The Beast I Loved

     It was July of 1972 and I was 18. I had a job that at the time I thought was just for the summer and I wanted a car of my own. One of the guys I worked with said he had a car for sale for $100. Now back in 1972 that was not an unheard of price for a used car, especially when it was nine years old and rusty. I took my father to take a look at it and his verdict was that it was ugly but would “get me around”. I didn’t think it was ugly at all. To me it was the most beautiful car ever made. I was looking through 18 year old eyes of course.
     I gave Al the $100 that night at work. My dad talked to the mechanic at work and obtained a certificate of mechanical fitness for it. I called up an insurance company and was told it would cost me $1000 a year for insurance.
My dad saw the look on my face and said in his dad voice, “told you so”. He said I could pay the $25 uninsured motorist fee but went on for about twenty minutes about how my life would be ruined if I so much as bumped another car. Needless to say all I heard was that I could drive my car.
       I have so many great memories about the Beast (my car had a name) and the year we spent together. My friends comments ranged from, “Piece of junk” to “Death trap” but they still wanted to ride with me. I drove that car so much that year, I even drove to Montreal with it but my best memory of the Beast happened in November.     
     I had picked up my friend Bruce to drive him to the mall on my way to work. We saw a girl we knew from school, Nancy and gave her a lift as she was going to the mall also. She asked if we could pick up a friend of hers and take them to the liquor store on the way. It was a good thing I had left early for work that night. We picked up her friend and after I went in to the liquor store with Nancy to help her pick out a bottle of wine, we headed off to the mall. I looked in the rear-view mirror and saw her friend. Well at least I saw a nose and glasses. She was wearing a long black winter coat with a hood and had a long wool scarf wrapped around her neck. I had some music playing and started dancing in the drivers seat, just goofing around. I looked in the mirror and saw her smile. I can’t say that I fell in love with her right there (it took a few days) but I did ask Nancy the next day if her friend might be interested in going out with me. That was November 5th 1972, two months later I asked her to marry me. If I hadn’t had the Beast, I wouldn’t have given Bruce a ride, seen Nancy, picked up her friend and so on. So Yes I still think the Beast was beautiful.


Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving seems like a lot of holidays to me. I mean shouldn’t we be thankful every day of the year? Wake up in the morning and say “Thank you God for giving me another day”. Thank your wife/husband for putting up with you for another day. Thank the person who hands you your coffee at Tim’s. Just be thankful everyday.

I’ve got so much to be thankful for that I can hardly think of it all.

First off, I’m alive. I could have bought it so many times in my life, sometimes from my own stupidity and sometimes from circumstances beyond my control. Yet, here I am.

Second: I’m married to the love of my life. Sure if you’re married to someone you should be in love with them. I mean I’m married to someone I love as much as life itself. She gives me my reason to get up every morning. She knows me so well that it is sometimes freaky. Now I’m not saying she’s perfect and it’s not like we never disagree. We just always know at the end of the day, we love each other and that trumps any argument we could have.

Third, forth, fifth and sixth: My son and my daughter can both in their own ways drive me crazy. I want so much for them but they have to do it for themselves. I tried to teach them that. They are both a combination of my wife and I. That could explain a lot of things now that I think of it. My granddaughters, April and Breanna are light and energy. April could light up a cave with her smile and Breanna could solve the energy crisis if we could get her on a treadmill. They can both wear me out and pick me up at the same time.

Today’s music: I’m Alive by The Hooters

We don’t change as we get older. We just get more like ourselves.

I don’t know where I first read that but I have always liked it. I think most people “get more like themselves” as they grow older. I feel more comfortable in my skin than I felt when I was a teenager or even when I was in my Twenties or Thirties. I look at my face in the mirror every morning and think to myself, “Yep, that’s me” I don’t think, “Wow I’m getting old!” or “What happened to that guy that used to be there?” I just think of the wild ride that got me to this point in my life.

My good friend Bruce, once told my son that the thing he admired most about me was that I never cared about what people thought about me. I did go against the grain most of the time. Some people didn’t know how to take me and so they decided I wasn’t cool. I was of course never part of the in crowd, whatever that means. Somehow I survived not being like everyone else and became me, as I am, where I am in my life. If I had to do it over again, why would I change a thing? It took a lot of mistakes and miss-steps and a great deal of the Lord’s grace to get to here.

Today’s music “In My Life” by The Beatles