Only Once A Year On November 11th

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At precisely 11:11 a.m. each Veterans Day (Nov. 11), the sun’s rays pass through the ellipses of the five Armed Services pillars to form a perfect solar spotlight over a mosaic of The Great Seal of the United States.

The Anthem Veterans Memorial, located in Anthem, Arizona, is a monument dedicated to honoring the service and sacrifice of the United States armed forces. The pillar provides a place of honor and reflection for veterans, their family and friends, and those who want to show their respects to those service men and women who have and continue to courageously serve the United States.

The memorial was designed by Anthem resident Renee Palmer-Jones. The five marble pillars represent the five branches of the United States military. They are staggered in size (from 17 ft to 6 ft) and ordered in accordance with the Department of Defense prescribed precedence, ranging from the United States Army, the United States Marine Corps, the United States Navy, the United States Air Force and the United States Coast Guard.

Additionally, the brick pavers within the Circle of Honor are inscribed with the names of over 750 U.S. servicemen and women, symbolizing the ‘support’ for the Armed Forces. The pavers are red, the pillars are white, and the sky is blue to represent America’s flag. The circle represents an unbreakable border. Anthem resident and chief engineer, Jim Martin was responsible for aligning the memorial accurately with the sun.

Anthem Veterans Memorial

41703 N. Gavilan Peak Parkway
Anthem, AZ 85086
(623) 742-6050

Photographs by Mike Spinelli

Veterans Day is an official United States holiday that honors people who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, also known as veterans. It is a federal holiday that is observed on November 11. It coincides with other holidays such as Armistice Day and Remembrance Day, which are celebrated in other parts of the world and also mark the anniversary of the end of World War I (major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, when the Armistice with Germany went into effect).

The United States also originally observed Armistice Day; it then evolved into the current Veterans Day holiday in 1954.Veterans Day is not to be confused with Memorial Day; Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans, while Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving.

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Trapped Inside Herself

She used to be trapped inside of herself, the past demons cornering her into the alley of darkness hidden deep in the perception of her psyche. She fought the demons, as they surrounded her trying to suppress her and destroy her with the false illusion of her past becoming her reality again. This is what she saw every time she looked in the mirror. She never looked at the girl in the reflection staring back at her. Her focus never seemed to pertain to the aspects of her mortal body. What her attention was zoned on was beyond the flesh and blood of the girl poised in the mirror. She was in her soul that is where she was every time the mirror forced her to look upon the eyes of her being. Perhaps this is where the origin of her new self stemmed from, beginning with the reflections of the soul, creating a raging storm between past demons and the heart deep within, ending with the rebirth of something new. It seemed her past was chasing her. The translucent ghosts of her life in the past had come to combine as a clay and been molded into an entity of “what once was.” She thought they would haunt her forever, stalking the thoughts in her mind, stealing any sense of peace her being may have had contained. These were her demons, taunting her with everything she had been, whispering lies of what she was becoming.
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They were grotesque, but she found them beautiful, as she often found many dark disturbing things. Their appearance was something derived from her own imagination. Something she maybe had found in her gruesome wonderland. Black rose vines wrapped around their bodies, skin crafted of the shadows that once clung to her soul and smothered her with her fears. Their teeth were formed of the sharp razors, glinting silver, as she had once used them to pierce her skin, releasing her pain in the scarlet streams flowing outward from beneath her flesh. Their eyes were glossy, cold, and burning red, holding every drop that has ever cascaded down her cheek, and every crimson tear she had ever set free from her flesh. From deep inside they made shrieks that of a banshee, every wave of sound woven together by threads of every scream ever to have escaped her mortal being. Oozing from their mouths was the maroon wine she spilled from her body during her past attempts of erasing herself from this dominion. All these features formed perfectly together and created the Demon Fey standing still like statues, blocking her path out of the grimy alley.

She studied them, ignoring their beastly appearance, focusing only on their internal characteristics. She stared deep into their soul-less eyes, seeing them for what the real purpose of their false existence in her consciousness was. They were shadow tinted mirrors, reflecting the sins, regrets, heartache, and pain of her past. Looking into the reflections, she knew she should’ve ran from them and fled into the fog of the future and the present. Instead, her body refused to obey the request of her logic and slowly moved toward the demons. The demons also seemed daring and invaded the space between them. Their movement was quite gracious, resembling that of a dance. Perhaps they were dancing, their bodies swaying with each step, matching the melody of her past.

