Tag Archives: Texas

They Took My Boy Away

I haven’t had the will to write these past few days.

That’s because they took my boy away from me.

True he may not have been legally mine in any legal way.  But from the moment he walked through the door from customs just three weeks earlier, Sylvester was ours.

Sadly, my will to keep him as my adopted son was not strong enough to evade the hand of time, tide, and that damn exchange program.  Apparently the terms were something along the lines of “you take him for three weeks then he goes home”.


Now we are left childless except for the two children I fathered biologically and who live with us and are the light of our life.

Alas, poor Sylvester.  I can only imagine the horrors in your Salamancan soul as you boarded that plane and headed for… New York?

Wait, what?

Son, listen, I know you’re becoming a man and all that but I am your father and I don’t recall giving you permission to run off to the Big Apple like some common tourist.  Now I see how it goes down.  You and your “group” are going to “sight-see” and then what?  They’ll coral you up and shove you on a plane and send you back to Spain.

OK, it sucks.  We really enjoyed our time with him.

A few nights before his departure I took him along with a friend and his two sons and my real son to a Rangers baseball game.  Gee that was fun.  He said baseball is his favorite even though he never gets to see it in Spain.  “Didn’t I tell you, Sylvester?  Texas connects us.

The night before he left we took our Sylvester to our favorite barbecue pit.  Once again, our growing boy’s eyes popped out of his head.  “So much food!!” he said, his English clearly improved from his first day in our home.  The thing is that on the way to the restaurant he insisted he wanted to pay.  Something about us having been too kind to him and him wanting to return the favor.  I said something like “It’s OK, son, you’ll have plenty of time to take care of American Daddy when I retire” but he wouldn’t hear of it.

Texas barbecue isn’t cheap and I’ll leave it at that.

So the next morning came.  He spent the night before packing.  He even asked for a scale, convinced that his suitcase would be overweight.  He’s lucky he wasn’t overweight after how we fed him.  Only the best of Texas for my boy!  I got up early and drove him to the airport on my way to work.


My babies in front of the great State Capitol of Texas

He looked up at me as we were saying our good-bye’s in the terminal.  “Three weeks ago, was happy.  Today is sad.”  I gave him a card for his impending birthday.  We had stuffed some cash into it to make up for his kind gesture the night before.  “No no no,” he said.  “I cannot take this.”  I looked him in the eye and said “Son, I know there comes a time when every man thinks he can tell his father what to do.  He’s grown up.  He can take care of himself.  I know you’ve got a deep seated need to prove yourself in the world.”  His English wasn’t good enough yet to understand lines from after school specials.  I finally said “Trust me, they only take American money in New York.

Speaking of New York I was happily able to reassure him that he’d have no problem finding someone who spoke Spanish in Manhattan.  Granted it might not be good Spanish but he’d understand.

And like that my little bundle of joy was gone from my life.  They grow up so fast and abandon the nest.  We’ll certainly miss him.

And as I was wondering today if he’d even remember us I got a text from my Spaniard.  It read simply:

“I am home.  New York was huge.  I cannot find Dr. Pepper anywhere in Spain.”

Don’t worry, son.  We’ll ship you some.  American Daddy’s got your back.


Because Texas

Seriously, why not?

Can’t Take this Brit Anywhere

Kenny tripped over a curb.

He explained that they don’t have curbs in England.

He also admired that I had posted the pic to Instagram before he had stood up.

The British Invasion

They have arrived…

We are currently hosting houseguests in the persons of our friend Crista (apparently without an “h”) and her husband of three and a half months, Ken (also apparently without an “h”, or “hache” as he says because he’s English).

Crista is from Philadelphia.  The only reason I associate with her is because she’s the daughter of my most-prolific-blog-reader, the world famous Annie!  That’s not quite true.  I mean, she is Annie’s daughter but we like her too.  Ken, when asked where he was from, responded something to the effect of “Do you know where Manchester is, lad?  Sure you just drive about forty minutes south and we’re just a small village all of 3 crows in from the coast and 12 kilometers up from Devonshire-on-Heights.”  Why yes, Ken, I know exactly where that is.  Could’ve just said London.  Same difference.

Anyway, they’re in Lone Star country now so we took them to fire lead bullets at paper.  Because you can’t do that in England or Philadelphia (legally)

Ken and Crista take down Walt White.   God bless Texas!

Harvey Takes Flight

About a week ago, Wilma, my mother-in-law, suggested I fill out a firm online to be considered for a volunteer position at the big airport as a greeter, er, Ambassador. 

I believe her motives are pure and godly. See, she’s a greeter there for the past year. And you know that she and I have so much fun together. Why, there was the time we visited a casket factory run by Benedictine monks showroom with a backstory convicted about her (then) non-existent cancer. There was the time she and I almost got kicked out of a seniors beauty pageant because we had cocktails and yelled “fix!” when our chosen contestant lost. Yes, it’s always a good time when we get together. 

Why, you might ask, would a guy with a decent job, an young family, and a busy life want to take a volunteer job at an airport? I’m pretty sure I’d spend my weekly shift holding onto a plastered smile while directing tourists to the nearest bathroom and politely informing them that JFK did not actually die at this airport. 

The simple answer is that this whole situation would be a treasure trove of writing material! I’d do it all for you, my three readers.

Because. I. Care. 

