One man's view of the world, from the top of this great big rock somewhere in the middle of God's Country, with an eye toward freedom....or at least some way to get back down without goin' over the edge.

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Location: West Virginia, United States

Former U.S. Army, SPC E-4, Veteran of Operation Desert Storm. If you are or have ever been a soldier, you have friends in my house.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Note To Self: Grow Up, Dude

First, a big thank-you to all those who have been asking after me in my absence...I'm fine. The surgery went off without a hitch, and I now basically have a clean bill of health, aside from some cholesterol issues that are being dealt with.

I will say,'s an unusual state, me watching my own health as closely as I am now. I mean, I ain't no Adonis, but I've never really noticed myself aging all that much. I've been told by some that I seem to have a more youthful outlook on things, and I suppose that's true to a certain point.

But I'm learning rather quickly now that I am no longer the young buck of days gone by.

I've been getting clues here and there for some time now, of course, my recent health issues notwithstanding...the occasional click in the knees getting out of bed in the morning, the leftovers on my dinner plate speaking to an appetite that used to be a lot bigger (ask my mom what I was like as a teenager -- she swears I had the metabolism of a blast furnace), the first glimmerings of a spare tire....little things like that.

But you wanna know what really drove the point home this last week or so? (Sure you do. You know you do.)

My 20th high school reunion is coming up in October. This year.

Twenty years. I have been a grown-up for twenty years.

How the hell did that happen? Time used to be that I couldn't see anything in the future past my 25th birthday. Just couldn't see myself as being some old guy (that's what 25 looked like to me, don't-cha-know).

Now I have absolutely no idea what I could have been thinking back then. I have a loving wife (who also happens to be a helluva good cook), I have a fine young kindhearted-smart-ass 11-year-old son (that's right - there's ANOTHER one of me out there! Hide the china!), a good house, a working car, and a steady job that lets me give me and my family everything we need (and even, now and then, a few of the things we want).

Sure, things can get tough now and again...but in the long run, I guess me and mine are doing alright.

I'll be back later on with more of the usual drivel, I promise. I just thought I'd get that off my chest first. (It was getting pretty heavy.)

It makes me think...what if I could say "Hi" to that young buck now? Would I tell myself to avoid or change something in my own future, on the risk that doing so could wipe out the good things I have now?

Naw, probably not. Some of the bad stuff was instrumental in my finding the good stuff. In the end, I'm pretty happy with how things have worked out.'s a pretty cool idea.