Thursday, October 8, 2020

Adventures in adventuring


I put my foots up on this thing for to do the head-down inclined pushups. Much stronging the arms and bigging the biceps. Also a good core exercise.


Let's get the batshit crazy file out of the way first, then I can do the rest of the post with a stiff upper lip.

The notion of which reminds me of a story from one of James Herriot's English Country Vet books. He described attending a wake where an old country farmer had lost his wife. When Herriot gave the man condolences on his loss, the crusty old farmer replied, "Aye, I'll miss her. She were a grand worker!"

Stiff upper lip, wot?

For various reasons I ended up washing Allie's clothes at my house. As opposed to our house. We moved her from her previous place to the new place back in May. It was a rather protracted move as it was just she and I providing the labor and we each had plenty of other stuff on our daily plates. During that time her daily attire went into big trash bags rather than through the laundry. It wasn't like she was going to run out of clothes!

When I embarked on the washing chore I dumped clothes into sorting piles in my living room. It wasn't like they were in the way or anything. Unknown to me, however, a small jewelry box filled with assorted glass beads had gotten into the mix. Allie did a lot of bead work, and she was a rock star at the art.

But now there are lots and lots of beads lost in my carpet. Tiny things, nearly impossible to find. They do, however, choke my vacuum. So now I'm pulling the vacuum apart frequently to collect the beads and relocate them in their proper box. It's a process, and I think it's properly a batshit crazy process.

I'm feeling far more crushed today than yesterday. It's the waveform grief experience. Comes and goes, peaks and valleys.

Last evening I was in a local business purchasing some items. Ahead of me in line was a mom and two little kids. The little boy was chuffed to no end to get a little package of candy and was crowing with delight, a huge smile on his face. An employee of the business -- a woman I've been acquainted with for several years but do not "know" in any real fashion -- was passing by and paused next to me. To the little boy she said, "Aren't you cute?" For some reason I channeled my old navy self and my mouth ran away with me.

"Yes," I said, "I'm dammed cute and fairly bright as well."

The woman paused, then wrapped her arms around me. "You're awesome, Shaun." It surprised me. What was that all about? She obviously knew about my loss -- the tears in her eyes proved that. How, though, does a cashier/acquaintance whose name I can barely remember determine that I'm awesome? Is it just standard apply anywhere bullshit? I don't think so. Don't know what to think for sure, but I do know her gesture of compassion was a nice thing indeed. It also, perhaps, nudged me a tiny bit toward feeling sorry for myself. Not the woman's fault! Going to the self-pity place is always entirely my choice and my decision.

Ah well, this is a still a new and strange and never-before-traveled path. I'm learning as I go. And I'm being touched by the empathy and kindness of many, many, lovely people.

Still, I am crushed enough today and down in the dumps enough that I really, really need to work out.


So I did. I'm afraid I hit it pretty hard. I did two hikes. The first was four miles and included running the steep pitch of smokebong hill 10 times. The second was a straight 4.5 mile hike. In between the two I had to deal with some nasty garbage behavior by someone who chooses to be an asshat. So that set me back a bit.

Nevertheless I feel pretty damned good physically. It's nice to be able to do hard physical stuff and to know I can do it.

Emotionally and mentally I'm not exactly where I want to be, so it's time to double down on prayer and meditation. As soon as I put this thing to bed.

How about a video tour? First up, smoke and flowers and babbling.

An Octobler sprinkler sighting! Somewhat rare and therefore just a tiny bit precious.

An assessment of my physical state vis-a-vis the notion of running smokebong. The jury awarded me the attempt!

Let's run it!

That's 10! Felt pretty good. Plus, out with the old, in with the new.

Nature's beauty abounds and helps make it possible to live in the real world and not simply exist. Shysters and professional victims don't know what they are missing. One day they'll know but it'll be too late. Choices have consequences...

Something wrong with our wind turbines!

Lichenous rock, autumn leaf color changes, more babbling. Grief toxins or self-pity toxins? I need to figure this out.

And now it's time to post this up and get back to work.


Be well and embrace the blessings of liberty.


  1. Had an assignment in Sterling today. Smoke the whole way and so strong here in Greeley right now my doors and windows are closed. Completely uneventful trip aside from the usual street construction/destruction ongoing in Sterling. I wonder if they every finish anything.

    Grief came out of nowhere and gut punched me as I passed the Dodd Bridge exit on I-76. In 2010 my cell phone rang near there and I pulled off to answer it. The caller was my son calling from Afghanistan! The wonders of technology. I never fail to think of him as I pass by but today the grief came so hard and strong I pulled over on the shoulder to regain my composure. I share this with you only as an alert that it will probably happen to you.

    1. Man, it's been years since I've visited Sterling. Just down the road, but out of my usual path. It was so still here yesterday that the smoke stayed with us. Supposed to be the same through the weekend. Warm temps are nice and are giving me lots of chances to kill next year's thistle, which is good.

      I appreciate the heads up Frank. Sometimes the grief pops up out of nowhere and I'm a complete trainwreck until I pass through the wash of hammering emotion. It's an incredibly hard thing. I guess it means I really love her. Grasping at upside straws. Batshit crazy.

      Thanks my friend.