Thursday, August 25, 2016

Slow motion adventures

I live just off US-1, the original road connecting Maine to Key West.  I had lived just off of US-1 as a teenager and into my early 20's, my parents live a mile from US-1, about 850 miles south of here.  I have periodically thought about going out the front gate, turning right and meandering down the old road, all the way to my parent's home in Florida.  It would turn the 12-14 hour drive, into a 24-36 hour drive.  I usually stop part way and break the trip over two days, taking the old road I would need at least 3 days each way.  Maybe I will get to the point that I have the patience to do that.  Not yet, but maybe some day. 

Last Saturday I decided that a little jaunt in the northern Virginia countryside would be fun.  I have been saying that I wanted to go to Fredericksburg, about 50 miles from here for the longest time.  From what I have seen the old downtown area is quaint, and there is the largest most successful distillery in the state there.  So off I went, leaving about 9:15 in the morning.  It took me 2.5 hours to drive 52 miles, over an hour to go less then 14 miles.  There are a couple of little towns between here and there that have installed traffic lights that let 7 or 8 cars pass through every two minutes.  The result is traffic backed up half way to the moon on the weekends.  Small towns that should be bulldozed.  I am sure they are saying we they are trying to preserve the quality of life in their community, what they have created is traffic that is a living hell for anyone trying to move through there - with the possible exception of the middle of the night.  

On Saturday I just kept reminding myself that I was not in a hurry, and the journey - even if it was in slow motion, was part of the adventure.  I took the expressway home, it only 1.5 hours to cover the same 52 miles.  

One time my ex-in-laws drove from Florida to visit family here in the DC area.  They got as far as the stretch of expressway that took me 1.5 hours to go 52 miles, and turned around and went back to Florida.  

Do you every give up on traffic and turn around and go home? 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Wonder Dog

The picture is in my parent's home in Florida, the dog is my sister's dog, Blitz the wonder dog.  

I didn't grow up with dogs in the house.  My father and grandfather had hunting dogs, dogs that never crossed the threshold of the house.  I was tasked with feeding them, without them escaping from the run.  It was not easy, one was escape artist, the other was a nasty little thing that would try to bite the hand that fed him.  Over the years I feared or loathed most of the dogs I met.  

Then along comes Blitz, aka The Wonder Dog.  He is sweet, well behaved and I kind of fell in love with him the first time we met.  For a young dog, he is only 3 years old, I amazed at how mellow he is - I wonder what my brother in law mixes in that dog food! 

Soon, I will go visit The Wonder Dog, and the rest of the people who live in that house.  My sister is fun, but you really should meet her dog.     

Tuesday, August 23, 2016


Riding the New York Subway 
I have a couple of professional licenses, one of which I need to maintain as active for my current employment, and one that I have not used since June of 1995 - but keep renewing.  

I have had a real estate license in Florida since 1978, I have had a brokers license in Florida since 1980.  I made a living with it doing sales and marketing for home builders for 15 years, 3 or 4 of those years I made an exceptionally good living. 

I keep renewing that license.  It costs me less than $100 every other year to do the continuing education and pay the fee. If I wanted to, I could activate the license online and in minutes be legally able to receive a fee. If I fail to renew it, or ask them to cancel it, and ever want to have it back, I have to start the entire licensing process over again repeating the course work, exams, background checks, and post licensure education, for the brokers license there is a minimum experience requirement between the associates license and brokers licence. It would be costly and time consuming.  So on the off chance that an opportunity to fast easy money might come along, or I might somehow find myself in Florida trying to figure out how to fill my time, I keep renewing it. 

Yet, I know there is little if any chance that I will ever return to Florida.  I have fond memories of Florida, but I would find it a difficult adjustment after 21 years living back north. In many ways the 10 years I spent getting a BA in Florida were some of the most fun years of my life.  The license is kind of a part of me, a part of my old identity.   

So the conundrum, how long do I keep renewing? I have two more years to think about it, I just renewed through the end of September 2018.     

Monday, August 22, 2016

I used to think

Spo recently posted a list of things he once thought were true, that he no longer believes are true followed by Ron in Delaware.  Here is a list of ten things I once thought were true, that I no longer believe. 

  1. Working for psychopaths was worth it, as long as they paid me well.  
  2. That I had to live my life to satisfy others.    
  3. That I had to be thin, to be happy.  
  4. Money was the source of happiness.  
  5. That great leaders were perfect.
  6. That if I worked hard enough, I would always be successful. 
  7. That Richard Nixon was just misunderstood. 
  8. That all doctors were quacks. 
  9. That I was a simple person. 
  10. That if I quit running, I would get fat - well maybe I was right on that one. 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

If granted five wishes, what would you ask for?

John Gray recently posted a list of ten-things he would want, nothing extravagant.  Now there have been times in the recent past when what I would have asked for on the spur of the moment, was a certain co-worker's head on a platter, but I am really not that kind of a person (unless I am provoked.) Because it is Sunday, it is five, so here are my five questions about what would you ask for if granted five simple wishes.

1: Would you ask for more vacation time time or more money?  You can only have one of the two.
2: Where would you go, if you had to leave today and come back in a week?
3: What space in your home would you like someone to clean for you and why?
4: What item, under $50 (or pounds or euros) would you buy for yourself?
5: Who would you wish to win the lottery and why?

My answers:
1: Would you ask for more vacation time time or more money?  You can only have one of the two.
I am running short of paid vacation and leave time.  I would like to spend more time with my parents and with J in the other house. So for me vacation time.

2: Where would you go, if you had to leave today and come back in a week?
London, with a side trip to Wales to meet John in person. It has been too long, I really miss my ancestral homeland.

3: What space in your home would you like someone to clean for you and why?
My closet needs cleaning and organizing.  Being a little bit stingy it is the hardest space for me to clear out, and I know there are things in there I will never wear again.

4: What frivolously item, under $50 (or pounds or euros) would you buy for yourself?
I'd like another drone, the last one ended up stuck in a tree.

5: Who would you wish to win the lottery and why?
My father, it would mean so much to him, and at nearly 89 and in bad health, he wouldn't spend it all.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Tough Old Birds

One of the things that I have learned about myself over the past 30 years is that I am a tough old bird.  I've been through a lot of adventures, some good, some not, and I have made it through.  You don't really know what you are made from, until you have challenged yourself and life has challenged you.  

I come by being tough honestly, my grandmother's lived long complicated lives, my grandfathers spent their lives doing back breaking work, my parents have endured into their late 80's.  I have a lot to live up to.  No two of us have faced the same path, but all have experienced great adventures in life.  

Friday, August 19, 2016

Peaking under the surrface

Grand Staircase in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York 

Underside of the stairs 
When we were in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York last week, J pointed out the grand staircase, saying it was a landmark within the landmark.  We walked past it and into a small gallery, a gallery tucked into the space under the stairs.  I looked up and realized that I was looking at the underside of the granite stairs. While the top side of the stairs is all smooth and polished, the underside is rough, raw natural stone.  

When you get a chance look under the surface, you see what things are made of.  A lot of buildings and a lot of people are smooth and polished on the one side and rough, raw and natural on the other side.  

Which side do you show to the public most days?  Do you ever let your "underside" show?