Tuesday, July 21, 2015

One Thousand Gratitudes, Part XXX: 275-251

Penned this shorty over fourth-of-July weekend down at the lake.

It, like some of the finer things in life, are simple.

Thanks for reading.

Two Hundred Seventy-Five: watching infants witness a new thing that makes them smile

Two Hundred Seventy-Four: discovering elements of nature affected by recent storms

            I never enjoy thinking about possible strife suffered by those who’ve felt the wrath of natural disasters, but when you stumble -- on a road trip, hike, or otherwise -- upon a bit of a flood or some overturned trees or a simple, beat-up piece of turf, I think (and hope) that the human experience has something to do with a reminder of our size and time in this world. A little bit of that has to do a body good.

Two Hundred Seventy-Three: the drivers at my job

            These guys get a lot of grief, some of which they might deserve, but they make the whole thing happen. They operate the machinery. They fight the steps, ramps, rude operators, and the occasional arrogant staff member. They’re up early, sweating often, and working while most of the rest of the operation coasts through holidays. Many thanks to those who do their job with consistency and integrity.

Two Hundred Seventy-Two: married dudes who are independent and understand

            Sometimes I meet couples that do everything together, seldom venture out alone, and seem to always be home at the same time.

            Even rarer: couples that do all of these things and work together.

            I don’t get the lack of a need for alone time and independence, and I don’t aim to judge those that don’t need it, but that’s not how I operate. I understand, then, when other independent married dudes admit to wedded friction and the challenge of how that’s managed. I understand (and appreciate) that there are other husbands that need time to themselves.

Two Hundred Seventy-One: Phil Lesh’s Fare Thee Well show-closing organ-donor messages

            Solid wish for a fan base and an audience. Please consider if you’re not already registered.

Two Hundred Seventy: our parish community

            St. Peter’s folks -- I love our connectedness, our intentions, and our results. As Father Steve alluded to in a late-June Mass: Here’s to “the next 90 years.”

Two Hundred Sixty-Nine: American educational opportunities

            I’ve discussed most (if not all) of my schools and my gratitude for them. I think our country does a decent job of making learning a priority for our children. We don’t have to be the best in the world; that’s not what’s important.

            If we continue to provide funding and resources and passion to prioritizing education, we should continue to head in the right direction. I’m grateful for the foundation we have.

Two Hundred Sixty-Eight: dogs

            The greatest companion on the planet.

Two Hundred Sixty-Seven: sunglasses

            It’s a bright, bright world out there. Grateful for this invention.

Two Hundred Sixty-Six: access to swimming pools

            I’m a bit of a creep so most lakes tend to not cut it for me, and I’m a bit paranoid, so no thanks to the ocean. Not much grander than a youthful summer filled with pool days, and now, being a father, I enjoy swimming (with my kids) more than I could have imagined.

Two Hundred Sixty-Five: David Grisman

            Jerry Garcia had a lot of great companions, but none created that natural, soothing effect quite like David Grisman playing alongside the one-time Grateful Dead front man. Heavenly.

Two Hundred Sixty-Four: Red Rocks Amphitheater

            This magical sound garden in Morrison, Colorado may always hold the favorite-venue spot in my heart. Such good energy. Such great memories. Such a spectacle.

Two Hundred Sixty-Three: learning to ski at a young age

            I managed to get the hang of this on the fake Snow Creek slopes and -- having skied a day of my bachelor-party weekend, I may never go again. Just in case, though: I’m glad I got it downloaded to the muscle-memory server.

Two Hundred Sixty-Two: percussion

            To all the guys and girls who’ve ever slapped a drum: thank you; your sounds are wonderful.

Two Hundred Sixty-One: boating

            Be it the catamaran small-boat sailing at Camp Bartle, motoring in a pontoon, or ripping the water apart in a Scarab, I give thanks for the opportunities I’ve had to move on the open water. Exhilarating.

Two Hundred Sixty: Jet Skis and Waverunners

            For me this tops even boating. Nothing gets the adrenaline rolling like speeding atop tiny wave ripples or getting airborne via the big ones. Hell, even getting it wide open on a smooth stretch will get you high. I’ve never owned lakefront property or a boat or any of these types of toys, but I have friends that have. For those people and the experiences with them, I give thanks.

Two Hundred Fifty-Nine: my father’s wedding band

            Although large the sacrifice, I have great gratitude to hold the honor of wearing my dad’s ring. 

            I give thanks to my stepmom for gifting me with it, and to the heavens that the reminder of him adorns my left ring finger.

Two Hundred Fifty-Eight: the jambase.com comments section after Fare Thee Well night one at Soldier Field in Chicago

            Dig the non-fans of Phish giving Trey props. Beautiful stuff.

Two Hundred Fifty-Seven: control ‘F’

            This tool helps me no fewer than three times a day. Nothing like a search prompt.

Two Hundred Fifty-Six: Grateful Dead Without a Net

            It took me a while to get the Dead. This album put the light on in my attic. Thankful I bought it all those years ago.

Two Hundred Fifty-Five: Grateful Dead

            Oh, man. That self-titled 1971 release set me free. Their sixth studio record came on the heels of American Beauty and Workingman’s Dead (and Aoxomoxoa, Anthem of the Sun, and The Grateful Dead) -- tremendous works in and of themselves -- nailed down for me what this band meant. The bluegrass, the jams, the love stories, the covers. One of my favorite Dead albums.

Two Hundred Fifty-Four: the mandolin

            Such sweet, sweet sounds. Cheers to you who have mastered it.

Two Hundred Fifty-Three: my poetry journals

            I’ve got about five of these things.

            They’ve hibernated in my basements for 15 years and they may do so for another 15. If I get the hankering one day, though, I might dig ‘em out and retool their innards. Glad I put pen to paper back when I did.

Two Hundred Fifty-Two: jet pack

            No, not the thing you strap on your back and fly around with, but the thing you power up that gives you Internet connectivity almost anywhere.


Two Hundred Fifty-One: ice

            Ingenious invention. In. Genious.

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