Well, I’m Back!

Did you miss me without missing me?

The family and I have been in the Outer Banks for the past two weeks, and my word, did I need a vacation from work. We weren’t able to come down here last year due to logistics problems, but this year make up for it. Our rental is gorgeous, it’s 300 yards from the beach, and we’ve had deer in our backyard every day.

I have been waking up and jogging four miles a day, every day – with the exception of last Sunday, because I was so exhausted. We’ve spent four to five hours on the beach, and with the exception of one bad jellyfish day, the climate has been pretty fantastic.

When we haven’t been on the sands, we took a few times outs to check some of the local goodies. One of our first was a trip to Fort Raleigh, the first English settlement in America in 1587. One of the park rangers sent us down a path to the bay, and told us to look for the white and red buoy. It marks where the fort extended before the bay, three hundred yards away.

The photo above shows some of the artifacts found at the fort…

Continue reading “Well, I’m Back!”

Twenty-Five Years

Twenty-five years ago today, Mrs. Earp and I walked down the aisle as husband and wife in arguably the hottest day of the year. Everything didn’t go exactly as planned; the car taking Mrs. Earp to church had a flat tire, everyone was sweating from the heat, and the two of us opened our gifts at home before crashing from exhaustion.

There were a lot of great parts, however. One of my coworkers taught us how to line dance, and we did that during the reception, we played Dick Dale’s Misirlou as our bridal party entered, and the food was out of this world.

In the past twenty-five years, we raised four (usually) great kids, lost three parents, and did our best to give the kids a better life than we had. Everything isn’t perfect, but we’re doing what we can.

Tonight the kids will be ordering from Wendy’s while the missus and I will be at a seafood restaurant, alone, without the cherubs.

Happy Birthday Mrs. Earp

While this slot would normally be used for Your Olympic Babe O’ The Day, that post is being pushed back to 4pm today and tomorrow. For my regular readers, you know why; today starts the Earp family’s three birthdays in six days event.

The week begins with Mrs. Earp, who hit a milestone today – she’s 75! Okay, she’s not seventy-five, but she is another year older, and for the next month and a half, she’s only two years younger than me, instead of three.

Sadly, I’m night work this week, so I won’t see the missus much today, but I’m sure she’ll have a great day.

My mother-in-law will be taking our family out to dinner Wednesday, and it’ll effectively be a family birthday celebration, since Erik turns eighteen tomorrow and Kevin turns fourteen on Valentine’s Day.

One Year Later…

Today is the first anniversary of my mother’s death.

Because I am a terrible son, I completely forgot today was September 4th, and Mrs. Earp had to remind me. I miss my mother very much, obviously, and she spent so much time with the kids – especially Kevin and Julia. They would both get excited when she came to babysit, because she would bring her tablet. The kids knew they would be playing video games on that thing the entire time mom was there.

My kids have only one grandparent left – Mrs. Earp’s mother – and I sorely wish the others were still with us. Today, like every September 4th, is a terrible day.

I don’t expect to be posting about mom every September 4th, but I am embarrassed and ashamed I forgot today was that awful 2020 day. Thank you for indulging me today.

Twenty-Four Years

Today is my 24th wedding anniversary.

On this date twenty-four years ago, on a scorching hot August day, we got married in a church fifty yards away from Mrs. Earp’s home. Mrs. Earp’s relative was going to drive her to the church, but we noticed he had a flat tire. It was her last chance to run away.

A family friend drove her to the church and everything went as planned. The reception went by way too fast, and afterward, family members met at Mrs. Earp’s house to decompress.

In the years since, we’ve had ups and downs. We have four great kids, but lost three of our four parents. Mrs. Earp has a job she likes, and I now hate mine. The kids are getting older – which is both good and bad – but overall things have ben well above average.

With the shoulder issues, the basal-cell cancer, and the stress of work, I try to remember we never know when we’re going to leave this mortal coil. That said, it’s probably a good idea to live life to the fullest, and be happy with the time we have.

Uncle Grandpa

So, my sister was not content with having an only child, so she and her husband decided to have another.

Can you imagine having two kids? What kind of psycho would do such a thing?

