Driving I-287 East. A long day, longer.

I duck out of the office. It’s been a long day.

Waze flashes an estimate for a quick ride home: 28 minutes.  The Dark Sky App sends an alert: Large storm is bearing down.

I’m one mile from the exit to I-95 on I-287.

The sky blackens.

A few leaves gust and float overhead.

Another wind gust blows a large swarm of leaves from the hillside, they hang mid-air, swirl and gust upward in a wind tunnel. Ominous.

Then comes the rain.

Then darkness. [Read more…]

It’s been a long day

dance-car-traffic

I-95 N.

Leaving work early.

Traffic has slowed to crawl at the notorious rush hour bottleneck at Exit 8 in Stamford, 10 minutes from home. There’s a towering billboard overhead shouting: Think Train. (Or something like it. Let’s not let facts get in the way of a good story.)

My Speed: < 5 mph and slowing. Red tail lights flashing and aglow in all directions on six lanes.

There was unusual calm in this moment on the asphalt.

And then ––

There’s the unmistakeable crush of metal on metal…

I snap my head up to see an oncoming car bearing down on me in the rear view mirror.

Everything moves in hyper slow motion now…

I brace for impact. [Read more…]

Running. With Cream and Cheese. (TMI)

red-smoke

The Fast was not part of any religious experience, ‘Tis the season, but the execution of a containment exercise. We order cocktails before dinner.  Rachel was giddy in her counter: “the Dimwit thinks that skipping lunch is a Fast.”  There’s no point in arguing with the closed-minded so I sit quietly sipping my tap water watching the mocking escalate, with Mother and Son now piling on. Who’s she calling a Dimwit? Who raised this thing?

Yet, I knew.  I just knew, a bad outcome was coming.  The late night dinner was preceded by a full day in the Sun and an empty stomach following the end of my Fast.  My Fast.

I open with warm bread rolls (and who’s counting after three) – all carefully lathered with cheesy butter and baptized in virgin olive oil squeezed from some tree on an arid hill in Greece.  This was followed with a Caesar salad, fresh crispy greens, a light-just-right Caesar dressing and razor thin strips of Parmesan cheese cultured from some cow grazing on a hillside in Southern Italy.  The knife and fork then worked the entrée, a heaping portion of three-layered eggplant lasagna topped with cheese, broiled to a golden crisp.

This was chased down with three intermittent spoonfuls of Rachel’s garlic mashed potatoes, with the buttery succulence coating my tongue and lips. In my fourth attempt, the sharing was shut down: “Dad, ENOUGH!” – batting my spoon back and moving her dish beyond my reach.  [Read more…]

Driving to I-95 N. With Valet.

audi-sports-cars-27297400-1000-750

Let’s hone this story down to the essentials. The peripheral details are a distraction. Or as Bertolt Brecht would say: “And I always thought: the very simplest words / Must be enough.”

It started 3 weeks ago. Her idea. First announced in a two-word text message: Hey Dad.  A mere two-word sentence that is customarily succeeded with cash outflow. The three dots flash: ping, ping, ping, ping. One hand grips my smartphone, the other hand protects my wallet. Here it comes.

Let’s go Dad. Come on. Let’s you and I go.  Just the two of us. Come on Dad.

She’s gainfully employed, and no longer tethered to Mom and Dad. But, she remains fully tethered to the rent-free, food-free, laundry-free and chore-free arrangement — and bathing in it guilt-free.

It will be a Father – Daughter thing. How many times do you think you and I will have this opportunity?  She deftly moves her Dad into position, places his right hand on the fulcrum piece on the teetering Jenga tower, and the tower wobbles and collapses.

OK Honey.

And as Paul Harvey would have said, now here’s The Rest of the Story. [Read more…]

A Message to Mom

mother-daughter-sad


“Mom, this might be my last chance to tell you I love you.”

– A text from a high school student who was aboard the ferry that capsized yesterday off South Korea’s southern coast. Four passengers were killed, 55 were injured and more than 280 are missing. (via latimes)


Photograph: Yvette Depaepe; Quote source: Larmoyante

Runner. Grounded.

back-pain

6am Thursday:
12” snowfall overnight. DK working from home.

SK: Are you going to shovel the driveway?
DK: No.
SK: No?
DK: No.
SK: (Eye roll) You’re going to let me do it? Again?
DK: I’ll do it this afternoon after I finish my calls.
SK: No you won’t.
DK: Are you going to keep riding me on this all day?

