THREW Mikes EyEz

Original Writings, Images, Video and Artworks of Mike Hartley

Kick up your heels

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I have no idea what lies in state for me the rest of the weekend but I hope to make the best of it. I think the only actual obligation I have is to say happy birthday to a brother inlaw but that is about it. There is the fact I have to pick up the basement from that whirlwind called a grandchild, no small task but accomplishable. And as always work on the relationship to keep that humming along smoothly and some phone calls to relatives and friends are needed. Geez, work is less than 24 hours away. And no holiday for this kid on Monday either.

Regardless my heels are in the air.

Kick up dem heels. Photo by Mike Hartley in Annapolis Maryland

I’ve already selected my next piece of wood for the next carving and am about to make the first cuts on that. Also just ordered another batch of ink for the printing press which I hope to have humming tonight. So lots of personal goals to accomplish this weekend.

But there is always a little time to kick up our heels on the weekends. Even if it isn’t a full blowout party, there is fun time included in the weekends now. Sometimes not a lot but always a little. It’s something I’ve been trying to incorporate into the weekdays more and more. And the more I do the better I feel.

In the last couple of years, my life is finally coming into what could be called a rude balance. Most observers would still say insanity but it’s controlled insanity. And once I jettison this overnight schedule and get back to some regular sleep patterns I’m expecting a lot more energy and a clearer head.

But there is a ton of life to kick my heels up about. One of the greatest gifts I think I’ve received besides my own children is getting to be a big part of their children’s lives. Watching them for a few years before they start school is a time that flies by so fast but it’s been so magical so far. And I’m imagining there are a few years after that where we can still go see their concerts or young league sports before they get into high school where I’m assuming grandparents aren’t cool, except at graduation.

Reflecting gets more distorted with time. Photo by Mike Hartley in Annapolis Maryland

And from experience, that time is upon you before you blink your eyes twice. So I savor each visit. Each Papa can I have this, each leap into my arms, each make me this or that request, each color with me or play with me ask. And now with another infant, the cycle repeats of smiling if they spit up on you or laughing each one of the hundred times, they will pull my glasses off my face. Because my role now is to make their life happy and enjoyable and a fun learning experience. I’ve always had a dream of doing comedy and this young audience is easy pickings and gives me great joy to make them laugh, even though I’d still like to try my hand at the old crowd too.

That coupled with my professional focus shift from IT work to the Arts has me about as happy as I’ve been in a long time. I wish I had found a way to incorporate both into my life as I do now but everything has its own time.

The demise of the manual transmission. With the coming EV revolution and fewer and fewer sports cars, even those mostly converted to high-tech automatic transmissions I have a sense of dread. For someone who had driven a stick all his life but a few years the thought of driving without a clutch and stick is repulsive, worrisome, horrifying, and downright depressing.

To think my grandchildren will never know the pleasure of glancing at that tachometer and then catching a second or third gear and feeling the tires break loose again brings me great sadness. To know they might be denied the privilege of downshifting through a corner and hitting the gas coming out of it leaves me shaking my head. I might just have to keep that Miata running to show them the love driving becomes with a stick.

I taught both of my children to drive on a stick. But they didn’t “stick” with it and drive automatics. I can see why the stick they had was in a small car. I had the privilege of a V8 and Hurst 4 speed shifter which I guess I fell in love with from Day 1.

Random Thoughts of the Day

  • Find yourself, no matter what age you are.
  • I’ve been wearing a broken set of reading glasses for a while now. Time to replace.
  • Keepsakes are very important to me. The kind of things I’d like to detail for my children so they aren’t quickly trashed.
  • Life is a lot more enjoyable when you take it off autopilot.
  • If I knew spending so much time with doctors was part of being old I would have become one so I could figure out what they are talking about.
  • Life is fun when covered in sawdust.
  • Sometimes when I’m writing I find myself typing to the tempo of the music.
  • Felt great to hang some more prints today.

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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