If you have already seen this post, disregard as I have had problems with posting to reader!
I feel this way alot, and I don’t think it’s a bad thing. I’m sitting in northern Wisconsin with nothing to do till Monday, so I take Vinny for a walk in a field across from the truck stop.
It’s about 3 acres between the truck stop and the highway, but if you look closely you can find beautiful things to photograph. Like these flowers all alone in the field.
There just simple wildflowers but their radiance is still enticing. How about this prairie grass blowing in the breeze?
Vinny stands there while the breeze flows past his face.
Alone with my thoughts I can think things through more clearly, make better decisions than I have made in the past. Ive made some decisions in the last few days and my 3 year and 10 year or so plan is now set.
I had been talking with the company I drive for about leasing a truck from them. The advantages of leasing is the freedom to set your own schedule, control where you run along with a little more money at the end of the day. The down side is the maintenance, repairs, insurance and other hassles that go along with ownership. I have owned my own truck in the past, but I’m to close to my final plan to take on the responsibility now. I’ll stay a company driver.
I’m going to spend every penny I make this fall and winter purchasing better lenses for my camera, a canoe for next summers camping trips, a few more tools for the upcoming boat projects and I’m going to pay off my car. By the end of May I should be debt free.
At that point I will have everything I need to entertain myself, no need for any other items of any substantial cost. I earn $4000.00 to $5000.00 each month after taxes and I can easily live on a quarter of that once I have no payments. Every penny extra at that point will go to the boat fund. In one year I will have enough to purchase the boat I want, and in two years I should have the refit done. I will essentially have a new sailboat at that point.
I think once the boat is done I will take a summer off just to give the boat a real shakedown and give myself a vacation to remember. In all my working career to date I have never had more than a one week vacation, and I have never traveled out of the US. I would like to sail to Nova Scotia and then to Prince Edward Island. Maybe go down the Saint Lawrence Seaway to Quebec then back to Maine. It’s a dream I have had for a long time.
After that summer I will go back to driving for the winter. I can earn enough in six months to sustain my lifestyle for the year if I’m careful so I can take every summer off. That is the point where I have made a big decision. I’m going to give something back to the country that has allowed me to live my dream, as well as destroy the demon that has plagued me all of my life.
My relationship with my father was never very good. Partly my fault, partly his, but I think most of it had to do with the PTSD he was never diagnosed with until he was in his eighties. He was the picture of a dutiful father when it came to providing for the family. He was never without a job, we never went hungry, always had toys to play with, and I never felt he didn’t care.
The real problem for me was that father/son connection, it was never there. Now that my dad is in late stage dementia, it’s too late to make up for lost ground. My chance to play ball with my dad, go camping or fishing, work on my first car, it’s all gone. It tares me up to see him now, there’s nothing I can do but watch him slowly fade away. I have to live with this, but what if I can help others to avoid it?
My 10 or so year plan is simple. Enjoy the time I have left while I’m still healthy, and do something good for someone else. I have decided to start a non profit that will be aimed at Veterans with PTSD and their children. I’m going to offer 3 or 4 day excursions for Veterans diagnosed with PTSD, and their son or daughter, off the coast of Maine entirely for free. Sailing, fishing, kayaking and even swimming for the very brave! (Maine coastal waters never get above 65 degrees or so!) All food will be included also.
I can think of no better way to give back, or pay it forward than to give a Veteran and his/her child a chance to really bond away from everything modern. No internet, no phones, no tv, just nature. 4 days of just being together with no distractions. I wish I could do that with my dad right now. The company I work for has said they will be a sponsor along with putting me in touch with the organizations they already work with. I spoke to a Lawyer about setting up the organization but I need a name for it. That’s where you come in!
I have wonderful followers that have great minds, and I love to hear from all of you. Let’s put our “Hive” mind together and come up with a name that will inspire, a name that projects the goal I have given myself. I have done a search of the Maine area and can find no other organization offering anything similar. I think this could be quite a hit if I can get it off the ground.
I don’t believe the costs for such would be very high, and I don’t think I will have any trouble finding Veterans to help. I’m not looking for money to buy or refit the boat as it will be my retirement home also. Just enough to cover the food, insurance and other minor expenses I incur. I feel very strongly about this. I’m not sure how many summers I would offer it, but even if I only help one child connect with a parent, I will have made a difference.
The next time you drive by a field, think about that flower. It’s just waiting there for someone to come along and be it’s friend, someone to show they care. Just like a child waiting for their dad to go play ball.