Posted in Family

Pre-K is A-Okay!

Today was granddaughter Isabelle‘s first day of pre-K.

Isabelle’s expression … “I’m not so sure about this school thing.“

“Welcome to school, Isabelle. We’re SO glad you’re here.”
Hall-walking with big brother and sister, Matthew and Madison.

A great first day of school! So much to learn. So much to do.

Posted in Family

Late Sunday Evening Reflection

I just don’t get the ongoing racism in our world. Even though I am sure as a 70-year-old white man, I have racist assumptions and probably racist actions now and again.

As you know, if you follow my blog, I am married to a black man, HR (Husband Robert), The joy of my life.

Today we were at my grandtwins’ 10th birthday party (more about that in another post).

Three -year-old granddaughter Isabelle was all about Robert holding her throughout the party. Not me. Robert. He was more fun.

Isabelle kept wanting to have her foot pictured. And of course Robert obliged.

If only we all had the intelligence and the footprint of three–year-olds.

Posted in Five Friday Happy Bringers

Five Friday Happy Bringers 7/29/22

1. Celebrating with daughter Amy adding another physician to her medical company here in Savannah, Coastal Care Partners. This time a young new pediatrician.

Amy is the redhead to the right. New physician Dr. Alexander is in the middle.

So of course, Robert and I had to get in on the action (and free food). Here we are with Amy and her hubby, co-partner Scott at the ribbon-cutting.

2. The wind beneath my wings.

Sweet chili pepper wings at Bar Food Sports in Savannah near us. Yum!!!

4. HR and I taking grandtwins Matthew and Madison, little Isabelle and ex-wife Donna to the Jepson Center for the Arts here in Savannah for a morning of exploration and joy.

4. The incredible ability to be thankful. And to recognize, celebrate all that we have — our lives, our breath, our hopes and dreams. Our feet and shoes to house them. Our fingers and their ability to touch.

5. HR letting me strategically place various items on his head for photographic practice …

… while he looks at a duck cookie sporting his name.

I hope you’re looking at a happy, healthy weekend ahead.

Posted in My Saturday Evening Post

My Saturday Evening Post: 7/16/22 “Granddaughter Isabelle and Encanto”

Youngest granddaughter Isabelle’s 4th bday party today, featuring Mirabelle from Encanto.

Isabelle being presented with a plaque declaring her an honorary candle protector. (Have you seen the movie?)

Isabelle, her mom, HR and me

On Isabelle’s 4th (and many more to follow):

“May she be happy. May she be healthy. May she be safe. May she be at peace and live her live with ease.”

Happy Birthday, Isabelle!

Posted in Family

Boastal

Grandson Daniel, who you may remember just finished a run as Joseph in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” here in Savannah, is at a three-week drama camp.

D is in the green t-shirt

I have been sending him silly cards of encouragement. Here is my latest. In order to understand it, you must know that the family dog is named Coastal. (We live in Savannah, next to the Atlantic Ocean, and my daughter’s medical company is called Coastal Care Partners.)

Puppy dog Coastal …

And here’s the card …

Grandfatherly Fun!

Posted in Throwback Thursday, Neal’s Post from the Past

Neal’s Post from the Past: “Mama — Tell Her Now!”

Since we’re nearing Mother’s Day 2022, here’s an old post from back in 2012 about the power of motherhood. Both my parents have since passed away.

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“Mama.”  Perhaps no other word in our language evokes such tender and loving feelings.

My mom turned 85 on May 2.  Here she is with my dad (88).  They have been married for 65 years!

Geneva Mae Reavis Saye and Harold Hulon Saye Sr.

If I had to answer the question, “Neal, what’s the greatest lesson your mother has taught you in life?” I would have NO problem at all answering.  I learned the lesson so, so early: the power and authority of humor and laughter.  Some of my greatest memories growing up consist of roaring with giggles and laughter at some of the silliest things.  My mother is a master at seeing the lightness in situations. 

The Christmas when I was about six, I asked for a real juke box, and FOUND IT it my parents’ bedroom closet on Christmas Eve. Mama thought it was hilarious when I started yelling in confusion, “WHY is my juke box in your closet??!!” She said, through fits of unrestrained laughs, “Santa wanted your dad and me to try it out first.” (That Christmas began my distrust of Santa.)

Or the time when I asked for (and finally got) a rocking chair for my sixteenth birthday (don’t judge me), and she (like you probably) laughed and said, “WHO wants a rocking chair on their birthday?!” I still get teased about that very practical and emotionally calming gift.

Or her ongoing confusion with the words “veterinarian” and “vegetarian.”

Or the Christmas when I was about eight and had this obsession with making sure the ornaments were placed perfectly (in my opinion) on the live tree branches. I had gone to bed, but thought that maybe I should check the tree one more time for spatial accuracy of the bulbs and tinsel. A big round glass ornament on a limb just out of my reach needed attention. Reaching up, I grabbed the branch, too hard, and pulled the ENTIRE tree on top of me, electric lights and all. Screaming in holiday terror, I flailed at the evergreen monster till my mom and dad ran into the living room. I distinctly remember my dear mother hooting with laughter and saying to my dad (far too loudly), “Just look at what Neal’s done now!”

Or her ongoing advice throughout the decades:  “It’s really not that important, Neal.  You’ll laugh about it soon.”  And I usually did.  (Except for early Christmas memories.)

What an incredible privilege and joy to have a mother who taught me when I was younger and who continues to teach me to this day that happiness is a choice. That laughter is an answer, a solution, a medicine. That humor is a gift to get and to give.

My advice on this glorious Mother’s Day:  Don’t wait till your mom and dad walk out of your lives forever to tell them, show them, how very much they mean to you and how much you love them.

HAPPY, HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY 2012!

I dedicate this beautiful version of the song “Mama” by Il Divo to my mom and to yours.  And remember to tell her now!

Posted in Throwback Thursday, Neal’s Post from the Past

Neal’s Post from the Past: “G”

A post from back in 2014 about my grandson Gabriel, aka “G.”

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I have FOUR grandchildren.  (Yes, you’re right, I’m FAR too young.  We all know that.  It’s a given.  But sometimes Mother Nature has a way of bypassing her laws of when people should have grandchildren–and presents them in, well, early, early middle age.)

Anyway, the second-from-the-oldest-grandchild is Gabriel, 5, a rambunctious bundle of pure little boy-ness.  He’s often affectionately referred to simply as “G.”  In his most recent pre-K school report, the patient-as-a-saint and give-her-a-raise teacher wrote that Gabriel is “smart, funny, with many friends … and has a touch of naughtiness.”

Here’s G (on the far right) with a few school buddies,

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And here he is the other night with older brother Daniel (8).

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Today I received this text from my daughter/G’s mom Amy:

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The brutal honesty of children.

belly

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Back to 2022. Here’s Gabriel yesterday trying on his new contacts.

And over the weekend playing basketball against a much bigger fellow.

G’s team won! Think “David and Goliath.”

After I finished this post, I shared the old picture of Gabriel and Daniel with Amy. She found an old video of the same night when they were dressed in the oversized jackets…