St Patrick’s Day

I’ve been working on a theory about time; specifically, the passing of time and the perceived passing of time.  I know I have the same number of hours in a day as everyone else, and the same number of hours in a day as when I was younger.  I think the hours were somehow fatter when I was younger.  I could accomplish a lot more in those fat hours.  My hours seem much thinner these days.  They stack tighter and can be passed quicker.  It’s hard to get things done in a thin hour.

Everyone is busy.  We all have things to do on weekends, and things we’ll try to get done after work.  There are things that need to be done before you go, and things to finish before they arrive.  I have indoor projects best suited for dark, rainy winter days, and projects postponed until the longer, warmer summer days are here.  Lately I find myself considering a vast, new scheduling option: “soon after retiring.”  It appears to be wide open.

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Taken recently on the way to visit my brother, Mark, in Salem

Today is St Patrick’s Day.  On St Patrick’s Day 2011, I had prostate surgery.  I’ve never been zealous about the holiday, but the night before, I asked my wife to find a green ribbon I could tie in a bow attached to myself where my surgeon would lift the blanket and be surprised to see I was celebrating St Patrick’s Day.  That might have been fun, but I had just recently met my surgeon, and that could have made me appear to be irresponsible, or a weird-O.  So I didn’t.  Looking back over our seven year relationship, the doctor and I have shared a few laughs, and I’ll bet the green St Patrick’s Day ribbon likely would have made a unique and memorable surgery.

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Four Minute Rodeo

“Ladies and gentlemen, as we start our descent into retirement, please make sure your seat backs and tray tables are in their full upright position. Make sure your seat belt is securely fastened and your Medicare application is stowed underneath the seat in front of you or in the overhead bins.”

That’s kind of how it feels lately, like the calm before the storm.  Or maybe it’s more like the proverbial “elephant in the room.”  The presents of the impending retirement elephant is acknowledged, but is still a big unknown.  It seems to be headed this way with the speed (and options) of an jetliner on final approach.

I went in for the EKG and treadmill stress test as the heart doctor requested.  They shave your chest for that!  Well, they shave stripes on your chest.  The treadmill is a four minute rodeo, with the Arena Director and Flagman standing close by.  My legs were getting heavy and my arms were getting longer, but I made it to the horn.  I haven’t been back to the heart doctor, but his office called soon after the tests and seemed urgent about setting me up with a prescription.  I looked it up online, to sum up its benefits: “It is also used to treat or prevent heart attack.”

My little brother turned 60 last month.  I made some pictures to help celebrate the milestone.

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