Category Archives: cocktails

Life with Sister: Tales from the Great Texas Blizzard & Blackout of ’21 – Part 4

I received a message today from a friend who informed me that her mother was “on the edge of her seat” awaiting the next installment. I will take that as high praise from a reader and offer to you now the fourth installment. NB: These “parts” might cover more than one day at a time as we go forward.

Thursday February 11, 2021

Sister came out of her room this morning and poured her morning coffee. Mercifully for her, the convent had not taken that simple ritual away from her. She lifted the mug to her lips, took a long draw, and then slammed the coffee cup onto the counter. “Hooooly Mutha! That’s some damn good java,” she said. I believe Sister had found her voice. Sister then picked up her small, black copy of the 1962 Roman Missal and stepped out onto the front porch to pray her morning prayers. I mean, I do have heat in my house but whatever. Meanwhile I mulled over our options for the day. I needed to be back at the homestead by 9 PM to pick up my sister from the airport. “Perhaps,” I thought, “I can one day make a movie and I’ll call it When Sister Meets Sister.” I had gotten as far as making them detectives and pairing them with a quadriplegic man servant (comedy gold right there) when I remembered that Sister had wanted to travel to Waco. If you thought she had a JFK obsession, you should ask her about the Branch Davidians.

Sadly for Sister, neither a trip to the Branch nor to Magnolia nor to the Dr. Pepper Museum (a very real place in Waco) were in the cards today. You see, an ominous weather event had swept through overnight. No, it’s not the fabled blizzard you tuned in to read all about. Patience. Rather this was that blizzard’s harbinger. And what a tragedy this brought with it. I started to look at news on my phone and was stunned at what I was seeing. Apparently every school district in North Texas had closed for the day due to weather. I looked out my window assuming that Sister might have gotten buried in a drift. Instead of a blanket of white I saw a white woman in a white habit under a literal blanket of white. Sister had grabbed a fleece on her way out the door. But not a flake in sight. I went back to my phone. Turns out this system had produced patches of lethal black ice. Here I must state with love that Texas drivers are not good drivers in decent weather. Also, the local governments lack the equipment to treat the roads as they would have been treated where I grew up. Rather, towns will send out police in squad cars to park at the bottom of highway entrance ramps in a blocking fashion. This does not work, though, when someone is already on the road when it gets closed. Sadly, that morning 135 vehicles were involved in one of the worst mass accidents ever just to our west in Fort Worth. Several people died. Please say a pray for them.

Sister and I drove to mass at a local oratory that had been kind enough to host us all week. Normally we would have gone to our parish but Sister knew some of the members of this particular community. I noticed that the roads were indeed slick but I wasn’t too concerned. I wasn’t getting on any highways. We arrived and went in for mass. In the quiet of the chapel I attempted to meditate on the Passion. The door swung open. The door slammed into a crucifix on the wall. That crucifix fell and hit me on the head. Meditation complete. Our Lord ALWAYS hears our prayers. The door had been flung open by the children of a mutual friend to Sister and me. The family had come to join us for mass. Afterward we all went out to lunch at a local Mexican restaurant. Sitting at the table I asked Sister if she wanted a drink. It was lunchtime and we were at a place known for their margaritas. Sister locked eyes with the waiter and spewed something at him in flawless Spanish. I picked up something about a drink, a chimichanga, the Argentine Dirty War of the 1970’s, and bull castration. My Spanish is a little non-existent. Juan, our waiter, turned pale. He fumbled with his pad and pen. In his eyes, a glaze of sheer terror. Sister lifted her head back up (for she had dipped her eyes back to the menu) and said calmly, “¡Andale!… or should I say… Raus?” Juan backed away swiftly from the table, never turning his back to Sister, and then ducked into the kitchen. I had no idea she was a polyglot! What fun! Before I could say burrito Juan had returned to our table. He was now dressed in finery. Deep red velvet bolero jacket with tassels. Golden embroidered sombrero. His hair was now white so there was that. He was attended by three similarly dressed servers carrying trays of the finest selections of chips and queso. I honestly thought it all came from a food services truck. Each of the servers had hair blonder than mine and the bluest eyes. The last of Juan’s assistants handed Sister an envelope. “Third Secret of Fatima,” she said. “Can’t reveal until the year 2000”, as she tucked the envelope into her sock clearly having buried the Millennium in her subconscious.

