Some Scrabble and a Fire Pit

Some Scrabble and a Fire Pit

The best things in life are free, and there’s no place like home


   About twenty years ago while living in Tuscaloosa, Alabama I had the good fortune to attend a reception and lecture featuring television personality Robin Leach. Robin was the host of the hit TV show, Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. This show featured Robin traveling all over the world meeting, interviewing and showing off the homes, cars, and lifestyles of millionaires, billionaires, movie stars and other name brand celebrities.

   During the reception prior to the show I took a chance to ask Robin a few questions. I was a fan and my curiosity was spiked by getting a chance to actually talk with someone who had met most of the world’s wealthiest and most famous personalities. One of my questions to Robin was to ask him to give me a single statement to sum up the many years of being around rich and famous folks – his simple answer – ‘the best things in life are free, and there’s no place like home’.

   Robin’s answer stuck with me and some two decades later after having met plenty of rich and famous folks myself, as well as a lot powerful politicians: I concur with Robin! The best things in life really are free, they don’t cost us a dime and home is the sanctuary and refuge where we can all go no matter how humble the home or how bad we’ve messed up. Being with people who love and accept us for who we really are, no matter whether we are famous or not, is life’s great blessing. Being able to come home, regardless of life’s circumstances, and finding a hot meal, warm bed and good book is simply perfect.

   True to the essence of Robin’s and my own view of life, my wife Paula and son Pete came up with the perfect way of proving this theory. In my son’s church youth group meeting Sunday night each parent and child was asked to list an activity they wanted to do as a family in order to grow closer. Fortunately my wife and son did not list a ski trip to Aspen or the installation of a swimming pool. My wife chose to play one game of family Scrabble per week and my son wants to build a fire pit in the back yard so we can sit, talk and watch an evening fire with our two Labrador retrievers.

   We all need to practice ways doing simple things as a family, right in our own back yards. What is free and what can you do at home that is true to the essence of simplicity, love, life and fun - and does not cost you any money? People in poorer and less materialistic cultures than ours have trumped us for years in this category. They have mastered the free ways of life in ways we have lost.

   So I am going to play some scrabble and start designing that fire pit with my son! Even if my wife wins every game of Scrabble and even if I get some dog slobber and soot in my hair; it is going to be a blast. The best things in life really are free and there’s no place like home! I am feeling richer and more famous already!