Opinion

The Shepherd's Heart/One possible birthday gift leads to several more

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Around this time each year, the people in my house start asking what I'd like for that "special day." Usually I say something like "World Peace" and leave it at that. Truth is, there are several things I'd like to see wrapped up in bows on my birthday.

For instance, I'd love to have a new motorcycle. Something with a big V-Twin, king/queen touring seat, loud pipes, a windshield, and hard side saddle bags for those long trips. I wouldn't necessarily need a stereo system and two-way radio on board. Fat tires and a good suspension are practically a must for someone my size, however.

Problem is, if I had a new bike, I'd have to have a place to keep it out of the weather, so I'd have to have a garage. And I've have to have a new pair of boots, 'cause my second born child insists that one mustn't wear brown boots with a black leather motorcycle jacket. And she may have a valid point. You see the dilemma, I'm sure. It's sort of like the old "if you give a rat a waffle" scenario. There's just no end to it once it gets started.

Or we could skip the ride and go straight for the fishing boat. A shiny one with live wells, fish finders, a foot-operated trolling motor, lockable rod storage boxes, a matching trailer, and at least 25 horses of power bolted to the transom.

This would be a more popular choice with the family members, because, as I've been told, more people could enjoy it. More people, that is, as opposed to the motorcycle, which would be more of a "Bob only" gift. (Hey -- whose birthday is this, anyway?)

A new four-door Ram 2500 4x4 with a Hemi and all the trimmins' would make a pretty nice birthday gift and would be very family friendly as well, but with automobile prices as well as fuel prices going through the roof, I won't even start down that road.

There are, of course, other things that I'd like to have. But that list is filled with wants and not things that are needful. Through the process of aging I've come to realize that wants and needs fall within totally different realms. The list of needful things would look very different than the list of wants and might include such items as new front teeth, a new right knee, less weight, lower blood pressure, and balanced cholesterol levels -- all very important gift ideas for a man my age.

The list of needs is much more sensible, I suppose, than my list wants.

But what fun would it be to daydream about such things?

On second thought, maybe I'd better just stick with "World Peace."

The Shepherd's Heart appears on Thursday.