Living At Home…

August 29, 2017

Here I am, sixty-six years old, and I’m still living in my kids’ parents’ house…

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Continued from part 5…

Or click here to go back to the beginning…

And then…

We emerged to this…

The last four hundred feet of the hike up Half Dome is pretty much vertical. You pull yourself up using cables. Unfortunately, those cables are not visible in this shot because, at that time, the rock was situated inside a cloud. 

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View from the bottom of the cables. This is what it looked like at 7:38 AM, July 15, 2011 when we arrived at this point…

 

If you look closely you can see the cables as a dark smudge looking thing running up the center of the rock.

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Here we are getting ready to go up the cables. Donna has a better camera than I do…

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Preparing to make the ascent up the cables…

Once we were all gathered at the base, we were ready to go up. (By the way, the reason I did this hike the first time is that I hate heights. I don’t like high places. I figure if God wanted me to like high places, He would have made me an eagle or a mountain goat. But He made me another kind of animal. He made me a chicken. I did it to conquer my fear of heights. I still hate high places, but I did get over the cables on Half Dome.)  

The trek up was uneventful. I didn’t faint, fall or throw up. Once we got to the top, we could relax. Here are some photos…

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Shawn letting everybody else know that he made it to the top.

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Somebody else let everybody else know that they made it to the top.

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Man of Action letting everybody else know that he made it to the top.

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Every body letting everybody else know that we made it to the top. L to R: Nicole, Shawn, Man of Action, Megan, Brian, Lauren.

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Everybody else letting everybody else know that they are either very brave or very stupid.

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Shawn convinces Man of Action that he should let everybody else know that he is either very brave or very stupid.

At one point, the cloud began to dissipate and some pretty spectacular scenery began to poke through. Unfortunately, the camera couldn’t begin to capture the power of the moment, but here it is anyway…

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View of peaks across the way through the cloud.

Then the cloud dissipated rather quickly…

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It was right about here that the first indication that something was wrong with me made its appearance in the form of three major charley horses in my legs… 

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Breakfast time!

I managed to get the pain to settle down and go away. Walked it off. 

And then it was time to start back… 

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Headed back down the cables. This is the relatively flat part at the top.

The trip down the cables was also pretty uneventful, other than two people who had started up when we were almost down at the bottom who turned around and decided that the climb was not for them…

We reached the bottom and headed back down the way we came, passing a couple of rangers who were asking for ID and checking us off the list of permitted hikers. (In order to do the hike, the National Park Service has instituted the requirement that you register several months ahead of time and reserve the date(s). They want to limit the impact of too many hikers – not a bad thing, I think, and they want to know who’s body they are looking for if you fall.)

We all stayed together until we came to a stream. Shawn had a filter system, and we all filled our water bags. This is a good thing.

Then we all took off back to camp. After a few miles, I, as is typical for me, fell a bit behind. Fortunately Shawn stayed with me. I say fortunately because I would still be up there somewhere if he hadn’t.

Seriously. 

And that’s where we’ll pick up next time…

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m going to start out by admitting something that has been rolling around in my head for a week or two.

For a long time, I didn’t think I was getting any older, and the thought that I was not getting any younger never made it’s way into my head. However, that has changed, and I am ready to go on record as believing that I am, in fact, not getting any younger. 

At first, I was disappointed that I was not aging in reverse, but after some consideration, I have decided that that’s not a bad thing, and here’s why…

When I thought about it, I realized that time only moves forward, never backward, and the only way one can expect to be around tomorrow is to move forward with it and get older. When you stop moving forward with time and, therefore, stop getting older, you die (not necessarily in that order). The only way that anybody who is younger than me can catch up with me in years is if I stop aging (die). I figure it’s pretty much the same for all of us – you included. 

Once I figured that out, I realized that failure to get younger is not a bad price to pay for waking up tomorrow. And once I realized that, I was able to embrace getting older with a modicum of grace.

Moving forward in age is actually pretty cool. It presents us with a whole new set of things to think about when making plans for down the road.

One of those considerations is retirement…

Some day, in the next several years, I hope to retire (it’s either that or work until I die, and I much prefer the retirement route for as many years as possible before I finally bite the big one – but that’s not up to me, and I’m working on being ready when the big one gets bit), and when retirement day arrives, I’m gonna need something to do with whatever time I have left on this Earth. 

Up till now I haven’t actually given much thought to how I’m going to spend that time. Oh, I have considered volunteering and hiking a lot. Take up photography. Find some other frustrated musicians and start a 60s rock band (60’s meaning our ages, not necessarily the brand of music we would play). The usual stuff, I guess. 

But as far as serious activity plans, just about nothing has come to mind. 

Until today…

Yes, today. And, as is the case with most of my best ideas, it came to me in the grocery store. This time I never even got to the checkout stand before it hit me. This time it happened in… 

… The magazine isle. Yes, the magazine isle…

Judy was looking at some magazines in the magazine isle, and I was biding my time (being the patient husband) while she perused through publication after publication. Waiting… Waiting… Waiting. 

After approximately two weeks of wait time, I decided that if she could peruse then so could I.

And so I did…

Peruse… Peruse… Peruse until –

 – Whoa! I had perused myself through all sorts of works having to do with how to have the greatest marriage in the history of marriage, how to have muscles in places that do not currently exist on your (or anyone else’s) body and how to acquire millions in the house flipping industry –  when what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a nine dollar rag with my future right there!

Yes, my quest (you know – the quest upon which I had not yet embarked) had been successful, and all I had to do was to go to the grocery store! 

Oh yeah – and wait patiently. Good things come to those who wait patiently. 

I was astounded at how easily I had patiently waited my way to revelation! Seriously, folks, forebearance really works. We should all try it sometime…

Anyway, back to my story…

At the exact moment that my eyes landed upon this magazine cover I knew that my life’s plan had been revealed to me. One look at the guy on the cover and I was thinking, “Holy cow!! That’s me! That guy in the picture is my doppelgänger! This is what I am supposed to do!” All I had to do now was to convince Judy that allowing me to make the nine dollar investment required to obtain the document that I would use to map out my future retirement activity program and I would be all set…

It took some doing, but after agreeing to never again go shopping with her after we are both retired she permitted me to spend the money. 

And so I did.

By now you may be wondering how I am going to spend my golden years. Well, here it is…

 

 

What to do on my permanent vacation

 

Yes, that’s right! I am going to become a modern day pioneer! I have already started reading up on skinning and selling furs and searching Craig’s list for classic guns and powder horns and leather leggings and jackets with fringes hanging down everywhere and other great backwoods companions! (I already have a couple of cowboy hats so I figure I’m off to a great start!)

I think I’ll probably start small on the “furs” thing. We have a couple of squirrels living in the back yard, and I can practice on them when I get my musket, slug making gear and Bowie Knife. 

Man, I’m totally stoked that I have finally found my true calling in life! I only wish it had come to me three or four decades sooner! I could already be living the good life climbing every mountain, fording every stream and following every rainbow until I find my dream… (Hmmm.. I wonder if there’s a song in there somewhere… Nah – it would never catch on…)

Anyway, I have bids in on ebay for some bear traps, whiskey and a fur hat for Winter trapping trips, and I want to make sure they don’t get away so I am going to sign off. 

But just one word of advice before I go. 

Guys, If you’re not the patient type when you are shopping with your wife, you may be missing out on opportunities that might not come your way again. Make the occasion a time of searching for that one thing you are missing in your life.

You will probably find it in the magazine isle…

 

 

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