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.


Public or Parochial School

In 1997 we moved from Maryland to North Carolina. It was a tumultuous time and very difficult on my wife and four daughters. I’ll write more about this later. Today I want to share the story of choosing a 9th grade school for our oldest daughter who was 14 at the time.

Jessie had been in a very good school in Maryland.  She’s a very smart girl and was taking classes a grade higher than most of her class.  When we moved to NC the public school system in Davie County was having a hard time figuring out where to put her. After many constructive and a few un-constructive conversations with the counselors at Davie High School we decided to try some other options.

We looked at a few of the private schools nearby, but being a single (low) income family, we decided that they were outside of our budget.

I got the bright idea that we should try Gospel Light Christian School in Walkertown NC. It was about 20 miles away, but the commute could be tolerated. My wife and daughter were not excited about the idea. They tried to convince me this was not an option because we were not Independent Southern Baptist and would never be Independent Southern Baptist. They were sure that this was a mistake, but agreed to go with me just the same.

I called the school and arranged for us to come by bright and early on a Monday morning. We arrived at about the same time all of the students were arriving.  All of the boys had on khaki pants and long sleeve white shirts, many had ties on. All of the girls wore ankle length skirts and long sleeve high collared blouses. Very few had on bright clothes. This created angst with my wife and daughter, who was dressed in jeans and some type of designed t-shirt. My wife was wearing pants and a bright shirt. They immediately commented that we stood out like sore thumb.

We walked into the school and were greeted by a very nice lady, again in an ankle length skirt and totally covering blouse. Her hair was up in a bun, just like you would expect some older teachers to wear theirs.  She escorted us to a room where the “Head Master” waited for us.

He greeted us at the door with, “Hello Mr & Mrs. Burriss, welcome to our school. Come in.” He didn’t even acknowledge our daughter.

He walked around his big desk and sat down as we seated ourselves in three chairs in front of his desk. He was expecting us.

He immediately went into the history of the school and the beliefs of the church. He rambled on about the graduation rates and successes of some of their students. He spent an inordinate amount of time sharing with us the beliefs of the church.

Now, it’s important to know that my wife is the boss when it comes to our children’s education, what she says goes and she wants to make sure all of our children get the best education. Therefore, she had lots of questions for the headmaster.

Each time she asked a question the headmaster would look at me and answer to me as if I asked the question. Each interaction he had with us was directed towards me. I’m not the smartest tool in the shed, but I quickly noticed this and as quickly I noticed the unhappiness building up in my wife. Not only did I feel this was rude, but it was also very disrespectful to my wife.

At one point I asked Jessie if she had any questions for the headmaster. I can’t recall if she did, but it would not have made much difference. The headmaster had totally ignored her and likely would have treated her with the same disrespect as he gave my wife.

I would have thought that he would have wanted to engage her in some conversation, maybe ask her some questions about her previous school or tell her about some of the great things going on at Gospel Light Christian School. Maybe, just maybe, try to get her eager to want to go to their school. But no, he totally ignored her and focused all of his conversation directly at me.

Now, I don’t recall what the big tipping point was, but between my wife and I we figured out in short order that, yeah, my wife was right. This was not going to work.

The headmaster did not want to communicate with my wife or daughter at all. It was obvious to me that he, and likely the religious beliefs of this school/church, were that men were in charge and women held no authority at all. Yep, this was not going to work for our family.

In some ways I felt that the headmaster had judged us as Yankees and really did not want our daughter in his school.

I do recall that once this clicked for me, I told the headmaster that we decided that this school would not work for us.

Here was the final confirmation for us, he said, “Yes, I can see that this will not be a fit for any of us.”

Wow – If I were not a Christian I would likely have responded in an ugly way.  I decided to just leave with a polite good bye, turned my back to his extended hand shake request and walked out of the room with my wife and daughter in front of me.

As we walked out to the car I got to hear what I hear over and over again, “I told you so,” as my wife sneered at me with that look of unhappiness. I apologized with, “I know, that was a big mistake.”

I agreed and never brought up the idea of a church school again.

To this day I try not to bring this story up with my wife and daughters. They just shake their heads and look at me with that sneer.


Teddy Gets a Sext Message

One afternoon driving up I-81 from North Carolina to Maryland with my wife and kids, my cell phone pinged from a new text message.

I pulled the phone up to see who texted me and got quite a surprise when I saw the message, “Interested in Sex tonight?”

I had just gotten Sexted.

Note the earlier statement, my wife is in the car with me and for further clarity, back then she did not use text messaging, let alone “Sexting”

The cell phone number was not in my phone contacts, so I did not know who it was from. I quietly & joking thought, “This sucks for lots of reason.”

Becky asked me who texted me. “I don’t know,” which was an honest response. “What did they want?” was her next question.

My response of “Nothing important” was followed with another query for more information, mostly to break up the quietness of the ride. “Nothing,” I said again, “Come on, what did they want?” was her next question.

Now, being married for quite some time, I really have nothing to hide from Becky. I showed her the message on the screen.