Not quite what my trees looked like this morning.
Photo by Simon Berger on Pexels.com

I think something happened to Sister when she put that new hat on yesterday. I think it unlocked something of her youth. I think it tripped something within her personality as if her brain suddenly said, “Sister, it’s OK. You don’t have to be scared anymore. You can come out and play. You do you!” Or maybe it was the Yankee Candles.

I returned home to get my daughter ready for choir practice. Sister remained with friends a while. She may have had Juan arrested for some old Nazi war crime. Perhaps she just got more queso. Some things are better left unthought. Unfortunately for my daughter, choir practice was canceled due to ice that had already melted away. She and I had our own choir practice at the piano. A few scales for warm up and then we rehearsed the song “Dance Ten, Looks Three” from A Chorus Line. I don’t know if it will ever make it into the Latin mass rotation but it sure is fun to play on the keyboard. Don’t worry, I had her hum over any “colorful” lyrics.

I looked around my house and noticed it didn’t like quite as “fresh” as it had a few days ago. Should I call Alma again? No, not enough time. Instead I went around and swept, mopped, cleaned toilets, etc. It’s kind of what I do. I gravitate to my own kind. That’s why I spend time cleaning toilets and taking out the trash. Because I am garbage. After I finished I put together another gift basket to place in one of the bedrooms. This one was very special to me. It was a basket of Texas goodies and other treats for a very special person who was coming to Texas for the first time. In fact, if it weren’t for her I wouldn’t be in Texas to make this gift basket. Truth be told, I wouldn’t be anywhere but in the ground. When I was a young boy of 4, my older sister saved my life by tossing me from the second floor of a burning building. This part is 1000% true in case you were wondering. I’ve always been close with this sister and I was so happy she could make the trip to see us. Sadly, her husband died a few short months ago. He was one of the absolute best human beings you would ever want to know and we have all been saddened by his loss. I hoped that in bringing my sister for a visit, she might be able to see that there is fun in life still and share some of that fun with us.

I headed out to the airport and waited at baggage claim with a sign that said “Welcome back from rehab!” She slapped the back of my head when we met. We drove home. Out came the cheeseboard, crackers, and bar cart. We were celebrating life. Sister asked my sister if she wanted a Yankee Candle. I explained that whole mess to her. She stuck to her rum and coke. After a while my sister began to regale us with a tale of her children who are champion Irish dancers. They frequently attend competitions that take place in hotel ballrooms and the like. “Sister,” said my sister, “You don’t know what this shitshow is like. You got these older, I don’t know what you’d call ’em, ‘dance moms’, right, Sister? These ladies use these dance things as their night out on the town, ya’ know, Sis? Know what I’m sayin’?” Sister was intrigued. I could see her attempting to formulate into hand symbols my sister’s flawless Jersey. Then came the phrase that pays. “Sister, nah, Sister… listen to me. We’re talkin’ hoes on heels here.” Sister couldn’t find the right symbols for that one.

And then we all went to bed.

In tomorrow’s installment we’ll get my sister’s take on JFK and we’ll venture into a genuine Texas bingo hall. B-I-N-G-O, friends, Bingo was his name-o.

Life with Sister: Tales from the Great Texas Blizzard & Blackout of ’21 – Part 3

Sometimes we make edits.

In our last installment, we took Sister, an ex-nun from an order I have not mentioned because I’m not sure it ever existed on a tour of Fort Worth, Texas, the Gateway to the West. We recalled the famous beef industry commercial, I cowboy-ed myself to the nines, and we drank a few more Yankee Candles. Ready for your next sip, fella’?

Wednesday February 10, 2021

Sister is a delicate flower. She is wounded. She is scared. She has been scarred by her experience. The girl can drink all of us under the table. Amazing. Delicate? Yes. Years of living under a canonical vow of obedience to a Mother Superior, all the while not being able to communicate using her words and then being “asked to leave”… Tough times but who hasn’t been there? If you’re nodding your head and saying, “Yeah, man, I totally get that”, then find another blog. Now.

Today it was time to take Sister to the place the city of Dallas is best known for – the assassination of the 35th President of the United States. I may have just inadvertently placed myself on some kind of government watch list. Before her time planting and tending to vines that were already dead, hoping for some kind of Cascian miracle, Sister was a huge history buff. In her dorm room in college, she proudly displayed a 1″:1′ scale model of Dealey Plaza complete with strings marking the trajectories of Oswald’s shots. Keep in mind such a model would have taken up three-quarters of a standard dorm room. And she had a roommate. Her thesis was titled “JFK, Blown Away. What else do YOU Have to Say?”

