Category Archives: Remember When Wednesday

10 Years Ago: Phantom of the Prom

Phantom of the PHS Prom April 2006
Phantom of the PHS Prom April 2006

For Remember When Wednesday, I happened across this post from April 9, 2006. The the local high school prom that year was at the historic Pella Opera House. The theme was, appropriately, The Phantom of the Opera. I was asked to don the Phantom costume and haunt the prom goers as they arrived. Taylor attended prom that year with her friend, Walker.

Posts about Sex, Marriage, & Intimacy

On Remember When Wednesdays I typically look back at older posts across my ten years of blogging and re-post them for newer readers of my blog. Of late, I’ve been taking the opportunity to create a few topical lists of my chapter-a-day posts.

They say that “sex sells,” so I’ll be really interested how the stats on this post fare ūüėČ For today’s Remember When Wednesday, I’ve put together a list of my posts that reference sex (in a very broad, topical sense of the word).

The Art and Progression of Sexual Intimacy (Song of Songs 5)
Sexual Healing
I’m “Unclean.” If You Know What I Mean (wink, wink)
Of Twisties and Pantry Lights
Burning Down the House
A Hint of Paradise (Song of Songs 1)
With Nobody Else But Me (Song of Songs 2)
Meeting the Parents (Song of Songs 3)
Sensually Good (Song of Songs 4)
Browsing Among the Lilies (Song of Songs 6)
A Case for Delayed Gratification (Song of Songs 7)
Signed, Sealed, Delivered (Song of Songs 8)
We’re All Suckers for a Love Story
A Raving Fan of the Fairer Sex
Enjoy the Dance
Five Things That Irritate You About the Opposite Sex
Captivated
Profanity, Obscenity and Swearing
God’s X-Rated Word Pictures
Appetites and Maturity
Delicacies and Darkness
Chapter-a-Day Song of Songs 2
Chapter-a-Day Leviticus 18
Chapter-a-Day Song of Solomon 7
Chapter-a-Day 2 Kings 9
Chapter-a-Day Ephesians 5

 

A Few Blog Posts on Parenting, Family, & Fatherhood

This morning I received an unexpected phone call from a friend who is having some struggles with his kids. We chatted for a few minutes and I tried to provide a little encouragement from a waypoint just a bit further down life’s road. He texted me a few minutes later and said, “You should write a book for Dad’s raising daughters.”

Well, that was a very kind thing to say, though I don’t know there’s a publisher out there who wants to pay me to write that book. It did, however, get me to thinking that I have written a few things on the subject over the past ten years. So, for Remember When Wednesday, here are a bunch of posts I’ve written on Parenting, Fatherhood, and Family over the years. A lot of these posts are simple morning musings, so please don’t expect a thorough “How To” in there. These are in no certain order (sorry). Also,¬†this is not an exhaustive list, so you can always search for topics on my blog’s homepage.

Cheers! I hope there’s a worthwhile nugget or two in here:

Come on, Grandma!

On Remember When Wednesdays, I look back at a post from the past and publish it again for newer readers. Having posted about the topic of grief and loss this morning, I thought it apropos to share this memory which I published back in January of 2008 (and which still makes me laugh whenever I think of it)…

He said these things, and then announced, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep. I‚Äôm going to wake him up.”¬†John 11:11 (TM)

When my Grandma Golly died, the girls were only 3 or 4 years old. Our nephews, Sam and Sol, were the same ages. The entire family had been at the funeral home for the long hours of visitation. There had been a steady stream of visitors, friends and family throughout the evening to share in our grief.

Like most toddlers, the reason for the occasion was lost on the girls and their male cousins who took the opportunity to run around the funeral home playing together. Late that evening, all was quiet in the visitation room as most everyone but family and a few dear friends had departed.

My nephew Solomon, ripping around the room in a playful fury, stopped short right in front of the casket. He looked at the lifeless body of his great grandmother lying before him. He looked at his wrist (where there was no watch), and then shouted at the top of his lungs for all to hear…

“IT‚ÄôS TIME FOR GRANDMA TO WAKE UP!”

…If you only have faith as a little child.

The Art and Progression of Sexual Intimacy

Hard to believe, but I have been blogging for nearly 10 years and have written over 3200 blog posts in that time. On Remember When Wednesdays I repost something I wrote from yesteryear for newer readers. It’s always interesting to me the posts that, as I put it, “get legs” and seem to perpetually drive traffic on my blog.

