So Quiet But I Finally Woke Up

Sometimes I feel like I’m drunk behind the wheel
the wheel of possibility
However it may roll, give it a spin
See if you can somehow factor in
You know there’s always more than one way
to say exactly what you mean to say

Was I out of my head or was I out of my mind?
How could I have ever been so blind?
I was waiting for an indication, it was hard to find
Don’t matter what I say, only what I do
I never mean to do bad things to you
So quiet but I finally woke up
If you’re sad then it’s time you spoke up too

Was I out of my head or was I out of my mind?
How could I have ever been so blind?
I was waiting for an indication, it was hard to find
Don’t matter what I say, only what I do
I never mean to do bad things to you
So quiet but I finally woke up
If you’re sad then it’s time you spoke up too

Was I out of my head or was I out of my mind?
How could I have ever been so blind?
I was waiting for an indication, it was hard to find
Don’t matter what I say, only what I do
I never mean to do bad things to you
So quiet but I finally wake up
If you’re sad then it’s time you spoke up too

Outta My Head – Fastball

Today was another day for a ride along the coast of Maine. I left Bangor at 4:30 this morning and drove to Ellsworth then north on US 1 all the way to Calais. I needed to clear my head after a difficult week of driving, and the beauty of the coast never fails to inspire.

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It’s fun to think I am looking at the same picture the earliest explorers looked at hundreds of years ago. The only thing different now is the presence of man made homes and docks. All the inlets, coves, islands and mud flats are unchanged. The above picture could be the vision of the first explorer to set foot on that beach. The presence of man brings new things, but still in harmony with nature.

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Many of these inlets may have filled in some with silt, but all it takes is one big storm to wash it back out. The ebb and flow of the ocean tides cleanse the coast and provide for all the flora and fauna that thrive here.

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As I roll along I feel my shoulders settle, my neck loosen. I smell the salt air and watch the birds fly over the flats. It’s so quiet but I finally woke up to the fact that I must have been blind to not realize before now, just how much I can see and do for almost no money. There are so many places to see and touch, smell and hear. I think about my former plans of a house or land, my little slice of the earth and I understand how narrow that goal is. Why limit yourself to just a small view?

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There is so much more I can see from the deck of a boat. Every day I can have a different view, every day I can turn the page in my book of life and add a new photo. Every day I can feel the joy of discovery, feel just like a child again.

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Can you see yourself anchored in this harbor, rowing the dingy to shore to go to the local Farmers Market for fresh vegetables and fruit, buy some fish caught just today right from the boat that caught it? A minimalist lifestyle can be had, and a much better life can be lived if your willing to do what it takes.

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This sea otter lives a life free from the daily grind we all face, so why can’t we? Alone or with friends he go’s where he want’s, when he want’s. So why can’t we? The answer is…we can, and I will! Imagine anchoring in this quiet cove. Nothing but the wind and the gentle sway of the boat. What is that kind of peaceful lifestyle worth?

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Nothing in life is free, nothing should be taken for granted. So many people work so hard for their retirement only to get sick or even die before they can enjoy life after work. Many others can’t stop working for fear of losing everything they worked so hard for. If you have almost nothing, you have almost nothing to lose I say. If my boat sank, I could work and buy another. If you lost your house at age 60, could you afford to buy another?

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The sunset of my life is coming, my body is not as resilient as it used to be. I can’t read a book without glasses, but I can rebuild a diesel engine. I can’t run a 5k race, but I can row a dingy and sail a sailboat. Ones worth in this world is not only measured by their physical prowess or their degrees earned in collage, but by their ability to fend for themselves. The founders of this country came here with minimal tools and supplies, the rest they had to come up with on their own. It may have been very hard by today’s standards, but they understood what it took to live a minimalist lifestyle, and I will do the same.

The sweat on my brow and the blisters on my hands are the price I will pay for my lifestyle of choice. I will have many more years of that currency with which to pursue my goals, live the dream before I am too old. My book of life will be filled with joy and laughter, sorrow and tears. A balance of each is my goal if I can help it. We shall see.

