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On The Road . . . Time Is Unforgiving . . .

Time is unforgiving


Time is unforgiving,

An old Barn in Russell County, Kentucky,

Unfortunately … it is one of many …

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The Old Guy … I Was Thinking About Buying A Gun …

I was thinking about buying a gun. Not a simple long barrelled firearm such as a shotgun, or hunting rifle, but a handgun to be precise. Such an item without question presents a few additional purchasing obstacles. For a simple purchase of a common handgun there is paperwork to fill out and a background check during a three day waiting period.

Considering my mental stability both short and long term, I would have to question the various governmental agencies that would approve, after a background check, a weapon application from my humble personage. They, despite their collective all seeing and all knowing knowledge, certainly don’t know my frame of mind or the random thoughts that occasionally flash across the front of my eyes. (not that they are all bad flashes) I will confess that computer searches will show no arrest records and no indeterminate or lengthy visits to state and or federal mental institutions.

Granted, my youthful records are clean, but not really because I never did anything wrong … more-so … because, like most people, I never got caught red-handed in a prosecutable indiscretion. I have for the most part been a pretty good boy … despite the divorces which could be reasoned as selective cases of poor judgement or momentary periods of decreased mental capacity. There might be an argument against me there.


The Old Guy Camouflaged … A Possible Member Of The Gun Buying Public

To complicate matters, I was also thinking of getting a concealed weapon permit. Despite adding another layer of bureaucracy, what good would the handgun be if it sat home in a drawer all the time. Of course, I would have to take a firearms course, a firing range test, a written test and pass another background check. That again could bring up the selective cases of poor judgement or momentary periods of decreased mental capacity.

So, possibly in the near future, exceeding my expectations and holding a concealed weapon permit, I would then have to worry about where to carry the weapon. Carried on the hip, left or right, my waistline silhouette would be ruined. That would not be desirable even for a fat old guy. We can, at times, be quite guarded about our public presentation in a mixed gender environment.

So, a ruined silhouette can be a touchy topic of conversation. Plus in my wheelchair, I would have trouble getting into and out of the device with a waist gun and wouldn’t be able to speedily extricate the weapon if the undesirable circumstance presented itself. It would be highly possible, if not probable, that I would end up shooting myself. That is not desirable either and seems to be a possible reoccurring theme.

Now if I carried the concealed weapon in a shoulder holster where it would rest heavily against my armpit and side, another set of problems come to the forefront. On warm or hot days I would sweat all over the shoulder holster and handgun. It wouldn’t take long before I would smell like a horse’s rear-end, rancid gun oil and rapidly rusty metal. The compromised weapon would also be too slippery to be of good use. I would also be shunned by the general public within a twenty foot radius. This would also be another circumstance where the odds, ever increasing, of shooting myself with a sweat and gun oil slippery weapon becomes highly elevated. That … would not be desirable for many reasons.

Contemplating my options, it is highly probable I will have to carry my concealed handgun in a shoe box that rests in my lap. But that is where I carry my collapsible cane and considering how many times it falls out of my lap, the shoebox handgun is not such a good idea. Those things do not bounce well and can discharge accidentally. That neither …. would be desirable for many reasons.

Well, there is a lot to think about before deciding upon a path of action. There is more to investigate … more to study and price. Despite a few pros and some cons and a high probability of extensive personal injury lurking on the horizon, I am still thinking about buying a gun.



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The Old Guy … Thinking Of Mr. Andrew …

I guess that since I have gotten older, and on occasion have too much time on my hands to think, I randomly think about the people I have encountered over the years. There have been some characters for sure and I wouldn’t want to stick them all in one room since I have never been that good of a referee.

Green Bowl Radishes

Green Bowl Radishes

The other day I was thinking of my friend from back in my Fredericksburg, Virginia years.

Mr Andrew, who had a wonderful British sense of humor, was a gentle soul and very much what one would expect to see when encountering a man of English personage or a Brit as they address each other. A career missionary, he had retired after a long and fruitful posting in India.

He was a delightful and distinguished old gentleman and we would often spend afternoons engaged in stories of India and all the diverse and exceptional people he had encountered. Mr. Andrew and his wife’s apartment was also a treasure trove of objects they had collected during their lengthy foreign service years.

Bird Watching Binoculars Given To Me By Mr. Andrew - The US Custom Service Stamp Is On The Case

Bird Watching Binoculars Given To Me By Mr. Andrew – The US Custom Service Stamp Is On The Case

I was also educated during our visits with Mr. Andrew. My understanding of India was limited to the book ‘Bayonets In The Sun’ which he had to set me straight on a few notable historic items. In turn, I answered questions about American history which Fredericksburg had proved to be a pivotal location.

Occasionally, Mr. Andrew and I would sit on the front steps of the apartment building and eat freshly prepared radishes from a light green colored plastic bowl.

Mr. Andrew relished them and the late summer afternoons would be highlighted by soft laughter and a profusion of smiles. It wasn’t long before several of our neighbors joined us on the steps. The atmosphere of frivolity and fellowship was indeed infectious. It was a time to remember and cherish.

After a few short summers, Mr. Andrew and Ms. Silvia moved back to England. I guess their home was strongly calling him. A few years later, we got word that Mr. Andrew had passed away with Ms. Silvia following shortly afterwards.

I really hated to hear it and thought of our time together while eating freshly prepared radishes from a light green plastic bowl. He was my friend and I still miss him.

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The Old Guy . . . Hunting And Pecking Along . . .

