Where Are All My Old Friends?

A black and white photo of three children

â¤ï¸I have been studying my TV habits lately and am somewhat amused at my findings. 

For several years now, I have been recording the shows we like on our DVR (digital video recorder) and then watching them within the next day or two. When our shows take a vacation, it often forced us to watch live TV. It seems to me there are 5 minutes of the show and then 5 minutes of ads. Somehow, I know that’s not an accurate statement, but it sure feels that way. 

Anyway, with the live TV “thingy,†I have a tendency to doze off, and my wife tries to keep me awake, thinking it is something I want to watch. I have tried to convince her that the best sleep you will ever encounter is sitting in front of the television. I have had little success. 

What really surprised me, and the thing I want to convey to you, is that each time she pushes my shoulder to wake me up, my heart sobs just a little. It wants me to go back to sleep, and it thinks that I will give in by sobbing. 

I usually do just that. Before I started paying attention, I never knew that happened. I just rub my chest a few times to soothe my sobbing heart and drift back into slumberland with my newfound knowledge. We will repeat this process many times until both of us force ourselves out of our chairs and shuffle slowly towards the kitchen to wash and dry the dinner dishes.  

â¤ï¸The other evening, after I had completed my self-assigned outdoor chores, I sat down in my chair in front of my tool shed and lit up my cigar. I picked up the phone and called my daughter, planning on the conversation lasting about an hour (that’s how long it takes me to smoke my cigar). And, as she and I tried to fill the conversation with enthusiasm, we drifted towards the current presidential election between Donald Trump & Hillary Clinton. There are two things certain in this life, and they are: never discuss politics and religion with family & friends. I love my daughter very much, and I’m desperately trying to convince her to vote for my candidate. She blithely says, “Well Daddy, everybody is entitled to their own opinion.†To which I gleefully respond, “but it should be the same as mine.†The laughter that erupted at the other end of the line was just as I had predicted. For some reason, it always makes me feel good when my daughter laughs, it always has, and I doubt that will ever cease being so. She was a joy to raise and occupies significant real estate in my heart. 

â¤ï¸A friend of mine, Frank Shortt, wrote this poem: 

Where are all my old friends,

The ones I loved so well?

The ones I thought would never leave

Oh, words could never tell,

Of the times we spent together

Through sunshine, snow and rain

Where are all my old friends?

Will we ever meet again?

I ran across it while reading a story he had written on the website: www.spectatorron.com.  

â¤ï¸My wife & I just completed a wonderful cruise from Quebec City, Canada, to Fort Lauderdale, Florida (10/22–11/5). It was cold while we were in Canada (Nova Scotia & along the northeast coastline), and both of us caught and tackled a cold. 

We could still enjoy whatever was happening and both of us tried not to put a damper on each other’s day. As our cruise progressed, I realized that what made each day special was the “unknown†part. We would get off the ship at a port and go on an adventure that took us on a tour of wherever we were. Our tour guide would fascinate us by telling of the local history and pointing out special features of the local landscape. As we made our way back to the ship, we boarded it with way too many photos with fresh memories that would stay with us for a long time. In Saguenay, Nova Scotia, we hiked up a mountain to take in the breathtaking views. Our bus tour guide was an old guy (my age) who sat directly across the aisle from where I sat. He was very animated in his descriptions of whatever was outside the bus window, and I could tell he was proud of where he had spent his entire life. Taking a cue from this old guy leads me to conclude that we should all be proud of what we have accomplished and where we have chosen to live our lives. An old Russian proverb says, “There is more light than shines thru the window†(there is more to our lives than we see).

â¤ï¸We are in the final stages of fall here in Virginia, and Winter is just around the corner. It is a known fact that we humans have six emotions: 

Happiness, sadness, fear, anger, disgust, and surprise. As I watch the tree leaves turn from a rich green to several yellow, red & orange shades, I’m tempted to select from one of these emotions about how I feel about fall (Autumn to others). I have decided to use the emotion associated with the word “Awe†(An overwhelming feeling of wonder or admiration). Watching as nature goes through the stages of death, rebirth, and robustness is a thing of extreme beauty. It lends hope to my belief that the same will happen to us. Humans tend to believe that life is the exact opposite: birth, life & death. On a lighter note, I am in awe as our seasons change and Thanksgiving and Christmas approach. 

When spring arrives, I will have rotated around the sun 76 times. Lots of reasons to celebrate!