I’ve been catching back up on my daily grind this past week after returning from a vacation. For our latest adventure, Winnie and I did something entirely new – for us. After months of planning and anticipation, Winnie and I took our first vacation cruise a couple of weeks ago.
While perusing my favorite social media – Quora – I stumbled upon a question that triggered an immediate flashback. The question was “Have you ever had a neighbor who believed they had free reign of your property?” The question brought back painful memories of a nasty feud with my first neighbors while living in Southern Mississippi.
That feud lasted five years. By the time it was over I had charged the neighbors with misdemeanor trespassing and made several calls to our local police. It was the ugliest neighbor conflict I’d ever had, up until then. But it turned out to be only a prequel to an even worse feud.
Winnie and I are back from vacation and back to work this week. We had a short but relaxing vacation spent camping, and kayaking, and attending reunion dinners all last week. The big event was my second Navy reunion with former shipmates of the first submarine I served on, USS Scamp (SSN 588). We also springboarded off this event for some enjoyable extracurricular side adventures.
We ended up with a week of camping and kayaking and reunion dinners with friends and family.
Boats have a reputation for being expensive. However, this is not completely true. Boats are very inexpensive to maintain and operate, as long as you don’t put them into the water. Once a boat gets wet, all bets are off and “boat” does in fact become the acronym “Bust Out Another Thousand.”
A few years ago, I made a horrifying discovery that water was seeping inside the wood-cored transom of our family boat “Sea Dragon.” Water and wood do not mix, and this issue required some serious remediation work. So, I’ve spent the past several years drying and waterproofing “Sea Dragon.”
I’ve been doing a lot of reflection on my career these past months. Most of this reflection is on the many different people I’ve dealt with over my professional life. And how I’ve learned something from every person I’ve worked with.
Some of the lessons I learned were positive experiences, and I count those people as mentors and role models. Other lessons- not so much. One constantly recurring lesson I remember is how so many people I’ve worked with put effort into making other people look bad.
Winnie is an excellent gardener. Over the years we’ve lived in Northern Virginia, her annual vegetable gardens have become larger and more ambitious. By “ambitious,” I mean she’s been more adventurous with the variety of vegetables she’s tried growing. Sometimes, her experiments don’t do so well. Most of the time they do. So I have frequent opportunities to learn, and taste, another new veggie.
One vegetable Winnie hasn’t tried growing is bamboo shoots. But, no matter, because she’s learned where she can get bamboo shoots in the wild. So hunting wild bamboo has become another annual adventure in fine dining.
Spring has sprung, and the world is waking up after a long winter’s nap. Leaves are budding on bare tree branches. Brown remnants of last year’s grass is turning green. Bird are happily chirping while temps are climbing back into the no-jackets-needed range.
Meanwhile, I’m here in a doldrum of Springtime lethargy. Seemingly moving with the exuberance of a lowly snail. When the rest of the world is coming alive, why do my feet feel like they’re embedded in concrete-filled buckets?
So here we are in almost mid-March. Trees are showing leaf buds and blooms, flowers are popping out of the ground. Night time temps are still in the mid-thirties, but daytime temps are up in the fifties and sixties. Tonight we change the clocks ahead one hour in anticipation of Spring, which this year is already happening.
I don’t much care for winter cold, but I’m wondering if trees budding in the beginning of March is such a good thing?
The term “Sticker Shock” typically means the shock at seeing just how much something new, usually an automobile, costs as determined by the price tag or sticker. After my recent experience with an auto dealership service department, I’m now extending the term “Sticker Shock” to auto maintenance. Honestly, with pricing that can only be described as obscene, auto dealers are putting themselves out of business.