miles per hour


The speedometer seems to be a constant; around 60.  It’s comfortable, productive, and simple in its own way.  Wherever I’m headed gets closer; I arrive when I get there.

At 57 years and approaching the same numeric I sense the impending collision of rate and age; along with that I feel more of comfort than of passed productivity – I understand and accept that it is what it is, and round the sun we go once again.

I’m learning to live with simpler objectives – the watch is off and the calendar is my tool. No schedule!

Traveling at 60 is really not so bad – plus its a long-shot better than the federal speed-limit of 55 as a fuel saving effort in the late 70’s; that encumbrance was a real pain (not that I mind going slower; I just hate to be ‘forced’ to go slow).

As for travel routes, I have found that when merging onto the interstate you pretty much need a “hit the ground running” mindset; because if not up to ‘speed’ any peace of mind will be sucked into the vacuum and frenzy of all those folks running 80 mph past you. “Thumpety-thump” – it’s almost a competition and most certainly a part of human-nature….. The interstate’s pace dictates a certain ‘hunger‘ for destination – don’t get me wrong – I have ran ‘eighty and returned at the same speed, loved it.


These days I simply don’t have to – now my route is almost totally on the ‘bac-roads.’ It’s got me thinking about all that I once yearned to do when crossing the same highways as I drove a tractor-trailer in the early 1970’s.  I delivered produce  to Northern Markets.  I wanted to stop for something other than to fuel the truck and take a ‘whiz’ – but I couldn’t – the fresh produce I was transporting had to get there!


Places and things are at the top of my list – less people.

There’s alot of stuff blended within the scenery that might be worth stoppin – heck, I gotta lot of catching up to do; might even wear a ‘flowerdy-shirt’ and take a picture or two.

So far, I like what I see; I notice the character within local communities and the individualistic touch to homes.  How necessity/conformity (or) non-conformity drives folks to improvise their yards, cars, property; all while experiencing their own unique life of happenstance – all of this, is just outside our window.

There is simple pleasure in checking out a local junk or antique store – ‘just passing through’ places that other folks call home.


I notice a lot of stuff, and appreciate it for what it was.


I’ll be working along these lines as I take some longer rides this year – I could only wish that a Mississippi River Trip was once again on my list, but its not – maybe the Missouri (or the Ohio).

In a few weeks I will make another loop to Florida to visit my Dad, maybe find time to kayak or visit my cousin Lee in Port St Lucie.  A trip to Colorado in June (“GK’s”), back to Florida in August or September (40th reunion), another to California in October (niece getting ‘hitched’). In it all I might as well take advantage of the ‘road time’ and absorb the scenery as I pass, – Route 66 style.


Within it all I will enjoy and do the best I can to keep this posted now and then – plans are to remain on the ground (my little truck/trailer), with options of ‘junkin, paddlin, or nothin; very likely in the neighborhood of 60 miles per hour, a mile a minute – 88 feet per second –  –


– all while contemplating how it all fits into the ‘grand scheme’ of things…………..

– As for the ‘other 60,’ I’ll let you know when the intersection nears.



Update, Life at 60 – (11/11/11)

At 59 years old where has the time gone? How am I different? How am I the same?

Seems like a few short years ago I was calling those folks of sixty “fossils” – now here I stand, at the ‘cusp’ of fossilness….  Damn! Why can’t we stay young forever

I recall driving as a teen in the 1960’s and the gray headed ones were continually getting in my way; the ‘old-folks’ driving way too slow with seemingly no idea where they were heading – they were just ‘clogging-up’ the highway.  In many cases I rudely honked my horn in passing; I was impatient – with a whole life ahead.  

In my twenties I was just too busy with raising a family, paying the bills, and experiencing young adulthood to care about age.  Friends were finding their niches, and those partying binges were becoming fewer.  In my thirties it was my parents that were aging, they were the ‘older-folks’ and our grand parents were folding.  Death was more than a word, it was becoming a heartfelt loss..

Over the following decade I realized that being 40 is halfway to the average life-span of 80 years old – and with that I wondered how many ‘productive years’ remained? I felt maybe twenty – and this is where I began to sense the impending and ever-mortal shadow of a ‘life-span.’

A grandfather (Youlis Calhoun Haynie) had died at 47 so as I reached this ‘benchmark’ I wondered if HE could have been satisfied with his period of time spent on this planet.  So as I passed my 47th mark I held thoughts of him close; from where I stood;  I felt that he could have been satisfied with his ‘life-span.’ A lot happens in a half of century; growth, relationships, friends, and yes – those passing’s.  There are repeated places (little circles), events, family, and those changes inherent about each of us – as we construct a mini-legacy of our earth-experience.

