On forced change
Friday, my mother and stepfather stopped by the house for the first time since Christmas and told me about how mom’s cousin — I believe Jonelle is 66 or 67 — would be losing her house near the Dayton International Airport due to expansion of warehouses that just won’t stop popping up around the airport. Mom’s cousin believes it’s Amazon who’s coming in to rip up the houses in the neighborhood which will also mean Jonelle’s yard that she and her husband have been tending to for 35 years or so will be ripped up in the process.
From the sound of things, it’s an eminent domain scenario. And this change in her and Steve’s life will happen in a matter of eight months. They’ll have this one final summer to enjoy everything they’ve built and then they will be moving on as the bulldozers come calling in the name of change — and new money for the local tax base.
And all I keep thinking about are all the plants that will need to be saved. Jonelle’s father, my great uncle Johnny (RIP), a WWII combat vet, was the Hosta King. We’re talking damn near every hosta variation known to man. The hostas that lined his property were moved to Jonelle’s house when the family home was sold off.
I sat there listening to my mom tell me what was coming and all I could think of was how my wife and I have to go rescue some of those plants. We have to help move plants to Jonelle and Steve’s new property. We can’t let Uncle Johnny’s plants go out like this. This is now a major rescue mission that will have my full attention
This was like Reid’s pool dilemma, minus the chance to make things better once the excavators dig that neighbor’s pool.
Stay tuned. We’ll be going in at some point this summer for an extraction.
• Bill L. writes:
Thanks for what you do. This morning our family will be getting on the road for one last time to finish cleaning out my in-laws home. One last time to look through my father in laws shop to grab any of the tools that he’s used to help me on countless projects. Bringing home the mounted deer head to display in our basement. He shot it long before I met his daughter.
And one last time to have a bourbon or beer (probably both) as we see the sun set in his back yard. Tears will be shed. But a new family will be moving in soon and we’re confident they’ll take care of that home as well as Roger and Betty did. I hope you have a great weekend.
On daily Screencaps closure with Dale
• Jake in Charlottesville, VA writes:
The cardboard cutout of Dale Earnhardt reminded me of a question I’ve always meant to ask you that I don’t know if you’ve ever addressed: why is it that you end every SC with something Dale Earnhardt-related?
I was always a big fan of how print magazines would close each edition in some interesting fashion whether it was Sports Illustrated with the Rick Reilly column at the end or Maxim doing some sort of ‘This Way Out’ theme. They closed up shop and you closed up the magazine.
In my mind, Dale is our way of ending each edition because it is a reflection on calm, determination and our past while trying to look forward and using those traits to move on in life.
Yes, that’s some deep stuff out of me on a Saturday morning. Dale takes us out, we go onward to crush another day of life. It’s how we end our magazine. The column builds up with people sharing their life via emails (just like magazines would have Letters to the Editor), we lead into the SI swimsuit models (in this case it’s our Instagram models), that leads into the sports page, which leads to the pop culture page, the wild and zany pages, the food section, the travel section and then Dale helps us wash it all down.
It’s like recreating the Sunday newspaper, the SI swimsuit edition, SportsCenter, Food Network, the Travel Channel, at times the Bill Dance Outdoors show, the original Maxim magazine and wrapping it all up into one daily column. The Best Damn Daily Column in the United States.
Didn’t Jimmy Kimmel once have models jumping on trampolines as his Moment of Zen on “The Man Show”?
We have Dale.
First year of marriage advice
• Tyler from Louisiana has advice for Brandon in Chicago and his question about how to go about the first year of marriage:
Hi, Mr. Kinsey from a conservative Christian history professor!
My wife and I will celebrate 21 years of marriage in a few weeks, so I hope I can help Brandon with a few bits of advice:
- Never use flowers or gifts to cover up an apology. If you did something, be honest and apologize. If you try to cover it over, then every time you bring flowers she will wonder what you did. Set the precedent that flowers and gifts just mean you love her.
- When you have a fight (and you will, we had our first fight on our honeymoon), even if it takes a while to resolve the root issues, try to make peace before you go to bed that night.
- The first year of marriage can be fun, but remember that there will be times when you may not like each other very much. However, even on those days, choose to love each other. Feelings come and go, but years of deliberate choices to love build a relationship.
- Find out what both of you like to do and spend time together doing it.
- On a different note, sometimes it just works better to choose to give up what you want and do something your wife enjoys.
- Keep a sense of humor and do not be afraid to be silly sometimes!
And just like that, I would listen to Tyler who survived a first fight on the honeymoon and he’s still married and seems to be chugging along just fine. I would like to know the level of that first fight. Was it a full-blown level 10 argument where some airing of grievances turns nasty or are we talking about a level 5 argument where things blow over 30 minutes later when you grab dinner on the honeymoon and you’re both laughing again?
• Kristopher K. in Manchester, NH writes:
Prior to my wedding, a sage man in my life told my bride and I to always give at least 60% of ourselves and take no more than 40%.
The extra 20% of give is equity you store up for when the tough times hit.
These twenty-two years of wedded bliss later, gotta say he nailed it.
Enjoy the Holiday weekend!
Remember those who did the hardest things to make it possible for the rest of us.
A picture from a visit a few weeks ago at The Tomb in Arlington, VA.
Look at those stripes below. Respect!
Who saw ‘Top Gun’?
• I see Clay took the boys Friday to see the box office smash hit that Tom Cruise started shooting like four years ago. This movie is clearly going to be the talk of the weekend and it’s such a big moment in pop culture history that the Mississippi Department of Transportation is using it on its alert billboards.
Bill C. writes:
MDOT here letting you know that Top Gun Maverick hits the screens today
‘You’re doing a great job of putting so many voices out there’
• The emailer didn’t want this for publication, so I’m not putting his name on it, but I would like to pivot off this theme. It’s been one year since I put the call out for Screencaps readers to tell me about their lives, their worries and their observations on life around them.
It was the smartest editorial decision I’ve made in my career.
Doing such a thing is looked down upon by the Big J blue checkmarks who consider the readers to be like sports-talk radio callers. They think of you guys as unhinged message board maniacs. They don’t want to read about the common American who is out there busting his/her ass to get through life.
And along comes Screencaps to provide that space where people can argue about cyclists or ask others for first-year marriage advice. We can talk like adults about themes like ‘Don’t Blink’ — by the way, I put that theme out as a running joke amongst my friends for how suburban moms act on Facebook, but it actually took off in a literal way around here — to chats about “Do Hard Things.”
This column is nothing without readers buying in over the last 12 months and trusting me with their thoughts. I’ve had people pour out their hearts about their lives. We’ve all shared in some huge successes and losses. It’s been one helluva ride.
Now, go enjoy the movies. Enjoy those campfires. The calm. Those golf rounds. The parades (we’ll be there Monday morning). The time with family. I’m off to the baseball diamond for a 9 a.m. game and then I’m off to buy more rocks at the rock store. By now you guys know how much I live the rock store. 10 rocks should do it. And then it’s going to be an all-day adventure in the yard.
I’m talking a straight-up humping it until the sun goes down type day.
Have a great weekend.