Monday, September 8, 2008


Monday morning in Phoenix
Dry....nice and dry. High in the low 100's

Saturday morning I woke up another year older. I celebrated my 43rd birthday by walking 2.2 miles. Our stay in Phoenix is at the home of our daughter, Heather, which is ironically now in our old Phoenix neighborhood of Tramonto. Walking these streets really brings out mixed emotions. As I pass the house built to be our dream home, I purse mylips and shake my head. I briefly wonder if I made the right move. The fact of the matter is. . . had we stayed, we may have been facing foreclosure after Kathy lost her mortgage job. I remind myself we eliminated $332,000 in debt by selling that dream home. We escaped $70,000 in debt by selling the big fancy Sea Ray we loved so much. As I continue my high speed walk, I am confidently missing the house and big ship but not the liabilities.

Saturday afternoon, Heather's fiance Curtis and I took the grandtwins bowling at Dave & Busters in Desert Ridge. I have had lunch at the Dave & Busters in Miami. Funny. For the first time in my life, I fail to bowl at least a hundred. It's hell getting old, ain't it?

When we got home I walked in Heather and Curtis' house and was met by 30 people jumping up and yelling "SURPRISE!" Kathy and Heather staged a birthday party for me. How funny...I can't recall the last time I had a birthday party, much less a surprise party. Kathy said it started out as just wanting to have my kids and mom over but quickly progressed to having almost three dozen extended family members. (If you don't know, I'm the youngest of 6) It was a wonderful time and so great to see everyone in one night. This trip is so busy and short, I couldn't have seen everyone without this party. THANKS TO KATHY, HEATHER AND CURT!

My oldest, Ryan, spent the night with us at Heathers and on Sunday morning we went to do my workout together. We did the 2.2 mile trek around Tramonto but this time, I was inspired to jog the last 4 tenths of a mile. It was invigorating and I felt like I could go walk another 2 miles. My birthday guests included my nephew Chris and his family. Chris is the one with the similar build to me, the one who weighed 230 (compared to my 280) until he started walking last December. He walked until he could run and he's been running ever since. He now weighs 175 pounds and runs 8 miles at a time. WOW. My neice, Amy, was also there with her husband Mike. (They hosted a going away party for us before we moved to Florida). Amy is a marathon runner who had some nice words of encouragement. Chris and Amy told me I should go be professionally fit for some quality running shoes. Everyone agreed this would be important to helping me continue running and ultimately achieve my goal of losing 80 pounds.

Sunday morning also brought week 1 of the NFL season. I LOVE football! The Cardinals are on the road against the 49ers. Final score AZ 23 SF 13. First place! Saturday night I had predicted the New England Patriots would suffer the curse of the Superbowl losers. Sunday, Tom Brady went down with a season ending knee injury.

Sunday night Kathy and I went to visit our former neighbors, Jeff and Marcia. They are a wonderful couple, raising their grandson since his birth 8 years ago and are regular readers of the blog. They are contemplating a life changing move to rural Missouri. We said, go for it. As hard as it was for us to make our move to Florida . . . I still believe in Mark Twain's famous phrase: "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you did not do than the those things you did. So throw off the bow lines and sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." If it feels right, Jeff and Marcia, do it. But Marcia has to start a blog if you do.

Monday I did my 2.2 mile loop but started running earlier. I later measured it with Heather's car. I ran the last 6 tenths of a mile. WOW! That's more than half a mile and for me that's HUGE! Kathy rewarded me by taking me to Runners Den and getting custom fit with a pair of Brooks running shoes. $130. Happy birthday, Bill. And Merry Christmas, and Father's Day and all saints day and whatever else you had in mind. HAHAHA. Thanks Kathy, I won't let them go to waste.

Tonight I am flying to Southern California for 2 days of meetings. I'll be back on late Wednesday night.

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