Sunday, December 03, 2006

Paintball, Funerals and Christmas Decorating

Busy weekend. Friday night took the boy Paintballing with some of his friends for his 14th birthday. 4 14-year-old boys and 2 14-year-old girls along with me and another Dad. Four hours, 8000 paintballs and several welts and bruises later we finally closed out the night. It was a blast. Matt kept saying, "This is soooo cool!" We weren't the greatest but by the end of the night, we'd caught on and started taking out more and more players. Several other groups were with us as we split of into two teams of mixed players and then adults vs. kids! Great bonding time with the Boy. He also warmed the cockles of my heart when his friend asked him what kind of car he wanted if money were no object.

He said, "A Mustang."

No hesitation. Of course Dad had to wipe a tear as his first car was a 1966 Mustang and he owned one when his son was born. Still think it's the coolest car made (save for the Mini Cooper and the Lotus Turbo Esprit!)

Saturday started early as I had to drive from Redding to Portola. 3 hours one way through the mountains. Beautiful drive. My goal was my Uncle's funeral. I didn't know Uncle Jim all that well and found out more about his life during the service. Some things I knew; incidents my mother had told me about but other things I didn't. He had a couple words of good advice for his two daughters that were a direct result of his upbringing. Jim was a go-getter. An entrepreneur since he was ten and a pool hustler when he was 12! He started his own business and succeeded because he followed three rules he instilled in his daughters, my cousins.

"There is no 'I can't'. There is only 'I won't'."

"Don't make money your god. Money is a tool."

"Don't worry. Trust God. He works things out."

While he might be the first one to wave off him being a very spiritual man, he was a man of faith. The three maxim's above can be found in scripture, which he studied quite a bit.

He doted on his grandkids and supported his wife and two daughters in all their endeavours. Family was very important to him.

Growing up, my mother used to tell me I was just like her brother Jim. I felt a connection somehow to him in that. And while I believe the maxim's he lived by, I feel they are something I really need to instill in my own kids. Not just with words but by my actions. That is my goal.

Christmas decorating day was today, Sunday. The fake tree is up, the lights are on, the beads are draped and the ornaments are hung. My wife has different sections of the entry way and the living room designated with certain decorations. The entry way tableau is for snowmen. The mantle dividing the entry from the living room is for the bears. The end table next to the couch is for Christmas Trees. The top of the entertainment center is for the Nativity Set and the other end table is for Santa Clauses!

This year I let the boy put the angel on the top of the tree. I think I let him do that from no on. Pass down to him a job that I always did.

I love the season between Thanksgiving and New Years. The music. The weather. The football. The smells. The food. And the reason for the season seems to bring it all together. I love Christmas programs at church. I love to see houses all lit up. Some people wish it could be like this all year long but I disagree. While we are supposed to live our lives loving our fellow man, wishing for peace and good will towards all men, recognizing the miracle of the birth of Christ, all year long; it would diminish the specialness of this season.

So a busy weekend but a good one. The old saying, "You learn something new everyday" is so real. I used to think once I finished school, the learning would be down and was upset in my 20's that it wasn't. Now as I start my 40's I'm glad there are more things to learn.

Beats sitting home playing on-line Texas Hold-Em!


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