A Little Bit Tipsy

What do you do when you are a little bit tipsy and you want to post for your blog? You write whatever comes to mind of course. That is where I am at this moment. In a few seconds the tipsy will wear off and I’ll begin to make some sense. Tipsy is a condition one feels immediately after a glass of wine with a pizza. The feeling can only be described as light headed, happy, whimsical. I will continue after returning from a two mile walk and a break with another glass of wine, that is if I get lucky with my drinking partner.

Well I’m unhappy to report that the drinking partner fizzed out and the walk took a direction away from wine and turned into three miles, not two. Returning home exhausted I watched my favorite series Heartland for a couple hours and then turned to Tin Star. I finished the first season of Tin Star and was totally surprised at how it ended. The writer of this program solves all problems with alcohol and murder.

I retired for the evening and slept hard waking only to relieve the pain of an over full bladder. I am so sick of eggs for breakfast that this morning I had some left over chili. The carbs in the chili have left me very sleepy. All I want to do is to rest my head on the keyboard and sleep.

This evening I meet with my Lions club; half of us will be in person and the other half will be with us on ZOOM. Our speaker for the night is also on ZOOM. That should make things very interesting. Think of twenty five people spaced apart for social distancing all straining to see a postage stamp size image on a computer screen to hear a speaker. If this works, I’ll proclaim it a miracle.

I anticipated the problem last week and have made arrangements with the Park District to borrow their fifty-inch TV for our zoom presentation. One of our members is an IT man and he has promised to hook the TV into the laptop and to connect our microphone and speaker. I’m hoping this will set a new trend for zoom-in-person meetings.

My job tonight is to recruit Lions for three service projects: the first being a paint party to coat Fort Frankfort with a clear coat of sealant. The second is to recruit Lions to plant a few trees in a newly rehabbed park. Lastly, I must form a committee to plan and run an eightieth anniversary celebration/fund raiser. The Frankfort Lions celebrate eighty-years of continuous service to the community in February, 2021. What better way to celebrate than by having fun while raising money to keep serving. The whole plan will be dependent upon us meeting State of Illinois guidelines for COVID-19. I’m thinking that by then Illinois or at least Will County will be totally free to do as it pleases.

I mentioned Fort Frankfort above. Let me explain what it is. Twenty years ago a group of citizens formed an organization to build a playground for the kids. This playground is huge and unlike any other in neighboring communities. It was funded and built by the hands of Frankfort residents. Fort Frankfort resides in the center of a very large tract of land which has since become a mecca of outdoor recreation with lighted ball fields, soccer fields, a splash park, a dog park, tennis ball courts, pickle ball courts, volley ball courts, basketball courts, frisbee golf, walking paths and more. All because a group residents wanted to give the kids a safe and adventurous place to play. The Park District developed a showcase facility around Fort Frankfort.

One Lonely Day = 15 Cigarettes

This summer has been wonderful, and strange at the same time. Weather-wise I couldn’t ask for anything better, but Labor Day weekend was a big disappointment. It felt like Frankfort celebrated a weekend off. For forty years we have had a Fall Festival on Labor Day weekend. This year it was cancelled because of COVID. We will eventually recover from this shock, but it may take a long time, like several years.

Suddenly, fall is sneaking in and the weather is changing. Temperatures are dropping rapidly. It seems like I just got acclimated to living in ninety degrees when all of a sudden today it was sixty. Next week we will have some warm days but in general the temps will swing downward. Fall is in the air, the leaves are dropping from the trees and changing color too. Flowers and plant life are withering from the recent drought. I called it sneaking in, but it seems more like a thud, and its here.

The weather change has me thinking about wintering in a warm climate. I haven’t had that urge for several years, but now I do. I need to get away and shock my life into something new. The one problem I have with this plan is that it is the stress of distancing that has caused me to want to seek out a new life somewhere else, and COVID will be with me anywhere in the world I might want to escape to. I have a lot of thinking and researching to do before I make any reservations.

One scary thought is that my friend base in Phoenix is smaller now than it was six years ago. Being alone will not help to improve my attitude at all. I read a short article published in September, 2020 issue of Departures magazine titled “Happiness” by author Eviana Hartman on how happiness affects people’s lives and one sentence stunned me.

“Happy people are less likely to catch a virus, and loneliness can be as damaging to physical health as smoking fifteen cigarettes per day.”

I quit smoking forty-two years ago, and it scares me to know that I can wipe out the benefits by feeling lonely. Loneliness is one of the biggest problems I encountered after each of my life partners died. It took a long time to be happy again, and I worked hard at changing my life in order to reach a happy state. So far, I haven’t reached happiness after Peg’s passing, but it’s only been fourteen months.

