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miles per hour

A CONSTANT

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 – along with 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 when traveling back then was a real pain (not that I mind going slower; I just hate to be ‘forced’ to go slow).

As for the interstate nowadays; when merging onto it 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 – “thumpety-thump” – it’s almost a competition…. The interstates ‘super-slab’ pace dictates ‘hunger’ for destination – don’t get me wrong – I have ran ‘eighty and returned at the same speed, loved it.

‘SPACE’

But now I simply don’t have to – these days I thrive almost totally on the ‘bac-roads.’ It’s got me thinking about all that I once yearned to do while crossing the same highways while driving a tractor-trailer (“truck, semi, big-rig”) 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 had to get there!

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

There’s alot of stuff blended within that 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 around local communities and the individualistic touch to homes.  How necessity/conformity (or) non-conformity drives folks to improvise their yards, cars, property, all while living their life of happenstance – all of this is just outside our windows.

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

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

RIDIN

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.

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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 –  –

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– 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.

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Update, Life at 60 – (11/11/11)

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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, on the edge.  Damn! Why can’t we stay young forever

I remember 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 family, paying bills, and playing to care about age.  Those partying  binges were passing.  In my thirties it was my parents that were aging, they were the ‘older-folks’ and their parents were passing – if not already.  Death was more than a word, it was loss..

Over the following decade I realized that being 40 is halfway to the average life-span of 80 years old – 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 on this planet.  As I passed that 47th birthday I held thoughts of him; I felt that he could indeed have been satisfied with the presence that he had experienced.  A lot happens in a half of century; growth, relationships, friends, and more passing’s.  There are repeated places (little circles), events, family, and those changes about us while constructing a mini-legacy of our own earth-experiences.

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 common traits; Jim Long (‘James’) was a healthy 60 when he passed, “dead when he hit the ground,”  – so now 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

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

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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 I’d like to close.

11/13/1563, 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 some high-school friends have fallen to time; many dear souls that I would have loved to meet up with once again – lesson; “make contact when/if you can.” 

Those from the past; eyes that still shine; smiles that I still see, their memories in mine. 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 next 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 – The year of 63; a year of slowing – I justified it for the purpose of gathering any lingering ‘bearings’ that might still be floating behind these two portholes.  Its been a year to feel the current within my life – or lack of.  A time to simply stop and ‘touch the bottom’ allowing others to pass.  I have learned that while paddling there is alot that I do miss; that is unless I camp early and allow others to pass…  I remain upright, busy, able, and very grateful – nice.

I do miss an early paddle-buddy that inspired and motivated me; everyone needs someone like that.  I miss having a mission.

At this time 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 or more in one spot – 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 tugging at me.”

2017 – “they’re half-way to my knees!”

65! dang!  Social Security, medicare – here I am!!

Realization sets in, the longest part of a lifetime is behind – the best part? maybe yet.  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.

We are all part of those from our past.  I always figured that from each that we have met and conversed with, we take a small dose of what we admired of them, combine it into our own personality – and in the end, it is the largest part of our character. tgh

 

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