The water in Lake Michigan is too cold to swim in but the weather was perfect.
My son digging away on the shores of Lake Michigan. I stopped digging in sand a long time ago, longer even than I can remember.
A friend sent me a message yesterday asking if I wanted to head north for the weekend. A trip north would be perfect. It’s something I’ve been wanting to do since last summer on my last visit. There’s something about it that makes me feel good and worry less.
I thought about it for a second, going over the details in my head on what I would need to do ; book the room, check availability of dog kennel, make sure not to schedule any jobs this weekend. After the mental note I began making the calls. The room part was easy, I don’t have any jobs scheduled Saturday – Monday and I can keep it that way. Then there was the kennel. They wanted over $200.00 which is ridiculous so I decided to stick local. I supposed if I really wanted to make it happen I could but I didn’t. Besides the traffic would suck with everyone in lower Michigan heading north on Memorial weekend. I’m more of an off week kind of guy when it comes to going north.
Still, for a little while I was excited at the idea of my first trip north. It’s only Wednesday and I still plan to keep my options open so who knows.
The youngest is always content with dollar store items. Given the choice between candy and a cheap toy she will almost always pick the cheap toy. Yesterday we stopped by the dollar store, part of my plan to spend less at the market, for a few things and as always I let her browse the toy section where she pointed out this doll. I guess the quality control for a $1 doll isn’t the tightest.
When told my marriage of 18 years was coming to a close my dad said, “When you come visit me this weekend I’d like to talk to you, I have some advice for you.” I’ve always gone to my dad for advice because I respect his opinion. In my eyes he’s always been a solid person with a voice of reason.
Over the years I think I can count on one hand, no make that two or three fingers, the number of times my father has offered me advice without my asking for it. One time was years ago concerning my family. He said something in the way of, “Don’t work too much and spend time with your wife and kids as much as possible.” Sorry I blew that one dad but I always wanted it to be that way it’s just that I guess I didn’t take your advice soon enough. Honestly I always did what I thought was the right thing for my family but..
The second time came more than 15 years later when I went to visit him. I was waiting in anticipation for his words of wisdom because unsolicited advice from him was so uncommon. I think there’s a lesson in that. In the days prior to the visit I thought about what he might say and how he could relate to my situation. My parents divorced when I was only one or two so I knew he could understand what it’s like to watch your wife walk away and to see your kids half the time, how much that sucks and how much you miss your family.
When I arrived we went for a ride in his work van to run an errand and the conversation started. The first thing he said was, “I’m really sorry things have gone this way for your family, are you sure there’s nothing that can be done?” I’ve never, as an adult, shed a tear in front of my dad but when he first spoke I had to pause before answering. It was dark so I was quick to wipe away the tear and then answer in a fake controlled voice. “I’m sure there’s nothing because the choice is not mine and I can’t make it not happen.” He then made a comment about wishing he could just talk to her and perhaps reason with her but I knew there was no point and it would not make a difference anyway. It’s not like a bomb had been dropped suddenly, more like a bomb was floating overhead for too long then finally dropped after more than enough warnings. Then came his fatherly advice to me.
With a smile my dad said, “Don’t worry too much about it. You will get over this, trust me, and besides I was just getting started at your age.” We both laughed.
There it was. The advice I had been waiting for. The words of unsolicited yet appreciated wisdom but certainly not what I expected to hear. The conversation quickly turned to talk about science fiction authors and corny jokes. I love you dad.
The roads up north don’t have street lights, just trees and darkness.
Sometimes a dirty sidewalk in the industrial district is the best place to relax and have a cold one. On Saturday I attended a beer/mead fest. The BBQ was good and the sun was hot.
The storm clouds rolled in fast bringing wind, rain and hail. I enjoy a good rain and the clean smell after it’s over.