My 100th Hub - A Testament to my Family
100 hubs. And counting. For the topic of this milestone hub for me, I choose to speak of my family and our week of Spring Break. So let's begin, shall we?
Friday was the first day of the break. My lovely wife and I went for a drive, looking at houses. This is one of her favorite pastimes. And, at present, a useful one. We will purchasing a house shortly. Another one. We own one just outside of town on about 5 acres. This was my be all end all house that I wanted to live in until I died. I even wrote my story River of Memories from that standpoint. The character lives there, alone at the end of his life. The setting is an actual one, one that I loved, and love still. But, economically, it is beyond where we want to be; not can be, but desire to be. At this stage of my life I know the chances of living long enough to pay it off are somewhere between slim and none. So Tina and I have come up with a ten to fifteen year plan. We will buy something that falls into that price range, with the side benefit of being able to live life now, rather than simply existing to pay a mortgage.
So, we went for a drive to look at a couple of houses. Neither one was what we were after, but that didn't stop us from enjoying the first high 70 degree day of the year, complete with bright sun and only a hint of cloud cover. A trip down a side road south of town took us across a bridge of a pond I fished in my youth, and then a surprise. A large Red Tail Hawk flew across the road in front of us trailing a large snake. As the hawk made it across the road, he was so low that the snake caught on the barb wire fence and yanked it out of its talons. The hawk continued off, landing on a nearby tree limb. We stopped and looked at the snake and saw it was a nearly 3 foot long Copperhead. The head was destroyed, but the snake itself was beautiful. We left, traveling on down the road around the corner, intent of letting the hawk come back around for its meal.
After a few minutes, we turned around and went back. But before we got to the spot, Tina stopped me because there was a turtle in the road. It was her first turtle of the year, and as she is the head of the Turtle Relief Fund in our county, she is mandated to remove all turtles from the road safely. So, we stopped. This one was asleep. Yes, I said asleep. I have never seen a turtle sleeping before, have you? His little head tipped sideways, resting on his shell. I tapped his foot, nothing. I picked him up and he shuddered like a baby does when they are startled while sleeping, then right back to sleep. He never did wake up, even when we moved him off the road and onto some warm gravel off one side of the road so he would be safe. It was as cute as could be.
We eventually went back to where the hawk had been and he was there, on his back on the ground flapping like crazy trying to pull his snake dinner off the fence. I got out and went over to it and pulled it off one of the barbed wire and laid it on the ground for the hawk. As we drove off, I hoped he would fly back down for his dinner.
The next day we went looking at another house, this one overlooking a "lake". It turned out to be on the river nearby that has a dam across it. While it technically is a lake, to me it isn't. It's just the river, and it's muddy, smelly, and not that attractive. But we went, and the house itself wasn't bad. But as we were driving home, we went a different way and came across a just killed pheasant in the road. Tina had ever seen one, so we stopped for a look. It was literally just killed, and beautiful; the colors of a pheasant are so brilliant, with the reds and greens and yellows all combining to make one of the most beautiful birds in North America. We pulled it off the road and picked it up. I know, it was roadkill but it was literally just killed. Neither of us wanted that beautiful animal to become flattened and destroyed on that road. Perhaps we are soft hearted, but it hurts to see anything die and be desecrated in such a manner. We took it home and I pulled some feathers to tie flies with. We snapped some pictures and took it out in the country to bury it.
Then the cold set in. The weatherman is calling for snow and freezing rain over the next few days. Welcome to Spring! Tina and I fired up the fireplace, enjoying the flames dancing in the fireplace. We went shopping for Caleb's birthday. It is so hard to believe he will be turning 9 years old Friday the 22nd. My oh my how time has flown. It seems like only a couple of days ago we brought him home from the hospital. We used to watch as he lay down when he would go to sleep, and we swore he was seeing angels above him. He would coo and goo and wave his little hands up at something we could not see. And today he is a running jumping rousting about to be 9 year old boy. Wow.
Our every year thing to do on his birthday is a family outing to Chuck E. Cheese. I play the banker, doling out the coins to play the games with, and the kids (and Tina) bringing me the tickets won. At the end of the day we tally up and turn the tickets in to let Caleb buy a gift from the gift area as his birthday present from all of us. Then we go home and have his party. This year he wants a cookie cake for his birthday. Then he will open his presents and have a blast. Laughs and pictures and cookies and juice and milk for all. After the party comes play time for the family, followed by dinner. Caleb has yet to decide what he will want for dinner this year. Probably spaghetti; that's one of his favorites.
This Spring Break has been kind of nasty as far as the weather goes, but to be able to spend time with the family is priceless. Caleb and I have gone old school gaming, playing Gran Tourismo 2. He has never played it before, and it is one of the few games I do know how to play. And even though I am the one who knows how to play it, he stills beats me about 9 times out of 10. Kids are just better at these things than us old folks are.
Folks, enjoy your life. Live life. Find the moments that are worth treasuring, and do just that. Forget the times that try you, and focus on the ones that make you smile. It might be a drive on a sunny day; or rescuing a turtle from the road; or playing video games with your child; or having a birthday party. Or it might be a quiet night with your spouse. Whatever it is, enjoy it to the fullest.