Family life, Paleo-ish eating and Coping with Chronic Illness

Archive for January, 2014

My Marijuana Story

I smoked marijuana, then got in to more hard core drugs. I lived a life on the streets, until I was busted. I’m just grateful my time in prison finally turned me around. None of that is true, but do you realize how awesome my blog would be if I could just make stuff up? Darn it!

I actually haven’t ever smoked marijuana, or touched it, or planted it in my herb garden, or rubbed it on my ear lobes, or baked it into a bundt cake, or whatever you do with that drug. I did SEE it once. When I was on a tour of an evidence room at a police station. I’m just dangerous like that.

Marijuana is what people like to talk about right now. Maybe because smoking marijuana is how a lot of people want to pass their time. Those people want to make getting marijuana easier and more affordable.

As long as so many people are interested, I thought I’d tell you what I know. I hope you don’t think I’m going to go political on you. I’m not going to pass a verdict on legalizing vs. not legalizing. You know why? Because politics make people stupid. I’m speaking from experience here. I’ve been guilty of being stupid about politics. I was young then. I’m tired now. Have you ever noticed that the stronger and the more often a person expresses their political views, the less likely people are to listen? People are funny that way.

My intention is to narrow the lens. I want to focus on this one little area of my own time and space on Earth. It’s a blip, really. I want share my experiences, and tell you what I’ve learned from the people I know. That’s it. That’s my only area of expertise.

I’ve listened to an intelligent discussion regarding legalizing marijuana. I’ve heard the persuasive arguments stating the benefits: less drug related crimes, improved economy, help for those who are terminally ill. Those arguments are compelling. Maybe all of those arguments are valid. I am especially interested to see how the one about the economy turns out. I always wondered if we could have avoided “The Great Depression” if only more of the people at the time were high. It seems sort of like a basic economic principle they may have overlooked. But, I didn’t study economics; I’d have to do more research.

What I do know a lot about is teenagers, especially teenage boys. My husband has been coaching boys for 22 years. 22 years ago when we were young and fresh out of college, we had no opinions on marijuana. Marijuana affected our lives about as much as Flying Tree Monkeys. Are Flying Monkeys real? They don’t sound real, but we saw them with our own eyes in “The Wizard of Oz”, so we know they exist somewhere.

What I was trying to say before you got me all caught up in the Flying Monkey debate (C’mon, man. Just stay focused.)is that when Scott and I were just starting out in our careers, marijuana was inconsequential. I wish marijuana was STILL inconsequential. Scott and I were forced into this conversation. We were forced to develop opinions through painful, rip your guts out, face-to-face interaction with kids who smoke it. We do have opinions now. Our opinions are not favorable.

We have learned that teenagers tell each other that marijuana is totally not as dangerous as adults make it sound. They tell each other that it’s easier to get than alcohol, plus there’s not a messy hangover. They tell each other that it is NOT addictive, it is NATURAL. It is practically harmless. They say that marijuana is legal in some states for pity’s sake. Do teenagers say, “pity’s sake”? They would if they wanted to sound cool.

Once a teenager is convinced marijuana is no big deal, and they start smoking it, new and fun things begin to unfold: lies (lots and lots of lies), erratic behavior, loss of focus, lack of ambition, preoccupation, under performance in life, and eventually more and new drugs. I know. I know. People who like marijuana say that is completely untrue. They say, “marijuana is NOT a gateway drug, you fool.” They say, “just because you smoke marijuana, does not mean you’re going to smoke crack.”

If that’s you, then I’m happy for you. I’m glad you can manage your marijuana smoking. I just don’t happen to have any experience with teenagers who have been able to maintain a light to moderate marijuana smoking habit.

I can only speak of the boys I know. One hundred percent of the boys I know who smoked marijuana, eventually started doing worse. Those boys either didn’t finish or didn’t go to college like they thought they would. Those boys broke their parents’ hearts, over, and over and over, and in many different ways. Those boys all once had shining potential. They were sweet and smart and awesome. And, I personally believe that marijuana was the worst thing that ever happened to them.

