About Me

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Watkinsville, Georgia, United States
We lost my beautiful wife of 20 years on 9/12/07. Lisa was my world she was my everything and now she is gone. We are learning to live without Lisa now. I say we because I am not alone. My children are stuck in this mess with me. These are my notes, my vent, my way of letting you all know that we are doing well (some days). This is for myself, my friends and my family that want to know how we are doing and what we are up to. Along the way I hope this might also help someone else who has been dealt a similar hand.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Thinking Out Loud

Something that I have been thinking a lot about here of late is happiness. I came across this picture of Lisa and I recently and it reminded me of how happy we were. No, it’s not the most flattering picture of either of us but it says a lot to me. It reminded me of how happy we were together and reminded me of how much I miss that shear happiness. Lisa was a happy person and found joy in so many simple things. Her happiness was contagious at times. She loved to laugh and smile. I loved to make her laugh and smile. Shoot, just seeing her laugh and smile made me laugh and smile.

Sure we had our days… I know there were days that I made her just want to scream and pull her hair out. There were also days that she made me want to put my head in that big vise I have attached to my workbench. However, overall, day in and day out, we were pretty dang happy. Not just content but happy.

I miss being happy… Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I am un-happy. Sure we are doing alright but who the heck just wants to be okay. I want more than okay… I want to be happy again and I don’t know how to get there from here. I don’t even know if I CAN get there from here.

I suppose I should just try to find the happiness that life, in and of itself, brings to me but sometimes I have trouble seeing the forest for all the trees in the way. I guess what I am saying is that maybe I need to get back to being thankful for what I have and finding happiness in that. Easier said than done when I know what would make me happy but cannot have it or attain it. I know that, at least in this life, I cannot have her back. So if that’s the one thing that would make me happy and I cannot have it, how can I then be happy again. I have two choices… Find something else that would make me happy again or never be that happy again. Is it that simple or do I have another choice? Maybe that’s not the only thing that would make me that happy again. I find that hard to believe…

Have I lost you? Have I confused you? Well, welcome to the club!

Life without Lisa is and is not a lot of things. It is not filled with that sheer happiness.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

New Roof

All I can say is WOW…

I got home last night and all the trucks, trash, and workers were gone.  In just two short days these guys put a new roof on the garage, house, well house and gazebo.  It looks like a new house and it looks like they did a really good job.  No it’s not perfect… not every miter joint on the new fascia board is perfect and not every nail was countersunk but all in all it looks like they did a great job.  I walked around the house and did not find one nail or scrap of old shingle or felt.  The place looks great.

Now all I have to do is get that new fascia board painted and get some new gutters on the house and we are good to go.  This really worked out pretty well.  No, I still don’t like the idea of having to pay others to do things that I am more than capable of doing for myself but that’s just the way it is now.  I can only hope that the rest of the remodeling that the house needs will go as smooth as this did.

My landscape architect, Chuck, has delivered a plan that looks really good.  We are going to replace that nasty mulch path with a stacked stone wall and cobblestone path.  That’s the next big project along with the painting and gutters.

Still, WOW on the roof…

Monday, October 19, 2009

Rough Roof

Things got a little nutty around here starting Sunday night.

The roofing company called Sunday night and said we just want you to know that we are starting work on the roof in the morning. In the morning!?  Of course my anxiety spiked out of control.  How was I going to make arraingments to be here and keep an eye on things to make sure it was done right.  I quickly figuered out that I just had to let it go.  Lisa always said, "What will be, will be".  So I am trying to let go a little bit.  

I was able to take a late long lunch and come back out to the farm for a while.  I got home to find the work progressing at a rapid pace and things look like they were going well.  No, they were not doing everything like I would have done it.  I just took a deep breath got back in my truck and went back to work.  I am sure everything is going to be fine and it will all work out.

When Matt got home he told me that our little inside dog, Ally, was a nervouse wreck.  I am sure she was since she always jumps at the slitest sound and scampers to the door barking like crazy.  I can only imagine what she thought about all that commotion on the roof.  I wonder how long she went on like that this morning before she thought the house was falling in.

My first inclination when I got home was to throw on some work clothes and go climb onto the roof.  I decieded the better option was to cook some supper and just let these guys do the work.  Yeah, Im a bit of a control freek and believe that if you want something done right you need to do it yourself.  Or at least stand over others and tell them the correct way to do it.  The crew worked right up till dark which was about 7:00.  I suppose they are trying to get in some extra hours due to all the rain we have had.

