20th Anniversary Page

October 16, 2002

Wendi and I are now celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary, so I decided to build yet another zany Ummamum page to add to this festive occasion.

Ummamum Glossary

I’ve coined some new Ummamum words, and you’ll find their definitions here:

Things an Ummamum would do—for example, being silly but not hurting anyone, or making goofy Web pages like this one.
This word could have any of three meanings:
  1. Full of the Ummamum (like being full of the blarney).
  2. An Ummamum who has been mummified.
  3. The mother of all Ummamums.
Someone who practices Ummamummery (see above). As you might guess, this one fits me to a T.
Passing from one state of Ummamum to another.
One who is addicted to Ummamum (uh-oh!).

I’m Just the Ummamum Guy

Charlie as an Ummamum

Creating Web pages like this serves a purpose for me. In addition to simply being fun, it keeps me humble! I realize that no matter what wisdom or talent God may give me, I’m still the same person—generally light-hearted, not too serious. I do have a serious streak inside though, and I would like to describe here briefly my philosophy of why I am “just the Ummamum Guy.”

It seems that I am forever receiving compliments from people. When I got into photography really heavy some years ago, several people told me that I should become a professional photographer. Well, I did do a couple of weddings, but that was as far as I got. Good photographers are a dime a dozen, and many of them charge way too much; I couldn’t do that. I also didn’t want to lose the joy of taking pictures simply for the fun of it. So the professional thing never happened.

I have also been told that I should become a professional musician. I used to play piano at church a lot. I was pretty good but lacked the coordination to do all of those fancy runs, trills and arpeggios; no matter how hard I tried, my fingers simply couldn’t do it! (well, maybe a little.) I have an excellent working knowledge of music theory and can compose music pretty well, but I just never found my way into music professionally. Anyway, I hear that it can sometimes be a lonely and unpleasant business.

Then there was church work. Oh yeah—I went to Bible college to prepare for the ministry. I majored in music, but ministry was the real emphasis. Upon graduation, I went to a tiny church just across the border into Illinois, and it was there that I met my lovely wife, Wendi. The church was too small to support any full-time staff except the pastor, so the ministry thing never happened. But at least I found a good wife, so it wasn’t a bad thing!

I had a job at a foodservice distribution company. It was going well, and I was advancing there, when the company was bought out by a larger company. They closed us up four weeks later. I had worked there for over 16 years.

I took another job at a building manufacturer, and it lasted two years before I left due to stress and family health problems. Now I work at a local grocery store as a bagger! I’ve been there for five-and-a-half years and will probably retire from there unless something far better comes along.

I said all that to say this: despite a variety of talents and experiences, I find myself doing what I really do best after all: just being myself. First and foremost, I’m a family man—a husband and father. I love my wife dearly and make it a point never to say anything negative about her to anyone else (I hear lots of other people verbally trashing their spouses behind their backs; it makes me sick). I love my son dearly too; he’s now 13, just entering some of the best years in his life. I want to do more things with him, spend time with him and make fond memories like my dad did. I do what I can, and we already have a wealth of precious memories. But life isn’t over yet, and I can only hope for many more years of family joy.

Yup, I’m nothing special as far as fame or fortune are concerned. In the words of an old country song by Charley Pride:

I was born to be exactly what you see,
Nothing more or less; I’m not the worst or the best.
I’m just proud to be exactly what you see—
Today and every day, I’m just me.

I guess what really matters is to do the right thing and be happy in it. Me—I’m just the Ummamum Guy.

Ummamums Unite in Marriage

Well, they finally did it. Our sweet little Ummamum couple just got married. The wedding was held in Ummamum’s World (of course), outdoors in the autumn air, against a beautiful brownish-orange backdrop. Ummy, the groom, is seen below in his black tuxedo and bowtie, along with his bride Pinky, in a white wedding gown with a long veil. They sure do look happy together!

Ummamum Wedding

Wendi, this could almost be us! Happy Anniversary. I Love You! May we last another 20 years and more!