All The Joy That Is Mine Today

My Perfect Day



Today, while the blossoms still cling to the vine
I’ll taste your strawberries, I’ll drink your sweet wine
A million tomorrows shall all pass away
ere I forget all the joy that is mine, today

Probably few of you remember John Denver’s song “Today” (words and music by The Minstrels Randy Spark). It was one of those folk songs that spoke of love and forever, and I still like to hear it occasionally. Denver’s voice always had an innocence to it that belied the troubled man behind it.

If I could have one perfect day, just one day that I alone could orchestrate with no outside forces to interfere, I wonder what it would be, from start to finish. I’ve given this some thought, and I think that this would be my one perfect day. (First, I would have to preface it by saying that I would have no pain anywhere in my body so that I could do all of the things that I would like to do on my perfect day.) That said, here is my perfect day:

I’ll be a dandy, and I’ll be a rover
You’ll know who I am by the songs that I sing
I’ll feast at your table, I’ll sleep in your clover
Who cares what the morrow shall bring

We awaken around eight, completely refreshed and ready to go, with the sun shining through the window. The temperature is already about 60 degrees with no humidity. Corey and I breakfast outside on the back porch on strong coffee and fresh fruit: mangoes, strawberries, and pears. We drink freshly squeezed orange and grapefruit juice. Fresh gardenias sit on our table, and once in a while a light breeze drifts across them and release their scent while we relax with our second cup of coffee.

Today, while the blossoms still cling to the vine
I’ll taste your strawberries, I’ll drink your sweet wine
A million tomorrows shall all pass away
ere I forget all the joy that is mine, today

Then we have a long shower in our double shower (which doesn’t exist yet). Corey washes my hair, which always relaxes me. After our shower, we dress for a casual day, but we make sure we pack our bathing suits and towels. Corey puts some bottled water in a cooler, and a few Pepsis for me. I grab my camera and a hat, and we jump in the car and head towards the Outer Banks for the day.

I can’t be contented with yesterday’s glory
I can’t live on promises winter to spring
Today is my moment, now is my story
I’ll laugh and I’ll cry and I’ll sing

peaches-at-farners-marketOn the way, we stop at our favorite farmer’s market and buy a peck of delicious peaches, some ripe tomatoes for Brett, some peanuts for Eamonn, and some honey. I bite into a peach, and juice runs down my chin. It is succulent and I devour the rest, reaching over to give Corey bites in between. We are both sticky from the juice. I open a bottle of water and pour some on my hands and wipe off Corey’s face with my hands. He turns away because he doesn’t like the stickiness, but he doesn’t like the wet hands either. I laugh loudly and without restraint, and he begins to laugh too. I wipe us both off with napkins. It feels so good to laugh like that again.

A little farther down the road we pass my favorite gift store. We stop in, and I immediately go to the coffee mugs. Corey reminds me that we already have too many mugs. I find one with a hummingbird that I must have. In the meantime, he has migrated to the cooking spices. We wander through the store for about 15 more minutes, and then we get back on the road. After all, it’s beach time, and the temperature is rising nicely.

Today, while the blossoms still cling to the vine
I’ll taste your strawberries, I’ll drink your sweet wine
A million tomorrows shall all pass away
ere I forget all the joy that is mine, today

outer-banks-beachWe finally get to Kitty Hawk, which is the first part of the Outer Banks, and traffic is light because it’s a weekday in late spring, and school isn’t out yet. We find a place to park in one of the public access lots, and we walk down to the beach. The day is perfect: just a few puffy cumulus clouds dot the sky; the temperature is about 80° F, and the breeze is light. Sometimes the wind off the water can make it downright uncomfortable on the beach, but not today.

We put out our towels; we’ve already changed into our suits at a rest stop. We leave our cooler full of water and Pepsi on the towel, and we take a walk down the shore. There are very few people about, a family of four about 20 feet to our left, an incredibly buff and bronze woman about five feet to our right under an umbrella reading a book, and a scattered few others here and there. We start off to the right, scanning the shore for any interesting shells, finding only two this time, before we head back. I throw myself on the towel, feeling completely relaxed, and immediately fall asleep.

After about an hour, Corey nudges me and asks if I would like to have some lunch. It takes me a moment to remember where I am, but then when I come back to the real world, I say yes. We rinse off under the outdoor shower in the lot and put our clothes over our suits, and head over to one of our favorite seafood restaurants where we have a wonderful lunch. After that, it’s time to make the drive back home.

