Take A Shot At It.

My grandson (11 years old) cannot throw a football, he does not play baseball, no Frizbee either.  He for the most part, sits in his home and plays video games.  And that to me is so sad, but as this is treading on tender-ground in the family dynamic, I keep it to myself.  There is so much more to life, so many adventures and learning experiences are out there, ripe for the taking, but he will never know them.

It occurred to me that someone ought to start a thread on the strange things or interesting adventures we have done in their lives.  All of us at one time or another have done some things that others (especially those of us that are not insane by nature) would consider strange, adventuresome, or interesting.  My Bucket List on life is for the most part empty, I have had my fair share of adventure and really feel more or less circumspect in my life at this point in time.  As it has been kind of slow here lately this has been on my mind. 

So during a lull in festivities, I made a list of some of the quirky things in my life. 

Did a snipe hunt once or twice, before I figured out that Snipes are not indigenous to Oklahoma, just to my cousin’s house out on a farm east of Crescent, Oklahoma.  On the same token, I have never stuck my tongue to a frozen flag pole in December.  Played “stomp ball at the park” in a four inch downpour and loved every dog-gone minute of it.  

When I was young, I walked thru a railroad tunnel in Niles Canyon, California.  With no flashlight to illuminate the way, no working knowledge of trains or train schedules, another guy, Jim Crossett and I walked thru this roughly two mile long tunnel.  When JFK said “every American should be able to walk fifty miles” my buddies and I, rode our ten speed bikes 112 miles in one day.  Left at 4:30 am in the morning and it was wayyyyyyy after dark when we got back.

Climbed a hydroelectric transmission tower to the very top, man man, the juice flowing thru that thing sounded just like bacon frying on Mama’s stove and you could see forever.  Been to the top of two or three volcano’s in my life all extinct, none were active.  Surfed at Santa Cruz and body-whopped Half Moon Bay.  Sat on a boat dock, in Jax Florida and ate Oysters right out of the shell and washed them down with hot sauce and Budweiser.

I found an abandoned mine in the Sierra’s once and we went back into that about 1/2 mile or so, only to discover a ceiling chocked full of bats!  Now that turned out to be a turning point in my life, as I found myself whenever I discovered one (abandoned mines or tunnels), venturing deep into the pits of a mine and exploring by flashlight, the bowels of mother earth.

We were in Spain, and a guy bet me that I would not jump off of a perfectly good aircraft carrier, so I did.  Ninety-four feet to the waterline.  But this wasn’t something all that new to me, I had previously jumped off a railroad bridge at Lake Texhoma and a public bridge at Catfish Bay, Oklahoma.

Noodled for catfish on the Washita River and went to a Rattlesnake hunt in Okeene, Oklahoma, both I would wholeheartedly pass up today.  There are safer things to do in this life, such as, digging for sand crystals on the Salt Flats or something like that.

My cousin talked me into climbing a rock face with him in Colorado and everything was just swell, until I found myself at a place where I could not go up or go down.  Froze on the side of rock cliff for some six hours, not a pleasant Saturday afternoon as I recall.  

I danced with a transvestite in Trieste, Italy, and did not know that he/she was a tranny.  That got interesting for a brief time, until I gave “her” to Harry Braid, who was from Dayton Ohio, and I assume he had never danced with one either.

Took diving lessons, learned to dive in a swimming pool with an instructor.  Then went to Florida and did a dive that was sixty-five feet.  Made it half-way down, and my ears started to really bother me, so I stopped and held onto the rope, that is until a Barracuda swam by my face, and then I decided it was time to go up (Post haste) to the dive boat.  

Went up in a small airplane three times to jump and begin my sport parachute career, didn’t happen.  I did however get out on the wheel strut and briefly looked down at the earth, some 4,000 ft below before crawling back into the plane.  Ran my Harley up to an honest 130 MPH on a country road one hot July back in seventy-four.  Rode it 6,000 miles across America over a period of some five months time.

Skinny dipped with college kids on the South Canadian River, swam in the Yellowstone River sans attire, did a river in Idaho one time alongside a busy highway.  Never have been to a topless beach but I have heard of them.  Did some class three rapids on a river in California and a girl named Debbie on lake in Missouri at midnight on a full moon night in August.

You would think that would be the end of it, but it isn’t.  Not long ago I inadvertently came across one more opportunity for adventure of sorts.

We were in New Mexico having breakfast at Clines Corners.  Two local guys pulled in with a pickup and horse trailer and then unloaded three horses to rest, and tied them to the trailer.  They came in and sat down in the booth next to us and ordered breakfast.  I inquired of one of them, “How come you have three horses, but there are only two of you?” and this guy smiled and says, “Charlie was out all night long chasing skirts, and did not want to get out of bed this morning.  We decided to come on without him, we had already loaded the horses.”  