With as awesome as my fifties were a career ended.  At 57 I was without work, without daily structure – now what?

My next ‘benchmark’ has to do with a most admired cousin of whom we each shared many common traits. And at a young age he always provided me a wide parameter to learn; “go ahead Tom, you can do it.”  Jim Long (‘James’) was outwardly healthy and 60 when he passed; “dead when he hit the ground.”

– So I ‘shoot’ for 61.  I have more roads to ride and rivers to paddle, circles to close – and sure, it’s relative (Dad was 83, next hopeful benchmark 84) .

Mentally, age seems insignificant as personal desires, simple muses, and needs bounce around these portholes much the same as they have every day since childhood.

With these thoughts I continue down my highway in life without a schedule, no hurry – and oh yeah, last week as I passed through the countryside a youthful driver careened around my vehicle honking impatiently; as he ripped past me, it reminded me that I am now – “one of those”…..

( and I was doing 60! )

Family Homestead Shed, Ga.

12/12/12 ; 60! – Made it (with a twinge of dammit!).

Arriving I linger with a bittersweet feeling.  Somewhere between the emotions of feeling ‘automatically disqualified’ for everything but AARP while still enjoying the best of health…. I’m dealing with it….

Another positive note which helps, at 60 and after living payday to payday for so many years while raising a family – I’m completely debt free!  Everything is paid for (home, car, etc), now I get to play with the interest money that I have for so long diligently provided debtors.  It’s not a deep well, but I am totally in the ‘black’ after a very ordinary life

– it can be done.

11/12/13 (61)

Sixty plus….so that was what they call ‘the hill,’ – I’m over it!


12/13/14 – 62, ‘eligible’ for Social Security !#!.  Paddlin has kinda been on the ‘back-burner’ this past summer as another ‘man-cave’ takes shape.  I survived 30 years without a garage now I find it hard to leave one (I have three). ‘Barn Art‘ an interesting hobby of late – works well when my ‘thinkin-cap‘ is lit.  Ever wonder why older folks seem to collect empty coffee cans or accumulate small jars full of screws they never use? well, my collection is growing; when I figure it out we’ll let you know….. Health? still very good, ‘A.’

A’ might as well be for ‘adjustment’ and ‘acceptance’ too, where the mind remains juvenile; there’s alot to adjust and accept along the way. But all is fine, still alot of circles remain that I’d like to cross again.

11/13/15 – (63) – mental adjustment.  With age you learn to approach challenges in a more cerebral manner than physically moving the obstacle.  I notice the bones take a few minutes to loosen up (sore) after after a long ride, funny but I guess its ‘just a part of it.‘ Seemingly no physical boundaries even though it’s been a while since I broke out in a flat-out sprint (something would likely give). Fortunately my health remains steadfast; through Facebook I notice several cherished friendships that have fallen to time; dear souls that I would have loved to have met up and shared one more laugh with – lesson; “make contact when/if you can.” 

“Throughout our lifetime we acquaint ourselves with many folks from a multitude of backgrounds; I’ve always felt that as we grow, we take those positive tidbits of personality that we liked from those – and incorporate them into our own lives. We are each a product of our past and those friendships along the way.”  tgh

A very special trip across our nation with my sister completed (slideshow) – a life’s highlight for sure leaving yet another circle to pursue (“the best thing about doing things, is the opportunity to do it a second time”).  Feeling blessed and fortunate as age rolls through like just another tide. As for the upcoming year I hear the Beatles song ringing in my head;

Send me a postcard, drop me a line
Stating point of view
Indicate precisely what you mean to say
Yours sincerely, wasting away
Give me your answer, fill in a form
Mine for evermore
Will you still need me…. when I’m sixty-four ?…”    taur

10/3/2016 – (64) Another year of slowing (less summer paddling) – I justified it for the purpose of gathering any lingering ‘bearings’ that might still be floating behind these two little portholes.  Its been a year to feel the current within my life – or lack of.  A time to simply stop and ‘touch the bottom’ while allowing others to pass.  I have learned that there is alot that I do miss; unless I stop and camp early allowing others to pass… “smelling the roses,” I suppose.  I remain upright, busy, able, and grateful.

