Tuesday, September 29, 2015


If you haven’t heard, I finished up my 20 on Halloween of 2014, retired and was rehired as a GS working at the same desk. The bride and I loved the northwest so much that we bought a fixer upper house, that’s the short version.

The longer version is the 4 months prior to my retirement, we were living in housing and searching for the proper house, good location, good price per square foot and something that we would both enjoy. That search took a while and we finally set our eyes on a house that was about to go into default and paid 50 thousand less than the prior owner. It did need some work but it held out the water, the location was great and it had a nice fenced back yard which the dogs have enjoyed greatly. 

There was a 3 month wait while the house closed and during that time, we made good use out of the Tardis camper and the A-frame that I picked up at an auction a year earlier for $450, word of advice, neither are suited for long term camping during a rainy winter in the northwest, they did keep us dry (mostly) but with the extreme humidity and warm bodies occupying them, they did get moldy and musty. Now both need extensive remodels with much of the wood in the A-frame replaced. The Tardis was actually okay because I had already replaced everything but the Tacoma it lives on has a blown head gasket. 

I applied for the job at the local naval hospital in August and didn’t hear back till mid-October which caused a bit of stress because I had also applied for other jobs all over and had no idea where we were going to end up. So, I settled on the familiar and didn’t go after an exciting career starting something new. At the hospital, I took over many of the duties that have always caused the department problems, retiring of medical records, supply and being a continual presence in records.

Ten months into my retirement, the bride is working at the local library and says it’s the best job she’s ever had. I have finally got a handle of everything at work, doing supply properly is no joke, it would be much easier if they had an Amazon time of system and supply clerks didn’t have to fight for every dollar spent but I think I’ve finally reached a nice balance. My mom sold her restaurant and finally retired and in that process, she bought me and the bride an Alaskan cruise and right now, during which time I wrote this post and am now getting around to posting.

Yes, I’m slacking on my writing, inspiration is hard to come by when life is treating you alright. Life is amazingly good, have a house we love, still married to the girl of my dreams and all of the bills are getting paid, you can’t ask for much more.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

I have never read To Kill a Mockingbird

Till earlier this week, unlike most of you who started out there reading career with this book in high school or junior high, I came at it from the other side. After reading thousands of books then going back and reading what some people consider their favorite novel. Then I went on immediately to read, Go Set a Watchman (stop here if you don’t want spoilers). Both are novels of their time with many of the same characters, one told through the eyes of an intelligent observant little girl over the period of a couple of years, a coming of age story. The other over a period of a couple of days of the same girl, 26 and a bit jaded who comes home to visit after living years in New York. In Mockingbird, Atticus through her eyes is an almost supernatural being of good whom always has the most ethical response to any given issue and young impressionable Scout takes that into herself. The novel was richly worded with descriptions that made you think of hot summers spent on the porch, how children viewed the world around them. In Watchman, Scout comes home and her illusions are torn away, the civil rights movement is just starting and people in her hometown are taking sides which are divided along color lines. Scout is way ahead of her time, she was raised by Atticus and tends to see people as people, not color but in that time and place, color and social status are everything. While I enjoyed Watchman, it seems like Harper Lee didn’t write it for our enjoyment, she wrote it to document a portion of her life. It’s not as polished and for fans who hold To Kill a Mockingbird in their hearts, portions of it are painful and raw, Scout has grown up, she’s not much of a lady but she carried the values that were taught to her as a little girl into adulthood and now she’s seeing her small southern town with eyes that have seen the world and is not a happy camper. She is the moral compass of this story and at the end, you don’t know where she is going in life. The case against Tom Robinson is mentioned but it says it’s an acquittal in Watchman. Jem, who is such a pivotal character in Mockingbird has died young, Dill is off in some foreign land and Boo didn’t make the cut. This fills in the story but I’m not sure if it offers actual answers. Mockingbird rings with Robert McCammon’s Boy’s Life and Watchman reminds me of all of the times I went home and that life had continued on without me, people growing up and changing and living their own lives, not the snapshot I carried of that place I grew up in my head.