Wednesday, December 23, 2015

As Time Goes By

It's been a very good year. Busy, it's always busy and we have to work hard to stay connected amid the daily bustle. I was talking to a father of a friend of my eldest the other day and he grumped for a moment about the leadup to Christmas itself. Too much he said, too much for one day.

 And then he smiled and took it all back. They'll be gone soon, he said, grown up and gone. So I won't complain.

 I can't complain. Went out with one of my dearest friends last night, it has been a while and we had more pints than we planned and some good food and as we have done for years now we talked about it all and the conclusion was the same as it always is, life is short and we must live it and we are doing a pretty damn good job of it. We have been lucky, the two of us, and now as we near fifty what was once in the background, a little dull, a little blurry, is becoming sharper. Call it a realization of our own mortality or something less dramatic than that if you will, that's alright, because while we are getting older we are still playing hockey and doing so pretty well and we're still wandering the streets here and elsewhere, taking it all in, the drink and music and food and all of it, we are getting older but other than a little stiffness and a memory that is slowly getting shot to hell we're ok.

 But we see the time passing in our children who are growing up and in our parents who are getting older and, for the first time, noticeably so. Dad is pushing 84 now and for the first time he is slowing down a bit, a little bit less vigourous although of course it is all relative. Mom worries because he is tired now and then and he is not as strong as he once was and there is nothing I can say except 'Mom, he's starting to age' and it's a damn shame but it comes for all of us, damn time, so it goes. And as I noted it's all relative, when I turned my back this fall at the cabin he was hauling the outboard out to the dock, same as always.

 We celebrated Christmas up north with Mom and Dad a couple of weeks ago and as always it was a wonderful time, I'm a lucky man and we enjoyed ourselves, much laughter and good times. And in a couple of days we will celebrate quietly here. The kids love it more than anything and so do we. Our oldest is almost a teenager and she has figured out Santa, did so a while back we know but she plays along for her siblings and she gets that it is about family and being together and just ... celebrating. Sounds hokey but of course the whole thing is, which is fine. The boy is wavering, he has the mind of an engineer and he knows the truth but his heart wants to believe still. And as for our youngest well, she believes whole heartedly, fully and completely, as is her nature.

 All of the best of the season to all of you and yours. Enjoy. Eat too much. Drink. Be merry, as they say. Merry Christmas!


Muji said...

I've always enjoyed reading your blog. Sometimes, we need to stop obsessing over those Oilers (where will Nuge play when Connor returns????) and look at the big picture. Similarly, we sometimes need to stop obsessing over the day-to-day details (work, pick up the kids, do I need to buy a carton of milk on the way home, what should we cook for christmas dinner???) and look at the big picture: enjoy life, appreciate the company of family and friends, make memories.

Merry Christmas to you and your family, Pat. Have a great one!

Black Dog said...

Hey Muji, thanks very much and all the best to you, Merry Christmas!

Gord said...

Merry Christmas Pat.

I'm going to be 60 next summer and still playing a lot of slo-pitch when the snow melts.

But my Christmas is all family & friends!

Black Dog said...

Merry Christmas Gord, enjoy!

Bruce said...

Great read as usual, Pat. For all your obsessing about our Oilers you have always had a real solid take on the bigger picture, and have achieved an admirable balance in your life across the generations without having to be totally selfless in the process. Which is a good thing. Live and enjoy life to the fullest!

My best to you and family this holiday season.

Black Dog said...

Hi Bruce, a week later I just read these kind words. Thank you very much, all the best to you and Anna over the holidays and in 2016!