Saturday, November 19, 2005

Period Of Normalcy

It's been a period of relative normalcy lately. While it's not as much fun as hypomania, I'll take it over anger or depression any day. My life doesn't usually stay normal for long, something will push me one way or the other shortly, it always does.

My wife told me something at dinner tonight that hit home. She said the first 25 years of our marriage were mine. The next 25 years belong to her. She said it in a playful way, but she's absolutely right. The first 25 years were all about me. She tried so hard to please me, but it was always just expected by me. It was MY life, she and the family were just along for the ride. With my realization of my bipolar condition came an understanding of this. They have every right for happiness and good memories, but that wasn't important in my previous life. It has been lately.

This being said, I leave for a vacation in 2 weeks. Every year my father, brother, uncle, and a friend or two meet for a duck and goose hunting trip. My brother has a lodge on a major river in the heartland. It's actually a pretty historic place, or as historic as you're going to find in our part of the country. It was the servants quarters that once served a larger hunting lodge just up the river a short walk. That main lodge has housed MANY famous and historic figures over the years. It's such a cool place, a huge fireplace, rustic furniture, stove large enough to cook for an army. The original guest book has lived through the years, and paging through it reading the comments is fascinating. Bro's lodge isn't nearly as nice as the main lodge, but it's OURS, and it is a very comfortable and inviting place. When I say lodge, it's misleading. In house terms, "bungalow" more accurately describes it. But it's a wonderful place to relax. I often threaten to not even take a gun on these trips, I couldn't care less if I never shoot another bird. It's the conversation, the cameraderie, the stories, the entire package. To feed the stereotypes, the drinks do flow, but only after the guns are put away for the day. NOBODY gets sloppy, nobody drinks to excess. We eat well, sip bourbon or scotch in the lodge at night, smoke cigars, and talk. Great conversations - about anything under the sun. This includes memories. Memories of relatives or former companions that have passed on. Memories of past hunts and good times. People drop in, from other lodges up and down the river, our lodge is a gathering place of sorts. They share their harvest, as do we. These are people from around the country, from professions widely varied, laborer to physician to executive. Every one the highest quality person imaginable, but not based on title, or income, or any outward indicator. Solely on character. The experience would tolerate nothing but. That is why I feel so honored to be a part of this. Below is a pic of the lodge. Not much to look at, but once again, it's the character that counts: