Thursday, January 9, 2014

The difference between price and value

"Hey," my sister mouthed in the mirror. "They're playing that song. Remember that girl you dated?"
At first I had no idea what she was talking about. Then she started singing the lyrics from Total Eclipse of the Heart, by Bonnie Tyler. I recognized the line. Okay, we're part way there.
"You used to call her Bright Eyes." she said.
Now things clicked.
It was one of those silly things that people do when they're in love. My paramour and I were necking like teenagers are apt to do, when the sun caught in her eyes and made them appear to sparkle. "Those are the brightest eyes I've ever seen." Or some thing to that effect, is what I said. It didn't occur to me until much later that those words were, in fact, in a song.
I haven't thought about her in a long time, and it took my sister giving me a haircut to bring up old memories.
Wherever my old flame is, I wish her the best of everything.

Some people are easier to lip read than others. One of my bosses talks faster than a used car salesman. I've asked him on several occasions to repeat stuff. He must think I'm an idiot. Then, there is my dear sister, whom I've known all my life. I'm familiar with her syntax and the facial movements. Of all my family, she is the easiest to lip read, but not the easiest to understand. She doesn't make sense all the time, but we love her.
There are moments when I'm thinking of song lyrics to describe my life. This morning it was an Elton John song, 'Our song'. I simply couldn't get that tune out of my head for most of the morning. 
Right now the line, 'You can't always get what you want, but if you try some times, you get what you need.' from the Rolling Stones, describes my life now.
I've no regrets. I love my life and the people in it. By a lot of people's standards, I'm barely scraping by. We all could use more money, who couldn't? Looking over at my daughters I realize I'm far richer than most. A few weeks back, I touched base on how fortunate I am. Spending time reading to my youngest or playing cards with my oldest... Those are memories and times I wouldn't trade for the world. Spending time with my kids? No regrets. Ever.
We may not have much, but my family has everything that counts.

A telescope came our way recently. There's a piece to repair here, a little cleaning to do there, (It's a very old telescope. The receipt indicates it was bought in '77, thirty eight years ago.) My plan is to take it out and see our backyard universe with my family. Perhaps make a camping weekend of it. Memories to cherish forever. You don't get stuff like that later, we have to do it now while we can. As a friend pointed out: In life, do-overs are very rare. You almost never get them.

When musketeer #3 comes up to me, I almost always stop what I'm doing and take the time to answer her question or at the very least listen to her. Asking about their day, or how school went is common enough, except I forbid one word answers to that question. Responding in such a manner will guarantee a follow up inquiry. I will get into my kid's lives, constantly and repeatedly. When the time came for the school dance, I dropped off my daughter and walked in with her.
"Point out that guy who's interested in you," I said. She did, which he noticed. When this young suitor came forth, I caught his attention. Pointing two fingers at my eyes, then at him, the message was relayed: 'I've got my eye on you, bub.'
He straightened up a bit, the whites of his eyes showing a bit more.
Did I just instill a little fear in this kid?
Mission accomplished.

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