Crap... I hope it doesn't rain tonight since I don't think they nailed those tarps down.  See I should have gone up on the roof!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Work Weekend

Mom and Dad came up for the weekend.  Mom did a lot of work cleaning and cooking in the house while dad and I worked on getting my shop cabinets hung.  Having mom take care of things in the house while I am on other projects is great.  Its like I have been cloned and am getting twice the work done in half the time.

Dad and I worked all day Friday and got the cabinets on the wall and even got the under cabinet lighting install and wired up.  I enjoy working with dad in the shop.  It's great working with him.  He knows his way around a shop and always seems to come up with good ideas.  Its good to work with someone that knows what they are doing.  I only wish we could do it more often.  Its, typically, a great stress free way to spend time together.  I think he respects my talents and I respect his.  Sometimes we don't even have to tell each other what to do.  We just know and don't have to say anything.

Saturday Me, Dad and Matt did some of the dreaded shopping I needed to get done.  Matt had outgrown his winter coats and needed a good one.  I don't know why, but shopping stresses me out.  I always get uptight and the anxiety kicks in.  If it were not so much trouble to return things when they don't fit, I would make all my purchases on the internet. Not to mention it rained all day Saturday and the rain tends to bring me down also.

Anyhow, tomorrow starts a new week and its back to work.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Guilt & Tennyson

I feel a little guilty about the fact that I am doing so much better emotionally these days. I know it’s nonsense to feel any guilt but I do… Yeah, I know Lisa would not want me to feel that way. However, for some strange reason I feel it. I suppose it’s a bit natural to feel this way but I also know I have nothing to feel guilty about. It’s been a long difficult road that I also know will never really end.

My friend Cindy has pointed this out to me on a couple of occasions but it has never really sunk in until now. It never will be completely over or gone. My love for Lisa was so strong that it has been etched into me to the point that I really will never be able to feel the same way about anyone else. I am beginning to be okay with that because I don’t want to feel that way about anyone else. That part of me was for Lisa and it will always belong to her. I am also okay with that because I see so many others around me that never have and probably never will have the opportunity to feel the same way. I count myself one of the luckiest men in the world to have been given such a wonderful gift.

As Tennyson put it, “ It is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all ”… I understand that much better these days. It is better that I was blessed to have her for the time that I did, rather than to never have had her at all. For that I am eternally grateful. She forever changed me, made me better and enabled me to experience what many will never have. A deep and enduring love. The key word there is enduring, for Cindy is right, it will never go away… It will always be there… And that’s okay…

Monday, October 12, 2009

Bonus Post

Since its raining and I have some time on my hands this afternoon I thought I would post a couple of pictures.  Here is a a before and after picture of the cabinets that I have been working on.  The pictures really don't do them justice.  I suppose if I used a real camera rather than my phone camera they might look better but my phone pictures seem to load a lot faster on my slow internet connection.  Maybe some technowiz out there can tell me what I'm doing wrong!

Before                                                                                                         After

Fall Break Day 5

Yesterday was a great day. I walked into my shop at around nine in the morning and did not come out until about four. The sun was shining and I worked with the doors up and windows open. The weather was just perfect.

I worked on the cabinets that I had scavenged from my friend Judy. I got all of the doors and cases striped, scraped, sanded and painted. I made a lot more progress than I expected. In fact, I had not even planned on painting them yesterday. When I got to the point I was ready to paint, rather than run to the hardware store and get a custom color, I found an old can of paint that worked just fine. It was a left over gallon that was used to paint the house some time back. Now all I need to do is clean up the old hardware and get them hung on the wall. Dad should be here next weekend and that will make a great project for the two of us to work on together. Not to mention, Dads pretty dang good with all the electrical and he will be able to help finish all that up.

I probably would have stayed out there into the late evening but I was pretty tuckered out and had not even stopped to eat. Besides, I had friends coming at six for dinner.

My friends Mike and Barbie came over and we just ordered pizza. It was nice to have some folks over for the evening and even better that it was Mike and Barbie. After supper Barbie agreed to take the last of Lisa's clothes for me. Lisa and Barbie are about the same size so I think she will be able to use a good bit of what I had left. I know she will find a good home for any thing she can't use. I have found that it's just too hard to put any of it in the trash so it was good to have her take it for me. While some of it had a good bit of dust on it there were a number of items that still even had the store tags on it.