It’s really hard to see boys you love stolen away from you. As young teenagers they have this energy and ambition. They have big goals and you believe they can accomplish them. Then they start smoking marijuana. Eventually, their personalities change. The boy you knew is replaced by this person who is either high, or preoccupied with becoming high. Have you hung out with people like that? They don’t get much done.

If people think legalizing marijuana is going to solve a bunch of problems, so be it. I hope they’re right. I don’t try to pretend to know things I don’t know and have not experienced. But, if they try to tell me that marijuana is NOT dangerous, and it does NOT steal potential, it does NOT lead to worse drugs for many kids, and it does NOT do families harm, I just know they’re telling lies.

People can lie and smoke pot, if that’s what they want to do. I’ve got my own problems. But, if people tell lies that have the potential to harm my kids or any one else’s kids, I’m going to speak up. I don’t care if it makes me unpopular, uncool or unfunny, because I’m mad. It feels weird to be mad. I am not mad very often. Mostly I just like to have fun.

I know some of the people telling these lies are so darn cool. They’re famous and they make a lot of money. I’m not sure how they could be wrong about anything. Ever. In their lives. They’re good looking, for cryin’ out loud. You can’t be wrong if you’re good looking. It’s in the Declaration of Independence.

They are wrong about this. The evidence I have seen, witnessed and know first hand supports my belief that marijuana does kids harm. Kids will exchange their future to stay high. That sucks. And that’s what I know is true.

How I know Eddie was Born to Fight

Most moms can tell you everything you never wanted to know about their children. I’m like that. My kids are my favorite subject. I like to study them and figure out why they do things, and what motivates them. I’m not always good at keeping what I learn to myself. That’s why I forgive you if you take a pass on today’s post.

I’ve been thinking about Eddie lately: his life and how God prepared him for the challenges Eddie faces. It’s so interesting I just HAVE to point this out. If you don’t point these things out, you may be inclined to think life is just a big giant coincidence. Of course, you know I don’t think it is.

I had a memory the other day of a time when Eddie was little. When he was a preschooler he was preoccupied with playing at the park. That’s what he asked to do when he woke up; what he asked to do after his nap; what he asked to do before he went to bed. We played at the park A LOT.

One time I took him to a beautiful state park. He was so excited. We were the only ones there. After he had been climbing around for a short time we realized we had a problem. There were horse flies swarming the play structure. I remember Eddie started to complain as the horse flies landed on his face and in his hair. I was trying to figure out what to do when I saw a look pass across Eddie’s face. He said, “It’s okay. I’m going to play any way.” So he did. He went down the slide, climbed the stairs and played in the sand with horse flies landing in his ears, hair and biting him some times too. He had determined that if he wanted to play, he was going to have to learn to accept those flies. I remember thinking that may be unique, and little did I know, foretelling.

Ed going down slide

Eddie often gave me things to think about. In our new community, Eddie could walk to school where he attended second grade. One day after school I happened to walk by the window and I saw Eddie and his 4-year-old brother, Zeke, and the little neighbor boy walking down the street. They were carrying a shovel, a hoe and a bat. I jogged down to catch them and ask them what they were doing. Eddie said, “There are some teenagers that live in that house.” He pointed to a house down the road. “They say bad things and try to scare me when I walk by them on my way to school. We’re going to go make sure they stop doing that.” I’m really sorry to tell you that I put a stop to THAT brilliant plan. Although I’m sure it would have helped make a name for us in our new neighborhood.

I went a more crazy route, and approached the mom myself. I introduced her to Eddie and the boys and explained that we live just down the street and will be seeing a lot of each other. We thought it may be good to start off as friends.

Then, I told little second grade, Eddie, that sometimes you can let your parents help. Sometimes you can talk about things and make them better. Rarely do you need to beat your neighbors with bats, hoes and shovels.

ed and zeke wrestling

There was a time Eddie decided to talk to his mom about a problem, of course, by the time he told me about it, it was too late. He was in 4th grade. He was still walking to school every day (when he wasn’t home sick, so, not a lot). We were driving somewhere and drove by a bigger, junior high boy. Eddie said, “Oh, that’s the boy that waved a knife at me on the way to school.” I may or may not have driven the car in the ditch. Can’t remember, it’s a blur.