PS: I had lunch in Calais at a small diner in town and met Katalin. We had a great conversation and she reminded me of a former post about exceptional people, of which she is one. The story of your boys giving you a ring and saying you were married to them was so endearing it made my heart melt. I told you when I sailed up the coast in a year or two I would stop by again and take you and your two sons out for a sail. And yes Katalin, I will show up, but I was lying to you a little. I don’t often include two songs in one post, but this song is what I felt when I drove back to Bangor.

 

 

Another Holiday, Another Rest Area

I’m sitting in a rest area in Williston Vermont tonight. I will deliver the first stop of this load tomorrow in Burlington, then continue to Martinsburg West Virginia. I have worked almost every holiday my entire working career, but I’m getting very tired of it. As I drove over US route 2 from Rumford Maine through northern New Hampshire and into Vermont I realized just how much time I have lost trying to follow a dream that was not my own.

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Driving in the mountains almost brought me to tears when I thought about the missed days camping in the meadows, swimming in the ice cold streams, all the photographs never taken. I thought about the time camping with my folks, my sister and my wife in the field below this mountain so many years ago. That was a snapshot in time I will never forget. I never lost my sense of wonder and the feeling of complete joy being out in nature, even if only driving through like today.

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So many places I have lived, each holds a special place in my memory. Many days spent as a young boy sitting on the rocks beside this lighthouse dreaming of high adventure. A fertile imagination unbounded and alive even now, I have the power to make it real. Today validated all my plans, assured me my path was the right one. When I grow up I want to be a nature photographer, and that time is now.

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But how do I compete, there are so many others? There is more nature than all the worlds photographers combined could ever capture, and each brings their own vision to the lens. Each has their own story to tell. I wanted to stop so many times today to pull into the lens the beauty I felt through my eyes. But like all of my adult life to date, I am at the mercy of my employer. Not much longer.

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Every sunrise brings another opportunity to share the feelings only seen by one, create the same experience if only in a picture. This morning was spent paddling in a canoe, the only sounds were the splash of the water and the cry of the Loons. A perfect morning.

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Even a dusty field behind a truck stop holds wonders of nature to those with patience and a steady hand. I don’t think I will ever run out of things to see. And soon I will add the aspect of the water view to the mix. The coast of Maine is truly one of the greatest spots on earth.

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The Trials Of Perpetual Learning 

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Like clouds in the sky, so too are the thoughts that wash over my mind. Remembrances of days on mountaintops awash in the glow of the sun, a photo caught in the lens. How far I have come from that day, how much I have learned. And yet many things remain the same, we walk much of the same path, never changing for fear of stumble.

Forward we must, or suffer the same occurrence we will. Straight into the future with head held high, we grasp at a dream with a single minded purpose. Never stronger have I been than this time, reminded by the past of the distance to fall. Each day a lesson to learn, each lesson however small adds to the cumulative effect of a life searching for wisdom and knowledge.

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The trials of perpetual learning are most apparent on a night like this. Alone with my thoughts I sense the miles I have traveled to reach the point of understanding, the trials of acceptance to reach the peak. And still I climb, ever searching for the next lesson, the next moment of enlightenment to fill another space in the recesses of my mind. Learning is perpetual to those who make it so, those who realize never will you know all that you need.

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A life of learning brings more than an encyclopedic mind, it brings the joy of discovery and an undying wonder of what we don’t know. Take a moment to look at what is right in front of you, instead of ignoring where beauty is found. Each day is another chance to grasp something new, add another slide to the presentation of memory. The only thing you take with you when you die is the pictures captured during your time on this earth, if you bother to fill that album.

The Forest For The Trees

Sometimes you have to look through your own perspective on things, see through the forest for the trees. Only then will you see what truly lies in a ray of light, basking in the sunlight between the shadows. Sometimes, if your open to it, a clear path will present itself.

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Remnants of the past are bathed in the glow of life giving rays.

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Nature brings forth a beauty unmatched by man.

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Fields of grass wave before the unseen force of the wind.

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Even when broken, the will to live is strong.

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Through a break in the trees, what do I find?

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On occasion, if your observant, you may find something truly stunning in the woods of Maine. These are Ladyslippers, a type of wild orchid. In my lifetime of 51 years to date I may have seen 10 of them. It was a great walk today.

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Shelter In Place

I’m in Jeffersonville OH tonight. I was just getting ready to take Vinny out one last time when my phone went off…tornado warning, shelter in place! I grabbed my camera and Vinny and stepped outside to the harsh drone of the local siren going off. No tornado’s but some big storms.

