A wonderful birthday – a fabulous 4th – and a new “neighbor.”

Hey, guys. It’s Ben. It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted, but we’re back home now and ready to get back to “real life.” Much to tell you about our trip to the lake to celebrate my birthday and the 4th of July.
First, Thank you for your birthday wishes. I’ve replied to each individually, but they’re on the previous post and I know comments sometimes get overlooked. THANK YOU for your thoughts and good wishes!
This post is kind of in response to questions David and I get from time-to-time about the difference in our ages. People will say things like “Is your age difference a problem?” or “Do you ever think you’d be happier with someone your ‘own age’?” The answer to those questions is always “No.” It’s really this simple… David and I love each other, we have a wonderful life together.. and could’t possibly be happier. A few years’ age difference is the least important thing in the world as far as we’re concerned. It’s strange to us that people don’t have a problem with our being a gay couple… but our age difference seems to bother them. Enough about that.
It really was a wonderful birthday at the lake. Everyone was there, except Ty, Damien and Austin. They went to Houston to spend the holiday with Ty’s family. It seems now that his father is “gone,” the rest of the family wants to include them in their lives. We’ve talked with Ty several times this past week and he says things are going well down there.
The 4th was a huge party. Rick, Keon, Travon, Cal, Alex and Izzie stayed with us (along with our pups, Max and Cookie). We were pretty crowded but we’re all friends and it worked fine. Because of the fireworks, the dogs mostly stayed in the storm shelter enjoying the cool and quiet. On the 4th (my birthday) we were joined by Jim and Carol, Rick’s brother Chad (and his VERY pregnant wife), plus Cal’s parents. Denise and Scott were really bummed because they couldn’t get a condo or other rental anywhere on the lake (because of the holiday) so they made it a day-trip from the Northland.
We had another interesting person at the party. On Wednesday morning, David got a call from a “Carlton B” who owns the third home on our little lake cove. He had talked with Jim and gotten our phone numbers. He wanted to meet with us “if we had a few minutes to spare.” So, David and I excused ourselves and went over to his place. We’d only seen his “cabin” from the dock until then. Turns out, it’s quite a bit smaller than either our house or Jim and Carol’s – and hasn’t been cared for very well. It’s a nice little cabin but needs some serious paint, repairs and t.l.c. “Carlton” explained to us that he and his wife aren’t in very good health and live in Wisconsin now (where their two daughters live) He said they haven’t spent any time at Table Rock for “the past 3 or 4 years.” Long story short, he said they want to sell their cabin and Jim had recommended he talk to us because “Jim says you’re the best people he’s ever known and completely trustworthy.” He wanted to know if we’d be interested in buying their cabin. We told him that wouldn’t work for us financially, but invited him over for dinner. He seemed pleased and said he’d be there. After we finished swimming and skiing and wake boarding, we came back to the cabin and started making dinner. Keon cranked up the pitchers of margaritas and David grilled bacon-wrapped filets while the rest of us made a big salad and fixed corn on the cob. We had brought some of Dub’s ears of corn from home and Jim brought over some “roasting ears.” Of course, there was a big debate about whose corn was better – but it was all delicious. Carol brought a huge angel food cake with fresh strawberries and (real) whipped cream for dessert.
Anyway, we’d told everyone Carlton was planning to sell their cabin, and Cal and Alex wanted to see it. Long story short, Carlton said he would sell it for its’ “appraised price” and Denise and Scott are going to buy it. It’ll be Cal and Alex’s cabin and they’ll make monthly payment to Denise and Scott.
So…… it was another wonderful week at the lake. We didn’t get home until Sunday afternoon and it’ll take us a few days to get rested up. We hope all of you had a safe and happy holiday. We love you.
Ben and David

Happy daddies’ day, daddies!

About seven this morning, David and I woke with Dub jumping in our bed yelling, “Happy daddies day… Happy daddies day!” The dogs were barking like crazy, of course… and when we finally got our eyes open, Dub shoved a gift bag in each of our hands, saying “Open ’em… open ’em!” So we did. Each gift bag had a home-made Fathers’ day card signed by Dub (we later found out Ms Pam had helped the kids make cards last week at day care). After we’d read our cards, we opened our gifts and each found a “World’s best dad” tee shirt – mine red and David’s blue. We slipped them on and Dub was just beaming. We hugged and kissed him and told him how much we liked the shirts. He said “Unca Keon and I ordered ’em on the computer – and Unca Keon used his credit card… but I gave him ten dollars of my own money to pay for ’em. He’s gonna give the money to the bank, so he’ll be even.”
I plan to wear my shirt until it’s totally worn out – then I’ll save what’s left forever. I’m gonna try my best to be exactly what it says – and I’m sure David will do the same.
While I’m thinking about it, this is a good time to wish Denny and Fred and the other members of our URD family who are daddies a happy Fathers’ Day. We love you guys!

Ooh, Daddy!!

We had a comment from “Jim in Austin, TX,” saying:
“Hey, guys…..LOVE LOVE LOVE the blog! Howzabout some Daddy themed posts? Haven’t seen one here in quite a while.”
Then, our buddy “Jingle” said, “Ooh, can I second Jim’s awesome request?!?!”
So, we check our “Daddies” folders and thought you guys might like these. Hope these generational gems are what you have in mind!

I mentioned earlier that Rick had given Dub a “boston fern” for Christmas. Dub was sort of confused by the gift until Rick told him it was a living thing that needed food and water and love and attention. So, we put it in his room next to a window and Dub thought it was pretty cool.
Today, after he got home from day care, Dub asked me if I would help him move some furniture in his room. I was surprised… but said, “Sure.” So, we went to his room and he wanted to move his desk (where the plant was sitting) away from the window. We changed places with his desk and printer stand… and he said, “That’s good. She’ll be happier there. She said she didn’t like direct sun.” At first, I had no idea how to react… but I finally said, “Dub. Are you saying the plant talks to you?” He looked puzzled… and said, “No. She doesn’t talk. I just kind of hear her sometimes.” I thought about talking more about it – but had no idea what to say… so I just let the subject drop.
Later, I told David about it. He said, “That’s strange. Maybe we should talk with Rick. It’s probably just Dub’s imagination, but it really does seem odd.”