Just after the new year, fellow blogger Cynical-C announced he was raising the white flag again to continuing his site. He wrote that he is over with “news” and the roller coaster of the news cycles.
I can’t link you to his site, because it’s completely gone. He’s one of the first dudes I ever followed when I started this madness back in 2008 or so. It’s sad to see him go. But it is what it is. I’m still continuing here, although, the scope of what I’m posting has changed a bit over the years. Less jokes. Less personal life. But yet, here I am.
We’re in North Carolina at the moment. A snow bird at 47 years old. I don’t know what to think about that.
I revel in it, though. I love spending time in North Carolina, but love having access to big city friends, culture, and life is still a priority.
I’m pushing myself to be creative while here. I’m writing every day. Journaling. Trying to come up with stories. I’m trying to take a photo a week (some kind of made image) with me, my wife and dog. Trying to make short films, but that one hasn’t happened yet. I created some content, but it’s got to be edited.
This is my ambitious goal list for the month:
- Create a photo a week
- Write Short story or poem a week
- Create a video a week (I have some content, but not edited yet)
- Read a book a week
- Hit 10K steps a day average
- Keep my resting heart rate below 60.
So far I’m missing the mark on the last one and the video/film. Today’s RHR average is 60.
Last week, I averaged 20,000 steps a day. Most of the steps were doing yard work. We have a half acre. I carried a lot of leaves, branches, weeds and stumps that I dug up to the street, which is up hill both ways and feels like a mile each way as well.
I was a popular cat, though, when I was working in the front yard. Several neighborhood women stopped and chitchatted. One woman named Ana chatted with me a long time. Asking questions about the house as an AirBnB, how well we do. The conversation crossed into neighbors who might help with house cleaning and yard work, neighbors whose hobbies include racing boats, concerns over renters in the neighborhood, because of her neighbors who rented shot some people at a local high school a couple years back, and a handyman contractor who she recommends if we ever need stuff done around the house.
It’s remarkable, though, how quiet the neighborhood is as a whole. Because of my 10K step goal, I jog or walk the area almost every day. I’ll do 3 to 5 miles and not see ONE other walker or person in their yards. It’s a densely built up area. I see people in cars.
I even walk to our local grocery stores, which is so Chicago. The closest real grocery store to us in Chicago is 3/4 of a mile away. Here, there’s one 1/2 mile. It’s so easy. But I bet money most if not all of our neighbors drive there.
I’m not saying I’m better. But I’m writing that I am.
The yard is full of birds. I’ve seen deer a few times this trip. I see their hoof prints in the mud. The other night, our dog Josie needed a midnight potty break. I was *this* close to leaving her off leash, but last minute, latched her up. When we came out, a raccoon waddled off and climbed this tree about 20 feet from us. Josie would have tried to catch it. And she may have. She’s caught rats in Chicago.
Yesterday, I spotted a rare daytime opossum waddling away from Jo and me.
And on Saturday, a house nearby had eight cops surround it, a fire engine and an ambulance. All us neighbors, about four people, found ourselves on the corner wondering what was going on. One neighbor named Charles thought that it might be a mentally handicapped guy who lives with his mom at the end of the block.
I’ll ask my neighbor Sally if she knows what happened next time I see her. Sally is the first neighbor we met. She walks her dogs a few times a day, and always makes sure to stop and chat when we’re outside.
Of course it’s also good to be closer to my family. We had everyone over for a big meal recently, and we’ve met for breakfast a couple times. Tina and I have lunched with my parents at their house. And I’m sure they’ll be here for more meals. And my dad is supposed to help me with some house work.
So lots of fun. Exciting times.
Thanks for reading this ramble. If you made it this far, I’d like to recommend this 2023 Intentions list from my favorite, new-to-me bloggers Swissmiss. I discovered her when Jason Kottke was on Sabbatical, and she does not disappoint.
The only beef I have is in her “reminders” list that reads, “The universe is friendly.” I think I understand what she means, but the universe is literally the least friendly place ever. So unfriendly, in fact, that we only know of one planet in its infinitely massive size that is friendly to life.
One. Little. Speck.
But in terms of friendliness in the universe, I can get it. Like this story I heard recently during an interview with Ewan McGregor that he read in a book about a guy who motorcycles all over the world. In one story, the guy’s motorcycle broke down in India and he parked under an overpass, sat down and waited knowing that eventually, someone would stop and help him. He called it a universal truth that happens EVERYWHERE he’s ever ridden.
And that, dear reader, is amazing.