For today’s Remember When Wednesday, I’m reposting The Art and Progression of Sexual Intimacy. It is one of my chapter-a-day posts from the¬†Song of Solomon which seems to have resonated with readers. It was originally published in September of 2013. Enjoy…

My lover tried to unlatch the door,
    and my heart thrilled within me.
Song of Solomon 5:4 (NLT)

One of the things that I love about the Song of Solomon is the way the relational¬†give and take develops between the young man and the young woman in the duet. Like all relationships, there is a progression of the relationship from the beginning of the song to the end. There is the initial infatuation with one another as they look upon one another and are impressed with what they see. Then there is the growing desire for one another as they seek to be in one another’s presence. In today’s chapter¬†we feel¬†the growing desire and anticipation of sexual intimacy.

The young woman is having another dream, and this time she hears the young man attempting to unlatch the door of her bedroom. Her heart is thrilled (and, I suspect, other parts of her as well). When she gets up to let him in, she finds him gone. Disappointed, she runs through the streets in a frantic search for him. The night watchmen find her and beat her up. You can see in the dream the anticipation of intimacy, the disappointment that it has not happened, and the intense feelings of personal pain and injury that she has not been able to consummate her love.

I have learned over time that sexual intimacy in marriage is best built with anticipation, just like the progression in Solomon’s song. While sex occasionally occurs at the spur of the moment,¬†motivated by a surprisingly sudden surge of hormones, the truth is that there is typically a subtle song and dance that happens between me and Wendy. A glance and casual touch at the breakfast table hints at the possibility that this¬†day may come to a passionate end. Hints are dropped by the wearing¬†of things that the other has commented pleases his or her eye. A dab of cologne on a day that none is typically warranted. There is the casual touch in public that lingers a moment longer than usual. The mind is engaged. The eyes are engaged. The sense of smell is stimulated. The ears hear coded messages: “I shaved my legs today.”

Playful thoughts flitter in and out of each other’s minds during the day. Anticipation builds. A regular evening dinner takes on new layers of sensual meaning as each become aware of what I mentioned in yesterday’s post: There is a connection between senses. The feeding of one appetite will invariably lead to another. The main course tastes so good. The wine seems downright decadent, and savoring the dessert¬†feels almost sinful.

One of the things that Solomon’s song subtly conveys to me is that the climactic, sexually intimate¬†event of the day does not¬†typically just¬†happen. It¬†happens when husband and wife learn and know one another’s subtle, sensory dance. It is me learning how to slowly feed multiple senses of my wife¬†during the day in the ways she best responds.¬†It is my wife learning just how to tease the deliberate build up of anticipation that will lead to¬†a successful,¬†intimate feast after dinner that night. There is an art to the¬†intimacy between husband and wife that takes on the unique characteristics of the two artists involved in creating the intimate moment.

In contrast, I find that popular media (especially pornography) likes to portray sex like it’s¬†most awesome¬†when¬†easily cranked out like one of those ultra high-speed photocopiers at Kinko’s (yes,¬†pun intended): Get it fast. Get it often. Get it easy. Everyone gets a copy. Sure, you get the picture –¬†but it’s monochrome, impersonal, and unoriginal. Each one is¬†just like the one before. It quickly becomes meaningless and lifeless. You crank out more copies hoping for something different in the output picture, but it will never be an original work of art.

My experience is that sexual intimacy does not become a breathtaking original work of art unless there are two people learning to create something together over time, learning to work together, make mistakes, erase errors, try something new, explore, play, complement one another’s individual style, and develop¬†their own unique¬†style as a couple over time together. As Solomon’s Song suggests, there is a progression.¬†It gets better, deeper, more refined, and even more powerful in ways¬†neither husband nor wife could scarcely imagine, even in the intoxicating infatuation of the early relationship.

Sexual intimacy between husband and wife is a work of art.

Reflections on Being a Cubs Fan: “You Gotta Have Heart”

On “Remember When Wednesdays” I look back a post from the past and re-post it for newer readers. Tonight our beloved Cubs make their first trip to the Postseason since 2008. That year, Wendy and I made a pilgrimage to Wrigley Field early in the season to celebrate my birthday and our hopes were high. It was perhaps apt that I called the post “You gotta have heart.” The Cubs fell short that year and it’s been a long dry spell since. Hope springs eternal. Perhaps this year things will be different.

Here is my post from early in the season 2008…

Summer2004_025My wife and I have looked forward to the coming of spring and the beginning of another season for the¬†Chicago Cubs. We’ve watched their first three games, and our hopes are high. It’s a new season. The slate is clean. This could be our year.

Opening day was a heartbreaker, as our beloved Cubbies raised our spirits on the wings of a Kosuke Fukudome three-run dinger to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth only to dash them to the ground when they gave up the winning run in the tenth.

