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Friday, March 25, 2016

This is all I ask.....

Tony Bennett recorded his version of this Gordon Jenkins song (This is all I ask) for Capitol Records back in 1963.  The essence of the lyric is to arrive at the place in your life where it is the small things in life which have meaning and significance.....

The lyric.....

"As I approach the prime of my life
I find I have the time of my life
Learning to enjoy at my leisure
All the simple pleasures and so I happily concede
That this is all I ask
This is all I need
Beautiful girls
Walk a little slower when you walk by me
Lingering sunsets
Stay a little longer with the lonely sea
Children everywhere
When you shoot at bad men, shoot at me
Take me to that strange
Enchanted land, grown-ups seldom understand
Wandering rainbows
Leave a bit of color for my heart to own
Stars in the sky
Make my wish come true before the night has flown
And let the music play
As long as there's a song to sing
And I will stay younger than Spring"

Tony's version of this song was my father's favorite, and not coincidentally, it is mine.  When I hear the opening lyric sung by Tony I am transported in time back to a snowy winter evening  at Mammoth Mountain after a day of skiing with my father back in 1976, sitting in the living room of a condo we had rented listening to this song on the record player.....this was back in the days when vinyl was still in fashion.....when I hear this song it feels like it was just yesterday.

It took me many years to appreciate the essence of the lyric, but my father seemed to always understand the importance of appreciating the simple pleasures of life.......sunsets, being young at heart, rainbows, a beautiful woman.  To a very few this lesson of living life comes naturally.....for some it is learned later in life (me), and for many it is never learned.  It came naturally for my father, and it is one of the greatest life lessons I received from him.

I say all that to say this........our choice to pursue and live this nomadic life was inspired by my father's passion for embracing the simple pleasures of life.  When you rid your life of all the distracting clutter that accumulates over decades of living you begin to notice the important things......the small things such as sunsets, sunrises, rainbows, panoramic views, rain on the roof.  Without all the clutter that can, and probably does inhabit your daily life you will have more time to focus on what is important.....friendships, family, relationships, sunsets, grand children, great grand children, adventures yet to be experienced.....the question is 'will you?'.  

Thursday we spent a few hours with friends who are in the exploratory stages of buying an RV and becoming nomadic.  They had a lot of the usual questions to be addressed, and as we answered their questions we tried to also convey the added benefits of living more modestly and deliberately.  The process of simplifying never seems to end, and the benefits continue to multiply.

One of the things I have come to appreciate this time around in SoCal visiting our kids are the relationships between each of our children.  They all have each other's backs.....if one has a need they are all there to provide support.  Of course, they have differences and disagreements.....what siblings do not?  The thing I see is in spite of those differences they love each other just the way they are.  Watching and listening to them interact on an adult level with each other, and their children is so heart warming and rewarding.  Have you learned to......are you learning to......do you enjoy the simple things in the prime of your life?


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