The Question of a Mattress.

So, on one of the interminable breaks for commercials today, a voice posed this question. “Do you love your mattress?” When is the last time anyone has asked you such a personal question?

Ordinarily, I would ignore such a question, deeming it beneath consideration, and all I wanted to do was get back to the golf tournament, but for some reason, I paused to reflect.

In fact, I went into the bedroom and looked at my mattress with new eyes. I walked around it, poking it, sitting on it lifting the covers, and moving pillows to further explore any unique characteristic that hitherto had gone unnoticed. After my circuit of the mattress in question, I came to find the answer to the existential question about my emotional state, and my relationship with my mattress. I did not love my mattress. But, upon reflection, I realized that I do love my pillows.

When I asked Brandy if she had any feelings about our shared mattress, she looked somewhat quizzically at me, left the bedroom and repaired to her well used towel on the kitchen counter. I took that to mean she did not love the mattress either.

Having settled that philosophical question, I went back to watching the golf tournament secure in the knowledge that while I did not love my mattress, I do dearly love golf, and I was still okay.

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Wayne’s Birthday.

I was reminded yesterday by my iPhone calendar that today is the birthday of my good friend Wayne Tanous. Wayne, as most who will see this post know, died just over a month ago, so his memory is still really fresh.

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I really didn’t need the reminder, we had been observing his birthday for years, much to his chagrin.

I had occasion to mention this to Bumper, aka, Terry Baumgartner, one of his good friends who also loved him. Bumper, who expresses a disinterest in Martinis, asked me to have one for him in Wayne’s memory this evening. I am happy to oblige. I will have one for him and I will have one for myself as well. I think Wayne would grudgingly approve, though he himself preferred Crown, or Windsor water, very little ice, I like Martinis to mark such occasions.

The poem that accompanies this post is one I wrote on another occasion, and I think it still works for me as a thought about these thing we call “birthdays.”

Birthdays

Birthdays count years.
They are markers we use
To measure the time of our lives.

From the first to the last,
They tell the world a person was,
And how long they were.

Birthdays tell the world a person was,
But they don’t tell why a person mattered.
That’s a job for the people they touched.

It’s Wayne’s birthday today.
This is the day that marks his time
From the first to the last.

Tonight, I will have a Martini
And remember, why he mattered
To so many others, and to me.

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Happy Birthday Martini from Bumper and Me.

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April 9, 2017

Please indulge me on this Sunday in April, for it is a day that brings with it the memories of a night and a time I can never forget. Since it becomes more difficult with time to find something different to say about this date, I chose to repost something I have written in the past, and it seems to me to have held up.

Today marks the ninth anniversary of the night Joanie died. All of us have dates in our lives that we can’t ignore, nor wish to. The poem that follows was written April 9, 2014, and I posted it on my blog. Some of you may have seen it before, others may not have. Anyway, as I mark this day, I decided to repost it.

Joanie Poster_edited-2

She Danced.

She danced with death

All of those clouded years.

Never asking, never knowing,

Why.

She danced, and when the music changed,

She never asked the orchestra for a different tune.

The longer she danced,

Her heart gave rhythm to the music of her soul

And,

In the end she danced into the light

Never asking, never knowing,

Why.

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A Remembrance

It’s been a week since the Memorial Service for my dear friend, Wayne Tanous, and thinking about how one can lose 40 plus years of a friendship in an eye blink.

Wayne was as close a personal friend as I’ve ever had in my life, and the bond we shared came about as a result of shared interests, and shared memories.

I can almost hear him as I write this saying, “Do you really have to do this?” He would smile, and all I can do is say, “Yes.”

Memories are what’s left, I guess, and as I was thinking about him the other day, I remembered many, but one pleasant one in particular.

As denizens of the Elbow Room, the old Elbow Room, for most of those 40 years, we shared a lot of laughter with the regulars who used to gather there in the evenings, and on Saturday mornings.

Now, Wayne never played golf, except for trying once or twice in his life, but when Tiger Woods came on the scene, it captured his imagination, and he would watch any tournament Tiger was playing in. He and I were both fans of Tiger, as was Danny Undem, the owner of the Elbow Room. Willie, who managed the joint was not, and that led to a lot of good natured banter about Tiger with Wayne, me and Danny.

Wayne had a birthday coming up, and I had an idea. Tiger had won 8 majors at the time, and there were bobble heads of Tiger for each one. I raised a few bucks from the guys, and bought the bobble heads.

The plan was to wrap each one individually and give them to Wayne one at a time for his birthday. Joanie and I wrapped each one, albeit crudely, and on a Saturday morning, I took the box of the bobble heads to the Elbow Room making sure I got there before Wayne.

After we had a crowd, Willie went back to the storage closet and got the first bobble head and gave it to Wayne. He was surprised, and got a good laugh out of it. Then someone else came back from the storage closet and gave Wayne another one. This went on until we had given Wayne all eight of the bobble heads one at a time, and he couldn’t believe it.

Wayne & Tiger

 

I also had contacted a friend who made a ND license plate with Tiger’s name on it and gave that to Wayne as well.

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The anti-Tiger banter from Willie to Wayne and I continued after that for years, and Wayne gave as good as he got, after all, it was Willie and it was the Elbow Room, and he loved it.

Thanks for the memories, Wayne.

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Christmas Eve, 2016

The ghosts of Christmas past are present.
I can’t escape them on this special night.
They come, slipping through the fog of memory.

Sitting here on Christmas Eve,
I light a candle that can show them the way
To where Brandy and I wait.

I sit, listening to music that calls them forth,
And remember why they were important,
And why I miss them on this night.

The years, and Christmases past now are one.
It matters not these ghosts are just memories.
What matters is why they were important.

Tonight, as I entertain the ghosts of Christmas past,
The candle’s flame casts a warm glow
I hope will welcome them back.

The candle in the window will guide them home,
Where Brandy and I wait to renew memories,
Made special by other nights and other times.

Joanie Poster_edited-2

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