The Crotchety Old Man

Aug 04, 2012
By Michael Rupured

My Dad’s Garden

I’m pretty sure gardening is genetic. Whether a recessive gene or one of those that lie dormant until needed, I don’t know and couldn’t say. But I know beyond a doubt that my love for gardening was passed down to me from my father’s side of the family. Dad’s mother kept a vegetable garden in the backyard of her little house on Park Avenue in downtown Lexington. She may have grown a few zinnias for cutting and maintained a beautiful collection of African Violets in her dining room. But Granny was first and foremost a vegetable gardener. Space was too precious in her little garden to waste on pretty things. Granny planted new crops in late winter, early summer, and late …

Aug 02, 2012
By Michael Rupured

A Joyous Occasion

The last few weeks have been a trying time for me. Work is off-the-chain busy, the heat is driving me crazy, and I said goodbye to my father. I’m off my diet, haven’t been exercising, and have consumed more coffee than a person should drink in a year. Throw in a culture war around a silly chicken sandwich and you can maybe see why I’ve been a bit on edge. I’ve had entirely too much experience with death. We’ve buried four grandparents, more than twenty aunts and uncles, and three first cousins. Losing someone is never easy. But I do think that with experience, dealing with death is less traumatic. The last time I saw my father, he told me …

Aug 01, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Waffled Like A Chick-Fil-A Fry

When the Battle of Chick-Fil-A started, I prided myself on what I believed to be a moderate position. Since they’d never refused service to a gay person (to my knowledge) I decided to keep stopping in for my unsweetened tea with a splash of sweet. What they do with their profits is really none of my business. I posted a blog to that effect last Wednesday. The comments here and from my Facebook friends were overwhelmingly positive. People applauded me for being a free thinker, for refusing to kowtow to the demands of the activists. In a polite and respectful manner, a few younger gay men let me have it. I understand their impatience and am even glad for it. But …

Jul 29, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Goodbye, Dad

My father passed away this morning. My sister called me to tell me the news. I knew when I saw her number on the callerID that he was gone. Now I know what the expression “overwhelmed with grief” means. His death wasn’t a surprise. In fact, I welcomed the end to his suffering. There was nothing left unsaid between us. I’d told him goodbye and that I loved him two weeks ago. I thought I was prepared. I’m in a daze. I keep thinking about him and moments we shared throughout my life. I’m dehydrated from crying so much. Feels like he planned the whole thing. He had me come in two weekends ago. My sister came in to say her …

Jul 27, 2012
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on The Path We’re On: A Short Story

The Path We’re On: A Short Story

Nobody could say they didn’t see it coming. Signs pointed toward the showdown back in 2000, when the GOP stole the election from the Democrats in an election that taught us about hanging chads. At the time, everyone thought the showdown would take the form of a hotly contested election. Nobody really thought things could go this far. For years pollsters had been commenting on the increasing polarization of the country. Red and blue states divided up into red and blue towns. Reds patronized red businesses and blues stuck to blue businesses. Reds opposed immigration, tax increases, abortions, gay rights, birth control and regulation of any kind. Blues were a more diverse group, which often interfered with attempts for a …

Jul 26, 2012
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on On the Other Hand…

On the Other Hand…

In yesterday’s blog, I came out as a Chick Fil A and Target fan, despite company support for anti-gay groups. If Chick Fil A’s CEO doesn’t shut up, I might change my mind. Unless you’re Mitt Romney, we’re allowed to do that in America. Today I’m going to blast an organization for their antigay and homophobic rhetoric. Think I’m talking out of both sides of my mouth? I don’t think so. This is different. This one is personal. In 1974 the Boy Scouts of America bestowed upon me the rank of Eagle, an honor received by only about five percent of Boy Scouts each year. I worked hard to satisfy the requirements for Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life, …

Jul 25, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Me and My Tea

I happen to like Chick-Fil-A. There. I’ve said it. I’m a gay man and I like Chick-Fil-A. In fact, I prefer it over all other fast food options. The restaurants are always clean–including the bathrooms, the employees are courteous and helpful, and they always honor my request for unsweetened tea with a splash of sweet. No doubt you’ve seen news stories about Chick-Fil-A donating bazillions of dollars to anti-gay causes. Left-leaning cultural warriors are outraged, demanding that consumers boycott the restaurant. They’re certainly entitled to an opinion. Those same left-leaning warriors tell me to shop at J.C. Penny instead of Target. The former features gay couples in ads, the latter provides financial support to anti-gay causes. I like Target. I …

