A Most Perfect Valentine’s Day

Image of Pudgy Granpa Valentine Bear
Pudgy Granpa Valentine Bear

I know as men we don’t tend to get as caught-up in Valentine’s Day as our more sentimental counterparts do, but I gotta tell you I am having just the most perfect Valentine’s Day ever.

It all started several days ago when I began to take notice of all the Valentine’s Day advertising. First, I was told that only diamonds really say, “I love you.” I thought about getting Barbara Gayle a big old diamond, but knowing her as I do she would rather I got her a briquette of coal with a card saying, “Squeeze me tight for a very long time.”

Then I heard about this teddy bear from Vermont that I could personalize just for her. I checked it out and they had the Love Bandit Bear, and the Lover Boy Bear, and the Huggable Hunk Bear, but none seemed just right. So, I thought I would design the perfect bear for her. I was going to call it the Pudgy Grampa Bear, but it turned out looking more like the Road-Kill Bear. So I scrapped that idea, too.

Then I thought I’d write her a love poem. It was actually going pretty good until I got to the part that said, “Our love is an endless and perfect circle.” The only word I could find to rhyme with circle was hurkle. I tried and tried but once you use a word that means, “to cower with pain or cold,” in a love poem things kind of fall apart from there on.

Finally I thought, rather than show up empty handed, I would get her some flowers. This is not as easy as you might think on February 14. I stopped at several places but all the flowers that said, “I Love You!” were gone and the only ones left said, “I know I’m old and wrinkly and near dead, but please take pity on me because I tried.” Not really the message I wanted to send.

So, I walked in the door with nothing in hand. Since at the very least I wanted to say it first, I blurted out, “Happy Valentine’s Day!”

And, my beautiful wife turned to me, stared at me for a long second, and then said, “Oh, that’s right. It is Valentine’s Day. Dinner’s almost ready why don’t you go wash up.”

I have to admit. It brought a little tear to my eye.

Wishing you a most perfect Valentine’s Day ever, as well.

Cordially yours,

Tim Couch

New Year Resolutions

Happy New Year post card of smiling boy and clock
Time: it's what life is made of

Well here it comes, a new year, a new decade even. This is the time for taking stock and making plans, a time for looking back at where we’ve been and charting a course for where we want to be, a time of new beginnings and second chances. Ehh.

I stopped making New Year resolutions several years ago. I wasn’t very good at keeping them so I figured, Why bother? If I didn’t make resolutions in the first place then I wasn’t disappointed when I failed to keep them. I thought that by making New Year resolutions I was just setting myself up for failure. In fact, before I stopped making resolutions all together I would go ahead and break them soon after the New Year began so as to get it over with.

I thought this plan was pretty good. It seemed to make sense at the time, make no promises, break no promises. But lately, I’ve come to realize it’s a pretty stupid plan. Actually, it was a plan to not have a plan. How’s that for not thinking things through? So, I decided this year I would do things differently and I started today.

I sat down with pen and paper and started by making a list of all the things I felt I needed to get done, all those things I’ve been putting off for one reason or another. It took a long time and the list covered both sides of a sheet of paper.

Then I thought that in order to approach this list realistically I should have some idea how long it will take. So, I made up an estimate of how much time each task would require and added them all up. Assuming no task takes longer than I estimate and no new tasks are added to the list I expect to have some free time around June of 2016.

Next, I thought in order to approach this list pragmatically I should have an idea how much it will cost. So, I researched the projects, estimated the cost of each and added them all together. After forecasting our budget, allowing for inflation predictions, probable tax increases and unexpected expenses I think it’s going to take yet another stimulus package. All in all though, I was feeling pretty good about having a plan. It was nice to have a direction even if the trail was straight up and rocky.

About that time Barbara Gayle called down from upstairs. “What are you doing?” she asked.

“Nothing,” I replied.

“Stop it,” she said.

That’s when I realized I only needed one resolution: Stop Wasting Time.

Cordially yours,

Tim Couch