Category: Family


First let me clarify what “my Biff” is so this post will make sense and I will post a picture below as well.  Biff is a talking stuffed animal that was made by Mattel in 1965 and he was mine when I was just a “little crum cruncher” at the age of 4 (and by the way I am 48 now!).  I had lost track of him in my twenties with my wife’s aunt taking him saying she would fix him up as his clothes and body needed to be sewn up.  I did not concern my self with it as I had my own family I was raising, working and just dealing with more important things in my life.  I would ask about Biff periodically and my wife said she would check on it and we would move onto something else.

Flash forward to just a few years ago when I found out that Biff had made his way to my brother-in-law who now had possession of him.  Again the same thing, I would bring it up about checking on getting Biff back but it was not that important.  However, in the last year getting Biff back became more important and I will share that later.  Anyway, I was opening presents for Christmas and when I opened the box there was “Biff”!! I couldn’t believe it!! My older son had gotten him, gave him to my sister-in-law to sew up and repair and gave it to me for Christmas!! I was so excited to finally have Biff back in my possession! He doesn’t talk anymore because the voice box is broken, but that doesn’t matter as I have a fond childhood memory back in my possession.

As I reflect on why this is important to me it becomes obvious to me that age may play some part of this.  I find that as I get older I reflect on things that made me happy and that meant something to me and Biff was on of them.  This is not to say that I am not content with Life now, I am.  It just reminds me that having possessions and acquiring things really don’t have any meaning for me and I find myself wanting to spend my time being around my family and friends and remembering what is important and by having Biff back (even though he is an inanimate object) helps me to realize this. Biff helps me to think about the positive things in my childhood and not the negative and what is important to me today.  Biff is now proudly displayed on my bookshelf!

 

Biff

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Every once in a while I will post a blog about my dog molly and based on a recent experience I thought it was time for another.  Last year Molly became very sick with vomiting, not eating, and very lethargic so I took her to the vet and she was diagnosed with pancreatitis and kept her for 3 days for a charge if about $400.00.  The vet said because of her age (12) this is a chronic condition that could flare up anytime, by the way Molly is a lab mix.

Anyway, several weeks ago she began to develop these same symptoms again and due to her age and talking to others with old dogs this was old age and she was on the verge of death. I placed in her in the garage on the dog bed and tried to make her comfortable and she just laid there.  I was not really in a position for another large vet bill especially for an older dog with a chronic problem.  I had water for her but he hardly drank as I knew she needed to keep hydrated. I bought pedialite and she would drink this with her water which I thought was good sign, but during the first 5 days of being sick she had not eaten anything.

After 5 days she appeared to be trying to respond but didn’t have any energy and I had tried to give her some protein shake but she wouldn’t drink it.  I was trying to figure out something she would eat to get her strength back and if she would recover then I would decide if I needed to take her to the vet.  So then I thought of the “miracle cure” that brought molly back from the brink of death… “Peanut Butter sandwiches”!! I figured she needed protein to fill her up and restore her energy so I would make them and tear off in pieces so she could eat. After about 3 days of this she began to walk around and go do her business in the yard.  She was slobbering a lot and leaking feces so I decided to take her to the vet and make sure.  He ran tests and nothing came back and gave me a couple of prescriptions and by the evening she was her happy self and ready to eat everything in site like she used too!!

I wanted to share a positive story as animals become part of the family and as has done everything I asked to chasing the buzzards that fly in the sky to eating the mayflies that try to get into the house during the Spring so I decided this was worth my effort to help save Molly along with a little prayer to God!!

molly

I was out with our group of friends last night for dancing and there is one man who attends that lives in our area while his family lives 7 hours away.  He will dance with the different ladies at the club and a few in particular on a regular basis.  I talk with him and we are friends and says he works here in the medical field and says he can’t find a job in the city he is from which is much larger than ours.  This person attends this club 3-4 nights a week while his wife takes care of the kids back home.  This seems odd to me but I do not judge or condemn anyone as this is his business.  But the reason I bring it up is because there apparently has been a change in the last few weeks.

Several weeks ago he said his wife called stressed out about the kids and he was upset saying about this.  Last week he left early and the last night he was not even there and some said the wife has put and end to “honky tonkin”!!  I am not picking on this person but I post this to make point in relation to the title of my post. This person seemed to be interested in himself and claiming “I just want to have a good time”.  Maybe not even thinking about the toll these decision were having on his family.  Sometimes we all can get caught up in “ourselves” and not take the time to think about others especially in our family situations.  When we only think about ourselves this can lead to conflict and sometimes years of separation and disconnect from those around us.

