12063691_10207498143761971_4963406016016687035_n.jpgMost people that know me know that I take my coffee seriously.  Now I am not talking about all of those special blends and concoctions that are available today for half a weeks salary. No I don’t need a  Caramel Macchiato, or Frappuccino. I don’t need a Narino Cold Brew or a Cinnamon Dolce Latte. (No offense to my son who is a Barista at Starbucks). Just give me a good tasting plain old cup o’Joe.

For decades I was happy with my drip coffee maker. I would set it up at night and when my alarm would go off in the morning, there waiting for me, steaming hot was my first cup of coffee of the day. Yes I would stumble, with my eyes wide shut, to the kitchen and grab the mug of the day (that’s a whole other story) fill it to the rim and sip. There is an art to sipping coffee, one must sip it with your mouth slightly open and drink and inhale the aroma at the same time.  I am not a cigarette smoker but I can imagine that that first sip of coffee must be like lighting up that first cigarette of the day.  Indescribably delicious. And when that first mug was done I would walk back to the coffee maker and grab my second cup. Not as good as the first but it was there waiting for me calling to me from the kitchen. Aahh life’s little pleasures.

As a Scout Leader for two decades now, it used to be my job to get up a half an hour early to start perking the coffee for the other Leaders. It was a dirty job but someone had to do it. There is nothing in the world like fresh perked coffee.  The aroma from each pot brought back memories of my childhood. Waking up on the weekend the house always smelled of two things, coffee and bacon.

Now a days, the house just smells of bacon (don’t tell my cardiologist please). Why you may ask? Did I give up coffee? NFW. But making coffee has changed over the years. Now we have a Keurig Coffee Maker. Anyone not living under a rock knows all about Keurig coffee makers. You make one cup at a time and if you are a good host, have a variety of flavors available for you (or guests) every whim.  Let’s not even begin with the outrageous cost of the Keurig Coffee Maker alone.

My wife and I can be considered ‘Tree Huggers”. We are not fanatical but we realized that these little pods of coffee just add to the landfill problem. So we found ourselves tearing them open, emptying them and putting the plastic pod in with the recycling. Eventually we bought the reusable pods and fill them ourselves. A big savings to both our wallets and the landfills. But is is worth it? Every-time that I want a cup of coffee, there I am filling up the reusable pod, to make my coffee.

The Keurig is nice, especially when company comes over but in reality, I miss the good old coffee maker where I get a pot at a time and it is waiting when I wake up in the morning, and that second cup is waiting when I have to fill my travel mug. The positive list goes on and on. So sometimes, change may not be so good. I think that I may go shopping for new coffee maker. One that can support my habit in a more timely fashion.

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Twelve years ago, at the ripe old age of 50, I got an envelope in the mail from AARP. My first reaction was that of anger. Me, a member of AARP? BUT I’M ONLY 50! Then I realized that it wasn’t that expensive, and I figured that as I got older, it would be good to have a Lobby in Washington DC.  Just to piss my wife off, I could get her a card too. I found out that I would now be eligible for a free cup of coffee at McDonald’s and all that I had to do was show my card at the register. SOLD!

I remember when my folks joined. They got all kinds of great things. It seems like suddenly they were traveling all over the place at great savings. Four days in London, a trip to Barbados, Broadway tickets and more. Cool, now I was part of that club. But no, I was never offered a trip, or a Broadway ticket. What I kept getting were offers for life Insurance (just enough to cover my funeral expenses), dental insurance and vision insurance. Oh, and let’s not forget those Life Alert pendants in case I fall down and can’t get up. BUT I’M ONLY 50!!!!

Here we are, twelve years later and we still belong to AARP. Suddenly, last week, a Miles Kimball catalog appeared in the mailbox. I figured now that I am definitely old enough to be an AARP member, more catalogs would appear from other companies as well. I didn’t realize just how much I missed getting catalogs in the mail. Great bathroom reading and mindless reading. The 21st Century internet killed mail order catalogs. To this day I miss reading my Campmor catalogs. And what about the Big Green Book that Toys R Us used to send out right before Thanksgiving?