I said, “WHAT???? Why didn’t you tell us this, Eddie?”

Eddie said, “Oh, it’s okay. Don’t worry, Mom. I took care of it, and he doesn’t bug me any more.”

I was afraid to ask, but I did anyway, “How?”

“The last time he waved the knife, I picked up a walnut from the ground and waved it around like he was waving the knife. Then I acted like I was going to throw it at him. He leaves me alone now.”

Yeah. The kid has instincts. If he would have told us about this problem, we would have told him his best defense was a walnut anyway, so it all worked out.

eddie and zeke flexing

Another neighborhood scuffle I remember was when Eddie and Zeke and their friends were playing football in an open field. Some older, much bigger boys came by and asked Eddie’s little brother, Zeke, if he wanted some drugs. (I swear we live in a sweet little community.) As the story goes, Eddie told the bigger boys they’d better get out of there. The big boys laughed. They said, “What are YOU gonna do about it? Eddie is small. At this time in his life he was smaller than all the other boys his age.

With out warning, Eddie charged the boy and put him on his back. Eddie had the boy pinned to the ground, and, yes, I’m just going to tell you the truth. Eddie threw a few punches. The boy got scared. He and his friend ran away. That’s a story the neighbor boys like to retell.

So, I’ve been thinking about all these things and I’ve been thinking about how difficult Eddie’s life is some days. Did God put together this little hard-nosed guy with nerves of steel, knowing he’d need that courage to meet and conquer extraordinary obstacles? I think he did. I know those attributes sure don’t help him keep his room clean, or remember to throw on a clean sweatshirt.

I watched Eddie wrestle the other day, and I knew I was right about him. Eddie was having a sick day, a sick week, a sick month, a sick life. He was up against a fierce opponent. Eddie got sick on the mat. He got sick in the corner too. He kept wrestling. He did NOT stop fighting even when he realized a win was unlikely. Maximum effort until the final whistle. His opponent had no mercy. Eddie didn’t expect any. Eddie didn’t want any. I heard from more than one person that there were parents (oh, those precious parents) from other schools exclaiming their disgust. “Gross! Why doesn’t he wait until he gets to the garbage to be sick?” He tries. Sometimes he can’t.

Eddie didn’t hear them. If he did hear them, it wouldn’t make a difference. He loves to wrestle. He knows he was meant to wrestle. And, he believes that if there is something stopping you from doing what you want, and if you can’t get rid of it, you have to accept it and keep doing what you want to do. And that’s why, even though moms aren’t supposed to like fighting, I am glad Eddie was born to fight.

Eddie fighting

At home meets the wrestlers get to choose their own song that they want to be played when their name is announced and they run out on the mat to meet their opponent. It’s fun to hear what all they boys choose. Here’s the song Eddie chose this year:

How I Like to Party

It occurred to me that I could write up a decent list of things I have learned about raising a chronically ill child. On the list would be this, “Don’t feel guilty that you don’t have a social life. Don’t feel guilty that you don’t want one.”

When your sick child is home, missing out on fun and not being a part of typical rights of passage, the thought of leaving him so you can hang out with other adults for the purpose of having a good time is appalling. Over the years I may have dabbled in some guilt over not having an impressive social life. Like when I go outside at night and realize I have forgotten what stars look like; I’m rarely out past dark. I don’t feel guilty for long. When I break it down in my head, I realize 100 times out of 100, most moms and dads will choose their suffering child over fun.

Let’s examine the silver lining here. If my life had taken a different path, it’s likely I would have put my husband through all sorts of social anxiety inducing parties and get togethers he would not have chosen on his own. We both like people a lot. I just happen to enjoy them in much larger doses. Instead, we live pretty quietly. Turns out I like this too.

Just a few times a year though I get a little antsy for something fun. Coincidentally, that urge usually hits me around my birthday. Two years ago, when I turned 40, I emailed Scott an invitation to send to some of our friends. It was an invitation to my Birthday Party. I thought it may be more socially acceptable to make it look like the invite came from him. You know, so maybe someone would think he planned the party.

