I am cutting the cord – at least on Sunday. Well, every Sunday. I spend on average at least 10 to 12 hours per work day on the computer. On the weekends, I spend less time than that, but still far too much. I need to regain control of my life. This means no more Internet on Sundays.
The first Sunday without Internet was two weeks ago and it went surprisingly well. No withdrawal symptoms, no website collapse, not even any missed deals on Amazon or eBay. What did happen is that time came back for reading real paper books, for writing with pen and paper, for working on the cars disassembled in the garage, and for baking. Yes, tomorrow there will be breakfast cooked before church and then eggnog rum bread baked in the afternoon.
Our world is built upon the lives of those we have known. They are all there in the earth and the sky and the oceans. But friends, friends are something more. They are the parts we have chosen to include, specifically picked out to construct our homes in this world. Old friends are implanted so deeply in our hearts that they make up the mortar of our lives. And even if now, they are removed, the structure, the presence they helped to create. remains intact.
In this time of thankfulness, I give thanks for all the friends I have had over the years. Some are new and still developing while others are old and comfortable. Sadly there are those who are no longer with me due to distance or change of heart or life’s passing, but I give thanks for them all.
I kept having to stop while reading “Not Without My Father” by my friend Andra Watkins. I kept having to stop and think. I was thinking of my own father and other people in my life who I have taken for granted or not spent the time with that I should.
While there are quite a few good laughs in this book, it is not a bouncy rainbows and unicorns type family story. It is an honest look at a hard personal journey of discovery and connections that is mirrored through the author’s own person journey to walk the Natchez Trace. Her father accompanies her on that walk, via comfortable car of course, to guide, protect and promote her. As any dad should. But this is not so easy a relationship. Along the way old wounds are revealed and feelings left unsaid, both good and bad, are voiced. And then there is mom. Mom throws a whole different spice into the brew.
As I read “Not Without My Father” I thought about my dad. And just as importantly I thought about both my son and daughter. I had to pause to wonder what baggage I was leaving them with, and what tools as well to help them on their journey. Were the experiences I shared with my family, all of my family, what I really wanted to leave them with? And most importantly, had I been present in their lives? Was I there, paying attention, and participating? Continue reading “Review: Not Without My Father by Andra Watkins”→
We moved a few weeks ago. Moved out of a house that we had lived in for more than twenty-one years. The move wasn’t for the best of reasons, but it all went well. And we are now in a bigger house with, and this is very important, more garage space for my cars. It is in a nice neighborhood, and we are already meeting the folks around us. I am also very grateful that we had some very good friends who were generous of their time and helped with all the heavy lifting.
So, things are fine.
But there is one thing from the old house that I miss. In the side yard was an ash tree. We called it the Christmas Tree. We called it that because we got it from the county recycling center for turning in our regular Christmas tree for recycling after the holiday season was over. This was back when we first moved into the house, and the ash Christmas tree started off as no more than a twig.
Seriously. It was a leafless, limbless stick about 15 inches long or so, and we had to mark where it was so that we wouldn’t accidentally mow it. That was about 20 years ago. It is now a very good sized tree that is far taller than the old house. It is amazing how it grew over the years. It weathered storms and heat and drought and even, amazing for Charleston, snow. It grew into a fine and sturdy tree, and one that could not be uprooted and moved. So, at the old house it stays.
I will miss that tree, and I hope the people who buy the house will see it for the fine tree it is and let it continue to grow and shade the house. It would be a real shame if it was cut down after weathering so much.
Yup, the new house is fine, but I wish I could have somehow brought the Christmas tree along with me.
Back home in South Carolina! Yup, completed the five hour drive back from Atlanta, and now we are settled back in after being gone for about 4 and a half days. Loved the model train convention, love traveling, but it is good to be home. I will be content to be here for at least a day or two before I get wanderlust again. But not traveling for the foreseeable future. Next scheduled trip isn’t until September I believe.
Now, as for today’s assignment, I am asked to tell you about what I am looking forward to. Does “looking forward to” have to mean that I am excited? That I am happy about what is coming? I looked it up online, and one definition of the phrases says, “to wait or hope for, especially with pleasure.” Screw that “with pleasure” part. The thing is, in just a few more days I shall reach… fifty. Yes, it will be my birthday and I will be clawing my way over the half-century divide. Sigh. I must admit that I am having a bit of trouble with this milestone. I keep reflecting on how old I am, all the things I wanted to do, all the things I haven’t gotten done, and that sort of thing. I know it is self inflicted misery, but still.
I suppose it is natural for us all to take stock at some point – an inventory of the past and the future. And it would be equally natural for most of us to be unsatisfied with where we are or what we have done. Seems many people do that when they hit forty. But forty really didn’t hit me that hard. OK, I had a bit of a mid-life crisis if you include that buying of the Harley Davidson, but that was quickly taken care of by a few trips to the hospital. No, fifty is bugging me for some reason. Mid-life is one thing, but old is something else entirely. I keep having visions of myself as Milton Waddams from “Office Space”. This is not a good thing.