At different times in my life the lyrics to the Paul Simon song pop into my head. “The first thing I remember I was lying in my bed. Couldn’t have been no more than one or two”
And the memory of my dad coming home late one night when we were preschoolers…waking us up…putting some construction hard hats one our heads and standing us in front of the console TV to photograph us…that will never go away.
He set a hard example for us to follow. He wasn’t perfect, but his family was worth any sacrifice. We felt the love through his endless work. It’s been seven years this past October since we lost him. I can only pray we do him proud.
The search for ancestral roots continues. And the granddaughters grow cuter and smarter every day. I have high expectations for 2018.
We all hate how high our cell phone bills are. Still think about how much worse your our lives could be. Most of us reading don’t battle of daily with shelter and the ability to feed and clothe ourselves.
While I don’t subscribe to the mind set that we should feel guilty of taking advantage of our opportunities and working hard to keep whatever luxuries we have…I do imagine how those living in impoverished nations and similar situations would feel about what I and those in my community feel causes us stress. I call them “First World Problems”. Here are just a few more in no particular order.
Piano is out of tune
Coordinating all family members’ vacation time for a trip
Converting to refrigerated air or an ECU
Who is selling Girl Scout cookies?
Waiting for the next season of our favorite program
Tax season is like another New Year’s resolution. We have a lot to which to look forward…and so many opportunities to disappoint ourselves.
I’m sure many others also spend a lot of time anticipating a chance to catch up on bills or treat themselves to something to which they’ve been looking forward. We worry about the end of the year and wonder if this time, things will be better.
We wonder about our station in life; we wonder what we are doing right. Sometimes, we encourage ourselves for what we are doing right (but not as often). We often plan to make healthy, conscientious decisions.
Sometimes, we just feel a little futile. As most things, the worst passes. Life moves on, and we can focus on the day to day.
At a very early age we move away from individual toys which we do not like to share (at least I know I was not much for sharing), and we move into activities we require others to truly enjoy. Reaching middle-age, I’ve been reacquainted recently with the joys of sitting with the the family and pulling out a favorite board game or card game.
I’ve been teaching new games to the kids such as Texas Hold ‘Em and Liar’s Dice (popularized in the Pirates of the Carrivbean movies). Also, we’ve brought out some old classic board games like Monopoly and Clue. Some of the other favorite board games when I was younger include Red Storm Rising, The Battle for Britannia and Risk. Card games include Spades, Hearts and Poker….along with Uno and Phase Ten.
The game activities have been lending toward a greater sense of calm for me. Looking back, I see the development they provide on learning and a sense of family closeness. Along with music, the activities are catching up to individual activities and crafts as favored pastimes.
The right way to start must be the beginning. Though our family was living in Juarez (Chihuahua, Mexico), my brother and were born in the Second Ward of El Paso, Texas. My father’s side of the family emigrated to San Francisco, California from Nicaragua. Dad joined the Army at the age of seventeen and was stationed in Fort Bliss, Texas. He and my mother met in Juarez. Both became naturalized US citizens.
They wanted us to be born in the US, and seems like it was probably a reasonable idea. We lived in Juarez until 1974-1975, when we moved for good to El Paso. The US president was Lyndon B. Johnson. “People Got to Be Free by the Rascals” was popular on the radio. Also, Led Zeppelin was touring in America. One of my favorite spaghetti westerns “Hang ‘Em High” came out this year. On TV, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood was debuted, and I remember watching the show with my brothers.
Mom and Dad were good parents who did a good job teaching us right from wrong. As cliche as that may sound, I am regularly reminded that not everyone had two involved parents teaching them how to stay out of trouble. In my life, I have met plenty of people who did not have the support and protection which we did. Some of them did fine for themselves; they do not speak fondly of their youth and their parents. Hearing of their disadvantage, causes me to miss my father even more.