Her soul maybe should have felt some sense of fear, but all it felt was welcomed by the demons. It drew her nearer to them, the attraction pulling them together like the gravity between two magnets. The gap between her and the demons grew less and less. Without permission her hand reached out towards them, lightly brushing the skin of the demon nearest to her. At that moment when they had touched, anger-wired adrenaline injected into her body like a syringe filled with heroine. It flowed throughout her being, infesting her psyche with the emotions and instincts of a deranged animal. The atmosphere grew dense with the mists of her hatred, clouding the thoughts flickering through her mind. She closed her eyes and breathed in the haze, letting herself slip into the intensity of her emotions stemming from the past.When she opened her eyes and exhaled it seemed as if her breath paralyzed the universe, stealing the reality of time. The viridian-amber shade once filling her irises with life and being, now painted over with the amaranthine shades of insanity, coloring her eyes hollow. No longer had her own spirit dwelt within her body. Something twisted and deadly was lurking in her being, infesting her veins with madness, devouring her core with a newfound bloodlust.She looks up at the demons, her lips being consumed by a sinister grin. Not only did the insanity possess her soul it, it also began transforming her physical aspects. Her original hair had been about medium length touching just above the middle of her back, the layers gave it volume, adding a seductive characteristic to it. The color was something of a light shade of chestnut intertwined with strands of white, silver, gold, and copper. It looked as if it had been stitched together using fabrics of the sand, stardust, moonlight, sunshine, and the gleam of precious gems. But now insanity had bleached it white and grown it down to her knees. Her face took shape of a more mature structure. Her light pink lips grew plumper and kissed with a hint of deep rouge. Her already pale skin lost most of its pigment and was now pale like the winter snow. Her slender body filled in with curves, bust and hips connected by a smaller waist, forming a body that of a goddess. Ebony raven wings materialized in the space between her shoulder blades, ripping the clothes of her body as they grew to more than 8 feet in height and width.Her new form, driven by insanity, positions itself into a battle stance, knowing they were going to attack. She reaches down to her sides and pulls two swords (fabricated of darkness) from their sheaths. The universe grew still and quiet, every sound and movement hushed out of existence. She stares down her foes, waiting in silence until they make their move.
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The demons break the silence, darting toward her with the intentions of a malicious origin. She spreads her wings and soars into the air, demons following close behind her. She stops and turns around, they lunge at her violently, hoping to rip through her flesh and taste the sweetness of her bodily wine. Without effort, she swings her blades, severing the heads of the first group of enemies. More attack, coming at her from all angles. Without fault she defends, her long silver hair syncing to the rhythm of her body as she dances with her blades. She flits through the sky, the light of the moon caressing her skin serves as a spotlight, shimmering over her stage of twilight and mauve. Her blades sing as they leave the demons in crimson ribbons and scarlet rain. Her raven wings flutter and fall, landing her safely on the asphalt. The blood and corpses of her defeated opponents fall to ground like snow. Insanity disappears from her eyes.
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She looks up and sees the stars gazing down upon her, sparkling with what seemed to be a hint of hope for her destiny. Without turning back, she walks away, skin flawless and untouched by battle. She smiles knowing her past is dead and that the fate of the stars is wagering in her favor. Running, she spreads her wings and takes flight. Serenity overwhelms her being as she soars away from what had once chained down her soul. Leaving the corpses behind, her past dissipates from her thoughts and her shadow self is swept away from existence. Tonight she is born anew. Today she rises out of the debris and ash of the past as a reborn angel of darkness.

Get Ready! Get Set! Let’s Gooooooooo!

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Most people would frown upon having to be at work before the ass-crack of dawn, but not me. This is my time, this is the time I know that all the people working 9-5 during the week are still curled up in their beds, dreading leaving the comforts they have been enjoying all night long. But that’s not me, I’m the person who roams my house at 3:30 a.m. because I’m plain done sleeping. Regardless if I must go to work or not, I’m up, I’ve always been like this, it’s just the way I’m wired I guess. As I roamed the job site I’m at this morning, in the calm of the morning, still dark, it gave me time to review this past week. As I have mentioned, I have started back to work luckily. With my back to it, I feel the sun beginning to break through the treeline, beginning to become visible over the horizon, peeking through the trees, over the buildings, and of course the power lines which litter the view in any direction one looks. Of course, me being me, me being the one who still likes to meet the sunrise which greets me good morning, needs to grab a picture.

