Monday, January 26, 2009

If any misguided souls are ever to read this blog, they might wonder about the blogger.

I'm one of those people who, erratically throughout his life has been a kind of chronicler. I right things down, take notes, keep files, and take pictures. So what I have after 58 years of such behavior is a big, unorganized bunch of junk. Perhaps keeping this blog will help me organize some of that material over time.

I'm also one of those poor fools who spends a lot of time looking over his shoulder; paying more attention to the past at times than to the future. I don't know why; it's just the way I was made. I like thinking about and looking into the past. I'm not very scientific about it; I read a lot and that leads to more questions about what has happened. I like to look into my family tree from time to time, having been at it very irregularly for 35 years, but I make no claim to being a geneologist.

One of the things that gives me a way to connect with the past is by having certain items of limited antiquity in my life. That doesn't make me an antiquarian either; but I do appreciate certain old objects.

Presently, I am in a phase of life that I find more than usually enjoyable. Specifically, I am in the early phases of my retirement from work. I specifically mention the part about it being "early." Who knows; later retirement may be less than enjoyable. I could have health problems of a serious nature; I could run out of money. But for now, it's enjoyable.

The other phase of my life that I characterize as particularly enjoyable (especially in hindsight) was childhood. Ah, for the days when I had no real responsibilities and not a care in the world. I've come to realize that I had a very good childhood. My family was not wealthy of money, but we weren't impoverished either. We had just enough. I had a loving family with two parents and a sister and I was never abused or mistreated in any way. I grew up in a suburban neighborhood that was safe and full of other kids for companionship. I still go back there once in a while and walk the streets, even though everyone I knew then save one has gone away.

Those in-between years were sometimes not as enjoyable as the two phases I describe above. My teenage years were wasted and spent in mis-direction. The three year enlistment I served as a Regular Army soldier was a "million dollar experience that I wouldn't repeat for a nickel." My marriage in 1974 brought me much joy, but as usually happens in marriage within a few years the responsibilities started to pile up. One by one without your noticing them at each instant, the burden builds up and the next thing you know, you have a bunch of debt and obligations of various kinds. My wife and I had three children that I am proud of, but at the same time, children are always a big responsibility.

Eventually, my children grew up and started their own lives. Following that, I reached retirement eligibility and worked a couple of years beyond that. When I did retire, a huge load of responsibility was lifted from my shoulders. Now, my debts are few and so are my responsibilities. It's very pleasant to not have to get up and go to work every day; sometimes I feel a little guilty staying in bed while my wife still goes out to work. I get over it quickly.

Now that I have this extra time in my life, I can waste a bit of it doing things that I like, for example this blog. I'm interested in a pretty wide range of subjects, and some of those will creep into this blog. Some of the things I'm interested in are vintage automobiles, firearms and marksmanship, handloading ammunition, history, gardening (cactus, African violets, trees), music in a wide range of tastes, tools and tinkering, travel, desert exploration, and other things that I've forgotten for the moment.

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