Today, while the blossoms still cling to the vine
I’ll taste your strawberries, I’ll drink your sweet wine
A million tomorrows shall all pass away
ere I forget all the joy that is mine, today

As we make our way home, I feel completely relaxed and contented. We stop by our favorite sushi bar, Sakura, and order obx_sunrisetakeout. When we walk in the door, the boys ask where we’ve been, and the dogs jump all over us as if we’ve been away for months. After we give the dogs treats, we tell the boys that we spent the day at the outer banks. They are both jealous that we didn’t take them. School, we remind them. We take another long, hot, cleansing shower. Then we sit on the back porch with the tiki torches lit and eat our sushi with chopsticks. I drink a Pepsi, and Corey has one too. And then to bed and each other’s arms.

It’s the perfect end to a perfect day. Neither one of us answered our phones or texted anyone. Neither of us got on our computers. We spent the day with each other and nature. It will probably be years before we have another day like this. It’s almost like something out of a song or a movie.

A million tomorrows before I forget all of the joy that was mine on this perfect day. Peace.



Remnants: Hillary, Karma, and Rick Rolling?

If It’s Friday, It Must Be Leftovers

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton? You Betcha

The Obama Campaign was renowned for its lack of leaking. Reporters bemoaned their inability to penetrate what was dubbed the tightest campaign ship in history, especially in comparison to the leaky frigate U.S.S. McCain, from which new leaks sprung hourly. Hence the surprise over the leaks that have come from the President-elect’s camp since the election: his choice of Rahm Emanuel as his Chief of Staff, and now the word that Hillary Clinton is being eyed for Secretary of State, a position that is much coveted by Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts.

Would Clinton be effective in the position? She is already widely recognized by world leaders and is on a first-name basis with many of them. She is a tough negotiator, articulate, and well-schooled in foreign policy. In fact, Clinton’s foreign policy experience was often thought to be superior to Obama’s during the campaign, and many thought that it would be the one thing that would trip up the junior senator from Illinois. There is no doubt that Clinton is qualified. 

She has already made the trip to Chicago. The big question now is whether or not she would accept. The bigger question is whether or not it would fit in with her larger plans because there is no doubt that Senator Clinton, in her indubitable wisdom, has bigger plans.

My Son Would Be So Proud

I have admitted to being an avid “Rachel Maddow” fan, so you will imagine my surprise when her “Just Enough” segment featured her being RickRolled! My youngest son finds this pasttime hilarious for some reason, and every member of the family has been RickRolled at least twice. He hides the link behind other links so that you never know when you are going to hear that obnoxious song.

For those of you lucky enough never to have had this experience, being RickRolled is a prank involving the music video for the 1987 Rick Astley song “Never Gonna Give You Up.” The person RickRolling you provides a web link that they claim is relevant to a topic you might be interested in and sends it to you in an e-mail, or posts it on their MySpace, but the link actually takes you to the Astley video.

I’m sure that neither Maddow nor her “Just Enough” segment companion Kent Jones planned the RickRoll, but it was priceless nevertheless. I can’t wait to show my son. He’ll love it.


Obama Roll/Rick Roll (not the one on Rachel Maddow Show)


Don’t Drink This Wine. Savor It.

Remember Michael Vick? How could you not? After all, what a fine specimen of a human being he is, taking all of that NFL fame and fortune, buying a bunch of dogs, a large house, 15 acres of land, and living a life of quiet leisure in the off-season. No wait. That wasn’t Michael Vick, was it? Oh Michael Vick, that sleazoid who thought it would be really cool to buy a bunch of dogs and train them to rip the flesh of each other while a bunch of other sleazoids bet money on which dog would die first. That Michael Vick? Well this section isn’t actually about him. It’s about the dogs.

Seems that the dogs who were saved from said sleazoid had a piece written about them by AP news and featured on “Today.” The dogs have been undergoing retraining and rehabilitation at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in southern Utah. One of the founders of the sanctuary, artist Cyrus Mejia, began painting the dogs after they arrived. The portraits have captured the dogs souls, not their pain.  And Matt Hahn, co-owner of Carivintas Winery, decided to combine the art with his wine. And voilà: The Vicktory Dogs Wine Collection, which features colorful portraits of the 22 dogs confiscated from Vick’s Bad Newz Kennels.

Each bottle includes a portrait of one of the dogs on the front, and a brief story about the dog on the back. The entire set includes 22 bottles and two others commemorating Best Friends’ 25th anniversary, and costs $672. The set can be split, and each half sells for $380. Individual bottles are $40. Ten percent of each sale goes to Best Friends. The money will be used to oppose dog fighting and to fight laws targeted against specific breeds of dogs.

What a great ending to what began as a portrait of a man with too much money and time and not enough humanity and heart. In the end, the dogs won, and not in the way that Vick had planned for them. He’s sitting in jail eating macaroni, and the dogs’ visages are gracing the labels of fine wine. Karma is a good thing.

More later. Peace.