Setting Things Right

8

December 5, 2018, Prescott-

Whilst on the exercise bike, this evening, I glimpsed a segment of “Property Brothers”, in which the men were called to rehabilitate a house that was ravaged by carpenter ants, mold and shoddy original construction.  They made the restoration happen, with a tight team effort and more money spent than planned.

Life is that way, for so many of us. We take up the slack for others, and ask for more money in the process.  Some of that money doesn’t get repaid on the lender’s schedule and some  lenders raise the roof.  Some of the shoddy workmanship causes more trouble than it’s worth, and the fixers walk away.

I thought about my own life.  A month from now, small debts will have been repaid.  A couple of  sidetracks will have been calmly brought to an end, with thanks said to the good souls involved.  I will be on track to visit my little family, in Korea.  My schedule in 2019, outside of work, will otherwise be pretty much open, otherwise,.

The prime mission I have is to set things right- with any loved one who has misunderstood my absences, silences or abrupt changes of plans, over the past few years, but especially this year.  Some of that will happen next week, and the rest will  follow.

For the next several days, I will focus on a variety of things, in the nineteen days leading up to, and including, Christmas.  The first of these is desert-grown shrimp.

Full Speed Ahead?

5

November 28, 2018, Prescott-

It was certainly a whirlwind birthday, after I got off work.  The crew gave me a lovely fruit tart, which I cut in fours and shared with them.  There were plenty of balloons with which the kids enjoyed playing, when we were not busy with tasks at hand.  Otherwise, it was a fairly peaceful day, in the room.

Afterwards, I set myself towards getting my new phone set up.  Other than getting the SIM card installed, though, it was a no-go.  T-Mobile has too many hoops through which to jump, for someone like me to go DIY.  I may be able to still set the phone up online, once I locate certain passwords and PINS; otherwise, it’ll wait until Sunday, when I will be in Phoenix for other business.

It was far more rewarding to visit the mother of a local friend, in hospital.  A little pine plant and a Christmas healing card seemed to make her very happy.  I spent about an hour with mother and daughter, before the evening nurse visit signaled it was time for me to head out.

Once back home, after dinner and a brief session on Planet Fitness massage equipment, I spent a while on the phone with Aram.  Looks like the Korea visit, next March, is moving full speed ahead, in terms of my hosts’ plans for the week.  Passport is still in progress, but I think that’ll be resolved by mid-December.

More readily will be the trip to Washington, to pay last respects to my mother-in-law, as her interment will be on December 11.  So, without further ado, I will be making travel arrangements, tomorrow and Friday.

Besides the above, 2019 is looming as a year without a full-on agenda.  I know, from past experience, that this will change.  My small universe abhors a vacuum, as much as does the larger one.  I am just glad to wake each morning, go and take care of tasks at hand and be loving to those who cross my path, whether that love gets reciprocated or not.  I still remain wary of those whose rage seems to eclipse whatever good qualities they have, but we take some people one step at a time.  Most everyone else, though, treat me like royalty and they get the same back.

Now, on to the blessings of the last two days of November and of 2018’s closing month.

Gratitude Week, Day 3: Health

7

November 20, 2018, Prescott-

The last day of work before Thanksgiving came and went, with barely a hitch.  The students are surrounded by people who want to be working with them.  That has not always been the case, and the kids know when it isn’t.

Health, both physical and mental, depends not only on one’s genes and personal habits, but on how connected one is to those around us. I have been in good health for over ten years now, even counting the infections contracted whilst I was Penny’s caretaker and the recent knee strain.  It has been being surrounded by a largely independent, but genuinely loving, network of friends, to whom I paid homage two days ago, and to extended family, to whom I will pay similar tribute on Thanksgiving Day, which has brought me home, in terms of radiance and stamina.

A good daily balance of work and play, rest and activity, socialization and solitude has kept me in recovery from whatever ailments are brought on by aging and occasional stress.  I am grateful to do Terra essential oils, Planet Fitness and our systems of forests and parks, at all levels of government and of private landowners (Nature Conservancy, various local trusts) who allow access to their treasured sites.  I am indebted to those who provide healthful food and beverages, often but not always, free of Genetically-Modified Organisms and sometimes meatless.

I have much towards which to work, both gainfully and as a volunteer, over the next several years.  My health community is a key component of the process.

Tomorrow, I will offer a shout-out to those who have kept our communities, states and country safe and to those who work towards a safer world.

Adventures in Hobbling

38

October 18, 2018, Prescott-

It was bound to happen, sooner or later.  My left knee popped, as I was walking back to our classroom from the school’s tennis court.  I wasn’t playing tennis, just helping a student put racket to ball and hit a fence.  The pop happened when I walked down a concrete stair that I had used several times.  I didn’t fall, and made it first to a bench, then to the classroom and a chair.

From there, the school nurse iced the knee, had crutches brought to me and I made an appointment with Urgent Care.  X-rays showed no bone loss, but slight arthritis (which I think is being kept at bay by various essential oils).  DRINK MORE WATER!  I am wearing a knee brace and using the crutches, to pamper this vital friend of mine, for as long as needed.