But here’s the thing. Dallas isn’t exactly proud of that moment. For years after President Bush (41) retired to Houston the running joke was “Houston: Where Presidents come to live.” The mood around the rest of the country from that fateful day in November 1963 and for many years following was that Dallas was a lawless city, filled with backwoods thugs who would kill any Northeasterner they could find. And then I moved here and all that changed. I seem to have a way with these people. In reality, and hard as it may seem to believe, it was the TV show Dallas (premiered in 1978) that finally turned around that image. But for 15 years Dallas was hated. And Dealey Plaza, an art deco masterpiece of a civic monument, was at the center of that hatred. It wasn’t until the late 1980’s that the city finally found the municipal will to take over the sixth floor of the old Texas School Book Depository building and dedicate a museum to the events of that day. I, too, am a history buff. Having lived in this area for almost a decade, I have visited the Sixth Floor Museum (real original, huh?) dozens of times. It really is a very well curated museum. I thought our history loving ex-nun would love the self-guided tour.

We set out around noon. On our way I noted two things. First, Sister is also a fan of fast food. “Whataburger?” she said making a “W” with her thumbs and index fingers as we backed out of my driveway. “Sister, we had that the other night. How about something different?” A quick stop at the Jack in the Box and we were on our way. The second thing I noticed was that the forecasters on the radio were telling of an impending winter storm while I scanned the dial. “Sounds ominous,” I said to Sister. Sister said nothing. Forgetting that she was now permitted to speak for a moment, she began gesticulating wildly with her fingers making a motion of snow falling from the sky. Forgetting that I shouldn’t speak the quiet part out loud I said, “What the fu*k?” We laughed and laughed. Then we verbalized our feelings and shared our thoughts in a productive way. I assured her that her flight on the upcoming Monday would indeed take off. And then I laughed. “You’re going to be stuck with us a while, Sister,” I said. “I’m from New Jersey and I can attest these folks don’t know what to do with a half-inch of snow, let alone the six they’re calling for.” “It will be OK,” said Sister, smiling. “But to be sure, do you have enough liquor at home?” She had a point and I made a mental note to hit up Wine Totalé on our way home.

See what the artist did there?

Within 20 minutes we were coming out from under the famed Triple Overpass, the same one a bleeding JFK was raced through on his way to Parkland. “Oh my! It’s splendiferous!” said Sister. Splendiferous? I guess one has ample time to memorize the thesaurus in a cloister. We parked, entered, and quickly ascended to the sixth floor. We walked through a timeline of the life and times of John Fitzgerald Kennedy. The museum does a good job of refraining from political comment and all the exhibits are laid out in a matter-of-fact way. No matter what your thoughts about Kennedy, one cannot help but feel a sense of emotion, especially as you approach the sniper’s perch in the corner window. We looked over Elm Street where the open-top limousine made that hairpin turn. We could see the “X’s” painted on the road surface where bullets had felled our leader. The sky was gray and dank. There was a chill in the air. As I wiped away a slight trace of a tear from my cheek, I noticed Sister raising her arms ever so slowly. She, too, must be feeling the terrible weight of that day, the anguish on Jackie’s face climbing over the back of the limo, the distress of the crowds jumping to the ground, the, wait a minute, what’s she doing? Oh dear God, Sister was raising her arms to clasp her hands together in the manner of a .45 caliber handgun and pointing them toward the road surface below. Have I mentioned yet that she still wears a full pre-Vatican II habit? “I suppose Oswald could have pulled it off but not from this window,” she said. And then she returned her finger gun to an imaginary holster next to her four foot wooden rosaries hanging from her belt, and skipped to the next window bay only to draw and line up her next shot. Although I’m sure it’s not the strangest thing the docents here have seen, I have personally never witnessed this and I’ve seen a helluva lot. Four windows later and I remembered that Sister was also a ballistics expert from her time in the Marines. Why shouldn’t she draw on her favorite interests in this place? I hid in the interpretive theater and may have wet myself either from fear or laughter.

Really? Give it a rest already.

Surprised not to have been asked to leave, we exited after our timed tour and met up with another friend of Sister’s who lives nearby. We found a nifty little restaurant and had a drink. The weather was turning now. I’ve been here long enough to know a tornado sky from a snow sky and this was definitely the latter but it was struggling to burst onto the scene. “Still a few days off,” I said to Sister as we sipped our cocktails. “Great,” she said. “There’s a western wear store right next door. She slipped inside and emerged a few minuets later with that hat she had wanted. Placing it over her wimple, she glanced around the skyline of Dallas. “Which one is the Ewing Oil Building?” she asked. “JR needs a picture.”

