Trout Republic: Happiness is a kickstand

Ol’ Dutch has long been in the search for true happiness and feel I can advise on the seemingly endless journey many people find themselves taking while seeking Nirvana.

Generally speaking, I have had a pretty good life albeit fraught with heartache which culminated in sheet-splitting with the ex. That experience set me on a search for happiness and I tried all kinds of things to fill that void.

Whether browsing the aisles of the local Big Box store or the local Chevy dealer, not a one of us can truthfully say we haven’t tried to fill those voids in our hearts with things. Some people move from house to house thinking that will satisfy that longing inside while others move from spouse to spouse looking for that special someone to make them happy.

The former usually only results in a lot of packing and unpacking while the latter only causes more unhappiness as you have to learn how to get by on half of what you had and -- if you keep that activity up -- half of half or half of half of half.

Get into the fourth spouse and you may finally have found happiness with that person but you are unhappy because you paid everything to the infernal lawyers. So now although you finally found the perfect mate, you have lost the farm, cattle, chickens and your ass.

Ol’ Dutch was in just such a predicament and was about to give up hope of ever finding happiness when Granddaughter #1 came along. Suddenly, I found out that true happiness cannot be found chasing things but is often right in front of us.

Oh, I tried to find the perfect mate and that search was hilarious and fun I have to admit but as a lot of you know, finding someone to appreciate your own perfection is hard to do.

But as Providence would have it Miss Trixie came skipping into my life some eight years ago this summer and now at least I have her to tell me how happy I am. And if that isn’t enough to cheer me up I get a constant barrage of affirmations from 453 of her close friends and family about how lucky I am to have her.

Now Ol’ Dutch would admit that is probably true but it puts me in danger of losing my man card and I have only had that since the great split and would like to keep it a few more years, thank you very much.

Ol’ Dutch finally learned about true happiness, though, this past birthday. It just so happens; I share that special day with Granddaughter #2 and she turned six years old this year. Her birthday request was a new bike. And, since it is common thought with her and her sister that Grandpa provides candy, cowboy boots and bikes at the appropriate times, a new bike was purchased.

But this bike was not like the previous bikes that she had. The smaller bikes are not quite the same as the bigger models and we were soon to find out just what true happiness was to a child. For you see, this bike had one important feature missing on all previous models: a kickstand.

You know that little metal thing that you can knock down with your foot that allows the bike to remain upright when not being used. That feature alone caused more joy than I have ever seen in any one person. So soon the term “Happier than Pruitt with a kickstand “ came into being around the farm.

Which got me to thinking -- always a dangerous undertaking according to Miss Trixie -- that maybe, just maybe we have all missed the really important things in life that make us happy.

And maybe, just maybe we all need to just stop and realize how the little kickstands in our own lives are the most important.

But if you cannot find something already in your life to celebrate today, get yourself to the Big Box and get a new Schwinn bicycle and kick that stand down over and over until happiness surrounds you.

Kevin Kirkpatrick and his Yorkie, Cooper, fish, hunt, ATV or hike daily. His email is [email protected] Additional news can be found at or on Twitter at TroutRepublic