Sunday, June 14, 2009

It’s the Little Things, Man

No one can say the word “man” like Dennis Hopper. He’s the quintessential biker hippie 70’s freak dude and when he uses the word “man’ in a movie or commercial, he says it with all the peace-love-dope inflection I remember the word deserved in its time. He said it the way I said it.

Yesterday I was hiking up to the top of a giant reactor structure. It was hot and there was little wind. To set the scenario, it was a slow weekend day with nothing to do, so I decided I would see if I could break my personal record of five back to back climbs of 326 steps. On my sixth and last ascent, I was noticeably tired and quite hot and realized the wind had ceased to blow. This particular ascent was cooking me. As I neared the top, I muttered a plea to the good Lord for a breeze and within seconds a light wind came up. It was little, but it was enough.

I’ve been working non-stop since my son’s funeral, clocking in just shy of fifty days in a row with one exception on May 20th. It’s been doable and it’s helped occupy my mind and pay expenses, but the scenery hasn’t changed and that is something I miss. Opening my lunchbox the other day I found a small love letter from my bride. My lunch tasted extra good that day.

At the Byrd Sanctuary out Dayton way, my family gathered for a crawfish festival, one of many gatherings my sister and brother-in-law stage for friends and family at their place. As we talked, laughed and ate, an American swallow-tailed kite flew over their property. This giant predatory bird with a four-foot wingspan caused all of us to stop and stare as it performed its beautiful aerial ballet. We are still talking about it days later.

Last night my folks came by for a visit and as we sat on the patio, we were delighted to see a pair of black-bellied whistling ducks fly over Chaparral Village. I was happy we were there at that moment to witness this display. It was a little thing and I enjoy life in bite-sized form.

I recently combined two passions: Sriracha hot sauce and bean, cheese and jalapeno tamales from Los Torito’s on N. Main. I drove in from work about 4:15pm and was greeted by the owner, Llyda Martinez. I told her about my new addiction (Sriracha hot sauce) and how I was anxious to try it on her made in Baytown scrumptious tamales. She said she was familiar with the potent Am-Viet concoction and even though her seasoning of Chile de Arbol peppers is perfect, the Sriracha is calling my name right now. Needless to say I scalded my innards and the already delicious tamales with Sriracha as soon as I got home. It’s a small delight, but it has big satisfaction.

My neighbors Barbara and Craig Pugh cooked us up a mess of pork ribs and dropped them off for no other reason than they are good and generous people. Small acts of kindness weigh in big at our house. Baytown has a lot of folks like this and that’s why I call it home.

My point is simple; it’s the small things, man, that make the world spin right for us, not winning the Lotto, or driving that Hummer H2 that gets our eye. Of course, those would be nice too.

1 comment:

Natalie said...

Little things are HUGE for me, too! Enjoyed it :)

Customer service is not what it used to be

I was called by a local business today to pay for a maintenance service on my in-ground pool. My debit card on file had expired. ...