I know I am a Blessed Man

I know I am a blessed man. Here are some of the reasons I have that remind me of this every day.

  1. I’m blessed that I am healthy. Yes, I know as a 58 yr old I can’t do everything I was able to do as a teenager, but I’m doing pretty good and I am not taking any drugs. I’m blessed that I am healthy.

    Bum and the Mytrles
    Bum and the Myrtles
  2. I’m blessed that I have been happily married for 38+ yrs with the woman I fell in love with way back then. We laugh together, pray together, play together, have many of the same goals and enjoy each other’s company most of the time. I’m a man – sometimes I need to be checked and I’m blessed that she wants to keep me in check. I’m blessed my wife still loves me.
  3. I’m blessed to have 4 daughters who are healthy, independent, in love, enjoying and living their own lives. I’m blessed that they call me Dad, Friend, Coach and Helper when they want my help. I’m blessed to have 4 beautiful daughters.boppy-and-stallions-2016
  4. I’m blessed to have my 4 Stallions. These are the guys who have taken the lead in my daughter’s lives and love them, care for them, support them and even keep them in check when they need it. I’m blessed they call me Boppy, Friend, Coach and Helper when they want my help. I am blessed to have these guys in my life.

    The GrandWeWaps
    The GrandWeWaps in 2016
  5. I’m blessed to have 10 GrandWeWaps. These are the children of my 4 daughters and the Stallions. I’m blessed they like to visit me and enjoy the time they spend with me when I visit them. I’m blessed they like some of my stories and a few of my jokes. I’m blessed they call me Boppy, Friend and sometimes a smart old man. I’m blessed that when they leave they give me a hug goodbye and sometimes ask me to come back soon. I’m blessed to have these great youngsters in my life.
  6. I’m blessed to have hundreds of friends who I get to laugh with, work with, play with, help our community with and care for and who care for me. I’m blessed to have a thriving network of friends in my life.
  7. I’m blessed to have all of the materialistic stuff I need to survive and even thrive in life. I used to say it’s not much, however, I am more than thrilled every day of my life that I’m blessed to have far more than I need or deserve in life.
  8. I’m blessed my future is brighter than I ever imagined it could be. I’m blessed that I get to work towards my goals in life and to have so many people on this fabulous journey with me.
  9. I’m blessed my wife and I chose to start a business together and we are exceeding all of our goals as we work together to create this business. I’m blessed to be able to work towards these business goals with my beautiful and loving wife.
  10. I’m blessed to live in a country where I have the freedom to choose my own goals in life, what I want to do and where I want to live and work. I’m blessed to be able to make decisions that can positively influence my future despite all the changes going on in our world.
  11. I’m blessed to be able to learn from others and grow as an individual. I’m blessed by all those in my life I get to learn from.
  12. I’m blessed to be able to help others. My wife and I jointly made the decision in 2010 to give back to our community as much as we possibly can. I’m blessed that this giving has been rewarding and enabled me to meet so many fabulous people who have also helped me in so many ways.
  13. I’m blessed that on this Sunday evening after Thanksgiving 2016 I get to sit back in my living room, watch a little football and scribble down this short list of reasons that remind me every day that I am blessed.

I realize that I am far more blessed than I deserve. I know that many people in my community and in the world are far less fortunate than I am.

I ask God every day to help me to do what I can to help others knowing that only when I give can I receive. I know giving is important and being able what I can is not a requirement or a responsibility to me. Rather giving back to others is a life purpose and a blessing for me.

I am blessed. Thank you God for all of my blessings.

Holding the flashlight

I recently heard a speaker say this, “I hated holding the flashlight for my Dad.”

The speaker continued on with his perspective of this simple little task. He told how as a little boy his Dad always asked him to hold the flashlight while working on various tasks that needed just a little more light.  Fixing a blown fuse, a broken light fixture, switch, or something on the old Plymouth. What he remembers the most was when, (not if) the beam of light drifted from the work area, his Dad would snort which alerted this young man to pull the flashlight back into position. He hated doing this.

I remember these days as well.

As a youngster in the mid-1960s & ’70s, I held the flashlight and did many other simple tasks for my Dad.

