Happy birthday, dear Bill… Happy birthday to you!

Hey, Bill. This isn’t the post we originally planned for your birthday. We’d planned a “story” post… but then, on Sunday, you commented, saying: “…I am such a water baby, especially at this time of year!” So — we thought we’d shift gears and do a “water” post for our “birthday water baby.” Hope you enjoy the pics, babe, and we hope tomorrow will be your healthiest, happiest (and wettest) birthday ever. Thanks for being one of our dearest friends for a long, long time. WE LOVE YOU. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Beach bums!

In response to our recent “Snow bunnies” post, our Buddy, Denny commented, saying:
“Sooo, with all that in mind, could we maybe someday soon, have the counterpart to this post and see a post with a lot of hot naked dudes, sunning themselves in the warm soft sands of tropical beaches around the world?”
With an “ice-palooza” currently in process here in the Northland (and expected to get worse tomorrow), we thought some naked guys in the sun, on a beach sounded wonderful. Here you go, babe. Hope these dudes will warm you and Dave up on a cold, winter night!

Back home from the beach… and back on the blog.

From David:
Well, guys. We’re back. It’s a long story, so I’ll start this… and let Ben finish it later.
About two months ago, we met a gay couple at our Church (down on the Country Club Plaza). Their names are Damien (age 36) and Tyler (40). four years – and married for about 18 months. They’re in the process of adopting a boy named Austin who just turned five and is a sweet (but severely withdrawn) little guy. It’s a terrible story – but we’re pretty sure it’ll have a happy ending.
Damien and Tyler have been foster-parenting Austin for a little over a year. They’re his third foster placement. Austin’s mother was reportedly a drug-addict/prostitute – and claims she doesn’t know who the father is. She said she named him “Austin” because that’s where she lived when he was born. Based on his appearance, his father was almost certainly hispanic but that’s all that’s known. At some point, the mother came to Kansas City – was on welfare – and apparently had a series of live-in boyfriends – the last of whom physically abused Austin. When he was finally taken from his mother by child protective services, he had a broken arm and cigarette burns on his back. The mother is presently in prison on a drug conviction and has had her parental rights involuntarily terminated.
Of course, we were horrified when Tyler and Damien told us the story… but Tyler says no action can be taken against the mother, and “It just is – what it is.” He – and other members of his firm – are doing everything possible to get the adoption finalized… and he and Damien are working really hard to provide a safe, happy, loving home.
When Austin and Dub met, something just “clicked” and they instantly became “buds.” Ty and Damien tell us that the first time they ever heard Austin laugh was when he and Dub were playing together one afternoon. We’ve all become friends – and a few weeks ago, the guys asked us if we’d like to go on vacation with them. They own an ocean-front condo near Panama City Beach, FL and were planning to go there for a week. Ben and I talked about it and thought it sounded fun… so we asked Dub if he’d like to do it. He was excited, so we accepted their offer and started making plans. Ty and Damien were planning to fly to Panama City – but Ben thought it could be a fun “road trip.” So, we told the guys we were going to drive. When Austin heard we were driving, he wanted to go with us – so, we ended up with the four of us spending three days on a scenic, leisurely drive to Florida. Our trip was only possible because of our amazing friends, Keon and Rick. They stayed here with the dogs while we were gone – and Keon kept my office running by answering calls and doing the necessary paperwork. They’re the BEST!!
I’m going to stop here – and let Ben finish this later. For now, I’ll just say we had a wonderful vacation – that it was good to get away for a while – and it’s great to be back home now. We’ve read your comments while we were away and appreciate your patience as we took some time off to “get our batteries re-charged.”
From Ben:
I’ll probably make this short, since David has told you about most of what we’ve been doing. When we got to Panama City Beach – and settled into the condo (NICE, 3 BR, 3 Bath, beachfront) the boys wanted to go swimming – so we did. In fact, we went swimming every day we were there. One day, we joined a group and took a boat out to an island for some “shelling,” and the boys really enjoyed that. Also, we must have eaten a TON of seafood while we were in Florida. Altogether, it was a fun, totally relaxing (non-sexual) seven days at the beach… after which David, Dub and I drove home (Austin flew back with his dads) and we made the return trip in two days).
Ty and Damien have had Austin tested and been told he’s “L.D.” I spent a lot of time with the boys while on vacation and I question whether he’s really “learning disabled.” I say that because of the interest he showed during our night-time reading sessions, the way he studied the sea shells we collected, and his general “brightness.” He can be pretty severely withdrawn at times, but I think with the right teachers and help from his dads he’ll be fine. One night while we were reading “Green Eggs and Ham,” he pointed to the scar on my forearm and asked “What’s that?” I told him I’d had my arm broken when I was in an accident. He said, “Look this,” and showed me a similar scar on his arm. I asked him if he had a cast on it and he said he did. I made a silly face and said, “Boy, it was real stinky when they took my cast off.” He flashed me a big smile and said, BAD STINKY!” The little dude has been through a whole lot of ugliness – and I’m sure it’ll take years in a strong, loving environment for him to recover.
We really enjoyed spending time with Ty and Damien, and I know we’ll continue to be good friends. I also know we’ll never be close friends like we are with Keon and Rick. That’s a different deal. I don’t know how to explain it, but Keon and Rick are like best friends and family and lovers and soul-mates and Dub’s “Uncas”… and like that.
Anyway, we’re all really tired- the dogs are glad we’re home and Dub’s plants survived his absence.
I just re-read your comments while we’ve been away and we appreciate your thoughts and patience with us. We just really needed a break, and now
we’re looking forward to getting back to posting. Please remember – we love you guys!