The HP rings up year number 36

The HP’s “State of The HP” Annual Birthday Address
Year 36

So, last year , and the year before, on various forums, I have written some entries or notes that pretty much chronicle where I am in life on my birthday.

2011 finds me looking at 36 years in the mirror – though were they went, I do not know. Sure, there are days I feel like I am 50, but many days I feel like I just walked out of High School over at Western Harnett ( Go Eagles!).

First the numbers: As of today, on the first day toward 37, as I celebrate completing year 36, I am a little lighter in my shoes that a year ago. I am ringing the scales at 227 as of this morning. I have in the past year participated in three 5k events, and have re-joined a fitness club, though here of late my work schedule has kept me away from it ( more on this in a bit ) . I have also addressed my desire to quit smoking, trying unsuccessfully back in March of this year, but I have cut back. This is no victory, but it is a step forward.

I have, on this day , a six year old ( he shares my birthday in fact ) a ten year old, and a young man who will be sixteen in just under a week. All three are fine young men who love their Momma and Daddy, and are often referred to by others as being well behaved and good mannered; despite the way we see them at home. They are boys , so it will pass, and their at home tom-foolery is easily accepted given the fact that they all do well academically and pretty much stay out of any real trouble.

My step may have slowed a slightest bit, and my ears give me troubles ( I harbor a real fear I will lose my hearing in coming years ) , but one thing that improves for me daily is my love for my Sweetums. We are growing old, no matter how young we try to stay , but just months shy of 18 years of marriage I love her madly, deeply, wholly and purely. She is my true better half, often much more tender and caring, always trying to teach me to be a better person. I have several times written about how a partner is not your best friend; that you need to be able to have a mate and a life to live of your own, but she completes me in a way that if not magical or scientific, is cosmic and pure.

This year has seen me away from home more than any in my life – I have spent almost 3 months worth of nights in Hotel rooms in towns both boring and fun. It is all for work, and I have a great job with great folks. Sure, I bitch about work – who does not? – but I do love my job. I have a great boss, I have great coworkers, and we get the job done. I like pulling into a gas station and a stranger coming up to tell you what a great job the company did near their home or job; I may not have been on that project – but we all work together – and it is nice to be part of something good.

The economy has hit us just like everyone else – I have made some adjustments around the house, and have fine tuned the art of paying a bill at the very very very last second. We don’t go out much, if at all, but we manage too have fun. We recently went to a weekend away, and I spent more than I should have, less than I wanted to, but we had a blast. It has affected my chicken farm; this year I pretty much shuttered the whole deal except for a very few birds, and those were either presold or birds I wanted to keep for myself.

In the little bit of spare time I do have, I began this past year in learning to “home brew” – make my own beer. This has been a real fun and rewarding hobby, introducing me to new folks, getting me out of my comfort zone and into a few public social settings, and hey – it is beer. What else do you need to know – it is beer!

I managed to get two tales published this past year, in the small Literary Magazine the Red Clay Review, though I have not gotten a copy yet. This was a big deal to me. I could not have done it without the help and support of my friends, most especially Gabrielle.

I also learned a little more about myself this year – I like to fundraise. Seriously – I like to beat the bushes and ask for money to help with causes. I had a great campaign with the St. Baldric’s event in the spring, and am about to get real serious about raising money for the MS Bike Ride in Historic New Bern this coming September. ( So get out those debit cards and donate dammit! )

Lost a friend this spring; life actually does come to an end, no matter who idyllically we prattle about, living like gods and monsters in a fairy tale. The reality slams home as you stand looking into a casket at a man who you knew as a boy, who you played with, sang with, double dated with, drank beer and whisky, smoked a joint – everything you do – and then, like a puff of wind from an open sash against a candle flame it is over.

On the flip side of that , new life , babies – in the arms of friends and running around the feet of friends – babies everywhere – new life, new hope – a future.

All of these things, and many more, are what The HP lived through this year.

I would like to take a moment and thank everyone of you for reading my little ramblings, for the arguments, the comments, the fun and the support. But most of all I want to thank you for that gist that gold cannot buy and a knife cannot sever – I want to thank you for your friendship, and to wish you, each and everyone, that in the coming year until I meet the 37th head on, that we continue to laugh, love and lean upon one another, and know that if you ever need me, all you have to do is ask – I will always do what I can to help any person who is my friend.

The HP loves you all, and wishes you all a good day.


  1. As Always I truly appreciate your thoughts. For the most part I disagree with society. I do not like the way children are raised, the selfish side of mankind, or the monotonous rhetoric most people dribble forth. However, I truly enjoy your blogs, post, and general outlook on life. You are appreciated!!! Thank you for keeping it real and making this world a better place!!!


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