Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Too many people

Los Angeles and Orange County have always been a horrible place to visit.  It is a long plane ride with at least one stop most days and then the number of people.  I hear people talk about how many people there are in India, but I feel LA is the same, except everyone drives alone in cars. Once you get over the nostalgia of being in LA it really is crowded.  The weather is great and that is why so many people live there, but I would take Tennessee any day.  It is funny when people from Nashville, Atlanta, Charlotte, or Memphis complain about traffic, I say "what traffic?"

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Trent, Beale and other random thoughts

I haven't blogged in a long time and I apologize for that. Tonight I enjoyed a great concert from Trent Tomlinson. I am not a big country fan, but unlike most performers that don't sound anything like their records in person, Trent was great. I couldn't tell the difference.

I really do like almost all kinds of music. People are stunned sometimes when they look at my ipod and see Johnny Cash next to FloRida and Bryan Adams. I don't normally care what kind of music it is, as long as it moves me and sounds good.

Most of the best moments of my life are set to music. Some people can remember the smell of grandma's house the beauty of a sunset or a feeling they get when they walk into the old high school after 10 years. My life has always been set to music. I am from Memphis and I was constantly surrounded by music. I started going downtown as a teen and experienced many artist on the street and in different settings. When someone tells me they hate a certain type of music, mostly rap, and they don't understand why I listen to this or that, to me it is like saying you hate sunsets, or that feeling you get when you see an old friend.

Music is as much a part of me as anything else including Memphis. This will likely be my last trip to Memphis for a while and I am glad I got to spend it with my best friend Jeremy listening to some great music.

When I hear people talk bad about Memphis, certain types of music, or sunsets, I kinda take it too personal, like they are talking about me. The life I have lived up to now made me the person I am and I will never forget who I am or where I came from and nobody will ever change that.

I remember Smashing Pumpkins and Alanis Morrisette the first time I went out with my wife. The country song I hope you dance when my daughter Faith was born and Eminem's album when he rapped about the love he had for his daughter Haley.
When John Derrick was born I was listening to Avril Lavine Kelly Clarkson and Fabolous. Now and forever more, when I hear those songs, just for a moment I will be back in that place, that time, remembering how I felt

I am amazed at how alike we really all are. I see people listening to rap trying to prove how "hood" they are, country folks trying to see how big of a pickup and belt buckles they have have or top 40 people trying to be popular. It is all the same.

I am who I am, I am happy with everyone and all music as long as it creates an emotion in you. I have learned just in the past few years that life really is short and I really care less and less each day about the approval of others to my life, to my music, or to my interests. Save one, my wonderful wife Mary Anne who I value her opinion more than any other.

I will impress upon my children the calm spirit they can have if they would just be themselves. That life isn't as black and white as we are taught and everyone has a reason or motive behind everything they do. To not go along with the crowd, to walk a different direction and dance to their own beat.

I have travelled many miles with my job and met so many wonderful people from different walks of life, in different situations, different places. I am amazed at how quickly someone will judge someone because they go to church or because they don't or which church they go to, they are missing the point. Many times it becomes just another race. The rapper tries to prove how hood he is, the country boy tries to prove how country he is, the Christian tries to prove how Christian he or she is. People are so focused on an image they forget who they are and how much fun life really is.

Go hug your family, hang out with old friends, listen to some music, and for once do something unexpected that makes you happy.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Blood and Pain

This week we got the news that Mary Anne has breast cancer. We have wonderful friends, a great church family, and two great families to lean on during this time. We have been married almost 13 years. I love her more than I could ever say and I never want to see her in pain.

I realized the difference in blood and pain when I drove an ambulance. I have seen bodies burned, crushed, ran over, children dead on the street. Things I will never forget and sometimes still have trouble dealing with to this day. Yet, I never got queezy, never felt sick. Then when Faith was being born they stuck a needle in Mary Annes back and called it pain relief, and I almost fainted. It is different when you know the person.

My biggest two fears about the cancer is not that something bad will happen to Mary Anne. I have faith in God and the doctors that everything will go well with her surgery. My fear is that I will not be able to handle her pain, or I will say something wrong trying to be funny (see earlier post).

A real giggle loop

I make jokes, that is how I handle things. Anytime I am in a situation that I feel uncomfortable in I withdraw and make a joke. It is the curse of the giggle loop. If you don't know what the giggle loop is then think of the last time you were at a funeral, in a wedding, or sitting next to someone who just got horrible news. Then, out of nowhere something funny pops into your head. You know you can't laugh, but that makes it that much funnier. You try and try, and then let out a little smirk and giggle, then you realize you have let it out and start laughing. This is why I was never really great as a Fire Chaplain in Marion. Once I was at a fire scene and was helping move a body into a bag. Yes that kind of bag, and you know what happened. Yep.

The giggle loop is my bodys way of relieving stress in a stressful moment. You think of the worst possible thing to say in any given moment, and try your hardest not to say it. I try to find funny in any situation.

Friday, March 6, 2009

70 degree snow

The weather changes often in TN. As with most places people joke that if you don't like the weather wait ten minutes. This week that was especially true as I was travelling in Memphis this week. I started the week with a snowy day in Memphis. Some places, including where I was staying, got a foot of snow. As with any large snowfall it takes days to melt it all. Snow drifts can get very high and sometimes take a week to melt. This week was no different as snow was everywhere while later in the week I was wearing T shirts in sunny 70 degree weather. It was an odd feeling the snow and the spring warmth. Eventually all of the snow melted, but it made me think of how I grew up in Memphis.

I think people are like the snow, the longer you stay somewhere the longer it takes to get used to somewhere else. Just like the snow takes a long time to melt and may be totally out of place, but they are there just the same.
I was glad to see old friends this week and get another dose of Memphis snow, but I am even more glad to be home with my family because that is where my home will always be.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


I travelled to Alabama this week. Another trip down south. I don't think people in Alabama realize where the Alabama flag came from. Some people would associate it with the Confederate flag, however it is much older than that.
This flag is the flag of St Patrick, patron saint of Ireland. It is also one of the many flags that make up the Union Jack. Yes the same St. Patrick associated with the holiday.
It was a boring week in Alabama. I am going to try to blog every week I travel about something I noticed that week, some will be funny, others serious, but all will be entertaining.
Have a great week until you get to push that home button on your tomtom!