No Rain On Our Parade--A Beautifully Lived Saturday
We jumped up mid-morning and realized that if we were going to do everything we needed to do today before the show tonight, then we had to hurry. With our computer still down, I had to head out to the studio to write Friday’s blog. For the first 300 days or so of this blog, I very rarely did that. I just wouldn’t. I would stay up no matter the hour and get the blog finished. I’ve relaxed a little since, and really just embraced common sense. It’s not that I’m slacking, are you kidding? Never, but sometimes doing what’s right means choosing sleep over writing or more importantly, spending time with family and friends trumps writing a blog post any night of the week. So it comes the next day, and it always comes. That will not change. The power of this blog for me has made a difference in my life. It’s given me a clarity and focus; it’s allowed me to write out my feelings and philosophies—giving me a better understanding of every facet of this journey.
I highly recommend writing daily to anyone undertaking a transformation like this. It’s therapeutic; it’s imperative to success. I’ve had many friends and even family start blogs as a result of my encouragement, and some have had wonderful success, and some…well, let’s just say that when the blogs stop coming, they start struggling. Nobody wants to write about how tough it can be at times, nobody wants to report a meltdown or near meltdown, but dog-gone-it, it’s all of the experiences that contribute to our very real understanding of this transformation process. How can we transform our mind and body without learning and understanding the patterns and habits that brought us here in the first place? And you don’t have to make it so public, you know? You don’t have to write a blog, just keep a private journal or diary of some kind. These writings are first and foremost for your own healing and transformation. If you want the added benefit of public accountability, go public! If you want the accountability from sharing with select family and friends, go for it, but whatever you do, don’t stop writing about how you feel and what you’re learning, trying to learn, and experiencing. It’s paramount to success.
If you think I’ve never struggled, then you haven’t read my archives. If you want the full perspective, you must read this blog from Day 1. I struggled my entire life, and the struggle continued on Day 1, but I’ve found a way to lessen the struggle. Within these writings you may discover those epiphanies that have made me successful thus far. But it’ll never be as clear and real as when you discover them as they apply to your journey and transformation.
Our busy afternoon included going to Stillwater for the Oklahoma State University football homecoming celebration. The homecoming parade is always something I enjoy, who doesn’t enjoy a good parade? I’ve missed less than five of these OSU homecoming parades in my entire life. Some of my fondest childhood memories involve homecoming festivities at OSU. We would get up early on homecoming day and head into town, always settling at the same little café on main street. That little place has changed hands many times in the last 37 years, and completely been renovated from the place I remember so fondly, but it’s always there in some form. Kind of like our lives, huh? OK, that’s deep. Anyway…We met up at what is now called Café Bella. I can’t stand paying two bucks for a plain cup of coffee, shoot, when I was a kid two bucks was all we needed for mom’s coffee, my hot chocolate, and a bag of nacho cheese Doritos while we waited on the sirens signifying the beginning of the celebration.
My grandmother was attending the parade today, her first ever by the way, along with my mom, mom’s sister Aunt Jean, and her other sister Aunt Kelli. We all gathered and waited for Garth Brooks, Barry Sanders, and Robin Ventura to come riding up the street kicking off this orange and black party. It was a wonderful parade. When we arrived we were running behind, so to keep from missing the start of the parade, Irene and I parked right at the stoplight in one of the busiest intersections in town. Parade spectators blocked it, so we just pulled up to the light, turned off the car, locked it up, and ran! Yes, we ran. Well, jogged really. It was cool. We had to jog again when the parade finished. I was running with a fresh cup of coffee in one hand. Have you ever jogged with hot coffee? Not easy, but it was fun to just be able to do it without the slightest ‘out of breath’ feeling. When we arrived back at the intersection, it was open and cars were zipping past all around us, but luckily no police. I’m pretty sure they would frown on parking at a stoplight in the middle of one of the busiest intersections in town.
After meeting up with family at Taco Mayo for a post-parade calorie friendly lunch, we headed out to Clarke and Debi’s house to drop off a wonderful newspaper article about my childhood relationship with Clarke. He was my Big Brother in the “Big Brothers-Big Sisters program. I’ve written in these pages about Clarke. He had a profoundly wonderful effect on me as a child, an effect that has carried over into my adult life. The story was published on Friday, so I wanted to make sure he had it quickly. We didn’t have much time to visit, but it was still wonderful to see the two of them. Our visiting was enjoyable, to the point of losing track of time. When I noticed it was 5:20pm, we had to fly North, back to Ponca City, I had to get home and shave before heading to the theatre for our final performance of “Call Me Henry.” We barely made it in time. I’ve never shaved so fast in all my life, and with only one minor nick!
The play tonight was just incredible to experience. It brought to a close the show, and for me, it wrapped a nice bow on a dream accomplished. After all the wonderful family and friends at Friday’s performance, including Gayle Williams, a longtime friend and co-worker of mine at the radio station, and Anne Crail, her partner, tonight brought out more friends and co-workers. Wendy and Kim, both friends and Team Radio co-workers, and Wendy’s adult daughters Whitney and Talyn all enjoyed the performance. You might remember Whitney, she’s a long time reader of this blog, from Day 1. Whitney was pictured on the blog posting when I rode the jet ski at the lake! They really enjoyed the performance, as did everyone in attendance. The audience once again honored us with a standing ovation. What a perfect way to wrap up such a wonderful dream.
Where were my daughters today? They traveled to Tulsa with friends for a big haunted house and a sleepover with T-town friends.
Irene, having watched four performances already, elected to stay home tonight. Irene was ready to enjoy the cast party afterward at the directors house. Chris and Stephanie Williams are wonderful host. We had plenty of good food and drink, and of course I kept within my calorie budget easily. I did have to pass on the chocolate cheesecake, I didn’t have enough calories remaining to enjoy it. I did enjoy a half a piece of a Turtle Sundae Pie for 160 calories. It took some math to figure the calories on that one, but it wasn’t too hard because we had the calorie count for a one eighth slice…these were 1/12th slices---and half of that was still 160!!! But oh my, it was good…simply amazing. We all laughed and joked until nearly 2:30am. It was a bittersweet feeling. I’m going to miss the play and the people involved, but I’m also looking forward to moving on. I’ll still stay in touch with everyone, it’s all good!
Thank you for reading and following my transformation. A couple of tidbits: The chairs outside at Café Bella were metal with arms, very nice wrought iron chairs, and I fit beautifully. Also, backstage tonight, a fellow cast member handed me a little baggy of miniature candy bars, and when she did she said “I know you’re losing weight, so maybe you can give these to a friend.” What? I can’t eat candy bars anymore? I smiled and immediately enjoyed a mini Heath Bar. In fact, I enjoyed two hundred calories worth of miniature candy bars before the night was over…all comfortably within my calorie budget.
I must wrap now, this is really long isn’t it? OK, below you’ll find some pictures from today. Goodnight and…
Garth Brooks atop a Mercedes convertible as Grand Marshal. Barry Sanders and Robin Ventura were right behind him on separate cars.
Irene and Me at the parade today
Irene, Me, and Aunt Kelli. Kelli has actually lost 16 pounds in the last month and has gradually increased her walking endurance to two miles!! I’m so proud of her progress! You can do this Kelli!
Kelli, Me, and my beautiful wife Irene
Mom and Me. Mom has made tremendous strides along her own weight loss journey. She’s finally subscribed to the methods we’ve embraced the last 397 Days, and it is serving her well. She’s walking all the time, counting her calories, and dropping weight. It’s an amazing feeling to witness and enjoy her success. I know she feels the same about me.