Gut Rumbles
 

January 15, 2006

where does the time go?

Thirty-one days from today, I'll be 54 years old. Just damn! Where does the time go?

I still remember being a kid in a coal mining camp in Harlan County, Kentucky, where I often sat on the floor and listened to my kinfolk tell stories about things they had done and places they had been during their lives. Those stories always fascinated me, for two reasons.

First, they were good stories, told by good storytellers. (If I have any storytelling talent, I come by it naturally. I was trained by experts.) My relatives taught me at an early age that the best stories are TRUE stories, enhanced just a little bit to make them more entertaining. I still abide by that philosophy today.

Second, as I listened raptly, I pictured a path through the wildflowers on the bottomland by the Cumberland River. Life was a walk down that path, where you picked wildflowers along the way. The farther you walked, the more flowers you picked--- and that bouquet was your collection of memories, the stuff that makes good stories.

I was six years old at the time and I hadn't walked very far down that path. I didn't have many flowers in MY bouquet and I envied the older folks for theirs.

Those were the days. Now, I'm older than most of my relatives were back then. I need a got-dam pickup truck to haul my bouquet today because I've gone AT LEAST halfway to the end of that path and I picked a LOT of flowers along the way--- when I wasn't falling in a mudhole or getting tangled in briars. I've also learned that the path is a lot steeper and more slippery than I ever thought it would be.

But I take heart from the fact that I'm still younger than these people. Bejus! Jimmy Buffett turns 60 this year. Old fart. But he's still walking that path and collecting memories wildflowers that never die and smell sweeter with each passing year.

So am I.

Comments

Funny you should mention Mr. Buffett...

I listen to a radio station at work that plays "Margaritaville" nearly every day and, inevitably, my thoughts turn to you.
Not because of the alcohol-theme, either.

It's just the music itself and the part about his being on the front porch swing, strumming his six-string and those shrimp beginning to boil...

I always see you in my mind's eye.
Shorts, no shirt, tan and grinning.
Guitar in hand, enroute to check the shrimp....

Then, when he gets to the chorus, I always change it Marijuanaville....
Searchin' for my lost baggie of buds...
(It goes on, but I won't... for a change. *grin*)

That song makes me think of you, happy.

*hugs ya*

Posted by: Stevie on January 15, 2006 01:33 PM

ah, hell, you're just a spring chicken. I was barking treerats with a .22 rifle when you were born. But it ain't the age of the vehicle that wears it out, it is the miles one puts on it. I decided years ago that I had rather live my life the way I wanted to rather than be one of those old men at ninety in the rocking chair on the front porch sayin' " Well, I could have if I had a wanted to." I wanted to and I did.

Posted by: GUYK on January 15, 2006 01:57 PM

Me, too, Guy. Me, too. And I'm paying for it today...

Posted by: Acidman on January 15, 2006 02:01 PM

Funny, I thought I remembered reading that you were 53 when you started the blog... Must be the dyslexia. It's especially bad with numbers.

No matter, I'm with you and GuyK. I traded off respectability for freedom at an early age. I figured I wouldn't live past 30, God knows I shouldn't have with the crazy shit I've done in my life. The way I figure it, every day I still wake up with most of the parts working, is a gift and I enjoy every one of them.

Posted by: Libby on January 15, 2006 02:52 PM

I think you are doing great! You are certainly the most handsome 53 year old I've ever seen ;)

Posted by: livey on January 15, 2006 04:33 PM

I was 49 when I started my blog, Libby. Please don't hurry me into my dotage. It's coming fast enough by itself.

Livey--- flattery works on me, even when I think you're blowing smoke up my Cracker ass.

Posted by: Acidman on January 15, 2006 04:40 PM

Just checking my dyslexia Acidman. It seems to be getting worse. I certainly don't want to rush you into dotage since this means, damn, you're actually younger than me.

I'm sure that explains why you could bound up the stairs in that photo the other day while I'm sure I would be huffing and puffing to make it to the top.

Posted by: Libby on January 15, 2006 05:20 PM

Whatcha are, Darlin', is 29 with almost two dozen years of practice.

You are not old.
(This I know because I'm only 10 years behind ya.)

Posted by: Stevie on January 15, 2006 05:58 PM

You should know by now, I wouldn't blow smoke up yer ass darlin.

Posted by: livey on January 15, 2006 06:25 PM

I turn 36 in July and I've picked a fair amount of flowers on my way through. Probably one of the most important things I've picked up from you is to make sure that I share these memories with my kids. My parents died before I ever thought to ask them about their lives and they never thought to tell me much of anything. Since I started reading you, I no longer wait for my boys to ASK what flowers are in my garden. I don't know if it's just me or my entire generation, but I know more about world history than I do about my family's history and it's a damn shame.

Posted by: Chablis on January 15, 2006 06:28 PM

Rob, that makes me exactly four years and twelve days older than you are.

Got me a nice bunch of flowers, though I'm in awe of your bouquet. Still gatherin' 'em, too. Take care you do the same.

Regards,
Ric

Posted by: Ric Locke on January 15, 2006 07:18 PM

Perfect analogy! I love it.

Posted by: Desert Cat on January 16, 2006 12:31 AM

One more candle and a trip around the sun....

Posted by: Heath on January 16, 2006 08:59 AM

Getting old didn't bother me. Not until I turned 60. Believe me, that "6" in front is a whole different number, and it says OLD like no number that has come prior to it.

Posted by: bigdocmcd on January 16, 2006 01:56 PM

time, time, said old king tut
is something i ain't got anything but
- Don Marquis, writing as archy the cockroach

Posted by: Elisson on January 16, 2006 09:03 PM

Paraphrasing Mickey Mantle, "If I'd known I was gonna live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself." I'm 65. Don't look a day over 84.

Posted by: Larry on January 16, 2006 09:44 PM
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