I started out my writing career, a long, long time ago, hunting and pecking amongst the keys, tapping out letters to form words, and trying to look proficient. I had things to do and stories to tell. And, I do still have quite a few stories to write about.

Then the computer came into the workplace and the dramatics of day to day work changed . . . abruptly . . .

Typing Lessons And Sore Fingers ...

Typing Lessons And Sore Fingers …

During the first winter the computer was in the office, l took a grade school typing text book and taught myself to type. I went all the way through the book except the number keys. Interruptions and an increased Spring workload kept me from getting back to the schoolbook and the number keys in that top row. So far that lack of knowledge hasn’t hurt me that much.

Computers with their plastic components and the likes were perceived to be dead lifeless personages. What is missing was the mechanical clacking of selected keys striking paper and padded rests upon their return to position. There was a feel and sound that pronounced that work was being accomplished. The sounds a printer makes is reassuring only to a point that thank goodness the thing is working despite its nature of needing software fixes.

The next horror that appeared in both the workplace and home was smart phones and all sizes of tablets …

I have weaned myself from a mouse with my laptop, but I do not see the tablet replacing Old Faithful. But if I look at everything realisticly, I cannot do anything but ride the storm of progress.

The tablet contraption is a coffee house companion when I am on the road. With it I am back to where I started forty years ago. Hunting and pecking, learning to type, speed typing, hunting and pecking with a stylus on a small screen tablet.

I have come full circle.

I don’t think much of the accomplishment.

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Branches Of Thought … Standing There …

Standing There

Oh, I see them standing there, beyond the fence,

Crowded together in twos and threes just out of reach.

They look all knowing and wise without saying a word.

Their stares go through me,

And out of fear I have to look away.

Moments pass slowly, each tick of the clock an eternity,

But they remain standing there, looking, staring, standing,

Without a hint of a whisper

Exchanged between any one of them.

The coldness of their staring eyes weakens my legs,

And I can almost hear their laughter

Hanging tauntingly in the still air.

Relentless ...

Relentless …

Oh, I see them standing there, just beyond the fence,

In groups of twos and threes,

Spots of black and white randomly placed in scattered patterns,

With no uniformity in design or obvious purpose.

They stand there enjoying my discomfort,

Always chewing, always staring; never saying a simple word.

I know they are still standing there, staring down the roadway,

Their combined laughter stings my ears and pride.

In shame and disgrace,

I will risk no confrontation what-so-ever with my tormentors.

Instead of addressing them all I have quickened my pace;

I have chosen just to run away.

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The Old Guy . . . Cooking & The Smell Of Roadway Weed Seasoning . . .

Not long ago I got a pizza that came with a special seasoning packet. Curious, I opened it up and got a good size smell of the contents. It was a familiar assault on the senses. It smelled like garlic and freshly cut roadway weeds. So, I tried it and the taste wasn’t that bad. Oh it was bad but not that bad …

Turns out the familiar smell and taste was nearly the same as a Mrs. Dash salt-free seasoning blend . . . garlic and herb.

Boiled Dinner With Garnishments ...

Boiled Dinner With Garnishments …

My next cooking project was a boiled dinner consisting of boiled potatoes,  two onions peeled, and quartered along with a very nice piece of pork-steak. I do love boiled pork. The boiled dinner was seasoned with a little salt and what I now call the highway weed concoction. It turned out editable, but not really what I was striving for . . . by a long shot.

It took three days to get through most of the large pot of food. There is still one serving bowl left ready for consumption. My Sweetheart, proclaiming not so plausible sickness aversions to food and food products, wouldn’t even taste the all inclusive menu item.

But . . . the tastes and smells of the boiled dinner brought back a lot of memories of my younger years. Oh, memories of hot Tennessee summer days walking down a tree lined bone dry gravel road. Here, I was a pre-teen on a physically demanding quest to see a young lady who wore thin cotton print summer dresses and smelled strangely and very much unexplainably … wonderful.

She had a musical laugh and her sultry voice would trail off softly to an intriguing smile . . .

Youthful Endeavor ...

Youthful Endeavor …

After four miles or so, I would arrive at the bottom of her front porch hot and tired. My shoes and trouser legs would be covered with a thick coating of grey-white gravel road dust. There were times that I looked very much like a dis-shovelled raccoon.

Often, I would arrive with a small bag of Blackberries that I had picked from the twisted and dangerous vines that grew on each side of the roadway. The object of my affection cared little for the berries, but her Grandfather who occupied a permanent residence at the top step of the front porch loved them. It was my first, but not last, meaningful introduction to out and out bold faced bribery.

With the bribe handed over, and pleasantries extended, I still had to endure a period of questioning. I think every Grandfather and Great Grandfather should remember when they were young.

I answered his enquires with a protective degree of honesty. No … when the doors of the house were closed, I did not look through the keyholes. Yes, yes, no, no, I would reply to his questioning. At that time of my young life the questions about inappropriate touching were confusing and somewhat mysterious. I tried to look as innocent as possible while sweating through my shirt.

After the inquisition, we would walk awkwardly to the high rise at the front of the yard and stand in the shade of the immense oak tree that dominated the property. In a short thirty minutes our visit was concluded and we each took our memories home. It was a summer to remember.

It remains peculiar how a smell, sound or visual stimulation can bring to the forefront strong memories. But the spark from the odor of cut roadway weeds brought back wonderful memories of a long ago love to this Old Guy. Who knew.

And … my lips remain sealed beyond these few details …


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