The Universe chooses unusual ways to tell me when a change is needed.  When the brakes on the KIA Optima had been partially severed, it took the botched attempt to stop at a rural intersection, at which I had stopped countless times, and a roll into a relatively benign ditch, to get a different car.  That Nissan Altima, itself, had a shelf life of little over a year, coming to a final halt in Newtown, CT-at a service station close to Danbury, from where my Hyundai Elantra was procured.

I needed a new computer, but had no funds to buy it: Piece of celestial cake- thieves picked it out, from underneath two full backpacks, whilst I was walking in the vicinity of McGill University, in Montreal.

Now, that I have been cautioned, several times, to slow down and cut back, comes the treatment and healing of the left knee.  Righty will have to work harder for a few days, and I am applying to myself, what Penny knew and did for the three years she was on crutches or used a cane.  I will get physical therapy, next week and for as long as it takes to bring both knees back in synchronicity with each other.

I am breaking down every physical activity to its smallest steps, giving each very focused attention.  That was something that had been brought up, several times, during the veritable Boot Camp in which I found myself, for much of last week.  Getting out of bed, I will reach for the crutches, tomorrow and maybe for days afterward.  Showering will have to be done with the brace on. Dressing will be done sitting down. I will scoot myself around the apartment, ever so carefully, sitting in my office chair.  I will park behind other people’s cars, when attending Baha’i meetings, the next few days, instead of being over-solicitous and taking a spot further away.  My co-workers may very well not see me, tomorrow.  It’ll depend on how useful I think I might be.

There will be a tomorrow, though, and I will be back on my feet- but in a prudent way, following the doctor’s instructions to the letter. Penny showed the way to dealing with any injury and others have shown the way to full recovery from theirs.   So will go this hobbler.

 

The Flow of Consciousness River

16

October 6, 2018, Prescott-

Today, and for the eight days that follow, I will be on Fall Break from my place of work.  As ever, much of this break will be spent in service (today, tomorrow and Monday), dealing with the details of life (Tuesday) and focused travel (Wednesday-next Sunday).

I woke this morning, in a focused, but rather detached state.  Going through the regular grooming routine and dealing with news of the outside (more of the same back-and-forth, between right and left; the stock market, once again, dealing with good economic news by imagining future bad stuff; the Navajo Nation dealing with yet another collapse of its western lifeline road).

Nothing earthshaking has happened in my little world, overnight, and I have much to get done in the next hour, before a long, freely-chosen, day of service activities, so I will be brief about this:  I am now in a very detached, almost surreal state of consciousness. No substances have been involved, I just woke up this way and am still in a very aware, but unusually calm, state of being.

This will work in my favour, through a Baha’i gathering, two hours hence and the Convergence at Arcosanti, where I am serving for the second year, at a gathering of various groups to ponder and discuss the direction of society.  Hopefully, there will be no disruption of a meditation session, which I hope to join. Last year’s session was obliterated by a loud and pushy group, who represented the antithesis of meditation.

I will have more to say, in snippets, over the next few days, but will be mostly offline, until Monday night.

Love to all.

Aged-Out?

19

September 24, 2018, Prescott-

I have heard, from a well-meaning person, that a man my age cannot handle intense romantic relations, of a physical kind. I guess it depends on the man.  Unless I find another woman who makes her way into a marital situation, I will not know as that applies to me. So, there is one moot point.

I do, however, manage to complete even a lengthy, and vigourous, physical job, to its completion, as I did on Saturday, whilst helping on a school garden project.  There is a major faith-based project, next Saturday, in which I will take part, and another, the following weekend, at Arcosanti’s Convergence, which dovetails with a Baha’i event and a nearby Pancake Breakfast.  I feel good, after vigourous work, so I don’t anticipate issues there.

I get the sense, from my building supervisors, that maybe I am occupying shoes meant for a younger person.  My immediate supervisor may well resist that, and I think I just need to stay the course, for as long as my stamina remains as it is now.

In a nutshell, I intend to keep on working, as I have said before, for at least two more years.  December, 2020, would be a good time to bid adieu, but there would have to be a younger person ready to finish out the academic year, at that point.

The 2018 Road, Day 8: A Day of Being Blocked

6

June 3, 2018, Lowell, IN-

I set out, in earnest, for the Baha’i House of Worship, Wilmette at 9 a.m., fully intending to meet a mentor- friend who lives north of there, in a timely manner.  The problem was, I left at 9 a.m. from Carthage, on the west side of Illinois.  I stayed within the good graces of the law, clear to a point about 20 miles south of Rockford, getting there about 1 p.m.

Inching eastward, using a variety of state highways, I got to Wilmette way too late to visit with said mentor-friend.   So, takeaway # 1:  Never stay more than 2 hours from Chicagoland, if the goal is to meet someone in Chicagoland, the next day-even from Saturday to Sunday.  In fairness, the same holds true for New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco and even Philadelphia, where I will stay in the center of the city, in two weeks’ time.

Other things got done, spiritually. It is my eleventh visit here, and this is the first-and last-time that I have tried to make a same day visit to the Temple, from outside the 50-mile radius.  I also had a lovely full meal at Ridgeview Grill, a wonderful place on the west side of Wilmette, served by engaging and attentive Lisa D.  I think that will be my dining place of choice, in future visits to the House of Worship.

