So-its Earth Day-that is becoming more of a Big Deal to us than it used to be years ago. In the effort to make it a real holiday we are beginning to form some traditions. This is now our second annual Earth Day Dinner-hosting this year one other couple for a homemade meal of locally produced food from the recently (for the season) opened farmers market in Madison. Mia made a wonderful ‘country pie’ of vegetables and a pan of roasted root vegetables (not much in season in April this far north!) that was fantastic. Our friends have children very similar in ages (4 and under) and we enjoyed watching and playing matchmaker between our son and their daughter.
As dinner wound down we were discussing preparing kids to handle the trials of adolescence and that inevitably led to us sharing the foibles of our youth-the stories that have built us into who we are today. We all have some whoppers-those stories that for a variety of reasons we choose to tell to define particular elements of who we are. Like the time I went to the Grand Canyon with my college buddies on spring break to throw a toilet into it (we chickened out at the $50k fines and instead threw it off MT Elgin in Flagstaff-no worries I made everyone pick up the pieces and ‘back out what we packed in’) or the time I walked 41 miles to work round trip for no good reason. I guess I like those stories because they remind me of the fact that I am, and always have been, a little crazy and that I am proud of that.
Back when I was in Retail Management I would sit my graduating seniors down every summer before they went off to college and give them one of my soap box speeches. They were instructed on the typical stuff-don’t drink more than you study; don’t date anyone seriously the first semester, but I would always finish with the admonishment to Make Stories. This was the time in their life when they would experience an unprecedented, and often unrepeatable, level of freedom- this was their chance to begin to write their own tale-the legend that begins when they leave the village and make their way in the world. The stories that they may be telling for years to come.
These days I throw a lot less toilets off things, but I am still writing stories (less figuratively right now I guess!)-about worm bins, sod piles, hybrid journeys and dinners with friends so close they are becoming family. The Stories that define me.
Happy Earth Day everyone!
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