Last Quarter Plans

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October 11, 2020-

With October nearly half over, it’s high time for me to look at this last three months, or so, of 2020.

October 12-17– This is Fall Break week and is the first of the two weeks I gave myself off, from any out -of-state deployments with Red Cross. If a wildfire breaks out around here, of course I will be on hand to help. Otherwise, on Tuesday, I will hike the first of two peaks in northern Arizona that go by the name Red Mountain. It is in an area between Prescott Valley and Lynx Lake, a section of the Bradshaw Mountain foothills that I have not explored, up to now. Monday and Wednesday feature Zoom meetings, two of which I host, so walks downtown will suffice. Thursday through Saturday, the road will lead to other Red Mountain, north of Williams, on the road to the South Rim of Grand Canyon. If the road to Hermit’s Rest is open, on the South Rim, I will go there as well.

October 18-24- This is a Holy Week for Baha’is, with two days spent commemorating the births of al-Bab and Baha’u’llah, which did occur back-to-back, though two years apart- Baha’u’llah having been born in 1817 and His Herald, in 1819. It’ll be different, celebrating these auspicious days on Zoom.

I may also have work opportunities, with the Sub service, but we’ll see.

October 25-31– Halloween Week will also be different this year. No word has gone out, from either of the groups who have put on parties, in years past. My default will be to throw on the silly suit I wore last year, and bring treats to neighbour families who know me. It may also be either a heavy subbing week or yet another deployment, for a disaster response yet unseen.

November 1-6- Election Week will have its share of challenges, both local and further afield. I am leaving my service options open: Our normally quiet, live-and-let-live little city could need as many voices of reason as can be had-or it could stay quiet, and congenial. There could very well be those who need the services of the Red Cross, if mayhem results in mass displacement. I will have the blessing of a virtual Spiritual Retreat, each evening, from November 5-8, to provide online balance.

November 8-14- Veterans’ Week will hopefully remind everyone that Freedom isn’t Free. Any public activities on November 11 will find me there. November 12-14 will be a good time to head up to Painted Desert-Petrified Forest.

November 15-21- Mid-month will be either a full work week or a time for day trips to Sedona, finishing the long-delayed completion of a hike on Limekiln Trail and going up Cathedral Rock.

November 22-28- Thanksgiving Week, ending with my 70th Birthday, so it’ll be Texas Time. Son will use a grill in the apartment complex courtyard, so this will be another fine gathering. I will likely be quite reflective, on that Saturday, with a view towards using all for which I can be grateful to help those who have been discounted and marginalized- the mirror image of the fourth Thursday in November.

November 29-December 5- The first week of my eighth decade will begin a run-up to my retirement (always unofficial) from substitute teaching. In practical terms, what that will mean is that I will not NEED to work, in order to make ends meet, after this calendar year. I will still be amenable to going in, two or three days a week, from January through May. The major emphasis, though, will shift to volunteer work, for which I’m already getting plenty of practice.

December 6-12- This marks forty years since I first met Penny. A trip to Zuni and Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Preserve will be in order. I will also stop in Bisbee, which we never visited together, on the way back-just because it’s there.

December 13-19- There may be a smidgen of work to be done, but my emphasis this week will be culling old files out of the cabinet and putting effort into shredding.

December 20-26- Depending on family input, and the state of the pandemic, I will either make a journey to New England or devote some time to an Arizona Christmas.

December 27-January 2- Part of the time will be in Texas and part will be in Florida, with the Gulf Coast in between (weather-permitting). The first week of 2021 will be the same, in reverse.

Some things will remain constant, location notwithstanding. I will have regular Baha’i Zoom calls to maintain and continuing to pay off what is left of my bills will be achieved.

This is my vision for the last twelve weeks of a tempestuous year.

The Flow of Consciousness River

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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.

Walking in Place

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September 23, 2017,Prescott- 

Several readers have, over the years, expressed a preference for my travel posts.  While I greatly enjoy visiting places old and new, there has been an increase in responsibilities and commitments, hereabouts, since my return from the East Coast, at the end of July.  Not the least of these is my work with autistic teens, a veritable payback to all who have guided me, over the past several decades.  There are also two major public events here in town, in October:  Hope Fest (October 14), a celebration of faith, which I will be assisting for the third consecutive year and, a week later, the Festival of Light and Unity- commemorating the Two Hundredth Anniversary of the Birth of Baha’u’llah, on October 22.  As the Baha’i calendar is a lunar construct, the Birth of His Herald, al-Bab (The Gate), is observed the day prior to that of Baha’u’llah.  This year marks 198 years, since al-Bab was born and we will observe that event, as well, on October 21.

