Wow. This has been the best Christmas season in some time for me. Not for the gifts - all wonderful - but for the emotions of the season, and for the good fortune I have been enjoying.
(On that gift subject, who'd a thunk I could get so excited about a shaver? But really, it's awesome!)
Our fixer upper home away from home is Officially Ours now and I can't wait to get up there and dig into getting it ready for the vacation rental market. It should, by my estimation, be a great rental. It's roomy enough for eight, the furniture and decoration will all be new, the appliances and kitchen will be new, the location is outstanding, we'll have a compressor so you can blow up your inflatable boat, it's about 1000 feet to walk to get to the lake, there are great restaurants nearby for breakfast lunch and dinner, we'll have enough room for a deck to relax on. Importantly, we've been renters up there for years and we know what a renter needs and wants. We'll have it. We already have two families that want to rent, and with about ten more the property will begin to pay for itself.
All of my children are here in the house for the season. Let's just stipulate that I love them a lot. You know all those families you hear about where the people can't stand each other - we don't have that here. We get a little irritable from time to time, but for the most part you can just feel the love when you're here. It is a priceless gift.
I'd like to talk about someone who is more dear to me than my children, or my friends, or even my half dozen hammers of all sorts. I'd like to reflect on a very special woman; someone who has made possible everything that I talked about here (yeah, the whole blog, all six years or so of it). Without her I would be a lonely fellow who was very good at building things. I would have little if any art in my life, I would not be immersed in the pastimes that have brought me so many friends that I need a computer to keep them all organized, I would not have a cabin in Lake Tahoe, nor would I know how to make it the getaway destination that will pay for itself. I would not have my three beautiful children, whose love buoys me day after day. I would not have learned to be the father that I am, nor would I have had the opportunity to read stories to kids over and over again.
She helps me fill up my life with more than just work, having shown me repeatedly that there is more to life than toil and that there is joy in even the smallest bits of life. She has led me back to health when I've been away from it, and wakened me from delusions that made me a fool. She has taken the myriad pieces that make up our life and patiently assembled them into a cohesive picture; it's her vision that drives our family. Our house is a home, a happy welcoming passionate and casual home, and it's my great pleasure to give her all the credit for that.
Thank you, Sharon. Thank you.