Monday, November 10, 2008

This and That from the Past

Forgiveness is to give love when it seems there is no reason to do so.

Friendship improves happiness and abates misery by doubling our joy and dividing our grief.

The bridge you burn now may be the one you later have to cross.

We stopped in the Arcadia National Forest in Maine to climb to the top of a rock formation and look out over the bay – there was the city of Bar Harbor below, Nova Scotia on the horizon, and the Atlantic Ocean for as far as you could see. Jill and I marveled. I looked over my shoulder, certain I would see that the girls were as impressed with the view as we were. I spotted Meagan busy sending a text-message from her phone and Linley holding the portable DVD player, taking care not to miss a single scene of Moulin Rouge.

I took the family to Statesboro, Georgia one weekend to visit the campus of Georgia Southern University, one of the candidate colleges on Meagan’s list. I really don’t want her to be four hours away from home but wasn’t sure how to say that without being the overbearing dad she sometimes accuses me of. As I was pondering a mini-speech, she was looking out the window as we drove though the sleepy little southern town that offered little to a metropolitan kind of girl. “Where in the world would I get my nails done,” she asked. I knew then I no longer needed to worry.

Meagan called me one morning just before school was to begin to tell me she had forgotten to take her medicine. I reassured her it was noting to worry about, but to no avail; she was nearly frantic. Finally she whimpered, “I don’t want to die.”
“No, honey, I don’t want you to, either,” I said, “but they are just vitamins.

This morning I studied my hands as my fingertips moved slowly across the keyboard, waiting to warm up and become limber again. Dry, wrinkled and cracked, a ragged cuticle and the knuckles red and rough. Years digging in the dirt, bending gold and silver, sculpting clay, wrapped around a wrench or hammer, wiping baby bottoms, shelling peas, scrubbing potatoes and peeling rutabagas, clipping on necklaces, pulling out splinters and putting on Band-Aids, rubbing tired eyes, clasped in prayer at night, touching my wife’s beautiful face. I should take better care of them.

Girls and their excitement about bedding, it escapes my comprehension. But the best part was the five hours we spent alone in the car talking about everything under the sun. I’m grateful for such times, when I get to be dad, friend and advisor, not just disciplinarian and Daddy Warbucks. Oh I complain but you know as well as I do how much I am going to miss the times when she hugs and kisses me, smiles with sparkling eyes and tells me I’m handsome just before asking for a $20.

Why does it upset the girls so much if when I agree enthusiastically with a point they’ve made I shout “Boomshockalocka!”

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