Birmingham Chron, Day 3
More thoughts from the former home of the Iron Bowl, named because of the influence of the former major corporation United States Steel, making this town the former Pittsburg of the South:
…thank you, Rosa, for igniting the spark. I now want her biography for Christmas. It’s shame that now I’ll have to induct her into my Rabble Rouser’s Hall of Fame posthumously, as I’ve tried to begin inductions more spur-of-the-moment so they can come to the traditional lemon chicken dinner at my house.
…a trip to the cancer treatment facility was not happy, despite the attempts by the staff to remain continually upbeat. The nurses all had happy “Hey, how are you today?” words and hugs and smiles. Patients answered and hugged back, but there was always an undertone of serious business afoot that let everybody know these were mere pleasantries. I’d imagine that line of work has such incredible emotinoal drain.
…I like that moment when I can tell people have taken the self-deprecating pony-tailed youth pastor at face value and then have to deal with a well-timed, well-thought, and meticulously designed question. Watching a guy with some 15 years of college under his belt look around nervously, stand up, fold his arms, fidget and begin with, “Hmmm…that’s a very good question…”
…I like the moment that even when he realizes what just happened he answered the question anyway with honesty and integrity, knowing it wasn’t good news. He helped more than he knows.
…The Bright Star is a landmark restaurant in this area, and the food is certainly worth the trip. What I’m amused by is that it’s pretty much exclusively visited by the AARP crowd who truly believes that their children are all pretty impressed by it. So, you have a whole bunch of senior citizens having lunch with their children, who all look at each other in an understanding way. The look says, “Our parents love this place so we come here A LOT.”
…Sometimes, the best way to get out of a downbeat mood is to go visit your 5th grade nephew and 3-year-old neice. Listening to my nephew talk about the college football season (his prediction, not surprisingly, was that Alabama would win the rest of their games to go 11-0, and Auburn would lose all but one of thiers to go 6-5 was disheartening, and my response that Alabama would go 10-2 and Auburn would go 8-3 got eye rolls) and hearing the complexities of the “cover 2” defense his team runs and watching his firm belief that Uncle Brent could fix his radio (he really isn’t aware of my strenghts and weaknesses at this age) was really pretty fun. He’s a pretty sharp kid.
…And don’t even get me started on the joys of sitting on the floor with lots of stuffed animals and toys (she was pretty impressed by my dead-on Elmo impression as well as my knowledge of various Disney and Pooh and Care Bears characters) and the fun you can have simply chasing her with a balloon really is priceless. When you have had daughters, goofing off with a three-year-old comes back naturally, and magically.
…after over 17 years of hanging out with my sister-in-law, we had a conversation that was hysterically funny because of our complete misreads and misconceptions about each other. Any conversation that kinda goes like, “Really? I always thought you were more…” is a good one.
…I still haven’t had Milo’s, although that may change today.