Monday, May 24, 2010

over and out

This will be my sign-off report here on the agent b files.

Blogs are a weird thing. First they were counter-culture, then main stream, and now old news.

I started this report file almost five years ago as a means to communicate to anyone out there that might be going through a spiritual desert like myself and family. Instead, writing became more therapeutic than I had expected. Sharing stories of our adventures in the desert while on assignment in a very religious town within a poverty culture backing has healed me more than I knew.

And amazingly, a few folks took me seriously. Real live friendships grew from this, as evident of my recent annual gathering in Lubbock, TX with G13 from the Boston cohort of agents...and also with a new friend from Kentucky who recently visited family here in the fair mother city.

But as always, the story continues. Just not here. I suppose I'll let the agent b files float around in cyberspace indefinitely or until some googlebot wipes its existence.

As for my family, our new assignment awaits north of the US border. We leave this weekend. Over the past twelve months doors have closed for this current assignment while new ones opened wide for our new gig.

As for the cast of characters here on the b files...I will never forget them. I had a chance to see Obi-Wan one last time in his new residence in Waco last week. A trusted friend of his and recent god-send in his life (who is currently taking care of Obi-Wan's estate sale) and I drove down to deliver some of his belongings. I can say that Obi-Wan is well cared for and visited by kin folk daily. The Sanfords came by yesterday to say good bye and get a hair perm. What else would you do when you say goodbye? The Tiger and The Bulldog remain in prison for another month or two,so unfortunately I won't get to say goodbye to them.

As for you and anyone who's bothered to read this, thank you. Your communication is invaluable.

I do not know if I will continue with a new blog someday. But if you'd like to keep in touch and don't already know me, please leave a comment or email secretagentb AT gmail dot com.

All the best to you all.

Friday, May 07, 2010

and so it is

It is done. My family and I said good bye to Obi-Wan today rather unexpectedly. I mean, I was thinking this wouldn't have to take place until the day before we headed north in a few weeks.

His niece from Waco called me asking to pack a suitcase for Obi-Wan as he is being discharged from the hospital sometime tomorrow and then being shipped to his new residence, a care home in Waco.

We brought his suitcase and his requested last supper from Long John Silver. And amidst my cranky children and other routine hospital interruptions, we managed an awkward and emotional hand shake to seven years of friendship.

Obi-Wan, you were there to guide me through this seven year period of desert wandering. You hosted many a fried catfish nugget dinners in your dining room. You were there to hold all three of my children the week of their birth. And you were there to share the word of god when I needed it most.

Carry on friend. Carry on.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


While celebrating Obi-Wan's 93rd birthday at the hospital, I learned that he may be moving soon. Like me, he could be leaving the fair mother city forever.

There's even a good chance he might leave before I do.

In the words of his niece, this recent fall has really humbled him. He now knows he can no longer live alone. So arrangements are being made.

The current plan is to have Obi-Wan moved to a VA-run care home in Waco, the town his niece lives. And another relative of his works at this home so he will have a familiar face.

For months I assumed that my departure from Obi-Wan might involve one of us lying in a casket.

I guess both of us staring into each other's eye, shaking hands and departing the fair mother city in opposite directions is a better alternative from the CEO.

I don't know how I'm going to take that day.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

brutal blow

About 7:30 yesterday morning Obi-Wan's home health care nurse rang our doorbell begging for the keys to his house. He had fallen and said it was an emergency. I handed her the keys and promised to be there as soon as I dressed. I also assumed this was yet another one of his routine falls out between the wheelchair and his bed. Wrong.

Sometime after 8p Friday Obi-Wan had fallen out of his wheelchair in his kitchen. Somehow he had gashed his left eye during the fall and thus lost tons of blood. His kitchen looked like a murder scene. Blood everywhere. He must have sat helpless on the floor for nearly 12 hours dozing in and out of yelling for help.
And unfortunately, he doesn't remember the fall one bit.

