Stay at Home No More

I did not, however, win the lottery with those numbers.

I did not, however, win the lottery with those numbers.

One thing I have learned since retiring from the Air Force to raise my two kids is change is not only inevitable, it’s fast moving, never ending, and it can sometimes be an angry little bastard. The kids change at dizzying pace. What they like to eat, what they will eat (these are not always the same), what they like to wear, and play, and do. Hell I’ve changed, and I didn’t think that was possible.

Situations change too. And those changes force other change. And that’s where we find ourselves at the very moment; a big change at Frank’s Place.

I’ve received an offer I cannot refuse. An organization has made me a substantial offer (read money, greenbacks, doubloons. You get the idea) to do some teaching, mostly in the leadership area but some other areas as well. It’s a full time gig so I will begin the inevitable; removing the title “Stay at Home Dad” from all obelisks and pylons, or ya know, Facebook and Twitter and blog profiles.

Now I know what some of you are thinking. But not to worry. It’s a 4 day, 10 hour schedule with every Friday off so my golf is not in jeopardy. I know y’all are as relieved as I am. There is one person in Knoxville that has been wearing sack cloth and ashes for the past few months in faith I would get this job so our Friday morning round will go on uninterrupted. Praying and fasting people, it’s not just to ward of the seven plagues of Egypt anymore.

Will there be changes here at Frank’s Place? Probably. I have no idea what they might be. I can guess my posts will actually become more regular. I can foresee a steady Saturday morning deal whilst watching The Premier League. I really can’t envision anything too drastic. We’ll see.

Two funnies I can relay without delving into specifics of where I’ll be working. The HR department called to say the offer was official and to give whatever notice to my other employer as was necessary. It’s a big place and my resume doesn’t say I’m a stay at home, so no big deal. But I did give notice to the kids, in verbal and written form. They had mixed feelings but understood the need for me to develop more and wished me the best in my new endeavor. Ha not really.

We had a good run guys...

We had a good run guys…

Frank was happy mommy would be home during the day cause daddy complains too much. Meaning I make him clean his room, pick up his toys in the living room, clear his place at the table, do his school work…. He’s not sure about getting to the bus stop or school on time now. All I’ll say on that subject is his concerns are not without merit. 6:30 comes pretty early in the morning.

The midget, well she loves her daddy and she’ll miss me as much as I’ll miss her. But she’s going to love being home with mommy.

The other funny? Well it might not be funny to you all but it’s downright hilarious to me. There is quite an extensive physical involved with this job. They drew my blood at 6:05 am. I note the time only because it’s a little ironic that both my kids sleep well past that point. Anyway by 2 in the pm as I was finishing that last of the physical stations I received my blood-work results.

Now keep in mind I’ve been at home since September of 2009 eating what ever the kids left on the plate. I know I know, but it’s a reflex action. In 2010 at my first ever civilian physical the young good looking lady doctor told me I was a fat man heading for sure death. To avoid that I should fire my lawn guy and do it my self, which I did, and to play golf at least once a week as long as I walk and not use golf cart. I never take a cart unless the course won’t let us walk so I was good to go there.

I say all that to say this. Aside from those two things, the golf and doing my own mowing, not much has changed since 2009. Back then my cholesterol was high. Last week it was 15 points lower and in the green. I’m also about 20ish pounds lighter from 2012 when the midget was born. No meds, no routines, no low carb diets, just good old American yard work and golf. Again you might not think so but that’s pretty damn hilarious.

So with that bit of healthy news and my notice given to the kids, back to the work force I go. I’ve worked two places in my life: the stockroom/sales floor at Sears and the United States Air Force. Sears & Roebuck paid very little in 1985, and expected even less. The US Military pays even less but demands the maximum effort from its members at all times. I’m proud and privileged to have served and for the most part given my best effort for 22 years.

But this new joint? This is a whole new level. It’s been six years since I answered to the man, put in an honest days work, or even wore pants that would remotely be considered “nice”. I’m about to stretch some muscles I’ve not used in a long time. Figuring out the plots lines of Jake and the Neverland Pirates or Doc McStuffins (how does she work without a license or medical degree) are a thing of the past. Gonna have to know stuff again.

God help us all.


Hey Pele, this ain’t the World Cup.

Editor’s note: the following is a very non-meaningful, nonsensical, get it off my chest, rant. AYSO is a fine organization as I’m sure are the people who run it. Never the less, proceed at your own risk.

<begin rant>

Look man, I’m all for team sports. Although not nearly as fun, educational, and downright awesome as golf, team sports teach a lot of life lessons for our kids. Futbol, or soccer, is one of my favorites. An addict of the Premier League and fervent fan of the Arsenal Football Club, I think it’s a great sport, especially for my kids. So just remember this little intro as you read what’s coming.

Youth Soccer ain’t that important. It just isn’t. And I type that as I watch Crystal Palace v West Bromwich Albion.