Brooke Cathleen Suboleski entered the world on July 24th, at 8:26am. She weighed in at 8 pounds and 13 ounces, and was 20.5 inches long.

I’m entirely too old to be an uncle again, but I am old enough to yell at my sister, who had to have a C-section. She actually thinks she can attend her friend’s wedding in a few days. Yeah, good luck with that.

Happy Mother’s Day!

I wanted to wish all the moms out there a happy Mother’s Day. It’s effectively the only day of the years where you can relax while everyone attempts to help out in the house.

It’s a bittersweet Mother’s Day for me, since it’s the first without my mother. The good news is Mrs. Earp’s mom is coming for dinner, and she is the closest thing to a mom I have anymore.

Here’s wishing all you moms have a terrific day, hopefully with family by your side. Unless, of course, you don’t like your kids, then you can stay home, eat junk food, and have a few adult beverages.

Jeanie Remar, 1940-2021

My Aunt Jeanie passed away yesterday morning due to complications of Covid. She was 80 years old.

(She’s left-center, white blouse. I’m at the end on the left, two down from my Dad, the redhead.)

Aunt Jeanie was my mother’s older sister, and while she always told me Jeanie was a terror when she was younger, she decided to give her adult life to God. Sister Miriam Jude Remar became a nun and served the Lord for her entire life.

Aunt Jeanie was an old school nun. She would chastise us when we were younger if we said something awful – which was often – and was always good for the Old Wives Tales. Her favorite was, “If you raise your hand to your parent, God would freeze it there for the rest of your life!”

She also had her hilarious side, like when we celebrated my Uncle Ray’s 60th birthday at the horse racing track, and she was betting on the ponies like she was a mob boss.

We hadn’t had the opportunity to see her much lately, mostly because she was transferred to Connecticut. She would always send cards and letters, telling us what was going on. and asking how everyone was faring. I heard she caught the Covid right around the day my cousin’s son committed suicide, and I put it out of my mind, thinking she would get through it.

Sadly, that was not the case.

Aunt Jeanie will be cremated, and they will have a service for her in Connecticut. There will also be a service here for the family whenever these Covid restrictions are gone.

Aunt Jeanie is the third member of my family to pass on since September, and today is the six-month anniversary of mom’s death. I am starting to wonder if the Lord is punishing me and my family. I know Aunt Jeanie is in a better place – she was dealing with dementia, just like Mom – but three relatives in six months is a little much.

Goodbye Aunt Jeanie. We all love you very much.

Happy Birthday Erik!

Today is my middle son’s birthday, and day two of our three birthdays in six days event. Erik is seventeen today, which means he can finally watch R-rated movies. (As if he hasn’t already been seeing them.)

Erik is a stresser. He stresses about everything; school, sports, video games, you name it. That said, he also does exceedingly well in school – he earned First Honors for the semester – is a very good lacrosse player and was an amazing soccer player – and he dominates video games. I assume he gets the stress from me, since I stress about anything and everything.

The Chinese Wuhan Virus has taken its toll on him – he lost an entire lacrosse season in 2020, and lacrosse practices now are often virtual – but he’s making the best of it.

The boy is wicked smaht, is very active – he goes for ten-mile bike rides often – and is, for the most part, a terrific son. I sincerely hope he enjoys his gift, as it took me forever to find.

Happy birthday, Erik. We love you!

Happy Birthday Mrs. Earp!

Today is Mrs. Earp’s forty-something birthday, and the start of the Earp Family’s Four-Birthdays-In-Six-Days event.

I met Mrs. Earp in high school, as she was my friend’s sister. We hung out at her house often, and she and I became friends. Eventually the friendship turned to dating, then dating turned to marriage, then marriage turned to four rotten, sarcastic kids.

Kidding, kidding! Sorta.

We’ve been together for almost 29 years, and married for almost 24. Like most couples, we’ve had our ups and downs, but for the most part it’s been a fairly steady ride. I’m considering getting her bupkis for her birthday because I just bought her a car. Think that’ll go over well? Nah, me neither.

Happy birthday, Mrs. Earp. I love you.