His nurse called the EMT folks and he was rushed to the trauma center. He received several stitches above his eye. Thankfully, they admitted him in the hospital and is still there tonight.

He's doing well and in typical Obi-Wan fashion, he ain't going down without a fight. A major gash in his head isn't going to take him out just yet.

But truthfully, his health and abilities are slowing down rapidly these last few months...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

farewell to the king

I had a Momo sighting the other day while cruising the fair mother city.

Yes, Momo, the king of the streets, was camped out in his standard beached-whale fashion in front of the old Hot Dog Castle. He's one of the top ten people in town I wanted to get a few minutes with before my departure. I did a quasi-legal U-turn on S 1st and joined him in the abandoned parking lot.

No major inspirational exchanges transpired. I got him to hug me. And about 95% of the conversation was Momo rambling about people he might kill after he gets his million dollar court settlement or something.

He's definitely someone I will never forget as long as I live. Due to years of glue sniffing, Momo's lost just enough brain cells to be slightly nuts. But he has enough brain cells left to use his "crazy homeless guy" persona as a manipulative weapon. I'm convinced half of his persona is an act. He deserves an oscar for his performances in front of the post office years ago.

Or like the time he took a shower at our ministry's facility and he'd go walking around the hallways half naked with a towel exposing a partial wet butt crack and asking for toothe paste or something. Classic.

I'm going to miss you Momo. May the lord bless you and keep you.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Junior and Johnny

Recently I have begun a new stage in my parenthood and undercover calling.

Our children are not yet school age. So they have yet to be thrown to the wolves that is "the world". You know, learning cuss words, peer pressures and such. Up until now their only friends were the children of mine and my wife's friends. And we know them well so we trust these kids to play with ours, etc.

Recently my son Agent Offspring #1 and his sister AO2 met a ragamuffin-looking boy named Junior playing with a kid next door. AO1 begged for me to let him and his sister play with this kid. Reluctantly I let them. But I stayed nearby on the front porch the whole time.

At first glance Junior seemed rowdy - climbing up our twig of a tree and jumping all over the bed of my truck (until I gave him a mild tongue lashing). I asked all the identification questions I could. Name age, school, etc. He's 8 and in 2nd grade. My kid hasn't started kindergarten yet. But my kid absolutely LOVED playing with Junior.

Junior seemed a little rough around the edges, but he was real nice to my kids and didn't belittle their childish ways. I learned that he had no mother but lived with his father in the rough looking house a block down our street beyond my jurisdiction.

A few days later we discovered Junior had a brother one year younger than him named Johnny. The two look like twins.

They came to our house today to play with our kids. Or at least, I figured
their standing in the flower bed peeking in the window was their version of a greeting.

I guess when you don't have a mom, and dad works all day, there's no one there to teach you about door knocking etiquette. So I guess that's my job.

Junior and Johnny were wearing the same clothes from yesterday. But that didn't seem to bother them.

After my dog gave the newcomers hell, the kids all played in the backyard on the fort/swing set. They must have played for at least two hours or more. I sat in a lawn chair with my face buried in a book. My shades made it hard for them to know if I was paying attention to them or not. I over heard one of the brothers mention that he's seen these forts before, but never got to play on one.

Overall, they all played great together. The older boys were not the dark rowdy bad influences I feared. Or maybe my presence repressed that all together.

Shortly after Agent Wife made everybody lunch I sent the brothers on their way so my girls could take a nap.

I guess the outside world has introduced themselves to my kids. And it wasn't so bad.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

last hurdle

Although I do not have a contract or any signed paperwork as of this writing, our home will be sold before we depart to the new assignment up north.

Almost a month ago the Jedi Master put me in contact with two business partners who are amassing rental houses for retirement income. They hope to one day have a total around forty houses. My investigations of public tax records show they currently have about nine or ten. I've met with them at least twice and they give me no reason to suspect that this deal would not go through, so I am planning my last two months in the fair mother city accordingly: saying goodbye to people, enjoying things locally and NOT remodeling my home. Thank you CEO!

