Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas - December 25, 2010

Hello Folks,

My family and I want to wish each and every "Fishing With Dad" blog visitor a very Joyous and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

This has been a very exciting year with many fishing adventures. The past month has been unusually cold and windy. Because of this abnormal cold weather pattern, the Susquehanna River froze over and has prevented us die-hard winter anglers from accessing water with our jet rigs. *Sigh*

Folks, it has been a very difficult week for me personally. I lost two ex-students who were only 25 and 26 years old. Cpl. Eric Torbert, Jr., 25, died in Afghanistan this past Saturday due to an explosion. This fallen soldier was returned to Dover Air Force Base where the son of my "Best Man", Jason Stone, accepted his body as a member of the USMC Honor Guard.

When Jason's father,Mike, sent me pictures of what his son's task was, I broke down. How unusual is it to know both the son returning and the son accepting? Mike wrote to me on Wednesday, December 23, 2010, and told me that Jason indeed had accepted Eric. He had contacted Jason to keep watch for Eric and Jason did. God bless the fallen and those still in service. My heart goes out to their families during this Christmas Season.

On Wednesday, December 22, 2010, I read in the obituaries that Trevor Bair, 26, died expectantly in New Jersey. I aslo had Trevor's brother, Kyle, as a student.

It wasn't unlikely that I saw several generations of siblings pass through my schools in 24 years of serving as the middle school counselor.

On Tuesday, December 21, 2010, my wife and I lost a friend, Preston "Barry" Kline, 67, owner of the "Tag Shop" in Lancaster, Pa. My wife and I often frequented this little Central Market alleyway shop for gifts and clothing. His wife, Mary Jo, was always by Barry's side and a very active co-owner. He will be sorely missed by the many who loved his wit and humor.

It's definitely hard to lose three people who passed through your life and all in just a few days. But my faith that they are now in a better place that is void of pain and suffering, allows me to accept our loss and move on in life.

Here's a little Dad "scoop"... December 25th, Christmas Day, is my Birthday! I was born in 1954. You do the math... :) (56!) My mother used to tease me and would say that she named me Tom because she was stuffing the Christmas turkey (Tom Turkey) for Christmas Day dinner when I decidd it was time to meet the world. The actual truth was that she named me after her uncle who was a Canadian Royal Mounted Policeman. She had a picture of my Great Uncle Tom sitting atop his stead in full dress. I have absolutely no idea where that picture has gotten to after she passed away five years ago. Most likely, one of my two older brothers have the picture stored away and have absolutely no idea who he is... LOL.

We usually try to get our sons at least one gift that they truly want for Christmas. So, this year, our youngest son got a set of 50 lb. "dial-in" dumbbells for his P90X workouts. He dropped from 240 to 171 lb. by watching his diet and working out using this workout system. We are so proud of him.

Our middle son received a Kinect for his X-Box 360. And my oldest son, received two video games... NBA Jam for X-Box 360 and Epic Mickey for Wii.

This will be our second granddaughter's (Oldest Son's Child) very first Christmas. What a blessing to have two very healthy little granddaughters. We love them dearly!

Have a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!