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Chris Fabry
Married to Andrea since 1982. We have 9 children together and none apart. Our dog's name is Tebow.
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After finding and remediating mold twice in our Colorado home, we abandoned ship in October 2008. Because of the high levels of exposure, our entire family was affected. After months of seeing different specialists for all of the problems, we came to Arizona to begin comprehensive treatment to rid our bodies of the toxic buildup. In August 2009 we moved into a larger home, four bedrooms, south of Tucson, north of Mexico. I am doing my daily radio program/ writing from that location. Thanks for praying for us. We really feel it.

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011
I did something yesterday I never thought I'd do. I took a set of 5 contracts to the bank to have notarized. A young man, probably in his mid-20s, invited me to sit down and sign where all the sticky labels said, "Sign here."

"Is this a real estate deal?" the young man asked.

"No, it's an option contract for a book I wrote." Whatever that means. I have no idea. They tell me it means some day in the future a movie might be made of my book, June Bug. It's taken more than a year just to get the contract signed. I can't imagine how long it would take to write the script and hire actors. And then you have to order coffee and cater the movie set. I could be old and washed up by then. But signing the contract was exciting. I never dreamed anyone would be interested in making a movie out of something I wrote.

Wait. That's not true. I've dreamed it about everything I've ever written. I dream they'll make a movie out of my grocery lists. I just never thought the opportunity would come. And here I was, in my shorts and Ohio State hat, in my hour of triumph.

"Cool," the teenager with the notary stamp said. "Are you retired?"

I stared at him, too dumbfounded to answer. When I gathered my wits I said, "No, I work every day. I write every day." Retired? I had my two youngest with me. Did he think they were my grandkids? Retired? I should have whacked him with my cane. Whippersnapper.

My father's birthday is today. He's 91. He's retired. He uses a walker now. He was 41 when I was born. You can do the math.

I signed the pages and explained the book's plot. He was so interested he forgot to stamp one of the contracts. So I handed it back to him and then put a gold star on it when he finished. And gave him a red sucker from the counter. He was excited.

Retired? I'm not even 50. (For those who can't do the math.)

My wife, later, suggested that because we live near a military installation there are people who are retired at younger ages, which makes sense, but I didn't have the heart to ask her if she thought I looked like a retired military man. General Patton didn't have all this sagging skin and underdeveloped muscles.

Maybe I need a haircut. That's what it is. When it gets longer, it looks more gray. It ages me. If I could only find my bifocals to read the phone number of the local Supercuts.


Maybe the next time I get my dentures resized or have that prostate exam I can ask them to give me a trim.


You've heard of laughing all the way to the bank. This was the opposite. I was limping away, weeping. Gnashing the teeth I have left. Just to show him I drove straight to FedEx but couldn't remember why I was there. Lucky I had my grandsons with me.


FreeCellPenguin said...

I feel your pain, Chris... or maybe it's my own aches and pains I'm feeling, since we're the same glorious age! There's one store I often stop at on my day off (Monday) that has "Senior Discount Day" on Mondays. Most cashiers ask for ID, but there's one who always gives me the Senior Discount... I keep telling myself I'm not going to shop there on Mondays any more... it's too discouraging to have somebody think I'm 55.. but then again, the discount is nice...

Jamie said...

This was awesome. I'm still chuckling. I just had to get bifocals and my daughters and sister (who by the way is eight years younger than me) were more than happy to point out that mom has bifocals!! Gee thanks.
I read Dogwood and June Bug and enjoyed them both very much. I look forward to the movie with great anticipation!
PS. Sorry for any typing errors my bifocals aren't focaling very well..........

Lori said...

How exciting! June Bug would make a great movie. Hope it happens soon. But I want a movie on Dogwood too!

This was a super funny post!

Scott Borg said...

Maybe he thought you were retired from professional baseball - "June Bug - a memoir of a Chicago Cub"

Leatha said...

I sit here reading your blog and laughing yet at the same time I feel your pain.
I am 47 my husband had heart surgery last April.
I was at the hospital had no makeup on really didn't care what i looked like because my husband just had heart surgery.
A friend of mine came to the hospital saw me and my sister and asked me was she my daughter. I think my mouth must have hung open because all my life people have told me i look ten years younger than i am. My sister is 3 years older than I .
It took me a few weeks to get over that one. But I did.


Sue Webb said...

Only you could make a trip to the bank sound intresting. I love reading your stuff, no matter what it is.

Donnamo said...

Aawww....Chris Retired is Good....!!! You'll see :)

I think the movie deal should include a sequel and a prequel :)

Keep Writing Buddy!

Warren Baldwin said...

I can relate to this post. I'm 51, just came out with my first book, have two kids in college and one at home. And what is retirement?

Meghan Carver said...

Isn't it amazing the assumptions people make? I was only 32 years old with two daughters ages three and one when a cashier asked me if I was their grandmother. I was shocked. Now I am 41 with six children, ages one month to 11 years, and a big gray streak in my hair, and no one asks. Maybe they think they don't have to ask . . . .

Dan D'Aurelio said...

I'm ten years your senior and I describe myself as 5/7 retired. I'm TIRED. Regarding gray hair, my barber says, "If it's gray, it will stay". After raising five daughters, I feel blessed to just have hair, no matter the color.
God bless.

Kim said...

Chris.. You have the same funny wit you had in high school, and I am sure the same charm. My favorite part of this blog is you handing HIM the red sucker!!

You remember being 20 something. Anyone above 35 was suspect.

Retired? You still are unsure of how you have nine kids.. lol You're not old enough to retire. :)

fauna2097 said...

Yes Dad. Definitely one of your best blogs. One question...Were you wearing your brown Carhartt shirt or your grey Carhartt shirt?

Debbie said...

I can relate. I'm a mom of four. I gave birth at ages 36, 38, 41 & 43. I've had people assume I was their grandmother since they were little. I would try to avoid embarassing the person who would asked if they were my grandchildren by saying with pride "no they are all mine". It seemed to work. Now I'm 54 and no one asks me that question anymore.