Where have all the cowboys gone?

Have you ever experienced one of those incidents in your life which perfectly illustrates a nagging concern that has stayed crouched in a hidden corner of your mind? No? Okay then, maybe it’s just me…

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“…I’ve got five on it…”

It is interesting to note the reaction I get whenever people find out I am the father of four children, with another one on the way.

“You know what causes that, right?”

Indeed, but I think I’d like to do a bit more research.

“Wow, are they all yours?”

Right, well, glad to see good manners haven’t impugned your sense of curiosity. But yes, they are all mine.

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There is no escape from growing older. Each of us, with each passing moment, are growing farther and farther from the day we were born…  and ever closer to the day we die.

It is no macabre thought to consider thus. For it is as immutable a fact as the gravitational pull of the spheres and the fixed speed of light and sound. The onward progression of our temporal existence simply is.

Just as the sixteen year-old youth hastens toward adulthood, the aged one is content to savor each day as it comes.

Tuesday marked my 35th year of life on this earth and was observed with the usual pomp and well-wishes from my family, friends, colleagues and casual acquaintances.

But in the quieter moments of my evening, I began to reflect on what this day means over the span of what I hope and pray will be a life of many years.

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The Burdens of our Freedom

I took advantage of my three-day weekend to catch up on some reading, specifically that of this constitutional republic we call the United States of America.

After my traditional yearly reading of the Declaration of Independence, whose birthday we observed Monday evening, I moved on to a collection of correspondence between John Adams and his wife Abigail.

Reading of Mr. Adams’ thoughts the very day before he signed his name to the document that represented the final straw in the colonies ongoing dispute with “Mother England” one paragraph in particular leaped out from the page:

“I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”

Well, I can’t say there was much in the way of “solemn acts of devotion” but there was plenty of pomp, parade, games and illuminations. We held off on the guns and bonfires though with the burn ban and all. No need to go overboard. Freedom without responsibility is chaos.

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