Friday, October 3, 2008

CORRECTION from yesterday's post: my Tundra is actually a 2002 Tundra and not 2004, as mentioned. I think I put 2004 because it was the year I bought it. It was an impulsive purchase at the time, and I never actually digested the whole event.

My dad had died. It had been less than a year that I'd been married, and the changes in my life were coming hard and fast. Within the month of the memorial service, I had been mostly rid of my pre-marriage possessions through an endless series of garage sales, I moved to a new town, and I ditched the truck I loved and bought a bigger one out of necessity. Getting the business going was suddenly a priority, so we moved south where the work was. I stayed occupied. I changed the view.

2004 ended up being a good year. Pre-kid, pre-house, we had the capital to buy some new tools and go away nearly every other weekend. I look at my photo album for that year and it's just weddings and marathons and vacations, one after the other: Disneyland, boat trips, Lake Mead, the Oregon coast, Vegas, Tahoe, Arizona, the Sierras, Florida and the Caribbean. Mrs. Ditchman and I have a little book where we check off all the national parks we've been to, and we had been taking a picture of us in every state. At the rate we were going, we were destined to see the entire continent within the decade. It was the first of the "Year In Review" parties and -except for the death for my father- it was a year that deserved it.

In January, 2005 we bought the house in the suburbs. We remodeled the place and began filling it with kids. There's been no looking back, really, which I guess is why I'm looking back now. Autumn has a way of doing that, with each sepia-toned tree dropping it's leafy memories, and beckoning the family to gather together for the coming winter holidays. The photo albums for 05, 06, 07, and 08 are filled with babies growing into kids at all their birthday parties, and the sum total of destinations in those years still doesn't match that of 2004, but I married later than most of my friends. In 05 we fast-tracked it, and a lot of it since then has been an unstoppable thrill.

It's a proper life, with its fast-moving ups and downs, its struggles and commitments, and the daily struggle to commit. It's a roller coaster, so hang on. Or better yet, don't hang on. Off to work now, with no time to waste.

There is no time to waste.

(If you listen closely, you can hear the Little Ditchman squealing in there. As the parent, I can pick it out.)