Happy Birthday, Doug!

See that photo?

That’s my dad and my oldest brother Doug, way back more than a few years ago.

Today is Doug’s birthday and according to stories I’ve heard, he’s always been a bit of a firecracker.

Doug was 19  and had the world by a string when I was born. He married my sister-in-law when I was a a year-and-a-half old.  By the time I was four, he welcomed his own baby girl with open arms.

So my big brother has always been a combination of hero, parent, sibling, cowboy and mystery to me. When I was a kid, I thought he was about the coolest person on the planet. He also had an ample supply of sweet treats  which helped cement his place as a favorite in my little world. I remember one time when we went to the woods to get Christmas trees he made me the best snow cone using real snow and strawberry pop.

Growing up, Doug was larger than life. Partly because of who he was, partly because of what he did. He was a real honest-to-goodness cowboy. Sometimes he’d be gone for what seemed like months at a time (although in reality I’m sure it wasn’t quite so long) as he worked on remote cattle ranches. But when he came home, fun was sure to be right on his heels.

He drove too fast, listened to his music too loud, and lived life like it was one amazing adventure.

Although age has a way of settling even the wildest spirits, Doug still has that air about him. Still looking for that next great adventure. Still ready for fun.

So to my big brother, who always seemed able to add one more star to my starry-eyed gaze as a child, I hope your birthday is extra-special. And you have many, many more exciting adventures.

She Who Still Thinks About Snow Cones and Huey Lewis

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