Needless to say, there are no photos from this Day of Being Blocked. I made it to a campsite here, in Lowell, IN, around 9 p.m.  Amen!

Not Throwing In The Towel

3

Towel-Dog-760x500May 25, 2018, Prescott-

An erstwhile friend has decreed today as Towel Day.  I will stay on the fringes of these festivities, as that’s how she and her significant other seem to want things.  Besides, my schedule, these next two days, is packed- as I will be, by Sunday morning.

School ended yesterday, and for me, it was as successful as 2015-16, and a far cry from last year.  I did not limp to the finish line this time.  The kids, and my co-workers, will reconvene in a week’s time, for Extended School Year.   I will sit that one out, having a major family event in mid-June. The wedding of my youngest niece will bring us all together, and will be one for the books.

As always, I have taken the steps to certify that both my car and I are ready for this year’s long road trip.  Vehicle has taken its lumps, but I have repaired most of what’s gone wrong and will tend to the cosmetics over the next day or so.  Ditto for yours truly, and while my cosmetics are showing their age, my health care providers aren’t putting me anywhere near the scrap heap.  I’m content with what I see in the mirror.

After two, and maybe three, important events here in town, today and tomorrow, I will head northwards, to Carson City, for an annual reconnect with one or more members of my extended spiritual family.  From there, the route looks like Utah, Colorado, Kansas, central Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ontario, Montreal, Plattsburgh, NY, Vermont,Massachusetts, Connecticut, West Point, eastern Pennsylvania (especially Philadelphia), Baltimore, Delmarva, Hampton Roads, across Virginia, the Carolinas, Tennessee, southern Missouri, Oklahoma, Amarillo and Albuquerque’s Old Town, before getting back to Home Base-somewhere around July 4.

In spite of all this seems to entail, I have built in a goodly number of daily rest stops, visits with friends and family and good clean fun.  My main mode, rain or shine, will be camping along the way and relying more on picnicking, than the heavy restaurant visits of past adventures.  There will be a few of those last, though, when I can at least treat those who have been so caring to me, over so many years- and special places in my heart, like Artful Dodger, Cupcakes & Cravings, et al.  Porthole Pub, in Lynn, MA., is slated to close soon, making way for some sorely needed luxury condos. (Wonder how we’ve gotten along without them, all these years!)  I ought to prevail on a few family members to pay a last visit to Porthole.

Whether here or there, my Faith is essential to keeping me going, on a daily basis.  So, one of the events this evening is faith-based, several of the people with whom I will visit, in the coming weeks, are my fellows in faith and the Baha’i House of Worship, in Wilmette, IL falls into the middle of my outbound itinerary, as is only proper.

One way or another, I will maintain a daily presence here- letting all my peeps in on what’s going down, as in the past.  After all, there are plenty of coffee houses and such, along the way- and Good Sam Parks are reliable with WiFi, to boot. Instagram, a gift of the above-mentioned erstwhile correspondent, remains on my network.  One keeps the baby, while waving farewell to the bath water.

 

Forthcoming

6

May 11, 2018, Prescott-

Answers are trickling in.

I am a “go”,

in this pos,

next academic year.

My presence is needed,

at Saturday’s Prescott Valley Days,

in two different booths.

What was supposed to go

to a friend here,

was sent to a family member,

in another state.

This will delay things,

by three days.

Life goes on.

People who express

terms of endearment

to me, do the same

for many others,

and why not?

We all need it.

Life is awesome.

My itinerary for

the first leg of

this summer’s journey

remains up in the air.

No worries,

my concern is

with this weekend

and the next two weeks.

Life needs presence

and a sense of urgency.

 

May, and I’m Not Away

4

May 1, 2018, Prescott-

There are 3 1/2 weeks left in our academic year.  I have two days off left- Tomorrow, for a Baha’i Holy Day- the Twelfth Day of Ridvan (more at that time) and a dental appointment, in two weeks’ time.  Otherwise, weekdays will find us finishing what we started, for our four remaining students.

I won’t leave the state of Arizona until Memorial Day weekend and another “Where’s Waldo?”month.  There is so much yet to do and to thoroughly enjoy, in the meantime, that I am hard put to make preliminary arrangements for June.  You know, though, that I’ll get ‘er done, in plenty of time.

I’ll be back in Tempe, on Saturday, for a daylong Baha’i conference.   Sunday will be spent reconnecting with a few long-lost friends, and honouring a very special young lady, on the cusp of her high school graduation.  Mother’s Day weekend means Prescott Valley’s 40th anniversary.  I may also head to Tucson, to see an ailing friend, if he’s up for a visit.  The third weekend will be mostly Baha’i business, planning and prepping for the summer months.

One of my friends here has posted about making a Vision Board.  I might try my hand at that, either next week or the following.  It’d be good to do this in the presence of our peer tutors in the classroom, as it might inspire them to do the same.

May is sweet, hot (at least after this coming Saturday) and a time of culmination.  I intend to truly savour the blessed days.