Sunday, July 20, 2014


So what is this thing called love?

Today's lead-in photo tells two love stories. The love of one's grandchildren and the love of good friends.

The little watering can was purchased by The Missus Herself when the oldest granddaughter came to visit, for Little Bit loves to help out in the yard. Turns out that grandson Big O, also enjoys helping his grandma in the yard. He's the one who left the can positioned on that stone.

I noticed that when I was done cutting the grass today. It was one of those moments that made me stop and think. For there is a story behind that stone as well.

When we first moved to Little Rhody the house we purchased (and within which we still reside) had a very nice evergreen tree out front. I really liked that tree.

But upon my Father's first visit to Little Rhody, he declared that "someday that tree will tower many tens of feet high and the first hurricane will drop it upon your house."

This came about because when we were kids, my Dad went up into the forest and brought back a small pine for to plant in the front yard. It would look very nice and provide a certain je ne sais quoi to the landscaping there. (The Knights who say Ni would have been very proud.)

Unfortunately, said tree was a wild tree. The descendant of the mighty fir trees which decorate the hills and mountains of my native Vermont. So that tree did grow to be many tens of feet high (I think it was forty feet tall at it's greatest height, before my Dad laid it low).

So Dad naturally assumed that all fir trees grew that tall. I disputed Father's contention that our lovely tree would grow that tall and to please leave it be. Forsooth, The Missus Herself gave an ear to my Father's theory and one day I came home to find that my beloved tree was no more.

All that was left was a lot of dirt and these two humongous rocks. (One of which is in the lead-in photo. By the way Bill, don't claim that picture. I took it today. You rascal you!)

The Missus Herself commanded me to move the two rocks to the backyard. I tried. Oh Lord, I tried.

But I swear that each of those remnants of the last Ice Age weighed in excess of 300 pounds. Lift them I could not.

That's when a dear friend of mine (Fred, of whom I wrote here) offered to move the boulders for us, with the assistance of his son Brian. He had this little cart he used when building stone walls (for such was his hobby) and he could move those rocks with very little trouble. In later years Brian told me those rocks were actually a great deal of trouble and that he counted himself lucky to still be in possession of five toes on each foot. He says he nearly lost a toe for each of the two rocks. Seems his dad, Fred, dropped each rock perilously close to Brian's feet.

Fred assured me that Brian's toes were never in danger. Brian tells the story differently. After all, it was his toes that stood in harm's way.

So what does all that have to do with love?

Fred is gone now. He died some six years ago. Every time I look at those rocks I think of him. He is gone. The love remains.

The watering can reminds me of my grandchildren. How much I love them cannot be expressed in words. They are precious.

Which leads me to think of my children. They are my pride and joy, my raison d'être, the sole reason for my existence. This I truly believe. Without them, there would be no point to my existence. Though, mind you, I would still be very happy to be here. For what that's worth.

I think my point today is that without love, what's the point? Love comes in many forms, affects us in many ways. I love my family beyond words. I would die for them, what's more, I would kill for them. And I do not say that lightly. The taking of a life is so serious as to render the life-taker changed forever. Ask one who knows. If they can bring themselves to speak of it.

I also love my friends. There are those I call "friend" with whom I grew up, some of whom I remain in touch with (and say what you like about Facebook, there are many a childhood friend with whom I reconnected via that medium, that alone makes it useful, and precious).

Other friends are those I served with in the military. Men and women I worked beside and shared bonds with which cannot be described in words. There are friends I've made in the blogging world with whom I also share a bond, a bond cemented by death and love. They will know what I mean.

There are even some with whom I work now, in my civilian job that I call "friend." People whose company I enjoy and who enrich my existence. Yes, I love them too.


If you don't have it, you're not living.

Alfred Lord Tennyson said:

I hold it true, whate'er befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;
'Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.

The man knew what he was talking about.


  1. 'Tis better to have loved and lost
    Than never to have loved at all.

    Ahem. MY jury is still out on that one. They've been deliberating, lo, these 16 years and STILL no verdict.

    Nice post.

    1. Back in the day I'm sure Alfred would have tacked on "YMMV," if he had only known.


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