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I have missed very few sunrises in my lifetime, and I have a feeling that won’t change. As I took the second picture I could hear my mother whispering in my ear not to look directly into the sun, then I clicked the picture. What can one more picture with me looking directly into a sunrise hurt, right? As I walked the job site, earbuds in, metal cranked up, I saw the overall picture with the changes that had occurred after my departure the evening before. In many ways, I felt a sigh of relief come over me, because it meant that quite possibly that there would have to be very little ass scrambling happening since there is a great deal which must happen today, as smooth as humanly possible, so concrete can be poured first thing Monday morning. I had said I would get into my new job after a few days, lucky you, today is that day, however, there still isn’t much to say, because I’m in training, I’m studying, I’m learning, and luckily for me, remembering things I never even knew that I knew. Don’t get me wrong, I’m learning more that my memory has served me, but combining the two elements has been making my transition easier for me. Whether or not that serves true with my new boss I can’t say, I probably have been frustrating the shit out if him with all of my questions, he has allot on his plate, which he just chews up, only spitting back the plate.

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Hopefully I don’t say all of this wrong, but I will try to explain my new job and the eventual role I will be in. I found quickly that much to do with the commercial construction is about a person’s title, not necessarily one’s actual experience. But then you could have my boss, who comes with many, many years of experience, but still has a title. His experience shows through and is reflected in how he works. He offers perfection, and demands one put out their own perfection, he commands this without asking, which is a great way to learn for me personally, to be mentored in a fashion that is well above “industry standard”. He is a rare breed and he makes coming to work interesting. There are many hours of the day that I spend in what I will call ” observation, collection, and absorption”, because that is part of how I learn. What better way to learn, right or wrong, good or bad, people working at their specific trade. Again, luckily for me, I spent many years working for and with my dad, before he retired, as a residential concrete contractor. To my advantage, for a great deal of what is going on right now, I know what they are doing and the concept of what they are trying to accomplish with concrete. I remember the early days when I was part of the crew, the labor, which is how my own dad taught, which was hands on. One does not know the skill of a shovel in the right hands, one cannot respect a person which the shovel if you have never done what he had done. I spent many years with a shovel in my hands, setting forms, moving concrete, and helping turn a once vacant lot into a home for a family to live. Of course, later in life, after the Air Force, my role did change in the family business, where I had the opportunity to get my feet wet on the management and supervisory side of the concrete contractor business. Those lessons, not what I have learned in school, are lessons that serve me well now, because I am being refreshed in how psychology and the stroking of egos is just as important as raising hell when something is all fucked up. I have missed the construction industry since I’ve been out of it, its great to be given the opportunities to get back in the saddle again.

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In the end, for now, I’m just the new white guy on the job site. Learning and absorbing as much as I can comprehend to build myself a knowledge base which can only benefit me as time progresses, nobody wants to have dumb employees now do they. Plus, for the second time in my life now, here is a job which involves so much more than just being a mindless zombie laboror. Eventhough I never minded the mindless monkey work because it was work and it paid the bills on time. As time progresses over the next few months I will update everyone as to how my chosen path is going. In reality, the “job” chose me, as I’m very lucky that for probably the first time in a very long time, I was in the right place at the right time to accept this outstanding opportunity. Plus, bonus here people, financially it couldn’t have been more perfect timing. I owe a debt of gratitude to the man who set it in motion and even more to the man who has given me an opportunity not to just have a job, but to have an outfuckingstanding job. Can y’all tell I’m happy? I can tell, it feels great. And now I close with a great selfie, have a great day.

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What Does Time To Myself Really Mean?

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It is not very often that I actually have time to myself. When it happens it just does that, it happens. On or around my deceased father’s birthday I tend to take a little time to myself in a quiet and peaceful place. This has been a habit of mine since May of 1984. Its not to do anything special and it isn’t because I am looking for something to happen. I know what happens every year and I am pretty sure it will never change. Through out the many years since his death I have found that my version of reflection and remembrance works for me and that is really all that matters. I have never asked my family to understand any of it except for it will happen towards the end of every May. This year he would have been 79 years old.

As far as the picture goes that was all my wife. She had seen me walk down to the river from the kitchen window and when it seemed that I hadn’t come back, well, she came looking for me. As I stood near the bank watching the reflections in the ripples of water I get a text. When I see it is from my wife I open it thinking she must be wondering where I am for some reason. Then I see she has sent me a picture of me standing at the river with a text that asks what am I doing. What am I doing? Good question. She joined me, standing by my side, holding my hand. We stood there in silence for a while, just enjoying the sunset. One of the great things I really appreciate about her is she understands that some things do not get talked through, a great sunset and the songs she knows I really like. I have never asked her to be silent but I appreciate that she sees that I don’t want to be spoken to or interrupted every once in a while.

