13 February, 2009

The Simple Pleasures of Life

So, my birthday is tomorrow and I will turn 50.
Wow... FIFTY!!!
Where did the years go? I can't be that old... Can I?
Just doesn't seem possible.
Wow... fifty years.
It sure doesn't seem that long ago that we were running down to "Buttermilk Road" in Davenport to scavage through the trash heaps and find old beer cans to go in our beer can collection. But then I stop and think about it and sure enough, that was 40 years ago and Doug and I were just kids of 10.
And those memories of crazy nights riding in the back of Tab's truck, egging cars and soaping all the fountains at McDonald's in Bethalto, the circle in Alton, Wood River city hall (and a couple others) could that really have been 33 years ago? Incredible! Singing with the guys in Heavenfire... riding three wheeler down in "the Bottoms" on the banks of the Ohio... how can you tell me that was 25 years ago? No way! Watching my beautiful bride walk through the doors of the church and not feeling worthy of her... over 23 years! The crazy times at Lee College with all the "mature" folks at Carroll Courts... water balloon fights that ended with the cops being called out... the bottle rocket fights... the incredible times making home made ice cream with a couple dozen other married couples... you mean to tell me that was more than 20 years ago? The doctor handing me my new born son, drastically changing my life forever... my baby girl that stold my heart... the incredible people I've known and pastored over the years... it is all flying through my mind today, and I find myself thinking what an awesome time I've had living this life and just how the Lord has blessed me and kept me down through these years. I've got brothers and sisters who have stood by my side through the worst years of my life and cheered me on in the best. I have friends in my life that I've been privileged to call friend for 20, 30, even 40 years. You've been there with me through so much, and I appreciate you more than words can say. In recent months I've had the opportunity through Myspace and Facebook to re-connect with old friends from my youth and discover that "real" friendships never die, even if they've been put on hold for awhile.

Fifty years... wow. Even sitting here thinking about it, it is difficult to believe I'm that old. I don't feel 50. I always thought that "older" people could not relate, but now that I am older... I realize that the kid is still alive in me, and I still have that inner desire to go soap a fountain, to pull the other pranks we used to pull... to put on the spikes and glove and play ball. I've finally discovered that the little boy never dies... he just slows down.

My wife has asked me repeatedly what I want to do for my birthday. I've never answered her. I realized today that I've always been a spontaneous kind of guy and the notion of planning it all out 2 weeks in advance in not in me. I'm still that crazy kid inside. Friends are taking me out to dinner tonight and my family is doing the same this weekend. I got to thinking about the great meals I'll have at these dinners, and the inner me whispered about what I really wanted... the thing I've deprived myself of for a couple of months because it is not on my Adkins diet... and I thought to myself, "hey, you can have an early birthday present" and I went out and got the ingredients and made myself a peanut butter and banana sandwich. The truth with my hand up folks... one of my absolute favorite foods that I have ever eaten is a simple peanut butter/nanny sandwich.
Isn't that funny? I've been blessed in that I've eaten in some of the finest restaurants across the United States, and/or Europe... and I choose a simple sandwich? I guess it is true that the simple pleasures really are the best.


Libby said...

Happy Birthday, my Love! To me, you will always be that 20-something I married all those years ago! The only difference is I love you more now than ever before!

Anonymous said...

Pastor D,
Happy 50th B day see ya tomorrow....