Also, they’d give me a free Stetson and those things are worth a few hundred bucks. Oh and did I mention that I’d occasionally get to take a tour of aircraft like the A380? I’ve been fascinated with airports ever since I was five and my older sister took me to Newark Airport to pick up our dad who was returning from a business trip. Pretty sure she actually left her car running at the curb while we sauntered in to the terminal and walked right to his gate. Times have changed. 

That brings me to the real real reason I want this job. The closest Dunkin Donuts to me is at that damn airport, post-security! For four years I’ve been wondering how to get my coffee and breakfast sandwich without driving thirty miles. “Make it light and sweet, ma’am,” I’d say with a smile while tipping my Stetson. “Yee haa! Daddy’s got his coffee again.”  I think Texans talk like that. 

Anyway I haven’t even gotten the application yet so it’s not a done deal. Come to think of it, what if they don’t like me? Crap I don’t know that I could handle that kind of rejection. Last year I applied for three jobs that I didn’t get. “You mean you’re not giving me this job that pays literally nothing? You do know this is an airport, right?”

But if I do get lucky and land this gig (pun intended) I can only imagine the fun the two of us will find ourselves in…

More to come. 

Moon Madness or My Life Among the Crazies

We had been hearing about it for some time, this lunar eclipse.  After attending a Good Friday liturgy last evening I even mentioned it to my kiddos.

“Who wants to see the eclipse tomorrow morning?”  They both sounded excited in their response even when I told them they would have to rise before 6:45AM.  “Yes, Daddy, we can do it!”

Something strange happens to both man and beast, though, when the moon dips in and out of earth’s shadow.

At precisely 5:46 this morning my Jack Russell started going bonkers.  This was not the normal “wake up and let me out into the yard” type of barking.  I got out of bed and stumbled to the back door where I watched as the dog bolted past me.  He ran ahead a few feet and then simply stopped and sat, eyes fixed toward the western horizon.  I looked up with him and saw it.  There it was; a bright yellow disc with a big bite missing.

“OK,” I thought, “give the kids about an hour and then this thing should be in full swing.”

The time came to wake them.  I tried gently waking my son.  “Don’t you wanna’ go see the eclipse?!” I said, channeling what I thought would be my six year-old boy’s excitement.  FYI, it’s not hard for me to channel that since I very often have the mindset of a six year-old little boy myself.

He rolled over and mumbled something about sleep and how he’d rather stay in bed.

Let’s try the girl.

“Sweetheart,” I said, “Do you want to see the lunar eclipse?!”

She was a bit more expressive in her hatred for my actions.  She was also a bit kinder too.

Opening her bleary hazel eyes she looked intently at me.  Actually she was squinting because she didn’t have her glasses.

“No!”  She rolled over and then back toward me.  “What’s a eclipse again?”

Never missing an opportunity to set my children up for success from a grammar standpoint I replied: “An eclipse, sweetie, and it’s when the moon goes inside the earth’s shadow.”  She thought for a moment.  “No.”

To hell with them.  I’ll watch it myself and then they’ll be sorry.  Yeah.  I’ll show those two.  I’ll even get a picture.  A great big selfie with the moon!

Only, when I stepped on my porch this time I could not see the moon.  They did say it would be low on the horizon.  I got in my car and drove around.  The problem was that the sun had already made her way mostly over the eastern horizon.  No worry, though, as the meteorologists had promised this thing would be visible.

A moment later I had found it.  And I found myself in a neighborhood 7-11 parking lot staring at it.  It was beautiful, though not as impressive as I had hoped.  They promised this one would be a “blood eclipse”, that the moon would be cast in shades of crimson by the diffusive light.  Still looked kind of yellow to me.

In fact, it looked kind of white.

After five minutes my wife texted me.  “Where is it?  I’m at home and I don’t see it.”  I wrote back that it was there, just low in the sky.  “I’m looking at it right now,” I said with an air of superiority that I alone of our family had resolved to see this thing.

Boy won’t they be sad they missed this.  They totally missed their chance to see a neat little white disc get gobbled up by a dark shadow.  They will not be able to say “I saw that little disc that doesn’t appear to be moving anywhere.”  Come to think of it, shouldn’t it have set a little further by now?  That’s OK.  It’s the moon.  It can do as it pleases.  It can reverse course for all I care.  I’m the one looking at the eclipse, not them.  Ha!

I felt confident in my astronomical photography skills enough that I aimed for another picture.  As I adjusted the camera on my iPhone something came into focus – not only in my mind but also on the screen.  I asked myself aloud:

“Since when has the moon been propped up on a 30-foot pole?”

And then like the sun speeding into her place in the sky at my back, it dawned on me.

I had spent fifteen minutes of my life staring at a tornado siren in the distance.

Dejected, I drove home.  Along the way I came to some conclusions.  First, we need a doggy-door.  Second, despite my lunacy (did you catch that?) the moon can still do as she pleases.  Finally…

The children must never know.

Texas Snow Day!

Growing up in New Jersey I used to await snow days with much anticipation. 

Of course, those were real snow days.  By real I mean we would get a lot of snow.  Even then, the local governments headways of removing the snow rather quickly so the snow day would last for just a day.

Welcome to North Texas.  Here, the dusting of sleet you see above is enough to close over 700 schools.

I’ll still take it.

Since this will already freeze tomorrow morning, I now have the task of finding something to do with my kids for yet another snow day.