I do miss an early paddle-buddy that both inspired and motivated me; everyone needs someone like that; “things change.”  I miss that incredible connection, the comradeship, and having a ‘mission.’  517

My retirement schedule comes from a calendar rather than a watch.  A nomadic heart and two simple residences 650 miles apart.  After a couple months in one place – it’s nice to take a ride and spend time elsewhere.  Small doses; the few friends that we have seem to like us better like that

– the year of 64; “I feel gravity more.”

2017 – 65! dang!  Social Security, Medicare – here I am!!

Health-insurance is the part that challenges the enjoyment of retirement, it’s expensive – finally making 65 and medicare seems like an achievement in itself – a good thing, so far. 

Realization sets in; the longest part of a lifetime is now behind –

Being ‘disqualified’ (60+) “I prayed for some pussy,” a few days later a cat wandered up…. 

I like the idea about living life backwards (going out as an orgasm 🙂 ) – but hey, it’s all good – even great!  thanks to all for making it happen; hug those aunts and uncles while you can.

2018 –  (66) – “Coming To Terms.”

“The sixties are about coming to terms with the perception that others have of one your age…. – it’s as clear as the hair on your head..

“This stroll through time with friends/family/ and acquaintances – can be a lot like walking through a minefield; each step could be a day, a week, a month or less – but inevitably, there comes another jolt – leaving one less link to our past……” tgh

With a little less paddle time I have found time/interest in following up on the family tree, its interesting journey to say the least…..Working between the Ancestry and FamilySearch sites there is alot of information out there – free!  The part we can play with our family tree is to apply some first-hand knowledge of friends, acquaintances, and family to record.  There is alot of older information out there, black and white – I’m not saying to give it ‘color,’ but your effort will provide your descendants some accuracy in their future quest – you may even have an important picture for record…

What have I learned?  Having ancestors that have been remarried is not uncommon.  Large families past were the norm; and two folks – create alot of family through the years. Illiteracy by the census takers – the dept of loss from those whom were neglected by early records – including the original family trees written in those family bibles. There is plenty more…  It’s a neat job where the computer/internet age has provided a porthole insight of those of our past.  What was once labor and time consuming comes easily with interest. I so appreciate the folks that have micro-filmed so much of public record (census, birth certs, etc).

In reviewing those many ancestors along with their extended families – it all leaves me to think, realize, and to even accept (after so many years of brushing it aside), that not a one of us will come out of this earth experience alive… savor your time here…..

Went to Hawaii…. (I’m not getting on no airplane)…

9-10-19; (67) – I really do love this time of life; just wish it would last longer….

2020; (68) – A Y-DNA test/results yields a surprise of heredity…. Mental adjustment; where it is found that my father is not my biological parent, there is realization that I remain a product of the Haynie family – and this family – the only one I have ever known, is my family, and that is all that really matters.

2021; (69’er) – A diminishing yet lingering pandemic continues to stymie many lives. It has altered my retired life a little less – especially while living on a lake.  A lake provides a great back yard and seems to provide enough entertainment for a reduced world.  The larger world (at this time) offers fewer places to go, and within me I find fewer reasons to go. Yes, wanderlust remains – I feel it and want to go touch it..  There are other factors too; where I remain healthy, upright, and ready to ‘roll.’ – the wife has medical issues that limit that ability.

1-1-2022;  From the Class of 70 (FMHS70), arriving at the age of 70 – born in 52, 52 years later….

2-22-2022; Wife’s got a bad liver and a ‘hitch in her giddy-up’ (hip-replacement needed), while I’m hummin the “bad-liver and a broken heart” Hayes Carl song… Had to cancel the Albino Skunk weekend in the RV, don’t know really why – ‘timing’ I guess, it seems that most everything good or bad comes down to that one thing – ‘timing’.. but it was tough.  Harder than the sinus surgery I had on 2-2-22, I was worried about two things, 1) ‘the stick’ (I dehydrate and it’s sometimes tough to find a vein for IV). and 2) wakin up! I want to wake up.  Everything worked out great – the nurse got me on the first stick, and I woke up.

as for the liver deal, it’s made me think – I figure that everyone has a limit to what their body can absorb over a lifetime; you can 1) not drink, 2) drink it all at once, or 3) practice moderation; spread it out! ( fortunately I’ve moderated).

I do look forward to hitting the road in ‘Bessie,’ visiting the kids families, maybe even a paddle or two…


– right now I’m chillin….


2022 – ahead; Suddenly Seventy