The time of your life

That sentence is used allot.   You hear people use that every day it seems.  It implies, that no other day or experience can compare.  But how can that be?  You don’t know what the future will bring.  Next week, year, decade and so on, you could have a better day.  I understand the context with which they use it.  I have done the same.  But does it seem odd, or is it just me?

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Today I went to Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth Maine.  I lived right beside it between the ages of 5 to 11.  I knew every inch of the fort.  I spent many hours sitting alone on the rocks.  I had one favorite spot I always went to and today I sat there again with my dog.  When I closed my eyes, I was 8 again.  All those memories came back just like they happened yesterday.  I felt the draw to the ocean I had even at that age.  I remember dreaming of sailing off to the islands just off shore.  Maybe on a merchant ship to exotic ports of call.  I think I just wanted to get away.  It seems the travel bug was in me even then.

Another place at the fort that is special to me is the location of one of the few times I had a father son moment.  I think I was 7, and I had built my first “coaster” made from scraps of wood and some old mower tires.  He put it in his pickup and took me to a little hill in the fort.

The time of your life

I would roll down the hill and he would pull me back up with his truck.  We did this over and over till the wheels fell off!  Those are the moments a father and son will bond.  Sadly, they were few and far between for us.

I used to get into the old bunkers and the tunnels in them.  Some led nowhere, some I followed until I could barely see the light from where I started.  I was scared, but it was a rush!  I took my fathers flashlight one time, and went deep into one.  When I dropped the light and broke it, I had to find my way out by feel only.  I can still feel the panic starting to rise.  I swallowed hard, and found my way out.  My folks would have had a stroke had they known what I was doing!

It’s a shame that after the town took over the fort, they tore down many of the structures instead of restoring them.  It’s not like they had no money, the tax rate there is one of the highest in the state.

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I think it was very narrow minded to not see the history of this fort.  Yes, there were some unsafe areas, but they just bulldozed or buried over half the fort.  What a shame.

When I was about 6, the lighthouse keepers son was my best friend.  One time, when I stayed overnight, we saw some whales just off shore.  That night I had a nightmare about the whales, and was so afraid, I made them call my parents to come get me!  Silly young kid.

His father took us up in the tower many times.  Even as a young child, the view was astounding!  I have never been afraid of heights, and would climb the rocks pretending to be Edmund Hillary climbing Mt Everest.  I took allot of chances as a child.

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I look back on those years as some of the best in my life so far.  I wish we could have stayed there longer than we did.  The feelings I had then are even stronger now.  Going there today only hardens my resolve about buying a sailboat.

As I watched a sailboat go by, my heart ached with the need to be out there.  I long to feel the wind and water.  The feeling of propulsion by nature only.  No one controlling you, your destiny in your own hands.  True freedom.

So when I look back on my life, when I am close to the end, at what point will the time of my life have occurred?

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