A two part entry.

Hello visitors! As you read this posting, keep in mind that Part 1 is the "lead-in" to Part 2 (which is the main point of this post). Part 2 is what I wanted to write about, but I felt it needed a little lead in. Hope this puts things in a better perspective for you.

Enjoy... I know I enjoyed writing it.


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Part 1 - Sacrifices

I (for the most part) ramble on here about being the father of five, and all the fun associated with that. Today, I am going to talk about an example of why being a father of five can (at times) be a real sacrifice.

Two days ago, I got a call from my friend Ed. Ed was going to be in the Twin Cities for the weekend, and was going to get in one last pheasant hunting trip this year. I was extended an invitation, and (even though very busy) my schedule looked like I could adjust things around enough so that I could squeeze in a morning hunt.

If I wanted to go (which after my last work-week I probably NEEDED more than I wanted) I would need to get quite a few family or "father-of-five" related tasks completed. (Because of my work schedule next week, I have no choice to be completely ready for Christmas by Tuesday evening. I have no time home (except sleep - and that is even severely limited) between Wednesday morning and Christmas Eve Day after 4pm.). I spent all Saturday running my tail off, just trying to keep up. Each stop set me further and further behind. As evening approached, I was unable to complete the tasks I needed to finish, nor had I even have a chance to get a pheasant stamp. Game Over - Pheasant hunting was out of the running.

Telling Ed that I was going to have to cancel was one of thoes difficult, but unavoidable parts of being a "Father-of-Five".

That leads me to Part 2

Part 2 - The friend of a lifetime.

Friends, let me make one Christmas wish for all of you. My Christmas wish for everyone is that they can have a friend in their life as good as my friend Ed.

Ed has been more than a friend to me over the years - Ed has been my brother. Back in the day Ed and I were inseparable. Wherever Ed was, I could be found, and wherever I was, Ed could be found. I'd like to quote you part of my speech from Ed and Jodi's wedding...

"When I tell stories of the things I have done, places I have been, and the people I have met, more often than not, that story starts out with "Yeah, was this one time that me and Ed... We ah...", from there the people, places and things all change, but there is always that one constant... "Me and Ed..." We've been through thick and thin together. There isn't much we haven't encountered at one time or another, and he has always been there for me -regardless. Let me tell you, friends like this come along only once in a lifetime, and I consider myself lucky to have Ed as that friend in my life."

When I was younger, and thinking about how my life would turn out, being the "father of five" was NOT part of that plan. My plan involved a lot more hanging out with Ed & friends, hunting, fishing, camping, and outdoor stuff, but (honestly) with the responsibilities that come with my family, it would be (and embarrassingly, has been) all to easy to pass on the opportunities to enjoy these things.

Ed has (over the years) NEVER given up on me. I have made, and then had to break plans. I have been unable to accept his inventions more times that I even care to think about. I am always worried that Ed will finally "give up" on his pathetic friend (me) and just "move on" to someone who is more "available".

I am so thankful that this has never happened. Ed is always trying to keep me involved (for which I thank him more than he will ever realize) in these things that we both enjoy so much, and he is so accepting when it happens that I am unable to attend. He has such a great way of balancing his "peer pressure" trying to get me to join him, and "acceptance" of when I am unable to join him.

This weekend was a perfect example of one of these times, and why I am so lucky to have a lifelong friend like Ed in my life...

Ed - (I know you are reading this), I want to thank you for being the greatest friend a guy could ask for. I want to thank you for not giving up on me over all these years. I wanted to thank you for being that "devil on my shoulder" that gives me a little "balance" between the old me, and what I have become over the years, while still respecting who I am now (as a father of five).

You are the greatest, and this one (my lifelong friend) is dedicated to you! I Thank you more than you will ever understand.


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