Pain and Nostalgia


About 12 years ago, while working in the last machine shop to employ me, I messed up my right shoulder when a tool broke. Today, while working on my old Ford truck, I did something to aggravate that. Hurts like hell. Icy Hot, heating pad, OTC drugs and even a bag of dry rice my wife microwaved to put on it hasn’t helped.

This time of year always makes me think back to the winter of 1982, when Journey’s Escape was still the hottest cassette to have and I was in driver’s ed in high school. The piles of snow and ice remind me of a day when I was the only one of my driving group to show up for class so I got to drive for the entire period with Mr. Eby.

However, it isn’t the ’80s I’ve felt nostalgic for lately. For some reason, I keep thinking of the swinging ’70s. Not that I was swinging, of course. Well, I was, but it was on a swing set. I don’t know what it is, but I’ll just have little flashbacks to collecting Charlie’s Angels trading cards, playing board games with friends, discussing what the members of KISS looked like without their makeup, and riding bikes on a field we called The Trails that had a drainage ditch running through it and we’d made a motocross track on the place. Other than an occasional Facebook comment, I’m not in touch with a single friend from those days. Or high school. That’s sad.

In other news, I’ve been steaming along pretty well on Nadia’s Children, averaging just under 2,000 words per setting. I broke the 30,000 word barrier yesterday. Nothing on it today, though. Wow. It’s 2:07 a.m.

School was out for me yesterday and today. Completely stupid. They determined it was too cold. What that really means is that too many of our kids have parents who can’t properly dress their kids for a walk to school or for standing at the bus stop. Cancelling class because it’s too cold. That just blows my mind. It wasn’t even that cold. Temperatures have been in the 5 to 10 F range in the mornings. Yeah, the wind was blowing, but really? No school? And, of course, our school put zero snow days into the calendar, so we’ll have to make up these two days. And we could still very well get another real storm that might legitimately close school. When we get too soft, the barbarians will tear down the gates.

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5 thoughts on “Pain and Nostalgia

  1. There was a place in my youth called The Trails, a very small creek that ran for about half a mile and then was diverted underground. It was home to the dreaded Death Hill, a rut filled trail that looked like it was straight down and straight up. You could ride your brakes all the way down and up the other side and still have enough speed to crash into the chain link fence. Assuming the ruts didn’t send you careening into the marijuana and poison ivy that was growing both sides of the trail.
    I wonder how kids today will remember their youth? Will it be references to watching the first Blu-ray DVDs or how slow the G3 smartphones were or having to use a map when the GPS system was down?
    As for the school closings, I thought it was a bit stupid. Kids aren’t fragile, brittle things that break with tiniest of pressure. They’re pretty resilient. When I was going to TPS, the north wing could be burning to the ground, but as long as there was no smoke in the south wing, classes were in session.

  2. I, too, thought the cold-day was a bit extreme, but that very morning the fire alarm went off at work and after spending 15 minutes out in the cold I revise my view!
    Plus, well, if you’ve got a kid with a frostbitten nose or fingers or whatever, saying that his/her parents are not smart enough to dress them right won’t fix the damaged tissue.
    I sometimes recall my early days in the Texas panhandle in the 70s. It was a very sleazy time. They built a mall about half a mile away from our house and put all the dirt from the leveling operation in a huge mound in the field. Dirt bike city!

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