About Me
I have lived, loved, and laughed.
I’ve sailed on the ocean, flown through the air, taken slow trains and fast trains, and driven from coast to coast and border to border of the US.
I’ve had beer and “Belgian fries” with friends in the warm if intermittent sunshine of Antwerp.
I’ve watched whales in the lap of luxury in Hawaii.
I’ve had five-star dinners with my friend Mark on the Queen Mary 2 and I’ve had delicious lunches and dinners and long talks with him in places that only God knows how he finds.
I’ve been charmed by the jazz of New Orleans.
I’ve watched the sunset turn to dusk and then to night from the top of the Eiffel Tower with my friend Ken.
My friend Wim from Antwerp flew to Denver and cooked a traditional Flemish dinner for my 40th birthday. I’ve promised to dance at his wedding.
I’ve been beguiled and energized by the streets of Manhattan during the Christmas season.
I have wept in the hallowed grounds of Arlington cemetery.
I have witnessed the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns, and at Buckingham Palace.
I’ve seen the shortest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the world in Seattle with my friend Lee.
I’ve felt the sands of California, Hawaii, and Florida between my toes, with new and old friends.
I’ve fed pigeons in Trafalgar Square in London with my friend Mark.
I’ve watched a space shuttle launch with my friends Ken and Becky, and felt its thunder in my solar plexus.
I’ve been held in the hand of the Giant at Haines Point near Washington, DC, accompanied by my friend Terry on the day of Harmonic Convergence.
I’ve won and lost money, and had fun in Las Vegas with my friend Pat.
I’ve been to Paris several times, and no Parisian was ever rude to me.
I knew one of my best friends for more than five years before we ever met in person in Seal Beach.
I’ve climbed mountains, walked through sunflower fields, and watched deer and a
ntelope play, though never with each other.
I and my dog Suki have seen buffalo roam in Oklahoma, thanks to my friend Bob.
I’ve heard German Christmas carols sung in German cathedrals, while I remembered hearing them sung by my grandfather in his sleep.
I have nephews I love, and who love me.
I’ve received the gifts offered in books, from authors, living and long dead.
I’ve walked the streets of Berlin in leather trousers and a carefully pressed white cotton button-down shirt, holding hands with another man.
I’ve lived in a time that has given me the opportunity to hear symphonies, see paintings and touch sculptures, and marvel at the beadwork of Native Americans.
I’ve read books and listened to music and seen movies that took me places I would never have discovered had it not been for the carefully considered advice of my friend Peggy. I’ve laughed until tears ran down my face reading and re-reading Confederacy of Dunces.
I’ve camped with, traveled with, and drank more Scotch than I’ll ever admit to, with my friends Darrell and Peggy.
I’ve loved and been loved, ferociously and joyfully.
I’ve said good-bye to some I’ve loved, with pain, and sometimes, with bitterness and sorrow.
One re-entered my life as a dear friend.
I’ve voted in every national election since I was 18.
I’ve walked the paths of Monet’s gardens at Giverny with my friends Peggy and Gary.
I’ve had lunch at a Hooter’s restaurant with my friend Roland, and neither of us stared at the waitress.
I’ve protested in Washington, DC, on more than one occasion. I’ve stood vigil through the night in front of the White House, praying that a President would discover the meaning of the words “tolerance” and “compassion.”
I’ve known the pleasure of a puppy’s kisses first thing in the morning, and more than one cat has purred me a lullaby as I fell asleep at night.
I’ve been reunited with cousins and an aunt after we were absent from one another’s lives for more than 30 years.
I’ve felt earth in my fingers, planted seeds that grew into nourishment and beauty, and have seen some of those plants beaten to the ground by hail and snow.
I’ve transplanted roses that have traveled half the length of the country in covered wagons, and one rose that symbolized the end of the War of the Roses. I’ve cherished a rose that celebrated the end of World War II.
I’ve planted trees that will not be full-grown before I die as those who lived before me planted trees for my enjoyment.
I’ve held the hands of those who have stared into the face of death. Some came back from that stare-down, some did not.
I’ve heard the wonders of Aristophanes and Plato and The Wind in the Willows in my friend Diane’s garden, under a full moon.
I have surprised some people with gifts when they least expected it, but the best gifts I’ve given are those that I gave with no one knowing their source.
I’ve held resentments longer than I should have, and been forgiven more often than I deserved.
I’ve written words on manual typewriters, electric typewriters, and more computers than I can count.
I’ve learned that prayer is not always about talking; it is as often about listening.
I’ve discovered that families are sometimes related by blood, and sometimes not.
I’ve had brothers who became friends, and friends who became brothers.
I lost a brother when I was 17… I count his widow as my sister, and I cherish her husband Buzz as a good friend. He checked out my Airstream camper van before I bought it on eBay.
I’ve been touched by, and loved by, and forgiven by God. Whatever sparks of joy and love that I have given have been but poor reflections of the love He shows each of us.
I’ve known people for more than forty years who became strangers to me overnight.
I’ve met strangers who have become friends quickly.
I’ve been given miracles more times than I can count.
I lost Suki, only to be found by Angelo the very next morning.
I’ve dreamed big dreams, and I’ve dreamed small dreams. Some dreams I’ve made come true; some dreams were made true by friends; some dreams were made real by strangers; many dreams are yet ahead of me; and some will never be.
I’ve had more fun imagining than I have in remembering, though holding the two in balance has brought me the greatest calm.
I’ve learned there really are angels walking amongst us. They have helped and touched me every day of my life.
I laugh easily. I cry easily. These are two of my best qualities.
I try to carry in my heart just a little bit of the good in every person I’ve known, every book I’ve read, every song I’ve heard, every play and every movie I’ve seen, and every garden that has touched in me.
What a life I’ve led. What a life I lead. What dreams await. How blessed am I.
Thanks for being one of my blessings.