To me this is a good lesson, when the “red alert” is going off about the way you are acting then stop and listen to the alert it could save you a lot of grieve and headache down the road!

I had left off with my dad coming back to my state from California and staying at my half brothers house and then my mom moved him back in with her. She was in the upstairs apartment in our complex and me, my wife and son who was a baby at the time living in the downstairs apartment.  This was about 20 years ago, but the best I can remember he stayed there about 6 months.  We would walk up stairs and visit and had my dad down to my apartment for dinner.  While he had not been part of my life I was willing to try to work at some kind of relationship but he was still an alcoholic so any chance at a relationship was small, but I was willing to try.

I don’t know all that happened while he stayed with mom, but I could tell things were not going well, he was still drinking and becoming belligerent like my mom said he was when they were married.  I tried to talk to him about my faith in God hoping this might make a change, but it was hard to do as we did not have a relationship so I just left my bible there hoping he might read it.  My mom told me after he moved out that he had told her he has two sons “one that is a Jesus freak” (that would be me) and another “son that is a drunk” (this would be my half-brother). I never thought I was a “Jesus Freak” but I have a faith and hope in God and willing to share for what He has done for me and the mercy He shows me as well and I was trying to do the same for my dad.

Right before my dad left he and my half-brother had been to the track and apparently been drinking and fighting and had come back to the parking lot of our apartment complex. He and my half-brother were in the parking lot fighting and someone called the police and I came out to see what was going on. My half-brother left and my mom went back into the apartment so that left me out there with my dad and the police and now he had nowhere to go. The police said if he doesn’t go somewhere they would have to take him to jail. To me know matter what he had done by leaving us or being a drunk I couldn’t let him go to jail so I told the police I would take care of.  I drove him to a local motel and said mom does not want you back and you have to leave.  I didn’t like telling someone who no one wants them as I think this would be a horrible way to live but I had to say it.  I had a test the next day so my father in law gathered up his clothes and his car and took them to the motel where he was staying.  At this point my dad left town and stayed with his mother for a little while before making his final stop to stay with his brother in Florida.

Again, I tell this story for a little background on my current family dilemma.  I hated that things turned out the way they did and that I could not have a dad to count on or ask advice about things as I got older. Some things in life are just common sense and you know what to do, but other times you need another man to bounce things off of that you can’t ask your mother and this is what I missed.  I have had to forge ahead and to the best that I can and do not want to dwell on the past as none of us should because you can’t do anything about it now.

I will post more of the story in my next post.

Neubs family notes

I had left off on my last post about the relationship with my mamaw and laying the ground work on my current dilemma, but I still need to post about some additional background information.  As I stated before as long as mamaw was alive I did have a relationship with the cousins, aunts uncles etc….  What I have come to understand (or at least I think I do) is that my two aunts did not like my dad (their brother) and this apparently dated back to childhood and lasted into adulthood.   Who could blame them since he was an alcoholic and inflicted a lot of pain on his family and this does take a toll over time.  As I began to get married and have my own family I wanted to maintain contact with my extended family as this was important to me.

In the meantime I found out my Dad was driving from California back to our state which is about 1,500 miles.  He was going to stay at my half brothers house and wanted me to come by and see him.   It had been over 20 years since I had seen him and I was 4 years old when he left so I didn’t even know him other than a few telephone conversations during that time.  I had no problem going to see him, as a matter of fact I wanted to. This was my Dad I wanted to meet him even though he had left us he had not been part of my life for the last 20 years!!.   When I walked through the door of my half brothers house there he was sitting on the couch and I really did not know what he looked like now as I had only seen picture from when I was a little kid.   I really don’t remember what we said, I could just tell by the look on his face when he saw me that it was surprise and stunned!!  I mean think about how you would be if you had kids and the last time you saw them they were 4 years old and the next time they are 25 years old!!

I don’t remember how long he stayed with my half-brother but in my next “chapter” of this scenario I will share how my dad moved back in with my mom. At the time this occurred we lived in the same apartment complex. She lived upstairs and me and my wife and son lived downstairs so this made for an interesting situation!!

