Archive for June, 2008

that downhill slide

I went to the hardware store today to buy a barbeque grill. It was one that I had been looking at before and was now on sale, so I decided this was a good time to get it. It was packaged in a nice compact box and I grabbed a shopping cart to throw it in.

Um, that box is a bit heavier than I thought it would be. Matter of fact, I think I’ll just slide this cart right next to the stack and just slip it down into the cart. Done and done – now to pick up a grill brush, an electric charcoal starter, some barbeque tools and check out. All checked out, now let’s get it out to the car.

Hmmm, a little easier sliding the damn thing down into my shopping cart than picking it up out of the cart and sliding it into the back seat of my car (it won’t fit in my trunk). I manage to get the box up out of the cart and sitting on the edge. Now all I have to do is somehow pick this thing up and get the end of it on the back seat and slide it in.

As I’m standing there contemplating this, a guy going into the store, probably about a dozen years younger than I, says he saw me struggling with it and asks if I would like some help. My back has been bothering me for quite some time so rather than risk crippling myself for the weekend I gratefully accept his offer. I move around to get one end of the box and he grabs the other, but as we are doing this it is evident that I am more in the way than helping.

As I thank the guy, I rather lamely explain, “You know, it’s more that it’s an awkward size box than anything else.” Yeah, right – at least he didn’t laugh in my face.

That’s the first time that I’ve had someone help me with something that I should have been able to handle on my own. I suppose that if that guy hadn’t offered I would have been able to do it . . . barely. Just one more sign that I am letting myself get out of shape disproportionately to my age. That, or I really am older than I realize, but I didn’t think it would get to this point for another ten years at least. Maybe it’s time to pump some iron, at least if I don’t kill myself doing it.

summer solstice

Today is the first full day of summer. While it’s a wonderful place to be right now, the “half-empty” part of me is depressed about the fact that the days will be getting shorter. I don’t know if I suffer from seasonal affective disorder, but I do know that I hate those short winter days and long nights. If I ruled the world, it would be stuck at the summer solstice. Of course, those in the southern hemisphere would not be too happy with me, but they are always welcome to move north.

It won’t be too bad for the next couple of months, but when September rolls around the corner, watch out. While I love autumn, I hate what follows. The holiday seasons buffer that hatred a bit, but after the New Year it’s just one long, slow, dragging, depressing stretch until April when it starts to feel like there’s a reason to live again.

I’ve always wondered if I could fool myself by rigging up daylight lights outside my windows that would come on before sunrise in the winter and make me feel like dawn was actually coming. Even though I would know that it is fake, I think that my mind would be willing to go along with the subterfuge in the hope of retaining my sanity.  By the time I had to leave the house to go to work, my mood would be up enough that I could face the ride to work in the dark. Or maybe not.

death looms on the horizon

I have to admit that the death of Tim Russert has really given me pause. I mean, holy crap, I’m the same age! There one minute, gone the next. Even immediate CPR and emergency services arriving within fifteen minutes didn’t do him a bit of good.

Then today I was going through an old Cabinet Maker magazine where they announced the death of one of its contributors, Danny Proulx. Apparently he had just finished setting up his display booth at a woodworking show and had gone out to his van to change clothes. His father-in-law went to look for him a short time later and found him dead of a heart attack in the driver’s seat of the van. He was the same age I am now, too!

Somehow, we all think that we are going to live to a ripe old age. I have always figured I should be good until at least ninety. My paternal grandfather and maternal grandmother lived past that age, so at least the odds are there that I could. Then again, my mother died at seventy-two and my father at eight-two, so maybe ninety isn’t so realistic. But to die at this age? That certainly has not been in my plans.

Thinking about all this has really reinforced the old idea that you have to enjoy where you are right now, because right now is all you have. Of course, that gets a little depressing when where I am is at work, but at least I’m still alive! Things look a little rosier when you realize that the alternative is staring at dirt for eternity. Besides, I’m not at work 24/7, so I should just quit complaining about that and enjoy what I do have.

Life is short, and getting shorter every day. Why waste it?

bookmark: replay

Replay – Ken Grimwood

I’ve long fantasized about being young again while retaining all that I have learned in my adult years. I guess I’m not alone, because that’s the main premise of this book, but with the wrinkle of doing it over and over again. Not science fiction, nor really fantasy, but rather a look at the choices we make in life. This book made me really think about my own life and see some things in a different way. Very Recommended.

(Finished 6/10/08)

bookmark: a salty piece of land

A Salty Piece of Land – by Jimmy Buffett

Not great literature, but a fun bit of escapism. If you like your endings happy, this book won’t let you down. In certain places it is even very inspired, but you have to look for those places.

(Finished 6/6/08)