She looked at me and started cajoling me even more with more questions of doubt to my initial response that I did not know who it was from.

I decided that the best way to put the line of questioning to bed was to call the cell phone back.

I called the number and because of the traffic and cajoling noise from within the car, I could not hear the name of the person when their voice mail answered. So I responded as most people would expect me to respond.

I left the following message, “Hey, I got your text message and appreciate the offer. I am traveling to Maryland with my wife and kids so I will have to take a rain check. Go ahead without me. I hope that you have fun by yourself.”

Fast forward about 1 month. I had a position to fill at one of my clients and I was interviewing a candidate for the position. This is a guy that I have known for years.

After the interview, I told him he had the job. You would have thought that I just given him a Million $$$. He thanked me for giving him the chance to prove he could do the job, especially after the text message he sent me.

I laughed to myself and told the guy that he was really lucky that I was still going to hire him, despite the two mistakes that he had made.

Mistake # 1 – He sexted me and nearly got me in trouble with my wife.
Mistake # 2 – He told me that he sexted me instead of leaving wondering what hot nubile chick had sexted me on purpose.


High Five!

How often do you high-five someone for the great thing they did?

How often does someone else high-five you for the great thing you did?

It’s a great way to acknowledge success, excitement and even a really good joke.

More often than not, it’s mandatory to accept a high-five request from a friend.

Here is a story that is somewhat unusual

Yesterday I was riding in the car with my wife. We were joking, laughing and having a good time.

I cracked a joke about something my wife said and the laughter from both of us increased.

My wife used her wit to spin the words I said and turned the joke around on me.

What she said was far funnier than what I said, despite the fact that the joke was not on me.

My wife raised her hand and barked out, “High Five!”

Foolish me, in a knee-jerk response, I accepted her high-five of her witty joke against me.

This made the joke that much more funnier.

Never again, never again will I high-five my wife when she cracks a joke about me.


No – I refuse to be First

It’s a beautiful Saturday afternoon.

I sit here on the couch watching North Carolina State University (NCSU) playing in the ACC Tournament against University of North Carolina (UNC).

I love college basketball in March – March Madness for those of you who don’t get into college basketball.

However – I have to go mow the yard for the first time this season.

My wife asked me why I did not do it last weekend.  When I told her because Bob has not mowed yet, she replied with her favorite term of endearment, “Idiot”.

You see, it’s the law of the neighborhood.  I won’t mow until after either Bob or John.

We all know there are two types of men when it comes to the first mow of the season:

They guy who always has to be the first to pull out his lawn mower every year


The guy who refuses to be the first to mow, despite how high the grass gets

I’m the later.  I never want to be the first.

If I did, I know what the neighbors would be saying, “There goes Teddy being the first to mow his grass. Always trying to make his lawn look better than ours.”

At least, that’s what I say about my neighbors every spring.

Last week I left the mower in the garage and sure enough, my neighbor pulled his mower our today. He’s out there mowing while I watch the game.  It’s half time which means in about 30 minutes I can go mow.

It’ll be about 3pm and the sun will be high in the sky making it nice outside.

I can get my Itunes & ear buds out, pop a top on a new ice cold beer and light up a good cigar.

I can proudly mow knowing that my neighbors won’t think I’m trying to out do them.

Wait, I wonder if they’ll think I’m copying them? Crap – maybe I better wait another week. Did you hear that? My wife called me “Idiot” despite me saying anything out loud.

I’ll mow after the game today.



Here Sex, here boy

Everybody I know who has a dog usually calls him “Rover” or “Spot”. I call mine Sex. Now, Sex has been very embarrassing to me. When I went to the City Hall to renew the dog’s license, I told the clerk that I would like a license for Sex. He said, “I would like to have one too!” Then I said, “But she is a dog!” He said he didn’t care what she looked like. I said, “You don’t understand. … I have had Sex since I was nine years old.” He replied, “You must have been quite a strong boy.” When I decided to get married, I told the minister that I would like to have Sex at the wedding. He told me to wait until after the wedding was over. I said, “But Sex has played a big part in my life and my whole world revolves around Sex.” He said he didn’t want to hear about my personal life and would not marry us in his church. I told him everyone would enjoy having Sex at the wedding. The next day we were married at the Justice of the Peace. My family is barred from the church from then on.When my wife and I went on our honeymoon, I took the dog with me. When we checked into the motel, I told the clerk that I wanted a room for me and my wife and a special room for Sex. He said that every room in the motel is a place for sex. I said, “You don’t understand. … Sex keeps me awake at night.” The clerk said, “Me too!”

One day I entered Sex in a contest. But before the competition began, the dog ran away. Another contestant asked me why I was just looking around. I told him that I was going to have Sex in the contest. He said that I should have sold my own tickets. “You don’t understand,” I said, “I hoped to have Sex on TV.” He called me a show off.

When my wife and I separated, we went to court to fight for custody of the dog. I said, “Your Honor, I had Sex before I was married but Sex left me after I was married.” The Judge said, “Me too!”

