Fill 2023 with the good stuff

Published 1:50 pm Thursday, January 5, 2023

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Here we are, already into the first week of 2023. Most of us have dined on our traditional New Year’s fare and look forward to what this year will hold. Some are ready to put the old year behind and start fresh with a clean slate to fill. As I get older the days and years seem to move along quickly, and I want to make a conscious decision to fill them with “good stuff”.
There is a country song made famous by Kenny Chesney that speaks to this. It’s a simple song of an older man giving a younger man advice about what is truly important and brings lasting joy. The older fellow was a bartender telling his young patron that he wouldn’t find anything lasting in a “good” bottle of whiskey, but the true “good stuff” was the unselfish love that makes a relationship beautiful and a life well lived.
When the kids were young my late husband, Glen R., and I lived in our starter home on Horse Shoe Lane. It was a cozy house, and Glen R. and I enjoyed making improvements to it. Glen R. enclosed the carport and made it into a den so we could have a little more room. After that, he built the kids a two-story playhouse complete with a little balcony. He was really phenomenal at taking on a project and doing an excellent job of completing it. I have always been amazed at the variety of things that he did so well.
One day Glen R. was working on one of his projects and I voiced the thought I had had many times.
“Glen R., I have never heard you say that you couldn’t do anything. How in the world do you know how to do so many things?”
“Well, when I was younger I didn’t have anyone to help me learn the things I wanted to learn so I taught myself. I just tried until I got it right.”
I have always admired Glen R. not only for all the things he did and who he was, but because he accomplished all these things without a father to guide him. He never, to my knowledge, let this fact affect him negatively. He had a loving mom and grandparents, but obviously missed all the things that a dad should have been and done.
I have never known a better dad than Glen R., and that in itself is a wonderful indication of what a good man he was. He absolutely gave his life for those he loved, and we were all most fortunate to have him for as long as we did.
This morning our youngest, Ryan, and I sat eating breakfast at a table his dad built. Ryan knew I was coming to hang out and write at his house and surprised me with a crackling fire. These precious moments spent with those we love truly are the good stuff.

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