Photo of a puddle on my street after a February rain…
Photo of a puddle on my street after a February rain…
I don’t want to belong to any club that would have me as a member.
Sincerely Yours, Groucho Marx
Thought I’d take a few moments today to reflect on what it means to join Club 50.
On one hand… I made it!
On the other hand… WTF – 50?
I feel blessed to have a loving family, good health and most of my mental faculties intact.
I feel frustrated about missed opportunities, unmet goals and unrealized potential and sad about the times I failed to appreciate or recognize the gifts the universe left right in front of me.
I feel pleased about all those once in a lifetime moments (and there have been many) where I did in fact stop to smell the roses and take in the magnificent beauty of our world.
I feel angry about the times I offered an olive branch of compromise when I should have presented a middle finger of objection.
I feel proud of all the times I’ve been able to do something and do it well…
The Cool of the Evening
“He [Johnny Sain] used to say a pitcher had a kind of special feeling after he did really well in a ballgame. John called it the ‘cool of the evening’, when you could sit and relax and not worry about being in there for three or four more days; the job was done, a good job, and now it was up to someone else to go out there the next day and do the slogging. The cool of the evening.”
– from Ball Four by Jim Bouton
Moving forward… the fact is I’m further from the beginning and closer to the end. Thankfully, I’ve learned to appreciate and be grateful for what I have and care less about what other people think.
I’ve finally learned to pay more attention to my inner voice.
(Note to Li’l D – don’t wait until you’re 50 to fine tune this trait. What you wear/own/drive/live in really doesn’t mean a thing. Who you are and what’s in your heart – regardless of what other people think about you – is all that really matters.)
My birthday wish for my next 50 years is to be able to follow the path of my fictional Uncle J.T. in “Why They Call Me Captain Dan”…
Mine has been a life well lived. I’m gonna go out happy Danny boy and they can’t NEVER take that away from me!!
Best wishes and always remember
1. Make ’em laugh so’s you’ll never be lonely
2. Don’t ever let the bastards get you down.
3. End your day with a stiff drink at sunset to forget about the bullshit.
I suppose it’s human nature to notice the flaws and the shortcomings in one’s life and one’s environment. Somehow it seems we are programmed to always be looking over the hill for the greener grass and the next ‘big thing’.
“If only I could have _____ then I would be happy”
Tonight as I sit here on a warm, quiet Spring evening in our soon-to-be former house , I notice how peaceful and beautiful this place is. Did I not notice this before or was I just not paying enough attention? I look at the cabinets Dad built and it chokes me up a little bit because it is a project we completed together with a great degree of success. Many times he and I would disagree about projects every step of the way, but in this project I see love and mutual respect between a Father & a Son. I remember thinking at one time that I would always have this kitchen and these cabinets to remind me of Dad, but I guess that isn’t going to be.
I’m not sure what all I’m feeling tonight. I don’t think it is sadness because this house and this neighborhood are the scene of so many happy memories. I carried my new bride over this threshold; I brought my new baby daughter into this home on a glorious, sunny Fall day; I watched from this living room as my beloved St. Louis Cardinals won two World Championships!
I don’t feel resentment toward our move because I’m starting to get comfortable in our new life and I know there are many friends and new memories ahead.
I don’t feel regret because (for the most part) I consciously tried to live in the moment while we were here and enjoy whatever gifts the moment was giving me…. and I have a lot of memories of so many wonderful moments and people here.
I suppose maybe I feel a touch of fear… fear that we will never be able to capture the magic of this place in our new life. I know it isn’t a rational fear. I also know I intend to make a conscious effort to enjoy each moment as it arrives, enjoy whatever we have, and spend zero time focusing on what we don’t have.
I feel blessed to have lived here and to have been a part of this neighborhood and I want to feel the same about my new city… and I know it is my responsibility to make it happen.
To my old neighbors, my old house, my old neighborhood and my old city… I never say goodbye, only ‘Be well my friend until I see you again.”
Today is the day! You don’t have to wait any more ‘sleeps’ to get on the plane and fly to your new home in Florida. Since you are only 3 1/4 years old, I wanted to write this so you can know more about the time when we lived in St. Louis.
Sometimes I wonder why we are moving. The neighborhood we are leaving is quite possibly the best place I have ever lived and the neighbors are some of the nicest people I have ever known. During our ten years there, we have met countless people who we hope will remain our friends for life.
We have made memories that will last a lifetime. I could write volumes about concerts in the park, house tours, runs from the fountain with friends, parties we hosted, watching it snow from our favorite corner table at our favorite neighborhood restaurant… the list would go on forever!
But… it is time for a change. Good times are ahead, with more adventures, new jobs, great weather year round and fewer bills to pay. Your Mom and I think it will be a better place for you to grow up.
The hardest part of moving will be leaving Grandma, Papa, Aunt H. and Miss J behind.
Nothing can convey the depth of our gratitude to them or explain how much they have been a positive influence in your young life. Your Mom and I have rushed about, tending to our daily tasks and not once have we ever worried about you when you were with them.
Many people measure success by the things a person has, where they attended school, how much money they make, what kind of car they drive, etc. The truth is, when it is all said and done, a person’s success should be measured by the positive impact they have had on the lives of other people – especially the life of a child.
They have been the steady hand guiding you during a period where we experienced parents in the hospital, job changes, uncertainty about how to be a parent as well as the normal everyday challenges that arrive for any family. Through it all, we never doubted for one second their love and commitment to you.
So now, change is at hand. Our family faces life without seeing our loved ones regularly, not seeing our good neighbors every day. Things always happen for a reason and I have no doubt things will work out for all of us despite how difficult it seems at the moment. I pray you will remember some of your time in St Louis because it has been one of the happiest times in my life.
To close, you should know that your Dad never says goodbye… he only says “Be well until I see you again!”