First things first, above all else: Happy, glorious, wondrous Easter to one and all!
My laundry list of thank-yous and expressions of gratitude relevant to this celebratory occasion would go on for pages and surprise no one who knows me. Even something as simple as an ordinary day in my life is cause for joy, though I’m just as likely to take too much of each one for granted.
Behold the city of Indianapolis, where my ordinary average day begins. It’s above-average in size, but still treated as one of the runts in the major-American-city clique, though the positive reviews of our Super Bowl LXVI hosting experience went a long way toward convincing other cities to stop calling us names. Many of the fruits produced in my life wouldn’t have been possible if Indy were the nonstop battleground that local news would sometimes have us think it is.
One of the first sights of my ordinary average morning, once I can pry my eyes open, is the tie rack. Ties aren’t mandatory at my workplace, but a few days each week I like the sensation of dressing like a professional adult. Also, I loathe polo shirts. Note the collection of holiday/themed ties at left; normal and boring at right. Whichever way I go, I can’t deny that gainful employment counts as a plus.
By the time I’m ensconced behind the steering wheel, my eyes are hopefully open and ready to keep me from crashing. My daily commute is all frustrating, stop-start-stop-start city driving around and against other obstacles such as construction zones, rush hour gridlock, other drivers, and our nation’s oppressive speed limits. On the other hand, driving beats walking all those miles to work. Any day I start the car without the engine collapsing should be a day for praise. (Bear in mind, the first I ever owned was a used ’86 Grand Am lemon whose odds of enduring a maintenance-free month were always stacked against me.)
My workplace is generally not photogenic, with one exceptional day when I was bestowed with the honor of our “Employee of the Month” equivalent award. The snack-filled traveling trophy that was included with this recognition was a welcome, temporary accessory to my normally featureless cubicle. It’s nice to know my talents are appreciated, even if they aren’t my favorite talents.
Remove the trophy, repeat that setting times eight or ten hours, and then the best part of the day begins. My wife is normally home first and makes supper, but I like to lend a hand where possible, especially on weekends as time and plans permit. Though we know how to cook the same simple meals, one of our regular staples that’s considered my exclusive thing is burgers ‘n’ fries. Nothing about my style is gourmet, even with my previous restaurant experience. One iron skillet; much ground beef; one sharp spatula; an eye for cooking coloration; and a modest Black Friday fryer for our side dish. Our special guest topping this fine evening: bacon! (Sincere apologies to anyone with strong aversion to photos of grease in action.)
A homeowner’s work doesn’t end when he clocks out at the office. The homestead demands its own share of attention — lawn care, inside maintenance, damage control, basic cleaning, and so on and ho-hum. Demanding even more attention: our dog Lucky, seen here posing with our backyard in one of its more picturesque moments in between killer summer droughts.
Unlike the average American, there are some days during which I never once sit down in front of the TV. Believe it or not! I’m not saying they’re the best days, but they’re not uncommon. Blame work; blame family life; blame the Internet; blame my daily commitment to MCC; or blame my refusal to pretend that the FDA has recommended a minimum daily allowance of TV as if it were a kind of vitamin. I truly do without from time to time.
Speaking of the Internet: this, of course, is where the magic of MCC happens by the grace of God. Lucky has learned to move out of the way before I sit on him.
For the average weekend that’s not overbooked with errands and special events, remove the parts about work and neckties, and add one weekly ritual: Saturday breakfasts alone with my wife. It’s our chance to escape from the world for a while, enjoy each other’s company, catch up on whatever events we forgot to mention, make plans for the days and months ahead, and enjoy the greatest meal of the day. When relative-assistance errands necessitate a trip to Indy’s south side, one of my favorite stops is a family-owned place called Genesis Bagels & Deli, who pretty much rule at what they do. Value-added plus: their official site cites 1 Corinthians 15:58 in their mission statement.
Of all the blessings afforded me by the Lord above and beyond salvation — best gift ever, in and of itself — my wife ranks up there pretty highly, too — well above movies, TV, the Internet, and Lucky.
Special thanks are owed to the folks at the WordPress Daily Post, whose Weekly Photo Challenge inspired this quotidian tour and provided the perfect excuse for me to reexamine the blessings great and small within the framework of my everyday life, as well as the best part that’s yet to come.
Once more, with feeling: Happy Easter!