Last night Sex ran off again. I spent hours looking all over for her. A cop came over and asked me what I was doing in the alley at 4 o’clock in the morning. I said, “I’m looking for Sex.” — My case comes up next Thursday.

Well now I’ve been thrown in jail, been divorced and had more damn troubles with that dog than I ever foresaw. Why just the other day when I went for my first session with the psychiatrist, she asked me, “What seems to be the trouble?” I replied, “Sex has been my best friend all my life but now it has left me for ever. I couldn’t live any longer so lonely.” and the doctor said, “Look mister, you should understand that sex isn’t a man’s best friend so get yourself a dog.”

I stole this story from a friends Facebook wall – Thanks Ed.

Happy Birthday GrandMa

GrandMa Eva Burriss was born on March 9, 1915. Today (3/9/2012) would be her 97th birthday. Normally we would have Cake and Ice Cream and maybe candles. But she is no longer with us.

She died on April 27, 1983.  I was 25 years old, married and had 1 daughter.

I remember she always had curly white hair.

She cooked everything with lard from a big tin bucket that she kept near the kitchen sink.

She lived in a big old farm house with my Grand Father.

She worked for the owners of the farm, cleaning their house.

She could cook, man that woman could cook.

Grandma Burriss died 2 days before my 25th anniversary.

Happy Birthday Grandma.


I Love You

Today is Valentine’s day and I have to work late tonight. I hope that I don’t get sacrificed because of this. I know that the ancient Romans may be responsible for the name of our modern day of love. Emperor Claudius II executed two men, both named Valentine, on Feb. 14 of different years in the 3rd century A.D. I’m glad my name is not Valentine.

Despite the fear, or maybe in part because of it, I want my wife to hear that “I Love HER more than I love anything else in the world!“, but I have to fulfill the commitments I have made and won’t get home till late.

So, I’m going to try to make it up to her by publicly telling her how much I love her and asking others to let her know this.

Here is my call to action for anyone who knows my wife:

I hope that someone reads this story this morning and will let my wife know that I wrote it for her. Send her a text, email, Facebook message, Tweet, LinkedIn message, call her or walk up to her and let he know that “I LOVE YOU!

If you need to know how much I love her, follow along folks.

My Public Statement of Love for my Wife:

Baby, I love you more than words can say. These three words say it all – I LOVE YOU!

You are the sexiest and most beautiful woman I have ever met and fortunately for me, you have found some happiness with me and have decided to stay around. I am so fortunate that I get to hold your hand, sit beside you and share my pillows with you. I LOVE YOU!

You have given me strength and hope in all I do and because of this I dream and chase my dreams. I LOVE YOU!

Because of the love that you share with me, we have beautiful children who are the reason I am who I am and have shaped the journey that we have been on together. I LOVE YOU!

Because of you I have purpose in my life.  You taught me to give, laugh, play and enjoy life and again, because of you, I understand the value of this so much more. I LOVE YOU!

You let me be who I am and do what I do because you love and believe in me. Even when I am playing the role of “Idiot”, you let me be who I am, knowing that I will return to being and acting much more positive. I LOVE YOU!

You support the crazy things that I want to have and want to do. I LOVE YOU!

You let me have my fantasies and even encourage me to some degree by laughing with me as I share the crazy stuff that is in my head. Yes, we will write this book one day. I LOVE YOU!

I don’t do cards, chocolates or flowers. I’m not a romantic or sentimental guy.  I did buy you a gift this year and I hope you enjoy it, even though it’s not wrapped in pretty wrapping paper with a card.

I offer you all the Love that I have to share and only offer it to you.

I imagine the time I will have with you and smile both inward and outward. Sometimes people think I am strange when I bust out with a smile for no known reason (to them)

I pray to God that you and I will be able to walk hand in hand thru life forever.

I recently heard someone say that she loves her husband because, “my hand fits his.” We don’t just fit each other. We fuel each other’s lives and aspirations and dreams. I want to do this forever because I LOVE YOU!

Please meet me as I head for our pillows tonight.

We’ll laugh and hug. We’ll kiss and then you can call me “Idiot” for my blog post. I’ll know that You LOVE ME and you’ll know that I LOVE YOU!

Happy Valentines Day Baby!

Deadly Lingerie

I updated this story because I found a more appropriate image of Deadly Lingerie.

A husband walks into  Victoria Secret to purchase a sheer negligee  for his  wife.

He is shown several possibilities that range from $250 to  $500 in  price — the more sheer, the higher the price.

He opts for the sheerest  item, pays the $500, and takes it home.

He presents it to his wife  and asks her to go upstairs, put it on, and model it for him.

Upstairs, the wife thinks  (she’s no dummy), “I have an idea … it’s so sheer that it might as  well be nothing. I won’t put it on, I’ll do the modelling naked, return it  tomorrow, and keep the $500 refund for myself.?

She appears naked on the  balcony and strikes a pose.

The husband says,………… “Good  Grief! You’d think for $500, they’d at least iron it!”.

He never heard the shot. Funeral is on Thursday at Noon.

The  coffin will be closed.

Thanks to my buddy Patrick for telling me this story