Tag Archives: son

Campfire Cooking

Today was one of the first very cool Fall days.  It got down into the high 40’s, low 50’s.  I love days like this where you can wrap up in sweatshirts or flannel and a pair of soft, warm denim jeans. Where you can walk outside and take a deep breath of the crisp cool air, so deep that you feel the air touch the very bottom of your lungs… and feel like your body, your mind, your whole psyche is being cleansed. It awakens and enlivens my senses and my spirit like no other season ever will.

It rained hard this afternoon, heavy thunderstorms that cancelled my son’s football game. A good day to be inside, watching movies or college football games, wrapped in a blanket. Tonight though was drier as the cells of storms had moved on earlier in the day. My wife and daughter went off for the closing evening of the county fair where they are participating in the 4H equestrian program.

When the girls are away, the boys like to do stuff… like make fires and then cook our dinner on the fire. I know, I know… you’re saying… why cook on a fire when you have a perfectly good kitchen available? I don’t know, it’s that primal urge that guys have to be and act like cavemen.

So here was our dinner for the evening:

In a large sheet of aluminum foil: Instant white rice (cooked), cannned chicken, frozen broccoli, a couple tablespoons of olive oil and a big dash of garlic pepper.

Wrap it up tight!

Spread out your fire so you have a nice bed of hot coals to cook on. Set the foil packs directly on the hot coals.

Turn on some music, grab a seat and wait patiently! You don’t need to be concerned, that’s not his beer bottle on the chair next to him.

Cook for about 20 minutes!

It’s all about the presentation! See how frickin’ good this looks!!

Okay, so this isn’t really what it looked like.  In fact, it was dark out so I’m not sure what it really looked like. But it sure tasted as good as this looks!

Because you know what? If I’ve learned anything in my many years of parenting…

… it’s not always about the food… you know what I mean?

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Brown Road Laundry Graph

 

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Father and Son

To all of you reading this for the first time, although it sounds as if I may be referring to my father thankfully he is still around although admittedly with his share of health problems. I did lose my mother to cancer at age 60 back in 2002 so I have experienced the trauma of losing a parent early in life.  I am trying to conceptualize the lifelong relationship between a father and a son. That could be me with my father as he gets up there in age, my son and I, or anyone of us. As I was writing this I guess I was thinking more in terms of my son’s relationship with me and the events he will experience and possibly have to deal with as he grows older.  Whether this makes you smile or cry, I imagine most of you will relate at some level.  Thanks for reading.

waaaah
Da da
Daddy
Daddy read to me?
Daddy I love you!
Daddy wanna play catch?
Hey Dad, thanks for coaching my team.
Dad I’m so mad that we lost!
Dad are you coming to my game tonight?
Dad can you drive me to the movies?
Dad I have a girlfriend.
Dad can I talk to you about birth control?
Dad how did you know when you were first in love?
Dad when I’m at away at college I promise to call once a week.
Dad I got an A in my chemistry class.
Dad I met a girl that I really like.
Dad I’ve been accepted into the junior year abroad program!
Dad I’m nervous about graduating and finding a job.
Dad thanks for helping me pay for college.
Dad let’s go grab a few beers somewhere.
Dad I got a really great job offer.
Dad I’m getting married!
Dad they want to promote me but it means moving away.
Dad we finally closed on that house we love.
Dad were going to have a baby.
Dad its a boy!
Dad how’d you and Mom survive these toddler years?
Dad how about you and mom coming for Christmas this year, the boys would love to see you, its been awhile.
Dad do you think you and Mom can make it to the graduation in June?
Dad congratulations on your retirement, you deserve it.
Dad are you keeping busy?
Dad I miss you, maybe we can come visit this summer.
Dad, Mom said you haven’t been feeling too well.
Dad we’ll be on a plane tomorrow to come see you.
Dad you’ve lost a lot of weight.
Dad you look so old to me.
Dad thank you for everything you’ve done to make my life so special.
Dad you’ve lived a great life and accomplished so much.
Dad I’ll be sure that Mom’s okay.
Dad its okay to let go.
Dad I love you.
Dad everyone in attendance today is here to honor your life. You were a blessing to so many people, a wonderful husband to Mom, a caring father to your children and a friend to so many.
Dad we will miss you.

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This Song’s For You

 I want to write a song.  I have wanted to write a song for years.  I tried writing a song about my Mom when she passed away 8 years ago but I couldn’t find the words.  I want to write a love song for my wife, a song that we can sing together and share for the rest of our lives.  I’d like to write a song about my son, about what a great kid he is and how we are best friends even before being father and son.  Or better yet, I want to write a song for my daughter, a Daddy’s girl song.  I want her to finish growing up and have her own song, written only about her, that she can tell her friends her Dad used to sing to her, that she can sing to herself when she is feeling down, that I can sing to her at her wedding.  She is 13 now and I am running out of time.

I don’t know why songwriting is so difficult.  I can sit here at my keyboard and knock out blog post after blog post about things happening in my life, about humor, about emotions, about happiness and sadness.  I can write about these important people in my life, word after word, line after line, paragraph after paragraph.  I can write about work and play and life and death.  The words emerge easily once I start tapping the keyboard.  Driving home from work a blog post idea will pop into my head and I’ll have it “written” before I even park and get out of the car.  It seems to come naturally and each day I strive to find something interesting to write about, a post better than the day before, a topic that is meaningful to my readers and to my family and especially to myself.

But I haven’t been able to write a song.  I’ve tried… I’ve sat with my guitar and struggled to come up with some basic chord progression and a melody that has some appeal.  I’ve tried to get the lyrics to flow through my head, just like the blog posts do now.  So far it hasn’t clicked.  The inspiration is there but the ability to put it “down on paper” continually eludes me.  Maybe it’s because song lyrics tend to have to be rhythmic and mysterious and vague.  Maybe it’s because I am trying to write the lyrics and the melody at the same time.  Maybe I’m just trying too hard to write that perfect song, to not fail… because the stakes are so high.  It’s like, this is my only shot, this is the song that my daughter will take with her into adulthood, or this is the song that my wife and I will sing to each other as we sit in rocking chairs with gray hair and wrinkled skin and reading glasses perched on our noses.  Damn, that is a lot of pressure!  It has to be right, it’s has to be special, it has to be flawless.

I found this quote from Jackson Browne, my absolute, super-fragilistic, all-time, favorite, hero musician and singer-songwriter.

“Self-discovery in songwriting, bringing something forth that’s instructive to yourself – some of the best songs that you will ever write are the ones where you didn’t have to think about any of that stuff, but nonetheless that’s what’s happening in the song.”

I think what I hear him saying is… don’t try too hard, don’t think too hard about what you are writing, just let the words develop into something magical.  Find the inspiration from the events in your life, the relationships, the experiences, both good and bad, then set them aside and let the lyrics appear on the page.  Maybe it becomes easier with each song that one writes, just as these blog posts have seemingly become easier to write with each passing day.   Maybe I just need to set aside some time, be alone, and try to make it happen. 

You know I’m not one for New Years Resolutions.  Perhaps finally writing a song should be my New Years resolution for 2011.  It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be from the heart.

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