Something About Mary

Riding up the elevator at work today a friend asked me, “So…how’s married life?” “It sucks.” She looked momentarily startled. Clearly not the response she was expecting. “Um..OK. Why?” “Because we live a thousand miles apart!” Clearly that minor detail has had some adverse impact on the overall marital experience. Obviously being married to Diane doesn’t suck. I love her very much and we grow closer every day. Well, emotionally and spiritually, that is. The physical distance hasn’t diminished one iota. We love each other very much and could not be happier to be married. But the reality is that following our wedding we essentially returned to our respective pre-nuptial lives. We were married in a beautiful ceremony (thank you, Suzi!) in an idyllic setting (thank you, Susan!) surrounded by family and friends, some who travelled 12,000 miles (literally…thank you, Nick and Della) and some whose presence was simultaneously surprising and greatly appreciated (thanks, Mom). Following our wedding day…

Dear Brady: “What’s so special about Diane?”

My youngest son, Brady, has a way of cutting to the heart of things. After recently returning home to Anchorage from the top of planet Earth (north slope of Alaska), he saw the announcement that Diane and I were engaged. As a son concerned that perhaps his old Dad had gone soft in the head, he wanted to know why I would want to marry again after the disastrous ending of my previous marriage.
Specifically, he wanted to know, “What’s so special about Diane?”
So for Brady and for anyone else who may be wondering but who haven’t had the guts to ask, let me try to explain.

Dear Brady, Hope all is well with you there at the top of Earth. It is at this time of year when I can really identify with the harshness of the climate in which you live. While it’s 7° in Anchorage, it’s 42° here in Florida. It’s like we’re weather twinsies.
So you asked me what’s so special about Diane that I would want to marry her, given the craziness of the past year and a half. Good question. Fair question. Let me back …

Which lily leave: A 2017 Retrospective

Dear Family, Friends, and the NSA who, as we all know, reads everything that's ever been posted on the Innerwebs -
As the end of the year approaches, I like to reflect on the year's events to try and gain some perspective. I try not to classify events as good or bad; rather, simply as events that shaped my life as I launch into whatever the future may hold.
So here are the 23 defining memories and experiences in the Life of Joe, 2017 Edition (in no particular order):  Diane. ('s in some order, with the most important first and last.)7/21/1996 is still a thing.12/13/1997 is not.Twilight Tunes on the square in Denton, Texas.Finally saw a game at The Swamp. OK...half a game. The Swamp is, well...a swamp. Doak is a way better venue.Mom’s semi-annual heart replacements are getting more and more frequent. Doctors are now using hearts made from