Browsing Tag: family


    The Secret to a Long Marriage

    September 12, 2008

    mom and dadMy mom and dad were married 55 years ago today — September 12, 1953.

    55 FREAKIN’ YEARS!!!!!

    I’m sure someday Cari and I will celebrate our 55th wedding anniversary but, at the moment, 55 years of being married borders on being unbelievable. It’s unheard of. Many marriages are lucky to last five years, much less 55.

    When I was visiting them earlier this year, we talked about this accomplishment. As children are wont to do, I wanted to find out how they made it happen. How do you survive 55 years of being married to one person? I asked my mom for some insight, something I could use to help make sure Cari and I survive that long. I asked her … What’s the secret to a long marriage?

    Her answer:

    We never both wanted to get divorced at the same time!

    Ha! Amen to that. And now you know their secret, too. It’s good advice, especially for those of you who recently married.

    Happy 55th to my mom and dad! Here’s to many more…


    We Got the Dog

    July 5, 2008


    Originally uploaded by Matt McGee

    Meet Sparky.

    Sparky might have a new name soon, because some family members apparently aren’t sold on that moniker. We chose it because we brought Sparky home on the 4th of July, and things like “firework” and “M-80” don’t sound right, and “firecracker” takes too long to say. I like the name Sparky. Seems to fit him. And U2 fans might even know the subtle U2 reference in the name, too. (Shhhhhh.)

    Anyway, Sparky is the greatest dog in the world.

    Sparky waited the entire drive home (about 15 minutes) before jumping out of the car, going into the backyard, and taking care of business. Way to hold it, Spark!

    Sparky loves his (fairly) big backyard and doesn’t seem at all like the type of dog to try digging a hole under the fence.

    Sparky obeys lots of commands. He stops whatever he’s doing when you say “no.” “Sit” and “lie down” mean the same thing — namely, get down and roll over and show my belly so they’ll scratch me and I’ll like it. Sparky still needs some work on “come here” and “go get it/fetch.” I’m not sure he realizes that he’s a retriever.

    Sparky survived his first night sleeping in a new crate/house at a strange house, with strange people, with fireworks and firecrackers going off all night long, and didn’t have any problems at all. No barking, no crying, no trouble sleeping. (Sparky is a first-class sleeper.)

    Sparky came bounding across the yard first thing this morning when I went outside to see him.

    Sparky likes to chase ants and flies, and eats those roly-poly bugs whenever he finds one.

    Sparky is going to be an outdoor dog because Mrs. McGee gets eaten alive by fleas, and already got two bites yesterday while playing with Sparky. We’ll bring Sparky in to sleep when it gets really cold in the winter. (When flea season is long since finished.)

    Mom and Dad love Sparky to death. Son does, too, but is a bit hesitant with him. Daughter is glad we have Sparky, but won’t get anywhere near him.


    A New Family Member?

    July 3, 2008

    Strange how things sometimes work out.

    For months, I’ve been pushing and pushing to get a dog. But Cari (my wife) wasn’t on the same page — she certainly didn’t want a dog, and didn’t want any pet, for that matter. Plus, I couldn’t get my son to agree to be in charge of cleaning up the dog’s messes. And my daughter … well, she was opposed because dogs like to lick, and she doesn’t like that.

    A couple days ago, Cari comes home and tells me that one of her fellow real estate agents found a stray puppy that needs a home, and how they’ve put up “Dog Found” signs all over the neighborhood but no one has claimed the puppy. My son wants the dog right away, and even agrees to be in charge of cleaning up after it. His enthusiasm somehow changes Cari’s mind and she’s suddenly interested in the dog. Our daughter … not quite there yet.

    So we get some photos this morning from the other real estate agent (who’s housing the dog until they find a permanent home). My wife says she’s in love with the dog. My son only wants him even more. And even my daughter admits, “He’s really cute!” Here’s one of the pix:


    He is adorable, but now I’m the one who’s not sure. What if he’s not healthy? What if he destroys the sofa? What if he ruins the carpet? What if he bites one of us? What if he doesn’t like it here? Plus, taking care of a dog can get expensive.

