Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Interior Heat Wave

Waiting too long when you have a blog is not a good thing to do. Too many thoughts, ideas and experiences go by and meld together and soon fade from memory. But I will most likely find more ways to put things off in the future.

This summer is one of multileveled change for me. Being a blog dedicated to rolling and random thoughts there is no particular order to the changes. In fact there is something of an interrelation among them. And from what I mentioned in the above paragraph I don't expect to mention most of them. (One thing that will always stay the same is my lousy typing skills.)

I like where I live and its landscaping. Every year it takes a lot of work to maintain, however. And this year I have noticed that I am not so efficient at it - I get wiped out quicker than before. Of course, many days of rain have delayed those jobs, and the unusual heat wave(s) make outdoor work more difficult so I have to account for these to some extent. But say, even yesterday, mowing the lawn and hedge trimming in the 80 something degree sun left me dizzy and somewhat sick. Deciding to quit for the day and put my equipment away my wife, who has been painting the shed, asked me to bring the stepladder I was using over to where she was working. It's only a six footer and wooden - but by then seemed to weigh a ton and the distance to carry it left me with some very choice words under my breath.

This post is going to be a day long effort. Went to the orthopedic guy this morning for a follow up to discovering hip arthritis. Conclusion: after another x-ray seems I have some in my lower back, too. Current remedy: become regular with taking the pain pills I was originally prescribed. Gonna do that for sure as I have plenty of outside work to do today.

 Making the break with a lifetime at one job is, I have found, tough to do. Relationships, communication, etc. undergoes adjustment and I have found, many times becomes defunct. My mind gets the better of me and I consider all sorts of possibilities that may not even be true. Then there's that feeling of becoming somewhat invisible to the world I used to be a part of. But there is the other side, too. Not too many days ago I filed for unemployment over the phone with a gentleman who treated me as a human person, not just another number added to an ever-growing list. Got a first hand taste of dignity and it ran deep and was wonderful. Sneaky blessing. Never be surprised where you might encounter an angel, they tend to show up where least expected. Since I am not feeling too profound right now I am going to walk away from this and do an oil change.

Oil changes, and today's never ending yard work have done me in. Time to lighten up. Need to take stock of the bigger picture perhaps by way of some spiritual reading, taking a reflective walk, prayer.  Sunrise and sunset...I am amazed just how fast a life's day goes by.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Time to get away from my regular way of living life for a while...spending some time in Colombia to visit in-laws, eat the good stuff, and balance my perspective by letting the culture overtake me. Although Bogota is a big metropolis and so one needs to take the typical precautions, it's a great culture and a great people. The general courtesies and politeness of folks is immediately noticeable. I gotta let some of that rub off on me!!!

Spent most of yesterday waiting for a connection in Miami. Was at Bradley/Hartford around 3:30am yesterday - the wi-fii is free there - then waited 8 hours in Miami - the wi-fii is not free there! Thought about spending time taking a cab to a great Cuban restaurant  called the Versailles in Little Havana for lunch. Been there before and it's a great place. But decided that the cost of a taxi would make for too much expense. But I also like La Carreta right in the airport - like the cuban food there also.

Was so tired in Miami that at one point I gave up all modesty and got out of the seat I was in, found a little away place, made a pillow for myself and crashed on the floor...turned out to be a very good idea!!!! Other people are much better than me at dealing with lack of sleep.

Made it to the apartment of one of my nephew's that didn't take long from El Dorado airport and after some pleasantries crashed some more. Woke up to the drone of a major city starting its day and a real good cup of Colombian coffee (Juan Valdez, you rock!).

Although people are different by culture, we also share lots in common. Folks here get up in the morning and go to work like anyone else for the same reasons as anyone else. This is the capital, and has some really fancy parts, malls, restaurants, night life, hugh super-markets, home improvement super-stores, etc.
The language changes, lots of the food changes, stuff like that, but plenty of new business buildings and old ones, too. And yes, all the fast food joints at home are here also. Progress?

Lots I am not used to goes on, too, and requires some change on my part. My wife and nephew had a 7:30 am meeting to go to... I was exempt. They were still at home at 7:10. I reminded them that they needed to leave and are probably already going to be late. I was reminded that I am on colombian time, and that everything is approximate here. Wow. Lesson #1 right out of the gate.

So now I have to let myself adjust to the flow of things. That will be the big challenge and if I am cooperative it will do me enormous good.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

"Summer Time, and the Livin' is Easy"

Yep, I should-a known don't just run out and try to do olympic level hedge trimming on a hot and humid day. Lasted an hour and fell apart. Smartened up, got out of the sun, drank fluids and rested a bit. All better.

This weekend I am going to turn 53. That carries a lot of meaning. My father made it to 53 and then died suddenly. At the time I was a mere puppy at 30. So, a lot of life's wisdom I had to waddle through on my own for better or worse.

Change really can be good for you, but I mostly find it rattling, inconvenient and not a little frightening. Didn't get a cavity until my late 40's, and never had a prescription other than the occasional remedy for this or that. Now, having had two root canals, one tooth implant, a waistline that likes to grow at warp speed and the fact that now I ought to have bought stock in Big Pharma - all these lovely things they forgot to tell me about years earlier. Never mind, I wouldn't have listened anyway.

Career changes, moves and morphs, and how my perspective on this has changed. Climb "the ladder"? Really? What's up there anyways? (I once read Hope for the Flowers by Trina Paulus -- you should, too.)

In the last resort, I think it's all about good living. About finding out who your friends are and how they are so wonderful at mirroring back to me who I am in their eyes. This past month has been a difficult time of life for me and I have seen how I can be frail about losing my own bearings and sense of direction. I got a booster shot of negatives this month, feeling down on my own self, my need for good people in my life and the loneliness that easily jumps in when I no longer think that they are there, a sense of stupor or lack of direction and the feeling of inadequacy that goes along with it. And the worst is my letting my little "pity party" blind me from a the blessings and life gifts that Someone has always had for me. That hurts really bad because I feel that I ought to know better but my imperfect humanity (or as Soren Kierkegaard would call, 'finitude') has shown itself very clearly to me lately and believe me, it has a certain power that clouds things up really well.

The Hindus worship 330 million gods. They're on to something. Maybe due to my Western way of thinking-mindset (and the pompousness that it all too easily induces) it's absolutely too facile for me to miss their point.

God, who is unfathomable in his total transcendence and "who dwells in light inaccessible" has in his sovereign freedom chosen to show his face to his creatures.  And the sucker punch is that we are consistently surprised at what that face looks like. Two thousand years ago a man was made known as the "visible image of the invisible God". And he did so in ways universal - or, should I say, 330 million ways. I'm gonna be 53...wanna 'grow up' soon to be able to see the many "faces of God" before I give more control to some 'pity party' or whatever.