Retired from the University of Texas and too old to play soccer anymore. Now, in the twilight of his years, time is spent writing in this blog, hiking and exploring Texas Parks, photography, working out, gardening and tending to the five ponds he built .
I tidied up my truck today cleaning behind where the back seats are usually folded up to make storage space as no passengers ride in this place very rarely do I fold down the seats as passengers I rarely carry just me alone with the occasional dog unless a neighbor is in a hurry to get somewhere and hasn’t a ride which is when I usually decide to fold down a seat so that they may get to where they are going today behind the seats was a proper mess of storage boxes and camera gear there for when I hit the trails which I do many times a year although lately it has been too damn hot for me to safely get out and walk and so I am forced to stay indoors and write poetry as my way to talk to the rest of the world that I usually see out on the trails people walking like me I found some interesting stuff in that space behind the seats I even found an old kerchief used to wrap around my brow to stop the sweat from running into my eyes from the way it smelt I don’t know how I had not noticed it before probably because it was on the floor hidden under a couple of bags small enough to be hidden from view dried out and ready to be used anew although along with a few other things into the washer to make it clean I found a lens that I had missed rolling around on the floor I had wondered what had happened to it a wonder it didn’t roll out the door I packed everything away and tidied and swept the space between now it is clean for a little while although that is really not my style I lean towards an organized mess to make life challenging and a test what fun is there in having things clean and tidy and no dirt to be seen.
Life is on hold while the weather is hot as to be outside I do not, wish to be and instead stay indoors where it’s cool and my head can work on things I like to do like reading and writing and listening to Audiobooks with stories so fine written by Authors whose words are divine as the plots unfold one by one leaving me guessing right up to the end who was the bad guy and who the friend and then when I am really bored I jump in my truck and take a drive with no particular place in mind just out in the beautiful countryside the forecast shows we have one more week of one hundred degree weather to bear and then hopefully we will have our share of cooler weather and then life unfolds as back out on the trails will be my goal walking in places so lovely to see taking pictures of things so beautiful to me and then coming home to write some more about what I saw on the trails before along with the pictures I took today to share on my blog in a positive way so that others may view the beautiful scenes while I am happy fulfilling my dreams.
I was looking hard for something to do to pass the time on this day it was way too hot to go outside or take a hike in my usual way I’m already blogged out for a month ahead at two a week which is my goal so what is it I can do instead to keep me busy and fill the hole I could clean house but that is a chore not something that is my usual way no interest in that sort of thing guess I’m not the housework king a typical batchelor you might say I could go to the gym but that sounds like work this time of a different kind to push and shove and grunt and groan I think I’ll leave that for a different time I’m running out of ideas fast can’t think of anything that will last long enough to pass the day until this evening when it is time to turn on the Tele and watch a match between the English football teams to cheer on my favorites of which there are two sometimes they win and sometimes they lose and I really have to pick and choose to see which game that I need to watch first and at the end of the day it makes no difference who beats who I spent an hour this afternoon listening to 2Cellos as they played sometimes they play with a wonderful sound easy to lose oneself in this way and others they lose control on the stage and the noise they produce stimulates the soul and gets to the very depths of the mind fast and furious of the rock and roll kind for the purists definitely way overboard for those of us with an itch in our pants going crazy with them with hardly a glance at anyone else watching them perform knowing full well it is only an act and the next time you see them they will be back to playing straight in a beautiful way and listening to them will make my day well I managed to fill an hour writing this poem so what to do next I guess I’ll just have to jump in my truck and go for a drive a very long way listening to Audiobooks as I drive in awe of the authors whose stories I buy and wonder how they can write what they do such talent and such wonderful minds me I do not have a clue as poetry is the best I can do I do not have a devious mind and can only think in the usual way and so without a story of any kind reporting the facts is how I pass my day.
Looking for something to do just what it is I haven’t a clue as my eye has not yet perceived the task and nothing springs to mind that lasts the weather is too damn hot for work with the temperatures at one hundred degrees and everything outside working fine with nothing pressing my time to assign I feed the fish in the early morn and check that everything works fine and if it isn’t I add the task to fix whatever is well-worn the problem is there is too much heat and has been like this for way too long and all of the things that need repair cannot keep as their need is strong it seems to me I have little choice but to go outside even though it is hot to work as quickly as I can and when I am finished I’m a happy man.
Here in Texas, we expect it to be hot. It is a part of who we are and has a lot to say for how tough Texans are. As with Nature, no two summers are alike and this one, for us so far, has been pretty good. It’s been hot but nothing that that we cannot put up with.
However and finally, the really hot weather is upon us as here in Austin, we have reached the 100 degree mark. It’s been close a few times over the past couple of months but has not quite reached that “magic” number. The day before yesterday was different as we breached that with the temperature at my house at 101 degrees. Add in the humidity and were looking at 104-105 degrees, hot enough to fry the proverbial egg on the sidewalk.
