Category: Carley (Page 1 of 11)

Bad Day to Be a Tree

I was sitting at their kitchen table early Saturday morning, drinking my Diet Dr Pepper and reading about the Mavericks’ Game Four blowout, when my son-in-law Collin came around the corner and proclaimed, “It’s a bad day to be a tree!”

Carrie-Anne and I were visiting Carley and Collin at their home in Flower Mound as part of a longer trip to see my parents in East Texas. My three siblings and our spouses all met up in Liberty City Friday to surprise our folks with a barbecue lunch to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary. The mini-vacation turned into a work trip when, three weeks ago, the incessant rains and windstorms in DFW took out a massive tree cluster in Carley and Collin’s back yard.








There were five trees growing out of one massive stump in the corner of their yard where their property meets their neighbors’. Each of the trees had been growing since the early ’80s and were between 30-40 feet tall. The saturated ground finally turned them loose, destroying three fence posts and two sections of fence panel and ripping out a main sprinkler system line. One of the trees landed in the neighbors yard, one took out another fence post and two more panels, two fell into their massive Magnolia tree, and one rested against the corner of their house.








Collin and I took it all down and out on Saturday with a 14-inch chainsaw and a machete. We only suffered two “mishaps” and one near-death experience. The scariest part was getting on and off their roof with only a six-foot step ladder. The fun part was bonding together over our shared tree-annihilating prowess. The longest part was the clean-up. Carrie-Anne and Carley joined us to haul every bit of it to the front curb where the City of Flower Mound assures us it’ll be picked up soon.

Following a brief recovery and some cold showers, we ate a wonderful dinner together at Mi Cocina at The Star in Frisco and then took in the RoughRiders game at the Frisco ballpark. The RoughRiders were hosting the Amarillo Sod Poodles, so C-A and I embraced our mixed loyalties and enjoyed the whole experience.








We were especially blessed to worship with Collin and Carley at their church in Flower Mound Sunday morning before they treated me to my favorite Father’s Day lunch: the Buffalo chicken tenders at Cheddar’s.

It was a beautiful weekend all the way around. Fabulous. For everybody except that tree.


If I were still making predictions about the NBA Finals, I’d say something about how the Celtics don’t have any pressure on them tonight in Game Five. Sure, the Mavs exploded Friday and destroyed Boston in Dallas, finally looking like the team that breezed through the first three rounds. Yes, Luka set the tone by refusing to complain to the refs and by embracing his defensive responsibilities and the rest of the team followed. Absolutely, it looks like the Mavs have finally figured it out. But it’s too late. Dallas can’t win four straight. Jayson Tatum admitted as much yesterday, saying something like, “It would be nice to close this out at home, but we don’t have to win Monday. Monday is not a must win. We only have to win one of the next three. There’s no pressure on us.”

Okay. There’s no pressure on either team tonight. Boston is expected to win to complete the “Gentlemen’s Sweep,” and Dallas is expected to lose the series, if not tonight, then certainly on Thursday.

But what if the Mavericks win a close one tonight? It’s possible, especially if Porzingas is not out there for the Celtics. Everything is clicking now for Dallas in their last five quarters. Kyrie has found his shot. Gafford and Lively have found the rim. Luka is not messing around. There’s an energy now they were really lacking in the first two-and-a-half games. What if they win tonight?

Now, it’s 3-2 and the series shifts back to Dallas and ALL the pressure is on Boston. The Celtics CAN’T lose Game Six because that would force a Game Seven and NOBODY wants a Game Seven because anything can happen in a Game Seven. If this thing comes back to Dallas, who is the pressure on? Not Dallas!

If I were still making predictions, I’d pick the Celtics in a tight one tonight to win their record 18th NBA championship. But if Dallas wins tonight, nobody’s trusting anybody’s predictions anymore.

Go Mavs.


