Bruce Ham 81 results

Frippin’ Termites

I was determined.  I knew it wasn’t my gift set, but what was I to do? Over the past six months, my mailbox has slowly shown signs of its demise.  After work, I’d walk to the street and pull down its lip.  Day by day it became shakier; clearly rotten wood near the ground. Each time I’d approach, I would cross my fingers.  Let her live one more day, I’d beg the mailbox god.  But one Friday afternoon, I pulled, and she fell – smack dab on Dellwood Drive.  My J Crew catalog ...

Last First Day

I don’t cook these ideas up on my own.  They usually start as a small seed and then, the fam tends to play off each other and sim sala bim:  magic! I have been a parent at St. Timothy’s School for 14 years, and actually, Lisa worked there before we had children.  Our family’s history there goes back to 1994.  This year, Michelle, my youngest, is an eighth grader.  When she graduates, we all graduate. There are some pluses to this forward movement: No more BINGO night!  ...

Musical Memories

Several months ago, DJ texted me to inform me that the Dixie Chicks were playing at Walnut Creek Amphitheater in Raleigh on the night that she and Stephanie would be returning home from overnight camp.  I don’t think she asked me to buy tickets; she told me. I know a ton of their songs, but perhaps the most widely acclaimed, Wide Open Spaces, was released in 1998.  That was a year after DJ was born.  It was also around the time that we purchased a brand new forest green Honda Odyssey ...

Oh to be thirteen…

I can’t  believe that I was once one of them:  a middle school boy. Two weeks ago I chaperoned our church middle school mission trip.  The three adults sat with our youth on the front row of the church the Sunday that we departed.  Late in the service, we all stood up front so the minister could “commission” our group which includes a charge to spread Christ’s love throughout the world. We were all wearing shorts that day, ready to depart at noon. Mid point in the service, ...

What’s My Role?

I had the opportunity to chaperone our middle school youth group’s trip to Asheville, NC, this past week.  Asheville Youth Mission is a Christian organization that coordinates service opportunities for groups throughout the year in and around their mountain town.  We took 13 teenagers and experienced six mission placements in a week. We worked at Manna Food Bank where Michelle, four other kids and I “got” to rip open hundreds of mesh bags full of rotten, slimy okra and toss them into ...

Secret Service Daddy

We bought our house in 1994, about 7 months after we got married.  It was built in 1955 and had, for the most part, been updated since. After we moved in, my grandmother gave us $1,000 to help with home improvements.  My mom strongly suggested we immediately invest in a home alarm system, because she thinks that most criminals are aggressively targeting our family at all times. I pondered my options – toilets that would flush or alarm; air conditioner that would pump out cool air ...

Where is Uncle Hayes?

For those of you who have followed my blog from the beginning, you will recall that Lisa's brother, Uncle Hayes, was a major part of our life the first few years after she died.  He was instrumental in healing our family as well as in helping to logistically keep things going. Over the past year or two, folks have asked me where Uncle Hayes has gone.  He is still in Raleigh and actually has a number of plates spinning.  Below is an interview with Hayes from Raleigh Philosophical ...

Where did all the sandspurs go?

This coming Saturday is a busy day for the Hams. At around 4 AM, I drop DJ off at the Raleigh-Durham airport.  She’s going to Durbin, South Africa, with her aunt.  A once in a lifetime experience that she will experience... at age 19. At 9, I pick Michelle up from Camp Kanata, an overnight camp where she will have spent the week with one of her best friends.  She was stoked when I dropped her off last Sunday. At 3, I drop Stephanie off for four weeks at Camp Seafarer on the ...

Watch Where You Step

Last Sunday I was headed toward a church service in town for an afternoon funeral.  A long time Y volunteer and former member of my church had passed away.  She was a good woman. I had to park several blocks away and was finishing up a phone call as I neared the sanctuary. I noticed a couple behind me, so I stepped onto the grass in front of the handsome, wooden double doors that led into the service. I sort of paced a bit as the conversation was serious.  At 2:55, I hung ...

Empire Strikes Back

Our family plays a great game on vacation.  We learned it a year or two ago from friends when at our August jaunt to Capon Springs.  It’s called Empire. We played at the beach last week.  The beautiful thing about the game is that it can be played by my 5-year-old niece and by Lisa’s 70 something-year-old uncle who suffers from Parkinson’s. It takes no equipment, simply 8 or 10 or however many people. Each player chooses the name of a famous person and secretly shares it ...