• Update- He’s Back

    Day 21

    On Day 3, I wrote the post “Ground Hogs Day” about a man I see walking every day when I drive to work. I would see him in about the same place no matter when I would leave home. I could be a few minutes earlier or a few minutes later than expected, and I would see him walking. But I hadn’t seen him in weeks until today!

    On my way to work today,  I turned left where I usually see him and looked up the hill. I saw a man walking.

    I thought to myself:

    It could be him.

    That might be him.

    Keep in mind that he is a person I have never met, never spoken to, never even heard his voice, and I am excited that it might be him.

    As I drove closer, I saw that he had an orange and blue winter hat on,  an orange and blue winter hat! It was him. I knew it for sure. He always wears an old Bears cap when he walks.   

    Boom it WAS him!

    The Walking Man!

    I was so happy that he was OK. My mind started to wander, thinking about where he had been. Is he a snowbird in Florida? Was he sick and at home? Did he get hurt and couldn’t walk. Maybe he got a part-time job? Did he have a new walking route? That’s it. Yup. He is healthy and happy and has just picked a new path for a few months. I am glad he is back on the Ground Hogs Day route for me. It makes me feel normal again. 

  • Proud Papa

    Day 20

    I spent the weekend at Champaign watching middle school basketball. It was the Middle School State championship and my sons fifth grade team was in it.

    I will spare you the details of the games. Suffice it to say they were exciting for me. Watching my son have so much fun with his team was amazing.

    The championship game came down to the wire and his teammate hit a three to tie it. The game went to overtime and his team won by one point. It was awesome.

    But the most awesome thing was the conversation I heard him having with his team before the final game. It was a Stand by Me (the movie) moment. It went something like this:

    After today we may never play together again. Some of us may never play basketball again. Our team will never be THIS team again so let’s go do something special.

    And they did!

  • Pillows Pillows Everywhere

    Day 19

    There are so many pillows on this hotel room bed I just can’t even deal with it. I woke up last night in a wrestling match with five bed pillows. I’m not even talking decorative pillows, straight up sleeping pillows.

    Don’t get me wrong, this bed is comfortable. Perfect combination of cozy and firm. I was so comfortable when I laid down. Crisp clean sheets and that hybrid blanket / comforter thing they have now. I was so warm.

    By the way, I’m so glad they got rid of the disgusting comforter thing that never gets washed.

    Anyway, Back to the pillow fight.

    I woke up in the middle of the night, completely pitch black with pillows everywhere. I was tangled in pillows and could not get out! One arm under one arm over. Pillows on my head pillows by my feet. Pillows under my body. I couldn’t figure out where to flip so I would be in contact with the mattress again. It was crazy.

    I had to get out of bed and reset everything. Back to order. Back to sleep.

  • At the Hospital

    Day 18

    The hospital waiting room is a very uncomfortable place.

    I don’t know where to look. How long will I be here? Watch the TV? That’s so mindless and I won’t be here for the end anyway.

    I forgot a book and the cell signal is terrible in here. It’s the imaging waiting room. Always in the basement. Always terrible signal here.

    What a depressing place to work. There is no light. No windows. I can’t even tell how to get out. But everyone working here is nice. They all seem happy. They must be used to it. God bless them.

    Hey, I was here before all of those people. Why am I still waiting? Different tests of course. You are not all going to the same place. Have some patience.

    New room. By myself. No tv. Zero cell signal. It must be my turn soon. What was that WiFi password? I wish I took a picture so it.

    Oh wait, it’s time to go? I’m not ready.

  • Too Fast

    Day 17

    Sometimes success comes too quickly.  And that can be scary.  Not for me.  Oh, no.  I suffer through everything I try.  But my daughter, on the other hand, is good at everything, especially at sports.  She always has been.  We never wondered IF she would score on her elementary school soccer teams. It was more like when and how many.  Once on her first-grade basketball team, when the typical final score was 8-6, she scored 42 herself.  The coach would take her out of the game to keep the score under control, but the minutes needed to be even at that age.  So, he sent her back in and said she had to stay outside.  It didn’t matter.  She couldn’t miss.  The opposing coach came over afterward and congratulated her.  He was not upset because it was just unbelievable.  

    When I played catch with her, I would use a hardball, and by the end of first grade, I could no longer throw it hard enough for her to flinch.  She was never afraid of the ball, and she always caught it.  I took her to hit balls at the driving range at 10, and within five balls, she hit a driver straight and far. Where did this kid come from? 

    She is still playing sports and loves soccer.  She enjoys forward but did her time in goal.  Every youth team seems to struggle to find a permanent goalie.  About eight months ago, she got serious about goalie and started to like it.  She knew her team needed stability in goal, so she committed to being goalie first, then forward only if the score permitted her sub out.  

    At first, she was training with her team.  She did well. Her club noticed.  So then she started training with the club goalie coach and her team.  She played great every game this fall, and I was so happy for her.  Everyone was impressed.  

    Her team joined an indoor league, and they did well.  The team made it to the championship game (but lost).  The head of the league noticed and arranged for her to work out with a well-known goalie coach.  He was very impressed and invited her to practice with an MLS developmental team.  The team is primarily boys, two girls, and everyone is 16-20.  My daughter is 13.  


    I am cynical.  I figure this is a cash grab.  Yea, she is good, but it’s really about me footing the bill.  But that’s not the case, not yet anyway. 

    All of this in the last eight months.  I’ll keep you posted.  

