Friday, June 14, 2013


Happy Friday all.

Well it looks like all your positive comments and sending happy thoughts our way to Chicago has worked. The DEMENTORS are GONE! At least for the time being. It's still windy and cool, but at least the sun is shining in a forget-me-not blue sky.

With Father's Day this Sunday, I can't help but think of my dad and all the other fathers out there. Fathers, now more than ever, are really a part of their children's lives. Gone are the days where mom stayed home with the kids and the only time you saw your dad was at the dinner table.

Today, dad's are running the lakefront pushing carriages, toting their little ones on bikes, playing fort in the sand, and running after their precocious children in the park. It is not uncommon anymore to see the stay-at-home dad. I know several and they are truly amazing men.

We need to give them an extra HOORAH! today.... HERE'S TO YOU GUYS!!!!!

I just realized I touched upon this subject a bit in my first novel. Although my MC's uncle is a freelance artist, he is, in all actuality, a stay-at-home-dad/uncle. Cool. At least I am current with the times. LOL.

Do any of you have a novel that features one of these incredible men? I would love to hear about it.

It is so tough to be a parent today. With SO many obstacles in the way ... work, carting the kids around to school, activities, and grocery shopping. The world is quite a different place then when I was a kid. Both my parents worked, so I had to get to school and back home on my own. Even in Kindergarten (Yes, you are reading correctly... I was five and went to and from school alone. FIVE blocks.) I managed. Grade school three quarters of a mile away. And HS a mile and a half. In New York with all its weather patterns. That's just how it was.

Today, it blows my mind to walk passed a HS, where the kids/ teenagers are waiting for their moms or dads to pick them up.... THEY ARE BIGGER THAN ME!!!!! What's the deal. Chicago has amazing public transportation and walking is good exercise. Yes, times have definitely changed. I sound just like my dad did... LOL... only he claimed to have walked TEN miles in three foot of snow. LOL. Hardly, my dad grew up in NYC and schools are within ten blocks of every residential building. I was raised in the burbs... so schools were a bit more spread out. We had sidewalks though. LOL.

How about you? Were you lucky enough to have your parent taxi you around? All my blogger buddies are from every age, so I am curious about how you all managed to get to school ....

I know... an usual post today. But it does have to do with dads....

I hope you all show your dad lots of love and appreciation this Father's Day. It's been over a decade since my dad departed this world, so I do miss him. Even though he was a very difficult man, but he had a smile that lit up a room and an infectious laugh. No one could resist it, even me.

As we grow older we appreciate our parents. Understand why they had to do what they thought was right at the time, even though we may not have thought so. IT isn't easy. I respect all you moms and dads out there. You have the hardest job of all. Caring for a family and SUPPORTING them in these very difficult economic times. CONGRATULATIONS on a job well done!

SO what are you plans for this Father's Day weekend?

I am having a picnic at the zoo with my blogger buddy Melissa Bradley and a few other friends. Nothing like good food, lovely surroundings, and laughter to keep away those nasty Dementors!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone....

Here's a pic of Chicago at it's best. I took it yesterday... now that's what Chicago SHOULD look like this time of year....


  1. Much clearer skies today!
    I wasn't taxied around. We walked or biked everywhere.
    I can't imagine being a parent now.
    I certainly appreciate both of my parents more now.
    And my upcoming book ventures into new territory because I made Byron a father.

  2. Love the picture of Chicago looking as it should look!

    We had some bizarre weather yesterday in my corner of SE Pennsylvania. Around 9am it turned as black as night (I swear) and rained practically sideways, the wind was blowing so hard. Luckily, it only last about 2 minutes, and we were spared the rest of the thunderstorms and tornadoes that had previously been predicted.

    Weathermen sure do like to paint the bleakest picture possible, huh?

    As for fathers, you know my most recent book has a father who struggles to connect with the 17 year old daughter he barely knows. I was rather proud of how their relationship developed, and I can't take credit for it, either. Those characters showed me the way. I just wrote what they told me to write.

  3. So glad the weather has picked up a bit for you. The UK is now sunny although still cool and breezy. My dad (80) was given a laptop for his birthday and is now on Facebook, email and orders things over the internet. No e-banking - that's a step too far for him. Have a great picnic. We will spend some time with my dad and then go and support a local lass as she sings in a local pub.

  4. Relieved you're okay. That was a nasty storm. The remnants hit us last night (Va/Md) but not as badly as what you got.

    Yes, yes, big applause for all the dads out there. Too much gender role modeling kept them in the shadows too long.

    And I hear ya about kids being picked up at school and so on!!! How in the world are they going to make it through life if, well, they can't go to the bathroom by themselves? It's all too much, too much! Our godson can't do jack today because his helicopter parents were constantly in his gig.

  5. Our weather looks like that today, too!

    My father died when I was 11 and I'll always remember the joys he gave me, such as a love for photography.

