Tuesday, May 17, 2016

On My Time Being My Time

Okay, all things considered, I'm a pretty fortunate guy.  The point I've arrived at in my life, has taken a lot of planning - & a lot of luck. (Not all of it the best.)
I am currently 61 years old and I have worked since I was 10.  At the age of 10, I spent most Saturdays (& everyday during the summer) working for my Dad, who was a roofer/carpenter.  I started by just toting asphalt shingles to the roof for him and his crew to put on.  Asphalt shingles weigh 90 pounds per bundle.  I started carrying half a bundle at a time and by the time I joined the Coast Guard (at age 17) I could carry 2 bundles comfortably and 3, if pressed.  But I digress.....
I retired from the U. S. Coast Guard after 21 years, and last year I retired from Mississippi State University.  I sought, and eventually found a part-time job working two days a week.  Well, as I've been working less, and I've come to see that our expenses are manageable (our home & cars are paid for), I've come to covet my time more than having a job.  So, effective July 1st, I will be leaving my P-T job, and I'm looking forward to it.  More "me" time means I can do jobs around the home at my leisure, and stop before I get too tired and/or injure myself.  More time for little "crafty" things that I do as a hobby, and (most importantly) more time to be with my sweetie.
Now, I mentioned some of the luck was not so great.  In 2010, just about 9 months into my marriage, I was going home on my motorcycle when an elderly gentleman turned in front of me without warning.  I had less than 10 feet to react (the skid was 7 feet long) and could not avoid him.  Thankfully, I survived and the settlement I received is the big reason my home (with a new roof) and cars are paid for.  I DO NOT recommend this way of earning money.  I was months recovering, and have no memory of the accident or 2 months following.  Probably for the best, because I'm told I was in a lot of pain.  But again, I digress......
The last paragraph just brings home vividly that life is short.  That being the case, and because I can, I plan on living it as fully as I can.  Why Work?
Everyone have a great day

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mom's Day Thoughts

Happy Mom's Day! Put yours on a pedestal! (Machine gun optional)
Today, May 8th, is Mother's Day, and its a bitter-sweet day for me.

My first wife (and my children's mother) passed away in December, 2005.  I still love and miss her, and my present wife understands that she will always have a place in my heart. (Just one of the reasons I love her.)  So - to my children - remember your mom on this day.
Now, DKW lost her mom in December, 2014.  Sharon was a unique character (to put it mildly) and I grew to love her in the few years we had together.  DKW was (and to some point - still) devastated by her passing.  The closest comparison I can make, is the extent to which my oldest was affected when Sue passed.  They were more than mother-daughter, they were best buds!  Now, all the kids were affected to some extent - but she seemed affected most deeply. 
Now, this past December (2015), I lost my mom.  (yes - with very few exceptions - December sucks for me.)  It was kind of anticipated, but anytime you lose a parent it hurts.  Miss ya Mom!
Now, I will be a day late - but I plan to tomorrow go put flowers on their graves, in addition to my grandmother who passed away a few years ago. (But not in December!) 
In an unrelated matter, I was finally able to mow for the first time yesterday afternoon and I'm still a bit sore.
Now, the day started horribly.  I woke around 4:00 AM and wanted a drink of water.  As I walked into the kitchen I heard rushing water and realized the kitchen, living room breakfast nook, and a bedroom (not the master) had a few inches of water in them.  I was able to cut off the water under the kitchen sink.  But it took 5 plus hours to get the water up. (I filled a 3 1/2 gallon mop bucket 28 times.  And that doesn't take into account the number of towels used.  I purchased a new kitchen spigot, but after a frustrating hour, gave up and hired a friend to install the new one.  Great decision on my part!  He fixed the sink/leak and I started mowing the jungle. Its weird, I know, but I find mowing relaxing.  I put in my ear plugs and am alone with my thoughts.
Now, briefly back to DKW's mom - Sharon.  I have, and have always had, an affinity for cheesy Sci-fi or horror movies.  If I was watching one of that ilk when she came over, she would watch a short bit and then invariably say, "Jerry, you watch weird sh*t!"   So, today being Mother's Day and All, DKW and I are about to watch a TOXIC AVENGER marathon (The Toxic Avenger, The Toxic Avenger Part Two, The Toxic Avenger Part 3: The Last Temptation of Toxie, and Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger IV.).  This on the heels that The Toxic Avenger 5: Toxic Twins is planned for a future release.
Everyone cherish your mom and your memories!