As hurricane Joaquin was bearing down on the US, the south started getting the rain. It’s been raining in Knoxville since Thursday. The storm has since moved on but not before causing the cancellation of several Major League Baseball games and causing the NCAA to put plans in place for the altering of their Saturday college football schedule.

You get that? College football was planning to alter their schedule because of the storm. The irony of all that? I was planning on some serious football (both types) watching on this rainy, no wait, rained out Saturday. So imagine my surprise when my phone lights up at 7:45 in the AM with a text message from the good people at AYSO. That’s American Youth Soccer Organization for the uninitiated. The text, in short, read:

“U5 U6 and U8 games are on. All other games are off.”

End transmission.

U5 denotes age group. So U5 means all kids under the age of five. U8 is kids under the age of 8 but older than 6. You get the idea. I’m sure by now you also get the idea that my son Frank falls into one of those Game On category’s. U8 to be exact. Game time 8:30 in the AM on a field that floods from a heavy dew. It’s been raining for two days and it has just stopped raining. Here’s a peep at the weather in our part of the world this morning at game time.

No thanks.

No thanks.

That ain't England. It's a storm.

That ain’t England. It’s a storm.

So cloudy and 55. As I said the rain had just stopped. But take a peek and the bottom left of the first picture. The little radar map. I blew it up for you.

We are the middle red dot. See all that yellow and green on the right and the little green and blue to the left, that’s the storm window AYSO was trying to squeeze the littlest kid’s games into. Mind you that weather is moving east to west because of the hurricane. So yeah, the big stuff was yet to come.

And yeah I get it. Kids are soft, American is weak, the next generation is nothing like those that came befzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Yo man, he has school on Monday. You can stuff all that soft nonsense. Rain and cold on Saturday equals sick and absent on Monday.

My standard of toughness has changed. The nurse who ran the first baby class we went to as we waited for Frank to appear gave us all a good rule of thumb for baby comfort and safety. If the temp in the house is too cold for you, it’s too cold for them. If the bath water is too hot for you, it’s too hot for them, etc… Man that is quality advice.

I now adapt that to events like AYSO soccer. If it’s not weather I would golf in, it’s not weather for my 6 year old to be playing soccer in. Trust me, I’ve golfed in some serious weather. Ask anyone I’ve teed it up with. But if you have already made a conscious choice to cancel all the other games because of the impending weather why are you trying to jam the smallest kids in your program on the field?

These games have no playoff implications. There are no World Cup standings being affected. These games are not important enough for 6 year olds to play if you already know the weather will be too bad for the 12 year olds to play.

Of course I have no doubt the issue is money. We pay for the kids to play so missed games have to be made up. Parents no doubt want their money’s worth. Cancelling games altogether is problematic I would imagine. So the fewer games you have to make up the better. I get it.

But dammit man! It’s 55 and cloudy and the field is a muddy mess and Bournmouth v Watford starts at 10:00am on NBC SN and more weather is coming. Sitting in my barcolounger watching adults play futbol/soccer from the climate controlled comfort of my living room sounds so much nicer.

So, I made the decision. He stayed home.

And it was glorious.

<end rant>




One Actionable Thing

Back to Maui, our honeymoon spot, for anny #3

And she can write too.

Editors note: Well buckle up my friends. Frank’s Place has it’s first guest author. We don’t just dip our toe in. We got a heavy hitter who is weighing in on a heavy subject. Mrs Frank’s Place is letting it all flow out on the latest mass shooting in America.

I don’t generally write on intense topics because I don’t have the voice for it. I feel wholly and uniquely unqualified. Maybe that’s just an excuse. But it’s one I’ve come to accept.

My wife, as those that know her will attest, has the voice for it. I can tell you she is way out of her comfort zone going public with her thoughts. It’s a tough thing to lay your thoughts out in the public sphere. But she stepped out there and I’m honored she did it here. So I offer you her voice without reservation or disclaimer.


Here now Mrs Frank’s Place on the latest mass shooting in America.

My husband and I belong to an unofficial group of people that no one ever wants to join. It is informal yet exclusive. Circumstances vary vastly on how we became part yet our empathy and compassion run deep for each other. Although we don't truly understand each other completely we can identify with the pain, agony, despair, darkness and unimaginable places that we know each other has been and may continue to live part or all of each day. We can tell you that you do not want to be part of this group and you do not want your family or friends to be part of it either.

My husband and I are parents that have lost a child.

I write this today after yesterday. And after all the yesterdays I have seen since we lost our Linda Claire. I think that often I can't do something because it is little or I don't have time or I don't have the energy or what will people say or I don't want to go deep in a public space or mostly because I don't want to expose my own pain or any other excuse I could come up with . . . . However, today I decided to let all my excuses go and make my request.

Please do whatever it is that you feel you should actively do to stop our children from being gunned down. I don't know what that is for you. I do know that it doesn't seem to be stopping & it doesn't seem that anyone is immune. So I ask - please do one thing to help your community and our nation so that another parent does not have to experience the loss of a child.

One actionable thing.


Mrs Frank’s Place