Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Goodbye to a Friend

A decade ago the wife and I tripped to Phoenix for a 50th wedding anniversary.

The Wife had known the family all her life, but there was no room at the inn. We were told that we were staying at their friend's home- which caused us so much concern that we pulled off the freeway a few miles from their house to have a drink.

My cell phone rang and it was Doug, calling to ask where the hell we were.

"Why are you drinking there when you can drink here?" He asked. We chugged our drinks and left for their place.

Within the hour we met our new brother and sister.

 Doug and Joy became our immediate friends. Doug and I bonded in those first few minutes. I really can't explain it any other way - but to say we became family that day. 




Over the years we were only able to enjoy each others company on a few occasions. Meeting and laughing in Huntington Beach. Riding bikes to Newport- celebrating his lovely daughter Nikki's 21st birthday at the beach...






 But that bond between us was rekindled the minute we grasped hands and hugged.

In my life I have been very lucky to have life- long friends from grammar school, but this friendship was made of special stuff. A real and true blessing.  

Tuesday morning, I started the day with what I call a 'rock and walk.'


 The morning was a typical Indian summer, the sun high in the sky and just the right temp for a good sweat. After cooling down,  I took a bike ride and noticed that the windy conditions were at bay. I returned home and grabbed my kayak as the harbor and ocean were glass-like. And the clouds ... magical! 




Just this last week we informed Doug and Joy that our motor- home journey  included definite plans to visit - so a " be ready, message as this entails serious partying was sent."


His text back was typically simple; " Oh Fuck. "

" No, really," we texted. We are coming this time, as former plans did not turn out.

 His reply again was simple;

 "Oh Fuck. " 

Then, with his uncanny ability to make you feel welcome, he simply stated, 

" We can't wait ". 

Tragically, my friend - my brother - passed on Tuesday as a massive heart attack claimed his soul. 


 I was out on the ocean enjoying an incredible afternoon and sunset.


 I now feel as if he were saying goodbye. He loved the ocean, he loved  sailing and was a truly good friend to those around him... even when not convenient.


 Here is my promise, my brother; I will never experience another spectacular sunset without giving you credit for bringing it my way. 



We will meet again Doug, but not yet.... not yet.  

Friday, September 23, 2016

Accumulation

It has only been 6 months since we moved into the park. What started as innocent hunters and gatherers - we made ourselves comfortable in our immediate surroundings, but it now seems somewhat excessive...


When one of the many plans concerning our vacation from our vacation- i.e. - the 30- day- move out, was to rent another storage unit locally when we already have a storage unit, indicates how much accumulation has occurred. Now, admittedly, the wife and I have made ourselves very comfy here in our space, and the "stuff " never seems too much until you have to move it.

The endgame is one of all the "stuff " going in many different directions. I would have included the local dumpster but the wife is more than reluctant to part with any of these so- called treasures. I want to thank those already willing to park some small belongings and also thank those unaware that "stuff " is coming their way.


You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad
-- Aldous Huxley

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Logistics

The decision has been made; a road trip is eminent. 

The ball is in my court as a month on the road will test one's organizational skills. This length of time on the road presents the usual hurdles involving what to take and what to store.
Where I am a minimalist, the wife is a " maximalist.

Let's  just use shoes as an example. I believe a pair of sandals, one pair of sneaks and one of hiking will suffice. The wife informed me that she would need one tote dedicated to shoes. I innocently asked how many high- heeled shoes she thought would be necessary for what essentially will be a camping, biking and hiking trip.

 



I think the look I received indicated at least two.

And so the fun starts with a decision on the kayak. Bikes, horseshoes, boccie, Frisbee, and football are all necessary of course. 

The wife is wondering how many football games might break out...



Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Making Plans

One of the major benefits of living in a motorhome is that you can make plans and then change them two hours later.

 "How about we go back out on the road," I ask the wife. 

She responds by saying, "Sounds good, come up with a plan." 


As the plan is formulating, four or five completely legitimate alternatives circle the grey matter. The most important factor is considering what makes the most sense weather wise. Death Valley in August is just stupid. As is Frisco, Colorado in January.


I have heard many say that the planning of a trip is actually one of the best parts of the trip. So, if that's true, the wife and I are literally living one of the best parts of a vacation on a daily basis. 

We must, because of lease laws, vacate the current address for 30 days and then we can return. So the options at this point seem endless. The wife and I are very much enjoying our, sometimes, hourly conversations about the possibilities.



" I'm no longer sure what the question is, but I do know that the answer is " Yes. " Leonard Bernstein

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

I Represent That!


Early this morning, our young neighbor in the RV / trailer park could hear our blender. 

" Making Pina Coladas?" he asked. Which is telling in so many ways. One is being so close to your neighbors it gives them insight into your life. It may be that you have made one too  many 'Coladas this summer. 


Our answer to his question was no. 

The Wife and I have decided to take some time off from summer cocktailing. 

So we flipped the switch, so to speak. 

I had been on a self- imposed quest to enjoy all of August because, well, life can be hard.

 It's been said that one either has a good liver or not, and has nothing to do with alcohol intake. I sincerely hope this is true. 

Anyway, I am not partaking for a time to be determined by my will-power.

Since we do live at the beach, people will drop by to enjoy our patio. But, the plan is to stay stead fast and resist all the liquid fun. Making me think that one should ask himself if it is necessary to partake to have a good time. 

I will keep you posted...

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Back to Business

Last month's blog posts were brought to you by The Husband- who thinks he deserves  to celebrate his birthday for an entire month- like a teenage girl.


Pam and The Husband(on the right)  playing croquet.


The problem is- I indulge his funny, joie de vivre lifestyle- but someone has to be the grown-up, and that my friends, is me.

While he is at the beach sitting next to pretty girls and cute gay guys, I am back at the homestead writing articles. While he is riding his bike down the coast highway I am back at the RV looking for more writing gigs so we can afford to eat.


Those damn mai tais don't grow on trees, ya know!


To be fair, the only check that is regularly deposited in our bank account like clockwork is his social security check and pension from the Grocers Union- so I suppose he can run/jump/and play all he wants- but next year- can we keep it to a 15- day celebration, because I can't keep up!








Thursday, September 1, 2016

Day 31 Life Hopefully Continues


When one intentionally overindulges, he should expect consequences. 

Because it makes sense, as scientists have said, that for every action there is a similar reaction. So my binging
should have created equally negative consequences. Happily, I can tell you that my overindulgences have caused  no negative consequences!


I had a wonderful day today. Final day of the experiment to enjoy something special for 31 days of one's birthday month. I road the rails to San Diego, had a ferry ride to Coronado, biked to the beach, enjoyed a new read, moved on to the 19th hole, missed the ferry, enjoyed an IPA, made the ferry, made the rails home where my wonderful wife invited me to a sunset drink on the harbor.


" The road to success leads to the palace of wisdom...  you never know what is enough unless you know what is more than enough".  William Blake