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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Ramblings of a Drizzly Evening

The rain has come back to Ketchikan.  We had such a lovely summer.  So many hot days of sunshine and warmth.  So many sunny evenings and bright, early mornings.  The rain has returned, and I wouldn't be surprised if it didn't go away until February or March.  But without the rain, the trees wouldn't grow to be so big, and a treehouse sometime down the road would be out of the question.

Tonight, Joey and I did the radio show on KRBD.  I played some music I hadn't really listened to in years.  Some of it got me really excited.  Some songs remind me of bittersweet things from my past.  The interesting thing about getting older is that so much time winds up between you and all of these very fixed points in your life.  I was talking to my mom today, and we figured out that when she was my age, I was 6.  I can't imagine being my age having a 6 year old and a 2 year old.  They had just moved to Salida.  My hometown was brand new to them.  And now, 31 years older, and to me, that's a whole lifetime.

These songs we played followed the theme of adventure.  Some of the music I chose followed me on road trips across the American west with some of my best friends.  Some was pouring from the speakers in my old Toyota pickup, driving through the Sawatch mountains in the moonlight, through the snow, following my buddies in their own trucks, stopping at the end of the road.  We turned the trucks off and had a beer.  We talked about aliens, looked at the stars.

The next song took me to a seedy dive bar off Colfax Avenue in Denver, Colorado.  This place was disgusting.  About as much room as Three Sheets (my sailboat), but packed full of dirty, rough-neck drunks.  A local band was playing, awesome now-defunct (if I heard right) Dr. Neptune.  Great band.

Suddenly the music changes, and I'm riding in an old Ford Escort station wagon.  I don't know which way I'm going, because I'm in Maine, and I don't have any mountains to the west at any given time.  It's constantly overcast.  I could smell something in the air.  It was like a sweet smell.  Like a cologne almost, but less... anticeptic.  Moments later, we got off the interstate and pulled in to York Beach.  We stopped and got salt water taffy, met up with the cousin of this wonderful young lady I was seeing (I guess that's the term I can go with) at the time.  He was from Boston.  I remember asking him if a particular ice cream place was any good and his response was, "yeah, if ya like shit in ya mouth."  Perfect.  The whole experience, listening to the waves, jumping into the warm ocean for the first time in my life, having late night discussions about "the DaVinci Code", doing the things kids do when they are still liberal, anti-establishment, outdoorsy, hippie Howard Dean fans from Vermont and Colorado.

The next song comes on, and I'm driving across Utah in the middle of the night.  My two friends, brothers, and I are on our way to Dayton (I think), Washington to see another good friend of ours get married in his hometown.  We left Salida around mid-day.  We went over Monarch Pass, hit Grand Junction and then crossed the desert in Utah through Green River.  We drove through Salt Lake City in the middle of the night, and I remember seeing how beautiful the Tabernacle looked all lit up. We drove through the night, and by the time we got to Walla Walla or closeby, we found some state park on the Snake River, right at a super wide, slow bend in the river.  There was a huge railroad trestle above us, and, right below the parking lot, there was a huge beach from where the river would rise in the runoff months.  Nearby, there was a Lewis & Clark park, some sort of heritage site.  I was so tired, I don't remember.  But we all went swimming in the creek, just like boys do when they're kids.  No shame.  Dirty hippies.  Then we wound up napping on the beach under the train tracks.  Slept for hours in the warm, August, Washington, afternoon sun.

The list goes on.  What I realized as I started writing this blog, however, is that life has interesting lessons hidden in our heads.  The theme tonight was "adventure".  I picked out songs made me think of adventures I've had.  i didn't realize listening to them would make me remember so many vivid details of what else was going on in my life.  I was learning lessons about honesty. (Giving it out and accepting it genuinely were not easy for me.)  I was getting my heart broken, and I was breaking hearts.  I was experiencing monumental joy, and suffering tragic loss.  I was in the best shape of my life, and I was the most irresponsible man-child.  I realized that, in my search for inspiration for adventure, that the biggest adventure I've had so far was MY LIFE ITSELF.  I've had incredible experiences with incredible people, stories to tell my grandchildren someday.

Just a thought there... maybe it's just the fact that I'm over-caffienated and it's almost half an hour after midnight.