My Grandfather’s Cigar

I stood on the curb, closed my eyes and inhaled deeply.

Somewhere one of my neighbors was smoking a cigar and the scent immediately took me from 2017 to sometime in the 70’s.

Both of my grandfathers are in the backyard smoking cigars and encouraging me to keep pumping my legs so that I can swing higher and faster.

Neither offers to put down the cigar and push me but I am not bothered by that because their verbal support is all I need.

In a few minutes I’ll stop swinging and they’ll watch me climb higher than my mom wants me to in the tree in our backyard but neither of them will tell me to come down.

That smoke from the neighbor’s backyard makes it so easy to see it all and hear it.

But I am in the middle of my walk and I have to try to hit at least 5 miles so I take a moment longer and start walking again.

I don’t get very far when memory fades and the present intrudes in the form of Zac Brown singing All we need is love!

I nod my head and silently repeat it because I know it will be heard by the right person. Doesn’t matter to me how ridiculous it sounds, I am on my own path and doing my own thing because I cannot live any other way.

Into The Mystic carries me forward and words ring inside my ears.

Free as we’ll ever be
Just as free
Free as we’ll ever be

How Free Are We?

Underneath a beautiful Texas sky I ask myself about freedom and wonder about the struggles I have been through.

Almost all of them are because of choices I made to stay or to move. Choices to begin or to end.

And the operative word there is choices because I had the ability to decide which direction I wanted to head in and I usually did.

Usually meaning there were times when the choice was taken from me and I was told that I could only walk away and not towards.

There were moments when I tried to head back towards that Garden of Eden I had been kicked out of only to encounter that mythical angel with the flaming sword.

And when I did the damn angel refused to have a real conversation about reasons why and simply waved that flaming sword at my head.

I never wavered or moved aside. I dared the angel to stab me and it never happened.

Eventually I told the angel off and walked away but the damn road was long and winding so we crossed paths again again.

That was enough for me to say fuck it, I’ll be like everyone else who paid for a ticket and I’ll just wait and see what happens and where it goes.

I am still free, but maybe not as free as I might want.

Manipulated Again

A couple of people posted articles in which actor James Woods says he has retired because he was blacklisted from Hollywood for being a conservative.

I rolled my eyes at it because of the inherent hypocrisy and silliness.

Woods is 70-years-old and traditionally you don’t find that many roles for men his age so there probably aren’t as many opportunities out there.

We don’t know how many of those opportunities he tried out for either.

And we also know that Woods has been banging on Hollywood because he disagrees with the politics.

If you listen to job advice from the pros they’ll all tell you that badmouthing prospective employers isn’t going to help you land a job.

So while it is possible his politics played a role we can’t say for certain. Nor do we have hard facts to use such as how many jobs he applied for and how many times he was turned down.

The funny thing is many of the people who posted this are the same who cry about the Hollywood elite and say they don’t want to hear from them or care about their opini0n.

I guess what we really found out is they do care provided the politics match theirs.

And that hypocrisy is why I say they were manipulated again because so many of them complain about the lack of fact or importance and then they post this crap.

Who’s Behind The Door

That is the title of a song by Zebra and it’s one I never tire of. It is part of a set I sometimes listen to when I think of sailing off to some magical place far away but close enough to get to in a short time.

And since some will read this twice to make sure they catch all meaning and want to know what else is included I’ll say it is Southern Cross and Calypso.

Back 0n my walk I look up and think of all of the amazing moments I have lived under that awesome sky and wonder what else is waiting behind the doors I have yet to reach.

Another neighbor is barbecuing and the smell sends my taste buds into overdrive. He is playing Hold On Loosely and I think again about my grandfathers and how one of them asked me why someone would name a band .38 Special.

Relentlessly Pursuing That…

Saturday afternoon we’re back on the soccer fields and the ref has done a lousy job of calling the game.

That is not something you hear often from me. Ask the kids and they’ll tell you dear old dad says that you have to work with whatever volunteer is on the pitch and find a way to win.

Adapt, adjust, pivot, spin or duck.

You can’t control them but you can play hard and play smart.

This ref calls a very questionable penalty late in the game. It leads to a penalty kick and he mismarks the position of the ball.

So I yell from the sidelines, “Count it off, the ball is misplaced.”

My daughter turns and yells at me, “Dad!”

I go silent. It is a game and it is not worth getting into an argument with her.

Afterwards I tell her sometimes we have to be relentless in our pursuit of some things.

“Dad, you are just relentless. Sometimes that is annoying.”

“Sometimes making sure things happen you have to do things that some people find to be annoying. Sometimes you have to step out and cross a line or two.”

She is only 13 so much of what I do is annoying and I am ok with that.

****

As I walk towards the car I smell a cigar and wonder if there is a place up above or in a different dimension in which my grandfathers are watching what we do.

Probably not, but just in case I ask them to help me find a bag of gold.

Since I haven’t found that bag of gold 0r any buried treasure I assume they didn’t hear me or expect me to grab it the same way I climbed that tree.

I am good with that.

Joshua knocked down the Walls 0f Jericho, I ought to be able to find some buried treasure.

If nothing else it will be fun to try.

I might not float into the mystic, but I don’t suppose there is anything wrong with hitting it hard.

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4 Comments

  1. Larry October 15, 2017 at 7:17 pm

    They say smells can trigger memory, and I believe it.
    Sounds like a neat time growing up with grandfathers. It’s certainly different these days. Smoking around the kids – you have to be evil. ha ha.

  2. winersusan October 11, 2017 at 10:21 am

    Josh, I loved the piece about your grandfathers’ cigar smoking. It reminded me and gave me a clear mind’s eye picture of them both. The only thing I can’t seem to picture is you as a toddler…You’ve been grown up for such a long time. Hope Jessica and the kids are liking their new

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