Spring on the horizon

A really lovely weekend. Best I can remember in some time. I felt better. Slept better. Did things. Seem to be moving away from self-pity and realizing life is moving on and so must I. Every single element of these past few weeks is a result of choices I made. I chose to move further from my family; to go through the angst and expense of buying a new house and selling a house. And Mandela. 14 years ago I chose to bring her into my life—knowing full well dogs have shorter lives than us for the most part. So here I am. Deal with it. And I will. Live in the present, with on eye on the road ahead and a healthy respect for consequences of decisions made in the past. By my recollection, I have lived in 10 states and on 4- continents and had dozens of jobs; so aside from Mandela’s passing this is well known territory for me.

Friday was a bit odd, difficult I could say, but I averaged only around 3.5 hours of sleep last week over 5 nights. So I was walking dead on Friday. But I slept 9 hours Friday and Saturday nights, aided by a single Ibuprofen PM each night. That simple solution—yet I shy from it in a stubborn refusal to think I cannot solve issues on my own. Without the aid of medicine. So I endeavor now to continue to try to solve the mystery of the mind, while simultaneously calling on those little medical aids that can help me function during the work week.

For the first time in a while I skipped my FNM. I needed sleep more than I needed a martini this week.

I had to move to the garage from the back garden. It has just started to sprinkle a bit—too much for the computer to take. So I was not able to write and write I must. And, I am enjoying a nice Ashton Robusto, so needed to be somewhere where I can finish this nice cigar. It pairs perfectly with Calumet Farm Kentucky Bourbon.

When I first returned to US, I hardly ever drank Bourbon. Partly because it used to be harder to get overseas. So I was mostly a single malt Scotch drinker, or of course the beautifully blended Tullamore Dew or Jameson. But the last few years I have grown pretty fond of those boys from Kentucky and their corn liquor.

Weather has started to turn. Too early to claim spring, but it was a beautiful weekend. I managed a short run Saturday morning and a nice bike ride to downtown along the lake today. Weather and exercise are also excellent tonics, along with sleep and good food, cigars, and cocktails. Throw in a little camaraderie and family time and it starts to seem like a life. I had my first outdoor beer and cigar in the back garden last night. Before a beautiful dinner of eggplant parmesan with Caesar salad. I am blessed with food and drink and family and friends.

I managed to get a couple of art prints up including one of the Mandela’s. I intend to finish the rest this week before the housewarming on Saturday. Mom and Dad are coming on Thursday which is really great. Rest of the family on Friday night I think, or perhaps Saturday morning depending on their obligations.

The rain is coming hard now. It’s nice and cozy, sitting in the garage listening and looking out on the rain.

If you’re from the Midwest, there is something endearing and familiar about drinking in the garage. I’ve never thought about the origin of this until now, but I suspect it has something to do with the fact that we were all middle classers. Houses tended to be small and if the guys wanted to slip away and have a little time sans girls, (for which I’m sure the women were also grateful), it meant you went out to the garage. There are variations on this of course. We were lower middle-classers and did not have a garage—so in our case it was the front porch and then later the back deck. On the farm it was the butcher shop. Sometimes it’s the workshop or another outbuilding, but there is a long tradition of dividing the pack after meals for a bit of time to chat and have a drink or two.

I found a $20 bill in my bike seat pack today—I forgot I put it there. It has likely been there for at least 10 years or more. Back in the day, when I did a lot of road riding in Idaho, we had no cell phones. So if you flatted, you fixed it. And if you could not fix it, you walked home, or if lucky, caught a ride with a stranger. Years ago I was many miles from home on a long ride in Idaho and bonked—I did not eat breakfast and Mike O’Farrell woke me early to join him and Brook Blackwelder on a long ride. Brook was a pro racer at this time and Mike was also a lot stronger than me. I hung with them to just before we got to McCammon and they dropped me on a hill. There are no friends on a beautiful early Sunday morning ride, so they did the right thing and left me to my own devices. I hit the wall on that last short but nasty climb near the McCammon highway exit on the old highway. When I got to the little store there, I had no money and was truly out of energy reserves. Fortunately someone I knew came through and she bought me a couple of candy bars and I was able to limp home. Since that time, I have always kept a bit of money tucked away on the bike for emergencies.

Got my haircut yesterday at my new favorite place in Cleveland. They have a house dog which is a very young (~15 weeks) teacup Frenchie named Horst. Beautiful little thing full of energy and zest. I held him a few times.

Back to the grind tomorrow. Work is beginning to plane out a bit. Lots to do of course, but it is a good crew. What we lack in experience as a team, we make up for in sincerity and commitment. So we will get there.

I’ve been thinking about Community. I have moved so much and so frequently, that I have rarely ever had the need or desire to become part of the landscape in any meaningful way. The exception was Pocatello. Because of the bookstore/coffeeshop and Sundance and Senang, I was often part of community meetings and social events and business development events and committees. And of course there was the rugby team which was a big part of my life for years. I am hoping in Cleveland to do a bit more in this respect.

Lisa has been, and continues to be, a good friend and somewhat inspirational in her desire to advance her business and do more charity work. So we have been talking about some sort of joint-venture to incorporate her area of specialty with my desire to bring the work of MYO to the US. That would be fucking amazing.

And today I had coffee with the president of our HOA and his partner. Nice folks and we talked about all kinds of groovy things to collaborate on. For one, I need to get involved with our HOA. We are a small and motley group of 40 homes with a few big capital projects ahead of us and lots of conflicting opinions about how to move ahead. I generally agree with the board leadership’s position of sucking it up and getting it all done at once to get it over with and take a better price on volume discounts on materials and labor. But there are dissenting opinions and work to be done to solidify the plan. It’s important for future property values to get this right.

Carla sent me a housewarming gift that is a bit over the top. An amazing wall hanging in a brilliant pattern. No idea where she came on it, but it is very nice and I know exactly where it must go. Featured on this post, although not yet hung.

And, I finally put the finishing touches on Mandela’s wake altar. I will leave it up for a while. Perhaps a year or so. Or however long feels right.

So, a good weekend. A little light breaking through I think.

No other news of note.



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