    I don’t know. We’ll be visiting the dog tomorrow morning to see it in person. I have a feeling we’ll be bringing him home. Oddly enough, I’m way outnumbered at this point. Better start thinking of a name……


    Vacation Photos Galore

    May 26, 2008

    One of the great things about Web 2.0 is that it’s now kinda cool to sit down and share vacation photos with friends — not like back in the old days when you’d sit in the living room and go through slide-by-slide while Grandma or somebody tries to explain every little detail in the photo. Save me from that torture!

    Now, you can cruise through pix and see what you want, leave comments on the photos you want to, mark some as favorites, etc. Or you could ignore them altogether and make me sad. 🙁

    I think this might be my favorite shot from the Philly/NYC trip earlier this month:

    Cradle of Liberty

    That’s a somewhat artsy-fartsy shot of Independence Hall. Turned out well, and a little messing with the exposure makes it more interesting (to me). If you’re curious to see more, the full set of 39 photos is on Flickr now.

    You can see my son at Yankee Stadium, and some good action shots from the game we saw. Or maybe the room where the Declaration of Independence was debated in Philly, plus the very moving Tomb of the Unknown Revolutionary War Soldier with its eternal flame. We also took the kids to see my grade school and the all-boys high school I attended — kinda like the school in Dead Poet’s Society, but ours wasn’t a boarding school.


    Edward J. ‘Ned’ McGann, 1936-2008

    March 14, 2008
    Ned McGann & Cari McGee

    My father-in-law died in the wee hours this morning. He was 71. I didn’t really get a chance to say goodbye to him….

    Dear Grandpa Ned,

    I trust there’s a good Internet connection in Heaven, and that you now have automatic RSS feeds from all your family and friends. So here are a few things I need to tell you.

    You were a great father-in-law. I feel so bad for people that hate their in-laws. I’ve been blessed with wonderful in-laws that have become family to me over 16+ years of marriage.

    You were a great Dad. You raised a wonderful girl, and two sons with big hearts. Good people all around. You grilled me when I called for permission to marry your daughter, not because you doubted me, but because you love her so much. I hope you think you made the right choice when you said “yes.”

    You had a great sense of humor, but came up with the worst puns and one-liners ever. I’ll never hear another terrible pun without thinking of you. 🙂 In fact, bad jokes are usually referred to as “Ned jokes” in our house. Worst of all, I’ve started picking up your sense of humor. My poor kids…..

    You were an amazing grandfather. Not because you gave our kids nice gifts, but because you gave them your time. I don’t know of any other granddad that would call, not to talk to his daughter, but so he could talk to his grandson — sometimes for 20 and 30 minutes — about life, school, sports, you name it. I’ll try to do the same when I have grandkids. You were one of Sean’s best friends. Thank you for that. He took a photo of you into school today for the weekly sharing time they do. He’ll miss you as much as anyone does.

    You were a good man. I miss you already.

    Your son-in-law,


    My Daughter Has 8 Boyfriends

    March 9, 2008

    I’ve told my daughter that she’s not allowed to date until she’s 25 years old, but that hasn’t stopped her from starting a collection of boyfriends at the ripe age of six. Every time I turn around, it seems she’s declaring how cute someone is, and how she’s in love with so-and-so.

    So, a couple nights ago, when we had about 15 minutes to kill before dinner, I suggested she make a list of all her boyfriends. It took her two sides of a sheet of paper.

    Side One

    Boyfriends, side 1

    Here’s what it says, in case you couldn’t tell:

    1. Jason Dolly, Actor (correct spelling: Jason Dolley)
    2. Jake T. Austin | Actor (yes, she used a vertical pipe as a separator)
    3. Harry Potter | character
    4. Shia Labeouf, actor

    And then she flipped the page over, skipped #5, and listed a few more.

    Side Two

    Boyfriends, side 2

    6. Simon Cowell, Judge
    7. Joe, Kevin, Nick Jonas Brothers

    Methinks I’m going to have my hands full in about 8-10 years.