Dozer, the bulldog

Dozer, the bulldog
Dozer: He was the best dog on the planet.

Bonding

Bonding
The author of Mark's Work with Ellie Mae

Guess who's coming for dinner

Guess who's coming for dinner
Blue heron, sitting on the dock of our pond

HappyDay Farms bees are happy bees.

HappyDay Farms bees are happy bees.
Air-borne bees

BFF's forever

BFF's forever
Margie and Ellie Mae

Tomatoes and peppers are us.

Tomatoes and peppers are us.
Spicy salsa with roasted peppers, here at HappyDay Farms

Much love, John-Bryan

Much love, John-Bryan
Eric at 26 on the left, and John-Bryan in January of 1973.

Halloween fun

Halloween fun
SmallBoy and Dancing Girl

Our house

Our house
The snow season approaches...

Mahlon Masling Blue

Mahlon Masling Blue
My friend and brother.

Mark's E-mail address

bellspringsmark@gmail.com

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Back from the Shadows


Back from the Shadows
I have decided to scrap the bipolar journal, because I simply do not want to spend as much time focused on the elements of MSD, as I have been.  I mean, it’s fun and all that, but not that much fun.  I have decided to return to a more conventional blogging format, simply because I suspect that some people are just not that comfortable with the whole bipolar thing.
Like I am?  Oh, I keep forgetting.  I don’t get a choice.  But I do get a choice about what I write, and so it’s ever onward and upward, with any analogy to be drawn between upward and improvement, that I wish to draw.  It is a foregone conclusion that when I am off my game, the first thing to go is writing.  So focusing constantly on MSD is a hit and miss proposition, and one that I have decided to see just how much I would miss.
My days are filled with forward progress in countless ways, so there is no shortage of available topics.  Just to compare this spring with last spring is as tantalizing of a subject as I could imagine.  The rain did not stop here on the mountain, last year, until June 6th.  For me that meant I could not prepare the garden during April and May, such is my custom, so I started out the shoot six or more weeks behind.
I am sure that it will shock one and all to know that after the harshest winter in our 31 years up here on the ridge, that of 2010-11, we were hurtin’ for certain, financially.  We also were planning this outrageous expedition to Ireland, in September, which would cost $2,004 round-trip, for both tickets for me and Annie.  So I endeavored to turn back the clock, say two decades or so, and go back to work slinging nails on a construction crew.
All was well and good on the site; it was in the “training room” afterwards, when my right shoulder, both knees, and my lower back in general, all combined to gently remind me, that I was no longer in my thirties.  However, I did make a goodly amount of loot, and learned that there is a great deal to be said for free agency, at least as it applies in the trades.
To work on a crew is to be part of a team.  With that team concept, come certain responsibilities which require the ability to put the team ahead of your own personal agenda.  No longer capable of doing that, I have found that there is a need for an independent gunslinger, also known as a handyman, or jack-of-all-trades.  I qualify for the position, merely by virtue of the fact that I have survived on this mountain for those same 31 years to which I alluded earlier.  There’s a lot to be said for perseverance.  
So the kinds of projects I now find myself working on, are the kind that involve one guy, or one guy serving a specific role, such as a sawyer, which does not involve carrying around a slew of twenty-foot-long, two-by-ten, green fir rafters, so as to be able to hoist them up to the dudes on the roof.  I can’t be up walking around on the rafters anymore, either, because of my jenky knees.  I can’t be on the ground and I can’t be on the roof.  So I like my new arrangement because no one is inconvenienced.
I am currently working on a workshop-expansion project, which is a multi-leveled structure, with some interesting aspects.  I am not a whirling dervish, but I am self-sufficient, and require no assistance.  The kinds of projects I work on are rewarding and allow me to pursue my livelihood, with a new-found resolution to approach each one with a spirit of organization, and a stress-free environment.
I can usually find ample stress to go around, without really trying, so if I see that as part of an upcoming agenda, I am sure to steer clear.  That’s the advantage of being retired, and of driving my own rig.  I can keep both of my hands on the steering wheel, and it’s all systems go, for me and those around me, or I can take my hands off the steering wheel, and watch the fun begin.
Would anyone like some potato chips?  

2 comments:

  1. Potato chips?
    Good for you on so many levels - I have appreciated your focus on MSD but I suspect that topic will still play top billing from time to time. I have learned a lot from your reflections and do appreciate that.

    I hear you on the difference between this year and last year. I could , for different reasons, say the same thing - what a difference a year makes! I am glad you are finding work on your own - or in venues that allow you to be physically comfortable and rewarding as well.

    This summer is giving me a taste of retirement - and I like it (no surprise there). We'll see what direction the next year takes....

    ReplyDelete
  2. Good for you, Matt, on all levels! As long as you don't dis the Dodgers too much, I'll keep reading - good luck!

    ReplyDelete