That has continued and is forecast to hang around even longer and to go as high as 104-105 which by anyone’s standards, even ours, is bloody hot. Even though we say we are used to it that is not really true as though the body may tolerate the heat, one is never really comfortable in it.
I had an incident a month or so ago hiking at McKinney Roughs when the heat gave me some pretty serious problems. That is all I can think of as the reason that I came light headed and a bit disoriented on a walk that I had done a couple of times before and had not been affected then.
When I first arrived in Texas in 1977, I came down from New York State where it was hot when it reached 85 degrees, with the explicit purpose of working construction as a Project Manager building new schools in the Round Rock School District in a time of real productivity for the area. The first summer nearly did me in but I stuck it out working alongside the men who had no options other than to brave the heat. We covered our skins, put on suntan lotion, wore hats and sunglasses and drank a lot of water and although I would not like to say we got used to it, we were able to tolerate it. One thing you learn to do in these hot conditions is to keep an eye on your workmates not to see if they were working hard but to see how the heat was affecting them. Those that showed signs of faintness or dizziness were immediately attended to and sent to rest until they could continue.
After nearly four years of that job and three schools later, I was hired on at the University of Texas as a Planner and eventually as the Planning and Scheduling Manager out of the sun for the rest of my working life. I retired from there twenty two years later.
That is not to say that I never went out in the sun again as I can remember playing soccer in Dallas at a Tournament with the temperature at 108 degrees and another time in Houston where it was equally as hot. Normally, players can’t wait to get in the game but in both of those tournaments, when anyone came off needing a sub, the chances were the team would be playing short as no one wanted to take their place. Those were the good old days.
Nowadays, I have the luxury of picking and choosing if and when I go out in the heat other than appointments and such. I try to get any outside work done early and then spend the rest of the time writing stories for my blog. Needless to say, hiking has been put on a back burner until it starts to cool down. I like to listen to Audiobooks and usually spend the afternoon driving around enthralled by some story or another written by Authors that really know how to write and keep me in suspense.
My truck stays very cool and comfortable although the miles are mounting up and I know every square inch of all of the local roads and lanes….
Just sitting here with nothing to do and waiting for the time to pass which is unusual for me as generally I am always free to write a poem or words that last.
Failing that there is plenty to do if only I would look to see out in the yard to trim the plants or work on the ponds as growing they are most rapidly.
The reason for this waiting game are reasons not hard to explain as today is spent on two of the dogs the new girl Sandy is being groomed which includes a bath and she thinks she is doomed
She is not happy with me at all as all of this handling makes her sore and hurts her feelings and although a girl she may be clean just causes controversy
Ginnie my 12 year old little girl has gone to the Vets for an annual check to keep her fit and trouble free pretty good for an old lady everything is working great the Vet had said as stroked her head and he stuck in the needle one more time with a another shot to keep her fine.
So my day is split between the groomers salon and the veterinary scene but I don’t mind as I love those guys and if you ask the reason why I will tell you that they both love me and in their case unconditionally.
Tomorrow Sandy and I have a date this time a trip from whence she came. She too needs to see her Vet for treatment needed most urgently as heartworm has she from her owners past who did not treat her for her to last.
I hope that young and strong and full of life she will beat the worms and her heart grows strong and she can run and jump and play alive and well for another day.
One thing that you can be sure that we are working on a cure and have every hope we will prevail for Sandy’s sake we cannot fail.
I love my pets this can be said and will do what it takes to keep them well and give them the best that I can afford regardless of the price to pay to have them around another day.
I have one dog upon my lap another standing up on my knee looking at me with big brown eyes as if to say why him and not me the same is true when I make a fuss of anyone of the four dogs the others are there as if by rote climbing and jumping trying to be boss I pat them all upon the head taking in turns so as not to miss one as they push and shove each other away cold noses exploring to add to the fun Ginnie is my oldest girl a special place in my heart for twelve short years she is a part of the original pack the rest all gone to other frontiers then comes Buddy a funny little guy as old as Ginnie but lacking some sense as deaf as a post and with failing sight he does his best to recompense Mikey is but a young pup at two years old and full of life demanding attention at every turn not caring if he cause a strife Sandy is the latest guest she too is only two years old but full of love and energy as her life with us does unfold I love my dogs and I know they love me as between them all I share my heart something that the whole world knows the love of a dog and troubles depart if there’s anything bad about a dog it’s that their life so short can be and for all of the pleasure they provide there is that moment of misery but in the time they are alive they know no bounds in the love they give sharing their life with their human friends helping each of us to live.
Stories about family, faith, friends and funnies. Pull up a chair. Grab a cup of coffee and laugh, cry, ponder and inspire about ordinary events of this wonderful, ever changing, bubbling pot that we call "every day life".