THREW Mikes EyEz

Original Writings, Images, Video and Artworks of Mike Hartley


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I’ve taken a few more sabbaticals from my blog this year. Some were planned, some just came about, and some were just spur of the moment where I had to just get away from the computer. Some were life or health interruptions.

One of those planned sabbaticals was when a group of my closest friends gathered for a weekend in October and had an excellent time. There were several observations I gained from it, for it had been quite a time since gathering for a fishing trip and party.

I’ll work my way back from the end of the weekend. Every goodbye was special. We had just shared some great times and the appreciation for it was foremost in our minds and hearts. And that has always been true but this time the realization that we are in our senior years now took a much more significant meaning at least to me, but I think I saw it in each of us.

Sunset at the end of the day of good friendships. Photo by Mike Hartley

There are things no longer taken for granted such as our health. Each of us has had medical challenges and continues to face some as most all older individuals do. So the realization has befallen all of us that each time we are ALL able to gather it’s priceless. It’s not like we haven’t already experienced a loss, one of the team passed in 2014, and that took us a while to recover from. When you have friendships that span several decades and they are close friendships, it suddenly changes things.

Think of a basketball team that has been together for decades. All of a sudden your shooting guard isn’t on the floor and you’re playing with 4 people. Everything you practiced all your life has been with 5, not 4. You learn the game again and after time passes you have lots of fun again, but that teammate who isn’t there really is because he isn’t forgotten. And as always he was toasted to again and remembered.

Another thing that is standing out is how honest and deep some of our conversations and expressions of what we have done together and meant to each other. Something this team always hasn’t the ability to do or we were just having too good a time along the way to say it. But it’s nice to hear and see being exchanged now.

It could be the age but I think it’s the relaxed confidence and comfort that old, excuse me, very old friends have that is unique among people. Conversations went from 1 on 1 to small groups of 2-4 and sometimes all of us around the kitchen and dining room or on the deck or porch laughing about tall tales from our past, wishes for our futures, the love of grandchildren, how many times we get up to piss which always reminds the beer pounders in the group its time for a piss. Topics were all over the place as usual but it was like a symphony with the timing and handoffs as clean as a gold medal relay team.

Oh and then there is the ripping on each other. We are brutal on any slip of the tongue and perceived or evident flaw. No quarter is given. Each mistake is focused on. Especially our unofficial leader, someone we call the Chief who takes the lion’s share of abuse being he is the most talented, knowledgable, personable, and kind human being. You can’t let someone with all those qualities skate now, can you?

I’m seeing that a few of the group have the potential to become chefs if we would like to, in our retirement years. I’m seeing that choices made during the lifetime affect the later years in life. I continue to see the gift of sharing which is inspiring. I see concern and advice being shared on a level deeper than in previous years. I see changes in attitudes based on changed locations and beliefs. But I also see a love for each other that overcomes that.

Random Thoughts of the Day

  • How can being a greeter at Walmart be a bad job. I mean you got to have a smile on your face all day from the laughter at some of the charators going in and out.
  • I’m finding I see things more clearly if I clean my glasses more often.
  • Taking short term solutions to long term problems probably won’t yeild the desired result.
  • And the forest will echo with laughter, does anyone remember laughter. – So asks Robert Plant.
  • Wild animals go matteress shopping every day.

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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