Alas, as I sat looking through the Miles Kimball Catalog my mood slowly began to sink. This was a catalog for OLD people! Here are some of the items that I had the pleasure of perusing: an easy- grip spatula, a ring pull (to open zip tops on cans if you have arthritis), a corn cobber (for those with false choppers), a rain hat with a brim so that the lady in your life doesn’t ruin her hairdo, an escape hammer so that I can break car glass after I run off the road into the lake, sexy slippers in many styles for my bride of 35 years. Shall I go on? Okay a couple more. How about a toe straighter to cure gnarly hammer toes, a checkbook calculator (what is a check?), quilted furniture covers and clear plastic ones too! Okay last one, ready? A personalized Social Security blanket. So, I never forget that magic number.

I could go on and on, but why depress you too? Give me that Big Green Book, a Victoria Secrets Catalog (so I’m a dreamer, shoot me), Coldwater Creek, Campmor, even a Macy’s Catalog!



Screenshot (1)This is my son Adam and his dog Ladybug. Ladybug is 15 years old and Adam is 22 leaning on 23. Today Adam moved out of our home to pursue his life. As it should be. In fact, Adam did this a few years ago but the timing wasn’t right so he came back home. No problem. In fact we were happy that he was back.

You see Adam is quite creative, and you never know what direction that creative talent is going to go. I wish I had a nickel for all the times that he had his mother and me rolling in fits of laughter. Today he packed up his stuff and moved about an hour and a half away. Not far but far enough to be Adam. And isn’t that what counts most?

As a parent, we are supposed to be prepared for this. I mean, after all didn’t we all do the exact same thing? We woke up one day and decided that the time had come to move on and explore what life, and what the world had to offer. Some of us had children and some of us didn’t. Some moved across the Continent and some didn’t. But either way, whichever fork we traveled, we indeed traveled.

Those of us with children kinda sorta always knew that the day would come when  we would be turning this page, closing one chapter and beginning another. By the way, did I mention that Adam is our youngest son? Well he is. Our oldest moved out also some years ago, got a job and career, married, and blessed us with a grandchild. They live about ten minutes from us. But they too have their own lives, doing exactly what we did, and then some. The wheel is turning and it won’t slow down.

So now it is just me and my wife and our two dogs. Adam left his with us. We prepared for this day and at the same time we weren’t prepared. All that I know is that when I look at my children, deep in my heart, I know that we did our best in raising them and teaching them. Their actions remind me of that every time I see them.

And along the way, they taught us also.

So with sadness and pride and loads of other emotions all wrapped up inside today is the first day of the rest of our lives. And Adam’s too.


In case you did not know, the Federal Highway System was envisioned by President Eisenhower and ultimately got it’s start in his second term.

( ). I have heard that is was designed to move Troops across the Nation, and I have heard that it was designed to help with the growth of the Nation following WW2. Needless to say it has had a lasting effect on our Country and Culture since.

This last winter I had the opportunity to go with my Boy Scout Troop to Vermont for their yearly ski trip. I am no longer a skier but wanted to revisit some of my old stomping grounds from when I was younger. So I volunteered to go and be their cook for the weekend.

My first rude awakening came on Friday night when I hit Route 4 in Vermont. No longer was it the twisty windy road that traveled through the mountains and sleepy little towns that I remembered. Now it had become a 4, or 6 lane super highway which I call a bypass. Off in the distance I could see the lights of the towns but that was about it.

On Saturday I decided to take a ride and stay off of the Interstate/bypass. The old adage that you can never go home again is true, I didn’t see much that I recalled, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying what was left. I saw beautiful buildings that had been restored, and old buildings that, although looked inhabited, looked decrepit.

The U.S. of A. is filled with many many beautiful things to see. All we have to do is get off of the internet to see them.