Let’s start out with the basics. I enjoy writing; I”m a gregarious kind of guy, and I love helping people. So with that established, let me tell you a bit about myself.
I’m am old guy according to my kids. I’m just right, according to my wife, and I wish I was about twenty years younger. I have two granddaughters, and yes, it’s true what you’ve heard, they are the cutest little girls on the planet, no argument allowed. I have four adult children, with the eldest, a beautiful woman, married, strong, and a joy to be with, followed by a son who is a devoted and exceptional father in his own right, another son who prefers the single life right now, but who is a hard-working and upstanding man, trustworthy, and thoughtful, and finally, another daughter, who amazes me with her young wisdom, life choices, and mothering skills. What can I say? I’m a proud papa.
You see, it all started some thirty-three years back, when I was introduced on a blind date (how cliche is that!) to the woman who was to become my wife. I was a sailor in the U.S. Navy at the time, stationed on Coronado Island, just across the bay from beautiful San Diego, California. I was a single sailor who was busy riding dirt bikes, learning scuba, fixing electronics in Navy jets, and having the time of my life with good friends in Sunny Southern California.
I had secured a date for a Friday night at the movies, double dating with a good friend and his girl friend. I called my date to find out if she would be ready on time, and found out that she had stayed out too late the night before, and got grounded by her father. I called all of the young ladies I knew and found that they were already busy. My friend’s girlfriend made a call to my future wife, and was able to talk her into doing something she swore she’d never do, date a sailor. The rest is history.
I had a secret weapon in the dating world, a knack for creating good food, and a highly creative mind that loved to experiment with everything. That pretty much secured my role as future husband, that and the fact that my wife and I spent more hours in the cab of her pickup truck than I can remember, talking about what we wanted in a marriage, and out of life. In the era of free love, and anything goes, we took the time to build a relationship out of respect, and trust, something that has never wavered in our marriage.
Why did we spend all that time in the cab of my DW’s pickup truck? Well, remember how I said I did a lot of dirt-biking? The bike I rode was street legal, and powerful. It was my transportation. Just before I met my wife, it was also stolen. So I was between vehicles at the time, and rapidly saving for a new bike. I guess that thief did me a favor.
Let me tell you what. Though I chose to follow my religious beliefs and remain chaste until we were marriage, I think our first child was conceived within a week. and that’s all I’m going to say about that!
So, somewhere around nine months later, we were blessed with the most beautiful little girl on the planet (it’s true, the most beautiful on the whole planet). Little did we know at the time how that precious little baby would change our lives, for the better.
Now all of you guys out there who think your life is grand, without the strings of a family tying you down, let me tell you, you’re missing feelings that truly transform you into a man. You see, I did all of those adrenaline producing things, downhill skiing, body surfing, fast motocycles, fast horses, and things that I won’t blog because they might just give some young man ideas that he shouldn’t have. I’ve gone faster, standing on a single ski than a man should go. I’ve climbed a stone cliff in the high Sierras, wearing wet tennis shoes, and clutching a fishing pale in one hand, with frost covering the ground, and legs that were numb from wading a river near Mammoth Mountain ski resort.
I found out though, that I was seeking thrills to fill an empty hole, a hole that could only be filled by a loving wife and loving children. When I married, with the intent that my marriage would last forever, I found that the joy given to me by my family far surpassed any feeling I could ever obtain in the temporary adrenaline rush of ridiculous acceleration. There is just no feeling that can replace the complete trust and love of your own children, and knowing that you will never break that trust.
Well, it’s bedtime now, and I have to work tomorrow. Maybe I can throw in one of those really great recipes that I promised to put up every now and again.
For Thursday, March 17th, I wish you a wonderful evening.