This is one of my favorite photos I’ve taken of my father. It was taken through the window of his office as he worked up a spreadsheet. Which is as close to his natural state as I can get without a hammock and a Sherlock Holmes novel.
We spent the day together at the farm sitting on the front porch talking and sipping lemonade with a light breeze coming in off the rock outcroppings. It was as near as perfect a day as I can recall.
We took a 2 mile walk in the park and saw a beautiful blue bird. We had Vicki’s casserole for dinner with a salad and strawberry shortcake for dessert.
We are very much products of where we’ve come from. My life is strongly colored by my upbringing. I grew up on a farm. I grew up around animals. I had trees and fields. I took bike rides and wrote in notebooks.
I did not have cable television. I did not have the Internet until later in my adolescence, and even then did not have broadband connectivity until college.
I grew up slower.
I wasn’t ignorant. I read voraciously. I wrote and thought. I shared my thoughts in that fledgling collection of wires and computers. I talked to classmates and spent hours on the phone with a friend talking to the wee hours of the morning.
I have no idea what we talked about. Important things™ to our teenage minds.
It was a slower life. A life of Sunday afternoon reading under the sunlight or playing baseball in the yard. A weekend of soccer games and ice cream. The long bike rides and long drives as I got older to enjoy the world surrounding me.
A world I took for granted as the young often do.
As I get older, I yearn to return to that slower life. I am not cut out for the city. I want to watch fields fill with firefly and lightening dance across the sky. I want the wind to blow over the uncut fields and hear the distant mooing.
I am not cut out for the city. I like my quiet far too much. I don’t understand references to most Nickelodeon shows or the piles of other children’s television my wife can recite from memory.
I had 6 channels. (Maybe 8 if the wind was right.)
I watched the Red Green Show and learned about the Handyman’s Secret Weapon. I spent a lot of time fighting with antennas to marginally improve a picture of a basketball game or The X-Files.
It was a slower life and as I ease into the middle of my third decade of life, it’s that slower life I miss.