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  • As we gathered in the beautiful, large room in the upstairs of the City Steam bar and restaurant, me and my large family, about 20 of us in all, I felt so lucky to be a part of this great family. We came in from all parts to be here, to be together - San Francisco, San Diego, Detroit, Myrtle Beach, Pittsburgh, Washington, DC, South Jersey, Philadelphia, all 6 of my siblings, my amazing Mom, some nieces and nephews, significant others, catching up with each other, celebrating life.

    Brother Chris, who has always represented "excellence" to me, and who I aspired to be like, until I learned 'tis nobler to be thyself, looked at me and said, "Pete, you are so prolific. How many stories do you write a day? I have your cowbird page bookmarked, and I can't keep up." This was ultimate praise coming from one from whom it really counts, in my book. Even at age 57, while feeling very much like my own person now, and striving to be like no one but myself, praise from Chris is something that means everything in the world to me. In that regard, he's stepped into a role that Dad used to have in my life.

    But it's caused me to think about it. Since becoming a part of this incredible Cowbird family of story-tellers, I have truly become a witness to life. A witness to my life, and to many lives that touch mine. A commitment to bear witness to these lives has slowly grown inside of me, and it's like I have no choice but to share what I see, feel, touch, and hear, from my own unique perspective, as I live a little more consciously each day. I have embraced this idea, committed to the concept, of living my life like it is my last year on earth.

    First, I dipped my toes in the shallow waters of that idea, then I waded out up to my waist, and at some point, when I wasn't really looking, a huge wave crashed over me, and I was in all the way. I am swimming with the tides, surfing on the waves, occasionally getting pummeled to the surf by a big one, loving every minute of it, and remembering to occasionally come up for air.

    Routine? What's that? Would you allow yourself to be a slave to a dull routine if you knew you were living your last year on earth? I wouldn't. I don't.

    Autodrive/autopilot/cruise control? Chucked it out the window. I've got the top down, the windows open, hair flapping freely in the breeze, one hand is on the wheel and one hand is waving free. Drinking it all in - and bearing witness to the experience. I'm leaving it all on the field, holding nothing back. What's to hide? Save it for what?

    It's another great day in Cowbirdland. Have a great one, my beautiful family! I can't wait to read all about it!
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