Tag: love

If We Were Having Coffee #14 – 8 ½ Months

coffee-break-1291376_1280

If we were having coffee, I would have a number of choices to offer your today. I have a breakfast blend, a butter toffee, a house blend (somewhat dark), and a caramel pecan roll flavored coffee. For creamers, I have French Vanilla and Italian Sweet Crème. I’m going with the house blend and Italian Sweet Crème. Let’s head out to the back porch and enjoy the morning shade. It’s uncharacteristically cold out this May morning and the forecast rumor is snow but coffee will surely warm us.

I haven’t had a coffee share post in a few months, instead opting to read a few each weekend. Since my thoughts today are related to a coffee share post 8 ½ months ago, I though it only appropriate to drop by this venue for today’s post.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you about how lost I felt 8 ½ months ago after saying goodbye to my oldest son when we dropped him off at college. At the time, I was bouncing back and forth between how excited I was for him and selfishly wallowing in the sad reality that is just one recurring stage of parenting; continually letting your child go.

Through this forum, I had received many kind words of support, both from people who have been there before and from those going through the same thing. It helped and I am forever grateful.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you it wasn’t all that bad. We had daily texts and were able to see him numerous times over the last 8 ½ months. There were school breaks, weekend shopping trips, and a few times we drove down just to take him out to eat. There was the occasional phone call or FaceTime. It worked. One hundred and twenty miles away was not that far. We survived. And grew. All of us.

We picked him up at school Friday May 6th. He was both excited to come home for the summer and sad to leave a new friend who would not be returning next semester. We moved him down there in our car and moved him back home in a new SUV. He asked if it was “ours” which tells me everything is the same despite being different.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you we got his grades a few days ago. I could brag. Really, I could. Suffice it to say I am proud of him along with all he accomplished and figured out his first year in college.

I suppose I should have expected nothing less. In the meantime, we are going to enjoy the next 3 ½ months.

Until next time…

B

IMG_1190 [20232]

Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Part-Time Monster

Pictures courtesy of Pixabay and my son

I Wish I Knew Then …

road-815297_640

I wish I knew then what I think I know now…but would I have lived life any differently?

By this time next week, my wife, twelve-year-old, and I will be waking up to a different dynamic in our home. My oldest will be gone. He’ll be waking up in a dorm room, probably both excited and nervous about the journey he is about to start. This upcoming experience, from my parent point of view, led me to thinking about my own journey that literally started the evening I returned home from my High School graduation. I left home that night, which is a story in itself.

A Letter To My Eighteen-Year-Old Self

I’ve read a few similar posts like this over the last year and they’ve always made me wonder what I might tell myself, assuming that was even possible, and, would it have made a difference? It did for John Conner in the second Terminator movie but that’s Hollywood. This is real life, and my thoughts and influences at that time were what guided me… Then.

Let’s just pretend for a few minutes that it’s possible. A letter from the future, to be opened and read that very first day on my own.

Dear Bill,

If you’re reading this, you’ve decided to leave home. You’re probably a little confused by now and wondering just what you’ve done. Last night was a turning point in your life. It wasn’t the first and it certainly won’t be the last. Standing on that football field after graduation only to find nobody was there is something that will eat at you for some time. I’d like to tell you why it happened like that but I don’t have a clue. My biggest advice is to get over it or you’ll spend too much time and energy wondering why. And while you’re at it, you should find forgiveness sooner than later. Trust me on this one.

So where do you go from here? What path should you choose? Regardless of what I tell you, you’re a stubborn kid and are going to do what you want. “No regrets” is what you’ll tell yourself later in life but you will have a few. And you’ll get over them. What words of wisdom do I have to share with you? Patience is something you won’t learn until later in life so I’m going to be brief or you will probably quit reading this. There are a few things however that you should know.

* Let’s establish one ground rule first. You’re eighteen. Although you think you know everything, you don’t. The reality of it is – you never will, and that’s okay. Lifelong learning should be your mantra.

* Adults. The first thing to know is that being an adult doesn’t automatically make one wiser, kinder, or more mature. Far from it. Some of the same BS you experienced in high school will continue throughout your life. I would love to tell you something different here but it’s just a fact and the sooner you realize that the better.

