Thursday, April 27, 2006

Blue Cars, Blue Songs

Today as I was driving, I saw a 1970 Duster driving down the road and it jarred loose some nostalgia I had hidden in the layers.

You see, I once owned a '70 Duster-back in the day. I'd love to tell you that it was my first car, because then I could be spared the embarrassment of telling you what my first car actually was. My first car was actually a 'boat'! And when I say boat, I mean it was the quintessential car-that-could've-doubled-as-a boat. A 1964 Oldsmobile Dynamic 88. Oh baby! Burgundy exterior. White interior. Forty-two feet long. Four doors. Bench seats. AM Radio.(Is that drool I see dangling from your lower lip?...I thought not.) The only slightly redeeming value of it was, it was SO ugly that birds wouldn't even waste their time crapping on it. I mean, you know you've got a cool car when you can hear the birds flying over saying "whoa whoa whoa, not yet! If I can just hold it for another second or two..." Which brings me back to my first REAL car...the Duster. Now that was a car! Medium blue with a black interior. Four on the floor and wickedly fast. But, my favorite part was perched there in the dash. Yeah. A Craig eight-track tape player connected to four coax speakers that cranked out the best music the 70's had to offer. Aerosmith, The Eagles, Boston, Chicago, The Little River Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, ELO, Bread, Fleetwood Mac, The Cars, The Doobie Brothers, Earth Wind and Fire, Kansas, Elton John, Billy Joel, Olivia Newton-John, John Denver, Steely Dan, Loggins and Messina, just to mention a few. And, at the time, ALL of these artists were just hitting their stride. They were not the oldies-they were just HOT! But my all-time favorite tape was James Taylor's Greatest Hits.

To this day, "Something In The Way She Moves" ranks right up there as one of my favorite songs. I thought James (he and I have been on a first name basis ever since, ever since I can remember) wrote that song just for me. For me to sing to my as of yet to be found beloved. Is that cheesy or what? Oh well, sometimes the truth reeks of cheese. Although I look back on those days fondly now, at the time they were lonely. I was a painfully shy kid in those days so I had few friends. Usually it was just me, James, and the Duster. Ole James never seemed to mind me singing along to his beautifully simple songs. If I messed up the syncopation here or there, or if I couldn't finish the line because of the sadness in my throat, he'd just oblige and keep on singing. I could always click the track selector button four times and join him the next time around. I dreamed that someday I'd find someone to 'look my way or call my name'. I dreamed of those 'Berkshires (that) seemed dreamlike on account of that frosting', I wanted to be that 'young cowboy'. I wanted to 'take to the highway', I was 'down and troubled and needed a helping hand', I pleaded 'don't let me be lonely tonight'. But I was okay because, no matter what, my friend James was there singing this to me: 'winter, spring, summer or fall, all you got to do is call and I'll be there, yes I will, you got a friend.' That's all I needed to know.

Isn't it strange how something like a car passing by can affect my thoughts like that? Does this ever happen to you?

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Night Is Young And So Is She

My daughter turned 19 years old today.

I'm not going to sit here and lament how old that makes me feel. You all know how old I am, and so do I. On the inside I'm still somewhere between 12 and 25.

Still. There's no need to lament. After all, I've been blessed to know what it means to be a father, and even better than that, to be a dad to three completely wonderful children. It's an immeasurable privilege that I thank God for.

There's something magical about a little girl, though. Or maybe it's hypnotic. Whatever the case may be, it drew me in from the very start and I don't suppose I'll know the end of it on this earth. She is the first person I've ever known since day one. Being the youngest in my family, I never had a younger sibling so this, in and of itself, was amazing to me. But being her dad is still amazing to me. Oh the things you can learn from a girl!
I learned how to sing soft lullabys. I learned how to rock us to sleep. I learned how to kiss a new way. I learned what it means to protect. I learned how to walk slowly, watching for big cracks in the sidewalk. I learned how to talk to a teddy bear. I learned how to listen to one too. I learned the warm feeling of girl tears on my cheek. I learned how to wave goodbye. I learned how to blow a kiss. I learned how to twirl arm in arm. I learned to kneel down while picking dandelions. I learned how to giggle. I learned to tell good bedtime stories. I learned how to be tickled. I learned how to sing into my hairbrush. I learned the good flavors of lip balm. I learned to love the sound of deep sleep. I learned that ears make great handles on shoulder rides. I learned that dreaming is the best part of living. I learned that "I'm sorry" needs to be real. I learned that "I love you" is best said softly and lived loudly. I learned that words can break your heart. I learned that patty cake is more complicated than baseball. I learned that girls can be studs too. I learned that I will never be done learning about my girl. I learned that being "dad" is the greatest honor I will ever have.

If I can grow up to be like her, I'll be happy.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Good Friday

Do tulips have eyeballs? Because if they do, they'd be up to them in rain today. Maybe they should get together --all of them-- and use their two lips and simultaneously look up to the heavens and yell "Close. The. Sky. Already!"

Life can be ridiculous. No. Really. It CAN be. I read it this morning in the book of Judas. Yeah, the one on the back of the Enquirer. Yep. It takes a little bit of getting used to those hokey 3D glasses but, eventually, you can do it. Anyway, right there in Judas 4:14 (which is weird cuz that's today's date...) it says, and I quote: "F" and then some really unrecognizable ripped parchment thing that looks like this:z/,mva'if and then: "o"......see? What it's saying is really quite simple. If you turn the script upside down and fold the left corner over your right index finger like so, it still says the same thing. "F"...."o". Yep. That's right! Judas was the first disciple with Tourette's syndrome. Which is clearly proof that life CAN be ridiculous, like I said.

Did you know that in Canada a lot of people get today off for Good Friday? Do you suppose they even know what that means? I mean, Canada is notorious for having at least one 'holiday' (even though that's what Canadians call a vacation) a month. If the Queen has bad gas they take a holiday. Seriously. Evidently she's got a thing for gassy foods because every other week there's a new holiday proclaimed. I mean, the day after Christmas is 'Boxing Day'. Picture that for a minute. A bunch of Canadians standing around punching each other. Wait!...isn't that called 'hockey'?

Well, this has to rank up there with one of my most useless posts ever, maybe it's because it's Friday. Or not.

Have a good Good Friday and a really really good good Easter! :)

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

A Colorful Day

I had a fun day today. I got to be with my son and go hiking and driving and taking pictures. He's so much fun to be around! And I am so blessed. Isn't it cool?