  6. What a BEAUTIFUL picture of Chicago. I found myself looking for the wizard P.I. Harry Dresden! :-)

    My father was a monster as was my grandfather. My father taught me about fending for myself when he abandoned me on the roughest street in Detroit where I stayed for six weeks. I was six at the time. No sentimental feeling for me on Father's Day.

    I feel happy for the children with good fathers on Father's Day.

  7. We walked to school in elementary - 10 blocks. In high school I had a car at 16 and drove myself, brother, and cousin to secondary school the last couple of years. (Mom drove us for a couple of years before, because it was several miles away and no transport services)

    My dad and I fought all my growing up years - he wanted a son first, but guess what he got. . .a challenging daughter with a mind of her own.

    All fathers aren't created equal any more than mothers. So, let's celebrate the GOOD fathers, and ignore the others.

    What Roland said, too!!
    A very nice post Michael and glad that the sun is shining in the Windy City!

  8. Wow, Michael, I am unable to believe that you walked to school alone, when you were just in Kindergarten.

  9. Beautiful picture of Chicago, Michael!
    You should see the weather here! Sunny with billowy clouds.
    Take care!

  10. Father's Day?
    Sigh. I miss my Dad. What more
    can I say?

  11. Sadly my dad passed away when I was three and mum had to work, we lived with my grandparents.
    However my children had a wonderful dad who did school runs, soccer runs as my youngest was a soccer player,
    took my daughter to and from dancing lessons and competitions,Sadly he passed away 15 years ago, my elder two don't speak to me, never visit their dad's resting place and the other son lives in Spain, though he do visit the grave when he comes over for a week or so.I shall be thinking of both my dad who I didn't know also to a wonderful dad to my children.

  12. Today we salute the flag, and on Sunday, Dad.

    Glad to see Chicago looking lovely again. We had an amazing thunderstorm yesterday, but nothing on the level of the Midwest.

    My MC, a detective wants the white picket fence, but the quest is never easily achieved.

  13. I walked to school (about half a mile) up until I got into middle school, then I took a bus. And *GASP* my mother never walked me to the bus-stop. In fact, one time I missed the bus and instead of driving me to school she made me WALK. It's amusing now, when I see these parents who hover and can't let their kids go anywhere without supervision.

    Yes, it's a different world.


  14. Hi Michael .. I agree the kids should walk and they're plenty old enough, but as parents (I'm not) they get paranoid .. not sure what I'd do.

    We were packed off on a bus, and picked up - it was 5 miles away .. in a pool of other kids ... then I was packed off to boarding school!

    Happy Father's Day everyone - that picnic sounds wonderful .. I'm off to London to see some Illuminated Manuscripts, back home watch some Queen's Club tennis (pre Wimbledon) and then off to see Les Mis in a special one off at a theatre along the coast ..

    For once I'm fairly busy .. cheers Hilary

  15. Great pic! I can't talk much about my father. The closest figure to a father I had was my grand father and he is back in the dragon dimension now, so I think I'll celebrate myself. I have no children but I'm after all Father Dragon. I did have someone who took me to dragon school, though. Mother Dragon did.
    Have a great weekend, Michael!

  16. Oh, much nicer in the windy city today!

    My parents taxi us around? Perish the thought. We had one car and dad took it to work. Depended upon where we lived as to whether we walked to school or caught the bus. After school activities were premium and we had to clear it with the parents and arrange for rides.

    I respect the hands on Dads out there. Being a parent isn't an easy gig although I'm glad hubs and I are parents. Ours is 18 and both hubs and I were very hands on and now we'd like to be more hands off, lol!

    Hubs gets a card and a special dinner. :-)


  17. Glad your weather cleared up a little. Ours is gorgeous. I grew up on a farm so my father was always home. Can't even begin to say how great that was. In the winter when he didn't have so much work to do, he would often bake and cook. We thought we had the coolest dad ever.
    And I walked to school too. About half a country mile.

  18. Beautiful pic! As for kids waiting on their parents. I know up to middle school the rule was the parent had to pick them up if they didn't take the bus.

    Hope you had fun with the blogger buddies.

    Hugs and chocolate,

  19. My parents haven't ever really been the taxi-ing kind, though for a few years in school mum did drop us off at school because she had a job that was on the way to school anyway. But we got the train home. ;) Took maybe 40 mins to an hour to get home. Also, I never really got my mum to take me to or pick me up from parties or anything. My little brother got away with a bit more of that, but I didn't even try!

  20. It'll be s'mores and roasted hot dogs in the backyard fire pit this year. My first book had a main character who was a father. My second book had a father who spent too much time on his phone, but who deep down really cared about his daughter. Maybe I will explore that father-daughter connection more in the second installment.

    Enjoy the great weather!