Today it's raining like crazy again and I am kind of at a loss as to how to spend my day. Its one of those days that I did not have anything planned and I am already walking in circles. It's the last day of Fall Break so I think we are just going to take it easy. While I am blessed to have a great job, I sure wouldn't mind having another five days off!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Fall Break Day 3 & 4

Not much to say about yesterday... I spent most of the day doing house work and shopping. Had dinner (Chinese) with the kids and me and Matt took in a movie. We saw couples retreat with Vince Vaughn. We love VV.

Today is for me. I am skipping church and I am going to do what I want today. I am not doing housework or hanging out with Matt or shopping or anything else like that. I am going out and spend the day in my shop. What I used to tell Lisa was "I'm gong to make some saw dust".

I have the used cabinets cut up how I want them and I am ready to get the repainted. I have to sand down the last of the drywall and paint it and install the last of the lights. I have a lot I want to get done and only a limited time to do it.

We have some of our favorite folks coming for pizza and board games tonight so I have to quit working at a decent hour and get cleaned up. So, I going to stop burning daylight and get out in the shop.

Maybe I will make this a double post day and put something on here later tonight if I am not too tired.

Oh and the attached picture... Thats from the world of coke, Matt claims that the tee-shirts were supposed to smell like the soda. I'm not so sure...

Friday, October 9, 2009

Fall Break Day 2

Another very long day with the boys. We took off early for Perry this morning and spent the day at the Georgia National Fair. It was our first time. A good time was had by all. We ate way too much junk! We were also successful in finding a deep fried Twinkie. Heck we found just about anything you wanted deep fried. Like I told the boys, anything dipped in batter and deep fried is good! Matt tried the deep fried cheese cake. I think it was better than the Twinkie.

The boys rode plenty of the rides on the midway. I was happy to just watch them ride. We ran into several of our friends while we were there. In fact we saw our little buddy Camille win the best in showmanship award at the lamb show. She is a sweetheart as was thrilled that we had come to see her. Don't tell her we really came to find the Twinkie.
I suppose now its time
that I got back to the
business of being an adult and parent. Bills have to be paid and there is plenty of housework that I have been putting off. Not to mention I need to do my favorite thing and get some shopping done tomorrow. I also need to
go check on my baby girl. She has been running a fever for the last couple of days and been holed up in her apartment. I'm sure she will be fine but I am also sure that a visit from dad might also be appreciated.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Fall Break Day 1

Day one of fall break was a long day. So no deep and thought provoking discussion tonight. I am too tired and ready to put my feet up.

Me, Matt and his buddy William spent the day in Atlanta. We did the World of Coke, The Atlanta Aquarium and took this picture just outside the CNN complex.

It was a good "guy" day. The boys are a lot of fun and they constantly see humor and fun in everything.

We have another big day tomorrow at the Georgia National Fai

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Send Me A Text God!

Here lately, I suppose the overwhelming question that I have is the same question that I have had for many years. That is, what is God’s plan for me. It is easy to see in hind sight what his plan has been for me. I just never seem to know what is to come or what he wants of me next. That is what is gnawing at me now. Some people just seem to know what their path is and what God wants of them. I know several people that KNOW they have been called on by God to do something. I don’t ever seem to know what my path is until I’m already on it.

I suppose I am not much different from most other folks except all my plans have been destroyed and I don’t know what I am going to do now. What I mean is that we had a long term plan. We knew, at least we thought we knew, what we wanted to do and where we wanted to be long term. I was going to start a new career and Lisa was going to continue to teach until she was ready to retire. We were going to make the farm house what we wanted and enjoy traveling, each other and maybe one day be involved and loving grandparents. All that changed in a blink of an eye. So what now? I barely know what I am going to do next week, much less what I will be doing five years from now. That’s not how it’s supposed to be. I’m a private sector corporate guy. I’m always supposed to know what my five year and ten year plan is. We corporate types have been trained to think like that so it is very engrained in us that we need to have this plan.

