1:00 pm CT
Flying 1,725 miles is one of life’s hidden pleasures. Some of today’s pleasures include:
Two infants within earshot, one of which didn’t really seem to be enjoying the flight, hence the incessant crying.
On this flight, since it was a smaller plane, one choice of movie: Simone. Never heard of it. Didn’t care.
“Snack service”. Yeah. Whatever. Probably birdseed and ½ a can of pop. Yum.
“The Soundtrack Channel” – number 15 on the headset. I got the pleasure of hearing songs from the following screen gems:
“You’re the one that I want” from Grease
“Far from Over” from Stayin’ Alive
“I had the Time of my Life” from Dirty Dancing and
“Last Dance” from the hottest of 70’s movies, TGIF.
After those songs, we moved into a bunch of non-English language songs. Click.
The morning, before I left for the airport, was pretty smooth. Wife left for work, and I took the kids to school. I got to sleep a bit later (7:30) since I did not have to go into the office. I did log in to check my mail, though, and had only a few messages to read. I guess it helped that I was working on my mail from 11 pm last night until midnight.
Ooh, snack service is coming, and it looks like we get some kind of food in a cardboard box. I’ll finish this after I find out what kind of taste-delights await me.
Well, what a treat. No birdseed for this high-powered traveler. I got me snack-in-a-box. Mini turkey sandwich, Fritos, 2 Milano cookies and a whole can of pop! Can you believe it? I even got a little pack of those breath freshener things that are like cellophane and melt on your tongue. Everyone got them, so it wasn’t just me. My breath is fine.
And the movie – Simone – is actually turning out to be pretty good. It’s about a director that creates a computer-generated actress, and all the world is trying to get a look at her. It seems a bit tedious at times, but it is watchable. A pleasant surprise.
Only about 3 more hours in the air…
3:45 pm CT
I am reading a book called “Wild at Heart” by John Eldredge. I am only partially finished with it, but it has given me a lot of insight into why men today are the way they are, and in effect, why I am the way I am.
Essentially, in the past century, men have become less “wild”. We live in big cities, instead of on prairies. We work in offices, instead of on farms or ranches. We also spend less time with our dads. Dad is, many times, working long hours, and time spent with sons is fleeting, and does not include the passing on of any real “manly” things. I am really oversimplifying the book here, so let me just say that it has brought me to tears more than once, and it feels like I am looking in a mirror.
My dad could be categorized as a tough guy, I guess. Was in the Marines, a bunch of tattoos, drinker, smoker, wood-worker, electrician. When I was growing up, I have very few good memories of my dad and me. He would come home drunk many nights. Every Friday, he would come home from work, clean up, and go out, by himself. He’d leave my sister and I at home with my mom. Then, he’d come stumbling, or crawling in, in the wee hours of the morning. This happened every single week. My mom was obviously a total enabler during those years, as she let him do this. Once in a while, my dad and I did things together. Once, he took me fishing in Iowa for a few days. We slept in the back of his van, and ate in small diners. I really liked it a lot. One other time, we went fishing in Minnesota, with my uncle and my uncle’s buddy. This trip I don’t remember as well, as maybe I was younger. I am not sure. Other than an occasional home repair project, I didn’t do much with my dad. I guess the good things are kind of fuzzy to me because the bad things happened so much more often. On a lot of my dad’s drunk nights, he’d come home and make us do goofy things, “as a family”. Like, go to the beach at 10 pm. Or wake us up at midnight to eat tacos he brought home. Maybe my mom was afraid of him, or maybe she just wanted to keep the peace. Either way, it didn’t help me to have a dad like this.
I figuredout early on that this was not a good role model for me. I did have an uncle that I adored though. He was actually my mom’s uncle, but I could not have loved him more. He used to park his car in our garage, so I got to see him a lot. He’d always have candy to give us, and he was always happy to see me. I got to spend time with him in the garage, just hanging out. He’d work on his car, which didn’t really need work, just to get out of his house, I think. He and his wife had 2 daughter, so I am sure the hormones were insane there. But he always had time for me. Before he retired, he drove a truck, and I remember the thrill when one afternoon he took me for a ride in it. I got to wear his hat and sit up front with him.
When I was about 12 years old, my uncle suffered a stroke. He became bed-ridden, and he hardly spoke any more. He vaguely remembered us after that, and he deteriorated over time. My aunt took care of him for 10 years. She dies of a massive heart attack one Fall, and he died 2 months later. By the time he died, I had all but forgotten how much he meant to me.
This book is reminding me. It feels like pieces falling into place, for the first time. Maybe once I finish this book, I’ll have a better idea of the roots of a lot of my struggles. We shall see…
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