  21. You're right. Age brings (hopefully) perspective. My mom was the only 'dad' I had. She enjoyed the Father's Day cards I got her more than the Mother's Day ones :P She had a sense of humor that way.

    I hope you enjoy your picnic! And I'm glad the weather has cleared up for you.

  22. Oh my goodness, how beautiful is Chicago?!! Very envious of your picnic plans too, a perfect way to spend a gorgeous day.

    Now, walking to school at 5 years old -by yourself! It sounds shocking now because times have changed. I did walk to school at that age but I was lucky as I had my sisters and brothers and friends. We all walked together. I am very glad you made it to school and home on your own in NYC. I grew up in the 'burbs' where nobody locked their doors and everyone knew each other, quite a change now though. :-)

    Hope you are well my friend, lovely to see you pop by my blog!! Hope you're having a fab w/end!! XO

  23. The picture is beautiful Michael. Wish I was there to just stare out at the skyline. We had freaky weather here; hot hot hot (113) then the next day cooler and then rain, thunder, lightening. Its cooled off, which is ho I like it (highs of about 90) but you never know when the weather might suddenly change.

    In my day, "latch key kids" was the term we used for children who's parents both worked and the kids had to let themselves into the home after school. I did not grow up that way - my foster mom was always home - but my kids were the modern equivalent (no clue what the term is today).

    Its kinda cool that dads can now stay home and Mom's are the family providers. Yes, the world is changing. Happy father's day to all the dad's out there.


  24. Glad your days have brightened. My father lives up north of Chicago in Fox Lake. Y'all have had some terrible weather lately! Thinking of him this special weekend. :)

  25. We lived out of town, so my dad drove us everywhere—at least until I turned sixteen and could drive myself. :)

    Have a great weekend. ☺

  26. Holy dementors!!!! That is too funny, Michael...but thank goodness the skies have cleared. The fog was crazy!!!!!

    I walked to and from school ALL the time. And I walked to and from my ballet classes--which were sometimes 5 days a week. And I'd dance for at least 4 hrs a day. I miss those times. Now all my exercise is on the treadmill and I miss being out in the world!

    The world is definitely a different place now. Of course when I was younger, I used to wish I had lived in Gene Kelly days, because I felt that there was so much class and elegance--and that hard work was valued and there wasn't as much entitlement... sigh...

    Anyway, great post as always, Michael. You always bring a great spirit with your words!

    1. Oh! And lots of love to your dad's memory... <3

  27. Glad you managed to scare them off.


  28. I think I put a bazillion miles on my bike growing up - it took me everywhere! And I loved it :)

    My dad's been gone for a long time too - I'm so thankful for the terrific memories of a great man!

  29. Today's looking beautiful up in WI too! Thanks for the pic of Chicago!!! My mom always brought me too school and picked me up, although I think I carpooled with the neighborhood kids in elem. school also. We're having my mom and dad over for a cook out tonight. Enjoy your time with friends! Glad you're still meeting with blogging buddies. ;) Christy

  30. Great picture!
    It reminds me of our coastline.... with its predominantly sub-tropical climate... which looks like that 99% of the time...

    Writer In Transit

  31. Beautiful picture of Chicago!

    I wish my parents could've picked me up and driven me to school. Instead I had to take the school bus. There was no walking to school, since it was over 20 miles away (one direction).

  32. Oh... that picture has me missing Chicago...such a great city.

  33. My dad was ahead of his time. He was always an active, to-be counted on guy. I was lucky to get him. :)

  34. I have a great dad. I'm very lucky. I wish all kids could be as fortunate as I am. I also walked to school in kindergarten. How time have changed, huh?

  35. I'm always fascinated by the dads I see playing with their kids and being close to them. I gave my last MC a close and caring father (as well as grandfather), although in my WIP the father is deceased.

    Nah, we never got taxi'd around! One school year we walked 3/4 of a mile to get to the bus stop because we were out of the school district and didn't want to change schools (again). :) Sorry to hear your dad is gone, but it sounds like you had some good memories of him. That's great!

  36. Hugs to you. Yeah, Father's Day, like Mother's Day now, are just so dang hard for me. Still in denial that I can't pick up the phone and talk with them or go to their house and see them.

    Love the Chicago pic. That shoreline always brings back so many good memories. :)

  37. Lovely picture Michael! It's always a pleasure to see things from your perspective.

    It's been beautiful here-- oh, except for the fires. We're burning up but we've known that was coming. The trees are dead all over the Rocky Mountains. I have a few pictures I've taken over the years as examples and it breaks my heart. Take care!

  38. It certainly makes me question whether or not I want to be a parent someday...

    My parents drove me to and from school until my sister got her license. Then it was her job until I got mine. I probably could have walked to my high school, but my elementary and middle school were a solid thirty minutes away by car and in a not so safe part of town. I can't imagine trying to walk there alone even now :D