Sorry that I was just able to post more on this subject as I have been posting on Iran. I like to talk about different things so that is why my blog has different subjects on it, probably because I have adult ADD or something!!  Anyway, as I stated before I grew up without a Dad and an only child, but did have a half-brother and sister from my Dad’s first wife.  I did not know my half-sister that well but I did spend time with my half-brother when we visited Mamaw and Papaw in the summer.  I liked being around him as he was “the older brother” and I cherished the time I spent with him in the summers as we did not see each other any other time.  As we got older we did not stay in touch as he would readily admit that he was an alcoholic just like our Dad.

In my early twenties I kept in touch with my Mamaw and Papaw and loved them very much and wanted to keep contact with them even though I was starting my own life as they were very important to me.  I did not stay in touch with my cousins and aunts unless we were all together for an event.  My Papaw died when I was 25 and little did I know after his death that things were going to unravel in my relationships with this side of the family. I visited my Mamaw several times with my new son and she would hold and rock him to sleep as he had colic and would scream his head off and she was very good with him.  Oh by the way, when I was born it was my Mamaw who put my first and middle name together to help name me so I felt like I was important to her.  She also asked me and my wife if we would paint her house and she would pay us, after she moved in with her daughter (my aunt) she wanted me to have her couch and chair.

I say all the above to show I had a good relationship with her and as I continue to blog I will tie in what I was talking about in my first blog on this subject if that makes any sense?  As my title indicates I share this to try to make a point that I do not like drama but sometimes others in our lives force drama or situations on us and by how we react will reveal what kind of person we are or what we might become.

In my last post I gave the current state of my dilemma, so now I would like to lay a little ground work to show how I arrived at this point.  I am not doing this to show that my situation is any different from what others have going on in their life, only that by telling this story I can inspire others on how to possibly deal with their situation.

I am an only child and my dad had a previous marriage that produced a boy and girl who are my half-brother and sister.  As far as I could tell my mom and dad were married for about 5 years as they divorced when I was 4 years old. I don’t remember much, but I do recall some arguments they had, no detail just a general knowledge of this since I was so young.  My Dad ends up moving to California and I never did see him while growing up, and my Mom did not get child support or anything as this was in the 60’s and there were not a lot of avenues at that time to pursue this.

Anyway, my (Mamaw and Papaw my dads parents, and I call them this because this is how I remember them) Mamaw and Papaw maintained a relationship with me and my Mom and I would go to their home several times a year to visit with my other cousins, aunts etc… This would include the aunt I talked about in my last post and the will issue. I always enjoyed all the people being around since I was an only child I did not have this kind of excitement at home!!  While I would be at my grandparents my Dad would call to talk with them and put me on the phone to talk!! I didn’t know what to say because I didn’t know him. I called him by his first name and he said to call him Dad, but how could I because at the time I did not know what a Dad was!! Oh, by the way my Dad was drunk, womanizer and spent all the money so that is why my parents divorced

By being there in the summers with the cousins and aunts I felt I had an extended family that I could trust as I got older and into my late teen and early twenties so I did not anticipate what would occur in the future.  I will continue to post additional info on this story as I can’t put it all in one post.   This is not a feel sorry for me post or nothing like that as I believe that we all have things that happened to us when we were young and to some extent shape our makeup.  However, we cannot dwell on the past in order to blame it on our situation today and I don’t intend to do that.  I will share additional in the next post.

I have been posting about Iran and Nuclear weapons but I need to post on another subject tonight as I have had an extended family situation develop and need to share and maybe get some advice.  I will need to give some background over the next week or so in order to make sure this all make sense, but the most recent activity is that I received a call from my aunt that I had not spoken to in 20 years. There is a reason we have not spoken and it has to do with my Mamaw’s will when she died.  When I was in my early twenties we (my wife and mom) were visiting her and she says that since my dad and his brother (mamaw’s sons) were dead that me and my half-brother would get their portion of her estate. My two aunts (her daughters) were to get their portion of the estate.  My mamaw said that I was the secondary executor in case my aunt (the executrix) could not fulfill her duties.  I was honored that she thought this much of me to do this as my wife and mom both heard her state this.

