How Grey was My Valley

  Sometimes I throw in a *totally* nonsensical title, just for effect.  Actually, I was just thinking about a few issues peculiar to my present phase of life – grey hair, ya know?

  I sometimes get these silly feelings like, “Hmmm, maybe I should *DO* something with all this spare time I have now that I don’t commute to work every day”.  Then, I have another cup of coffee, watch half a movie, and the feeling goes away.  My most recent (constructive?) thought was, “Hey, maybe now I can pick up where I left off, 20 years ago, and get that pilot’s license, and we can fly places!”  So, I figured, how much could it cost?  I remember taking ground school, doing all that reading, etc., and *that* didn’t break the bank.  Also, in my memory the plane rental and fuel costs were not astronomical.  Well, guess what?  Now they ARE astronomical!  I checked the website of a flying school in Louisville, and apparently the owners want to buy a yacht or something, because the total cost of getting that license falls in the $6000 – $7000 range.  I checked the bank account – we don’t have that much money!  I might just as well have decided to BUY an airplane – same result.  Sigh…

   Spare time, spare time…last year I decided to become Farmer Jim and do some vegetable gardening and quickly came to the realization that I’m older than when I last tried to do that.  There seems to be a lot of physical activity involved in even a modest amount of vegetable gardening.  Wanna prepare the ground?  That means either getting your dull shovel and  spading up a big rectangle in the back yard or renting a tiller to do the job.  Have ya ever USED one of those tillers?  Those things should come with a ‘dance card’ that you fill out before you start the engine because you’ll be following that infernal thing ALL over the garden/dancefloor and if you’re somewhat older than say 25 or so, it’s gonna be *real* tedious!  Here’s the scenario – you wrestle the thing off the trailer or pickup and drag it over to the worksite.  You put in the gasoline, give the starting rope a few simple pulls (or maybe about 30 HARD pulls), and the engine starts.  Or not.  If the one you rented is kinda stubborn, you’ll have lots of fun just getting it going.  Takes a little longer when you have to go over into the shade and gasp and wheeze every 5 minutes just during startup.  If you do get it going, then the real fun begins.  Finding the right throttle setting is critical – too slow and it wants to either stall or just kinda DIG IN.  Too fast and it wants to leap like a gazelle, tearing up the top inch or so of dirt, heading for the woods.  I think the last one I rented was kinda feral, and didn’t want to be domesticated again.  So, you get the garden plot tilled, then you go into the house (or emergency room, whatever), and try to drink enough cold water to get your temperature below 115 degrees and also try to assume the right position in the recliner to allow your spine to magically get back into alignment.  You may also want to spend some time screwing your arms back into their sockets.  Hmmm, can’t you *buy* vegetables downtown??

   What to do with all my time…. once in a while I get into ‘wanna be Hemingway’ mode and do some serious thinking about turning out the great American novel.  Or maybe just an average American novel.  Or a short story.  Or….  Anyway, whatever it is, I can’t seem to find it.  I feel like maybe if I could come up with a storyline I’d have a chance, but I’ve searched the dark dusty corners of my head and still haven’t found a story idea lying around.  I haven’t totally given up hope – I have an idea about maybe writing a series of books about a boy who goes to Wizarding School – sound good?  🙂

   Don’t get me wrong – I’m not bored, I guess I just feel a little guilty about simply enjoying my retirement with its associated blocks of free time.  I’m pretty sure I’ve seen other folks enjoying their ‘restful’ time of life.  Am I *supposed* to be getting rich writing, or starting a vegetable truck farm, or maybe becoming an airline pilot?  Unfortunately, I didn’t come with an instruction manual, so I guess I’ll just have to figure this out as I go.  I’ll report back later, ok?  🙂

  Hey, now HERE is something I think I can work with – now *where* do I sign the dance card on this baby?  🙂

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2 responses to “How Grey was My Valley

  1. I seem to be at that in between age.
    Getting to old for the garden tiller and crawling in the dirt planting things that cost more than I will spend at the vegetable counter at my local market.
    To young to properly utilize and operate a lazy-boy recliner 🙂

    • Thanks for taking the time to comment. I enjoyed reading some of your blog posts and about Viet Nam, also Ham Radio (my call sign AB0RZ – updated my personal data just today, not updated by FCC yet)

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