Off the grid but not off the clock

Been away.  A memorial service.  Mother’s Day.  Shopping.  Outboard repairs.  You know….the stuff from which life is composed and comprised?

Sometimes life is a bit of a drag, tho………right? Seems slow?  I mean, it is not HELL but it is sometimes same ol’, same ol’. Right?  C’mon… know it can be like that!

But, of course, it hasn’t been that way much for us these past few years because living off the grid is an adventure and, the best part: you have some control over the tempo or pace of your adventure.  Time seems to lose it’s influence.  I work at my shop when I want to.  I explore the beaches when I want to.  I basically find myself in a curious place that is at my convenience to explore.  It doesn’t get much better than that.

But doing the ordinary stuff of life (as referred to in the first line) puts that in a stark perspective.  Put another way: I never wear a watch anymore unless we leave the island.  Then I put one on.  I have to.  I have to swim in sync with the world for a while.

The service brought people from four decades past together.  THAT was something.  We were being greeted by old friends that we had not seen in close to forty years.  Most had changed dramatically, of course, but interestingly, everyone’s voice was instantly recognizable.  Some greying, old, bald guy rolling around in an extra hundred pounds, extended his hand and, puzzled, I shook it.  “Hi, Dave!”  It was Don!  I knew it instantly.

And so it went.  Ghosts, practically.  But in the flesh and reminiscing out loud and right in front of me.  Strange but good.

One fellow with whom I had communicated only by way of this blog came up and introduced himself.  My deceased friend had introduced us on the internet but we had never met.  That was good, too.

The whole thing was good (save for the purpose of the occasion) but also very, very poignant.  It was like the mother of all milestones.

We all know we are getting older.  We aren’t stupid.  And we know that we are actually getting old, to boot.  But when you are collected at a funeral for a friend of forty years, those decades come rushing up to splash you in the face.  You can see your own life in the faces of those with whom you were young.  Very sobering.

In a way, Mother’s Day is similar.  Sal’s mom is in her 80’s.  Sally’s (our) son is in his thirties.  We had pictures of great grandma when she was much younger than we are now.  And our own son is a constantly surprising and ever-maturing adult.  Such occasions are also sobering reminders that time is not a slow march but a veritable sprint.

Worse for me, sprinting or even long distance running was never my family’s forte’. We are a gene pool of occasional walkers that use the benches and rest stops more than most.  And, sadly, we don’t usually get very far.  We cover distance like the Celts, Druids and Hobbits from which we are descended.  We are short in all the wrong ways.  Long on words, brief on life span.

And that is the beauty of this island.  I don’t have far to go and I can rest even on the short paths.  Plus it is full and interesting, like life should be.  Short and sweet.

3 thoughts on “Off the grid but not off the clock

  1. Nuthin wrong with a slow walk. You get to see and appreciate much more.
    I shake my head at the runners on the hiking trails in the woods. Training for a Sea to Sky “race” or some such other abomination.
    Do any of these people appreciate the vistas? The wildlife? Conversations with fellow walkers?
    I’m slowing down a lot more than I used to but not because of my health, but because I want to.
    I often thought of going to a Highschool reunion but I find the idea just a tad depressing. I’d rather remember my friends the way they were rather than the fat, bald, broken down exjock warhorses, they have become….. 🙂


  2. Hey! I am not bald! But, sadly, everything else seems accurate………
    Yeah…I am slowing down and claiming that it is because I want to, as well. I used to speed up for a bit just to prove to myself that I could. Now I don’t want to know.
    Well, I know…


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