My age, and what I was doing at the time . . .
1. I havenít the faintest idea. Crapping my pants, most likely.
3. Went to Grandmaís funeral. No one believes I can remember this, but I do.
4. Stayed home with Mom all day, ran wild in fields when the weather was nice.
5. Kindergarten! Held in a church, even though it was public school. Strange.
6. Moved to house in town. With a cool creek in the backyard.
7. My friend David lived next door. He was Catholic, but so was everyone else.
8. 3rd grade, and I was in love with my blonde teacher. Figures.
9. Got the lead in the school play, and got to carry a rifle! It was plastic.
10. Baseball. I lived and breathed it, but couldnít hit very well.
11. Middle school trauma. I got beat up a lot since I weighed like 75 pounds.
12. Private school, which solved a lot of the issues about getting my ass kicked.
13. Since school is at my church, I find myself in that building nearly 24/7.
14. I discover, in order, beer, cigarettes and girls. I still like beer.
15. Shipped off to Virginia to live with my sister. Must have been the beer.
16. Iím still the skinniest guy in school, but I write pretty well.
17. I date the blonde editor of the school paper and get published a lot.
18. I rediscover beer and cigarettes. And date the head cheerleader. Whoo!
19. All my friends go off to college. I stay home and deliver ad copy.
20. Iím in college but canít figure out why. I work in a toll booth at night.
21. Meet Ally at the toll booth. We get married in May. So much for college.
22. Working in the cabinet shop. Dirt poor.
23. Living in a way cool brownstone apartment downtown but drive a pickup.
24. Grandpa dies, we get small inheritance. Bought a TV and some furniture.
25. New job, new house. Beth is born. Still drive a pickup, but itís new!
26. Move to fixer upper house and Beth falls down the stairs the first day.
27. Maggie is born. Iím getting a rep as a damn fine draftsman.
28. Ben is born. We figure it must be something in the water, switch to beer.
29. A good pal tells me he has a boat and lives on a lake. I fish all year.
30. Starting to make good money. With 3 kids, I better be.
31. Ally has a horrible car wreck. She, and all the kids survive somehow.
32. Spend most of the year in lawyers offices. Which is a horrible way to live.
33. Move the whole tribe to present big house in trendy neighborhood.
34. Iím a prominent good citizen and my yard is beautiful. That didnít last.
35. I quit my 11 year run at a good job since I think I can make more elsewhere.
36. Sales? Can you picture me in sales? I do well, but hate it.
37. Shift over to another job, the one where Stu also works.
38. Stu and I get backstabbed once to often, start the Outfoxed Crew.
39. Dirt poor again, but itís all about the freedom baby.
40. Coaching girls softball, oyster roasts at Stuís. Maybe the best year ever.
41. New millennium. The business goes into high gear.
42. Maybe the most difficult year, but I start this diary. 2001. So many changes.
43. Beth graduates high school. Huh? What happened to diapers at 4 am?
44. Maggie graduates high school. Iím stuck upstate building a city.
45. My Dad dies, the city project becomes a funeral dirge. I hated this year.
46. I sit here on my birthday, figuring out how hard it is to write one line that describes an entire year of your life. You canít, of course. At 46 years of age maybe the one line should end ď. . . and they wonder why I drinkĒ.
Iím gonna make every effort to find an answer to that this afternoon at the Watering Hole. Where every birthday is a national holiday and beer is the currency of choice. As it should be. It seems to be the one constant in my life, or at least since I was 14 and swigging a purloined Carling Black Label in the middle of winter with my old neighbor pal. I donít think Iíve had a Black Label since. But that only proves at least a modicum of good taste. That stuff was nasty.
It would be a good day to wrap up the contract on our winning bid for 340 apartment kitchens, too. That would be a nice present, and the telling of which would make a happy entry next time. Cross your fingers and rap on wood.
And thank you today, as always, for reading. Especially you KFK, I see you out there in the studio audience!
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