Sunday night was bliss. I finally took the time to smoke a pipe, read some of my novel, and drink a beer. I haven’t done this in quite some time. What’s even worse, is that I haven’t smoked, touched, or even cleaned any of my pipes since before Christmas. I haven’t looked on-line at any of the pipe forums I used to frequent, nor do any of the research on pipes and the pipe smoking hobby. I haven’t even looked at Ebay. *shock*
It occurred to me the other day that I was craving a nice smoke. I worked in the yard, anticipating the relaxation awaiting for me in my cabinet and that it would be a great end to a busy day. But after working in the yard and helping my step father fix one of my toilets, I was just too tired to care about messing around with a pipe. Then I realized that this has been a constant state of mind when I think about enjoying a pipe. It’s no wonder people would rather smoke cigarettes or Cigars. They take less time to prepare. As a pipe smoker, I don’t set up my daily ration of tobacco in several pipes and let them sit until I’m ready for them. By the time I remember that I wanted to sit down with a nice smoke, it’s already time to climb into bed.
For a little bit of clarification, I’m a foster-to-adopt parent. Have been almost two years now. When people think about this, they forget that this is actually an instant family. We fostered our kids until the courts finally ended parental rights on their biological family. We met them and within an hour, were taking them home with us. My wife and I suddenly had the task of learning who these little people are. Getting kids at the ages of 2, 3, and 8 is not even close to what a family goes through in natural birth and it takes a lot of time, energy, emotion, and patience to not only learn everything about our children, but to also work on how they fit within our family dynamics in a short period of time. Then there’s looking at living on a single income to make sure the bonding and well fare needs of these wonderful children are met. Just to make it more interesting, my work functions take on new meaning and responsibilities in the turn of economic crisis; then my wife and I both have gone through a lot of issues with health and other family issues. I loving the hobby of pipe smoking and collecting. I know that smoking a pipe will help with my nerves, but then, my energy says screw it.
By the way, our hard work, stress, and patience paid off. We’re finalizing the adoption next week. It hasn’t been an easy journey and we’ve had our battles with the powers that be.
Therefore, when one must sacrifice something for everything else, the frivolous luxuries of life go wayside.
But how do we still enjoy our hobbies (costly or inexpensive) in times like these? For many people right now, there’s little money in a budget. Cheaper tobacco? Cheaper pipes? How about estate pipes? And the big question, how do we find the time and energy?
I found that if you have at least a little budget for something like pipe smoking, one could probably save up their well earned money and buy tobacco at bulk rates. Sometimes, you might even strike a bargain with a local tobacconist. Pipes aren’t cheap, but I have found some awesome pipes at local antique stores. I remember getting a Peterson bulldog for about $25. The beautiful Savinelli Estella I found was $50 at the time. I’ve found a few pipes for $5-$10 depending on the quality and wear of the pipe. Just have to look. Most of the time, they’re pretty easy to clean up and smoke again. The tricky part is cleaning the stem, but if researched, one will find a wealth of knowledge in some pipe forums that will help you make that pipe smoke worthy once again.
Even with everything we have going on right now in such a bad economy, we must find the time periodically to enjoy little pleasures. Watching the kids play while I sit and smoke can be a rather enjoyable experience. Sit outside and smoke a pipe after everyone has gone to bed. One thing I’ve been tasked by my doctor with is take a walk around the neighborhood, get more exercise. I don’t see why I couldn’t take a pipe with me sometime for a casual stroll. There are probably going to be several opportunities to be around friends outside, next to a pool, cooking out, or whatnot where people wouldn’t mind smelling the fine tobacco you enjoy.
There are ways, but how do you find the enthusiasm to light up a pipe? How have you found ways to keep in touch with the pipe community? I’m interested because I’m still figuring some of this out.