The second game was nine innings of frustration as our boys were one-step short, one swing behind, one bobbled-ball late through all nine innings.

That’s okay. I turned to Wendy and consoled her. “It’s a long season,” I assured her.

Good thing,” she said.

Yeah.¬†Good thing,” I repeated, assuring myself.

We’re good that way –¬†Cubs¬†fans. You’ve got to keep your chin up. You’ve got to put a positive spin on ball four. Optimism is required on the resume. So is thick skin. It takes character to be¬†a fan of Chicago’s Northsiders.

In preparation for the season I watched Ken Burns’ documentary¬†Baseball. It’s a good history of the game if you like an East Coast perspective. Sure, there’s the occasional mention of a Midwest club. There’s the passing nod to Hall-of-Famers from the fly-over states. There’s the off-hand mention that St. Louis or Minnesota won a World Series or two. But mostly it’s about teams from New York and Boston.

Early on the documentary did mention the 1908¬†Chicago Cubs’¬†World Series winning, double-play threesome of¬†Tinker to Evers to Chance¬†and then promptly brought in a snooty commentator to explain that they really weren’t that good. The¬†Cubs¬†are barely mentioned in the rest of the marathon East Coast love-fest.

Don’t get me wrong. I acknowledge that the Yankees are the winningest club in baseball. I admit that the story of the Dodgers, the signing of Jackie Robinson and their heartbreaking departure for Los Angeles is compelling. I will capitulate that the Curse of the Bambino and the Red Sox eighty-six year World Series drought is a great yarn.

Yet, the eighty-six year suffering of Boston fans pales in comparison to the¬†Wrigley Field faithful¬†who, this year, celebrate…or is it mourn…an entire century with an empty trophy case. Boston’s storied Royal Rooters have nothing on the indomitable spirit of the Bleacher Bums. Boston survived the Bambino’s curse, but Cubs fans are gutting out an unholy trinity of curses (the goat, the black cat, and the Bartman ball).

Mention that you are a Cubs fan and you receive responses that vary from pity on one end (“Awwww, look at the loveable loooooser!”) to outright gleeful condemnation on the other (“Are you¬†serious?! Dude, I’d show you how many World Series the Cardinals have won but¬†I don’t have enough fingers! Ha, ha, ha, ha!). That’s just part of the program.

They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Does that make Cubs fans comparable to Superman or Popeye juiced on HGH? You know that’s not true. What is true is that what hasn’t killed us has given us heart. Our boys of summer have given us a cardio workout like no other team in the Major Leagues. Our hearts have regularly been pounding off the rate charts only to be stopped short just this side of cardiac arrest. 2003, 1998, 1989, 1984, 1969…talk about a baseball fan’s aerobic workout.

“You Gotta Have Heart –¬†miles and miles and miles of heart,” goes Broadway tune goes in¬†Damn Yankees! Yankees?! What do they know? The Yankees don’t need heart. Ask George Steinbrenner.

For my money (and, granted, it’s no where near what Steinbrenner has), I’ll give the award for the most heart to the Chicago Cubs faithful. In fact, think about that – the Cubs’ faith-ful. That’s what being a Cubs’ fan requires – faith. At the root of a Cubs’ fan’s heartsworn loyalty is unwavering faith.

The Good Book says that faith is “the assurance of things hoped for.”

We get that.

The third game of the opening series was a winner. Ramirez homered. Dempster settled down into a solid outing. Wood got his first save in his new role as Closer. The “W” flag was raised above Wrigley Field for the first time this year as the¬†Cubs’¬†faith-ful sang “Go Cubs, Go!”.

Yep. I believe this is the year.

Changes in Life

On ‚ÄúRemember When Wednesdays‚ÄĚ I look back at a post from yesteryear and re-blog one for newer readers. In almost 10 years of blogging I’ve had two blog posts that have gone viral. This was the first and it happened back in August of 2011 when WordPress reblogged this post on their “Freshly Pressed” page.

Speaking of life changes. There is, perhaps, no bigger change in life than the ones you make during adolesence. I recently found my Jr. High and High School I.D.s in an old album. Check out the righteous mullet I had going my Junior year! The only problem was that my hair was so curly when it grew out that I couldn’t get it to hang straight down the way it was supposed to. True story: When my mullet was at its longest¬†I went to the bank one day. I opened the door for an elderly gentleman who was shuffling slowly into the bank at the same time. “Why thank you young lady,” he said to me. I got my hair cut that afternoon and never looked back. C’est la vie.

My School I.D.s from 7th through 12th Grade