Before y’all ask, I don’t know nor can I explain the reflections in the picture. Yes I have noticed them. All I can figure is it is the sun and shadows hitting the back of her phone.

U.S. Government Announcement

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The Places My Combat Boots Have Seen

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A natural choice of footwear for me is my last remaining pair of Air Force issued combat boots. I have had many pair of combat boots over the years, starting back in 1988. I don’t remember them all, but there are a few that stand out in my mind because of what I was doing when I was wearing them. Currently I have only one pair left out of my collection as I have had to retire so many before it. My very first pair of issued combat boots were in United States Air Force BMT (Basic Military Training). I recall the thoughts of how uncomfortable they felt on my feet since I was in the habits of wearing my cowboy boots which were worn, haggered, stunk like shit, but were the most comfortable boots (shoes) I have ever worn. My new pair of boots were rigid, stiff, and lace up. I can’t remember how to tie my boot at first, I had to watch other new airmen as they laced and tied their boots, as I haven’t had to tie a shoe in a long time, in fact I couldn’t really remember a specific time when I tied a shoe last. I was at a loss. I was going to get kicked out on my first day because I couldn’t tie a shoe, I guess that is what I get for wearing boots for as long as I could remember. I went from owning 2 pair of shoes, cowboy boots & flip flops, to a single pair of combat boots. I better learn fast I thought, I better learn fast. I knew I was excited, this was my first day as a soldier.

After successfully completing BMT and Technical school in Denver Colorado it was noticed that my boots did not fair so well, it was time to get a new pair. Of course, I was told to wait until I got to my first base, Misawa AB Japan, where I was told I would be issued another pair as part of my in-processing. When I got to Japan I was impressed, they don’t mess around when it comes to boots, I was issued 4 pair, two summer weight and two winter weight (insulated) pair, also, I was issued my first pair of mukluks since it was winter in full force in Japan just days after Christmas. Everyone knows that if your feet are cold, your whole body is cold. I wish I would have known that before I got to Japan. How in the hell am I supposed to know how to deal with snow, I’m from Houston in southeast Texas. In late 1990 I was given orders to go to Turkey in support of what will become to be known world-wide as Desert Storm. Time to let go of the snow and the black combat boots, it was time to get introduced to desert styles. The military has a boot to fit most functions, most terrains, and most weather. This was a long 6 months for me, it was the first time I had to remind myself to do the right thing whether anyone is looking or not. I watched people lose focus, make mistakes, and basically ruin their career, I didn’t want to be that guy. I was also involved in the Liberation of Kuwait where I got to see for the very first time in person, up close and personal, the destruction that was causes. Most people think war is a physical element of destruction because we can see physical damages. I saw things beyond that, I walked over the remains of what appeared to be a family caught by surprise as a bomb that was dropped exploded just outside their house. Walking across them was an accident and when I realized what it was I had stepped on I was a bit shocked, it hurt me to see them. Our team leader explained to me that they were not “my” problem and we must move on since we were in the process of locating an area to set up shop. After that day I never wore those boots again.

Soon enough I returned to Japan to finish out the remainder of my tour. After a few years I left Japan and headed to Iceland. Unfortunately I was only in Iceland a matter of a few weeks as I was diverted to be stationed at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico. I already had some experience living in the desert so the transition to a zero humidity environment wasn’t that hard on my system.  From New Mexico I would truly see the world beyond what I knew. I visited many places for many reasons doing my assigned job. Leaving became easier over the years, it was the coming home that was hard to do. In mid summer 1995 I was sent to Osan AB Korea to assist in the inspection of some specific munitions components which had been in long term storage. It was time to determine if they were still serviceable and if so prep them for shipment to a variety of bases world-wide. 18 months later I rotated back to the world to be reunited with my family in New Mexico. Things were not good at home, but that is another story, in fact I think I have written about it here once or twice.

