Wednesday’s Wandering Thoughts

He always found himself waiting or planning for the next thing, as if he was trapped in some personal version of “The Jolly Corner”. The next season, the next birthday, the next death.

The next marriage, the next divorce, the next trip, the next vacation..

The next election, the political scandal, the next mass murder.

Next step in finishing a novel, the next novel to write, the next meal, the next task, job, bill, the next expense.

He kept reminding himself, stop. Stay in the moment and enjoy. But the next always kept coming.


Thursday’s Theme Music

Well, the sky is blue and ripe with sunshine. It’s fine weather, even though Uncle Bill passed away at midnight last night. Heart failure. He was a good person and being related to him is an honor. Not much else I can but celebrate his life and go on.

It’s 62 F right now. 75 F is expected later today, 80 Friday, 90 — some say 97 — an Saturday, kicking off a week of temperatures dancing between highs in the upper 80s to mid 90s. Appears summer is crowding into May. This is May 11, 2023.

It’s also my older sister’s birthday. Happy b’day, sister! She’s two years older than me and about eight inches shorter, and I’m only 5’8″. She’s a grandma several times over and living the life in a suburb outside of Atlanta, Georgia.

Learning of Uncle Bill’s end of life encouraged The Neurons with a 1986 Phil Collins song, “Take Me Home”. I may not be alone in this, but I’d loved to be back in that time when I regularly saw Uncle Bill, and he was young, and I was younger, and both of had forever ahead of us. Death is natural and regular, but always stirs memories up from the well’s bottom and yearning for the times and places I most enjoyed.

On a lighter note, got my new military ID today. Yes, I’m retired, but the card ‘expired’ when I turned 65, something put in place to force retirees to sign up for Medicare, which becomes the primary healthcare for vets of a certain era. Getting the card is hard. Limited places to get it in Oregon. Local Medford guard unit provides walk-in service. Well, that’s easy, isn’t it? No. The onerous system complicates matters. People line up, waiting to get in, as he goes through the process of connecting, entering data, verifying info, registering fingerprints, taking the photo, and then finally printing out the new card and verifying that its chip works. Today was my ninth visit to get ‘er done. Tried too, when I was in PA last year, where they are by appointment only. No appointments were available at any of the three nearby sites. Morgan, the infantry man who mans the office, shared several horror stories about people’s efforts to get a new card. Congratulations to him, too, who is retiring after twenty, but staying on to do the same job as a civilian. He seems pretty pleased.

Have some coffee and stay pos. Enjoy your life and forge ahead as you can. Here’s the music. Cheers


I’m a someday believer

A fluid self-deceiver

An optimist convinced I’m making it ahead

Probably be the way

Until that final day

When they solemnly announce I’m dead

But what will I find

Beyond that life and death line

Remains to be found I’ve said

Because I’m a someday believer

Thinking there might be more to conceive or

Even know beyond the book of dead

Saturday’s Theme Music

Sunshine! Blue skies. Been wondering when they’d come a-calling again. Beginning to think blue skies and sunshine were ghosting me. I thought we were getting on well but then suddenly, nothing. Honesty, this weather is so fickle.

Back home in the manse. Cats thrilled to see us, demanding that we show how much we missed them. Attention and affection. Treats and food. More attention and affection. More. More.

It’s 54 F outside and feels like a pastoral spring day under development. 6:17 AM saw the sun step into Ashlandia. It’ll be here until 8:01. Weather debates offer us a range of high temps from 67 F to 71 F possible. I’ll take the higher one, thanks.

Came back to news of a death, cousin’s wife. Cousin died two years ago, cancer. Few years younger than me. Nobody has details about her death. Just catching up on more general news, mostly political, and Alphabet’s CEO’s pay of $200M per, local news. Been off the grid basically.

