My maternal grandmother would have been a hundred years old this year.
I recall that when I was a kid, I used to imagine what it would be like to live past the year 2000. Turns out it’s a lot different than what I expected; so far, so good.
I had a job interview on the Umpteenth Floor of a large, downtown buildingg. Back at the office, I worked it out, and the expense associated with the job for which I interviewed would have required many more dollars per year to make the change worth the difficulties, in terms of travel and parking, worth my while. On the other hand, the thought of working with the people who interviewed me, capable and intelligent people for whom I respect, held appeal for me.
I’ve tested for some other jobs and have more testing to get done. Hopefully, soon, I will have found other employment. Sad thing is, I thoroughly enjoy the work I do and am pretty good at it.
This past Thanksgiving we spent at my wife’s family home with her relatives, and had a pretty good, if very brief visit. The kids enjoyed tractor rides and combine rides, running around the inside of an empty grain bin, climbing on gravel piles. I went along on these activities to keep an eye on my young son and take pictures for my wife’s scrapbooks. I snapped self portrait; I look less misshapen in the Plexiglas reflection than I do in real life. Funny how that corrects for asymmetry of feature.
Early in the month my wife’s parents stopped over on the way to and from a visit with friends and family in a couple of neighboring states. My father-in-law and son spent some time on a cold day riding around in the driveway. Here’s my father-in-law on the Trek Navigator 1.0 I bought in August. This was taken before I got a set of SKS fenders with mudflaps for my birthday and a Planet Bike rear rack for Christmas.
December was an eventful month. Ron, employed longer by may agency than probably any other person at the time, retired. Ron’s the guy who taught me how to witch for water, about synthetic motor oils, in addition to being the one person I respected enough to let use my office as a hallway from time to time and who, when he flared up at some ass-hatted thing I said or did, I listened to without anger. Our unit misses him, and I am grateful for his participation in my real-world education.
The weekend of Ron’s retirement party, my family celebrated the birthday of one of my favorite relatives, a cousin who resided in the town where I work and with whom I visited pretty regularly. The day after her party, she took ill and was transported to the local hospital where she died early the following morning. The week after that, I marked another year closer to my own half-century.
Last Christmas Eve and Christmas Day we spent at home with friends and part of my extended family. On the day after Christmas, we again traveled to my wife’s family home where we remained about a week. My son and I threw snowballs at each other, he made snow-angels and kicked the little snow-men I made for him to destroy. We had a good visit. While there, I rode a 40 year-old Raleigh Grand Prix and really liked it. I started thinking about buying a really old, really cheap road-bike pedal longer distances than I can reasonably cover in limited time on my Trek Navigator. My son (not yet four years of age) enjoys making pictures with my camera when he can get his hands on it. He took this and other pictures of things of interest to him –
2011 was a bad year for paddling. I think I may have canoed and kayaked about six or seven times, if that. My son’s old enough to really miss me when I’m away on a Saturday or Sunday, I’ve had family obligations to fulfill, my summer was busy with deadline work, I had trouble with my E-68’s hullskin fitting properly on its frame and wanted to throw the kayak into traffic or burn it. I guess, mostly, time spent with my family is more important to me than recreational activity away from them, although I do still need solitude. I skipped congregational worship less in 2011 than any year in recent memory, probably because I have really enjoyed being a part of the small congregation. Smart people, real theological discussion and teaching of the sort that character in Fiddler on the Roof imagines he’d have if riches were his. Lately, I’ve started “teaching” a secondary Sunday School class.
I’ve mentioned elsewhere, maybe in this space, that I’ve enjoyed bicycling more than almost any other fitness activity because it’s something I can do right from home; I don’t have to load up a bunch of gear on my car and drive some place to bike. It doesn’t sound like much, but I’ve been pedaling about 25 – 30 miles a week. Several times I’ve ridden to Sunday service. Probably the greatest distance I’ve biked in one day has been 12 or so miles. Takes a long time on my bike. I’ve ridden whenever I’ve had the chance, whatever the weather. I bought a couple pairs of cold weather cycling tights. I got bicycle clips to keep my cuffs out of the chains when I pedal in jeans or sweats.
Here’s a picture of my bike that I took today at a local nature preserve. Bike needs cleaned-up, and maybe I’ll get to it this week. That rack bag is a Zefal that came with an apparently out of production seat-post rack – both in nearly new condition for $10.00 from the local bike mechanic. The rack on the bicycle is a Planet Bike Eco Rack, the fenders are SKS, and the lights are Blackburn Flea USB rechargeables.