Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Big 6

Yvette and I are approaching our 6th wedding anniversary in a couple of weeks. Looking at some photos from our honeymoon I came across this one.

We went to Knotts Berry Farm on one of the days we were in the LA area. It was a great day, a bit overcast and maybe 200 people in the park. No wait for anything. We went to the cowboy stunt show and as we were walking in two cowboys stopped us and asked if they could "borrow" Yvette to help them in their show. Before she could answer I said "SURE!" She never had a choice! So the plan was for her to enter with the guy in the Yankee hat and pose as his new wife ( a far stretch of acting...playing a newlywed!) I would enter alone and not sit near them (even I couldn't mess that part up!). So they did and I did. It was funny watching them as they walked in holding hands and sat in the middle of the stands. Then the show started and they asked for a volunteer from the audience. Yvette played her part great as she started jumping up trying to raise the hand of her "new" husband. He acted like he didn't want to go until two cowboys came and "convinced" him to go on stage with their guns. As he was up there, Yvette would smile and wave and even blew a kiss at him, he in turn took a picture of her from the stage.

And so the show went, I'm sure you can figure it out. The "volunteer" ends up doing the biggest stunt at the end, all to the crowds delite. So the show ends and they introduce each stunt member and end it by saying "We would like to give a special thanks to Yvette for helping us today, She really is here on her honeymoon with that guy over there!" THAT GUY OVER THERE?? I loan them my wife and all I get was "That guy over there??" Hmmmm.

But after the show we got that picture and wonderful memories of a near perfect week. The rest of the day, other park guests would see us and say "Hey! There's the newlyweds!" It felt great and was a lot of fun. I wish that day could have gone on forever!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Where were you...

I make this note before you read what I have written below. I am an American. I love America. I take no shame in saying it. This country could be better, and it strives to be, but it's the best thing going. If you are offended by that, so be it. You can move on. If not, you are welcome to stay.

September 11, 2001.

Many blogs, newspaper, t.v. stations and radio stations will report on 9/11 today.
Mine will also.

September 11th 2001, I was on the freeway taking my mom to work. I received a call from Yvette asking me if I knew what was happening. She had received a call from her cousin in Mexico telling her what had happened. Neither of us believed it.

This is a day to remember. Remember those who died in New York, Washington, and on a field in Pennsylvania in a vicious attach on America.

This is a day when everyone here, is an American first. There should be no hyphen Americans, no Republican or Democrat Americans, no black, red, brown, white, yellow Americans.

Today, We are all just Americans!

I hope you fly your American flag today in memory of those lost and those who have to go on without a loved one.

When you hear that jet fly over head, remember it's the sound of freedom.

God bless America and America, bless God!

Saturday, September 6, 2008


When I was eighteen years old, I worked for the Fresno Bee Newspaper driving a van, taking the papers to the carriers. I would report to work at 2AM and work until about 8AM. It was a great job. Gave me my days free and paid very well. I worked for the Bee for about a dozen years in total. Back in those days, I didn't look much past the next weekend. I had it all. I lived at home still, as did just about every one of my friends. I had my own car. I came and went pretty much as I pleased. I also worked part time at Burger King for a while, working the lunch shift, Monday thru Friday. I bet you didn't know that I was the very first male order taker that BK had in California! I even squeezed in a couple of college classes to boot. I had a great life!

Then I grew up. Why did I do that?

The day I grew up was the day Debbie was diagnosed with leukemia. I had no choice. Up until that day, it was pretty much still do what I want when I want. Yes I had a wife and kids now, but I was still renting, still jumping from job to job because a competitor offered me a dollar an hour more, still saying "we're moving back to the beach!" That one phone call, changed my whole life.

Fast forward eleven years. I have six kids, a new wife, two house payments, mounting debt, and major decisions. Some of this is my doing, some is not.

Today I face a decision that is extremely difficult for me. Today I have to decide if I will donate my horse, Suzie-Slow-Poke, to a organization that uses horses as therapy for children that are burn victims. What better cause could there be? Yvette has decided to donate her horse, Dolly.

The reason for this goes back to the root of all evil, money. Paying $360 a month to board them is just not possible at this point in time anymore. Gas and food prices, six kids in school, you know the story. Then add in the vet bills, the farrier bills, and the Good Lord help me if one of them should even have a health emergency! But Suzie is my horse! She and I have a very strong bond! We have worked on our trust of each other. She knows I will never put her in harms way and I know she will always do what I ask her. She is such a great horse for the parades and cowboy shows we do. Always standing still as kids run up behind her and under her, pull her tail or main. She would even lower her head to receive hugs from kids. We worked on a code word, "camera" where she would stand still and "pose" for a picture. (if you go to youtube and search for Suzie and the camera, you can see her) She is good for me, takes me away for a while when it's just her and I. She is my friend, my horse.

I know all things come to an end, and I know you might be thinking "it's a horse" but to me, she's a part of me. I know she would be loved and I know she would feel that love from the children she would help. She would return that love a million times over to them, as she has done to me so many times. I know it's a good thing to do, to donate her, but do I have the strength to give away such a big part of me? Am I selfish and wrong if I don't? I have my memories of our rides together, our quiet times and our fun times. It's funny, I don't think I've ever had a bad time with her! Maybe now it's time to let others discover this "wonder horse" and be able to feel like the Lone Ranger, or Roy Rogers or even Dale Evens, as the mount this trusty steed and ride off to catch the bad guy or save the town.

But where ever she goes, she will always be my horse, and I love Suzie-Slow-Poke!

Update: Suzie was taken to her new home today. I'm sure she will be happy with all those kids.