Hurricane Jackson John

July 31st, 2013 by John Morris

Having raised two children – okay the wife did the heavy lifting, I thought I was prepared to care for my grandson, Jackson John Sterling. I was not close.

I learned on my first babysitting day I need all my energies to keep up with him. If I glance away for the smallest moment – say to take a sip of tea – he bolts across the room and toward baby danger zones.

Yesterday Lyn and I took him to a public swimming pool. Was he satisfied to frolic in the baby area? No, he relentlessly kept heading toward the deeper regions. At the water jet area, he enjoyed smacking down the tiny spray created just prior to the water cannon burst designed to knock tykes backwards. My grip on his shirt and shorts left him horizontal in an effort to avoid water-styled shock and awe.

Jack will act up when anyone leaves a room. I think he takes it personally. He must be asking himself why that person doesn’t want to dote on me? On Monday, it took me nearly 30 minutes to make a sandwich. He’d storm into the kitchen to the shout of “baby alert” and come right to where I was. He’d open and then empty the cabinets. Any time spent on the sandwich meant more destruction at my feet.

He also has a “don’t tell me what I can’t play with” attitude. I can dump 100 toys on my living room floor and hold back just one. He’ll low crawl through through the resting toys and swipe at the one I’m withholding.

And what does he do when he can’t get what he wants? He wails, and his baby-sized lower lip quivers at a high rate.

Yes, it does reduce a Papa John to a mushy puddle.


Accepting a kindness can also be kind.

July 30th, 2013 by John Morris

I can trace any of my altruism back to a minor encounter about 12 years ago. I was lunching with a customer at a restaurant he chose. My customer was new to the dealer network, and our relationship had no real history. The fare was pricier than my company allowed. My usual way to handle this was to expense the meal at a lower cost.

When the check arrived, he surprised me by taking it first. I protested my company should cover the meal. He then said something like,”There are times when accepting a kindness is the right thing to do.”  His following words explained how doing a kindness is its own reward, and why would I want to take that away from him.

I have often remembered this moment since it did change how I think. Since then, I am more comfortable accepting someone else’s kind gesture without feeling the need to protest or balance the scale back in my favor.

How much better would our world be if people went around spreading good will? We may never know, but it’s probably an idea with some real merit.

Thanks to Rocky & Jen Kuhns for nudging me back to blogging. They did it at a crab fest so my defenses were compromised. 





The old boy writing this blog wears many hats: Vietnam Veteran, husband & father, salesman and techno-dude. After my service with the Army Security Agency, I operated a sign company for nineteen years, The sign industry changed after CAD/CAM machines made the task easy enough for the non-talented. I sold my company and never looked back.

Life has granted me a life partner better than I deserve. My wife, Lyn is a transplanted Kansas gal. Her bliss is teaching kindergarten and first grade.

I am the most proud of my children. My son, Adam lives an international life teaching English and living in Sozhou, China. He is married to one of life's truly lovely women, Yuri Kim. My daughter, Beth grew up in a small town and found her way in life means working and living in major cities like Chicago and New York. She and her life partner, Julie Sterling married in LaJolla, California in 2010.

I like getting the newest gadgets, but also I like to use things until they are useless, i.e., my last personal car was an 88 Honda Prelude Si.

I wrote a Vietnam Veteran newsletter for nine years. During this journey, I learned I like to write. It is a harmless exercise that rewards honest effort while tolerating failure gracefully. I been away from it for too long. My son gave me the blog, and it was a lifeline back to writing.

My best advice is to show the world what you can do but to accept only your opinion of who and what you are.

Update: In August 2008, my job became one of the half-million jobs that went away that month. I took the following year getting the home ready for my official retirement.

In October 2009, I took a part-time job as a saleman at the vaulted Maxwell's Hardware.

On November 29, 2011, I reached my 66th birthday, and I officially started Social Security. I intend to stay with Maxwell's as long as I can contribute.