Tag Archives: friends


No. Not mine. I’m a ways off from that day.

A couple of years ago, one of my store managers came to me and told me she was done. She hadn’t really told anyone, but she decided she was going to take her vacation time she had coming and just slide off into retirement.

She was tired of the way business is nowadays. She’d been in retail all her life as her father was a store manager (he was kind of famous in retail circles), and she’d been in the stores from an early age helping out. A hint as to how early would be the old school label guns. We talked about her pricing cans of food with them one day.

The job was affecting her health as well, and she had an elderly mother to take care of. The best option was out.

She was tough as nails and hard on her people, and a lot of them didn’t like her.

I did. Business is business. Everybody has to pull their weight. Period.

I love working for/with someone who truly believes in teamwork and she did. If we can do a small thing together, we can do great things together.

I was working at one of my stores today and someone put their hand on my shoulder and said, β€œYou work too hard, but then it’s you.”

I knew it was her when she said it.

I turned and saw a person transformed for the better in retirement.

She had color in her face. She was standing taller, which says a lot because she’s only about 5’ 3” in heels.

I couldn’t place what else was different at first but then realized that she was smiling.

It was almost terrifying. πŸ˜†

I told her I missed her. I genuinely meant that. I don’t miss a lot of people I’ve worked with. The one’s I do are something special. And she was.

I’ve had rougher jobs, I’ve had dirtier jobs, but retail isn’t easy. It isn’t easy on your body or your mind. If you’re at it long enough and put a little of your soul in it, it takes more than it gives.

It looks like she regained some of hers.

I’m glad my friend is happy and healthy.

I’m glad she found her smile.

That’s it. That’s the post.


The After (Part 2)

I am at church this morning.

I’ve called out for my people I need on the prayer list.

And so we carried on.

Pete had noted once that we changed after Keith had passed.

I suppose we grew up a bit. Death is sobering.

We started to discuss matters which were more severe to the world and our souls. We actually read the Bible together.

At one time, we tried to record a podcast during the plague, but work and life got in the way of recording. It’s still out there somewhereβ€”the Greybeards Podcast. (I say tried; we did record a podcast.)

This went on for year’s like I said before. Some days it was half an hour’s worth of chat, sometimes memes back and forth, across several platforms, but always that connection.

We shared failures and successes alike. Gave each other a hard time. Made each other laugh and sometimes cry.

Before Covid became a thing, Yoko let us know that he was fighting a rare cancer. He would be getting treatment that would include blood transfusions, chemo, full body radiation.

The treatment did a number on my friend. He still kept his head up. He still was full of life. He still picked up his guitars and pursued his great love of music.

And of course we encouraged him in his getting better. Who wouldn’t? We were there for him spiritually in support. We spoke often and chatted every day about his particular problem.

Last weekend he let us know that he was going to the hospital because he was having trouble with his 02 stats. Trouble breathing. Pete and I discussed this while he had gone dark because he was in the hospital and contact was sort of limited. We wanted to see if his diet or other things could help and maybe we’d encourage him to more closely follow doctors’ orders.

We weren’t expecting the inevitable. It comes for us all in the end.

Brent Kaping (Yoko F. Thunders) was a Marine.

He was a husband.

He was a father.

He was a musician.

He was funny, loved his family and friends, loved his country, loved music.

He was my friend. He became, over the course of several years, my brother. He touched a lot of people. (And yes, if you knew Brent, he’d laugh at me saying he touched a lot of people.)

Over the last year, with him being too sick to communicate here and there and having days, where he’d be out of touch, the holes in my days have been huge. And now there’s one that won’t end.

Last Wednesday, February 9, 2022, at 1730, Pete brought me the unfortunate news that my friend had gone home. The toll that everything had taken on his body over the past couple of years became too much to continue.

I’ll miss him.

He was one of the few men outside of blood relations that I could say the word love to and not be embarrassed in any way. Because it is true, I loved my brother.

I’m not the one to write my friend’s eulogy. This isn’t his eulogy. This is me making peace with him being gone.

To his wife and son, I am so sorry for the loss of Brent. I know that he loved both of you deeply. He loved you not just in word but in deed. I’ve rarely seen anyone do that in life like he did. That doesn’t end. Ever.

