Thursday, April 28, 2016

Day -2 : The In Betweens

The in betweens. That's where I am. Unemployed and freed from the demands of heading to work to bring home an income justifying my existence. I wake with my wife. It's still dark as she begins her day. She and I are different. She loves work, accomplishment, ‘getting stuff done’, completing lists of tasks provides her with a sense of well-being. Me, not so much. I have always worked for money. Accomplishing stuff is important. But bottom line I work in order to provide an income. I'd rather be doing other stuff…

Like making breakfast. I head downstairs while she dresses for work and put together scrambled eggs and hash browns. I make a mocha, and stand in the kitchen staring at an aerial picture of the Sutter Buttes hanging on the wall. My friend Todd is a photographer/artist. He took the picture from a plane while heading from one photo shoot to another. He left his corporate job years ago and makes a living doing what he loves. What do I love? What am I passionate about? I don't know, beyond the truth that I love to hike. Not sure how to produce an income with that, but in a few days we’ll see if I really like it as much as I think I do.

Kelli heads off to work. I head to my desk and read a bit and write a few notes about the significance to me of what I read. This is something else that provides me with a sense of groundedness. A connection with reality that I seem to miss when my primary goal for the day is tied to being somewhere to make decisions the hopefully make a company better off than it was the day before. Some people love doing that. So far, I have to be honest in that it's not my first love. It's not what I walk up in the morning wishing I could do more of. 

I jog to the gym. The sun, the glorious sun shines, the birds sing, the breeze cool but not cold. It all reminds me I am alive. Last day of this particular activity. I negotiated a one month membership and paid it in cash. Saturday is technically the last day but I will be flying to San Diego that day. So today is it. Working out in a gym is such an anonymous thing. Most of the guys working out mid morning are immense, giant rippling muscles. They have no necks. I don't think they'd be able to scratch their ears if they wanted to. The women seem to all be in a zone. Probably as a defense mechanism from all the macho men trying to hit on them. Not being particularly the typical weight lifter, I lift my dumb bells alone and anonymously. I feel good as I jog home. Muscles aching and exhausted. Protein shake with blueberries and bananas is the preferred recovery food after my workout. Today is not an exception. This is something I am going to miss on the trail. Frozen fruit smoothies. Wow! Satisfying and cold. 

Rejuvenated and showered I consider the tasks for the day. I sit down and reprint my gear list with my latest changes. Perhaps they are my final changes. I think they are, I posted them to a new page on my blog, now that they're published, there's a certain finality to it. With the printed list in hand I visit my pack. Calmly sitting in the corner waiting for me. I slowly pull every item for it and create a sack of gear. My pack is a bag filled with bags, a sack of sacks. I can identify most things by the sack/bag it's in and the place I've pulled it from. Most but not all things. I empty every sack/bag and examine the contents. I remove to gloves. They look disappointed. Being cut from the first string and relegated to the bench is never a pleasant experience. Even if you're a pair of gloves. “Sorry,” I whisper silently, “It's your weight.” I would gladly bring them if they didn't weigh anything. 1.6 ounces less, I can't even tell the difference. But the gloves and the water filter and the other things that were cut together all add up to more weight than I want to carry. I repack my pack yet again. It still looks just as full. Mentally though I know it weighs less. 

I call my daughter and ask her if she would admin my blog during my trip. I know it's kinda last minute but it's become obvious that I'm going to need someone to do a few housekeeping things from a computer that I cannot do using my iPhone. She agrees, we agree to meet. She brings Vivian and Charlise, two of my grandkids. Two of the people that I am writing this blog for. I wonder if they'll remember this day when they are reading this in the future. I make them grilled ham and cheese sandwiches. Vivi insists she wants lettuce and tomato on hers. I didn't even like lettuce and tomato when I was three. Kris and I go over the things I need help with and then we do the important stuff. We all walk over to the playground and play on the slides. It's the first time we've ever been to this one. The slides are bigger than the little kid one. Vivi immediately climbs to the top of the biggest one. She launches herself down. Zippity-do-da she flies down to the bottom. It twists and turns, it bucks and jumps. She has a look of terror in her eyes as she flies past my head. The slide unceremoniously dumps her in a heap on the ground. Vivi is stunned and shocked. I can see it in her eyes. She's trying to process what just happened. I clap and cheer, “Yay, that's the fastest I've ever seen anybody ride a slide,” I say. She decides that if granddaddy is cheering she must be ok.

This is the best thing I could be doing right now. This is so much fun and fulfilling. Charlise warms up to me and let's me start her down the smaller slide to mommy. It's just as fast, though not as twisty and bumpy. Mommy catches her as she soars off the end of the slide. Wow, I wonder if any kid has ever been hurt on these slides. They are definitely professional grade slides. They should have double black diamonds at the top of them. They play hide and seek. I sit in the shade and watch. There really isn't any place to hide, so mommy pretends that she doesn't  really see them and searches a few places before ‘finding’ them. Vivi learns from mommy. When it's Vivi’s turn to seek, mommy hides in plain sight at the bottom of the slide. At the end of her count Vivi pope a her eyes, spies mommy , and pretends to search for her in places where she know mommy isn't. It's so funny, she's obviously enjoying herself. It's really not about the finding it's about the bonding and it brings tears to my eyes. Then we play “throw bark in the air” until mommy said “that's enough” just like her mommy did when she was their age. 

Nap time means the important part of the day is over. We say goodbye and both my granddaughters give me a hug. Nothing better in all the world than a hug from your granddaughter. They head home for their naps. I head upstairs to mine. I lay on the floor and practice my afternoon nap. This needs to be a part of everyday. I drift off for an hour of blissful rest. 

I awake to a text on my phone from work. From people doing productive things with their lives. Questions about a system that I used to be responsible for. I respond and they get it resolved. Won't be able to do that much longer. I won't remember, nor will I be able to answer. My phone will be in airplane mode and mostly likely out of cell coverage. I'm glad to help while I still can.

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