Eve in the Air

Well, it’s one hell of a way to start a new year, somewhere over Arkansas…almost a week late.

i can understand how the meltdown of Southwest Airlines could occur and shall not complain except it would have been easier if they had let us know our Tuesday morning flight home was cancelled.

We would have likely remained on Signal Mountain and had Christmas with the Duff family. They had moved the celebration because Mama and Papa Duff had another round of COVID during Christmas proper. We got a limited time with Allie, Max, Culley, and Olivia, then headed to Nashville on the shuttle with no notice we would be stuck. But no notification. Nothing. i found out as we checked into our Nashville hotel, preparing for our morning flight home the next morning. Not.

It worked out, once again bailed out by Henry and Brenda Harding, who put us up. They remain home away from home, a status Henry has had for at least 73 years.

We got our meat and three, although we narrowed it down to a meat and two at Snow White, an erstwhile replacement for the defunct Sunset Restaurant, a staple of mine since the 1950’s. We visited four of our favorite haunts in Nashville: the Frist Art Museum, where we wished my sister Martha had been with us as the Asian textile art exhibit was jaw dropping fabulous; the lobby of the old Union Station, now revived as a Marriott Hotel to the point that even a draft beer at the bar is elegant; Barcelona Wine Bar is one of our favorite tapas bars including its namesake on the Mediterranean coast of Espana (oh, where or where is that little symbol, the tilde used on Spanish “n?”); and Darfon’s in the center of the airport hotel area is a great place for a traveler’s break.

But now, we are almost home. The three-forty five start will likely put us in bed before the bewitching hour. That’s okay. As Martina Clarke responded to my plans during the overlay, we made “lemonade out of lemons.”

Well, we hit Dallas, made it to the Southwest corner in the drear and mist. Luggage is unpacked. Mail and packages are opened. We ain’t gonna make wake until midnight.

Now, onto another year. In twenty days, i will be one year shy of 80, i.e. 79. To be honest, i am running down the last runway. That runway could be pretty long. If i match my parents, i will have about twenty years remaining. But i’ve lived a bit wilder life than they did. So even though it looks alright right now, it could be short.

Therefore, i’m getting ready. My first task is to get my “kick the bucket” business in order. This is to make a guide for all the paperwork and folderol required for those left behind: trusts, wills, cleaning out my stuff, designating what i leave goes to whom (if they want it) and how other affairs should be addressed. i’ve seen too many folks and even been one myself to have to deal with some pretty big messes.

i’m even writing my own obituary. And then, i’ll go back home in a small urn buried next to my parents. Home the sailor will be from the sea.

Gotta tell you it ain’t likely all is gonna be done before i go, even if i live to about 236 years old.

More immediately, i’m backing off my full court press on marketing Steel Decks and Glass Ceilings. If someone wants me to talk about the book, i’ll be glad to do so, but i’m not going to go chasing such things. It’s work.

Instead, i plan to do what i enjoy most. Writing. Here. i only see possibly one book in the future, at least in the near future. i hope to repackage my poem/stories about “Willie Nod” with the illustrations my daughter Sarah has drawn. i initially began writing them for Blythe when she was five years old. i continued to write them for Sarah when she came along and then again for my grandson Sam. If any of. you reading this indicate you would like to have one, i will reassess what path to take to make them available.

i have several projects in mind in addition to posts that pop into my head.

Several folks have inquired about my putting a book together of my newspaper articles and columns. i plan to go back and republish them here on a periodic basis. Hopefully, the first will be tomorrow. You know, the first day of 2023.

Next, i’m going to pretend to be Charles Dickens. That man published most of his novels in serial form in his magazines. i am thinking of doing that right here, folks. i plan to start with my tale “A Tale of the Sea and Me,” a history of my time in the Navy. Being the tale of a mariner, it is a bit too salty for number of my friends, but it is me, it is my time at sea. All lines clear. Underway.

The number of my friends around my age are dwindling. It is the way of life. One of the certainties in this world is if you live, you will die. It’s just damn hard to accept when it happens to others before it happens to me.

So, for all of you, live it to the fullest.

For friends from one to ninety-three, have a wonderful, incredible, awesome, healthy, and bountiful 2023.

Good night, 2022. We hardly knew you.

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