And this is what needs to get out of my head for the last several days. It has eaten at my heart. And maybe it was fitting that it did so. I needed to mourn a bit in silence. I still will. This is my part in The After.

Miss ya, Brent. Always will.

That’s it. That’s the post.


The Investment

I don’t have the money for investments. I will probably work the rest if my life, and I am okay with that.

My kids will have a comfortable start in life. The wife and I will ensure that happens.

I was talking to Kevin today about money and the possibilities of retirement. And he looked at me and said this:

Even if we don’t have money to invest, we have invested in each other. Friendship is an investment. We make each other’s lives easier and more fun.

I like to include everyone.

And that goes back to people. Relationships. That’s what makes the world go round.

Also, to borrow from one of the great bards of my youth, it’s not what you got; it’s what you give.

It has been a productive day. It has been almost a happy day. Many people made me smile. It was a weird day. For me anyway.

That’s it. That’s the post.


The End

Mom and Dad are getting older and have decided to sell their place in the mountains. This has been our vacation place for the past six years.

Logan takes things as they come. It hasn’t bothered her much, although I know in the back of her mind she’ll miss it.

Sam is a bit upset. This is what he has known since he was four. I explained to him that now we’ll widen our travel area. We’ll make it a bigger adventure. And that piqued his interest.

We will still be mountain folk though the beach isn’t for us.

The wife and I aren’t looking forward to the hotel bills. But we’ve already found a small place in the same town that we love (see the post about Route 19 Inn), so you know there are other places out there for us.

Me? I’m wondering where I’m going to get my coffee.

I don’t do coffee shops. You’ll never find me in a Starbucks. I don’t do McCafΓ©s or frappΓ©s.

Nope. I’ve been going to the same gas station getting my coffee for my #CoffeeByTheCreek posts for the last six years.

I’ve made friends with the old fella that runs the place. He remembers me year after year. β€œHello, my friend. It has been two years almost since I saw you last!”

I’ll bet we talked thirty minutes last Friday. I’ll miss that.

So here’s to on down the road, bigger adventures, and new creeks.

That’s it. That’s the post.



I have few people that I can just fall in with and work. Work like it’s steady and know what they’re thinking.

Me and Kevin. #PicturesWithWalMartians

Kev and I have been friends for going on five years now. This is a definite perk. To have someone you know has your back and you have theirs so that you can get the work done.

That’s it. That’s the post.


Tell Me Something Great About Your Day

A friend got some great news today in a couple of things and I cannot be happier for her. Truly.

Sometimes you humble people without knowing you have.

A snippet of the conversation. I hope she doesn’t mind.

Typical β€œblah work blah I have it so bad” response. But she made me think immediately. My daily life is usually where I get stuff for this blog from so (deep breath)…

I’m alive. I’m breathing.

I’m working and providing for my family.

I have a great, loving wife who I could not do what I do without. Someone I cannot do without.

I’ve got two great kids. They make great grades. They’re decent, compassionate people. They got all of their mothers good qualities and the few good qualities I have to give.

I live free in a great country and I can appreciate this because I’ve lived for short times in countries that aren’t free and not that great.

I have friends that I can call on who will actually come to help.

I have some friends that will actually come and stand back to back with me and physically fight any who come against me.

I am blessed beyond measure.

And I don’t appreciate that enough.

The few small troubles I do have are nothing compared to the life I have.

And that’s what’s great about my day.

All day. Every day.

Thanks, C. I need to be reminded sometimes.

That’s it. That’s the post.


Pure Friendship

Geisel is the old man of the house but has been friends with Sam since we brought him home. He doesn’t like people getting in his face but will bump noses with Sam. He actually loves the boy.

That’s it. That’s the post.


Christmas Eve 2020

We spent the evening with mom and dad. Just like every year. We see them every day so no worries over Covid (since that’s the first thing to come to peoples minds). We see a lot of people every day.

We had dinner and exchanged gifts and then sat,without phones, and talked for a couple of hours. And that’s what we used to do. It’s just proper sitting there with no real distractions except the kids acting goofy.

It’s nice.

Our neighbor, let’s call her Ms. Betty (because that’s her name) lost her husband this year.