He then looks at me and says, “Can you ride a horse?” and his buddy kind of chuckled.

I replied with, “You betcha, I can sit a horse, no problem.”  

He then said, “You wanna go up in the hills with us and bring down some cattle today?” and I looked at the wife and said “You be okay, here in the parking lot?” and she just gave me that look that I know so well after all these years.

Now it is your turn.  What is the strangest or most interesting thing  you have done in your life?

Take a shot at it.

BCO

Lost And Adrift

The other day I was looking at some of the links to my webpage others have put up, and one of them said, “Creative Endeavors, Life Observations, Humor.”  I had never considered this a commentary on life, but it appears to have been labeled so by a few.

That is kind of nice.

Often in the morning, I sit here and try my best to come up with something new and refreshing for the day.  Every now and then I hit one over the fence, most of the time, I have to admit, I just try to get on base with a hit.  This morning, being no exception to the rule, I find myself sitting in front of an empty screen and wondering what it is that we will talk about?

This week I read an interesting book by Donovan Hohn, which was the true tale of 7,200 shipwrecked rubber ducks that rolled of the deck of a container ship in the stormy North Pacific about 15 years ago.  The ducks are not the story, only part of it.  It is about a quest in life, a passion that had to be fulfilled.  The author was so obsessed with finding out what happened to all these ducks that he quit his job as a English school teacher and set out to discover everything that he could possibly find out about these small lost rubber ducks.

Where they had been, where they are now, what was their final destiny after being shipwrecked.  That is passion my friends.  When was the last time you were curious, I mean “Really Curious” about something.  In my case, it has been awhile, I have to admit.

Following these ducks took him to the Northwest passage, Alaska, China and many places in between.  Who would have ever stopped to consider that chasing a flock of lost rubber ducks around the world, would lead to such a thought provoking work?  If you desire more information on this book, “Moby-Duck, The True Story of 28,000 bath toys lost at sea, you can find it at Viking for about $28.”

At 63 years of age, most of my passion in life, sad to say, has been used up.  I find that my get up and go, has gone and went, and my curiosity for the most part has peaked.  I am no longer thinking of moonwalking with Einstein, have lost the art of trying to remember everything that there is to remember in life, and lately, I have developed a little hitch in my giddy-up that tends to make me seek out the Aspirin bottle in the late afternoons.

Life … What happens when you are not paying attention.

When is the last time you stepped out of the box?  Ventured into something totally new and off the wall.  When was the last time you got truly excited about something that you were never excited about before.  If you are like me, it has been some time, an ocean of time.

I read where others struggle with this too.  Fun? Passion? Nope-nada.   Spending a little time on the net you can find other writers struggling with it too.  Are You Having Fun Yet?   No excitement in their lives, nothing left to shoot for, like my old man used to say, “I have done it all.”  I suppose that is the way of life sometimes, you cannot have your cake and eat it too, but a lot of us, would like it that way.

What is it about life that drains our passion, to the point, that we no longer even feel it remotely in our life.  What is it about life, that we no  longer wish to drink at the fountain of it, but rather just gargle.  Why is it that with age, we lose the drive the incentive to seek out new adventures, just sit back and do our best to be “just comfortable.”

I don’t know, I certainly do not have all the answers, most of the time, I have to admit, I don’t even remember the questions.

Perhaps I need to drive up into someone’s yard, get out of the car, grab one of their plastic lawn ornaments (Flamingo’s or such items) and take it on a trip around the world.  Photograph them in all these exotic locations (The Pyramids, Great Wall of China, Eiffel Tower) and make a scrapbook of it and return it (and the book) to its rightful owners a year later.  It is a neat idea, certainly nothing original it has been done before, just not by me.

What is it that I need?  What is it in my life, this inescapable “bucket list item” I have forgotten?  Do I need to find a seemingly impossible rocky crag and scale it … Locate one un-dammed river in this country and run it … Simply because they are there.  Perhaps it is time to make a road trip and burn some expensive fossil fuels.  Take my grand-kids on a trip and one more time, try and explain to them why history and why geographic monuments erected by the hands of man are important in this day and age.

Why Charlie Sheen, Lindsay Lohan, Tweets, Facebook and MTV are not.

Might be time to devote some serious time to study my root problem and find a solution.  Lay back in my hammock and take a well-deserved nap and consider something of an adventurous nature to do in the sunshine years of my life.  Which right now, seems to me, an impossible goal.

One constant in all this, and that is the weekend.

If it did not exist before now, I would have to invent it, because it is something that we all need.  A time to recharge, to readjust our priorities in life, or just “get away from it all” for a brief respite from what life has to offer.

Please enjoy yours, I am going to do my best to do the same on my end.

OOO