Guardian Angel

“The two most important days in a man’s life is the day he’s born and the day he learns why – Mark Twain

Throughout my life, despite a few serious bumps in the road, I’ve been very fortunate.

Moments when fate could easily have ruined my life but it didn’t.

My wife swears I have a guardian Angel. Well, I don’t know about that. However…..

We worked a gate in Victoria, TX for a year.

In July I made a quick decision to leave. We’d had enough. July 21, with Victoria in the rearview mirror, we packed our bags and hit the road north.

Watching the weather channel track and report on Hurricane Harvey as it slams the Texas coast, I wonder. Looking over my shoulder. Guardian Angel? Is it possible?

Well, if you really exist, keep up the good work.

“Absence of Evidence is not Evidence of Absence” – Unbound by Richard L. Currier

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Girl in a Glass Cage

“I have a theory that the truth is never told during the nine to five hours” – Hunter S. Thompson

Just fill out this form, front and back, initial here and here and sign and date here.

At this point a confession is required. My handwriting is terrible. My printing is undecipherable.

Even I can’t read my scribbling. I read what I wrote 5 minutes ago and wonder – “What the hell,,,,,,,,,,,”

It hasn’t always been this way. Years ago, my cursive was legible. You could read and understand it. Now, at the ripe age of 74, not so much.

The problem is that I seem to have lost some control over the muscles in my hands and fingers. Not too much but enough to make my hand writing more confusing than Egyptian hieroglyphics.

Back to the form.

So I take a seat and, with the clipboard and form balanced on my leg, I proceed.

You know on most forms where they ask sex? I really want to write “Yes” but lack the bravado.

Anyway, I complete the form and review it. It’s embarrassing.

Oh well. I give the completed form to the nice, young, girl in the glass cage.

Some ten minutes later she motions to me. Come here please.

Without looking directly at me and with said form in hand, she asks for my address. Coward? Look at me girl.

With a smile because, believe me, I’ve been through this before and really do sympathize with her dilemma, I ask – “You can’t read my handwriting, can you?”

She looks at me and says – “I didn’t want to say that”. Sweet girl.

I smile and tell her it’s OK. I can’t either.

She laughs. We are now buds. She wants my bod. I can tell.

“If you wanted to see into the future, you just had to look to the past” – Cyberstorm by Matthew Mather

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Night Sounds

“Irrevocable. Do you know how long it takes to understand that word?” – The Secrets of Harry Bright by Joseph Wumbaugh

Thunder, lightning, wind and driving rain banging off the RV at 1 AM. Startles me. Eyes snap open. Something in my primeval core alerts me.

The serenade continues for another 45 minutes after which sleep alludes me. I am wide awake.

This is madness.

What’s that? A train. Oh yes. A wonderful encore to the storm.

Something about the sound of a train moving through the night. That lonesome horn blasting.

The rumble of steel on steel. Moving air. Going to some distant spot on the globe.

I really love that sound.

Night sounds.

 “Life without friends means death without company” – Death Without Company by Craig Johnson

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Just Walk On In

“Chronologies, venues, selective memories of faces and events could not, of themselves, capture the essence of a life or reveal its infinite discoveries” – Treasure Coast by Tom Kakonis

The door is open, just walk on in.

Changes. Opportunities. Options.

So many.

So fast.

The door is open, just walk on in.

So sayeth the Lord. Or possibly the Devil. Or simply life.

Thought retirement would be soooooo boooooooooring. Not so far.

In these first few weeks, many doors have opened. A few have closed.

The door is open, just walk on in.

Think we’ll just step inside and take a peek. Couldn’t hurt. Could it?

Life in these twilight years is proving to be very interesting indeed.

Hello life. I see you.

“Time. It has a way of bringing clarity, if you’re willing to sit still long enough to receive it” – Julep Street by Craig Lancaster

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Barking Dogs

“We age as the rest of the world watches but somehow we’re the last to know” – Death Without Company by Craig Johnson

This morning a dog barked. It woke me up.

I had not heard that sound in over a year.

It sounded wonderful. And that reaction surprised me.

Many years ago, when I was an active member of the civilized world, a barking dog waking me in the morning would have made me livid.

How curious it is to miss even the most trivial things.

Wonder what I’ll miss most about life once I step over to the other side?

Probably breathing.

