I love … little baby ducks,
Old pickup trucks,
Slow movin’ trains,
It goes on from there. Nothing complicated, nothing particularly out of the ordinary and nothing you couldn’t relate to yourself. And it probably has nothing to do with the fact that Dick Stanley is asking some of us for seven things we love.
For my purposes here, I’m defining “things” in such a way as to exclude persons: off go my children, my grandchildren, and Whoever’s In Charge Up There. Which leaves the following:
- My house. It was the 11th one I looked at when I went shopping in 2003, and I didn’t need to see anything else: it was just big enough, just quirky enough, and just inside my budget limitations. If the expense of late has been larger than I might have hoped, well, geez, the place is 61 years old; it’s cheaper to maintain than I am, and I’m five years younger.
- My music. This covers a lot of ground; I quipped on a message board somewhere last week that in iTunes alone I had stuff from 1940 to last month. While I never cared much for Edward Bellamy’s socialist utopia in Looking Backward: 2000-1887, I did like his idea of piped-in music, and well before 2000, I was able to provide rather a lot of my own. (Major regret: I can’t play music worth a damn.)
- The Great American Burger. Variations on this theme are legion, and justifiably so. Maybe half a pound of ground round is overdoing it, or maybe not. For reasons utterly unrelated to calorie count, I always hold the mayo. (Your mileage may vary.)
- Mobility. I can walk, and I can drive. I cherish both of these functions, despite the expense. (I had knee surgery a few years back; I don’t need to tell you how much it costs to own a motor vehicle these days.) And I will be despondent should I lose either.
- My position as a member of the community. It’s not much of a position, at least in any official sense, but since I gave up the title of Perennial Renter (see item #1), I feel I have much more invested in this town, this neighborhood, and perhaps in my own sense of self.
- The Bill of Rights. I cherish the notion of a list of things a government can’t legally do. I’d like it even better if there were some way to force them to stop doing them. (Which perhaps argues for the primacy of the Second Amendment.)
- Switchable connectivity. I bought my first computer specifically as a communications tool, a quarter-century ago. I’ve been online more or less ever since. For those of us afflicted with, or delighted by, occasional spates of misanthropy, it’s a comfort to know that we can switch off various channels that annoy us.
I depart from Hall orthodoxy in one particular: as a matter of fact, I’m not so crazy about beer. How this happened, I’ll never know.