I could tell you about the rest of this day but other than dinner at one of our favorite barbecue spots, it ended exactly as you should have known it would.

Yankee candles around the fire.

That snow was coming but we still had a few more days of calm before the flakes would fall. Oh, and my nephew was still in town. He and the college girls had gone to a local bar. When they returned home they recounted how they had been offered coke by another bar patron, and not the fizzy kind. They didn’t accept (thank God). He looked at me slightly puzzled when I asked what set of circumstances would have prompted this. “You know, it’s like you’re in a bar and someone offers you coke, right?” Again, I’ve seen a helluva lot but that’s one I’m filing under a big, fat NO.

Where was my wife this whole time? I know you’re asking… She was working. See, friends, as a homeschool dad and all around man of many interests, not to mention a great conversationalist because I’ve seen just about everything and I have a knack for making everyone around me feel comfortable, I am the designated tour-guide in the family. That’s right. The Jersey Boy can tell you all about Texas because it’s now what I do. And in our next installment I will tell you all about when Jersey’s sister, that is, my actual sister, arrives. Oh yes, this party is just getting started.

Life with Sister: Tales from the Great Texas Blizzard & Blackout of ’21 – Part 1

The following story recounts the past two weeks of my life. I am a husband and father to two wonderful pre-teen children. I live in a modest house in the Dallas, TX area. I intend no politics, am not assigning blame, nor am I writing to convey anger over the blackouts. I am simply a man who lives a bizarre life and likes to write. With that being said, here now, part 1.

Monday February 8, 2021

Perhaps the first thing you should know, especially if you are new to these pages, is that I homeschool my children. For over 15 years I worked as a high school teacher and later, a school administrator. Last summer, not looking forward to masks and temperature checks for myself or my children, I decided to take a shot at something I had always wanted to do. The moment was never going to be better than it was to treat myself to a year (hopefully more) of being the principal of my own school. Also, I kind of dig walking through my kitchen to get to my classroom. Another thing you should know is that my family and I are cradle Catholics. Some would even label us “traditionalist” Catholics. The Catholic faith and culture are as much a part of our life together as oxygen. True enough, we attend a Latin mass parish but that is what works for us. A final point of which you should be aware is that between my wife and me, we know thousands of people. I come from an enormous family (14th of 16) and my wife is just phenomenal at everything and loved by all. She could legitimately spend her days literally stomping on the knuckles of hangers-on trying to come within her sphere for warmth. She doesn’t. In particular, she has many friends with whom she has remained close since college. All of these facts will play a part in what is to come.

Several weeks ago my wife received a text from one such college friend. We will simply call her “Sister”. That’s because she’s an ex-nun. You’ve probably heard divorcees lament that “I didn’t leave my spouse. My spouse left me.” Well, Sister’s order left her. In fact, it disbanded, or it was suppressed by the Vatican. We’re really not sure. The point is, she’s not an “ex”-nun by choice. It was more of an indifference sort of thing. “My spouse left me” takes on a whole new meaning when one is a bride of Christ. Having spent the past fifteen years in complete silence, using only rudimentary sign language and finger puppets to convey her thoughts, Sister’s family forced advised her to take a vacation. Owing to the fact that every time we’ve seen her in the past few years we’ve invited her to come visit us in Texas, Sister’s first thought was to take said vacation in the Lone Star State. But of course, she would be our most welcome guest! Our preparation consisted of me 1) determining to “shuffle around some school work with the kids” to accommodate her visit and all the fun day trips we would make and 2) calling Alma. Who is Alma? Well, Alma is only the best kept secret in town. That may be because she is in the country undocumentedly. In truth, I do not know. What I do know is that she can clean a house like it’s nobody’s business. The process usually involves several unaswered text messages listing multiple potential days and finally a reply that says simply: “Yes.” I think she uses a burner phone. Having secured her scrubbing skills, I woke up early on this morning – it’s still the 8th if you forgot because of my verbosity – I unlocked the door and welcomed Alma. Alma politely brushed past me while looking over her shoulder. “Close door. I clean now,” she said most politely yet with a tinge of both fear and disgust in her eyes. “Also, don’t tell no one I’m here.” Looking at her earnestly I said, “But Alma, I don’t know anyone who knows you.” To this she replied, “Keep it that way,” and then she commenced vacuuming my drapes.

