When I first blogged, I simply wrote about what I felt at the time or knew something about. Mostly it was about self-inflicted wounds, lacerations and accidents incurred on our new remote location. But, as the years wore on, I added everyday observations from our life OTG and some building stories to augment. Then the garden, Ravens and Whales for added colour. That melange of topics was relatively well received and, even when I went off the reservation with some political rants, it was at least tolerated – if kept short and infrequent. Mostly tolerated, anyway (US John suffers the most on that score, I think).
I had few readers but I liked ’em. They mostly liked me. It was all good. It seems I had settled into an odd writing niche. I was an accident prone, DIY-OTG guy with occasional political opinions. I was a study of ordinary in an extraordinary place.
Of course, there is way, way more to me than just that. I am a very complicated guy. Plus I have Sal and she is a library of study all by herself. Together we are a fascinating couple if not just a little odd. And so our relationship started to creep into the blogs, too. We had lots of grist for the writing mill.
So, why have I recently gone long, flat and dry?
Well, the bloody Russians interrupted the creative flow, that’s fer sure. But, if there is enough water, nothing will hold back the flood and so I guess there is a drought out here in OTG land. When that happens (and it has rarely happened), the thing to do is write about what you still feel and know.
I am looking for feelings and facts……and this is what that is……
I am feeling a little old, actually. NOT decrepit or dying, NOT frail or weak, NOT tiring of life or anything melodramatic….just….well, diminishing appetites describes it best. I am wanting less, hungering for less, even somewhat less curious. My travel bug is dying. Of course, with that, comes contentedness, happiness and inner peace…..(blah, blah, blah..) but there is no question that I am now somewhat more concerned that I have fewer concerns. I am not worried about much. I am not driven to anything. I don’t have any burning goals to achieve.
Worse, I look forward to dinner more. And the wine that goes with it. This could be a sign…..?
“A sign of what, Dave?”
Well, there is the very slim possibility that I am transitioning again. I kind of go from phase to phase in my life and maybe the DIY stage is over….? I doubt that, actually, ’cause that silliness still provides a lot of fun and interest for me. I like to build simple crap. It’s still very satisfying. And, typically, the transition stage follows the frustration-boredom stage and I have not had that at all. Plus I love living OTG. Still, it feels like the transition stage. It feels like I am girding up for something different.
“Like what, Dave?”
Not a clue. Sal and I enjoy writing together (which is a bit odd, actually) and so we will likely embark on a third book. But THAT is not different, really. It would be the THIRD book, after all. The third time at anything is, by definition, not new now is it?
We will be grandparents soon…. Maybe THAT will be different? It is new. But, I doubt that that is it, honestly. It will be new for my son and DIL (daughter-in-law) but we’ve already had kids. Been there. Done that. They are small and pink and ooze goo from every direction……really cute…..you know.…but we are familiar with the phenomena.
So, that is NOT likely it.
One thing is for sure. The years are going by like months. This was the shortest summer yet. Winter looms. Time flies. Time zooms. Time is a blink. If I have another phase in here somewhere, it better hurry up. There ain’t much time and….well….I’d hate to be late for dinner.
I also find that I write on the blog less frequently. Part of that is that we are at the cabin more than ever before. When I was taking care of my mother for two and a half years in Bellingham I could write every day, and I did. I tried to do daily posts. It wasn’t always easy since I had to gather up content on my once a month trips home to the cabin for a week. All the writing kept me connected. Now I’m here and connected all the time. Also, until this summer we didn’t have any Internet at the cabin. Writing still had to be a town activity, even though scheduling helped. The down side was that I had to spend hours writing and posting when I could have been doing “fun” town stuff other than shopping. But now other forms of social media have taken a front stage with me. Posting frequent Instagram pictures is quick and easy. You don’t know to write much and it can be sent to other media such as Twitter and Facebook. Not sure it has helped with the book promotion all that much, but it’s been a fun new way for me to communicate online. I still write blog posts, but they tend to be weekly rather than several times a week. Guess a transition is coming for me as well, but it’s more of a technological one than a personal one. – Margy
I don’t have any of those influences. This is hormonal at worst, life transitioning at best. Still, it is nice to commiserate. Thankyou.