* Despite your wishes to pursue a career in the arts, you’re going to fall into a technical career. Embrace it. I know you fought this idea but you’ll learn to love it and it will provide you with a great living and you’ll be very good at it. You will travel, see many places within the U.S. and get to see a few places abroad. It can be as fulfilling as you want it to be. The best part is you’ll never lose the arts. Read. Write. Play the guitar. Who knows what can happen

* You convinced yourself that college is just high school with ashtrays. It’s so much more. So you f’d up and passed on scholarships. It would have been much easier on you had you just attended college immediately after high school. You’ll take the long route and still attend college albeit part-time. You’ll graduate. And with honors.

concerts-836141_640

* The eighties. I could write a book on this subject. Suffice it to say it will be called a decade of decadence for a reason. You’ll live to tell about it and it will make great writing fodder someday. Just be careful.

* The nineties. This is when you are going to find yourself, not that you were lost. You’ll find true friendship and a long lasting love. How will you know? For this first time in your life, you won’t be looking for any of it.

* You will be a father and it will be the greatest high you’ve ever experienced. You’re going to be scared, and for good reason. Understand why you are scared and the rest will take care of itself. Embrace both the responsibility and challenge that parenthood will bestow upon you.

Tata, Nana, & Me

Tata, Nana, & Me

* As time passes, and it will at an alarmingly faster rate, never forget where you came from. It’s easy to get caught up in a life that most of society deems successful. Much of that is overrated. You’ll figure out what truly is a measurement of success.  

* Understand a few guiding words and make them a part of your being. Love, live, learn, listen, light, character, forgiveness, compassion, loyalty, friendship, respect, ethics, and passion are but a few.

* Simplicity. I saw a Hispanic comedian once who described the mystery of Mexican Food. He was asked what a taco was and he said: meat, lettuce, tomato, onions, and cheese in a tortilla. A burrito? Meat, lettuce, tomato, onions, cheese and beans in a tortilla. A tostada? Meat, lettuce, tomato, onions, cheese and beans on a tortilla. Do you see where I am going with this?

It’s all going to work out kid,

165662_193398787340618_7568914_n

If We Were Having Coffee #10 – Shrimp Tacos

image (3)

If we were having coffee, I could offer you a few choices today. We have a donut shop blend,  a medium roast cinnamon crumb cake, and caramel pecan roll. I seldom have flavored coffee but I did try the caramel pecan roll this week with a sweet cream. Not too bad. I’m going with the donut shop blend and french vanilla creamer.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that we dropped the ball on getting my son’s transcripts for college squared away. I wrongfully made the assumption that his high school had handled it considering he took college level classes in high school. When we got his class schedule for his first semester, we noticed they had him down for an english comp class which we knew he had already taken. A quick phone call to the registrar’s office confirmed that they had not received official college transcripts, only the classes listed on his high school transcript stating they were college classes. We completed the process to get his transcripts, the college received them, completed their evaluation, then promptly changed his class schedule this last week.  He transferred in 36 college credits but only 18 of them will count towards his degree program. They are considering one more class which would give him 21. This should lighten his load a little each semester. It all worked out.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I celebrated my wedding anniversary this last week. Twenty years. We had a busy week so we decided to celebrate it with a late lunch on Saturday. There’s probably something more appropriate we should have done for our twentieth but we will have to bank that idea for a bit. Literally. We decided we’d do some shopping Saturday morning followed up with food. M wife wanted crab legs and lobster so Red Lobster became our only choice.

We do shopping a little different than most people. We decide what we are going to spend and withdraw that money from the bank before we go and then divide it between us.  This keeps us grounded and I don’t have to continually add up what I think we are spending during the day as we swipe cards. Our primary goal this weekend was twofold: a laptop for my son and an anniversary meal for my wife and I. The additional shopping was just to make the most of our time in the city; filling the gap between getting the laptop and eating.

We got him a nice Lenovo laptop that should meet his needs for college. I had a marketing class once that discussed the evils of extended warranties. I never purchase them. During my son’s college orientation, in which parents were included, we attended a hour session on IT concerns. It was highly recommended that we purchase one so we did. There is a Best Buy near his college so we bought his computer at Best Buy. I suppose it gives us a level of comfort that he can have the Geek Squad fix his computer, quickly I hope, should anything go wrong.

