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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

My Birthday

An interesting, at least to me, little fact of this world is that tomorrow is the 49th anniversary of my birth.  For many reasons that are not germain to this discussion, I mark this year, the last year of my 40's with a great deal of joy, of genuine happiness, for still being here to celebrate this date.  I will, when I awaken tomorrow miss my mom and dad terribly, for this was really their day, they paid the real price in my birth,  my upbringing and any success I may have stumbled upon along the way. Even more so, for my dad and I shared the same day, June 10 for the first 47 years of my life.

I started this blog to document the journey of my life in food, unlike so many who come to a passion for food in time, I have been passionate about food all of my life.  I have had many things that have drawn my time and energy, but, good food and drink, time with family and friends and the pure joy of sharing something that I find amazing with others has been a joy all of my life. I have come to realize this blog is not an instructional tutorial on how to make the perfect tri-tip, or find the perfect ingredient. It is a way for me to extend my joy of food and life to others that I may never meet.

So tonight, dinner was a very simple affair, eaten at the keyboard.  A beer (Sierra Nevade Southern Hemisphere Harvest Ale) and a pizza prepared from ground beef, fresh zuchinni and onion, all cooked on a griddle and broiled to finish. Simple food freshly made, no clever staging, nothing but the food. Here is what it looked like.
Nothing fancy, really a simple, honest, nourishing and satisfying meal, a symbol of what I want from my life from here on forward. Bread and ale, a little meat and veggies, nothing that could not be found laying about in any place, anywhere in the world. You cannot believe how good this meal is. As for the mess, there is always time to clean, this meal wanted attention now, it was of the moment, as are we.

Of the moment, as I sit here, several friends are battling cancer, others are recovering and face that great unknown.  As for me, I was told that I had a good chance of not seeing 30. That is one heck of a thing to tell a 26 year old man who was just beginning to feel his abilities and strengths really blossoming. Many years of illness followed, of physical tests that were beyond any I could have imagined as an athlete or worker. And here I am, almost to the moment that I turn 49 years old, hearing so many I know belabor the crawl of time, and I cannot feel that sadness, for I am of this moment, here and now, alive and looking forward to whatever comes next. Planning my next meal, this simplest of acts is the very germ of optimism, the expectation that I will be here, ready for more nourishment, looking for what next I may take into myself.

And so like knowledge, like love and passion, the depths of our despair and joy of our victory, I refuse to see this coming sunrise, to a new time and place some sort of sentence to death, or excuse to falter and fail. I welcome this time, not for some lame declaration of wisdom somehow absorbed through the grace to time or as no more than an accident of fate, but, as a gift to see all the comes before me. Be it the perfectly cooked brisket or a time when I can sit with all of my family and friends once again to live and relive our lives. Not those glorious times when we shone most brilliant, but, the bread and ale times, when we have the small conversations, about life and how glad we are that we were here together, for this moment.


  1. Happy pre-birthday Bob. I had no idea that we were going to be fortunate enough to share your special day with you tomorrow at Phat Matts BBQ. Ought to be a fun time.

  2. Happy Birthday Bob. I find myself reading your post over again like a Great Text of Tao. I draw much from it and hope to someday have the same grasp of wu wei.

    I'm looking forward to celebrating the moment with you tomorrow with bread and ale, a lot of meat, and a little veggies.

  3. Happy birthday Bob!
    Great post by the way.


  4. Happy Birthday Bob! Such great words you posted above. Cheers buddy!

  5. First of all, Happy Birthday!

    You addressed some salient points here, Bob but I think my very favorite was the sentiment of appreciating the small moments, not just the grand ones.