The Old Coot goes wool gathering

The Old Coot goes wool gatheringPictured are the Old Coot and his mother, before he was old. Provided photo.

Here’s an interesting mental exercise to undertake. I recommend it highly. It helps put things into perspective; an interesting journey of introspection. Here is mine.

Seventy-nine years ago, as I write this, my mother was in her last two weeks of pregnancy with me, wondering when her baby would “pop out.” Would it be a boy or a girl? Would it be healthy? Would this world war ever come to an end? 

Little did she know that in two weeks, on a Sunday night at 2 a.m., a future old coot was to be unleashed on the world. Little did that unborn baby know that decades later he would be walking around town with a messenger bag over his shoulder, a notebook and pen at the ready, a walking stick in his hand, and reflecting on life on the cusp of entering his 80th year. That about to be born baby, had no idea what lay ahead, a whole life of living. 

No idea he’d grow from an infant into a young boy, start school, evolve to a teenager (making all those stupid choices that the naïve do in their salad days), moving on through life at breakneck speed, finishing high school, college and then more college at night school, getting married, having kids, jobs, houses, cars, and the material things of life. Facing losses of family and friends. Moving on, eventually blessed with grandkids, in double digits, extending the family tree for another generation.  

Then, retiring from the work world after 38 years and reinventing himself as a writer (sort of), starting off on a new venture, stumbling along, still with only an inkling of what may loom ahead. Stepping into one day at a time, ready for the adventure to unfold with some wisdom from the history of life to that point, no matter how small the thimble it would take to hold it. 

The ride can be a little bumpy when traveling in a vehicle (the human body) with so darn many moving parts, never knowing which one will decide to act up. So, on he moves, into the future, his face turned to the warmth of the sun, knowing he’s privileged to be on this journey at all. His mission is simple; live each day, appreciate it and enjoy it. Thus, is life; and, in my case, taking a moment to reflect and write this essay.

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