On turning 65

on turning 65

Wait. What?

Did you say this is the year 2018?

That can’t be right. That’s the year I’m supposed to turn 65 and, like, I’m supposed to slow down, retire and start taking it easy and all.

And isn’t Pan Am supposed to have been running flights to the moon since at least 17 years ago? What do you mean, “What’s Pan Am?”

This is a very surreal moment, to be sure. Back when I first thought about what it would be like to be 65, it seemed so far away. I expected to be, well, I don’t know – older. Ready to be cast aside and forgotten. Content to sit in a chair and read a book or watch TV – OK, that part has come true.

Eyes and ears starting to wear out, check. Aches and pains here and there, check. Being skinny and unathletic as a teenager, I never figured to be overweight. (Still unathletic, well, yeah, I guess, but overweight?!?!?!)

Ready to be cast aside and forgotten, though, nope, not even close. I still enjoy looking around and sharing what I see and hear. I still enjoy engaging in this life thing and trying to figure out what it’s all about.

If anything, I’m frustrated because so much is out there to study and see and hear and share. It’s all so cool.

Slow down? When I’m just getting started?

Are you nuts?

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Now that you mention it, it IS what it is

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At first listen “It is what it is,” especially when accompanied by a shrug of the shoulders, sounds like an infuriating capitulation, a resort to an infuriating cliche. But it is also a grown-up acceptance of reality.

The phrase says: These are the cards that I have been dealt; this is the situation I have built for myself; my actions and decisions and dumb luck and I suppose the weather have put me here, in this place – so let’s deal with it.

Fussing and fuming and fighting clear reality may be cathartic, but it won’t change the situation, which is what it is, so a better use of time is fixing to fix it.

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree

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So back when Quirinius was governor of Syria, this kid was born in Bethlehem who grew up to change the world.

God made us in His image, so that means in a little piece of us is the power to change the world. In a little piece of us is the creativity to build a world.

To harm or kill one of us is to destroy world-changing and world-building capability.

When you look at another person and realize that is the image of God, it adjusts your attitude.

Merry Christmas, one and all.

The purpose of a man

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“The purpose of a man is to love a woman,” the guru said. “And the purpose of a woman is to love a man. That it where it all begins; that is all you need to know.”

“What is the origin of this wisdom?” the novice asked.

“A song, once upon a time.”

“Whoever wrote such a song was very wise.”

The roar down below

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The wind roars up from the bottom of the hill behind our house

– or is that the bay shouting out its lungs?

water crashing into white caps of fury, or

a beast roaring at the heart of the world,

bouncing off itself joyfully to scream “Life! Live! Love!”

Be angry or be alive.

Laugh or cry.

The choices present themselves every day.

Choose life.

Choose joy.

It’s lighter on the soul.

A day that will live in perspective

dejah and shoeJack was a crusty old guy, mostly sweet and with a wicked sense of humor. He had retired but still did an afternoon sports show at the small-town radio station where I worked.

I only remember one time when he was seriously angry. It was the day John Lennon had been shot, and everyone was in a state of shock. Jack wasn’t so impressed.

One of the younger disk jockeys tried to put it in perspective for him by saying that to our generation, the killing of John Lennon might have the same jarring impact that the bombing of Pearl Harbor had had the previous day, Dec. 7, 39 years earlier.

This did not sit well with Jack, who erupted with fury. We had no idea what that day was about, he said, if we really were going to compare that day with the shooting of some young punk on a New York street. Oh my, Jack was mad. And he was right. And, in a lesser way, so was our ill-advised colleague. It was a big deal. Just not that big.

It’s hard to believe that it’s now 37 years since that day – nearly as long as Pearl Harbor had been for Jack when the conversation took place. Now I know what it feels like to remember something that happened almost four decades ago when I was a young adult. If I dig into the memory deep enough, I can still feel the shock, tempered by the passage of time, with the biggest shock perhaps being how much life has happened in the meantime.

The Kewaunee County Comet: One year down the road and still chugging along

Kewaunee County Comet 2It was Nov. 30, 2016, that I opened a blog called the Kewaunee County Aggregator to fill what I believed was a gap in local news coverage for the community.

That first day I posted a little introductory column titled “What Have We Here” and links to news releases for the fourth annual Kewaunee Memorial Food Drive, the Kewaunee Grade School Holiday Extravaganza, the Algoma Public Library’s public declaration that the rumors it was closing were balderdash, and Lee Kinnard’s appearance as a speaker at the Sustainable Agriculture Summit in Atlanta.

After a while I started doing some of my own reporting in addition to aggregating news and information from other sites; I met Todd Lohenry and he constructed the site for the renamed Kewaunee County Comet – so named to harken back to the old Casco High School teams and give a nod to the county’s rich history. This page launched in February, and the rest is becoming history.

The site has slowly but surely gained acceptance as word gets around that there’s someone doing good old-fashioned local news coverage focused solely on Kewaunee County. Although I did snag myself a day job to help pay the bills as the Comet grows, I do aim to see significant enough growth in 2018 to make the Comet more sustainable. (Boy, have I heard that word “sustainable” a lot in the last 12 months …)

More about that in coming days and weeks. For today, I just want to thank everyone who has supported the Comet with your kind comments, your sharing the news that this project exists, and your agreeing to make an investment in local independent online news with a voluntary subscription.

Kewaunee County deserves its own news outlet, and with your help the second year will make the Comet bigger and better. Many, many thanks.