My friendships being wide-ranging these days, several events tend to converge on given days. So, today, largely devoted to Prescott Stand Down, an event dedicated to serving homeless veterans in our community, took up much of the day.  I was later able to make further progress on clearing my backyard and 3-4 more hours of concerted effort ought to get the job completed, for this year.  Tomorrow, two events at the American Legion, two Baha’i activities and an hour or two helping a good friend move, will keep me honest and productive.  This coming week, there is a gathering, of one sort or another, every night.  Looking ahead to October 14, that day will see me at two other events, in addition to Hope Fest.  Life is never dull.

With regard to travel, Fall Break will be here, in two weeks.  I am in between going to Joshua Tree and Lake Cachuma, California, or down to Superior, Globe and over to Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, for 4-5 days (in which case, the California trip gets done over an extended Presidents’ Day weekend). My spirit guides will advise me, on this matter, as with so many others.

Yes, I do get 7-8 hours of sleep a night, as well as a 30-minute power nap, most afternoons.  Stay tuned.

The Road to 65, Mile 291: Pending

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September 14, 2015, Prescott- First, my apologies to friendly readers- Heath Muchena, JoEllen Coney, Starman Jones, Richie Salgado and Michel Fauquet.  I found your lovely comments in my Pending file, which has been ignored even longer than my Flickr site.  I have cleaned it up and approved all of your comments.

I am sad to hear that another Xanga friend, Sister Mae, has died.  She was a rock-solid friend, when I was on the old network.  I hadn’t heard from her, on Xanga 2.0.  Now, I know why.

My new position is three weeks away.  I worked today on a one-day post and will do the same tomorrow. There ought to be several other posts, this week and next, in the run-up to Fall Break, which will see me enjoying a bit of the high country.  I haven’t decided exactly where,yet, but I know it’ll be in-state.

Choices, we make and choices we own.  In accepting the charter school position, I had to decline a Red Cross post.  I think that position will go to someone who has actually worked in Social Services.  Several other changes, vis-a-vis my weekday schedule, will come about, after October 12.  I own those, also.

My erstwhile tendency to walk off and leave things hanging came to me in a dream, last light, with Penny warning me that this is a feature of mine that I should relegate to the past.  Yes, I have made a world of progress, in that respect.  Focus is improving, day by day.

Someone commented this afternoon, that I have “bedroom eyes”.  Yikes!  I thought we had left that term in the scrapheap of shallowness.  Since this person is not within my age-range, I will take it as a misguided compliment, and leave it at that.

It is nice to be appreciated, and it is nice to have a few things- pending.

Stuff and Nonsense

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October 7, 2014, Prescott- Yes, I have caught up with all my travel and hiking posts, for a few days at least.  I have a few days with no work, due to Fall Break in the schools, so I am mostly listening to “imperative” podcasts that are “vital” to my well-being, shoring up various aspects of my essential oils training, working in my back yard and exercising at Planet Fitness.

Sometime on Friday, I will head out to San Diego, find a safe place for my vehicle on Saturday, fly to Honolulu on Sunday and next Tuesday will be on my son’s ship, joining the crew headed back to San Diego.  This will put me more or less incommunicado for six days or so.  That will be something of a relief to some of my extended family, who have been sick of me for a good long time.  Ditto for most of the American Legion post members, but after this Thursday night, the latter may be a moot point; we’ll see.

The bloom has been off my rose, to these people, for reasons I have yet to figure, for several weeks now. My father told us kids, years ago, that when people don’t like us, it’s their problem, not ours, and as long as we come from a place of truth, we don’t need our detractors and critics, no matter how “close” they are.  So, I will continue on, with the love I get from “those who care, and matter”, as one of my better friends here reminded me on FB recently.  I have support from my Baha’i community, from a handful of friends here in town and online, and from most of my family, including my son.

Once I get back from California, on Oct. 25, there won’t be much taking me out of the Southwest, until next May- barring any more deaths in the family.  2014 has been quite a clearing out process, for both family and friends.  I hope it’ll tone down a bit.  My main concern during that time period will be replenishing my coffers, with my own effort, thank you.  Hope all my well-wishers are doing okay this Fall.