by Dave Markwell

I have been reviewing old columns for another compilation project. I believe that this was my very first column. I still like it. I hope you do, too…

This day belongs to the dogs. They claimed it early and aren’t letting it go. The tic-tac revelry call of toenails on the hardwood floor kills any hope I have of finding my place back into the wonderful dream I was having. I don’t remember what it was, but it was good.

This morning I succumb to my better nature and get up and let the dogs out. Some mornings, I don’t. I can feign sleep with the best of them and have achieved some truly miraculous performances. My wife is no slouch, either. This day, she breathes deeply and slowly and throws in a twitch for good measure. I can tell she is in the zone. As I open the bedroom door, I glance back and see just a hint of a relieved smile. She wins this battle.

In the kitchen, I put coffee in the machine. This will be handy today. My dog, Diego, stares at me. I know what he wants. As I grab his leash, he knows his wish is about to come true. He jumps and twirls and bucks like a bronco. I do not.

We head out the door and onto the sleeping streets of my hometown. Roads are empty and shops are closed. Only one restaurant is open, Jack’s. Every town has a Jack’s. It is where the old-timers gather to drink coffee and discuss important things like politics and fishing, mostly fishing.

I walk by Jack’s and one smell hits me hard: bacon. Bacon is one item that can inspire me to dance around like a Diego getting ready for his walk. The sweet, smoky goodness floats in the air like God’s own aftershave. “I will be having some bacon today.” I think to myself and repeat as a mantra several times over the course of this morning’s walk.

Ahead, I see a light on. It is coming from the office of my friendly, local attorney, Brian. It appears that someone else was either disrupted from slumber as well, or is behind on some work…or looking to actually get ahead on some work; a foreign concept to me.

As I peek through his blinds from the sidewalk, Brian looks pretty intense and engaged in his project. I tip-toe through the planter bed and bang on his window. While I have never actually witnessed an electrocution, Brian’s response is what I would imagine one looks like. His head jerked up, eyes wide, his hands instinctively clutched the arms of his chair and he shook, violently, for a couple of the longest and best seconds of my year.

I smiled and waved. He did not smile, but did wave. With one finger. I carried on. Diego and I went home, our mission complete.

This day was simply one of many days of my life. It was a morning of little consequence. It meant nothing and everything. It was life. It was my life written on the pavement. My history was scribbled in worn skid marks on the sidewalks. Memories met me at every street corner and I was happy to greet them. As I returned to my silent home, I felt complete. The circle was full and, as I looked in on my sleeping children, I believed in angels and the idea that dreams really can come true.

[EDITOR’S NOTE:”Feel Good Friday” is a regular column written by Des Moines resident Dave Markwell, who just published his first book called “A Feel Good Life” (buy it on Amazon here). Dave also extols to all neighbors: “Enjoy where we live. Put your feet on the pavement and truly feel how great it is to live here!” Also, you can “friend” Dave on Facebook here. Or work out with him at his exercise company Waterland CrossFit!]

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