Three Roads Home For Easter–Which one to take?

Apr 22, 2011 by

This Easter weekend I want to be home.  Problem is, which one?  After 46 years of life and a good many of them with a dad in the air force, (I’ve moved 35 times in 46 years) even the definition of “home” to me is skewed.  These days with family all over the map, it’s really an emotional undertaking to decide where I should go.  I know I’m not the only one with this issue. But I’m truly aching to be in three places with different levels of family.  And that’s agonizing.

Home is where the heart is.

My mom always used to say that when we were growing up.  So tonight, I write that home is in three places. If you count the Taylor’s house in Huntsville, AL, where I’ve been the past few weeks, there’s a fourth.

I wanted to drive back to Dallas this weekend to be with my kids.   But there was said to be a meeting planned for tomorrow; one that has been moved to next Saturday.  That killed the option of driving home 10 hours to Dallas.  The longer I’ve been away the fewer text messages and phone calls I’m getting from my girls.  Of course, I’m literally working all day long and into the nights, too, so it’s a challenge to have a long conversation anyways.

Dad and I talked last night and Grandma Claxton has had a rough week at 86.  I got a good conversation in with her tonight, so I feel better about how she’s doing.  But there aren’t many more Easters left with her in them.  She talked about an outfit she’s worn on Easter Sundays the past few years.  She said she told Dad it wouldn’t look good on her unless she was wearing high heals and she’s had problems walking of late.

And then there is the road south to Montgomery.  I’ve not been in Montgomery for Easter Sunday in a decade.  Literally.  And it was always my house that everyone gathered at because I so enjoyed cooking for everyone.  All I would tell anyone to bring was “A smile.”

It’s three hours to Montgomery,  about 8 hours to Northern Indiana, and it’s about 11 hours to Dallas.

So at this writing, I’m opting for Montgomery, and keeping an eye to the west and the other in the rear view mirror to the north.  The meal is at mom’s.  Y’all come.

And damn, the Taylors are having steaks.

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Here, let my 11 yo DD show you how to hold a camera

Mar 31, 2011 by

Haley Claxton is 11.

She has a great photo eye.  And she’s great with a camera.

To boot, she just looks like the quintessential professional photographer.

Take a look at her below.  She has her left arm tucked into her body to properly hold the camera steady and has her hand cradling the lens barrel so she can focus with accuracy.  And she has her right hand holding the camera so that her index finger can properly push the trigger button without shaking the camera.

This is how to hold a camera.  Not with your elbows out to your sides.  For Godsake, not with both of your elbows out to your side.

Did I mention she’s only 11?

 

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My week in Huntsville

Mar 20, 2011 by

What a week it has been!

I have been working with a client here in Huntsville that will be going public in the next six weeks. I don’t want to get into yet exactly what they do, but it has been exciting to become part of the process.

In addition, I have been able to connect with old friends from times long gone by and catch up.

And I have been inspired by the brilliance of those who I have been working with and those who I have been meeting with because of this project.

Sadly, I have missed out on time with my daughters this Spring Break week, but hopefully, what is being done now will bring about a future with them we cannot even imagine at this writing. I mean, I can imagine, I am just trying not to. Hatching chickens or something like that.

More information is coming. You will be amazed at the scope of this project. It truly is going to have a positive impact on the lives of many, and most likely even you. That’s a pretty huge proclamation, I know, but at this writing, I believe it with every ounce of my soul.

Reagan, I am going to do everything I can to be back for your concert Tuesday night. If I miss it, some how, please know it was not what I wanted to happen. But for now let’s stay as positive as possible.

I love and miss you, girls. It so feels that better days are just around the corner. And when we turn it, hold your breath. It is going to be an incredible ride.

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Day 1 in Huntsville, AL: Do you say hi to others with a nice finger flick?

Mar 12, 2011 by

Rockets in an outdoor museum in Huntsville, Al...

Image via Wikipedia

Whew.  What a day it’s been.

I’m dead tired but have so many ideas and missions running thru my head.

One thing I realized tonight while driving out to my friends’ house.  I was driving down a two-lane road and the driver in a car coming toward me flicked his fingers up to say, “Hi.”  He didn’t know me, he was just saying, “Hi.”

I still do this in Dallas with police and obvious law enforcement types.  It’s something I picked up from living here in Alabama, but also just because of all those years working around police and state troopers.  You saw one, you give them a friendly flick of the fingers that means, “Hi,” and, “I see you.”

You don’t get that back in Dallas.  In fact, driving out here on the Interstate, I felt like either I was so focused on the issues at hand or I’ve gotten so jaded from living in a big city, that I’ve stopped looking over to the side when I passed cars.  Yesterday, I just drove on passed.

So, it’s been nice to be back.  I was driving through downtown Huntsville to get to my friends and was astonished that Highway 231 looks just as unfinished as it did back in 1998 when I was here the last time on the campaign trail.  I don’t get it.

Tomorrow’s another big day.

I need to stop and find a church in the a.m. and thank God for all he’s done for me.

Trying to wrap up two big video projects for two separate clients and the prospects are good for another new one.  God has opened so many doors for me the past few weeks.  It’s amazing when that starts to happen.  And it’s clear as a bell when it doesn’t.

 

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A World In Turmoil: Dads, Let’s Step Up Our Game

Mar 12, 2011 by

Now we are living in the midst of one of the most prolific times in our history. 

Half the Arab world is at war or in protest.  The prices on everything are going through the roof.  Gas prices are nuts.  Inflation is beginning to be talked about regularly on the news.  Add to that the devastation to the Japanese through the 8.9 Richter Scale earthquake, the deadly tsunami that even affected the coast line of the United States, and now this whole nuclear reactor meltdown business. We are at war in Afghanistan.  We have a national debt that’s rising at a rate I’ll probably never make in my life time with every tick of the clock.  We have people in Wisconsin angry because their elected leaders are trying to trim back the costs of their state government because what’s going out, isn’t over pacing what’s coming in.  In Washington, we have gridlock unparalleled from what Admiral Stockdale blurted out in the 1992 presidential debates.  There are millions of people in the US who can’t find work.  Just as many and more who do not have health care.  And the list goes on.

Like our previous generations, when duty called, they stepped forward.

Today, more than ever, we need to do several things to do our part.

The first, pray.  It was 364 days ago that a situation in my own home crushed my dreams then of a happily ever after.  Today, with a client meeting in two hours and the prospect of being a part of an incredible change they are developing in the health care industry, life feels much better. God led me on a journey this past year that if I’d not endured, I’d not be having this meeting today.

The second, focus on your family.  Yes, the stress levels everywhere are rising.  But we’ve got to ensure we leave a legacy going forward that can also rise up to their challenges when the day comes for them.

And third, get involved.  Find someone in your life who you can assist.  Whether it’s a phone call, words of encouragement/support, a card, an unexpected check, whatever, right now is the time to help your fellow man, woman and child.  We must stay strong in this time.  We must apply common sense solutions and stop not thinking about tomorrow.  That kind of thinking has led to the kind of messes we’re in today.

Please, join hands.  We can make a difference.  We can prosper.  We can overcome.  And we can leave the world a better place for our children, no matter what gets thrown in our ways.

For us dads, it’s really time to step up our games.  There’s much to be done.

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Japanese Earthquake

Mar 11, 2011 by

My heart is breaking today for the people of Japan and the Pacific rim who have or will be affected by the earth quake and the tsunami today.

CNN photo of Japan devastation

I’m headed to Huntsville, Alabama for a massive client meeting.  Please keep me posted on updates from Twitter!

@daddyclaxton

 

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