Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Up Dated Resume

responsibilities Include: supervising assets, procurement, distribution, inventory and equipment utilization.

12/06-2/07 Mr. MOM
Stay at home dad, bonding with three year old son, making breakfast-lunch and dinner, taking baths, coloring and going on various adventures to other planets, other times and becoming pirates or cowboys with him. Watching Dora, Scooby Doo and Sponge Bob. Also attended my other children’s baseball games, basketball games and classes for various story times. Most fulfilling position ever held.


Yep! Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, mom's and dad's, it's time to return to the work force. After having the last three months off due to the incompetent upper management of my previous employer (just a bit of sarcasm there!) I will begin employment with Apria Healthcare. Still in the same field, doing what I seem to know best, with some of the people I have worked with in the past.
It's funny because Apria is the one company I always said I wouldn't work for. They have a bad reputation for poor service in Fresno and I had bad luck with them when they serviced my late wife. BUT that's one of the things I hope to fix. Having met with some of the upper management, I feel that they are going in the right direction.

So with a very heavy heart, I'll be leaving my three year old with my sister in law and starting Monday. I will so miss watching Clayton play and color and just be a cute kid. I'll miss the baths, light saber fights, and making "reetos" for him.

I know hindsight is 20-20. It's kind of funny to look back over the last three months and think about all the emotions I went through. Anger, Worthlessness, Anxiety,...then about three weeks ago I had a dream. I couldn't remember what happened in it when I woke up, but I did remember having L J H I written on my knuckles of my left hand and in the palm of the same hand.

It stands for "Let Jesus Handle It".

So I did.

And He did.

And I'm back working again!

Friday, February 23, 2007

The BIG Day

Today is the day! My oldest son, Archie, has his first real date tonight. Just where the heck did the time go? Shouldn't I still be teaching him to ride a bike, or tucking him in at night?
Tonight he and a young lady will be attending the ROTC Military Ball. I will be the chauffeur for the evening and I bet I'm more nervous than either of them. Just another step in his growing up. Next thing I know, he'll be moving out! That's the day I will say "WHOOOOHOOOOOOO!!! ONLY FIVE MORE TO GO!!"

I'll have some photos this weekend, y'all come back now, ya hear?

received a call from Archie saying that the girls mother wants to take them and pick them up. She told me "I just don't want her to get in a car with a 17 year old driver" I guess she was talking about another kid driving as Archie is only 15, but I like her already! Here is a parent that cares about what her kid is doing!!

The Late Night Call

Night before last, the phone rang at 3:30 am. In my sleep induced stupor I reached for the phone but in a split second I said to Yvette, "You get it". It was her step-dad. Yvette's mother has been having health problems for the last few years and had passed out while in the bathroom. He had revived her but I guess he didn't know what to do. Yvette told her father to call 911 and she then tried to call her brother, but only his answer machine answered. She then jumped in the car and went to pick up her step-father and they followed the ambulance to the hospital. After many, many tests she was admitted into the hospital for "observation" and is still there. She seems to be doing ok now (I think she just wanted some attention!) and our hopes are that she will be able to come home soon.
The reason that I didn't answer the phone is because I have received that phone call twice in the past six years. The "you need to come here now, she isn't going to make it through the night" call. Nothing scares me more than that late night phone call. I simply cowered out of answering it this time. I fear that's it's about my mom, she will be 78 this summer. I fear it's my other sister, who seems to be having more and more health problems or maybe it's her husband, or even my in-laws. The fear that rockets through me when that phone rings at that time of night brings back such bad memories, that I really can't explain it.
Yvette spend about eleven hours at the hospital yesterday. I remember those times like they were this morning. Sitting there while Debbie was totally out of it, or while Suzie drifted from knowing me to being a complete stranger. Your mind begins to run. Run with the "what ifs" and the "how come's". I would start to wonder what they might be feeling, if they knew I was even there. I would drive to Stanford for Debbie and spend the whole day there, returning home at about 10 PM and all the while, she would never regain consciousness. Did she even know I was there? Was I just doing it for myself? I once asked her if she remembered me being there and she told me no, she didn't remember much of that time, but there were times I would talk to her and she would squeeze my hand ever so slightly. So, I don't know. She died with me holding her hand and telling her I loved her and it was ok to go, she had fought a terrific fight. Suzie was much the same. I kissed her head, told her I loved her, carresed her hair for a while, then she was gone.
I don't know why these things seem to always start at night, but they always seem to. That may be one of the questions that I ask the Big Cowboy in the sky when I get there. I have a few to ask Him.
And as for that late night phone call, well I hope it never comes my way again!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Boogity Boogity Boogity! Let's Go Racing, Boys!!

Today is the Daytona 500 and being a big Kyle Petty fan (I can hear the snickering already) it's the day I've waited for for three months! Now I know to be happy with a top 15, real happy with a top 10, ecstatic, with a top 5, but if there should be a victory in the cards, I will need medical attention! Some of the catch phrases flowing around our house this weekend will be, " GREEN-GREEN-GREEN!, THREE WIDE, and of course, BOOGITY-BOOGITY-BOOGITY!! LETS GO RACING BOYS!!