While Alma dusted and shined I suddenly remembered that one of my nephews – a young man in his early 20’s – had also asked to come stay with us this week. He had time off and wanted to visit one of my nieces – a young lady in her early 20’s who happens to live with us – and particularly to visit her lady friends. Ah, the mind of a young man… Always looking for, um, platonic friendship? Yeah, he wasn’t here to see us, to be sure. Nonetheless, I did have to leave Alma while I drove out to the airport to get the lad. On the drive I used my background in logistics to figure out where he would stay. I dropped him off at home, shoved him and his baggage into my daughter’s room, paid Alma her cash (unmarked bills), and watched her instantly vaporize through the chimney. “Don’t… tell… no one…” she said as she vanished. Boy she’s something else. Also, we don’t have a chimney so it was really magical.

Next up, I rolled a die to determine which of my children would be my favorite this day. Kidding. They’re both my favorite. The girl. Using reverse psychology, I took the boy and left daughter at home while I went shopping for Sister’s impending arrival. We went to a giant warehouse store. There are five of us normally under our roof and the one added guest has lived off of rice and donated donuts for two decades so this was going to be a challenge. I stocked up on cases of soda, mini quiches, and other things to make our exclostrated guest feel at home. Then I headed to my happy place, a liquor store called Total Wine, or as I call it, Wine Totale. I like to class it up sometimes. Sister had enjoyed her cocktails while we were in school. Let’s see if she can still hold her liquor. While roaming the aisles I overheard a customer and a sales associate discussing gin. And the fourth thing you needed to know about me is that I have had a love affair with Dutch Courage since college. I know my gin. And my gin knows me. The information being given the poor shopper by the young clerk was so wrong I absolutely had to interject. I told her about the wonders of gin, its history, and then helped her pick a bottle. “What are you making with it, might I ask?” I said. She told me it was for some “ancient cocktail” her husband had heard about called a bijou. The bijou dates to the 1890’s and contains equal parts gin, chartreuse, and sweet vermouth. I was intrigued enough to stock up on all of that. Looking into my cart at the already full supply of other gin, rum, and an assortment of Texas whiskeys, she asked, “And what are you making with all that?” My son, who is undeniably my son, shot back, “We’re not making anything. Just getting ready to entertain an ex-nun.” And we walked away.

Wine Totalé has a great gin selection. If you look closely, you’ll see this is their rum selection.

I stopped at daily mass, came home, and made some finishing touches to the house. This included assembling our traditional “Texas Welcome Gift Basket” for Sister’s room. My wife and daughter had even made Texas-shaped chocolates for her. Finally the hour approached to return to the airport and collect Sister. I entered the terminal and noticed how empty it was. Air travel has really taken a hit this past year. It was in that emptiness that I was able to hear the little things that make my life more fun.

THUD!

I turned around to see a middle-aged woman lying on the ground on top of a piece of rolling luggage. In her fall she had completely bent the extended handle of her suitcase. She came to rest in front of an elevator that I think she was attempting to board. I looked around, noticed two other people. We all looked at each other and then, out of a sense of human decency, approached the woman to assist her. As I got within a few feet I smelled the familiar waft of alcohol that has traveled through the bloodstream and, finding no room at the inn, decided to exit the body via the pores. This chick was sauced. My first guess was that she had enjoyed the hell out of first class and now could not find her way outside of a paper bag, let alone an airport terminal. We got her situated with some medical assistance and a bottle of water from a vending machine and I turned around just in time to see Sister walking toward the baggage carousel.

Sister is a character of epic proportions. She loves Texas, having spent some of her youth here. She is a bigger fan of pop culture, including the TV series Dallas, than even me. She loves a good meal, perhaps almost as much as I do. We got into my car. I connected my phone and the radio blasted the theme to Dallas. “So much fun!” she said. “Why don’t you go pick up Whataburger while I get my rental car and head to your house?” And that’s just what I did.

To close out day one, I offered Sister a drink. “Sister,” I said, “Let me fix you a bijou.” She looked at me like I had just announced the death of the Roman pontiff on state-run TV. “I’m game,” she replied. Here I set to work making a cocktail I had never made, nor did I know would be potable. I did this with all the swagger of a bartender who’s served up drinks for years at the same establishment. As in, “Trust me, you’ll like it. There is no other option.” I poured two bijous and we toasted Sister’s arrival and visit. Sister took a sip. Sister put her glass on the counter. Sister said the following.

“Tastes like a Yankee Candle. From the 1890’s.”