Cry Eagles Cry

The Cowboys demolished the Eagles at AT&T Stadium Sunday night and I was there to see it all. Our good friends, Stan and Kelly Conley, have season tickets and they graciously drug us along to what may be the defining win for Dallas this season. It was the Cowboys’ first victory over a team that currently has a winning record, it was the first time in years the Philly offense was held without a touchdown, it put the Cowboys into a tie for first place in the NFC East, and it was a blowout. It makes me wonder what organ Mike McCarthy is going to have removed this week.

This was the first Cowboys game for Carrie-Anne at the new stadium — she’s been to two or three college games there — and she gave it everything she had for the full three hours. In fact, when I received a text from a friend asking where I was sitting so he could look for me on TV, I replied, “I’m on the 30-yard-line, behind the Cowboys bench, ten rows up, sitting next to a crazy lady waving a towel.”

For Cowboys fans, there was plenty to be waving towels about. Dallas scored on just about every possession, their outstanding kicker outscored the Philly offense by himself, and the Dallas defense held the Eagles to zero touchdowns. It was the kind of signature win that’s been missing from the Cowboys 2023 portfolio. But this was a no-doubter. From the moment Philadelphia won the coin toss and chose to give the ball to the Cowboys at home, I felt like I was in trouble. That’s a bad call. And the Eagles never recovered.

We had a blast. Our youngest daughter, Carley, drove down from Flower Mound to meet us for a pre-game dinner at Pappasito’s.  We’re next. They kept assuring us we were next. Stan kept us laughing and everyone around us wondering with his off the wall comments. You can’t ask the waitress at Pappasito’s if they sell hot dogs. You can’t ask the ticket taker at the season-ticket holders VIP parking lot if they take cash. You can’t be wearing Cowboys gear and approach three other people in Cowboys gear in the airport the next morning if they went to the game and, when they say “yes,” then ask, “do you know who won?” You can’t. But Stan can.

I giggled at Michael Irvin’s pre-game hype speech on the giant video board. I gave Too Tall Jones a personal standing ovation when he was introduced during the first quarter. I expressed to anyone who would listen my righteous disdain for the Cowboys color-rush all-white uniforms. We all took turns imitating Dak’s “Here we go!” with various levels of success and attention from those near us. I marveled at Brandon Aubrey’s 59 and 60 yard field goals that would have been good from another ten yards out. I shook my head in disgust at the valuable piece of the puzzle Jake Ferguson is becoming. I kept waiting for McCarthy to do something really dumb — he never did. And I realized that my season prediction for this Cowboys team is in some serious jeopardy.






The only way they finish 10-7 is if they lose all of the last four games of the season. At Buffalo, at Miami, against the Lions at home, and then at Washington. If any team could find a way to lose four straight, it would be the Cowboys, especially with three of them on the road. But I’m losing hope. I needed Dallas to lose Sunday night. And they looked as good as they’ve looked all year against a really good opponent.

If Dallas gets that 11th regular season win in the next four weeks, I’m going to have to buy Danny and Claire Brock dinner at the Wall Street Grill. He keeps texting me the menu, zoomed in on the appetizers.



The Kids are Alright

For the first time since they got married with eleven days notice back in July, Carrie-Anne and I flew to Nashville last week to spend three days and nights with our youngest daughter Carley and her new husband Collin. To those who have asked, they’re doing great. And we had a blast.







Collin and Carley live in a really nice 18th story condo in a downtown Nashville high rise right smack dab in the middle of everything. From their living room window you can see the Tennessee Titans stadium on the banks of the Cumberland River four blocks away. On the other side, four blocks outside their front door, is Bridgestone Arena where the NHL’s Predators play and where the CMA’s were held the evening we arrived. They’re three blocks away from the historic Ryman Auditorium and two blocks off rowdy Broadway Street where the night life goes late and loud. For a couple of kids in their 20s, I’m not sure you could find a cooler place to live.







Collin is the content director at CBS Sports’ 24/7 headquarters in Nashville in the old CMT building downtown, three  blocks from their apartment. Collin graciously allowed me to tag along Thursday morning as he Zoomed with other CBS Sports producers, sharing content and planning the day’s tapings and broadcasts. I sat in the control room as Collin supervised a couple of in-studio college football segments previewing the weekend’s biggest games. It’s all TV and live-streaming, not radio, and the technology is so much more sophisticated than when I was in the business twenty years ago. But I did feel the bug start to nibble a little bit, especially when I disagreed with the analysis of one of their hosts.