Mom and Dad always watched over them and on holidays when we have big meals we always took them a plate. And that tradition continues. The wife and I took the food down this time.

She’s alone now, of course, and the we stayed and chatted with her a bit before going back to mom and dads. But I can feel her loneliness.

It’s so very sad.

I wrote that last bit because it makes me appreciate what I have. The wife, kids, mom and dad. My work, the friends I have at work and the customers I see every week.

They are all a part of my life and it makes it full.

Appreciate what you have. And if you don’t have it, try to find it. Family is everything. No matter how bad it gets sometimes.

Good friends, your tribe, your gang! It doesn’t have to blood. Sometimes family isn’t.

Merry Christmas!

That’s it. That’s the post.


Knights To Nomads Part 10: The Gym

This weeks video is short. We are coming to the end of the old structure and it has taken a little over ten weeks for the demolition. I wonder if we will see a new building by the end of summer 2021?

It would be great for the students to return to The Castle at the beginning of a new school year.

Either way, when they do start the new building I’m going to be their filming it go up.

That’s it. That’s the post.


Work, Family, and DISAPPOINTMENT

I work for a company that contracts for a large chain. A large chain that makes big swooping changes that don’t take into account the lives that it changes. I found out today that one of those changes will affect me personally.

I’ve been with the company for nearly six years. We are encouraged to build relationships with the people we work around that are associates of the company we contract for. Now, I’m no extrovert, but, I do like to joke around and have fun while I work and a lot of these folks do bring out the good in me.

In building these relationships for work I have (let’s go Southern) “done messed around and made friends”.

I love these people.


Before this I worked in the pest control industry. One of the companies I worked for was Carolina Pest Management in Monroe, NC. It was operated and owned by the Dodd family and the head of the clan not only took care of us like we were family, we were family. He has since passed away. He was a good man, mentor, and friend.

While I worked there I was lucky enough to work under James Register. Jimmy was ex-military and so was I, so we kind of gravitated towards each other. He taught me a lot. Mostly he taught me that we are doing more than a service. We are selling ourselves. We build relationships. And we might mess around and make a friend or two.

In my time there, I was witness to many things in homes that we weren’t allowed to talk about. Kind of an unwritten confidentiality clause that Mr. Dodd insisted upon. We were invited into folks homes, we didn’t air their dirty laundry or secrets.

I was witness to divorces, people losing jobs, homes, families giving up. Death. A lot of bad.

I was also witness to births, new marriages, graduations, Christmas secrets, firsts for kids, and all the good things that happen to a family.

In all of this we became a small part of those families.


So here I am, a couple of decades later still making relationships. I work hard, I do what’s right, and I always finish the job to the very best of my ability. In making these relationships and working I find a hard truth presents itself.

I’m not just working for the money.

I’m doing my job because it affects these people around me. What I do matters in some small way because if what I do isn’t done then what goes on top of that in this house of cards (pretty shaky sometimes, lol. Sorry. Guess you have to be in retail) won’t balance just right. We are dependent upon one another.

It goes deeper than that.

I don’t want to disappoint the people I work with. Not, because I’m worried what the boss thinks. These people are my friends. It’s a ripple effect. If I don’t do mine and they don’t do theirs it affects so much more. Sales, raises, promotions, and on and on. Things that someone sitting in an office somewhere doing percentages might never really know the cause of.

We are dependent upon one another.

I see these folks at their best times and their worst times. And they see me at mine. We share a part of our lives with each other and support each other. When one of us is hurt we all hurt. When one of us has good news we all share in the joy.

In that, we are family.

Skunk, my friend, this part is just for you. I will miss you being around. I will definitely miss working with you whenever I was at your location. It ain’t right, but I know you’ll land on your feet wherever you go. More than a manager, you’re my friend. We will miss you, brother. God bless and keep you. (He ain’t dead, he’s just moving on. This part is for whoever is reading this. Dry your eyes.)

And this is why I write and post here every day. Sometimes if you don’t get the words out of your head that your heart is pushing you to, it will drive you crazy.

Work not because you boss is on your butt to get it done or for a paycheck. Work because the people around you are dependent upon you. We all work together and get things done.

Who knows? You might make a friend or two.


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