Good evening, America! Well this little branch of the Dooley family tree continues to wait with baited breath for this election to finally be over with. Even the Boy is sick and tired of all of this nonsense. Unfortunately, I’d bet dollars to doughnuts (and doughnuts are a serious business with me) that even after Election Day the election will be far from over with. I guess it’s just more reason for us to increase our watching of educational channels and decrease our chances of being subjected to increased political stupidity. I’m not an irascible fellow (told you I could use the word irascible!) but enough…seriously. Irregardless, now cometh the latest and greatest edition of the diatribe.
Well this weekend was an odd mix for me around the Mini Ponderosa. On one hand I am a terrible hoarder. I will collect anything that can find its way into the garage. On the other hand, few things in life give me as much pleasure as throwing things away. I love the sounds of former treasures hitting the dumpster. The sight of my burned out, badly worn, peeling green painted dumpster slowly filling to the point of overflowing just warms the cockles of my stony old heart.
I don’t want to digress too far off the point I’m trying to make this week but I feel like I should address the recycling issue. No, I do not recycle willingly. Why? Well it is a feud between me and the city fathers that stretches back over a decade. I used to recycle. Then came the incident that we only refer to as the “Dark Days of 2003”. During those early days I would dutifully set my bins out on the prescribed day and watch out the window expectantly for the truck to come by and pick up my discarded treasures. Then one Thursday I watched as the truck drove right past my brightly colored and sorted bins. I was perturbed, don’t get me wrong, but I continued to sort and fill the bins as was expected of me. Then the next week came. I watched with never blinking eyes until the truck slowly rolled past my bins. Again, not stopping. I spent the next week picking up my recyclable treasure trove from the alley and neighbors yard. That was the week I picked up my recycle bins and threw them, and their now weather beaten contents, into the trash. Well the City picked up the bins and still have not brought any back to me. I’m ok with their decision.
Do I hold a grudge? Well, you must consider that my family is from the same mountains that spawned some fairly famous, and long standing, family feuds. So yes, yes I hold grudges.
Alright, back to the subject at hand. We were selling things on our local Facebook Market Place and hauling pre-loved trinkets to the dumpster at a furious pace. I had almost forgotten that the floor of my garage existed and had forgotten that it was gray in color. Who knew?! Then we stopped in mid excavation. Why were we wasting my last day off for the week by cleaning?
I seriously doubt that any child has ever looked back over their childhood and thought “Remember that weekend Dad got the garage cleaned out?” “Remember when he organized the toolshed?” Memories are made doing things you love as a family. Those core memories come from doing things together that you all love. For us, those things are taking trips in our Jeep, looking for gold, getting muddy, hiking until we’re out of breath, and seeing all of the sights that Western Colorado has to offer.
It was only a 120 mile trip in total, and only lasted for six hours but in that time we were able to connect. There wasn’t a cell tower for miles at timberline and that was just perfect. We saw only a few orange clad visitors to the area. Other than the one that parked his truck squarely in the middle of my photo op, that was just perfect too. He received my best withering glare but he failed to move. What did we see up there, other than a photobombing geriatric fellow from Oklahoma? How about this:
We found a very cool creek crossing that held the promise of gold. We didn’t find enough to justify my early retirement, but skipping rocks across the still, and crystal clear waters with the Boy and the Boo Bear more than made up for any surprise and disappointment that I may have felt. We ended up with muddy footprints on pretty much every surface of our Jeep’s interior but that was ok too.
I understand that not everyone can make a 30 minute drive from their front door and see things like this. That’s not the point I’m trying to make here. The point I’m trying to make is that you should go and do what it is that you love doing as a family. If you all get worked about going to the mall and shopping at Forever 21, then that’s what you should go do. If you enjoy doing battle with the zombie hoards at your local paintball club, then go do that. Just get out and do something as a family!
We all spend an inordinate amount of our lives working hard at our jobs. It’s easy to come home and sink into our favorite chair that delivers the perfect recumbent position. It’s easy to blow off a weekend saying “I need some time to rest up from the week I just had.” But keep this in mind: You only get 936 weekends from the time your kids are born until they are 18. That’s less than 1000 opportunities to make those memories that they will share with your family’s future generations. Less than 950 opportunities to connect with your child before they go off into the wide world and start carving out their own place in society. What memories will they take of you with them? Do you really want your legacy to be “Well, the old man kept a very clean garage.”
Please feel free to share your adventures with us! We’re always looking for new ideas, and new destinations!
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