Well you can probably guess what happened!! My mamaw died and so I waited for the probate of the will. We visited my aunt’s house afterward and nothing was said about the will. We had them up the following easter and nothing was said. I did not say anything as I did not want to appear inappropriate and all. So about two years past and I had heard nothing so I called the local court-house and got a copy of the will and what did I find??? My two aunts were listed, my half-brother and I were not and the attorney was listed as the secondary executor. Needless to say I just figured the will had been changed due to greed or whatever and I had no more contact with them.

So now I have received this phone call from aunt 20 years later. We have traded calls and have not spoken and to be honest with you I don’t know if I want to.  To me it was never about money or things to me. I am an only child and my dad was a drunk and left when I was 4 so I didn’t have family and all I wanted was to have an extended family and this “will’ situation destroyed that. My God tells me to forgive and I believe that I have as I have moved on with my life and I am trying to decide if I want to reopen this chapter and I don’t know what the best course is for the moment.  I would like to post some additional on this in the coming weeks to try to give a total picture.  I know we all have family drama and maybe by me posting about mine I can help someone else.

Home from Vacation

For those of you who read my last post we were on vacation in San Diego which is totally different (in a good way) than what we had experienced before. What made it special was that our oldest son (who is 23 years old) had planned his own trip and then we decided to go as I have always wanted to see this area as well. We just got back and all of us had a great time. It was good to spend time together, and especially with your 23 year old son on vacation with Mom and Dad since we did not get to do a lot of those things together in the past. Funny, that I did post a blog with my cell phone one day while I was gone but it took me a long time since I am slow!!  But also, I kept busy and did not have a chance to keep up with it.

If you have read some of my posts I have commented on courtesy and decency to other people so I have to mention one this about the return flight. I think it is common knowledge that you can carry a bag on board and store in the overhead compartment. This one dude could not fit his in the one next to his seat and was going to have to store it under his seat, the flight attendent walked away and he went to rows down and moved someone else’s luggage to another compartment and put his in there. I though how rude is this and what will that person do when they try to find their luggage?? Sure enough this lady got up to get her’s out of the compartment when the plane landed and it wasn’t there. She was looking around confused so we made sure to tell her to check the compartment two rows down from her seat. She found and thanked us for telling her.

So I was thinking about the guy who did this and wondering; “Why didn’t you tell someone you were moving luggage around”? I thought you should be more considerate and I was about to say something when he did it, but thought I would be the one who is making and scene and kicked off the plane so that is why I was just watching for the person who looked like they were trying to find something and help in this way. I don’t get why some people act like this?? Probably no one else witnessed this, but I always liked to say “I am a practiced observer”!! and able to lend someone a hand, be it a small one.

This issue has been going on for some time but since there might be a resolution I wanted to post about it.  My 19-year-old son has been having issues with his girlfriend off and on for the last 3 years. It seems to have come to a breaking point as she has been away at school and he has stayed in the area. We were working out at the gym together regularly until October of last year when he was not making it in and I suspected it had something to do with her.  We all know there are ups and downs in teenage relationships so I won’t re-hash all of them here, but we could tell this was not a good situation for him by being with her.  We had all the talks over the last few years about why he should move on etc… but you all know how it is, until you find out for yourself you kind of don’t listen to anyone.

Well he showed up at the gym tonight and said she had texted saying it was over and not to talk to her anymore. He told me about talking with his friends and trying to get it off his chest as I would want him to.  If you have children and especially at this age you worry about them getting depressed and have read about these kids committing suicide over relationships.  I told him tonight that he really needs to stay broken up this time.  I said that if you get a text from her( “don’t answer it”) call/text your friends, brother me or mom because he didn’t need to go back down that road.   I told him that the feelings he has for her is like an addiction because every time this happens and she texts he starts talking to her and the cycle starts all over.  I told him he is just a teenager and has not figured all this stuff out yet, but I said take this and learn from it and if you are presented with this type of situation again you can remove yourself from it before you get it to deep.  I told him that people who truly care about another person don’t treat them the way she has been treated. We hugged and I left and he went to run around the track.

I found that in this stage of life that I am here to offer advice to my kids and as they are becoming adults I don’t demand or tell them what to do like we did when they were kids.  I kind of like this stage of life, not trying to show how much I know but being able to share my experience to help them think through how they should make their decisions and  hopefully it  turns out to be the right one!!

I am out of time tonight, but tomorrow I want to add the example I gave to help him win this battle with this emotions.