“The life you thought you knew becomes suddenly alien” – Critical Care by Theresa Brown

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The Sound of Silence

“If you’re going to be crazy, you have to get paid for it or else you’re going to be locked up” – Hunter S. Thompson

We left our gate and the oil patch two weeks ago and temporarily reside in a Corps of Engineers park on Proctor Lake. Just chillin. Sleeping a lot as well.

Kind of collecting our wits. Missed those wits.

Been doing some thinking. Seems a huge chunk of my time these days is consumed with introspection. Possibly a lifetime of idiocy is a recipe for either suicide or excruciating examination.

Anyway.

What has my attention now is silence. Wonderful, peaceful, soothing. Absence of noise.

No alarm bells going off. No generators assaulting senses with a constant hum.

No ground vibrating truck traffic.

No wind driven dirt sanding the shell of our RV.

Had forgotten how wonderful the sound of silence is.

“Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously” – Hunter S. Thompson

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Moving On

“I just want my portion of humanity” – Unknown

Today we begin another chapter. Possibly the final.

We left our gate of 13 months this past Monday. Luckily, after a long idle time, the engine turned over and everything worked.

We’ve hung around the Victoria area to get some needed work done on the Motor Home to make it road worthy.

And today we hit the road to Comanche, TX. Going there to visit our good friends Lloyd and Judy. They are working at a Corps Park in the area which is something we hope to be doing this winter.

So a week or so there and then on to Sherman, TX to see doctors and visit our Son and Grand Daughter.

A visit to our Daughter in Tulsa should complete the break and then, hopefully, we will begin our stint with the Corps Park system in October.

While we have no way of gauging the future, we plan to work as long as it is physically possible. What else is there? I can’t just sit on my ass. Travel? I’ve seen more of the world and this country in particular than most.

I do know this for sure. No one should ever work too long without a break. It takes a toll.

“Live long enough, and most of us get just about what we’ve got coming” – Treasure Coast by Tom Kakonis

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The End

“Good judgment comes from experience and experience comes from bad judgment” – The Night Shift by Brian Goldman

This coming Monday (7/17) we will finally end a marathon work effort.

13 months without a break. A day off. An hour off.

13 months of breathing dust and inhaling diesel fumes.

13 months of a form of isolation.

13 months of enduring a hostile work environment.

In retrospect, we should not have done that.

The experience has had a profound effect on us. I sense I’m experiencing something akin to the thousand yard stare.

I am so burned out.

I have always subscribed to the idea. Now I understand it. “Stop and Smell the Roses”

“He considered whether you ever found out if you had made the right decisions while you were still alive” – The Redeemer by Jo Nesbo

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Walls

“We live in a world of disposable memory. Nothings built to last, not even shame” – Since We Fell by Dennis Lehane

The older I get, the less tolerant and more reclusive I become.

So it seems.

People come with baggage. Garbage. Problems. Complications. Demands.

At this point in my life I need peace………….not conflict.

So I have been building a fort with walls to keep the world out. Reduce its influence.

And, I’ve done a fairly good job. My circle of friends has slowly closed to a chosen few.

My exposure to world events has been, as much as possible, eliminated.

Unfortunately, this exercise has created a void. A void of consideration. What the hell to think about. To ponder.

Soooooooooooooooo…………….I think more about me, my life, my personal problems.

What I’ve discovered is that I’m a mess. And………….a bit too self-absorbed.

So which is worse? The worlds and other people’s problems or my own?

Is there no escape?

“You soon become lonely if you want to use your brain to find answers” – An Unquiet Mind by Kay Jamison

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Show Biz

“You seem shocked that it’s a nasty world out there” – Julep Street by Craig Lancaster

So…………………1:30 am. In bed. Asleep. Enjoying a well-earned nights rest.

Not bothering a soul. At peace with the world.

SUDDENLY!   ALARMINGLY!   FRIGHTENLY!

My wife is pounding on my chest………………Bob….wake up……wake up.

My eyes slam open. I see my wife looking like she’s just seen Jesus Christ walking through the RV and I jerk to attention.

What’s wrong? What’s going on? Have we been attacked?

No. But the building across the street just blew up.

What? And then I hear it. A series of explosions. Loud and near. Then….sirens.

Look over there. See it?

What I see is Dante’s inferno. Holy @#$%.

Next morning I took these pics.

While there a reporter from a local channel here in Victoria interviews me about the event. Footage on the 6 pm news.

And that folks is how I got my start in show business. See you on the big screen.

“The effects of disaster, no matter how extreme, do not last forever” – Flight of Dreams by Ariel Lawhon

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