In late 1998 I was in Las Vegas Nevada for the 3rd or 4th time for training and I was given orders to go an undisclosed area for the initial drive of what will become known as Operation Desert Fox. My views had really changed about the United States’ role in the world and it really impacted how I performed, I turned off the emotion, I turned off the feelings, and I just did my job. This would be the first deployment I did not get issued fresh boots, probably because of the timeline, who knows. However, when I got back there was a shiny new pair waiting for me. Well, they weren’t shiny yet, but they would be in no time. Eventhough I had a grunt job, I worked in and out of warehouses, a variety of shops, drove a variety of equipment, and walked everywhere as well, two things were always important, a persons attitude and a persons appearance. The first thing a person notices, unfortunately, is a dirty pair of boots, we always were cleaning our boots, making sure they were taken care of and shined with a reflection that rivaled most mirrors. I eventually left the Air Force, I was medically retired due to previous injuries which happened while active duty. I had no idea what being label a disabled veteran meant. I had no idea how I was going to function in the outside world. I was divorced by this time, a single parent to my daughter who didn’t know what civilian life was all about and I had all but forgot. Luckily my dad was there to catch me, offered me and my daughter a place to call home, and gave me a job working with him in his concrete contractor business. Not knowing any better, on my first day of work, I laced up a pair of my steel toed combat boots. Eventually I traded them in for a pair of work boots, finally no laces!

I always fall back to the combat boot as a boot to wear when I know my feet will be in an unruly environment. After the Air Force, my combat boots continued to see service protecting my feet from the elements and my daily life. I have one pair that has been bitten by two different snakes and has seen more blood of animals killed in the hunt than most shoes should ever have to endure. These boots are my “go to” boots. Over this past weekend I was getting dressed to go weed-eat the perimeter of my fence-line. When overgrown like was, it is a fairly dangerous place for feet because one doesn’t know what is in the tall grass. As I laced up my boots Sunday morning I found myself remembering what I wrote about here today. Interesting how a single pair of boots can trigger memories both good and bad. I wore them without incident, I don’t bother cleaning them anymore, I just knock off the big clumps, and then hang them back on the hook, ready for the next time they will serve me well.

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Back To The Basics

Getting back to the basics is something few of us ever do. We can’t find the time to just “find the time” anymore. I found, for myself, I almost have to “schedule” myself some time to be able to just stop doing anything else. It’s not that my life is that busy, it’s the fact that I generally don’t make time for myself for some reason. As y’all know, I live in southeast Texas, so our weather is already warmed up into the mid 80s already at mid April. As you can see by the picture I took this weekend, where I live is greened up and already looking like summer. I like this view, I come here on occasion to watch the catfish, the turtles, the snakes, and all the wildlife. Why? It gives me a break. I watch and wonder where all the time goes. This spot is easy to get to and a good place to fish when you aren’t interested in catching anything. My property has this bend in the creek so I can sit here all the way to the left and see most of the rest of it to the right. What y’all don’t see is the 8 point buck that I followed out here. It’s hard to get super accurate and sharp pictures with a cell phone, but I did attempt to capture this magnificent beast on film. He has been hanging out at the back of my property for quite some time now, I see him daily, but I can never figure out exactly where he goes when he goes. My hope is that he continues to parade around and do as he pleases because he is safe here. Plus, my son and I already got a great buck a piece back in January during bow season. Incidentally, my son’s first kill with his bow, in fact his first deer ever. I can remember his excitement as we made it to the stand, he was happy to be together with me this year. He has gone in the past, but never to hunt, but to watch, to learn, and see how to make good and bad decisions. He handles his bow well these days, it was time. Thinking back now, I remember my first time, and nothing prepares one for the chill of fear that the force of the adrenalin causes. That takes a little time to “come down” from.

I find that I need to get away from everything every once and a while, maybe to reflect, and maybe to just be away. Granted, my wife knows where I am because I told her since I wouldn’t be having my phone with me. Which I did, it just wasn’t on for any longer than it took me to take the picture. For all intensive purposes, I was just unavailable enough to confuse people. Sure, I missed calls, I didn’t reply to texts I was getting, and in all actuality I really didn’t care too much. It was nice. At the same time, the 2 1/2 hours I was out there was just spent staring off into the woods. I also realized that I have some work to do back here before I lose a big chunk of my land due to erosion. That just might have to jump to the top of the list so I can get it done before it is too damn hot. I wonder now, as I sit here writing, why do we have lists and why do we torture ourselves if the list doesn’t get taken care of. I mean honestly people, I have a list for work, a list for home, a list for my shop, a list for my property, a list for the Boy Scouts, a list for the Lion’s Club, a list for my parent’s house, and then a general purpose catch all things that don’t have a list already. Why? I don’t ever see myself ever getting done with any of the lists. Instead of being “to-do lists” they should be called “wishful thinking lists” because most times that is what they become. I have given great consideration to making all the lists in my life just disappear. Poof! Gone! No more lists and no more finding time to rearrange time to accomplish tasks on the list. Sure, I will always need a shopping list for this or that, but I think that is more than plenty because it is time to trim the fat. I knew it was time to go because I saw my son coming down the trail towards me. He waived and he even whistled to try to get my attention, but I acted as if I didn’t see him or hear him. If he had something to tell me he would just have to get next to me, I was enjoying my last moments of nothingness. Eventually he made it to me and he began to explain that his mom thinks I have been out here long enough and it is time to come back in to cook dinner. I guess that is what I get for saying I would grill the steaks and potatoes. Oh well, I am done here anyways. My son asked what I was doing and why he wasn’t asked to join me. How do you explain that you need more time alone than a trip to the can provides? You don’t, you apologize as I did. He grabbed my bucked I was using as a chair and we headed back up to the house. It was a quiet walk until he noticed the big buck thru the trees. Too bad he just don’t get what hunting seasons actually are yet. Maybe we will go varmint hunting real soon. I have been craving grilled squirrel anyway. Don’t judge.

