THREW Mikes EyEz

Original Writings, Images, Video and Artworks of Mike Hartley

A good weekend

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Watching a grandchild grow and develop is a wonderful thing. Trying to figure out her words as she learns to speak is also a lot of fun. I enjoyed Friday doing just that and ignoring the chores and errands. I’m inspired that my weekend is a day longer than normal because I’m using a comp day at work to start my next week. I love short work weeks at the job that pays the bills. I think I heard a recent survey that people would prefer time off as opposed to a raise. Hell, I know I would. Time away from the job that pays the bills allows me to live and do things not possible with the long work week. And money doesn’t buy happiness.

Will winter turn into March Madness this spring? Photo by Mike Hartley

In this PostFitness Maryland CrabsParentsRandom Thoughts of the Day

Fitness – I’ve been working on my mental fitness during the pandemic, but I’ve neglected my physical fitness. So the effort began recently to fix that so the whole can be healthy. I’ve put some miles on the treadmill and used the new Ninja blender to make my first fruit smoothie. It’s going to take effort and time to fix the physical part. I’m not that overweight, maybe 10-15 lbs. But my diet and body need some cardio and toning. Both of those are probably well below average.

I know some of my family and friends might still be laughing at the thought I’ve been working on my mental fitness but I have and I’m feeling in a good place most days. But my body has been talking to me in tongues and as far as I can interpret so far, “I’m screwing up big time.” So changes must be made and I will move towards making them permanent instead of just a season or a month or two.

Maryland Crabs – Here I am in the heart of winter talking crabs. Not just any crabs, Maryland Chesapeake Bay Crabs. I’m convinced they are the best on earth. I had a little crab on a veal dish the other day and it was great.

Some homemade crabcakes. Photo by Mike Hartley.

All I know is I can’t wait to be at a picnic table covered in newsprint with a big pile of crabs hot out of the steamer and spend an hour or more picking crabs at least once this coming summer. I hope its a good season ahead.

Parents – Today is my father-in-law’s birthday. First one, we will be without him. I’m going to take some time in the morning to remember him and mom. Some of his siblings will gather to share sorrow and stories. Those who can’t join will certainly shed a tear also. But they should also share joy. I remember many celebrations with him and the fact that his family would gather was the best present he ever could get. You could see it from the time he greeted you at the door. You could see it in his pride that day. You could see it in the smile before he blew out the candles or told a story. You could feel the appreciation in his voice or handshake or hug as you would be leaving. You could see him reveling in the company of family. He didn’t have to preach about it. He didn’t have to ask for attendance. He didn’t have to cajole company. People came because they knew how much his family meant to him by his actions and Moms.

I see that in my wife. I feel it in myself. The best present is just the time with family. And now members of his and their mother will have to remember the days with them from memory. That is the hardest part. Children want their parents to feel special on their birthday as much as parents want their children to feel special on their days. Both of those are no longer possible except by the memories. These can serve some good needs like comfort in knowing the love they had for you but also trigger much pain in missing their presence.

I was going through pictures looking for something else when I just happened to run across these two. I do miss them dearly, I love them both very much and that is what the photo on the right means to me. But the one on the left was a day for the entire family at our pool (when it actually held water) and I’m going to choose to remember that day because it was one of those special ones where joy and laughter and hugs and kisses and everything was right in the world.

I can remember the pain of those early years after my own parents passing. All I can say is that the pain never goes away but is mixed more with happy memories as time goes on. The same memories you cry through the first few years suddenly turn towards smiles and memories of more comforting times than the immediate memories of their passing and services.

I wish all of my in-laws and especially my better half, the ability to cry but also laugh and not mourn but celebrate lives well lived. Because they were well-lived and much appreciated by those who they touched including me.

Random Thoughts of the Day

  • The older you get the more you cherish each day, hour, minute. And if not you should.
  • Having goals for accomplishments are a great thing. Just make sure they are the right goals.
  • RIP Hank Arron and thank you for the highlights. But I also pause to recognize the man and character of the man. I look at him as the same courage and class of a Jackie Robinson.
  • Way to go Maryland Terps hoop teams.
  • Had a great meal from Facci in Turf Valley yesterday. Carry out of course. but I did look longingly at the dine-in area and let my mind wander about having a waiter, someone to get me a refill, and a hot meal in a nice atmosphere. Well maybe someday in the future.

Author: Mike Hartley

With a lifetime and a half in the Newspaper industry I'm preparing for my retirement career as an Artist, Writer, Photographer and Video content provider. I'm a proud father of two wonderful children and I'm still married to the first girl I fell in love with and probably only one that would have me.

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