I carried and fetched tools, pulled weeds, dug holes, filled holes, used a sickle, swept the shop floor, wire brushed the spots Dad welded, stuck welding rods in the holder (I was always scared I would get shocked), siphoned gasoline, sanded the wood & metal projects, washed the cars, washed engine parts in gasoline, hauled fuel oil for the furnace, scrapped paint, held pieces of metal and wood as my Dad cut them, welded nailed or glued them together, washed his truck, scrubbed the tires, planted potatoes (eyes up) and pulled the electrical wire through conduit. These are just a few of the little tasks that I did with my Dad as a child and young adult. Often as I did these and many other tedious tasks, my Dad stood watching and coaching me on how to do them right.

Back then I was not always happy doing that stuff.

Today, I appreciate that I got to do them for a couple of big reasons:

  1. I learned by watching my Dad. I learned to do electrical work, welding, gardening, plumbing, woodworking, and lots more stuff.  I learned a lot.  Today I can do all of these things myself. Not only has this saved me lots of money as I raised my own family,  I also enjoy doing these things.
  2. I learned patience, attention to detail and doing things right.  Dad was a stickler to doing it right the first time. No cutting corners or doing anything just to get it done. Do it right, or don’t do it is what I learned from my Dad.

When my girls were home I had them hold the flashlight for me. I snorted at them just a little bit when the beam of light fell away from the work area and they pulled the flashlight back into place.  I hope they learned as much from me as I learned from my Dad.

Who is holding your flashlight and are they learning from you?

Happy Fathers Day Dad. I love you and treasure the days of holding the flashlight.

Words to noodle on

Thanks to my buddy Rick for sharing this with me. Now, I’ll share it with you.

The nicest thing about the future is . . .
that it always starts tomorrow.

Money will buy a fine dog . . .
but only kindness will make him wag his tail.

If you don’t have a sense of humor . . .
you probably don’t have any sense at all.

Seat belts are not as confining . . .
as wheelchairs.

A good time to keep your mouth shut is . . .
when you’re in deep water.

How come it takes so little time for a child who is afraid of the dark . .
to become a teenager who wants to stay out all night?

Business conventions are important . . .
because they demonstrate how many people a company can operate without.

Why is it that at class reunions . . .
you feel younger than everyone else looks?

Scratch a cat (or dog) . . .
and you will have a permanent job.

No one has more driving ambition than the teenage boy (or girl) . . .
who wants to buy a car.

There are no new sins . . .
the old ones just get more publicity.

There are worse things than getting a call for a wrong number at 4 a.m. . .
like, it could be the right number.

No one ever says “It’s only a game” . . .
when their team is winning.

I’ve reached the age where . . .
‘happy hour’ is a nap.

Be careful about reading the fine print . . .
there’s no way you’re going to like it.

The trouble with bucket seats is that . . .
not everybody has the same size bucket.

Do you realize that, in about 40 years . . .
we’ll have thousands of old ladies running around with tattoos? (And rap music will be the Golden Oldies!)

Money can’t buy happiness . . .
but somehow it’s more comfortable to cry in a Cadillac than in a Yugo.

After 60, if you don’t wake up aching in every joint . . .
you’re probably dead.

Life isn’t tied with a bow . . .
but it’s still a gift.

I hope you enjoyed these statements.

The Whole Secret

The Whole Secret

A friend of mine wrote this in her journal and shared it with us this week.

I liked it so much I asked her for permission to share it with you.

Do you know THE Whole Secret for being happy in life?

Here is how she answered this question:

“I love it when people ask me to tell them my secret for BEING HAPPY because I don’t really have a secret other than:

  1. I don’t think the Universe is out to get me
  2. I don’t listen very long to people who want to convince me that I should be unhappy
  3. I pay attention to things that make me unhappy and I stop doing them as soon as possible

That’s pretty much THE WHOLE SECRET.


What would David Michael be doing now?

I was three years old in 1961. My family lived in Barnesville Maryland in a small farmhouse at the foot of Sugarloaf Mountain.

My little brother, David Michael was born on August 22, 1961.

David Michael died in October of the same year. Just a little more than one month old.

