1. On a sunny day in May, I’m moving office furniture and computers and artwork into my new office with my friends and partners. This is without a doubt the best office I have ever had: two minutes from home, in a beautiful building with hardwood floors, TVs in every room, a sub zero in the kitchen and a barbecue with a wedding-reception-worthy duckpond out back. More importantly, I’m in this office with people I have always wanted to work with. Now if we can just make enough money to keep up on the rent…
2. On an evening in June I’m running down the road from Snowbasin to Mountain Green under a mother-of-pearl sky and after 8.5 miles I’m going flat out, full speed. My heart’s trying to bang a hole through my ribs but I feel on top of the world as I hand the wristband to my buddy Paul in the Wasatch Back Relay. It has become a yearly tradition for a dozen or so of my best friends to do this crazy race, but it seems to go by faster every year. Not because we are running faster (the opposite is more likely) but maybe because when you’ve done something before it’s harder to focus on the miniscule parts that newness accentuates the first time around. Maybe we’ll do something different next year, but it probably won’t be any better than this. It’s hard to top 12 or so sweaty, smelly, aging guys in 2 vans for 2 days. No, really.
3. My wife wears the dress I bought her (I got style, baby!) as we walk into the Tree Room at Sundance to celebrate our 19th anniversary on a rainy evening in June. I’ve been with her for over twenty years now and she has never looked more amazing. I can’t take my eyes off her. We sit on the same side of the table and intertwine our legs scandalously during dinner. We unintentionally ignore the waiter and everyone else in the room, but the food is so good we are compelled to pay attention to dinner at least. We finish eating and run through a torrent to the car and drive through the lessening storm higher into the mountains as the stars peek through the clouds. We end the perfect night in Midway and decide to stay the night at the condo and go home tomorrow. Everything else can wait. Tonight, we’re busy.
4. As the sun sets on a blazing day in July, it’s obvious to everyone, including even the most stubborn holdout (me) that the time has come when we have to say good-bye to our beloved family member and best friend, Blaise, the best damn Bernese Mountain Dog (and thus, best dog) to ever walk the planet. We hold him tight and stroke his luxurious fur, but he’s not able to move much more than his eyes in response. He lays his broad head on our hands and in our laps as we touch him and kiss him for our last times. Then he looks up longingly at Robin with big brown eyes that slowly shut and sink away with his life as the vet administers the final injection. We cannot miss anything more than we miss his fierce, tail wagging love at the door every time we come home. It is not home anymore without him.
5. In Hanalei, Kauai, just before dawn on an August morning my son and I paddle a double kayak into the waves and toward the Na Pali coast with ten other foolhardy souls and two guides. After 18 miles of sea caves, heavy waves, spotty rain, heavenly scenery, remote beaches, various sea creatures and overturning twice (once on the rocks–don’t ask) we pull the kayak up the beach at Polihale (“House of the Spirits” and, yeah, it looks like it). We’re exausted and a little beat up but we paddled the length of Na Pali and it was beautiful and wild beyond description.
Happy Birthday Nine Moons. I’m happy to be here with you, and I’m grateful, grateful, grateful for all the days I have had.