THE object of being a writer is to inform, to entertain and to interact with the reader - to make you smile and occasionally cry.
If I succeed in doing that then I get to keep a job for the next issue.
It's not always easy trying to think of something to write about.
Often it can take quite a number of scotches to get the creative juices flowing.
All too often I find myself belting away on the keyboard at the eleventh hour because it's taken all week for something to come into the scone.
On Sunday morning, our Nick asked me if I would help him do something.
What it was doesn't matter.
What did matter was my response, "Sorry mate. I've got to get this column done, otherwise we don't eat next week."
"Oh. Okay then dad." And off he went outside.
I sat there for a bit, watching him messing around in the front yard and feeling that I'd let him down big time.
Then I looked at the keyboard of this thing, swore at it for taking up so much of my life, closed it down and headed off outside.
Joined shortly after by big brother, Tom who heard us laughing over something, the three of us spent the day in companionship and mateship.
We cut a few branches off the Cyprus that has overwhelmed the front yard for a hundred years or so. We stripped them and the boys lugged the cuttings down the back paddock for burning.
We cut the remains into logs for nan's fire.
I showed them how to use a reciprocating saw and a chain saw responsibly.
Nick got hold of the wood splitter and managed not to take his leg off.
We sweated, laughed and told a few dirty jokes out of Rita's hearing.
It was a dull, dank sort of day - and it was one of the brightest we've all had in quite a while.
Rita kept the food and drinks coming and after dinner we all sat under the heater on the veranda and talked about anything and everything for hours.
I say all this because this column is called Life.
Unfortunately life all too often gets in the way of what's really important.
We'll blink twice and our boys will be gone and making their own way in this world.
It's the small things we do for and with them that they'll remember - and that will keep you in their hearts as they go through life.
Many of you are out on the road from one end of the week to the other.
On Sunday you might be cleaning the rig for next week's run.
Maybe little Freddy is helping you and that's cool.
But on occasion you should forget the rig and just hang out with Fred.
Do what we did this day and cut down the tree so you can see the forest. Your kids will only love you more for it.
So now it's midnight and this week's column is written.
What I was going to write about this morning? I can't remember and I don't care.
It'll be there for another day.
Take care of you - and yours.
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