“Sometimes the lies you tell…”

A cat is looking up at the sky.

“Sometimes the lies you tell are less frightening than the loneliness you might feel if you stopped telling them.” – Brock Clarke

I ran across this quote the other day and it caught my attention.  The author of the quote undoubtedly feels that loneliness is more frightening then lying.  I don’t think that loneliness is mentioned in the ten commandments but lying is definitely there.  I have experienced loneliness and have lied (but only for self-preservation 😊).  Loneliness is mostly a temporary condition that we all experience at different times in our life.  Lying is a character flaw if done repeatedly.  Which would I rather be if I had to make a choice between the two?  Without a doubt my choice would be lonely.  I can overcome that condition with just a little ingenuity.  The other one is like a drug and one begets another, begets another, etc.  Most people dislike those amongst us that tell falsehoods.  I don’t believe we feel the same way about those that are lonely.  I remember my mother remarking about one of her friends, “She would rather walk a mile to tell a lie than stand still and tell the truth.† In my opinion, there is no better friend than the one that will always tell you the truth.  Come to think of it, I have a lot of friends that do just that very thing.

😊 I called an old high school classmate the other day.  Hubert is in a battle with cancer, and so far, he is winning.  Many of us worry about having that same battle as we grow older.  Based on what I’ve read, if I live long enough I will have that battle also.  There are two health problems that seem to linger in the back of my mind.  One is cancer, and the other is Alzheimer’s.  I have heard the old saying that “worrying will change nothing”, but that doesn’t change the reality of life.  If you lack concern for life threatening situations, you will make no effort to avoid them.  That’s why we wear seat belts in cars and helmets on motorcycles.  That begs the question, what can we do to avoid cancer & Alzheimer’s?   From my reading, I have come to the conclusion that, although there are no guarantees, I should closely watch what I eat, keep my weight at a reasonable level, exercise daily, and keep involved with family & friends.  Even though doing those things will not insure good results, at least I’m trying to do something to prevent those health problems.  No longer do I eat 12 oz steaks, lots of hamburgers (with French fries), and snacks of all varieties.  I should take credit for very little of this since most of it should go to my wife.  Gone are the weekly Dairy Queen Blizzards, they are now on a monthly schedule.  Eating half a pizza has been replaced by eating only two slices.  My Fitbit tells me that, since I started wearing it in November 2015, I have taken 6.5 million steps. I’m hoping that by keeping the old ticker pumping fresh blood quickly through my body, it helps me fight-off those miserable diseases.  On a lighter note, I had a friend tell me the reason he stopped running was that his beer kept sloshing over and putting out his cigarette.  Someone else said that living healthy just meant more time in the nursing home. They are both my age.  Although they said it many years ago, I wonder if they still feel that way.  My conclusion is that in the end, if we do nothing to promote good health as we age, it will decline.  My friend Hubert is a doctor, so I’m fairly certain he lived a healthy life and yet he stilled got cancer.  That, in a nutshell, is why I worry.

😊 It is strange, what happens in your daily life that triggers a memory.  Every time I open a new container of Maxwell House coffee I think of my mother.  She arrived at the Pearly Gates 30 years ago this month.  I remember, as a small boy, watching her get the can opener out of the drawer, slowly twist as it fed itself along the ridge of the container, then pull the top off, and the smell of fresh coffee would envelope the room.  She would reach again into the drawer, take out a spoon and put a few of the fresh grounds on her tongue.  As she rolled her eyes, the most pleasant smile would spread across her face.  I must admit that I have tried that very thing several times, and it has never affected me in that way.  I hope that 30 years after I transition to the other side, my children do something in their daily routine that reminds them of me. Rollo May said, “Memory is not just the imprint of the past upon us; it is the keeper of what is meaningful.”  I kinda like that definition.

😊 Recently, one of the remote controls for our 1995 Buick Riviera went on the fritz.  I retrieved my trusty screwdriver, removed the cover, and proceeded to operate on it.  I replaced the two-coin size batteries, hoping that would solve the problem.  One of the lessons that life has taught me is there are no easy solutions.  Sometimes I think all problems with easy solutions were used up years ago and the only ones left are going to be difficult.  After fooling with the thing for several days, I decided to order a replacement.  Off to eBay I go, and sure enough, I found an exact replacement for $5 with free shipping. I have to tell ya, I don’t know how they make any money with prices like that.  It has to cost $5 to ship.  Anyway, several days later the remote arrives, looks just like the busted one, and has two spanking new batteries inside.

The next step is to get it programmed to lock/unlock the car doors and open the trunk.  I went online to YouTube and searched for a video but couldn’t find anything. I did find a website that sells vintage cars and lo, and behold, there is a 1995 Riviera exactly like ours, and it was being auctioned off.  The reserve price was $10,000 and it sold for $14,000.  But here’s what amazed me, it only had 47 miles on it and looked like it just rolled off the showroom floor.  Where in the world has that car been for 23 years?

Finally, I found a list of instructions and headed outside to see If I could get this darned thing to work.  It required that I get under the dashboard and do a little technical stuff but I have good instructions and I’m confident I can get it done.  If push comes to shove, I can take it to our local locksmith and he will do it for $25, but it’s important to me to do it myself. So, under the dashboard I crawled, made the necessary connections, finally extract myself, grabbed the remote and checked to see if it worked.  A big ol’ smile spread across my face, it worked perfectly.  I think very few things feel better than feeling good about yourself.  I stood there for a few minutes, soaking it in, thinking I knew something no one else in the whole world knew.  I was the only one that knew how to program a car remote.  Then I realized the guy I was going to pay $25 knew how to do it also.  Alas, even that thought couldn’t steal the pleasure I felt deep down inside of me.

Paul Eldridge said, “To have lived long does not necessarily imply the gathering of much wisdom and experience.  A man who has pedaled twenty-five thousand miles on a stationary bike has not circled the globe. He has only garnered weariness.”  Ah, but I know how to program a car remote!