My Uncle passed last week and I have spent some time recalling memories of our time together over the years. He was an educated man, graduating from the University of Oklahoma. He served in the USAF until his retirement. These are but two of his accomplishments but not what comes to my mind when I think of him. Instead I recall his humor, his laugh, his forthrightness and his perseverance. I recall he introduced me to fishing and gave me my first tackle box. (I'm afraid it was destined for paint tubes instead). But the vision that comes to my mind is much stronger than the others because it is the routine that becomes most precious in our memory. And so my thoughts go to the changing of day to night, wakefulness to rest. He has finished his meal and retreated to his chair to read and partake of his pipe. The lamp is on beside him, an incandescent glow over his right shoulder as he chooses one of the pipes from the round stand on the table. He lights his pipe and the smell permeates the room. A hint of woods and something sweet...cherry maybe? The smoke hovers in the air around him like a gossamer cloud. He reads. The print from the paper reflects off his glasses and the world is revealed. Forever in my memory, godspeed Uncle Al. Back to my brushes.
"What better occupation, really, than to spend the evening at the fireside with a book, with the wind beating on the windows and the lamp burning bright." - Gustave Flaubert
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