July 31, 2014

DD # 48 - Low Point

Low points in life take a toll.  When I took over guardianship for my sister, I dreaded the moment I knew was inevitable. I was not prepared for how miserable the feeling would be when it actually occurred. Another outburst meant a trip to the hospital. The time to threaten was over.  Inaction would have set the cycle back exponentially so when the call was made, there was no turning back. As the police drove her away, I felt a sense of relief and was hopeful this drastic measure might open her eyes and help her in the long run. Going to the hospital to talk to the doctor and see her in a state of sadness and terror made all that relief and hope immediately disappear.  Guilt set in, and still remains today. The absolute was the moment I informed her she would be staying the night.  The explosion of emotions I saw in her tearful reaction haunts me and gave me a sense of how such an experience can profoundly impact a person. This was a low point in my life, but the decision was made, and it was the beginning of a new chapter, a better chapter.

July 29, 2014

DADventures #1 - True Love

The Princess Bride is one of my favorite movies and it emphasizes the importance of "true love." There are many things that I love. I obviously love my much, much better half. Without her, I can honestly say I'd be lost. I love my family. We may put the fun in dysfunction, but I wouldn't be who I am without them. I love the outdoors. Watching wildlife and taking hikes is something I could do every day if time allowed. I love sports. I love watching them, playing them, and talking about them. I love professional wrestling. Since I was a boy, I've been a fan and that passion continue into my adult years. I love writing. This creative outlet lets me say and do things I normally wouldn't have the courage to do. However, with all these "loves," I didn't realize what love really was until my daughter was born. Holding her in my arms for the first time confirmed my purpose. Watching her grow has put everything else into perspective and made the love I have for my wife and family that much stronger. She is my world and I can't wait to experiences all of our adventures together.

DD #47 - Patient on the Loose

Living in a very quiet neighborhood, rarely did I see police patrolling the streets near my home.  So it was a bit surprising to see so many of them one particular evening. Even more surprising was having them using stereo systems to tell all of us to get inside and lock the doors as someone from the county mental hospital just a few minutes away had escaped and was on the lam. Instantly, I "knew" the steps the patient had taken and retraced them in my mind. I knew he had crossed the creek into my neighborhood and was now hiding in my garage. I even remember staring out the windows of my house to catch a glimpse of this individual. Even after  police patrols returned and used their loudspeakers to give is the all clear, I wasn't so sure. For some time, I was worried and paranoid that this was going to happen again and again. This happened to coincide with when OJ Simpson infamously joyrided in the Bronco.  Even though this was happening across the country, I "knew" he was in my room and had many nightmares of him hiding out in my closet. Thank God I was wrong.

July 27, 2014

DD # 46 - Legally Blind Surprise

Fresh out of getting my license and my first car, I was excited to enjoy the freedom that came with it. I was quickly introduced to the price of that freedom. I was heading down Highway 100 in the left very open left lane while I noticed the middle lane was clogged a bit. I predicted some of those impatient middle-laners might want to move over to the swiftly moving left lane.  However, even while making that reasonable assumption and preparing for it by slowing my own pace, I was unfortunately sideswiped. While the damage was minimal, I still remember the dent in my passengers side and his hubcap spinning around and coming to rest on the grassy median. I appreciated one witness, noting she saw him hit me, having enough courtesy to leave me her information to provide to the police if necessary. However, my greatest memory was watching the owner of the other vehicle, a gentlemen with obvious physical limitations, get out to see what happened.  I wasn't surprised when I found out I would get reimbursed in full by his insurance company since he was legally blind. I'm just glad he had enough vision to sign the check.

July 25, 2014

Discovering Dargatz #45 - Milwaukee's Famous Great Circus Parade

One summer rite of passage was my family trip to the Circus Parade.  However, my experience was much more than the three-hour parade.  Before regulations limited when seats could be saved, my family would reserve seats Friday night for the Sunday parade.  That meant shifts of watching the seats, overnight sleepovers on the downtown concrete,  and  many meals at the nearby Burger King. I remember staring up from our spot at the big blue glass building and wondering what happened there.  I remember seeing the spots around us eventually fill in and watching the street vendors increase as the festivities drew near. Days before we reserved our spot, we trekked down to Veteran's park to see the grandeur of the decorated wagons and experience all the sights, sounds, and smells of the circus. On the actual day, I recall waiting for the animals, getting prepared for the 40-horse hitch, and gearing up for the annual event that inevitably followed the street sweepers at the end of the parade. As the final wagons passed and the crowds scattered, my family would get out some garbage bags and start collecting the cans that others left behind. Boy, do I miss THAT circus?