Not to mention...we will now have a small wad of cash in the bank in hopes to purchase a home in the new location. Along with having no debts, money in the bank may be our only card to play in securing a new mortgage since we a) have no credit in Canada and b) no jobs (yet).

On the local front lines: Obi-Wan was in the hospital again recently. He had been suffering some major pains in his arm and shoulder. Friends worried that it might be a heart attack convinced him to call the ambulance. Thankfully, his problem was only Gout, so he returned home before nightfall.

Coincidentally, I had a dream last night that Obi-Wan had passed away recently and his funeral was already arranged. I find it wise to pay attention to dreams as they can often indicate communications from the CEO. But as we all know, dreams can be a bunch of nonsense as well. Who knows.

And Agent Wife has been hanging with Mandy a lot. In addition to her crazy health ordeals she is now facing serious marital ordeals.

We seem to have our hands full during our final weeks. So it goes.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

ain't over til it's over

In the twilight days of our assignment here in the fair mother city within our undisclosed neighborhood we call home, a new neighbor need has arisen.

Mandy is a 24-year old wife of a military man and the mom of 2-year old Jaden. They are the closest thing to young white middle class yuppies on our street (and that's because in the fair mother city, if you're in your twenties or thirties and actually make money, you're probably in the air force). Mandy and her family moved across the street about two years ago, but we've only begun to know her in the last six months. We didn't meet Mandy any sooner because her husband is often deployed and so she'd close up her house and move back with her mother in Missouri several times a year.

This time her husband is deployed and she stayed here. But as soon as he left, she began having serious health issues involving her gall bladder. Agent Wife has spent several hours in the emergency room with her a few weeks ago.

Due to some bullshit involving the ever wonderful US health care system and her military health coverage, she has been passed back and forth from the local hospital and the military doctors. After two weeks she is finally scheduled for out patient surgery sometime later this month, but in waiting for it she often has severe bouts of pain. Or the effects of her pain meds make her extremely loopy.

Agent Wife has often been on call to be with her throughout the night or just for a few hours. And thankfully I haven't had work so I've been able to watch her kid along with my three.

I am thankful for Agent Wife's selfless devotion to Mandy. And despite my bitching about no income and waiting for my flip project house to close this week, I guess there's a reason I am available. So it goes.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

towards the end

Like much of the US, the fair mother city has endured the coldest, wettest, and possibly longest winter in the 20 years I've lived here. I don't know if it's over yet, but we've actually had some nice weather days lately. And since I am patiently waiting for my flip house to close and have no work for the time being, I've taken the kids out on walks, wagon rides and bike rides.

Everyone on the block is coming out of hibernation. So I get to see the neighbors way at the ends of our street who I'm not real close to. Thus, I'm sharing the news of our leaving which is still news to many.

Even cranky Mr. Buckley, donning his new "Stop Obama" sign in his window (that looks like a stop sign), was surprised. So it goes.

Thank you CEO for our time in this undisclosed neighborhood we call home.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

long journey

Lord willin' and the creek don't rise, my second and most difficult house flip project is scheduled to close next week. I never envisioned the number of hurdles and road blocks that would be thrown my way during this seven month journey.

There's been the additional five weeks of un-budgeted time and labor (mostly involving leveling, pier replacing, and sanding the wood floors half a dozen times), the corresponding money drain thus borrowing an additional $5K from the bank to finish this house, multiple inspections and re-inspections from city code people, the buyer's home inspection during Abilene's worst ever rain storm with 70 mph wind gusts, an appraiser concerned that the foundation was faulty based on something I said despite previous inspections and reports, and a vandal break-in.

Over all, I am extremely thankful for the entire journey and every trial. Realistically, each hurdle was a minor jump.

And the bottom line: the young couple who are buying this house REALLY want this place. And I can't foresee that changing.

I am thankful to the jedi master for the training that has led me to this point. And I am extremely thankful to the CEO of the universe who has allowed me the dream of making a moderate living with my hands, at will.