I live the good life. I am a king among men. I do not own large parcels...or "Tracts" of land. I don't own a fast car. I don't own a boat or an airplane...though, GOD! that'd be great. I have a humble home. Three rooms, that, in most countries might be considered opulent. We have a messy house. We try to keep it clean and uncluttered, but that is difficult.
My beautiful wife, whom I do not praise nearly as much as I should, works a very good job. She is what I should be, the bread winner. I am, sadly, the one who has the opportunity to spend more time with our wonderful daughter because my job, as it is, allows me to take time off when necessary. She is a big wig in her company, and I am in awe of her great strength in maintaining her position and even blossoming as an employee for that company. I have never been sent to another state for my job. Hell, I am not completely sure anyone remembers my name from year to year, except as the man with the exceptionally cute, adorable, smart daughter.
My wife, wonderful woman that she is, continually dotes on our daughter. She makes sure she gets baths, dressed, and in all respects all she needs to be a productive member of society. My wife takes our child to day care, mopst days. She makes sure there are clothes on her back...let's face it, if they depended on me to put clothes on the kid...she look like one of the kids from "Our Gang." Probably, Alfalfa. Suspenders, outsize clothes, stains...Hell...maybe even my shirts if the laundry was a little wanting.
I work. Don't get me wrong. I try to make sure some house chores are done. I work close to forty hours a week. I do maintenance around one of the schools during the summer, thanks in no small part to my magnificent boss, and I substitute teach the rest of the year. I am fairly popular amongst the kids. I suspect it is due to my artistic talents rather than my pedantic prowess. I work nearly every day. I get paid. I am out of shape though. I recently discovered HOW out of shape I am when I tried to help a coworker move a sunken tractor. I may have strained a few muscles in the endeavor. What I discovered is that I am WAYYY out of shape. I could totally use some toning...or maybe a good work out. Either way, my ribs are still sore!
Tonight, just after I picked the kid up from day care, I decided to try out a new purchase. I purchased a welding glass. A welding glass is supposed tom protect a welder's eyes. It also keeps most electrons from entering a specific area. Photography needs such things, too. These are "neutral density" filters. A welders glass leans stropngly into the green realm, making pictures look like you shot them through green jello. Well, green, mildewed, rotten, fermented jello. Still, if you have a good enough photo editing program, you can get rid of the green. I decided to experiment with the glass. I had my lovely daughter assist. She likes loking through my camera.
On special occasions I allow her to help me take pictures. Today, she helped me discover the peculiarities of welder's glass. Also, I recently happened upon a lens that was being given away, as it were, and decided it might help my photography. It has no mount for my camera, but photographers are not known for letting little things like attachment points bother them for the sake of art, so I used what is called "free lensing" to accomplish my goal. I let the daughter push the shutter release while I worked on keeping the lens still and at the right focal length. what turned out, with my sweet daughter's help, is this:
She helped me with several things tonight. Then when Mom got home, we left for Gymkids. She did cartwheels and rolls and lifts and a hundred other skills, while other kids Mom's looked on in awe. Yeah, that's my kid. We like to think all she does is thanks to us. YEAH, RIGHT!! who could tame such a soul? No one. We are but stewards to such a wonderful person.
Tonight, bedtime was not a hassle. There were no arguments. All was as easy as could be. My beloved daughter fell asleep fast and hard. The wife came out for a few minutes and then announced that she was done and going to bed. Her sagging head had announced that likelihood minutes before.
I planned to accompany her to bed. I really did. When I did finally show, she was out I got warm and decided to go sit outside on our back porch. When I arrived, i had a shot of whiskey and a good book. What i smelled was that lovely, to me, smell of hops and evening. The sun was down, but the smell of that ever important beer ingredient was all empowering. It smelled like my youth. My grand dad worked for a local hop grower. I remember running through the gantries and catwalks associated with the Hop Kilns. I was MAYBE five, but they had no problem with me being thirty feet high on a catwalk. Yeah. I would not allow MY daughter THAT much freedom, unless I was right there with her.
Something about how difficult it is to obtain kids might have something to do with it.
Still, tonight, I took my Kindle out to the back porch and drank some whiskey, and read a book...and then it occured to me that this is 9/11. I am a king among men. I am proud. I have a family. All of that is due, in major part to those men that have protected these United States. I owe them all a thanks.
But, as the smell of hops being dried and harvested settled upon me, it just told me I am home. I moved to California for two years. I came back. Hops, Mint, and grapes are scents that awaken a much younger me. Reminds me of what was, but also, I impart upon them what IS. And what IS is so much more awesome than what was. I am king. Thanks, mainly, to my queen and my princess. I'm a lucky man. I live the good life.