It didn’t work. Our friends know Scott a little too well. I did have fun dramatizing my surprised and bewildered response to all the fuss everyone put in to the party I planned for myself. I still can’t believe they went to all that trouble. I just don’t know what got into them.

I got another goofy idea in my head this year for my 42nd Birthday. When I first conceived the idea to have fun, I knew I just wanted to laugh and be silly. The most fun thing I could think of was having a big dance party. Dancing to “Can’t Touch This” with my husband and friends sounds SO AWESOME!!!! I don’t want to brag, but I have mastered some pretty classic 80’s dance moves. It’s a shame I don’t have more opportunities to bust these out. And frankly, a real loss for those who don’t get to see them.

Can you believe that not very many people in their 40’s think that a dance party sounds fun? What’s wrong with them? I Googled, “40 something-year-old dance clubs”. I got nothing. I know. It’s crazy. That’s a million dollar idea right there. If you run with it, I expect to get a cut.

So, scratch the dance party. What else is fun? Scott and I have never claimed to be very sophisticated. I remember going on a trip with Scott to the Caribbean. It was a trip I earned. We were with hundreds of other couples who were with the same company. That’s the week that something became clear to me. After a week of hanging out with sophisticated couples who were sipping fancy umbrella drinks, lounging for hours by the pool and attending black tie only cocktail hours, I told Scott, “Can we just be honest about something? I think we both know that we’re just pretending to be adults.”

We spent our week in the Caribbean figuring out how to make the best use of the free continental breakfast (you can actually get two meals out of that deal), playing ping pong, tennis and racing each other in the pool. It was a slice of heaven.

I knew for my party, sitting around drinking cocktails could not be the main event. So I picked something almost as glamorous, mini golf. It was a competition. Because if it wasn’t, can you tell me what would be the point? We split up into teams. We played mini golf, shot hoops and played trivia at dinner for the final round. Scott and I were a team. We didn’t win, and that still hurts. I can’t talk about it right now. Just give me some time.

Here’s what a group of good sports looks like. I really need a new camera:

golf group

These guys were too good at this game. I’m not inviting them next time:

bball

We ended the evening at a restaurant. I was excited to eat out, because it happens infrequently. The waiter was a super nice young man. He was also funny, but maybe he didn’t mean to be? He spilled water all over our table, but didn’t come back to clean it up. Scott and two other people in our group ordered hamburgers. They looked so delicious on the menu. When they were delivered they resembled ashes on a bun. I noticed the woman in our group who ordered the burger immediately and nicely asked to have it returned and replaced with something that was edible. Scott and the other guy who ordered the burger must have silently decided to celebrate guy code. They didn’t return their burgers. They toughed it out. I think they thought it would be okay if they just drowned it in enough ketchup. That might have worked, except for some reason the ketchup tasted exactly like a strong glass of Merlot.

I really can’t recall a time that Scott has ever complained about his food in a restaurant. That’s usually my deal. But, that Merlot flavored ketchup really threw him. He hasn’t had a sip of alcohol in 20 years, that’s not the way he wanted to break his streak.

When we were leaving, the waiter handed Scott the black leather thing they give you with your receipt and change. He looked Scott in the eye and said, “Here you go. Here’s your change. It’s 26 dollars.” He said it slowly and clearly. It seemed unusual that he was making such a point of it, especially since there was only 21 dollars inside.

The waiter bid us good bye. He said, “Be careful folks. It’s really getting shi**y out there.” I was surprised. I like to keep my eye on the forecast. I thought the weather was supposed to be fine. When we went outside the weather was calm; just the way we left it. It made me wonder if we weren’t on a hidden camera show while we were eating.

That waiter was a nice kid. I’m not complaining. I actually should thank him, because sometimes I run out of things to blog about.