Jul 22, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Keep on Keeping On

A bunch of age-related health issues hit me around my fiftieth birthday. My BMI (Body Mass Index) was well over 30 (obese), my activity level was zero, and the scale had drifted close to 250 pounds. Even my dress pants had elastic waistbands. Middle-age had caught up with me, taken up residence around my waist, and given me brand new man boobs that jiggled when I walked. A close call with cancer and a simultaneous brush with adult-onset diabetes were a wake up call. My lifestyle was killing me. Unless I wanted to go on disability, wear a shirt for the rest of my life, and ride around in one of those motorized carts at Walmart, things had to change. …

Jul 20, 2012
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on The Original Crotchety Old Man

The Original Crotchety Old Man

My Dad has a temper. That’s what I know best about him. His eyes blaze and his nostrils flare, evoking the bull of his sun sign, Taurus. I got really good at picking up visual cues that we were heading toward the red zone. We all did, and we watched visitors to our house like hawks to make sure they didn’t step on any land mines. During my visit last weekend, he only got irritated with me once. When I was climbing back behind him to pose for a picture, I put my hand on the back of his chair, causing him to rock backward. It startled him and may have even hurt. He announced he was getting irritated. Otherwise, …

Jul 19, 2012
By Michael Rupured

And Somehow…Results

Healthy Lifestyle and I are still having trouble getting along. I left the bitch in Georgia when Toodles and I went to Kentucky. There was just too much going on to be bothered with her. Since I’ve quit paying so much attention, my weight has steadily dropped about a pound a week. The ten pounds I keep gaining back are gone, at least for now. Whether I gain them back or finally move on to the next ten remains to be seen. I’m optimistic. In the last two months I’ve skipped sessions with my trainer, cut my Zumba time in half, and just about stopped doing any strength training at all. I’m not running as much either, though I have …

Jul 18, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Tag, I’m It!

Vikki over at The View Outside (see blog roll for link) has tagged me in a game of Blog Tag. I’ve been it for more than a week, but haven’t had time to pass on the “honor” until today. Thank you, Vikki for thinking of me. I’m required to post the rules which are to answer the questions sent to me by Vikki, come up with new questions (or keep using the old ones), and as is always the case with these things, tag eleven more bloggers. 1. Who is my favorite author? Yikes. I’m going to go with Misty Hawkins. She isn’t published yet, but her writing is truly beautiful. She’s working on a fantasy series that’s going to …

Jul 18, 2012
By Michael Rupured

Book Review: Fifty Shades of Grey

I’m almost ashamed to admit that I’ve been listening to Fifty Shades of Grey when I run. It is essentially, unequivocally, mathematically, and fundamentally the most poorly written book I’ve ever read. I’m not sure I was able to cram enough adverbs into that sentence to convey how bad the writing is. It’s so bad, I think I would have known even before I joined the writers group. Throw in the horrible voice work  and honestly, I think the book was putting me off my pace. I didn’t realize how much until yesterday when I got to listen to the new book I’m reading as I run. Groaning at bad writing really slows you down. Thanks to the new book, …

Jul 15, 2012
By Michael Rupured

My Visit with Dad

Saturday morning I left the hotel in search of more flowers for Dad. Kroger hadn’t put out the new stuff yet. I didn’t have time to wait, so I picked out the best of what was there. On the way out I noticed pots of black-eyed Susan’s. They were nearly four foot tall and covered with bright yellow flowers. So I bought one of them, too, adding a big pink phlox at the last minute just because. Toodles and I got to Dad’s before our appointed time. The garage door was open, so I set up shop at the utility sink and helped myself to two of Dad’s vases. He’s got dozens of them arranged three and four deep on …

Jul 13, 2012
By Michael Rupured

More Visits with Dad

Having shared so much with you about my Dad and my anxiety about coming to see him, I’m compelled to let you know how things are going. It’s also therapeutic to write it all down, while it’s fresh in my mind. Thank you so much for all your love and support. You’ll never know the difference it’s made. Toodles and I arrived at Dad’s house promptly at ten this morning. He was already up in his chair and was in a good mood. He was proud to tell me he’d eaten both peaches and wanted more. I brought the basket in and set it at his feet. “If you can eat them all, they’re yours.” He laughed and after saying …

Jul 13, 2012
By Michael Rupured

A Visit with Dad

My father and I have never had a particularly close relationship. Or at least, that’s what I’ve always believed. Now I’m not so sure. The problem has been my idea of a close relationship. I have quite a few of them. Always have. Comparing those relationships to the one I have with Dad led me to conclude that we weren’t all that close. To me, the glass looked empty. But if I turn the lens around, I see that my father doesn’t have a lot in the way of close relationships. Never has. As I think about it, I realize that the people I would count as close to him number fewer than five–including me and my sister. Among that …

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