FIL’s Day — Sept. 19, 2021

Today was all about my father-in-law, Marvin. FIL died in November following complications from heart surgery and COVID. Wifey Poo and the sisters-in-law organized an ice cream social and issued an open invitation to the family and FIL’s friends. When we set the date for late September, the thought was that we’d be past the hell that is Missourah summer. The 90 degrees and drink-the-air humidity we sweated through at Quail Ridge Park, Pavilion #3, laughed at our hubris.

We chose ice cream because FIL was always down for a bowl (or two). I always thought of ice cream as a warm-weather treat. FIL scoffed at that. We once had ice cream while in a barn during a raging January snowstorm. He had many favorite flavors. Moose tracks was up there. If it was available, his brother’s homemade butter pecan bumped it down the list. It was available today, so I used my September cheat day from my new eating habits and had a bowl for FIL.

Softball Stories

FIL was an avid bicycle rider. He and his friends Don and Warren hit the Katy Trail, which crosses Missourah, at least weekly. Into his 70s, FIL routinely did 35 miles in a day with ease. I sat and talked with Don and Warren for a bit today. They were reminiscing about their slow-pitch softball glory days with precise recollections of plays in games that took place more than a half-century ago. “I always had one bone to pick with your father-in-law,” Warren said. He recounted the 1968 league championship game in which his, Don’s and FIL’s team were tied in the last inning with a runner on third and one out. The batter hit a shot back up the middle. FIL, the team’s pitcher, reached out to stop it, but it was just out of his reach and tipped off his glove. “I always gave him a hard time about it because if he’d just let it go through I was there at shortstop and it would have been an easy double play.” As it went, everyone was safe and the go-ahead run scored.

The Swim Trunks

Wifey Poo was overjoyed to see her childhood best friend arrive. Julie and Wifey Poo go way, way, way back, to when Wifey Poo lived in North County, St. Louis. Julie came with a stack of old photographs featuring the two of them and their families. There was one picture from the old neighborhood in which FIL was manning the grill as various conversations took place around the yard. FIL was wearing a Hawaiian-print shirt and dark-blue swim trunks with white trim. I recognized those swim trunks. FIL wore them on the last float trip we went on as a family a few years ago. That put 30-plus years in between their appearances in the photo and my recent memory. That’s so FIL. He took amazing care of everything he owned and was loath to throw out anything that had an ounce of life left in it.

The ‘Don’t Blame Me, I Didn’t Say It’ of the Day

‘I want to punch him in the nuts.’

My 7-Year-Old nephew, Q, talking about a bully at his elementary school

Hostess with the Mostest

I spent much of the time at the ice cream social on the periphery, as I like to do. I enjoyed watching Wifey Poo as she bounced from conversation to conversation. She was so in her element. Wifey Poo is a social butterfly, and she’s an amazing hostess. FIL would have been proud of her today.

Today’s Reasons to Keep Living

  1. My in-law family is pretty amazing.
  2. Homemade butter pecan ice cream.
  3. I bought a sound bar for the TV that comes tomorrow. Never had one before.

More From ‘A Puzzle Known As Life’

Knowing — May 21, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Beyond Tired😫Busting Ass 🐝Covid Sadness😔 Everything is knowable. When I look back at the pace of change in my life, I think that’s the biggest difference between my life as a child and my life as an adult. Back then, if you wondered something, you just … wondered it. I mean,Continue reading “Knowing — May 21, 2022”

Grandpa — May 17, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Sad Anniversary😞My Back! 😳Dachau😭 Thirty-five years ago today, my first grandparent died. Grandpa was my favorite grandparent, and in looking back, I think it was because of his willingness to join my world. Grandpa played games with me endlessly. He taught me how to play rummy. He would spend hours onContinue reading “Grandpa — May 17, 2022”

Study Abroad — May 15, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Bye-Bye BTE✈️Rival Riot Rumble 🤼‍♂️Old Man John🤕 In a few hours, Boy The Elder will board a plane headed for Germany. He just completed his sophomore year at Mizzou, and now he’s going overseas for a two-week study-abroad session in which he’ll allegedly learn more about food science and fermentation andContinue reading “Study Abroad — May 15, 2022”

Family — May 13, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Double-U🧸Big Sis 🦸‍♀️Preggo Healer 🤰 Anyone remember Speak & Spell? If you’ve seen E.T., you’ve seen it before. Don’t know why, but I was thinking about this toy the other day. For some reason, spelling wasn’t school if you had one of these things to play with. I can still hearContinue reading “Family — May 13, 2022”

Heat Wave — May 12, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Heat Wave🥵Lawn Mowing🚜Last Podcast 🎙️ It’s hotter than balls outside in my section of Missourah, and I’m not happy about it. I am not a hot-weather person. I hate heat. I sweat easily. I turn red even easier. Having a bald head does not match well with sun exposure. And hasContinue reading “Heat Wave — May 12, 2022”

Gambling — May 8, 2022

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Losing Money 🥊The Best F’N Mom Ever👩Heat 🥵 Wifey Poo and I took our weekly date Saturday and went to the city made famous in the original National Lampoon’s Vacation movie: East St. Louis. No, East St. Louis isn’t in Missouri and no, it’s not a popular data destination, but whatContinue reading “Gambling — May 8, 2022”

Welcome Back, Swagger

There was a time in my life when I had swagger. I was never the most popular or athletic kid in school, but for a while there, I was a really good baseball player. I could hit. I could field. And, boy, could I pitch. Some of the most “over” kids in high school wouldContinue reading “Welcome Back, Swagger”

Off — Dec. 6, 2021

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Detached 💭Intentions for a New Year 📆Red is Deadly 😷 Today sucked. The problem is, I don’t really know what the hell happened. I woke up just after 6, later than I have been recently, and I felt so significantly off that I truly don’t remember much of the first 45Continue reading “Off — Dec. 6, 2021”

Boy The Singer, Nov. 23, 2021

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Self-Teaching 👨‍🏫Beer Flood 🍺🌊Space Mission 🚀 When I left the newspaper industry in 2009, I knew how to write, take decent photos, design pages and copy edit. I landed a job in which the mandate was, “Go make our communications program better,” something I’d assured those who interviewed me I knewContinue reading “Boy The Singer, Nov. 23, 2021”

Big Buck — Nov. 14, 2021

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Oh Deer 🦌The Thought Gap 🧠Unplugged 🔌 I was sitting in my as-yet-to-be-named home office this morning when this big boy ☝️☝️☝️ walked out of the woods into my yard. It’s the opening day of deer season in Missourah, a day of significance for many local inhabitants on par with theirContinue reading “Big Buck — Nov. 14, 2021”

Sloth Talk — Nov. 8, 2021

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩What Makes a Sloth a Sloth? 🦥Launch Day is Nigh 🚀Talkin’ Free Speech 🎙️ I find myself going down some interesting rabbit holes lately. For example, tonight I wondered why exactly sloths are so slow and how exactly such a creature could survive in a survival-of-the-fittest world, especially when they liveContinue reading “Sloth Talk — Nov. 8, 2021”

Punk! — Nov. 5, 2021

🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Wrasslin’ 🤼‍♂️Wifey Poo 🦶Costco 🛒 Boy The Younger and I found ourselves this evening in the most difficult-to-spell-without-looking-it-up building in the Midwest, Chaifetz Arena, home of the Midwest’s most-weirdly named college basketball team, the St. Louis University Billikens. But we weren’t there for hoops. We were there to watch the oddContinue reading “Punk! — Nov. 5, 2021”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: