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patterns of ink

How fruitless to be ever thinking yet never embrace a thought... to have the power to believe and believe it's all for naught. I, too, have reckoned time and truth (content to wonder if not think) in metaphors and meaning and endless patterns of ink. Perhaps a few may find their way to the world where others live, sharing not just thoughts I've gathered but those I wish to give. Tom Kapanka

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Past Midway

This was a busy week and when I logged on and read the previous post I thought to myself, “Let’s face it, you’re past midway.” I’m smiling as I type because I’m really not one to care about such things.

Case in point: I’ve worn a neatly trimmed beard for about fifteen years. In the early years, there was barely a hint of salt and pepper, but more recently it's gone half gray. (If you’re reading this and you see me on a regular basis—work with me on the half-gray part. It’s sort of like “midway” is true…if I live to be 100.)

I’ve considered using “Just for Men Gel” to hide the tenure of my professorial beard, but if I did that—even though the jingle sings “You look so natural; no one can tell… Just for Men Gel”—everyone would think, “Whoa, what’s up with the beard. Looks like he drew it on with a magic marker.” But of course they wouldn’t say this out loud. They'd think it while mumbling something vague like, “Did you get a hair cut?” or “Nice tie.” Anything but, “Your Marks-a-Lot look so natural.” (Sort of like this "doctored" senior picture of unknown origin at the right.)

So I just trim the graying whiskers and hope for the best… hope that it looks like Sean Connery in First Knight (If I could do that eye brow thing, we'd be twins--yeah, right!); or Earnest Hemmingway from his Old Man and the Sea years. (I've got more hair on top.)
Oh, here’s a hoot. I was actually stopped in Circuit City the other day by a guy who told me I looked “just like” George Lukas (right amount of hair, but I have less gray and neck).

“I bet you get that a lot.” he smiled.
“Actually you’re the first,” I replied, but he was not dissuaded. “You guys could be brothers.” I thanked him and thought to myself ... if George Lukas were my brother, I would probably not be standing in this line for a $30 rebate coupon on this $79 printer.

But the real kicker on knowing I’m past midway was the fact that we had the opportunity to watch five children between the ages of four and eight this weekend (starting Thursday). Only three of them spent the night three nights in a row. We loved having them. It was a blessing and fun in many respects, but it made me think back to those “Disney” years I mentioned in that last post… and it made me very satisfied to be right where we are in life.

Seeing my daughters interact with little boys was funny. They never had brothers. Watching them help “watch” the kids, made me realize how much closer my oldest is to being a “mom” than a little girl—chronologically speaking that is—and how mature our youngest is… and what beautiful young ladies they’re all becoming.
And besides... they like my beard.

Midway isn’t bad… even in the rearview mirror.
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