Songwise, Der Neurons plugged “My Generation” by The Who from 1965. I was nine when it was released but I became an enduring Who fan. That line, “People try to put us down,” is pretty apt. We’re boomers and oh how some of the youngsters are pissed with us. Speaks huge tomes about generational attitudes toward one another, doesn’t it? We were being put down as teenagers and put down as oldagers. Well, screw ’em, we say, but with more words. Of course, the most famous line out of the song is, “I hope I die before I get old.” Talkin’ ’bout our cynicism. Let’s not all just f-f-f-fade away.

Stay strong and positive. Hope the sunrise favors you with a satisfying day on each and every one. Here’s the music. Half my coffee is already gone. Good stuff.


Keep Dancing

An acquaintance died. Over eighty, he lived a solid life. He’d been diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer not too long ago. He and his wife were getting ready to go for a walk. She said something to him, behind her, as she put her shoes on.

He didn’t answer.

She looked around and found him dead.

She’d prepared herself. Still, a shock that it was so sudden, without preamble. She has kept on with all her usual activities. I learned of his death through my wife. She went to exercise class and heard the news. When she saw the widow, she hugged her.

The woman asked, “What else can I do?”

My wife replied, “Keep dancing.”


Smiles, hugs, and tears went on.

Words Wait

A friend has gone into hospice. Failing heart. Surgery to replace his pacemaker was aborted a few months ago. Measures were made to help him sufficiently recover for a new pacemaker. Whatever happened since, he’s in hospice.

I thought about him and me, and him and his life, trying to find words for where we’re at. I finally decided, I was happy to know him, enjoyed his company, admired his accomplishments, respected his principles, and enjoyed his company. The words feel empty and lost, as satisfying as reaching into an empty bag.

It’s the nature of existence as we know it to live and then die. Sometimes the space between the beginning and end are cruelly small. His was not. He’s done the first. Now he will do the second.

Friday’s Theme Music

Time to start the day and get underway. We’re at the port of Friday, January 20, 2023. Next destination: Friday evening. We’ll get there after the sun sets on Ashlandia, 5:10 PM.

“Ashlandia, where time is never the same.”

Sunrise at 7:36 AM found Ashlandia frost bound beneath full blue skies. Snow and ice still cap higher mountains and ridges, a winter photo delight against that blue. 25 degrees F says the local weather station while prognosticators tell us that a 48 degree F high is expected. That’s a little cold for Ashlandia’s winters. We usually see the thermo squeaking down to 30 before braking to a full stop, but we’ll live. We’ll complain, but we’ll live. Well, some, such as me, complain, but others just march along with it. The shelters are open for whoever needs them, and hot meals are being provided gratis in several locations. Crews have remained busy removing fallen trees from the month’s earlier windstorms. A drive around yesterday showed all were gone. No houses or buildings experienced major damage, so we’re thankful for that.

My wife remains in bed, affected by her RA and Raynaud’s. One of her fingers looks ghastly, white and waxen. She says it’s painful and stiff but doesn’t complain. She was planning to make me a cherry pie yesterday but I nixed that. We just had sugar pie instead. She skipped her exercise class this morning, which is never a good omen.

Mom’s list of issues continuous a daunting trend of increasing. Little seems to improve for her and pain shadows every decision and conversation. She soldiers on, a tough old broad, as she likes to self-reference, but she seems so tired from the constant fight to live.

With all the dreams I had last night, The Neurons packed the morning mental music stream with songs on dreaming. I ignored them. We lost David Crosby this week, another talented musician who brightened my life. The Byrds were on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1965, which was my childhood, playing “Mr Tambourine Man”. I was nine then. Though a little too mellow for my budding rock and roll tendencies, I admired their style and harmony and their songs stayed comfortably lodged in my mind. Formation of CSN and then CSN&Y was a positive addition to the folk-rock scene, where their harmonies and smart lyrics adjusted my budding teenage attitudes.

Got my coffee. French roast, which is my usual. Unsweetened and untouched by milk or cream, it offers a sharply bitter living on my tastebuds, with a friendly chocolatey overlay.

Stay positive. Sail on to new horizons. Here’s the music, in living color. Cheers

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