At the writing of this, I have been sick for over a week. This time last week, my lungs caught an infection that has stuck with me through 3 doctor visits, 4 trips to the pharmacy, not being able to fall asleep until 6 am and, I can’t walk around my house without getting so winded that you would think I had just ran a marathon. I have had sneezing fits where I wish I were dead, coughing fits that I thought I wouldn’t survive and exhaustion that has made it difficult to go get a drink of water, you know, a real knock-down drag-out fight for life. Through it all, one thing keeps popping into my mind as I have been watching the world go by from my living room chair – how nice would it be to go out in the nice weather, on a bicycle, and just go for a little adventure?
When I was little, I didn’t have a whole lot of friends and the ones that I did were mainly on paper, made from the closest crayon little hands could fold young fingers around. The nice thing about it was we always did what I wanted to do and we had the coolest adventures!
Fast forward forty-two years to that old sick guy, two steps off of death’s door, in his living room chair, gasping for breath. I am sitting here day dreaming, eating my morning cereal while listening to the snap-crackle and pop, (Wait! Is that the cereal or my chest?) and I see him, ten-year-old me riding down the street atop his brand new royal blue Schwinn one-speed bike. It had fenders, manual breaks, and it was a mode of freedom I never new existed; it was a vehicle to anywhere and it … was … mine!
I began to wonder what happened for me to lose those feelings from all those years ago? I usually work very hard to hold on to feelings like that but, as one grows up, some dreams are replaced by others and now I remember when those feelings changed, the day I got a 1972 Olds Cutlass Supreme, 4 door, with a 350 under the hood, my first car. Dreams of being with Long John Silver and Sir Lancelot, chasing down the curve of a fire-breathing dragon changed as I started chasing other curves … Angela Jean, who lived just far enough down the road that I couldn’t reach her house by bike. Oh well, at the time I thought it was a good trade but now I am at a different point in life, I need different things.
This is where life has a sweet gift. A complete circle. I am BACK again looking for Long John Silver and Sir Lancelot, slowing down to enjoy these moments, smelling flowers and enjoying life’s simpler things. Maybe if Long John and Lancelot let me command our adventures again, I might even introduce them to my Granddaughter, she’s gonna love ‘em.
Customers I speak with everyday say similar things to me, “I remember loving spring-time. You could finally go back outside and run around until you needed to cool off with the outside spigot of the garden hose and splash around in that water.” Now that they are adults, those same people fear the water because of a cracked pipe in their home. There is a simple cure for that: every fall shut off the inside valve to that outside faucet; then, go outside and drain the rest of what’s left in the line and then … leave it alone until Spring. If you don’t want the leak, don’t mess with the inside shut off. That is, of course, with the understanding that you don’t WANT to see a big green repair truck parked in your driveway.
And so I challenge you, if you don’t like where you’re going in life, “Turn It Around.”