Random thoughts from a random mind…

Posts tagged “Birthday

Properly Aged Cheese

Various CheesesResources say that it can take a few days to several years for cheese to ripen, but how long does it take for “good” cheese?  I guess it would depend on the cheese that you enjoy.  Cheese has been a product of the Brooks family for as long as I can remember.  My dad started in the business long before I could ever talk, but the art of attempting to create “good” cheese is engrained deep within me to the core.

Cheese can be a very acquired taste amongst individuals.  Most people don’t mind mild cheddar, but sharp cheddar is another story.  And then of course there is the stench of a good limburger cheese.  The various types of cheeses around the world are of no comparison to that of which has been cultured and ripened within my family.

This post is just another proof that cheese is not just created in my family, but is running rapid through my veins without any cure.  If you haven’t already figured it out, my family has never actually made cheese.  Well maybe someone attempted to make some mozzarella along the way, and I know I’ve done a few experiments growing mold on cheese as a kid, but no one has truly made cheese as you know it.  The cheese I’m referring to is similar in terms of the acquired taste and whether or not it is “good,” but you may not want to eat it.  I’m referring the cheese of jokes that cheesy dads set forth all across this world of ours; the stupid puns that shoot out at a moment’s notice to the reaction of rolling eyes and the occasional success of a good laugh.

My father is the master or jester of the cheesy joke, and from what my family tells me, I’m not far behind him.  This is where my theory of “properly aged cheese” comes to fruition.  You see, a good cheesy joke is very hard to come by.  Most of the time, people will just ignore you, roll their eyes, or laugh “with” you.  The art of the cheesy joke comes with age.  You learn how others will react, you better your timing, and you better your understanding of the English language to “help” not make a fool of yourself (this result is and never will be guaranteed).

To me, this is something that truly comes with age.  As we grow older and wiser, we learn more and more how to deal with what life throws at you.  I am one of those who believe that one of the reasons we are here is to touch other lives; to make other people’s lives a little brighter and put an extra smile on their faces.  Whether that be at our own expense in a horrible cheesy joke, or the success of a great one that will come up in future conversations.  When someone needs a little pick-me-up, there’s nothing better (or worse) than a “good” cheesy joke.  Either way, they will smile and laugh.

As I just celebrated my 35th birthday a few weeks ago, I wanted to write a blog that talked about growing older and lessons learned in life.  This is what I came up with (pretty sad, huh?).  The world is full of those trying to perfect the art of the cheesy joke, and I am still far from ripening that good cheese, but will continue to do my part in helping others.  As for the family business, I have a feeling it will continue to grow as my son takes a shine to the cheesy side of life, working on the perfection of the craft.

Getting old?

So, today is my son’s first birthday – holy crap, what?! it’s his 10th?!!! (Funny thing is that I really did start to type “first,” so I went with it)

Um yeah, so today is my son’s 10th birthday.  I can’t believe that it’s been that long.  I mean, it just doesn’t seem like an entire decade has passed since one of the most amazing, most memorable days of my life.  Has it really been that long since everyone feared the end of the world in the celebration of Y2K? Have I really been out of college that long (ASU ’99)? Does that really mean it’s been 16 year’s since I graduated high school (LHS ’94)? This list could get long….

I guess what I’m getting at, is the older your children get, the more you realize how much the world is changing around you.  The past couple of years have been full of “ah-ha” moments.  One of the first was when I added my step-sister, (former, how exactly does this work anyway? – do you just lose step-siblings in a divorce? I digress) Dawna, on Facebook.  Her initial response was, “you look like a young Art (my dad).”  It was at that moment that I began counting the years back only to realize that my father was my age when he joined their family.  That truly struck me, not so much in a bad way, but in a relative way.  I began to see many things in my life in a different light.  I began to realize my parents ages and what they were going through as I enter certain moments in my own life.  You really begin to get a better perspective of your own life through this imagery.

What does it mean to get old? to grow old? Is it the collection of new aches and pains you wake up to each day? Is it the way that you run out of breath trying to race your son through a bounce house obstacle course? Is it the way that you begin to look at yourself in the mirror each morning, realizing more and more that you look like your parents? Or is it the growth in knowledge, and the realization that your parents were one of the best forms of education you’ve ever had (good or bad)? It could also be the fact that you’ve become boring to everyone around you, well, at least some of the time.

Age is definitely just a number, and how old you are really is based on the way you feel and think.  I feel old….lol I don’t know, sometimes I just feel so run down, but when I think of others throughout my life, I do my best to drudge through and keep going.  My son definitely helps me stay young.  I do feel at times though, I really need to do a better job to do more things with him.  As I’ve already said, a whole decade with him by my side has gone by, and I feel I’ve missed so much already.  Looking at him in pictures, it is just so amazing to see how old he now looks.  He is growing up so very fast right before all our eyes, and we don’t even notice it until it’s too late.

So now the question becomes, is growing old the realization of what all you’ve missed?

Nah…but I do think that it get’s you to think about it, and that’s a good thing.  It’s a good thing to take a look at what’s around you and realize what all there is.  Too often we take for granted everything that we have.  Life IS too short, and we need to cherish every opportunity, every smile, and every birthday.  It’s a sign of us growing older, but it’s also another chance to remember and be thankful.