After that, my wife shopped at Hobby Lobby with her mother, the kids shopped at clothing stores, and I spent my money in Barnes & Noble. I picked up a book on short stories, a James Rollins book, and a book by an author I have never read: Scott Turow. You have to love the bargain priced book section at B&N. Buying so many books in print over the summer has made me realize I need a Kindle since both my wife’s Kindle Fire and my Sony eReader have died.  That and new releases I want to read by a few friends of mine: Erin Sandlin and E.L. Wicker.  Next month we will have to replace my wife’s Kindle and I think I will get the simple reader with the back light so I can read in the dark.

fresh-tilapia-tacos

If we were having coffee, I would tell you our late lunch was perfect. My wife and mother-in-law had lobster and crab legs, my youngest son had something called The Admiral’s Feast (his eyes are always much bigger than his stomach), my oldest had a hamburger which is a departure from his normal adventurous eating habits, and I had a lobster bisque, shrimp tacos, and a beer.

Twenty years of being married and the simplicity of tacos and beer sums up my attitude towards most things these days. Life can be as complicated as you choose to make it. As I age, I choose to simplify it. It works for me and has obviously worked with my marriage.

A fly just landed in my coffee. Time for another cup. A fresh cup. How about you?

Until next time…

B

photo credit: Red Lobster

 

If We Were Having Coffee #2

“Life is a song – sing it. Life is a game – play it. Life is a challenge – meet it. Life is a dream – realize it. Life is a sacrifice – offer it. Life is love – enjoy it.” – Sai Baba

Because I don’t know what else to do in this moment.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you how in awe I was of you the first time you came home from Vietnam. I was so young then and didn’t fully understand why you were gone but I remember your crisp uniform and the foreign coins you handed me. You were still in your teens yet had aged.

If we were having coffee, I would thank you for being there for me and my brother when my parents divorced. You filled a void that made a cruel situation bearable. I remember playing in the front yard only to be interrupted by the sound of engines and chains clanging as you and your friend rode down our street to deliver the go-cart and minibike you had bought us, your boyish giggling to my mother’s protests that we were too young. The weekly Rat Patrol adventures in your Mustang, the rides in your patrol car, the constant showering of presents, the groceries to help my mom out… you were always there for us.

Years later, you got the bar and gave me my first steady job. I was only thirteen and had to walk up to the highway and hitchhike there each morning. A miner and customer of yours always stopped to pick me up, one day telling me to skip the long walk up to the highway and he would just pick me up at the end of my street. In addition to my weekly pay, you told me I could have free soda, a bar sandwich, a pack of smokes occasionally, and play as much pool as I wanted.  All I had to do was show up and get my job done cleaning up so the bar would be ready each day before you opened. I started missing an occasional day or two each week and after plenty of warnings, you had to let me go. I was so ashamed that I had let you down.  My first steady job and I was fired by my own uncle.  I’ve never had a problem getting up early again nor have I been fired since.  You taught me.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I never felt worthy as an adult to attend the reunion you had with the remaining scouts from your company.  It was a war I never really understood yet learned more over the three hours I was privy to listen to all of your stories, sharing both your laughter and tears with your Marine brothers. I was honored.

If we were having coffee, we would probably laugh at how something we both initially despised (social media) let us both keep up with our daily lives despite the miles that separated us. You still encouraging me like you always have, you getting to know my wife and children and now encouraging them, you only being a mouse click, email, or text message away. You introduced me to your daughter, my cousin and her beautiful family. I shared in your joy at finally finding love this late in life. I would also tell you I agree to disagree on many of your political and social rants but thank you for challenging my thought process. But you already knew this and can laugh with me about it.

If we could have just one more coffee, I would stand up and hug you and tell you I love you for everything you have ever been to me: a big brother, a substitute father, a teacher, and the most caring Uncle I could have ever been blessed with.

I love you Uncle Charlie and look forward to meeting up with you again in that next dimension.

166076_645956552082012_1322617723_n

Charlie Sotelo August 8, 1945 – February 21, 2015

 

© 2018 W.C. Cunningham

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: