Well, I woke up this morning and had a plan. I would work on a project I had been trying so hard to get done in the garage. Six weeks ago I started making a thirty-five year old garage into a new and shiny one.
Literally jumping out of the shower, this day meant something to me as it was Memorial Day, a special day, a very special day indeed.
“Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country,” said JFK. I was in fifth grade when he was taken from us. Not exactly sure why he’s my favorite but I’m sure the assasination has a lot to do with it.
“Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” He just keeps on talking in my head today.
I reinforced to Kim, “I’m closing shop at one today. Then we’ll smoke some ribs, drink some beer and open The Blue Bar for all the neighbors to come by and enjoy.
Six hours later, I’m still working hard at the finish line of the garage. “I thought you said you’d hang it up around one?” her voice jumped out at me in a surprise.
“Hey! Those veterans worked hard for me. The least I can do is put in a hard days work for them!
She left the garage.
The grizzly bear’s cub comes over to lay out in the sun and have a cocktail with Mama bear. I know from year’s of experience to not mess with the den. This teddy bear is the last on the food chain and to get between the clan with some advice is probably not good.
Bob Marley comes to mind as the sander works hard to finish the dry wall texture, “Better to die fighting for freedom than be a prisoner all the days of your life.” I press on.
My horse racing wall is nearly done and all the Breeders’ Cup, Kentucky Derby with Dan memories, Belmont Stakes ticket, the Rachel Alexandra and Calvin Borel programs are finally in place. The wall looks great!
“Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism,” old George Washington reminded us.
I am super patriotic. I hang Old Glory. I hang Kim’s Father’s flag. I put little ones in our mailbox slot. My neighbor and I saluted each other today.
I walked outside to the back to Kate’s Campground and the killer bear family is cruising on lawn chairs trying to get a tan before the sickening sun of Arizona summer closes in and cabin fever takes hold.
“Why are you messing around working today. Can’t you relax?” the cub asked.
“Those Vets worked hard. They worked hard for us.”
“No, you have it wrong a little bit, Dad. They would want us to rest with them. They would not want anymore than that. They gave everything and today we should rest with them.”
A Minot Savage quote fired through this pea brain, “The brave die never, though they sleep in dust: Their courage nerves a thousand living men.”
I pause to reflect the cub’s words and what she taught me in just one second of my life. I looked down toward the den of bears.
“You’re right. I’m one of a thousand living men. Let’s rest with them.”
“The best part of life starts at the top of the stretch.” The WiseGuy