  • 20 Hours Sleeping

    I just spent the last 20 hours sleeping. I went home from school early becasue I fet so terrible. That is someting I have never done before. I would either not go in at all or make it to the end of the day.

    Yesterday, I felt a little strange in the morning. I had a little stomach pain and I was thirsty. I fugured that I was hungry. So, I ate breakfast at home and went to work. I had coffee, a banana and muffin.

    I turned othe computer and prepared the classroom for the day. As soon as the kids arrived and I started talking a lot, as teachers do, I noticed that I was thirsty again. I was wearing a mask so I thought it might just be that. By 10:00 I was certain I was not going to make the end of the day.

    My principal arranged coverage for me and I headed home at 11:25 and went to bed. It was a solid 6 hours befoe I woke up at all and I was not good. Extreme thirst and abdominal pain. I was literally dripping with sweat and had the urge to puke. I never did.

    My wife Googled the symptoms and found apendacitis for the abdominal pain and blood sugar issues for the extreme thirst. Well, both of those wold suck. I don’t have any pain when I poke aroud the abdomen and the soreness is in the center and not around the navel.

    What about the blood sugar? This has never been an issue for me. Not even a thought I had a physical in December and the bloodwork was normal. Just like every other time.

    The one other cause she found was dehydration. I exercised on Saturday and Monday so maybe… It’s just hard to believe I could feel this terrible from dehydration. And besides, I drank plenty of fluids on Sunday and Monday. I think.

    I decided to treat this by rehydrating and plenty of rest. I drank Gatorade and a whole bunch of water. Evry time I woke up to expell the water (often) I would worry that I would have a hard time falling back to sleep but I didn’t. I slept pretty much nonstop from Noon until 8 AM.

    So, how am I feeling now? Tired, with a headache but the extreme thirst is gone. I want to fall asleep again. I thnk sleeping would be bad for falling asleep tonight. I shold go for a walk to reset myself.

  • Sick Days

    I don’t ever remember leaving work mid-day becasue I was sick. Medical appointments, yes. But never becase I was feeling so bad I couldnt make it to the end of the day. I had to leave today and I can’t believe how bad I feel. Extreme thirst and abdominal pain.

  • Zzz’s

    Day 14

    I went to bed at 7 PM last night. I was asleep by 7:02.

    I am usually the one watching a game after my wife falls asleep 20 minutes into the show we are watching together. It takes a week to finish anything with her but I am a little jealous. She can fall asleep anytime, anywhere. It is really a talent. Not me. It usually takes me a good half hour or more of relaxing in bed to doze off.

    Last night I got a taste of her world. My head hit the pillow and I was out. It was wonderful. Unfortunately, I know why I fell asleep so fast and it isn’t anything I can do regularly (see Day 12 and 13). But I did start thinking about what healthy routines I could start to make falling asleep a little easier.

    Here is the list I came up with. Please share your suggestions too.

    Journaling- This SOL thing might be something I could do. Writing down your thought and Ideas (and To-Do’s) takes away some stress of remembering everything.

    Enough with the coffee- I should really end any coffee consumption after 9 AM.

    Get rid of my dog… no, I would never do that but I can’t walk her until at least 8:30 PM. When I am really tired my wife walks her for me and I do the same for her when she needs to sleep late.

    More reading of things printed on paper and not a device. I like reading on my phone or computer because I can increase the font easily but there are too many distractions that come with the phone and I think the light it gives off is bad for relaxation.

    I am all rested up today and I had an afternoon coffee so I’ll be back to my old routine. Wish me luck!

  • The Update is There is No Update

    Day 13

    I still haven’t seen the walking man on my way to work. I’m hoping he is ok and the milder weather will be enough for him to return to his morning walk.

    I used to see a man walking in the morning, in almost the same place every day, on my way to work. I haven’t seen him for many weeks.

    Update 2

    We survived the frigid night in our tent. His new sleeping bag was toasty warm. I am so proud of the new scouts who transitioned from Cub Scouts just 3 weeks ago. They took care of breaking camp without any help or even having to be asked. They learned new skills, like axe safety and wood chopping. They completed all the requirements to move to the Scout rank. Congratulations Boys!

    Packing up
  • Are You Crazy?

    Yes, tent camping today.

    Day 12

    The difference between Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts is the above picture.

    When my son was in Cub Scouts, the camp outs were always good weather. They had to be. Cub Scouts are anywhere from kindergarten to fifth grade. It’s not safe for five year olds to be camping in the snow. They would cancel if the weather was too extreme. Temperature is no longer an issue, sort of.

    Last weekend it was 70°, next weekend it will be 65°. Today it is 17°. We picked today. Of course we did. But there was no way to know the forecast last fall when the entire 2022 calendar was set.

    The one concession we made for this weekend was that we left this morning instead of last night. One night in 17° weather is enough.

    My son crossed over to Boy scouts in February and I remained on as one of the leaders. This weekend is their first official Camp out as part of the troop. I am still a little unsure about my role.

    In Cubs Scouts the adult leaders do just about everything for the scouts. The scouts take care of age-appropriate tasks and the leaders do everything else. Boy Scouts is exactly opposite.

    I have found myself several times today wanting to do something for my son but knowing it’s best for him that I don’t. He is doing great, no problems setting up the tent cooking or anything else. He is not having any problems, just me. I am the one struggling. I am having a problem letting go but I know that’s what’s best for him.

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