I don’t remember my little brother, however, I often wonder, if he were alive today, what would he be doing.

Here is a good guess as to what David Michael would be doing today.

He is 52 years old today (August 2013). He is living in a nice house in the suburbs of Philadelphia Pennsylvania.

David Michael’s wife is Samantha. They have 3 children who are now between 24 and 29 years old. All of the children have moved out of their parent’s home and now live with their respective partners in the Philadelphia area. Samantha and David Michael often cajole their kids for grandkids.

Samantha is a successful real estate broker, who loves her business. David Michael has his own business management consulting business. He is very successful and enjoys his work.

David Michael loves spending time with his wife, children, and their partners. Regularly all of them gather at one of the family members homes. Each gathering is a party because they enjoy each other’s company, laughing, cooking, dining, telling stories, discussing current societal topics, watching movies and playing card games together.

David Michael is a community leader and active civic volunteer. He loves to help others and enjoys seeing good people succeed when they try harder than they thought they could and by accepting a compassionate tug up from someone with a caring heart.

David Michael and Samantha travel frequently and enjoy the vineyards of California, the lakes of Minnesota and Blue Ridge mountains.

David Michael and I don’t talk very often, we are both busy with our own respective families, communities, and businesses. When we do talk, we pick right up where we left off.

Often when I imagine what my little brother is doing now I can clearly see that he is in love with his wife and kids, happy in life and knows that he lives a blessed life.

I compensate for never knowing my little brother by imagining him as a happy, successful, imaginative, passionate, giving and loving person.

I am comforted for the death of my little brother by my imagination and my belief that God is caring for David Michael as his child in heaven.

Are you with the Right Partner?


During a seminar, a woman asked,” How do I know if I am with the right person?”

The author then noticed that there was a large man sitting next to her so he said, “It depends. Is that your partner?” In all seriousness, she answered, “How do you know?” Let me answer this question because the chances are good that it’s weighing on your mind replied the author.

Here’s the answer.

Every relationship has a cycle… In the beginning; you fall in love with your partner. You anticipate their calls, want their touch, and like their idiosyncrasies. Falling in love wasn’t hard. In fact, it was a completely natural and spontaneous experience. You didn’t have to DO anything. That’s why it’s called “falling” in love.

People in love sometimes say, “I was swept off my feet.”Picture the expression. It implies that you were just standing there; doing nothing, and then something happened TO YOU.

Falling in love is a passive and spontaneous experience. But after a few months or years of being together, the euphoria of love fades. It’s a natural cycle of EVERY relationship.

Slowly but surely, phone calls become a bother (if they come at all), touch is not always welcome (when it happens), and your spouse’s idiosyncrasies, instead of being cute, drive you nuts. The symptoms of this stage vary with every relationship; you will notice a dramatic difference between the initial stage when you were in love and a much duller or even angry subsequent stage.

At this point, you and/or your partner might start asking, “Am I with the right person?” And as you reflect on the euphoria of the love you once had, you may begin to desire that experience with someone else. This is when relationships break down.

The key to succeeding in a relationship is not finding the right person; it’s learning to love the person you found.

People blame their partners for their unhappiness and look outside for fulfillment. Extramarital fulfillment comes in all shapes and sizes.

Infidelity is the most common. But sometimes people turn to work, a hobby, friendship, excessive TV, or abusive substances. But the answer to this dilemma does NOT lie outside your relationship. It lies within it.

I’m not saying that you couldn’t fall in love with someone else. You could. And TEMPORARILY you’d feel better. But you’d be in the same situation a few years later.

Because (listen carefully to this):

The key to succeeding in a Relationship is not finding the right person; it’s learning to love the Person you found.

SUSTAINING love is not a passive or spontaneous experience. You have to work on it day in and day out. It takes time, effort, and energy. And most importantly, it demands WISDOM. You have to know WHAT TO DO to make it work. Make no mistake about it.

Love is NOT a mystery. There are specific things you can do (with or without your partner), Just as there are physical laws Of the universe (such as gravity), there are also laws for relationships. If you know how to apply these laws, the results are predictable.

Love is, therefore, a “DECISION”. Not just a feeling.