The night was a success. My fun cup is full now. I’m probably good for another 10 – 12 months. I did think about something when we were playing mini golf. I wondered if Scott and I will ever officially grow up. It feels like I’m always going to like playing more than doing grown up things like going to cocktail parties and talking about property taxes and riding lawn mowers. I didn’t see any elderly couples at the mini golf course though, so I’m not sure if this is done. Maybe I just have to get to a certain age before the “likes boring stuff” gene activates. I’ll let you know.

mini golf

Why Small Towns Beat Wealthy Suburbs

We live in a small town. Actually, it’s two small towns sitting right next to each other. You know, like the twin cities. Only with out the people, grocery stores, strip malls, restaurants, stadiums, hotels, buildings and traffic. Otherwise, exactly like it. My small town is awesome. 10 years ago Scott and I had a hard time deciding whether we should move to our small town. We deliberated and fussed. We hemmed and hawed. Then we moved there. Right away I knew we were home. I love it. I really do.

Families who relocate for their corporations, almost always choose nice, wealthy suburban communities. I get it. Wealthy Suburbs put you closer to work and Starbucks. It’s the American Dream. Small towns are usually not up for consideration. I think they should be.

Small towns win for so many reasons. Here are some of my favorite:

1. Recovering Stolen Property

When Eddie was in Middle School, his bike was stolen. It was only a matter of time before Eddie saw the kid who stole his bike riding it around town. Eddie, walked up to the kid at school and said, “Hey man, can I get my bike back?” The kid thought he wanted to act kinda tough at first, but then they just decided to be friends. Now, when Eddie sees that kid he says, “Remember when you stole my bike?”

The kid is like, “Yeah. That was funny.”

2. Everyone is Famous

When I pick up our local paper at the grocery store, there is an 80% chance someone in my family is in it. We could be featured in a story on the recent dance recital, or maybe we made the honor roll. On a big news day, we might have even made the front page for trick-or-treating on Main Street.

3. The High School Parking Lot

Drive by the small town High School. Look at the cars in the parking lot. Mostly it’s just older model vehicles, except for a few rich kids who drive Chevy Malibus. Drive by a wealthy Suburban School. You’ll see new BMW’s, Hummers and Mustangs. I don’t have a ton of strong opinions, and I don’t like to judge. I’m not saying I’m judging parents who buy their kids grossly expensive cars, it’s just that…Forget it. I’m judging. I’m judging hard. I’m judging them just like I’d judge a parent who brought their baby to playgroup in a fancy tuxedo, with a top hat and a bottle filled with bourbon.

luxury-cars-dubai-35

Some things just don’t go together. Kids who live under someone else’s roof and have someone else paying for their food, clothes, electric bill and internet, should not be driving cars that cost more than people in third world countries earn in their lifetime. I know. I just lost some friends. I’m going to have to stand by that statement.

4. Birthday Parties

Have you heard about moms who feel pressure to hold more and more elaborate birthday parties in order to impress each other? I’ve read about this, and I’ve seen it on TV. It doesn’t happen in small towns.

In Suburbia you may have to hire entertainment for your birthday parties. If you’re from a small town, then I just made you laugh. In a small town your Birthday party may be elaborate when you’re younger. You may get to go bowling or to McDonald’s Playland. When you’re older you call a few friends and say, “My mom said I could have a few friends over and go to a movie for my birthday.” Now, THAT is hard to top.

birthday clown

5. Kids Can’t Get Away with Crap

In a small town, if you’re a kid and you feel like causing trouble, there’s a hundred percent chance your parents will find out. If you were at the park doing something you weren’t supposed to be doing, your parents know. Your parents knew what you were doing before you left the park. Your parents have had three phone calls before you have had time to walk home. Your parents know who you were with and what you were doing. It takes a village, son.

6. People Look Their Age

In a small town, if you’re 42 you look 42. In a small town grandparents look like grandparents. Grandmas wear appliqued sweatshirts and they have wrinkles. Grandmas don’t wear leggings, fur coats and have faces that look like they’re wrapped in saran wrap. In small towns, we don’t see a lot of cosmetic surgery, but we do use Ponds Cold Cream.

plastic surgery

It’s small towns for the win!!!

God and Things that Don’t Make Sense

God and Things that Don't Make Sense.

God and Things that Don’t Make Sense

A Facebook friend of mine recently posted a blog that was titled, “God will give you more than you can handle: I guarantee it.”

