Tuesday, February 20, 2007

THOUGHTS ABOUT SECOND THOUGHTS

A gentle rain is falling outside. I've pulled a chair up to the open door that leads out into the yard. Its windy too. I can smell the fresh fragrances that come with rain. I love rain and storms. Always have. There is something about it all that has a calming affect on me. My friends would always cancel out on camping or hiking trips because it was going to rain. I always went anyway. I had a close friend who would go with me at the drop of a hat, but he moved to Colorado years ago and I just continued the practice alone. I even enjoy gentle rain while on the motorcycle and I love heavy rain when in the boat. I guess I'm just different! But the rain tonight is soft and the wind has changed to a breeze and the temperature is comfortable. It allows me to think about a lot of things. Ah, thunder too. Delightful! I have lived a lot of adventures in my life and have done things that many folks have saved for old age. I simply didn't want to wait for old age. I have always had a fear of acquiring some disability in my later years that would prevent me from doing the things I wanted. It hasn't happened yet. I did not want to deprive myself of travel and experiencing the out doors through travel and hiking. My choice of vehicles were motorcycle, cross country skis and my own two feet. I just recently have added a boat into the equation. A lot of years in industry and several years as a business owner have lead me to my present location here in Tennessee. And a new adventure was started and quickly ended with a short employment with TWRA, Tennessee Wildlife Resources. I have been sitting here thinking about all this and am wondering if I have made the right decision in migrating to Tennessee. I had ended a job position in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and felt that I could be unemployed in a place with super climate just as easy as being unemployed in a dismal, no sun shine, rainy and snowy state. So I packed up Big Red, my motorcycle, and made the voyage to Tennessee. That was 2004. And now I wonder if I did the right thing. I left my best friends, what is left of my relations and any work connections to make the move to Tennessee. I found it difficult to find work as it seems industry doesn't seem to need an experienced manager of 30 years who has managed everything from assembly lines to a industrial plant with it's own waste treatment facility. It surely wouldn't be because I'm 61 years old. But I have a great job working in the finest motorcycle dealership in Tennessee and maybe in the US. I do not make the pay I used to in Pennsylvania, but I don't need that same pay. I'm doing alright by local standards. I have new friends and have met a wonderful, beautiful girl who thinks the world of me. I still do not know what she sees in me and I can't understand why she hangs on so tightly. She is a wonderful mother, an understanding shoulder, and a champion for all four legged creatures. She is my very best friend here in Tennessee. I never told her that. I'll have to. Through her, I have come to absolutely love dogs. I see them as I never have. They are as important to me as a child would be to a parent. In a great way, they dictate how I come and go and what I do with my off time. They deserve my attention and they look to me for guidance and correction. They are here by this chair now. Douglas is lying on the floor to my right and Happy is at my feet, as usual. Sigh is on the left side of the chair on the floor. She normally would be snoring on her mat. They are all with me because they look to me for guidance. They are all ready. Ready for what? Nothing, something. But they are ready. When I go to bed, Douglas will lie on the floor on the rug beside the bed, Happy will jump up onto the bed and sleep with her head on the pillow to my right. Sigh will resign herself to her little cave I made for her which is a dog crate with an old artificial sheep skin to keep her warm. She will start snoring loudly withing five minutes of her retiring. Douglas will have his nightly dreams and he will whimper and his legs will move as if running, all while sleeping on his side. He's a trip! Homer the cat will jump up and take his place directly in front of me, his head just under my chin. Sea Foam will sleep right in front of my feet. All that, the result of me just going to bed. I was the cause of it all. I am their human. It is a great responsibility I accept with honor. I think of them and Janet and the friends I have made down here and I feel warm about all that. I try to think what my life would be like without my lakes and my adventure machine that skims effortlessly across the water. I think of the water birds and the great photo opportunities that continually arise. I think of the gorgeous roads here in Tennessee that seem to have been made for motorcycles. After all that, I am reinforced that I made a good decision to move here. I just want to make the most of my later years while I can. Nothing lasts forever and that includes health. I am reminded of that fact by thinking about the most recent news I received from Pennsylvania just yesterday. My 95 year old aunt, my second mother, has been stricken with cancer. Why this gracious, gentle lady was chosen by this despicable monster is the dark night's secret. So, all I can do is live life as best I can and with zeal. Because one never knows. Never..