And that was day one. “Where’s the snowstorm? What happened to the blackout?!” you ask. Patience, friends. All will be revealed.

Nails and Gins

My mom is in town for a visit and to attend the upcoming wedding of my sister-in-law.

So I took her to get her nails done before the wedding. There’s a reason men shouldn’t be in these places. Mom picked out a color and then said “Maybe I’ll get one nail done up in something special,” while pointing to something with glitter. “Like a coke nail?” I asked with some incredulity. The woman has seen her share of Law & Order so I thought maybe it was a thing. “We call that an ‘accent nail’,” said the woman behind the counter.

Lots of colors.

You learn something new every day. Next it’s off to the hair place. Perhaps we’ll find some gin along the way.

Speaking of gin… In late November a big, beautiful, upscale liquor store opened nearby. Since I am a big, beautiful, upscale drunk this was a natural fit and made me very happy. Those of you who’ve ever known me know that I have a penchant for gin. Recently a friend shared an article with me that declared that those who drink gin and tonic are psychopaths. It didn’t say we were “likely to be” psychopaths. No, this hurtful group of words masquerading as a scientific journal said straight up that I’m a psycho. Sure, drinking gin has been likened to drinking a bottle of Chanel No. 5 and the British did attribute the collapse of their country’s middle class to gin a few hundred years ago. Where was I going with this? Oh yes, the liquor store…

Lots of gin.

I’ve made a resolution not to buy the same bottle twice until I’ve tried all the gins I haven’t tried. This place has a whole aisle devoted to my favorite spirit so it might take a while. Then again, I’m a psychopath so maybe not. Recently I tried Aviation which was nice but had notes of something I’m not quite sure of. In other words, it wasn’t great. Last night I picked up a bottle of Oregon Spirit. This made me think of the Oregon Trail. If I get dysentery and die from drinking this I will be quite peeved.

That’s all.

Of Flight Delays and Gin and Canadian Politics

Here I am again.

By here I mean a terminal at DFW Airport.

By “I” I mean me, the author of this blog. A husband, a dad.

By again I mean this seems to be a regular occurrence.

You see, it is because of the “husband” and “dad” part of that equation that I write this evening. This weekend is my wife’s 20th reunion from college. Man, we’re getting old. And although I began my college life at the same prestigious school I only lasted one semester before many other things called me elsewhere. My wife still envisions me as a member of her class. “Our reunion is coming up,” she’s said to me. “You remember so-and-so from our class,” she’s asked. In a way I’m touched to know that she was thinking of me at all those many years ago that one semester I was in the same location. And the truth is that I do remember those people – if not from the depths of my brain then at least from the stories she’s regaled me with. But I am nothing if not a man who tries to be a dutiful husband and so I am heading to that reunion.

But I’m also torn. I’m sad because I have to leave the kids for the weekend. We’ve been having so much fun lately – more than usual. My son is rapidly becoming a man before my eyes. My daughter and I get to spend so many precious moments together during the day. That happens when you’re the vice principal of her school. And I love it and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world EVER. But I hate leaving them. I’m jealous. I worry that something will happen even though I know it won’t. They’re with Granny and they’re fine. But I still miss them.

And guess what? I also miss my wife. That goes without saying. You see, she’s already on the East Coast for business so I’m the one who’s joining her. And by joining I mean I’m flying on a flight that is already delayed, has changed gates to a different terminal, won’t land until 2AM (and an hour away from my destination at that)… Do you see my dilemma?

I love the three of them and I’m torn. I want to see my wife even though I’m sure she’ll be quite busy this weekend as one of the organizers of that reunion. I want to be with my children even though they’re totally fine and I spend more time with them than most dads I’ve ever known are blessed to spend with their kids. What on earth to do?!

This is how we fly.

Fortunately I’ve found a happy medium. I’m sitting in an airport bar. This one – the Fridays Express across from my gate – is practically empty tonight. OK, that’s depressing. But, my waiter is super chill. They have gin. And I have a hotspot so I’m reading articles about the Canadian PM election.

My advice to all the widower and single dads out there? Pick a drink and follow Justin Trudeau. Boy is he fascinating… You may just learn about world events.

Or you may just find the thing to distract you from whatever tears you apart.

Oh well… At least the weather where I’m going is supposed to be nice. And it’s only for two days. That ought to be long enough for the kids to miss me sufficiently.

And here’s where I end with a big LOL. I love my life and I know I’ll be fine despite my crazy neuroses and fears.