Here, here, my fellow blogger and friend! I concur. If you’ve traveled in Christian circles for a long time, then someone at some point has told you, “God WON’T give you more than you can handle.” We tell each other this, because it’s supposed to be comforting. My husband Scott and I have discussed this sentiment at length. We’re suspicious, very suspicious.

I’ve been pondering some deep things lately. I prefer pondering recipes, silly You Tube videos and puppies. But, here I am; I’m thinking about human beings, faith, what is true and what is not true. Blaach! I hate it when I do that.

If you have known me for a while, or are nice enough to read my blog, then you know faith is front and center in my life. I have mentioned that, right? At least I think I have. Why wouldn’t I mention that? I really meant to! How could I be so dumb? Oh, sorry. Are you still there? Stay focused, Miki. This is serious.

I’ve been thinking about faith, particularly my faith in Christ. I have some dear friends who don’t get me on this. I love these friends. They are part of the reason I have to stop and ask myself sometimes what really makes sense.

What I have learned is that there is a lot about God and His plan that makes no sense to me at all. For example, this whole, “He won’t give you more than you can handle,” business. What if you have pain and heartache so deep, that your mind fractures and you become permanently unstable? To me that seems like more than a person can handle.

That’s a really smart lady who wrote the blog post I mentioned above. She can quote you verses in the Bible that call in to question the whole, “He won’t give you more than you can handle” debate. I’m not that smart, and I’m not going to quote scripture. Not that I couldn’t, “Jesus Wept”! I know that verse by heart. But there I go again, intimidating you with my knowledge of the scripture. I don’t mean to do that. I promise, I’m a common person, just like you.

What I really wanted to do was think about my own life, and decide what has proven to be true and what has proven to be untrue.

What is TRUE is learning that life was never supposed to work out neatly. Figuring that out was a relief. Here I was going along thinking people were supposed to always be nice and stay healthy. Once I learned the truth, the shock of it all was more easily absorbed. Now you’re going to ask me, “But, why DOES God give us all the pain, Miki?”

And, my answer to you is, “Get in line with that question, sister! I’m asking the same thing.” Seems that God could have chosen to give us a problem free existence, right?

I know the Sunday School reply is that God gives us free will. Our nature is to choose sin. Sin messes up EVERYTHING!!!! I guess the more philosophical way to state that is, we live in a world that is jacked up by design. Then, you have part two of that answer: all these trials and troubles are helping us grow and to live by faith.

I guess, looking back, I would have to say that hardship has made me stronger, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I have told God that I promise I’ll grow without all the troubles. We’re still in negotiations. I’ll let you know if I make any headway.

What has been UNTRUE for me is that I am capable of absorbing the pain of life without Faith. I need it. I need God. If I thought life was random, I would be well beyond the threshold of what I can tolerate. BUT….if there is a POINT, and if there is a place I can relinquish all my troubles, and if there is God who’s invested in and cares about my pain. I can do that.

I still have a lot of questions. I still feel sad and I mourn. I get weary. God knows it, because that’s what I keep telling Him. I won’t do life without Him though. I’m clinging to His leg, like my kids clung to mine when I used to try dropping them off in the nursery. I never was able to shake them. God can’t shake me either. I’m too attached to the peace that comes from being in his presence. My roots are too deep in a foundation of a life that is built on believing His plan is Good. Those deep roots are what keep me from breaking and protect my mind from a fracture.

I know now that I can simultaneously feel deep sadness and a sense of peace. If I thought life was random, I think I’d be left with just the sadness. I don’t want that. So, God definitely HAS given me more than I can handle…without faith.

I’m not here to settle anyone’s theological debates. I truly shudder at the thought of telling people what they should and should not be doing. I’m sorry. I know Christians are good at that. Maybe they want me to be good at it too. I am working on too many problems of my own right now; I could not begin to find the motivation for pointing out other people’s. What I CAN handle is talking about what I am learning. Sometimes people share what they’re learning with me too. I like it.

When I am having a day where I feel like I am absolutely at the end of myself, I’m tired of praying, and I am all out of answers, God puts music in my life to comfort my soul. This song spoke for me the other day. If you’re tired and weary today, you may like it too.