We did a ton while we were there – they showed us a really great time. We saw the capitol grounds, the Vanderbilt campus, the Nashville Sounds’ super nice Triple-A ballpark, and the creepy 41-foot-tall statue of Athena inside the Parthenon. We toured Ryman Auditorium, went Duckpin bowling, ate on the balcony at Prince’s Hot Chicken, and took in the revelry on the roof at Jason Aldean’s place right after the CMA’s. We hung out at 6th and Peabody, where Carley works, and met some of her friends. And we ate and ate and ate. And talked and laughed. And reminded Carley that she’s off the health insurance and the car insurance December 1.

They got married and moved so far away so quickly, it doesn’t seem real to me most of the time. If I’m not careful, I can still think of Carley as being away at school or on a long trip and she’ll be home soon. Well, she’s home. And it’s in Nashville. And they’re doing great.



Two Years Gone

Two years ago today the news crawled across the bottom of my screen. I immediately called our youngest daughter Carley and listened to her voice mail message for about two seconds before she texted me: “I know. I’m in class.”

His stripes adorn my laptop. His poster I bought from the Mesquite Sound Warehouse when I was 16 hangs in my garage. And his music lives deep inside my soul.

Eddie Van Halen. Tough day.

Birthday Bear

When you eat cheesecake for breakfast, I’m not sure how you improve on your day from there. That sets a pretty high bar, man. Nowhere to go but downhill. But that feels very typical for our youngest daughter, Carley, who turns 23 today. How else would she celebrate than with cheesecake and Starbucks?

Carley and Collin are watching college football on a rainy day inside their 18th floor apartment in downtown Nashville. And I’m missing our little bear. We didn’t have enough time to prepare for their wedding and subsequent move to Tennessee – it happened too fast. I still feel like Carley is away at school or on a trip with friends and she’ll be back with us here in Midland in a few weeks.

But then I’m jolted back into reality when I talk to Carley and Collin on speakerphone. They’re married. They both love their jobs. They both love exploring their new surroundings in a really fun big city.  They’re doing great. And we’re so proud and happy for them both.

I love you, Carley. I know you’re having a fabulous birthday weekend. And we can’t wait to see you soon in your new digs.



I’m not sure how we did it but, with just eleven days notice, we managed to get Carley and Collin married in a beautiful ceremony Wednesday night in Rockwall. The wedding chapel was perfect, the restaurant was incredibly accommodating, the food was terrific, and the cheesecakes were over-the-top marvelous. The families from both sides all made it in time to witness and participate in Collin and Carley tying the knot. And now we’ve got two daughters married and living outside the Republic.








The ceremony was surprisingly emotional – they’re both crybabies. And funny – Carley dropped Collin’s ring and it bounced and rolled all over the hardwood floor as I was making my opening remarks. The families made promises to the bride and groom before Carley and Collin made their solemn vows to each other.  And the newly married couple walked out of the chapel to Aerosmith’s “Under My Skin.”








Carley and Collin, you two do love each other. That’s very clear. You both put the other first. You protect each other and care for each other. You both have a strong sense of purpose together and you’re focused.

Carley, you make Collin’s life more organized. And cleaner. And everyone who knows him thanks you. You encourage him and support him in the exact times and places he needs it most. You build him up and give him strength. You make him better.

Collin, you call Carley out when she’s being dramatic. And that’s a full-time job. You take care of her and serve her selflessly. You are carefully sensitive to her and to her circumstances. You’ve learned how to compromise with Carley and you’ve figured out how to resolve issues with her – by buying her ice cream at night. Almost every night. You make her better.

You’re both very passionate, active, and driven. Together, you’re going to be an unstoppable force.






May the love of God guide your marriage relationship and all your relationships. May the blessings of heaven crown your marriage with increasing joy and peace. And may your hearts and your lives be forever united by the grace and love of our Lord.



« Older posts