Friday, February 16, 2007

A Father's Rant

My daughter, Cheyanne, had a basketball game yesterday. Clayton, my 3 year old, and I were there to watch. The team she played against had 17 girls on the team, while my daughter's team has 12. Clayton and I watched as all the opposing team was rotated in and out through out the game, while Cheyanne played for a total of about three minutes. There were three girls that played almost the full game for Cheyanne's team while the balance of the girls rotated in and out, with Cheyanne getting by far the least amount of playing time. Am I complaining about her playing time because I'm her father? No, I complaining because as a team member, she was snubbed. Maybe she isn't as good as the other girls? Well, at the game before this one, she was the third highest scorer for her team. Did she get in trouble or miss practices? No, because she started this game. Was the game close so the best players were in going for the win? Nope, her team was blown out. The game was decided by the end of the first half.

So what's the deal?

Cheyanne complained to me after the game about her playing time. Being a protective dad, I wanted to go break her coach into about 100 pieces. But I was able to count to 10 and explain to her that she needed to talk to him about her playing time. Ask him for his side. Having coached Little League for over 20 years, I've had parents come up to complain about their superstar's playing time. One year when I was coaching Tyler, I had a parent get right in my face because I had taken his son out of the game. His son was pitching and was getting tired on a hot day. This parent asked why I took him out, then proceeded to tell me that I never pull my own kid. At that point I asked my kid to stand up. Tyler was sitting on the bench behind this parent. Kind of hard to play defense while your sitting on the bench! Every kid I coached, got to pitch to at least one batter (even tho some of them couldn't throw that far or straight or even really wanted to pitch) and every kid on the team was the leadoff batter at least once, during the season.
Now am I saying I'm the best coach of all time and all other coaches should be like me? No and Yes! Surprised?
What I'm saying is I knew the game! I knew the rules! And my FIRST concern was that the kids had fun!!
On my teams there were only three rules.

1) Have fun!
2) Pay attention when on the field
3) Have fun!

At the end of the season I wanted the kids to have had fun, learn some baseball and teamwork and take away some good memories. Every once in a while, I have someone come up to me and say, "Did you ever coach Little League? You were my coach!" Those are the memories I'm talking about!
This all comes down to, what I think, are people coaching teams for the wrong reason. You don't coach to win! You don't coach so that your kid gets to play more! You don't coach to relive past glory! You coach to teach!!! You teach fundamentals, teamwork, sportsmanship and how to enjoy playing a game! I don't believe many people can do that anymore. I have at least one or two more years left of coaching in me. Cheyanne has asked me to coach her softball team this year and I plan to coach Clayton at least once so that I will have coached all of my boys, from Jayson to Joshua, at least once.
And as for her basketball team, I try to make sure she knows that she's playing for the fun of it and for her school.

After all, it's just a game, right?

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Slone Rides Again!

For about the last month my daughter Alexis, has been asking me to come to her class to tell a cowboy story. At first I thought she was just asking me but then about a week ago I received a note from her teacher. The note said that Alexis was asking her if it was OK for me to come tell her second grade class a cowboy story. That caught me a little off guard.
Now, all these "cowboy stories" comes from long family car trips. My kids get a kick out of hearing me tell western stories of hard riding, shoot em ups. But I have never told them in front of 30 seven year olds. Well, after doing a little research, just to make sure I have the facts straight, I showed up to tell the story of Grub Gulch and the Black Kid. What a rush! I can kind of see how the great cowboy heroes of the past, The Lone Ranger, Gene, Roy and Hoppy, may have felt! Just walking down the hallway to the class room in my cowboy action shooting clothes and the looks I received was way cool. Nobody had anything bad or smart to say. When I entered the class room, the eyes of these kids told the whole story. Never had I seen eyes get so big and such big smiles. Well I told my story, answered a few questions about the old west then with a big, "AdiĆ³s" I was out the door, but it didn't end there. As I was leaving, the upper grades, 4th - 6th, were getting out for lunch. They were lined up and I had to walk right through all of them to get back to my truck. More looks and some "Aww...look at those things on his boots!" Then a teacher came up to me asking if I would go back and tell the kids in line about my spurs, she had tried to talk about them but wanted them to see real ones. I was more than happy to comply and took the opportunity to spread "the cowboy way" with the kids. I showed and briefly talked about my spurs and then added how horses don't like to be kicked hard with them. I told them that asking the horse with a gentle nudge with the spurs works best, just like "asking someone nicely will get ya farther than kicking fer what ya want"
It was so cool! Kids, teachers even the school principal got a kick out of my visit. The only thing that was a bit of a downer was a older lady who saw my SASS (single action shooting society) badge and asked if I was a "law officer?" I told her no and she seemed a little pushed out of shape, but that was all.

What a time I had, but this may be the kicker. All the while I am writing this, N.B.C.'s To Catch A Predator is on. In case you don't know, it's a show about grown men targeting 12 and 13 year girls AND boys for sex. I think of these wackos and think of the smiling faces I saw yesterday and I gotta wonder, what would Gene, Roy and Hoppy think?

Oh, and if your wondering about the story of Grub Gulch and the Black Kid, "Ya just needs ta ask me bout it pard!"