Ricky Bobby

Ricky Bobby
If you ain't first you're last

Monday, January 4, 2010

In Between

The holidays are all in the rearview mirror now, and a new year....even a new decade is at hand. Somewhere in between Mad Cow Disease and my home value falling 50%, our family underwent a major metamorphosis in the last ten years. Despite the disasterous overall events for the world at large, we were blessed. In January of 2000 this was our family's world:

1.) We lived in a 110 year old house in Georgia.

2.) The combined value of our two cars was less than my dog is worth today.

3.) Christy was 19, living at home,and I was unlocking her car door about once a month.

4.) Ryan was 9 and Nick was 8. I was coaching them in Dixie League football and baseball.

5.) We did not have King Bowden, but we did have Tobias Blue...he didn't care for visitors either.

6.) My Mom, my Dad and Tilena's Dad were all still alive...we didn't see a cloud on that horizon...

7.) I knew absolutely zero about tropical plants.

8.) None of us had ever heard of Emma Grace or Parker Clayton.

9.) The size of my police department? They averaged about 380 lbs. each...

10.) I had been to Clewiston only once in my life, Tilena had never heard of it.

I didn't realize just how much things had changed until I actually began thinking about this. God has taught me an awful lot personally since then. My temper has almost completely disappeared, and my judgement is lessening. Tolerance of others has certainly improved...except for when I'm in traffic (he ain't finished with me yet), but then, there was an awful lot of room for improvement in most areas of my life. Hopefully the next ten years I will learn even more. As far as change...who knows what will be? If you had told me ten years ago that today we would be living in a place where the grass never quits growing. Or how much I would love a grandchild. Or that I could love another dog as much as Toby...I just wouldn't have believed it.

Tilena has changed very little in ten years. But then she didn't need to. Well.....maybe if she wasn't quite so lippy... Otherwise, she is still as gorgeous as ever. She's as wise as ever. She taught me a lot about life and myself.

Christy went from being a child, to being married and having two children of her own.

Ryan and Nick went from being very small children...to being very big....children.

Ole Toby....if there's a dog in heaven, it's him. He suffered a Libby every where he ever went...that's a story unto itself and maybe I'll tell it on another day.

As for the rest of the world, it was a painful and crushing decade. Disaster upon disaster at every turn. My heart hurts for the people I see on TV and read about in the papers. As bad as the natural disasters were, they paled in comparison to manmade ones. Lies have been told and retold....we've allowed ourselves to be governed according to some of the largest lies in history. We've all suffered from them. The worst of it all is that the most vulnerable are the greatest believers in the lies. People like me who never believed a word of it will survive....maybe even thrive. But those who had so much to lose....and wanted so bad to believe such incredulous, fantastic tales, will be saddled with crushing lifelong debt. So sad...so very, very sad. How can we not understand the most basic principle of economics..."It profits the wage earner nothing, to destroy the wage payer, but it will cost both their livlihood"...OK, enough of politics...that temper thing does not appear to be completely cured...

So, my thinking is that we must surely have a better decade ahead than the one behind. Ten years from now I plan on being 3-4 years into retirement. But you know what God thinks of us making plans in advance...In the words of Robert Burns, "The best laid schemes o' mice and men, Gang aft agley"...bet some of you didn't know Steinbeck took those words from an old Robert Burns poem did you?

As for the next decade, 'twill be the teens...pray for us all, it's a difficult age.

Don & Co.