Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Simple Man, I Really Am.

       I am not complicated...a regular customer brought her bike in the shop for air today, she said "Wow, you are growing a moustache again." She thought it made me look more "complicated". I laughed, because I am simple, predictable, reliable, consistent...how does a moustache make me complicated?
       Facial hair, it just happens, I'm not sure why. From age 20 through age 40 I let my facial hair do it's own thing...kind of wiry and random, I didn't care what others thought. I shaved for my wedding, we got married for the older folks anyhow, in a small white Methodist Chapel...then I "let it fly" for another six years or so.
        My wife/partner of 37 years really never cared one way or the other, but this morning she said, "What's that dirt, on your upper lip." That nearly caused me to shave it off...ah, what the hell, I want to see what color it turns out to be...too much grey, I might cut it off. I've never been a "primper", in fact, I'm not very fond of mirrors or razors or deodorants or hair wax. I guess that makes me caveman-like...not very civilized.
       I do work well with the public, so maybe I don't smell too bad. At 40, my motivation to cut it off (to be clean-shaven) had everything to do with how close I could get my naked skin to my baby boys'...cheek to cheek with your little one is a precious sensation. Now, he's the one with facial-hair.      
       I haven't figured out if "more complicated" is a good thing or a bad thing...she really didn't let on. I'll guess that it's not a good thing. We all quest for a simpler day-to-day encounters with each other (and especially with the people we do business with). I do like being simple, predictable, reliable and consistent...what you see is what you get!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Card Carrying Golden Eagle

        When it comes to blog entries, I missed my favorite month of June. A wonderfully busy beginning to my 64th year on the Big Blue Ball. You qualify for the National Parks Golden Eagle pass when you've survived 62 years on the planet...I'm a little slow at cashing in on the perks, like college scholarships, small business loans or various tax write-offs. At the risk of sounding like Frank Sinatra, let me just say..."I did it my way. "
         I have additional responsibilities that have taken away from my blogging....1,000 sq. ft. of vegetable garden and six golden chickens. This is the dry time of year so, I must stay extra vigilant, water the garden twice a day and tend to the chickens at least that often...in addition to walking the dog.              The easy thing to put off is the personal exercise requirement...which is why the Golden Eagle pass is so important. We love to ride our bicycles through the Lassen Volcanic National Park....at least one day a week.
          Living in the land of very precise seasons is a real bonus...you have to keep a schedule throughout the year....get the firewood in, garden while you can, enjoy the lake while you can, run around naked during the warm months,  dress warm and light a fire in the woodstove.... making sure the pipes don't freeze for at least six months of the year.  Chores and weather schedules...providing scale and memorable mileposts for your life and everyone around you. There are always interesting stories to share with your friends and neighbors when you are living in the land of four seasons, especially in the mountains.
         I tried the "California of minimal seasons"...it either rained or it didn't (two possible seasons), it was either blistering hot or foggy (two more possible seasons) ...and I felt pretty smug about living in these conditions (and not in the Upper Midwest) for the first ten years of being a California resident. Then at 35 years old, I realized that life scoots by way too fast when you don't have to worry about your vulnerable pipes. The necessity of taking care of yourself, your loved ones and the mechanical workings of your house is always obvious...you can seldom use cruise control, lay on the couch and fritter away time by watching TV.
         This is why I'll never "retire"...I can rest when I'm dead...in the meantime, I want to keep moving,  climbing hills,  preparing for the next season and enjoying the many freedoms that I've allowed myself while operating in what I'll call, "the weather zone of challenge and intensity" here in the mountains of the North American West.