sound of it pelting furiously against the roof lent an air of drama to the lectionary readings. The music soared, drawing us away from our selfish, petty concerns and upward and outward toward Higher and Holier Things.… Read the rest

I Won’t Forget the Flowers

As promised, here’s the link to my second community column for The Huntsville Times.

And, once again, they left off the first paragraph in the online edition. For the record, here it is:

“Another Valentine’s Day rolls around, and my mind is drawn back to 1976–and Annie. I sang her song, and it didn’t matter that she was John Denver’s wife because it wasn’t really about her.”

I don’t know why they keep leaving off the first paragraph. I’ll have to ask the editor about that. Fortunately, the print edition was fine, and they even used one of the pictures they had taken instead of the first one I sent in, the one Eyegal calls my “terrorist” passport photo.… Read the rest

Scandalous Stuff

Just a reminder for those of you in the Huntsville area, my 2nd Sunday column will appear in the Forum section of The Huntsville Times this week. I’ll post a link to the online edition as soon as it’s available.

This one will contain many embarrassing tidbits from my past (and present), flashes of 1970s nostalgia, sexual innuendo galore, the usual soaring prose laced with biting humor, Eyegal in all her beauty, glorious, never-before-seen metaphors along with a salute (sort of) to a certain upcoming holiday. All kinds of scandalous stuff, really.

Now that I have your attention, I hope you’ll read it.… Read the rest

My Top Ten Anti-Resolutions for 2008

Why start off 2008 with a laundry list of resolutions that I know I won’t keep? No, no, better to make anti-resolutions, things that I know, absolutely without a doubt, I will never, ever do this year…

1) Serve on another committee. I wasn’t just any committee member. I was a bona fide read-all-the-emails, attend-all-the-meetings, believed-I-could-actually-make-a-difference kind of committee member. I was determined to overcome my natural cynicism and play well with others. Ha! What was I thinking? Eyegal kept telling me: “Careful, Mike, you’re gonna get burned.”

I hate it the way she’s right all the time. Bureaucracies, whether they be at work or church (and sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference), suck.… Read the rest

Banes, Blessings and Broken Banister Knobs

alabama-theatre.jpgHave you ever seen the same thing a million times, but in a moment of great clarity, suddenly seen it in an entirely different way? If so, then you know how I felt last night as I road-tripped with Eyegal and some good friends to the beautifully restored Alabama Theatre in downtown Birmingham for a showing of the classic Christmas feel-good film, It’s a Wonderful Life.

A television rerun or a DVD don’t do the deed like the flashing neon sign, the gleaming, waxed floors and the gilded, cathedral-like trimmings of The Alabama. Throw in a Wurlitzer that rises like a wailing phantom from beneath the stage floor, audience sing-a-longs of “Oh Come All Ye Faithful” and “Buffalo Gals” and a retro Disney cartoon for an appetizer, and you suddenly find yourself drifting back to the 1940s, a time when real gentlemen wore woolly, tweed suits and flashy fedoras down to the corner market, and ladies, in their form-flattering skirts and soft, feminine blouses, charmed passersby and flaunted their sizzling sexuality without shedding a single stitch of clothing.Read the rest

The Last of the Doughboys

doughboy.jpgAlthough yesterday was officially Veterans Day, every day is Veterans Day for me. By virtue of my choice of practice, I have the privilege of providing eye care to “him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan” (and increasingly these days, her as well).

I consider it an honor and a privilege to care for these men and women who are, by and large, among the most decent, salt-of-the-earth folks you’ll ever meet. Indeed, they are cut from a finer grade of cloth than any politician who ever sent them into battle. At this point in my career, if I was suddenly thrust into a situation where I had to care for the well-to-do and whiny LASIK/liposuction crowd, I would probably end up strangling someone in frustration.… Read the rest