Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Gene pool

I've been thinking about this post for a few days, wondering exactly how do I write it. I am still not quite sure how so I'll just start writing and we'll see just how this turns out.

It was better than 20, no maybe 25 years ago, that I was working out in my Dad's barn at the Palmerosa in Owasso, OK which would put me in my early twenties. I was working on something I don't remember now what it was when all of the sudden I realized......that was listening to my Dad's radio station, and ................... (gulp) enjoying it!! It was really a bit of a 'revelatory moment' for me. I thought how could this be? He had the radio somehow wired to the light switch in the barn that when you flipped on the lights, the radio came on too. So I was listening to KBEZ, a Tulsa radio station that played light easy listening music. He always enjoyed talking about The Big Band era, listening to The Glen Miller Band, Benny Goodman, etc. To hear him tell it, he could really "cut a rug" too. He claims he was quite the "dancer" back in the day!

So anyway fast forward to present day. Now over the years, let me reassure you dear reader, that I have NOT missed many a meal. Since I have been working a desk job for the last 20 years, and eating just about anything I wanted, whenever I wanted; I really packed on the pounds. I developed a "belly" just like my Dad's! I've also noticed that my hairline has receded in the same manner his has too.

It was a short four years ago that my parents came up to visit me in Kansas City and help us celebrate a surprise 40th birthday party for Tamala (we were dating at the time). Well I was up in the choir loft with my Singles Pastor, Mark and trying to point my folks out in the crowd because he was going to get them immediately after service to take them back to the room where we were going to celebrate Tamala's birthday. Well, he finally "spied" them in the crowd and he said.. . "Oh, the guy that looks just like you, only a little bit older?!" I said "yeah, that's my Dad, his name is Gene and my mother, Pat, is standing right beside him."

Present Day-
one of the benefits of having 'high speed' internet at my work, I can 'stream' music over the internet through my speakers on my desk and enjoy music all day while I work. I don't play it loudly at all, just very softly, hopefully that only I can hear. I think everyone at the office knows I do it because they all stop by my desk from time to time. I've played jazz, contemporary Christian, light Opera, R & B, and worship music with a few other genres mixed in between at times. But you know what I've been listening to the last several weeks? Yep, you guessed it - Easy Listening. I've heard Glen Miller, Ella Fitzgerald, Louie Armstrong, Floyd Cramer, Henry Mancini, Frank Sinatra and a whole host of others.

It is like the music from the 40s and 50s take me to another time. It helps me 'escape' the ugliness of the current political and social/economic landscape. Music has always been escape and source of inspiration. Its been a coping mechanism for me. I remember back in the early 90's when I owned a Porsche 944, if I had a particularly stressful day in the office, all I had to do was take the sunroof out of the car, pop in my Cool Jazz cassette tapes and just for about 30 minutes; then all things were fine.

There may have been a break in the DNA chain however. You see my Dad, and my brothers too, love to sit and watch sports. If there is a football, basketball, or baseball game being broadcast over the air waves, you can just about bet that they'll be watching it. Don't even get me started on the subject of when they were manufacturing television sets with the "picture in a picture" tvs! Two an three games at one time.

Even as I have been writing this post, I have been listening to, yes - you're right again - the Easy Listening channel on Pandora Radio. I can't help it. It's all apart of.........

the Gene pool.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Three very special little visitors

Albeit this post is a bit "tardy", I still wanted to get it in. Mama T and I had the pleasure of welcoming three special little visitors (our nieces & nephew) to our home Tuesday, December 30th. They were brought to us by none other than the Grammie & Grampie Express Van. For those of you not "in the know" Grammie & Grampie are my parents. My younger brother allowed his three eldest children come up for a little visit with us.

Well we were thrilled they were able to come. I had planned to take them to T-Rex, a well known children's restaurant in Kansas City, KS near the Kansas Speedway. We took the family there when they came to visit Christmas of 2007. The kids really enjoyed themselves seeing all the dinosaurs, ice caves, fish aquariums, etc. It really is a "magical" place for the wee-ones to get to visit. But alas, after they arrived the "cold bug" began working its own plan and we didn't make it out to see any of the places we wanted to take them. We had also planned to take them down to see the Christmas lights at The Plaza.

We had quite a time though. They found Auntie Tam's exercise ball behind one of the chairs i the living room and let me tell you they had a lot of fun with that ball. Of course the ball (almost 3 feet in diameter) was bigger than my 2 year old nephew but that didn't stop any of them from bouncing on it, laying on it or anything else they could dream up. Of course there were a few 'accidents' and a few tears but it always amazed me that after about 15 minutes they were up and at it again.

We played, let's see if we can hide from Uncle Kevin and then run when he sees us and see if he can then catch us as we run through the house 'screaming all the while'.

I told my brother Jay that hopefully they will be able to come up later this summer for a visit because the first phase of the Schlitterbaughn Vacation Resort and Water Theme Park will be opening up just about 15minutes from where we live. As the kids get a little older we will of course want to take them to Worlds of Fun over on the Missouri side of KC.

Everyone piled into the Grammie & Grampie Express Van soon after we ate lunch on New Years Day and headed back to Grammie & Grampie's home in Tulsa. It was reported back to us that the wee ones were soon fast asleep after they left and slept most of the way.

It wasn't five minutes after they left and I looked and Auntie Tam and said "it sure is quiet in here". I remember the night after they had arrived we were playing ball and doing other fun things and I thought to myself... this is like a mini-training session for Auntie Tam and I since we are planning to adopt. All the activity, commotion and busyness of having three little ones in your home; well there's nothing quite like that. We're ready....bring it on.....we're definitely ready.

We thoroughly enjoyed having everyone and are looking forward to having them again. It just can't happen soon enough though. We do love our family!