All I can say is that I’m working on it, and that is all I want to say about that.

RUSH

At my age I never thought I would take the time to listen to a rock band, but I did. A few months ago I was in conversation with a friend at a pre-COVID gathering and we discussed road trips. The friend suggested I read a book by Neil Peart. “Who?” I asked. Please spell the name. Being really deaf I couldn’t’ make out the sound. P E A R T he spelled. “Just like it sounds,” I said. “Who is he?” He is the drummer for the rock band RUSH. “Who are they?”

Geddy Lee Neil Peart Alex Lifeson

“They were popular back in the eighties and nineties” was the reply.

“I never heard of them.” I made a note on my phone and several weeks later I ordered the book from the library. Then COVID hit and all things went into hiding including the library. A week ago, I got notice from the library that I had a book waiting. I was surprised when I picked it up that it was by Neil Peart. I had forgotten that I ordered it.

The book is called “Far and Wide, Bring That Horizon To Me,” by Neil Peart. I am now educated on who he is and what RUSH is. I can’t believe that after so many years I am still in the dark about this band. The book is a celebration of the band’s fortieth year together, their last road tour, and Neil’s last big motorcycle trip. The interesting thing about Neil is that he can’t stand spending his life on a tour bus while on tour. To make his life interesting he charts road trips in between concerts and rides the route on his BMW motorcycle. He has one travel companion who rides with him (Safety in Numbers).

To honor their forty years together RUSH did forty concerts on the R40 tour. The rationale was that the members are aging, and afraid that if they didn’t do it now they wouldn’t be capable of doing it later. Aging does have a way of changing minds and joints, and such. There is nothing like a guitarist with arthritic fingers and a drummer with tennis elbow. Then again it might have led to a completely new sound.

As I searched for photos of Neil and RUSH on Google Images I spotted a caption citing Neil’s obituary. What? I just found out about the guy and he died. Yes, he died this January 11, 2020 at age 67, four years after he published the book I just read. He must have learned of his brain cancer shortly after that last road trip. The Glioblastoma took him out of our lives. His goal in life was to be a person that people looked up to. I know I am one of his converts. I want to lead my life as he did, always learning, always seeking new information, always exploring the back ways of the world.

Try Something New

It is the first day of September, 2020, and I am feeling low. In order to feel better I have decided to set some new goals for myself. There is nothing better to motivate me than some new and exciting goals. I can fathom new, but exciting doesn’t always happen.

This is the first year in sixteen that my Lions Club is not working hard to sell two thousand raffle tickets. COVID-19 has caused our state governor to rigidly follow the National guidelines for keeping the virus at bay. We as a club reluctantly decided that in the interest of public safety we would not hold our raffle. What that means to the club is a huge loss of funds which fuel our projects within the community. My club is not alone on this matter, every Lions Club in the world is dealing with similar issues.

Without money our club is severely handicapped as we are what is known as a check writing club. We raise money once a year in a giant fund raiser and then dispense the money toward worthwhile causes within our community. Our entire reason for being is in jeopardy this year. We struggle with how to cope.

My every week social group has disbanded. We are a small group of friends who met every Tuesday at the Stray Bar for drinks , and who have not seen each other for twelve weeks.

So, with these social set backs I am going to try something new to brighten my day and to give life some meaning. Here is a list of some of the things I will do:

  1. I will visit a new blog every day, and comment on the blogger’s post.
  2. I will write a new blog post every day. This means having something meaningful to write about.
  3. I will structure my day in a rigid pattern of activity to ward off boredom and to minimize my daily screen time.
  4. I will read one new book per week.
  5. I will call a friend everyday so I won’t be so lonely for human contact and voice. I never thought I would be affected by such loneliness as I have in the past months. There are a couple of reasons for that, one, because I still miss my partner Peggy, and two, because I truly don’t like living by myself.
  6. I’ll cook one new recipe every week.
  7. I’ll walk five thousand steps every day.
  8. I’ll write at least four letters this month.
  9. I’ll take the initiative to lead one new service project every month.
  10. I will accept invitations to do things which I would normally turn down.
  11. I will faithfully pray for all the people on my prayer list daily.

I will measure progress toward these goals throughout September and report back to this BLOG with results.

GOOD LUCK JOE!

ZZZZZZZZZ

In the past week I have lost my blog-post twice by falling asleep at the keyboard. Both of them were ready to post.I wake up and the post is gone. Damn, grrrr! The only way I can think about this situation is that neither of the posts were worth your time to read. Some force of nature struck them down and I am a better man for it.

Finding meaningful subjects to write about is difficult on some days. On other’s I have several topics in queue. Today is a day where I’m struggling to make sense of what and why I am writing. The best thing is to cut it short and go take a real nap. I’ll be back later.

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