Remember this always: God determines who walks into your life. It is up to you to decide who you let walk away, who you let stay, and who you refuse to let GO! ♥

Author Unknown

Thank you to my daughter for sharing this article with me

Top 10 Rules of Grandfather Club

Another friend of mine joined the GrandFathers Club this week. This club has a specific set of rules that must be followed. I have never failed to follow them myself. If you want to be an honored member of the club, you too must follow these rules. The rules of this club are fairly straightforward and quite easy to follow:

  1. You must change the background picture of your cellPhone to a picture of the kids.
  2. You must tease them about their mother and all the ridiculous baby stuff she did.
  3. You must develop them to be just like you so that their mother will have to say, “Stop being like your grandfather”.
  4. You must teach them all the dumb jokes that your ancestors have said over the past 100 years. (mine is “Rooster, Hen, Pullet”)
  5. You must be able to fall asleep in any chair in the house with one or both of the boys on your lap or chest (recliners work best).
  6. You must be ready to watch SpongeBob Square Pants, Dora the Explorer, and any of the new cartoons that kids love to watch today.
  7. You must want to eat and share candy, popcorn, ice cream, cookies, and cookie dough with the boys, even at 7 am in the morning, despite what their mother says.
  8. You must be willing to stop at a Mcdonald’s, Wendy’s, or Burger King and get 3 Kids’ Meals at a moment’s notice. Yes – you get a Kid’s Toy too.
  9. You must be accepting of going to work, church, a board meeting, or a Rotary with a little baby exhaust on your suit coat.
  10. You must be able to smile like a crazy man any time someone asks you “What’s going on?” Because now you get to say, “I’m a Grandfather!”

A gift to be given

We all carry the gift of life with us. If you can do it (weight & health wise), please share your gift of life.

I strive every 56 days to give blood. The team @ the American Red Cross in Winston-Salem make it easy and enjoyable to do.

They have a system in place that either mails or calls to remind me of my upcoming appointment. The phone calls are always pleasant and timely. I look forward to them emailing or better yet tweeting or Social Media Messaging me my appointment reminder.

Bum & I try to make our appointments on Sunday mornings.  This morning (7/15/12) we noticed that at least one other person was on the same donation schedule as we are. That’s pretty cool to see there are others who have the same desire to give.

The volunteers are always nice and know their roles at the Winston-Salem center. I love a good smile on a volunteer.

The phlebotomist that work this center are very skilled and enjoyable folks. They love what they do and enjoy helping people thru their work at the American Red Cross. They keep track of the people who donate and their lives. Today Ann remembered that my wife and I just had a wedding, even remembered our daughter & her new husband’s names. Great customer relationship skills.

The phlebotomist who took care of me today was very delightful, enjoyed her job and did it very well. She did her job while still chatting with me and even teasing me as I joked with her. She even educated me on an issue that I did not know about. Don’t squeeze hard while the blood is flowing. Gentle squeezes are much better than the death grip squeeze. Death grips squeezes actually slow down the flow.

If you are not giving blood on a regular basis – I strongly urge you to go visit the good people at American Red Cross and share the gift of life.

Tell the team there that I said hello.



A good view

I rode down I-40 into Winston-Salem this morning. Not much different than most mornings, except for the view and the thoughts that were bouncing around in my head.

Most mornings I ride into a beautiful sunrise, today was not much different. I love riding into the sunrise. I generally will say out loud, “Thank you for this day God – please help me to make the most of it for you and for me.” Of course, at 70 miles per hour, the only one who hears me say this is myself, and hopefully God.

This morning the view was a little different, my wife (affectionately called Bum) was driving her car just in front of me.

It’s not a long trip from Advance to Winston-Salem, maybe 15 minutes. But driving into the sunrise with Bum driving in front of me made my mind wander differently than most mornings.

My mind drifted from the normal “what am I going to do today” to “My life”. It was a great ride.

I smiled as I thought about all that I have that makes my life good. The relationship I have with Bum and all of the things we have done together.

As I came upon the split where Bum goes to the left and I go to the right, my mind was all over the future that we have together. The plans that we have for ourselves, our family and the people in our life.

