This marks my second attempt in what might become a series of collaborative nodes.

Today also marks my forty sixth anniversary on the planet. Forty six on 4/6, any of you who are numerologists out there, feel free to /msg me with your interpretations.

I had my daughter this weekend and over the course of our conversations she asked me if I ever collected anything. I gave it some thought and told her about my hobbies as a kid. It ran the usual gamut of baseball cards, coins, and as I got older, beer cans from around the world. Since all of those hobbies have long since died, she asked me whether I collected anything these days. I thought about it for a couple of moments and all I could come up with was one thing.


Sunday afternoon was rather chilly for this time of year here in the heartland.. The day started off blustery and there was even a couple of snow flurries early in the morning. As the day progressed and warmed up a bit, borgette went outside to play with some of her friends. There’s nothing unusual about that, they usually wind up making their way from house to house until the local parents either tell them to go outside or send them on their way to another house. It works out well.

Anyway, it was getting around dinner time and I glanced outside to see the kids playing in front of my house and told borgette that she had about 15 minutes or so before she had to come back in. I usually like to give her an advance warning since I don’t want to interrupt any matters of great importance and it seems to make things easier.

And so it was, about 15 minutes later, I went outside and uttered the words “It’s time.” I went back in and watched for a couple of seconds as the kids said their goodbyes. I set the table, went to the kitchen, dished out plates and was surprised that there was no borgette in sight. I went outside and looked and to my surprise, saw her and her friend running around the corner with a handful of spring flowers that they had picked from a neighbors garden. Since some folks in the neighborhood look upon gardening as a form of competition, I was somewhat dismayed that the kids had gotten their hands on some of the early bloomers.

Maybe it’s partly because of my German upbringing or maybe it’s the leftover over discipline brought on by my stint in the Marine Corps but in my eyes, there are a couple of things that qualify as cardinal sins.

One, being late. Unless some pretty drastic circumstances arise, it’s pretty damn inconsiderate to those around you, especially armed with an advanced warning and with dinner on the table.

Two, taking another’s property. In this case, flowers from somebody else’s garden. They worked hard to get them to grow and to make their yard look nice. I’m sure they don’t want their efforts spoiled and their work to go unrewarded.

She wandered back into the house about 15 minutes later. Dinner, by that time, had gotten cold but I on the other hand, had gotten hot. I proceeded to let her know how disappointed I was and the tears were welling up in her eyes. I asked her for an explanation.

After she had told me her reason, my eyes were the ones welling up. I told her to go upstairs, wash her hands and not to worry about it anymore. Later, I asked her to write the events down. I didn’t do it with the purpose of a story in mind; I did more to serve as a reminder to myself about the danger of casting judgments too quickly. After all, things aren’t always what they seem.

”Gracie, Cameron and I were walking home on Findlay Avenue. Gracie was in the middle of sentence when we saw a dead bird laying in front of us. We figured the bird had died just as we turned onto Findlay Avenue. It didn’t have a cut so we figured it died of a disease. Without a sound, we dug a hole in the dirt. We buried him and decided to name him “Findlay”. After we got home we saw the flowers and asked (insert name here) if we could pick some. She said “yes” and we put the flowers next to the hole. That’s why I was late for dinner.”

Today might be my birthday but if you ask me, I got my present a couple of days earlier.(And people wonder why I’m so damn happy most of the time!)