“In Three Words I Can Sum Up Everything I Know About Life. It Goes On.”–Robert Frost

Yesterday morning, I stopped into  Darby’s Automotive to drop off the Love Boat. The Boat has been getting some upgrades as of late, to keep her fashionable and moving forward. We have to get her in line to make the road trip to the Sylamore 25k/50k, where I have every intention of winning the 40k/240lb division. Love Boat got a new window, a new door unlocker button thing,  some bushings, and we are gonna outfit her with the option of blowing hot air or cold air (the option before was hot…or really hot). I always enjoy stopping by there because I like shooting the breeze with Darby, and I like the people who work with him. We give each other sh*t, but share a mutual respect. I have a great deal of admiration for him. Darby is one of those guys who truly answers the call to action within the community, and with the people in his life. I bet there isn’t a girl scout in Olive Branch he hadn’t bought cookies from, or a local event that he hasn’t sponsored at one time or another. Darby however is in a unique position because, for the most part, nobody is happy to see him, at least not under the circumstances. If you are going to get your car fixed, you are generally not real excited about it. It’s kind of like working in the hospital, most clients would rather be doing something else. So Darby was telling me that I needed this and that, and it was gonna cost this and blah-blah-blah. As usual, I said “go for it”. I explained to him that I was having one of those weeks that it costs me a thousand dollars just to get outta bed in the morning. I got the Love Boat in need of attention, our heater at home is broke, the sweeper needs brakes, the strainer froze and cracked, my pump stopped working for my pesticide (which didn’t matter cause the filter housing had cracked…which was of no consequence because the fitting for the gun had broke plumb in two ). All of this and we stood there and laughed. We laughed cause it happens. Sh*t breaks. There are numerous different ways of handling days like these, and I have tried just about all of them. I can cry about, bitch about it, be angry, resentful, fearful of the future, kick, scream, holler, be depressed, ask “why me”, take it out on everyone else…..or I can accept, maybe even with a little humor, and move on.

My employee, and one of my best friends, is named Pedro. We have worked together for over 13 years. Throughout these years, we have made just about every wrong move a person can make and still be in business. We have done everything from putting gas in diesels, diesel in hydraulic reservoirs, ran equipment out of oil, knocked down walls, cut damn near everything that runs underground, broke everything from auger bits to metal hammers, and actually submerged a  skid steer that was less than a month old. Pedro and I have remained friends and partners throughout marriage, divorce, births of children, periods of wealth and big fat busts, fits of anger and accusations, rehabs and depression with rises and falls throughout. We have played the blame game and have fought till we were red in the face. We have toasted success and cried in our palms. Throughout all of the ups and downs that we have been through, not only as friends but business associates alike, there has been one thing constant. Life has continued to go on. It never stopped, not even for a day it didn’t. It’s been going on for years, centuries, hell its been going on since eternity…and that’s longer than Dan Koloski has been alive. Some days I’m the hammer and some days the nail, but I’m gonna be one or the other, or somewhere in between, whether I like it or not.

My mom recently retired from a career as a civilian employee for the Navy. She was the Chief Clinical Director of the Fleet and Family Services division. She is a highly intelligent and professional woman named Elaine, who has no problem maintaining eye contact while explaining exactly how the cow ate the cabbage. At her recent retirement, her fellow co-workers had constructed a plaque with a list of their favorite “Elaine-ism’s”. My favorite of the many quotes is this, “The fact that you disagree with the facts….does not change the facts.” I try to remember this when I feel that my day is not going as smoothly as it should. My decision to enjoy it, lies squarely on my shoulders. Being aware of this, does not mean that I will make the right decision, it just makes me aware. All things being equal, all my frustration this week has been with moving parts, and those are just gonna break. I’ve been told that if you have a problem that money can solve, it ain’t a real problem. I don’t know who said that, but I’m gonna take their word for it.

On another note, I’m excited that I SHOULD have time today to make it to the gym to play with my 4pm friends, and shake my crazies away. I have missed the past couple of days because of kids and basketball practice, but those are pretty damn good reasons to miss anything. Poor Amanda is DYING to get to the gym, and I mean literally dying, as in like the middle of the night she coughs so hard that she sounds like she is going to die…and then her alarm goes off at 4am. But who am I to tell her what she should or should not do? Neither one of us do what we are told, and hate being told to do it, so I try to keep my mouth shut, kinda. I hope she gets better soon. Exercise probably has more impact on my propensity to take my life and myself too seriously. So, I am fortunate to have a place to go where I actually enjoy it, with people who I very much enjoy. Try to remember, as a Buddhist calendar once told me, “It is what it is, and it ain’t gonna get no is-er”

Peace, Love, and all things Beef related,