I sped up a little before I hit the split so I could wave at Bum. I know, go ahead and yell at me, but it was important for me to wave at my wife and see her smile as we hit the split.

This was a better ride into the work day than any other day.

Thanks Babe.


Is it dead Dad?

Years ago we built a beautiful home on a 3 acre lot in Maryland. There were trees in the front of the lot, a long drive way up a hill to the house. It was a great place because we were nearly the highest lot in the community. Regardless of which direction we looked, we could see for miles and it was a grand view.

We put a small vegetable garden back behind the house where we all had fun growing gourds, tomatoes, peppers and squash, lots of squash. We spent lots of time working our garden and loved the vegetables and the gourds we got from it.

The far side of the lot dropped down to a fence row that separated our lot from a railroad track. Periodically a long noisy train would rumble up the track.

We planted three rows of pine trees on the hill down to the tracks. Eventually they would grow tall enough to reduce some of the train noise and a lot of the wind that blew up that hill.

It was a great place to raise our 4 daughters.

There was lots of wildlife on this lot. We got to see an occasional fox, wild turkey and even a few loose horses. We experienced black snakes and squirrels and lots of rabbits. Really, lots of rabbits.

However, there was one animal that we had far too many of. These were the ground hogs. The wooded area of the lot was filled with tunnels that the ground hogs made.  The ground was always soft and I was having a hard time getting grass to grow anywhere around that area.

Every spring a new group of baby ground hogs were born. At times it was cute to watch them frolic on the lot. However, the cuteness wore off pretty quickly. We had four daughters who loved to play in the woods; however they were afraid of the ground hogs. This made the front area of the lot less enjoyable for all of us.

We had a family dog that did not like other wildlife on our lot. Fortunately we had an invisible fence installed that kept the dog from the wooded area where the ground hogs were. However, periodically a ground hog would come up the hill towards the house and get into the area where our dog was.  I’m going to try to keep this story PG-13, so let me just tell you, once our dog caught a ground hog, regardless of the size, after a pretty tough fight and a lot of noise, it would be all over.  More often than not, there would be nothing left of that ground hog.

It seemed to me that ground hogs are not very smart, and they don’t learn from the mistakes of other ground hogs, because every summer this happened on a weekly basis. At one point we thought the dog needed to go on a diet. So we cut back on the dog food.  He didn’t need us to feed him anyway.

One Saturday afternoon we were playing out front. We were tossing around a Frisbee and having a good time.  A couple of times one of us would throw the Frisbee too hard and it would fall near the trees and one of the burrows where the ground hogs were.

I was charged with fetching the Frisbee because no one else would go near the ground hogs.  Each time I ran down to get the Frisbee I would pick up a rock out of the driveway and toss it at the ground hogs to chase them away. It didn’t work.  The rock would hit the ground near them and it didn’t faze them in the slightest. Dumb ground hogs.

My wife and our four daughters were having a great time running around, taking turns trying to catch the Frisbee and laughing at me each time I tossed a rock at the ground hogs.

With one mis-throw of the Frisbee our game came to an abrupt end. The Frisbee landed near one of the tunnel openings and a small ground hog came out of the hole and stood up on it’s back legs. I picked up a small rock and this time, with great deliberate aim, I tossed it as hard as I could directly at it’s little head.

BAM! – I hit the ground hog dead-center of it’s head.

It fell down and never moved again.

Everyone stopped and no one said a word.

I looked at my wife, her mouth was open. Both of us were astounded at the fact that I hit it this time and that it appears that I had killed it. Worse than all of that, I just killed one of God’s creatures in front of all four pre-teen daughters.

Then the questions started, “Dad is it dead?”, “Dad you killed it”, “Dad – why did you kill it?”, “DAD IS IT DEAD?”

Then from my wife – “TEDDY BURRISS – you killed it!”

Leave it to me to teach my daughters lots of life lessons, I’m generally proud of this. But, some lessons are hard to learn, and some are really not much fun to teach.

Afterwards I tried to cover up the death of the ground hog with a bogus statement, “It’s unconscious, I’ll put it down by the railroad tracks and it’ll wake up later.” I’m sure my daughters were smarter than this. I felt good trying though.