6am Friday.
3” of additional snowfall overnight.

SK: Are you going to shovel the driveway?
DK: No.
SK: No?
DK: No. Not before work. I’m not showering again.
DK: Just leave it until I return tonight. It will warm up and melt.
SK: Really? You’re kidding right? (She heads outside to shovel.)
DK: I told you to leave it. (She has this Thing about a clean driveway)
SK: How do you plan to get out?
DK: Get out of the way. I’m going to ram through the piles with the car.

2pm Sunday.
DK ventures outside to clear the back steps. SK opens the door.

SK: Why don’t you use the steel edger/chopper to break the ice?
DK: Oh come on. Really? I’ve shoveled show before. Get inside.
SK: OK have it your way.

(Mumbling. Girl telling Canadian how to shovel snow. What’s next?)
I get after it.
I bend the show shovel trying to break the ice.
I lean on it to try bend it back.
I look through the back door to see if she’s watching.
Coast is clear.
I stomp through the snow to get to the garage to get the steel chopper.
I start slamming the ice.
On the third swing, I hit concrete.
Cold, vibrating steel.
Shooting, stabbing pain in my lower back.
Air whooshes out of my lungs.
I fall to my knees. (Dear God help me.)

SK: What’s wrong?
DK: My back.
SK: You’re joking, right?
DK: Does it look like a joke? (I crawl upstairs to bed.)
SK: (Laughing) Do you see any irony here?
DK: No. I don’t actually. None.
DK: I do see you getting enormous pleasure seeing me keeled over in pain.
SK: Oh, come on. Big Man clears 2-steps. I shovel massive piles of snow. (Still laughing)
DK: Stay away from me. Way back.

Snow forecast 3″-5” tonight.


Image Credit

It’s easy to be bitter. It’s hard to live that way


“20 years ago, Steven Millward tragically broke his neck falling off a rodeo horse; now, he must call upon his friend, veteran horse whisperer Grant Golliher, to gentle the new colts about to enter his herd. Through Grant’s compassion and dedication to the horses, Steven becomes inspired to live his dreams of riding once again.”


T.G.I.F.: My head, my eyes now, I have a little pain.


Last Wednesday, this Man is walking down a Brooklyn street as two snow plows pass by.  The action is recorded on an auto dealer’s security camera.  “Pedro, who was looking at his feet as he walked along the snow-covered sidewalk, says he had no idea the wave of slush was headed his way.”  The force of the snow also broke the window of the dealer. 

“Then, ‘Oh, I’m on the floor,’” he recalled at the dealership Tuesday. “My head, my eyes now, I have a little pain.”

Following the brutal knockdown seen half a million times on the Internet, Pedro says, “I wake up and just go home.”

Pedro said he hadn’t heard from the city — and may file suit after the smack down. The unleashing of an avalanche of snow on an unsuspecting pedestrian is “not safe,” Pedro said. “It’s a problem.”


Source: NY Daily News


Let’s pretend

Let’s say that you are driving this semi-trailer truck.
Let’s say you are hauling 25,000 pounds – a full load.
Let’s say it’s a snow covered road in Ontario, Canada.
Let’s say you are rounding the corner on a two-lane highway.
And let’s say that you see two sets of headlights coming at you
– – One from a Snow Plow
– – The other a fully loaded semi passing the Snow Plow on a double, solid yellow line…



I need to read…

eye blinking - human - cat

It happened in a blink of an eye.  More than 25 years ago.  My collegiate hockey career, for what it was, was long behind me.  This was a pick-up game.  A lazy Saturday afternoon.  I should have been watching the Michigan Wolverines on the tube.  Yet, if you know a hockey player, you can’t take the game out of the player. (If one could only roll the tape back and bend the story a wee bit.)

It begins and ends with coolness – Real Men don’t wear face masks. Right.

I could hear the defender chasing me from behind – his skate blades cutting the ice. (Swoosh right.  Swoosh left. Swoosh right.  Swoosh left.  All moving in slow motion now.)  He was closing in.

I went down.  Fellow player, Doc Lovell, bent over and  said “Lay still Dave.”  I shouted back: “WIPE THE SWEAT FROM MY EYES, DOC.”

[Read more…]

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