Life in 10-year steps

... everything (except carving, painting, shooting, and a half dozen other activities) lasts ten years ...

from Don Norris

Okay, maybe those decades run short -- or long, but basically I can divide my life into spheres of decades. Like education, which went a little longer -- to get a degree that had very little to do with the rest of my life -- like painting for a living, like working for a living as a journalist, ten years with the Melrose Free Press, then ten more writing and riding for Cycle Sport Publications ...

Somehow I squeezed other ten-year activities in there. Like serving the Melrose Public Library as a trustee and chairman of the board; like racing a Spanish motorcycle through the woods for some 250 miles, garnishing one second place trophy (out of 400 entries); ten years in the USMC as a reservist (two on active duty).

And finally, seventeen years as an editor/writer/photographer for an internet newsrag, sponsored by the Council on Aging and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Every segment was exciting. My whole like was exciting. Even our entry into the stock market paid off -- although that period was longer than 20 years -- like, 35 years and running.

There was a time when I crashed and went lame for a good while. I spent the time carving wooden canes, walking sticks and decorative figurines -- like those above. I must have carved (in the living room, for we have no basement work place) for some ten years, producing a basket-full of figurines and several dozen really beautiful walking sticks.

Unfortunately I did NOT care to sell whatever beauty I had created over the years -- except the writing. I made a nice living as a journalist and active investor, but virtually nothing of my other skills -- painting, carving, shooting, racing.

I played serious volleyball -- twice in the nationals -- but my sportsmanlike life ended with a broken Achilles tendon -- at age 54.

Life with Lorry has been a blast. And to boot, that lovely woman supported my efforts, no matter what screwball occupation I took up. We are comfortable, raised three kids, have grandchildren, and still working as a journalist -- with the Melrose Mirror. It's been a blast, and has given us access to the halls of MIT.

Somehow I feel that I should be paying for this great life, but then a lot of people are happy that I have been around. Life is getting a little short now, my older brother kicked the bucket last year, and, like the Doc says, "You're getting older, you know."

Yeah, I know. But I won't give it up easily. I'll go, doing something really outlandish. What that is I haven't decided yet, but read all about it when they publish my obit.

Best wishes, everybody.

March 7, 2014

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