Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day Thoughts

I am a veteran.  I served during Viet Nam.  I didn't try to avoid the draft.  I just went.  I was very, very, very lucky.  I had orders to go over.  They had a one letter error on them (wrong job code).  The orders were sent back and never came back.  I spent my whole tour in Alabama.

I used to feel guilty that I got saved when so many I knew had to go and either didn't make it back or came back with scars physical and mental to show for it.  But any other vet that I've discussed this with always has said that there is no reason to be guilty because the whole think was f'ed up from beginning to the end.

Which gets me to my subject, which is the bitterness I feel when I hear all the glorifying of our heroes who have died to protect us.  I read a lot of history.  A LOT.  I've read tomes on just about every war we've ever fought and many that others have fought.  The one theme that comes through again and again and again is how the vast majority of wars have nothing to do with noble causes and a whole lot to do with the ego and incompetency of leaders.  Any history of war is a never ending litany of leaders whose own lack of skill or overwhelming ego leads to the loss of lives upon countless lives.

So do I honor the sacrifice of those who have fought our wars?  Sure I do.  And there certainly are times when wars do have justice associated with.  But I mourn a helluva a lot more for all the unnecessary lives that have been lost because human leaders just can't get their egos out of the way of their judgement.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Thoughts on Transition

There was a time not too long ago when I would have said I can't imagine life without work.  Then the year long dealing with Dad's death brought on a weariness that (when it ended) led me to think, "I wish I could just stop now!"  That was followed by deeper reflection on just what the heck I do want to do do with my life.  This has actually been the major theme of thought over the last three months but for some reason I didn't feel like blogging about it.

What is all really very humorous about his is this is what I help people with for a living!  I'm the one who is the transition specialist.  I sell services to business owners about how to best create the outcome they want whether by selling or turning their business over to someone inside.  Boy, what a different story it is when it's you instead of someone else.  It does give me a whole lot more empathy for my clients and just how hard it is to really do any of this stuff.

The big boogie man of course is fear of change.  That is (for many of us) a combination of fear of the end, fear of doing things differently, and fear of loss of identity.  But as I've had lots of major changes (both intended and unintended) over my life, I'm reasonably well at handling those.  What has been a bigger challenge has been identifying what the heck it is that is important to me, what is it I want to do, what is it that I don't want to do, and how do I reconcile when things I want or don't want conflict with each other.

Hopefully, over the next few weeks I will continue in this spirit of open mindedness and explain more

Or maybe I'll just do another hiking post.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Hiking Report

You may have noted a distinct lack of hiking posts over the last few months.  This hasn't been because I've been hiking any less.  But rather because I pretty much have been hiking over the same trails that I've been doing since I started the blog.  I mean how many posts of the same 10 trails can one make?  I still am going out every weekend for 5 to 6 miles up the mountain.  Once in while I do one of the longer hikes but I haven't been focused on the more 'epic' hikes namely because I don't have anyone to go with.  My main partner for 'epic hiking', Wild Bill, is big into his search and rescue activities which usually on the weekend.  But with some schedule changes I have in mind in a month or so, I'm hoping to be treading new ground.

Friday, May 10, 2013


This might not be news to you all who are getting inundated with late spring snow, but for we who live in the state with the worse drought situation in the country the downpour that is currently taking place is an incredible blessing.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Mom - Unlocking the Door

I wrote back in January about all my feelings with the passing of my Father and the feelings of mourning for what I didn't have more than for what I had lost.  One of the things that has particularly bugged me is the understanding of how my Dad's jealous attachment to my Mom kept me from having a deeper relationship with her.

This has been a lot on my mind over the last couple of months.  I have really reached a good place and reconciliation with the good and the bad associated with my Father relationship.  But it has bugged me that I have had this empty, no feelings at all about my Mom.  True it was 8 years ago that she passed but really, I was closer to her all my life.  So why this nothing inside?

I've blamed it mostly on the fact that Dad totally kept us at arms length throughout the two year period that Mom went through her cancer.  So I never had a chance to have those really hard and powerful discussions and experiences that I did with my Dad.  It was an important part of the closure process that never took place.

Then this week two events happened that have changed things.

First my daughter #3 in Amsterdam wrote a lovely post on her blog where she was reminiscing about her memories of her Grandma (my Mom).  Reading that brought back a flood of experience memories.  Then today we got the shipment of goods from my Dad's house that we had picked out.  In that shipment were some, not so valuable, but very meaningful objects.

A set of heavy glass mixing bowls.  I loved these.  Mom had these for as long as I can remember.  And when I made my commitment to come often after we moved to Albuquerque, we would often use these for our cooking together.  That big one on the bottom was great for mixing pasta with sauce.  And the second largest one was always filled with mashed potatoes when we were making the Thanksgiving dinner.

With these two things a whole lot has been coming back.  And a lot of pain associated with not properly having put them to rest.  But that is a good thing.