Friends, glorious friends.

We met when we were two years old

Kathleen spent the last weekend with us bringing her aura of love and joy, filling our house and yard with new found happiness and enthusiasm for life.  When we parted on Monday morning we laughed, having a new perspective on our current state of employment.  Kathleen is “Job Free”, working only two days a week and searching for better employment.  I am “Retired” but only from the business of art. Working four days a week at the Prop Shop allows me to paint selfishly instead of for others, in spite of the lack of selfish painting time I have.  Quality of time rather than quantity of time.  Job-Free and Retired, not bad at all.

….

Rain plays music upon the leaves outside my window and geese fill in with the vocals as they flap their wings overhead, arguing about whether or not to head South this year.  I sit alone sipping coffee and smiling, sometimes filling the room with my own uncontrollable laughter as I read Tom’s gift to me, “60 Alternate Definitions”, a list he created knowing my love for word play.

Oxymoron: laundry detergent for an idiot

Observe: to obey the mighty Ob

Accord: a quantity of cut wood

Zebra: what ze woman wears beneath ze blouse

Admire: to make muddier

Beard: having ears that are shaped like a ‘B’

Inspire: where bats live in churches

Solo: not as high

Hourglass: a drinking vessel that we both share

Birthday wishes pour in through my phone, email and the old metal box at the end of the driveway that holds what we now refer to as snail mail.  Old friends, new friends … the circle continues to grow with each passing year rather than diminish.

Dreams are coming true.  Alexis and Nicole are exploring Iceland together.  Mike and Monica are in Spain, perhaps reaching Barcelona today where they will enjoy the beauty of Gaudi’s organic architecture.  Travel helps illuminate both the similarities and the differences among us due to our environments and the way we, as humans, adapt ourselves to those environments.  Traveling reminds me how much more I want to see and paint, how many more conversations I want to have with people I haven’t yet met and how many more sounds, tastes, textures and smells I want to experience before I leave this life of being Chris Carter.

On this day, at 3:28 pm I turn sixty.  I am the luckiest person I know, thanks to my family and my friends.

Thank you all for being part of my life, for being part of my inspiration and my joy.

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