It’s been a busy summer all around, and I haven’t had the chance to have much one-on-one time with the kids. They’re mostly all grown up now with kids of their own, and it’s getting harder and harder to get more than a few minutes together.
I work out with my son once a week, but with my daughters it’s tougher. Tiff’s in school and has a lightning bolt for a daughter, but we’re penciling something in soon. Saturday I saw Suicide Squad with my middle daughter, Amber.
And Sunday I snagged a daddy-daughter day with Morgan, my youngest kid who goes off to university in two weeks. When I asked her what she wanted to do, she said she wanted to go for a walk down at what the kids simply call “Texas Beach.” In stuffy grown-up language, this is North Bank Trail and Texas Beach entrance to City of Richmond’s James River Park System.
When this punk was 3′ tall I used to walk her all over the parks and trails of our city and county. I still remember her sense of wonder the year in early May when we solved the mystery of the falling tulips together. That was at Echo Lake. Every few minutes as we walked the trails, a blossom would fall down, seemingly from heaven. I knew of course where the mysterious blossoms were coming from, but I let her figure it out on her own, feeding her clues. Eventually we found ourselves at the foot the biggest tulip poplar you ever saw, easily 100′ tall and too thick for us to join hands around.
So we put brackets on this segment of her life’s grand adventure, ending this little phase as we began it — walking in the woods hand in hand.
A pentagram of sorts scrawled on the rocks near the locks
Hibiscus or “Rose of Sharon” right at the beginning of the trail
Another cool picture of the locks.
A spider web in the sun.
Spicebush, a.k.a. Lindera benzoin.
Someone’s been stacking rocks!
The view down from the walkway over the railroad tracks
Update 7/18/19: My club still uses the flag but we’re now called Cabal Fang Temple, and we’re a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational charity. Visit our website or purchase our 12-week personal growth program at Smashwords, Amazon, B&N, or wherever fine e-books are sold.
If you say you’re an island you’re full of beans. Everybody learns from everybody else. No, life isn’t a big lecture hall, it’s more like a big wine tasting where people sort of hang out and soak up things from other people, often without knowing it. Sometimes you just see something going on and you learn something. As Yogi Berra said, “You can observe a lot by watching.”
Here’s a run-down of what I learned from other people last week:
- My wife taught me, in her sweet and gentle way, that the best intentions are meaningless if they’re wrapped up in a crappy attitude.
- I learned from my Mom that, when it comes to loved ones living or dead, there is a time for judgment and a time for mercy, a time for remembrance and a time for forgetting, and graceful is the way of knowing the time for each.
- A guy I work with at the office reminded me that you don’t need to be an expert at every task in your wheelhouse in order to be a great manager. You just have to know who the experts are and how to put them to work for you.
- I learned from an old friend that distrust is a doorway to the loneliest hell, but the way out is always there if you knock.
- And I learned from my pals at the Order of Seven Hills that pretty body mechanics is no match for reaction time, distance control, and killer instinct (and I have the scrapes and bruises to prove it).
What did you learn from other people this week? If you think you learned nothing, you might need to open your heart and your eyes.