I realized just then that he and I spend allot of time together and I sure do hope he doesn’t pick up any of my bad habits. But then again, he will develope into his own person, he already is on that road. I see myself in him. People say that and I have always just passed it off or never payed attention. I think I have figured out what people like my mother are trying to say now. But, when I can see it all unfolding before me, slowly and measured, it is hard to actually focus on it. As he gets older I get it tho, he wants to be like me, do the things I do, and so forth. It is exactly how I felt about my dad. He is a few years older than I was when my parents divorced but is getting freakishly scary close to the age I was when my dad died. I wonder, still at my age, what life would have been like if he had not of died when I was fifteen. Where would we all be now? I know it is a foolish notion. I am happy he enjoys his time with me and that there are many great things we get to do as father and son. I know many people that don’t have a relationship with their sons and it seems they don’t care to as well. I have found it isn’t about hunting, building, playing, or just doing things together, it is the simple pleasure of just doing all those things together. I know what is coming. I have watched it with my daughters, 16 and 22, as they get older the family part of their lives seemed to get pushed out of the way. With my oldest I took it hard because it felt like she didn’t need me any longer. I found out it was just her getting older, getting independent, and her spreading her wings. My younger daughter is going thru the growing pains now, still wants to be daddy’s little girl but doesn’t want to be with me unless she wants to be with me. Number two has been a little easier in the adjustments because I got to see this one coming and actually evolve. I got to use some prior experience to help guide me to be a teenage girl’s dad and not my other baby girl’s daddy. I suppose I will always be daddy in their hearts and my own. I would like to think boys are different in that regard. Yes, I see my son becoming more independent every day and I can’t say I am thrilled with it. I am absolutely happy he is getting older and maturing, but I see my future. Is this why older people get cats or dogs or both? Do they still need to nurture something? It will be a dark day before I buy an animal to replace my children, a real dark day, like Hell freezing over dark. I have my time now, I still have a chance. I found that you cannot tell your children that you are here for them when they are ready because they don’t understand and it becomes rather awkward. I know, I have a head full of nonsense sometimes.

We did make it back to the back deck where my wife was waiting for us. She gave me a peck on the cheek and gave me a nod. In the terms of our relationship that means” everything will be okay daddy” and for me not to worry about things I cannot change. She’s right you know, I can’t really change any of this. I can, however, simplify the outside influential things in my life. But, do I really want to? I mean, it is everything in my life which makes me who I am. I am a doer, I am happy doing. In case y’all are interested, squirrel was not on this particular menu, just venison and some wild hog as the meats. Also, some grilled corn, some grilled mixed veggies, and some grilled bell peppers. Our little dinner was eaten outside on the deck with some classic rock playing slightly and a couple of my special recipe margaritas. It was nice while it lasted. My daughter was urgently called away to chat on-line with friends over a crisis. My son had put his game of Black Ops on pause while he came to get me and he needed to get back to the mission. So, after cleaning up a bit, my wife and I decided to stay outside with the tiki lamps burning while we enjoyed the last few margaritas I had mixed up. And then I realized what it all meant, I found the answer I wasn’t looking for, tiki lamps are magical. I was happy being happy sitting with my wife in the light from the flickering tiki lamps. I never knew how I miss lust sitting with her, Just enjoying her company, and just being happy. This is what I needed all along. The night was beautiful. The sky was clear with many of the stars clearly visible. People don’t know what they are missing when they just don’t stop and enjoy what is right in front of them.