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The Way It Works

Tonight I sat down to dinner with my lovely family, all four of us; and that is not unusual. We intentionally do so, have always done so, much more often, at dinnertime, than not. My wife had found a fine shrimp recipe in Bobby Flay's grilling cookbook, and had, as usual, cooked dinner to perfection. On a bed of viniagrette-embued fresh spinach, stove-topped grilled slices of zuccini lay topped with little cubes of the fresh tomatoes we bought last weekend at the Nashville Farmers Market. We chatted, joked, and ate, sharing about our day and at the end of the meal Lee Ann looked at me and asked, "Should we give it to her?" and I said "Yes."

The beautiful quilt, laid out lovingly by my wife and her much loved sister, crafted by a family friend from gorgeous pink material interspersed with memorable tee-shirt images and slogans from our girl's 18 years, she'll take to college in a couple weeks. One of my favorite images on the quilt is her, Miranda, running gleefully in the surf with sand shovel upraised, ready to build. She is four in the picture. She is mine, as she'll always be, at least in that picture.

I tied on my walking shoes and fetched the leash from its kitchen drawer, rattling its chain, driving our big black herding dog to distraction with anticipation. Grabbed a CAO Italia and a lighter, cut it and lit it on the back porch, and strolled.

It's hot in Nashville (the Firefox weather plug-in tells me it's 91, and that at 8:00 pm). We're supposed to get a break in the heat tonight, but I'll believe that when I feel it. Still, we walked 'way down our long street and back up it, MacGuyver stopping to sniff (so many scents, so little time!) and me looking and listening. I watched bats flitting for flying insects up above me, heard someone starting his drum practice in the distance, heard cicadas and cardinals and air conditioning units working overtime; and as the storm clouds flowed slowly in overhead, pinking and graying as we walked and the fingernail moon resolved itself into brightness, I realized how completely blessed I am.

Now, as my three other loved ones are digging in for an episode of Project Runway upstairs, I am finishing my sharing for the day. Tomorrow I'll dig in myself, into plans for the school year, into work for our new little hippy/hightech corporation, into blogging and podcasting, and maybe I'll even make a little music. Whatever I do, I'll be bringing the memory and the sensations of tonight into it. That's the way it works.

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