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  • Jeff Marker

    husband, dad, teacher, filmmaker, writer, film geek, musician, DIYer, vegetarian, Bulldog, Buckeye, Nighthawk

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Backyard Campout


My son and I are camping out in the backyard tonight. The weather is perfect, the Moon is nearly full and gloriously bright, and the crickets, tree frogs and all their cousin species are in perfect harmony. I’m lying here enjoying the moment, and all I can think is, “Shut up, dog!” Who are these neighbors of ours who are letting their little furry speed bump yap and bark like it’s being kicked around the yard? (It isn’t, for the record, being kicked around the yard.) Do I live next door to the Bumpuses? The real problem is there’s too big a divide between my son’s bedtime and mine. I absolutely love camping out, but the nipper was out like a log by 9:30. Which leaves Dad with at least a couple of hours of lying and listening. As pretty as those bugs can sing, no song is so good that I can listen to it for 2 hours. But this is my own nature. I know that. There’s a reason I don’t partake in mostly sedentary, repetitive activities like fishing or golf. Or listen to Bob Marley. I don’t do sedentary well. The closest I come to sitting and doing nothing for a couple of hours is watching a movie, which for me isn’t idle, mindless, or passive. I’d love to someday be one of those guys who sits in a boat with a line in the water or plays 18 then shoots the bull in the clubhouse for a while. But that’s just not me yet. Nor is it me yet to just lie back and do nothing while our little neighborhood and all of its creatures carry on. So I’m blogging, working my thumbs on my phone’s painfully petite keyboard until my knuckles feel arthritic, while my son saws toothpicks in somnambulant bliss. For now, at least, he hasn’t caught his father’s disease. He is as peaceful as can be. It’s a real lesson for me. Yeah. I need an iPad.


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