I met a fellow, and he said, "Ron, my name is Bill." I guess it was the mood I was in. I said, "Oh no! I already have enough bills in my life." What's wrong with me? Well, maybe you've felt that way. I mean, what I said was probably true for both of us.
Okay, I wish I had all the time in the world to get to places I need to go. Usually, that's just not possible. I'm moving pretty fast - sometimes too fast. Recently, I was on the verge of being late, and I was driving in a very unfamiliar place. You probably know the feeling of trying to follow directions to a new place, you're looking for your turn, and suddenly you're driving a long way without seeing your turn. This was one of those days for me. And the reason I was driving so far was because I had missed the place I was supposed to turn. And I missed it because I was going too fast. So, of course, it actually took me longer to get where I was supposed to be.
You never knew when my wife was going to have one of her attacks. No, it wasn't a medical condition; it used to happen as we were driving through our neighborhood on garbage night. Suddenly she'd go, "Stop! Wait!" And I'd say, "What's the matter?" And she'd say, "Look at that chair." Actually it was the remains of a chair, broken, pretty gross I thought. And then she'd say, "Hey, let's take it." I think there's a name for that. Garbage picking, right? Yeah.
So after that Super Bowl everybody wanted to talk about the commercials. Great! I wanted to talk about the New York Giants. Yeah, my team that year won the Super Bowl! Who cares about the commercials? Answer: the news, the blogosphere, social networks, gazillions of people at the water cooler! Of course, what did it cost - $4-$5 million a pop for a 30-second ad. Advertisers were hoping we would talk about their commercial and buying what they were selling.
We lived on the East Coast for so long, we've had the chance to frequently visit the beaches there. Oh, man we still love them! One visit, it wasn't just another day with the family at the beach. Nope! See, the lifeguards at Ocean City, NJ suddenly made everyone get out of the water--fast! And you know what I'm thinking. I'm thinking "Jaws"! So I was very cooperative. I got out real fast! Compliant boy, yeah. Instead, it was all about these two children, and those lifeguards had to plunge in and rescue them because they were in trouble out by a jetty there.
Every time I hear anyone mention the first Gulf War, it brings back to my memory an interview with a soldier who was there as they were about to go to war from Kuwait and into Iraq. She said, "You know, we've gotten training when we were in boot camp about chemical warfare. We kind of dozed off, you know, and didn't take notes, It was boring, threw paper wads, whatever. It was just boring stuff." She said, "Now they're covering chemical warfare again, because we're about to go into Iraq where they have them." She said, "We're taking notes, we're asking questions this time, we're staying late after class." I thought, "Wow! What a big difference; same material, same information." What was different? All of a sudden soldiers knew that their life could depend on what they were learning, and they were going to need it, not just know it.
My children always braced themselves when we were on a vacation and I'd say, "Hey, it's time for one of Dad's adventures!" See, my adventures don't have a great history. I remember one morning I promised them a great adventure. We were going up to Cadillac Mountain in Maine to see the first place, supposedly, where you can see the sun rise on the East Coast. So, I woke them in our campground about 3:00 a.m. We drove up to the top of Cadillac Mountain to watch the clouds rise. Yeah...no sun!
You know, for many years there's been a crusade going on in America. It was driven by mothers. There's actually a television movie some years ago that portrayed how one woman started an organization called MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) because her own daughter was killed. Now, drunken driving was just a theoretical issue to her until, well when her own daughter was killed. That began the crusade that has actually begun to really make a change sometimes in people's driving habits and across the country. I guess in every area of our life a lot of us, well, we don't join a battle until someone we love is wounded in it. And you might be in that position. There's a spiritual battle that has all of a sudden become very real to you because someone you love is a casualty.
It's sure not uncommon to hear that a hurricane coming up the East Coast is headed for the Outer Banks of North Carolina. When I hear that, I flash back to an old white frame building there and to the story I heard there that has followed me ever since.