Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Church Ladies

Trip Report and such…

To borrow from Jeff Foxworthy – I believe self-righteous people actually worship themselves. I believe men who blame others for their own folly are in reality spoiled little boys. I believe, in the end, everyone gets what they earned, whether or not they knew they were working for it.

While sitting on the runway in West Palm Beach (we were supposed to land in Miami) Jill occupied herself reading the SkyMall magazine, looking for Father’s Day gift ideas she said. Why then, did everything she showed me seem to be a gift for Princess. No Jill, I don’t want a doggie stroller.

A large troop of Boy Scouts boarded the plane and had to pass us to find their seat; we were sitting in first class. Meagan and Linley watched as each pass, grading them on their “hotness.” The troop leader overheard one of the girls remark about how she liked a guy in uniform. He offered to have them come up front and model. I didn’t realize runway strutting would get you a merit badge.

We had to have a meal in the airport Chili’s and Linley ordered chicken fajitas. She’s hungry, I thought. Her plate arrived, piled high with sautéed onions and peppers, refried beans, guac and sour cream, and of course, chicken and tortillas. She pushed everything aside and only ate the chicken. When I inquired, she explained she ordered fajitas because she liked chicken cooked on that little “sizzling pan thingie.” That’s my Linley!

I downloaded all the photos last night -733 of them; 5 gig of memory. You might say I’m a shutter bug.

One of the highlights of the trip was the dinner where the entertainment was a limbo dancer. He got each girl on stage to dance under the flaming pole of to balance fire pots in their hands or on their feet. Jill hyperventilated and I took pictures. Hey girls, no playing with fire in the house.

Marital Bliss

This was a kids’ vacation; we adults did little for ourselves, choosing to enjoy watching whatever gave the girls pleasure. Perhaps the exception was the sunset catamaran cruise in the bay. We were on the water nearly three hours, Jill and I at the bow with the wind in our faces, watching the sun go down as the huge cruise ships left Nassau and disappeared over the horizon. A glass of wine, Bob Marley in the background, a selection of cheese and lots of cuddling, all accompanied by the gentle rocking of the waves. The girls slept on deck as Jill and I stole a kiss now and then and shared with one another why we are happy to be married. Life is good. And she enjoyed it so much more than the wild bucking ride on the banana boat.

Family Moments

On the way down to Paradise Island we got separated in the Miami airport – I had to stay behind and fly later because of a checked bag fiasco. My little ladies were reluctant to go on without me and called out words of love and blew kisses as they readied to board the plane. They kept turning back to look at me and shout “We’ll miss you” and other words of affection as they waited in line. A large group of black church ladies were also going to Nassau, and from the conversation, I could see it was to gamble. They watched my family departure scene and thereafter, when I was alone in the airport waiting for the next flight, they took turns looking over their shoulders and calling out “I love you Daddy!” and blowing me kisses. It made my wait so much more enjoyable!

Book Report

In honor of the upcoming Father’s Day celebration, each day for the rest of this week I will give you an excerpt from the introduction to WHY A SON NEEDS A DAD, the book I wrote for and dedicated to my father, Jacobs E. Lang. I hope you enjoy:

I am the first-born child of a household that included five children before my dad was thirty years old. Ours was the house that never seemed to sleep, with constant activity swirling around it and within it, and one that seemed nearly to bust at the edges as the children who called it home continued to grow. My dad worked hard to provide for his family, but also made time to be with his children, both together and one-on-one. He made sure the tree house we built ourselves was sturdy and safe, that my soapbox racer would indeed cross the finish line, and that once big enough to see over the steering wheel, each child, sitting in his lap, got a chance to drive through the neighborhood in their choice of the station wagon or the old pickup truck.

I have many heartwarming memories from my youth: my dad showing me how to hit a curve ball in the front yard; working with Dad on a Boy Scout project to earn a coveted merit badge; handing him his tools as he tinkered with the car or improved the house on a Sunday afternoon. My dad loved to fish. I remember being awakened by him before sunrise on a Saturday morning, and whispering to not awaken my younger siblings, we slipped outside together to go fishing. Standing at the water’s edge we sometimes talked. Other times we were both content just to listen to the morning sounds. In these early years of my life, my dad was my hero.

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