Sunday, December 7, 2008

Blessed beyond words, but I'll try anyway

Betsy and I, with our vacation just behind us, soon realized that we had left the beach and returned to the reality of the holiday season. First, there’s Thanksgiving, with the familiar family feast, festivities and all the gastrointestinal gluttony that comes along with it. It’s quickly followed by the Christmas season, which presents the opportunity for us all – regardless of religious affiliation – to celebrate faith, family and the season of giving.

I’m thankful for so much and blessed with more than I probably deserve. I’m blessed to live in the greatest country in the world, in the middle of the best state in the Union (of course, I’m biased) and married to the best woman in the Universe. Betsy is my wife, my muse, often-times my mentor and forever the love of my life. Without her, well, I can’t imagine it. It’s cliché, but it’s true – she completes me.

I’ve been blessed with a wonderful family, led by my parents, who brought me into this world and instilled in me faith and a core value system which has helped me to succeed and excel, to give and to share, to love and to cherish and to smile and to laugh. They’re the reason I’m who I am, and I’m eternally grateful for their guidance through every part of my life.

I’m also thankful for being blessed with a wonderful extended family and a bevy of great friends. Both groups help make my life even more special. I’m a very lucky guy.

Admittedly, the freedom I enjoy I often take for granted, but it is because of our brave volunteers who devote themselves to protecting this unalienable right that I’m able to fly-fish on the weekends, do my Christmas shopping on the internet and eat 12 lbs of sausage balls through the holidays. Their commitment, their bravery and their steadfast pursuit of protecting us from the enemies of democracy are appreciated beyond words. They are our nation’s heroes.

Truly, God blessed me with the ability to express myself artistically. That gift has already led me down some pretty cool paths and promises to guide me down others in the future. Needless to say, I can’t wait to find out what’s in store for me.

I also really enjoy my guitars. And, my fishing stuff. And, my truck.

Well, the list goes on. I’ve got more than I deserve, but I also think it’s important to take time – not only during the holidays, but throughout the year – to remember those in need and to do your part to lend a helping hand (so to speak) to those who really could use one.

Moving over to my artwork ... Christmas time is normally my busiest time of the year, and this year – despite the doom-and-gloom reports of the demise of America and the free-market system – is no exception. I’ve maintained a good inventory of giclee prints, and several outlets – The Art House Gallery in Murfreesboro, the Ellen Hobgood Gallery in Heber Springs and the online gallery – can help you find the perfect painting for the perfect person. Or even an imperfect one. Person, I mean.

Despite the recent cold weather and the occasional rain, I’ve been fishing here and there – mainly with a core group of guys as addicted to fly-fishing as I am. The last few trips have involved Guide David Perry (Southeastern Fly Guide Service) – one of the more dedicated and hard-core fishermen I know. Fishing in David’s comfortable Hyde drift boat is highly-recommended, so please give him a call to set up a fly-fishing adventure soon. In the meantime, please check out his Web site for the most recent report from the river.

Until the next blog – tight lines and Happy Holidays.