I have lived in Houston for 15 years now. I have become less aware, architecturally aware, of how taller buildings handle the “problem” of the 13th floor – call it the 13th floor, the 14th floor (though everyone who lives or works on THAT floor must know the truth). I bet that apartments on 13th floors cost less than those on the 14th (in name only) and those fake 14th floors less than those on an actual 14th floor. I don’t think of myself as very superstitious but I am not sure if I would leap at living on the 13th floor – bad luck maybe.

Oh, and the architecturally again and inconsistently, I would be totally comfortable living in a building that used the European convention of ground floor / first floor / second ….. instead of our first floor / second floor / …. and ending up on the “12”. I guess I would prefer that in Europe. Then post #15 could be about camping in Europe.

I did camp in Europe once. In 1986 I spent 4 or 5 days on Elba in a typical everyone-is-on-vacation european fashion. It was great. It was not the widlerness. I am lucky to have done that. I remember having the great idea (ha) of selling tshirts that had Elba mis-spelled – EBLA!. In my defense it was the era of Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s hit RELAX.relax

Garrett says



Maybe it was at Canapai. I have no recollection. My then girlfriend’s girlfriend’s boyfriend drove us from the ferry to the campground one at a time on the back of his dirtbike. It was fun and there was pizza and I think we had no sleeping pad and were uncomfortable and hot. Maybe there are actual photos sitting in a box somewhere.

I guess just having memories is lucky, a gift. In Texas many would use the word ‘blessed’.

I have a friend whose family cat died last weekend. Trauma all around. The cat of course, who died, had had a full life. The kids who experienced illness, death, tears, fierce empathy and now some sort of catharsis. The parents, who experience everything the kids do and did, who also know through the awkward wisdom / experience that age brings us all, that the tears will pass, that the experience is important and even contributes to appreciating future happiness. The sun rises brighter for some time after a death, a breakup.

Carpe Diem!

Cave Canem!

Okay. Now I wish I had not started this with the title of ‘luck’. I really mean to write about the importance of living life every day. There is something to celebrate, to notice, to talk about, that will shake us up a little bit or a lot but will give us the ability to see the world from a slightly different perspective. Almost anything can do this – meditiating, exercising, eating something interesting, reading a book, laughing, laughing, and listening to or making music. Lots of things don’t do this unless you really work at it – carpooling, packing school lunches, doing the laundry, wondering if termites are eating your house. Camping wraps this all up for me – a quick camp or a week away, just away and just being there.

We are going away! I hope you are too. I hope the 4th is raucus and fun and that you all sleep well. My holiday will include pondering my and my parents aging, jumping into cold water, seeing my kids grow. We plan to slow down time the way you see time go slowly in a four year olds eyes and appreciate all that we have, have had and will have.

Humans are lucky to see the world go round and get to think about it too.

Be wise. Have fun. Make time.



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