Couple of admittedly tangential thoughts –
If you are ever looking for topics please consider writing a bit about your early years when you were working with street people. I enjoyed the rare glimpses you have shared in the past, and those early experiences made important contributions to the person you are now. Also, you made a pretty adventurous decision to move off-grid. Maybe you could share some of the process you and Sal went through as a couple while making that decision. Can’t imagine that was easy. I get it if you think these ideas are not relevant or are too personal. No explanation is required or expected.
And finally, be careful about downplaying the grandparent thing. You will be seeing this child with different eyes than the ones you had when your own children were young. My two-year-old granddaughter (number 5 of 6 and the only girl) fell asleep on my shoulder this evening and it was a little bit of heaven. She followed me around all day and helped me with every little thing I did. You may be very surprised by the intensity of your feelings for your grandchildren. Maybe helping to raise the next generation is the next phase for you…
Grandpa……grandad……old coot……whatever……all that is still two years away at least. And, don’t forget, we DO live remote. Might be ten years. Still, it could be fun. I’m looking forward. We’ll see.
A lot of people have asked for skid row, delinquent, street fighter stories and, in the right moment, they make for good telling. But to sit down and write…..well, it seems to dredge up a lot of darkness, sadness and violence. Dead people. I get bummed out rather quickly. But I’ll try…..there was the hooker with the heart of gold…..the evil doctor, the gender changing schizophrenic with Aids, the lost identity guy and the violent FN giant. And the rabid masturbating teen delinquent, the police chase and the red headed little bank robber. Just to mention a few……
Hmm…on second thought, maybe skip the early years stories. And I misread your post. I thought someone was pregnant and grandparenting was within view. Just ignore me.
No…you read it properly. Baby due within a couple of weeks. But rarely do they come preprogrammed for speech. Hearing my grandad moniker will be a couple years I am thinking. Plus we live on a severe slope. Child will need body armour and a helmet with bunny ears at the very least. Lots of pads.
Whats that old saying? ” Life is wasted on the young”?
Yep. the years are zooming past as you get older. Sucks but there it is.
As least you have the satisfaction of knowing you’re living your dreams and not just talking about it like 99.9% of the population
I have to second the grandparent comment.
I was visiting relatives last week and one of the “new” grandparents was laughing about getting into a “staredown” contest with his 2 year old granddaughter.
She was being told “no” ( something her parents apparently rarely do) and didnt like it. Not one damn bit.
So the stare down commenced……..for 5 minutes!
It was all he could do not to burst out laughing while putting on his “stern face”.
He’s never seen such a persistant , determined child
He said to his daughter later, ” Hoo boy! Yer gonna have trouble with this one!”.
Never forget the best part about grandparenting….you get to hand the kids back after a few hours, days or (god forbid) weeks.
I thought it was “YOUTH is wasted on the young”. Hopefully they mature and go on to live life to its fullest.
And JDC, you’re right. My pound and half (754 gram) grandson is just beginning to communicate at 2 years. But well worth the trip to the outside world.
Poor little tyke. Life’s tough enough without such a challenging start. Stick around, JA, he or she may need you still. Your cauliflower recipes alone are part of his or her heritage.
I attest that the grampa gig is great. The way the stereotypes unfold it will be easy for you to assume a parenting deficiency that renders you unable to do anything except a bit of holding of a sleeping grandchild. Your senses will tell you when it is time to pass the bundle of joy to others more skilled in child maintenance. ”I think this baby smells funny.”
My parenting deficiencies are obvious, infamous and legendary. And well documented it seems. Even my children point them out. My new name is most likely to be great big giant grand dork. Or LGBGGD – not to be confused with some alt sex category (unless I find it appealing).
Incompetence is a weed that requires constant tending less your tea gets cold. ”Honey the baby is chimbing the chins cabinet again!”
I hear ya’ Dave! On all fronts pretty much…..what to write about next? Spoiled for choice I guess. The weather’s still too good, that’s my theory; just wait until it is dark and dreary all day long and time suddenly slows down to a crawl. The mind will wander and reminisce and the creative juices will begin to flow again. Cheers!