All posts tagged: Random DJB Thoughts

A Family Celebration

After three family funerals in the past eighteen months—two of which came much too early in the lives of those we lost—the Brown family was able to come together this weekend for a family celebration. We gathered at my brother Joe’s beautiful Cripple Creek farm on a sunny and cloudless spring day to celebrate the wedding of our niece, Erin, and Jonathan Belcher. The bride looked beautiful in the wedding gown she had made by hand (over 53 1/2 hours!). The bluegrass music for the reception covered the countryside. The children of our other nieces played games and ran through the fields and around the pond. A good time was had by all. It is nice to remember the cycle of life continues in a year when we’ve said goodbye too many times.  So on this Mother’s Day, which falls on the one-year anniversary of my father’s passing, here’s to Erin and Jonathan and to the resiliency of family and love.       More to come… DJB  

35 Reasons I’d Do It All Over Again

Thirty-five years ago tomorrow – March 20th – Candice and I started our adventure together.  I remember the first time I saw Candice.  She was coming around the corner of an office cubicle at the Georgia State Historic Preservation Office – where we’d both just been hired – and I thought, “Wow!”  (That’s a technical term meaning, “This could be interesting!”) As I got to know her over the months and years, my initial assessment was more than confirmed. In her book Two-Part Invention:  The Story of a Marriage, Madeleine L’Engle describes the evening that her husband Hugh proposed to her. “We went to one of our favorite restaurants in the Village, and after dinner he came home with me.  We talked.  About this, about that. He suggested that we play records, and chose Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. He picked up a book of poetry off the shelf and began leafing through it, and then read me Conrad Aiken’s beautiful words: Music I heard with you was more than music, and bread I broke with you …

The Two Year Anniversary of My (In)Famous Encounter with an Ambulance

I was at work today when someone in a meeting reminded me that today was the second anniversary of my (in)famous encounter with a sliding ambulance. What, you haven’t heard that story?  Well, go here to be reminded. You don’t want me to tell you about it now, because the story becomes “better” with every retelling.  I was reminded again that I was once “famous in cabs!” After it came up today, I mentioned this anniversary to a guest in the meeting and he said, “You can’t say you were hit by an ambulance without telling the story,” so I’ve already had a chance to recount it once today. When I ended he said, “That’s means you’ll be 62 tomorrow on your birthday?”  I replied, “If I make it!”  After my ambulance encounter at 59 years, 364 days, and 21 hours on March 3, 2015, I don’t take anything for granted. Fingers crossed that this evening is uneventful. At least there is no ice in the forecast. More to come… DJB

Quest for the Best Picture (2016), Part 2

After this weekend, Candice and I are one-third of the way towards our annual goal of viewing all the “Best Picture” Oscar nominees.  We’ve seen three very different films, but all terrific in their own way. Last weekend we saw Hidden Figures, a wonderful movie with an inspiring story just right for our times.  On Friday we again walked up to AFI Silver Theater, this time to see Moonlight. This coming of age film was both difficult and yet ultimately very satisfying. I was initially uncomfortable, because I was disoriented by the context.  The story of a young, gay, African American male learning about who he is through the bullying, teasing, and uncertainty was one I could understand. However, the setting – amidst the poverty, racism, and drug culture of Miami – was not familiar.  Once I sorted that out in my mind, I saw the strong qualities of this movie on multiple levels. The acting is superb, beginning with Mahershala Ali as Juan, the drug dealer who befriends the main character, Chiron, and Naomie …

Annual Super Bowl Rant

I thought I would just be upfront about it, and title this post accurately.  No alternative facts here, folks – just truth in advertising! Ever since Super Bowl 48, when I famously (at least in my mind) declared it to be my last, I’ve gone back and explained why it is time to give up on the NFL.  Surprisingly, they still play the thing, and here we are at Super Bowl 51.  (Reason #10 I gave up on the NFL was those stupid Roman numerals.) So, here we are on Super Bowl Saturday, and I’ll just give you a few more reasons you may want to go to your local theatre and watch Hidden Figures – my early front-runner for Best Picture of the Year. (And since I gave you ten perfectly good reasons back in 2014, I’ll begin with reason #11.) 11.  It’s the damn Patriots.  Again.  Is there anyone more insufferable in sports than Bill Belichick/Tom Brady? (Wait, I’ll answer that.  Maybe Coach K. But that’s another post. And I know that Belichick …

Top Posts of 2016 (Family and Friends Edition)

I’m lucky to have patient readers of More to Come… as the blog (like my mind) is often all over the place. In looking back over posts from the past year, I decided to highlight the top ten (in terms of views) in a “family and friends” edition, to be followed tomorrow by a “whatever else tickles my fancy” edition, where I’ll catch the posts that don’t directly relate to family members. Unfortunately, many of the top family posts this year related to death and loss. There were so many losses this year (both family and others who felt like family) that I added a Rest In Peace category to the blog. I’m grateful for the notes and comments these musings brought, but like so many readers I still miss the people who are no longer with us. I’ll highlight the top ten family and friends posts in the order in which they showed up on More to Come… Andrew was asked to join Lady Gaga and 50 other survivors of sexual assault on the …

Merry Christmas 2016

Several years ago we first volunteered to help serve Christmas dinner at our parish.  This is a wonderful tradition that we had just discovered.  Several hundred people – some homeless, some single, some elderly without family nearby, some simply wanting someone else to cook for them – come together for several hours of turkey, stuffing, pies, caroling, and conversation. That first year, as we were leaving, one of the children said, “Can we make this a regular part of our Christmas Day tradition?”  We’ve been there ever since. Because Andrew and Claire were born five days before Christmas, we have always waited to jump into the season until after we celebrate their birthdays.  Plus, Candice and I have always wanted to focus on Advent, and then celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas through until Epiphany on January 6th. But this year we’ve actually scaled back some of the past over-the-top holiday celebrations.  Our decorations are simpler. We are content to be together as a family around a dinner table.  (No cell phones, please.) And just …