That’s my struggle… What do I do now? Do I continue my work on the farm house? Do I remain single and alone? Do I dare to leave corporate life for something else? What if by some miracle I do find someone special? Will my plans change again? Maybe I should not ask these questions. Maybe I should not try to make any plans. Maybe all that corporate brainwashing for the need of a plan is crap. Maybe I should just live one day at a time and let what will be, be. Maybe I should just wait it out, wait God out and hope, hope, hope that he will show me my new path.

My prayers have been changing… Instead of begging God to get me through the next day I have been thanking him for doing so. Now they are changing again to asking God what he wants of me. I am begging God to show me what he wants me to do next and where he wants me to be.

I sure wish God had an I-Phone…

Monday, October 5, 2009

Decisions - Decisions

I am slowly learning to make decisions on my own. As I have mentioned before, I have struggled time and time again with making decisions of most any kind in life without Lisa. After 20 years of getting input and working through decisions with Lisa it has been hard to retrain myself.

I am getting there however. I have made two really big decisions here lately. One was what color shingles I wanted for our the new roof on the old farm house. I know that does not sound like much to the average bear, but it’s something that I personally have really struggled with. I suppose you can relate if you have been married for any length of time. The second was to hire a landscape designer to come up with a plan to get rid of the mulch path that we use to come in the kitchen entrance. This mulch path has been a real pain. When we purchased the place I thought it was quaint and natural. Now I just think it is an eye sore and a mess. It’s horrible when it rains and we track all that crap into the house. I have decided to replace this mess with a nice stacked stone wall and paved path. I have hired a very nice local guy to come up with a plan and get the job done for me.

It’s actually going to be nice to see some things getting done around here without me being the one to do it. I could get used to this idea of paying people to do stuff rather than me working non-stop all weekend on projects. The next big items are remodeling the kitchen and baths. I know I am going to have to hire out the kitchen and already have someone lined up to talk to on the matter. I might even have them do the bathrooms also. Like I said, I could get used to this…

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Shop Weekend

It's been a decent weekend. The air has been cool and crisp just the way I like it. It's not too hot and not too cold. It's my favorite time of year.

I worked almost all weekend in my shop trying to finishing up the drywall, electirical, painting and installing a stationary postition for my radial arm saw. One more weekend of dry wall work and I should be able to wrap it up. This job has been so long and drawn out that I don't even remember when I started it. It will be good to get it finished so that I can move on to making the cabinets and countertops. I recently secured some used cabinets from a friend who is remodeling a kitchen. I was able to reclaim the old upper cabinets to go into the shop. They are not exactly what I would have wanted but they will save me a ton of time, labor and money. Besides, if I don't like them I can just take them back down and build my own. I was able to get them cut up into usable sections and tossed what I can't use. I am excited to see my shop starting to take shape and very much look forward to being able to work in it without having to drag machines around.

It has been a bit of a tough weekend emotionally at night. Matt was out on dates both Friday and Saturday night leaving me home alone. I really don't mind being alone some but I hate eating alone. I don't know why I hate eating alone so much but I truly do. I suppose I should have planned ahead and made some plans with friends but I just was not thinking about it. By the time I thought about it, all my friends had plans. I found myself feeling very much alone Friday and Saturday night as a result. I need to start facing the fact that I am going to be alone full time before long.

I suppose I have been so busy making sure that the kids are taken care of that I have forgotten about my self. I reckon I had better start thinking about the long term for myself. I don't really know how to do that, however. The thought of "dating" still turns my mind to mush.

Both the kids slept in this morning so I attended church on my own. I found myself thinking of Lisa so much that I was moved to tears. When this happens I try very hard not to draw attention to myself. I don't dare even wipe my face for fear that I will draw unwanted attention. There was a song with lyrics that say that God is all I need and he is enough for me. As much as I try to believe that, I can't help but stand there thinking that he is not. I can't help but stand there with tears running down my face thinking that she was all I needed and she was enough for me. I found it so hard to say those words with any conviction this morning. I found myself missing her so very much. Once again I am reminded that some days are just plain harder than others.

So for now, I am looking forward to a short three day work week and then five days off. I need to get Matt's attention long enough to finalize our plans for the coming long weekend. We have discussed everything from skydiving near Atlanta to the big state fair down in Perry. It should be a good weekend together but we need to get the plans nailed down. Maybe if he is not too busy with yet another date tonight we can do it this evening.