Microfiction, the Carolina Panthers, and other random topics

Susan, over at Stony River, has a weekly writing challenge called Microfiction Monday.  She provides a picture and you provide a story to go with it in 140 characters or less.  It's a lot of fun, and a little bit challenging.  I had mine all typed up and ready to go for this week, but i have no idea where it got off to... so, here it is for this week... a day late, and a dollar short...

Yes, we are doing cheese now... no sir, it does not contain any petro... yes sir, it has been tested by the. F.. I'm sure if you just... *sigh*, ok, thank you for your time.

I "met" Susan through her blog, or she "found" me through mine... i can't remember.  What we have in common, other than enjoying to write (although she is MUCH more serious, and better, than i am), we both have Autistic children.  I enjoy reading her material, and she also has a lot of great links to help aspiring writers.  Both with tips, but also submission leads.  If you enjoy writing, i highly encourage you to check out her blog at Stony River: A Writing Life.

Hoozah!  The 2010 regular NFL season is finally over for the Carolina PanthersNormally, i would be disappointed that it was over before a single game of the playoffs have been played, but this was a particularly hard season to muscle through as a fan.  At 2-14 there were very few highlights to enjoy.  I thought it was good for the Panthers organization to finally make it official that Coach Fox would not be returning.  It's something that has been speculated for over a year now.  Still, i think it is a shame.  Coach Fox has literally been the best coach the Panthers have ever had, and the only one with greater than .500 record.  He will be missed, at least by me.  I have no idea what the future holds for the NFL right now, but with everything in limbo... i do not have very high hopes for the 2011 football season either.  I just hope John Kasay is still kicking the ball through the uprights for them.  At least for another season or two, but definitely for as long as God continues to give him strength.  (A nice article with the same sentiments over at the Charlotte Observer: What Does Kasay's future hold?)The Panthers do have the #1 draft pick in April, and everyone seems to think that Andrew Luck is the real deal... but how many times have i heard that before.  Only God knows for sure.  But, i admit... the writers have me excited about the possibility.

Speaking of the Panthers... i have been wanting to make a football fan pilgrimage to Charlotte since they started playing in 1995, but i've always allowed other life priorities to bump my dream to the back burner.  This year, with my beloved's blessing,i hope to make a game (assuming there is a season in 2011... if not 2011, then 2012) next year.  At first i made an arbitrary decision to go to whichever game they wear their alternate blue jerseys... but now i see they will be playing the Washington Redskins in Charlotte... my father has been literally a lifelong Washington Redskins fan... so... i think i will try and take him with me.  At least that is the plan as of 3-January-2011.  We shall see.

2011 kind of limped on in for me this year.  I was broadsided with some kind of serious cold/bronchitis/flu deal.  Lots of fatigue, lots of congestion, and now some serious head congestion.  First time i ever had chest congestion move up into the head.  it is usually in reverse.  Mucinex and Alka-Seltzer Cold are my best buddies right now.  Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, Oh what a relief it is, fast, FAST, FAST!  

My oldest, LONG-SHANKS, recently experienced a loss of a schoolmate.  It was not someone he was close with, but he did know of him and he knew of my son.  DS1 is closer with the other student who was in the care with this young man.  As a parent, i struggle a lot with how to best lead each of my children.  DS1 is not very similar to DS2, not is he very similar to my DD3 (being a male versus female aside).  Each child is unique and requires unique approaches, but even so... i was (and still am) not really sure what to say. I did go with him to a small get together with their teammates.  I have related with him that while i do not know everything he is thinking, or going through, i did experience something similar when a cousin with whom i was somewhat close to, was murdered (i was a little older than my son is now).  Teens today are different than when i was one... and they will be different if/when my son has a teenager... but... by God's grace, i can only hope i am help shape him into a man of God, who is a true Christian.  Life is hard, life is not fair, but God is always there... and i just pray that he sees this... and that the family of this young man, who tragically has to deal with this loss, my feel some of God's grace and peace... i know i would never be able to survive such a loss without it.

I know this is sort of a down point to wrap up with... but if life has taught me one thing... it is to really do the best you can to balance all things as best you can (Ecclesiastes 3)... be open to the Holy Spirit and God's grace (both for others AND yourself)... and really do NOT take a single day of your life for granted.  We are not guaranteed a tomorrow, and you never know when either someone else's (or even your own) tomorrow is going to be canceled.  Never miss an opportunity to stop and smell the roses or tell someone you love them (and this begins with God).

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