Four Days’ Reflections

6

December 29, 2015, Phoenix- The period just passed, from Christmas  until Transit Day (yesterday), saw either sporadic WiFi connection, or time when being on the Internet would have been just plain rude.  As it was, my non-technological mother saw any time spent on the computer as an imposition, even when I was sharing what I found with the group.

Few are in a place of honour, when among those who knew them when.  I was delighted to have felt welcome, when I visited with a couple of friends from my late teen/young adult years, and the three of us were actually having intelligent, respectful conversation- free of the oneupmanship that seemed so prevalent back then.  Now, we are all mid-sexagenarians and have a grander view.

Mom was not feeling all that great, but kept a game face the whole time I was in Saugus.  I know better, though, and I also know that her current aches and pains will subside.  Andrew Wyeth remarked, on his own father’s passing, “It took a freight train to kill N.C. Wyeth!”.  It’ll take a lot more than that to bring down my mother.

The siblings will always be my treasured core group.  I spent time as the bete-noire, in my twenties, and it was largely deserved.  Now, each of us has our niche and when we get together, we have genuine nuggets to share.  This was my sister’s year to break out- to see the Mountain Northwest: Montana and Wyoming.  Her list of travel goals is also growing, and I hope she gets to a few more, in the years immediately ahead.

One of my seatmates, on the plane back, recommended a book entitled “The Third Target”, by Joel C. Rosenberg.  She was looking at the piece as if it were non-fiction, much the way some of us interpreted Tom Clancy novels, in the ’90’s.  Indeed, many fictional works are vehicles for disseminating information that would otherwise be “classified”.

I got a lot read of “The Witches:  Salem, 1692”, that is a nonfictional study of the events, and backdrop, of the Salem Witch Trials.  Kids were unruly back then, also, and, wonder of wonders, because they were roundly ignored by parents who were pre-occupied with the day-to-day grind of an oppressive life.  That teenaged girls and young women would react to being treated as chattel, by staging near-psychotic flash mob attacks on the reputations of their elders, somehow comes as no surprise.  Children have been my life, for nearly forty years.  The more neglected they have seemed, in their larger lives, the more I have sought to understand them and be of value.

Now, I am back in what has come to be Home Base.  My coming to Arizona, initially, was rather random and happenstance.  As with any such move by a rootless youth, it morphed into a place of growth.  I am still growing, and my octogenarian mother is till lucid enough to tell me that I’ve seen nothing yet.  The “Greatest Generation” will never concede to their Baby Boomer children, or anyone else, the place of the pioneer.

I look forward to the rest of this decade, and to my seventies, eighties and whatever else the Good Lord deigns to offer.  As the great Dick Van Dyke writes: “Keep Moving”. (I’m reading that book now, also).

 

 

 

 

 

The Road to 65, Mile 242: Friends Are Us

2

July 28, 2015, Prescott- Get used to this byline; most of my posts, especially during the week, will be “Prescott”.  I tend to get more free-wheeling with these, as my travel blog readers disappear.

More about the topic of friendships:  A friend in another state recently said same-gender friendships are very important (partly in response to my comment about having a large number of women friends).  The choice is not apples or oranges.  It’s a healthy mix of the two.  When I socialize with groups of people, there are men, with whom I discuss some aspects of life; women with whom I discuss other aspects of life; and “mixed” groups, where the conversation is general. None of these are confined to “safe” topics.

My best friend, for thirty years, was my late wife.  We had no secrets, kept no grudges and worked together on just about everything.  My next-best friend was a man, with whom I could also discuss just about anything, over the 31 years we knew one another.  He was also very honest, in a loving way and guided me through some very rough patches after Penny’s passing.  Mike could say “No, you don’t!”, when acquiescence would have easier, but less authentic.

I have many friends, around the continent, and a few in Europe, Australasia and southeast Asia, with whom I can discuss a variety of topics, get honest feedback and correct things as I need to.  I am also here for them, in that way.  This list is not a gender-heavy or age-heavy roster.

There is one woman friend, here, with whom I am collaborating on a venture.  Our friendship is more “sibling-ish” than anything else, with plenty of free-wheeling discussion and any illusions either of us had of romance were dispelled early-on.  Were she to meet a good man, tomorrow, and at long last have a life relationship, I’d be the first to congratulate.  There was a time in my life when I had to deal with distraction issues.  Over the past year or so, especially since having visited Europe, I see these issues for what they are:  Impediments to real friendship.

I guess it’s largely a matter of maturing, and clearing one’s inner eye.