Friday, October 24, 2014

Alone time

I had a music instructor that once told me that people have too much noise in their lives. Everywhere is a TV, radio, or phone begging for our attention. He was right.

I firmly believe that people have lost the ability to be quiet. They have lost the ability to sit with themselves and think.

I like the radio. I have one in my truck, but when I am by myself I rarely have it on. I would rather think while I drive.

These thoughts went through my head while I had the bittersweet joy of mowing the front yard for the last time this season. Mowing has always been my time. Time to be left alone. Time to think. Time to sing old songs and mangle the words with no one to laugh.

I have always enjoyed mowing. I think I spent most of my teenaged years behind one mower or another. I mowed about 10 yards a week. Not for the money, although the root beer and snickers fund was nice, but for the time alone.

For several hours a week my companion was a single cylinder push mower, the grass, and the fresh air. As I have gotten older my weapon of choice has moved up to a twin cylinder riding mower. It seems that my back doesn't like a push mower much now.

As I rode around in circles I was thinking to years ago when I would put on my tennis shoes, grab a gas can, my mower, and a ballcap, and head off across the neighborhood to mow yards. It was hard work. Our neighborhood was anything but flat, but I enjoyed it.

My dad always told everyone that I hated mowing. I didn't tell him I liked it for fear he would have found a way to make it harder. Maybe barefooted carrying weights. So I kept my enjoy met to myself, and somethow that made it more enjoyable. And made the time to think sweeter.

Today everyone has a personal entertainment system attached to their hips in the form of the smartphone. They have wires hanging from their ears that drain their brain. They cannot think. They have to be entertained.

To be honest I had a Walkman. And I listened to it, but not when I mowed.

As I pushed the mower around with its blade slicing through the grass, turning the tangled green blades into a smooth carpet, I could think. I was left alone.

If a child now has to mow a yard it is inhumane and social services gets called. If a child has to sit in silence they will explode. But to me it is one of life's little pleasures.

I recently made 3 trips to Mississippi. 600 miles one way. For the majority of that time the radio was off. The engine was entertaining enough. As the miles slipped under my tires I relaxed. I thought. I worked over problems. I came up with answers. I was alone with myself.

So take some advice from someone who enjoys the silence. Turn off the TV, turn down the radio, unhook the headset, and enjoy the time alone. It will be uncomfortable at first. You will hate the silence, but after a while your brain will engage and you can think.

Sit and watch the sunset. Watch it rain. Just enjoy being

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Quality time.

It is pouring rain so I am in the house today. I don't feel like wading through the yard to do anything out there.

Recently my wife had been gone a good bit. She is taking special education teaching classes and is at the point where she is doing an internship at a local school. So on Mondays and Thursdays she is gone from 7:30 – 3:30 and on Tuesdays (today) she is gone from 7:30-9:00 pm. I am not complaining because it gives me lots of quality time with Heath – the 2 year old.

Heath is a unique child. I know every parent says that about their kids, but everyone says it about Heath. He likes to be by himself. When he is around other kids he finds his own place to play. And he is completely independent. I think if he could open the pantry and reach the peanut butter he wouldn't need us at all.

Today we went in the front bathroom to tend to the ducks (you don't keep 10 ducklings in your bathtub?) and Heath materialized behind me with two slices of bread. I have no idea where they came from. But after I filled the tub with water we fed it to the ducks. When I went in the kitchen the loaf of bread on the counter was still closed up. I honestly think the kid has a stash of food hidden somewhere.

A short time later I heard a sound and went to check on him. He had poured some fruit loops out on the floor and was eating them like a cat. I have no idea how he got the bag of cereal. Maybe it came out of his stash.

After the ducks had their 20 minutes of swim time I drained the tub. Heath didn't bring any food. He did help me get the water bowl back in the tub and fill the food dish. I think he would sleep in the tub with the ducks if I would let him.

A short time ago he found a pair of 3D glasses that we got out of a junk car yesterday. He thinks they are cool.

Finally I get a break – he went down for a nap. Maybe I will have time to put on some pants. I have been chasing him around in my bathrobe all morning.

Or maybe not. Just as I was looking for the publish button I heard a thud followed closely by a scream. Heath had climbed out on the bookshelf next to his crib and fallen off. He injured his pride, but is fine otherwise. I may need to hold off on the pants till he is actually asleep.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

I am back, sorta

Well it had been a while since I blogged.

 I have no clue if anyone even reads my blog anymore. I only had two regular readers and I think they are both locked in an asylum now.

 Life has been interesting in the last 4 or so years. I have bought a new truck, sold both my old ones, had a child (well not actually me but my wife did – I helped) he is now 2, accumulated new friends, bought a ton of tools, and got into old garden tractors.

 Today I spent my time outside in my workshop cleaning up the mess.

 In the past few months I have bought 2 large toolboxes full of miscellaneous (spelling that word is the only thing I remember from accounting class in high school) tools and they were dumped into a pile in the floor.

After pushing the 80? Craftsman riding mower, that has been in my way for a year, out into the cold windy world I got busy cleaning. I have no idea how many screwdrivers I have now, but I think I could start a store selling them and become rich. After sorting through that pile I got sidetracked and started playing online on the shop computer.

While I was playing I found this blog again. So I will update it periodically. And someone may actually read it.