Cheers to Simple

I like my husband’s hair, his eyes, his personality, his physique. I know, that last one is a little personal. Have you seen him though? There’s a lot going on there. That’s all I’m sayin’. Do you want to know what I like most about my husband though? Do you want to know what my husband has that makes me the envy of so many wives? I’m telling you any way. I like my husband’s carbon footprint. It. Is. Sweet.

When I met Scott he was a care free, fun-lovin’ kinda college kid. What he was NOT, was a litterbug. I’m pretty sure that even when Scott was partying, he always remembered to recycle. He comes by this naturally. His mom and dad were “Green” back when it was just Mr. Jeans’ first name, and just another color of the rainbow.

If civilization goes down in a blaze of global warming, I want to tell you that is NOT on Scott (or his parents). Here are 5 ways Scott keeps his carbon footprint lookin’ so good:

1. His Phone

The kids keep talking about how their friend so-and-so upgraded from a 3G Verizon mega data base Iphone to a 62 Gigabyte Google download Chromiumsphere (I’m pretty sure I have all the names right) device. Scott upgraded too, ten years ago. From a rotary phone to this:

scott's phone

Scott and I usually get along pretty well, unless we are driving and he asks me to text someone for him from this device. I tell him to just wait. I say it’ll be easier if I just keep my eye out for a messenger pigeon, or find a cave so that I can etch in some hieroglyphics and send his message that way.

2. His Moccasins

For many, many years Scott wore brown, leather moccasins around the house. Then they tore. He duct taped his moccasins and wore them 5 more years. Then the duct tape tore. He duct taped the moccasins again. Then he fell asleep one night, and I threw his moccasins away. Now he wears these around the house. These were given to me by my mom many years ago. Scott stole them back then, and has been wearing them every day, ever since. He’s “Green”. He’s also a thief.

crocs

3.His Snow blower

My parents gave us their snow blower when we moved in to our house ten years ago. It has never been turned on. We’ve been nice enough to store it for them all these years. I don’t know why you would use a powerful snow blower when you can shovel one scoop at a time; seems almost senseless.

scott's shovel

When the kids were little Scott had them out in the driveway helping him with sand pails. They got a little older and he bought them all their own shovels. When they start talking about all their friends’ technology upgrades, we remind them of how lucky they are with their shovel upgrades.

Scott shovels the neighbor’s driveway now too. That is minus two carbon emissions each snowy morning. You’re welcome.

4. His Wheels

If you want to impress Scott, do not tell him you own a Hummer or a Lexus. He’ll be happy for you. He just won’t know what you’re talking about. I bet you think I’m exaggerating. I can do that, but not this time. I didn’t realize it either, but there are a couple of guys in the world who just aren’t interested in cars.

Oh, look at that. I found a picture of Scott next to his rental car on a trip he took with Eddie to see a Doctor on the West Coast. When I asked him what kind of car he rented, he said, “a nice one.” In this picture, Scott is telling you everything he knows about cars, why he thinks they’re so cool, and how they work. Here’s a summary,

“Hi!”

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Here is a picture of Scott’s real set of wheels. He uses this wicked machine to commute to work every day.

scott's bike

I must say he got all spoiled American on me. This bike is pretty new. He purchased it from someone off of Craigslist last year. I guess he thought his 20 plus-year-old bike wasn’t good enough for him any more. Some nonsense about the seat falling off and the brakes not working. I know. The guy is full of excuses. Now he has this sweet ride. A couple of times a week we ride double around the neighborhood just to make the neighbors jealous. That isn’t right. Sometimes you’d have a hard time proving I’m a Christian.

5. His Toys

Here is a picture of all the electric tools, boats, motorcycles, snowmobiles, 4-wheelers, I phones, I pads, and head phones that Scott owns:

scott's football

You know what the most maddening thing about all this is? I can’t even get Scott to toot his own horn. We’ll be at a party and someone will be telling him about their sweet new sports car. Or, about how they’re putting an Olympic size pool in their house.

I’ll ask Scott, “Well, did you tell them how small your carbon footprint is?”

He’ll say, “No.”

I’m like, really. What’s the point?

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