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Sometimes nature has a way of showing you how little control you actually have in this world. I drove into Joplin MO years ago right after the big tornado they had. The vision I saw that day will be forever burned into my memory. So many people died with very little warning. Cherish every day as if it was your last.

An Old Familiar Place

Another week behind the wheel, another week closer to my goals. I’m parked in Dingman’s Ferry Pa again tonight, and I took Vinny for a walk up the hill. Anytime the weather is good we go up top to stretch our legs.

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I say hill, but it’s not much really. This may only be a parking area by a McDonald’s, but it’s better than a dirty old truck stop! It’s a short steep hill but worth the climb.

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The wind is strong today but the temp is 70 or so and Vinny just stands there as it blows past, slowly sniffing the scents we will never notice.

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I think it would be good to be a dog. Every moment a cascade of pleasure surrounded by the people that care for you and the simple pleasures only a dog could know. Sometimes he stares at the sky and I wonder if he can appreciate the beautiful blue color.

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When the wind rustles the dry leaves in the woods, does he sense the rhythm of nature, the symphony it places before us if we listen?

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I can’t help but feel a sense of comfort, a feeling of calm as I sit here. I’m in my element outdoors and I relish every moment I have to spend in the sunlight. Tomorrow I will drive 600 or more miles, and by Wednesday morning I will be in Georgia and half my week will be over. I hope to be back by Saturday so I can visit some people that have an existing charity in Maine and have offered to help me start my plan of sailing adventures for veterans and their children. I’m very excited to get started down my chosen path, my chance to make up for past mistakes and make a real difference. You can stand me up at the gates of hell but I won’t back down.

Take The Good With The Bad

I’m at a very bad truck stop tonight in North Carolina. It’s the kind of stop you don’t want to walk around at night so I take Vinny out one last time at dusk. Here you see the usual trash cast aside by those with no respect for others.

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Like I always do I try to find some corner of content, a little wedge of clear elegance in the midst of human disregard. I think I succeeded.

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This field of wheat reminds us that even surrounded by people that don’t care, in the middle of the decay of society as a whole, the beauty of nature shines through to give us something to be thankful for. For one to truly live a life of fulfillment we must learn to look past the jagged edges, through the barbed wire, and take the good with the bad.

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Am I Alive Or Thoughts That Drift Away?

Jan lays down and wrestles in her sleep
Moonlight spills on comic books
And superstars in magazines
An old friend calls and tells us where to meet
Her plane takes off from Baltimore
And touches down on Bourbon Street

We sit outside and argue all night long
About a god we’ve never seen
But never fails to side with me
Sunday comes and all the papers say
Ma Teresa’s joined the mob
And happy with her full time job

Do do do do do do

Am I alive or thoughts that drift away?
Does summer come for everyone?
Can humans do as prophets say?
And if I die before I learn to speak
Can money pay for all the days I lived awake
But half asleep?

Do do do do do do

A life is time, they teach us growing up
The seconds ticking killed us all
A million years before the fall
You ride the waves and don’t ask where they go
You swim like lions through the crest
And bathe yourself on zebra flesh

I’ve been downhearted baby,
I’ve been downhearted baby,
Ever since the day we met

Standing Outside A Broken Phone Booth With Money In My Hand – Primitive Radio Gods

I needed some downtime today so I went for a ride down the coast of Maine to recharge my inner battery. I’ve had a difficult couple weeks as of late and time alone with Vinny and my thoughts always helps to refocus my mind back to what I am working so hard for. Interactions with people have drained me to the point that the only person I wanted to see today was my mom, and I stopped to see her during my escape. She’s the only person that really matters to me at this point and I was happy to see she was doing well.

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There’s something about the coast that gives me a feeling of peace, the toils of life seem to fade ever so slightly into the background. The smell of the salt air combined with the mud flats bring me back to a more innocent time as a child sitting by the shore in Cape Elizabeth. I stopped many times today when the view called to me.

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I made my way down to LL Bean again to look at canoes for this summers adventures. They have a wonderful assortment of kayaks and canoe’s to choose from. I think an “Old Town Discovery 119” solo will do the trick. I don’t mind paying a premium for quality that will last a lifetime and these canoe’s fit the bill.

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When I made it to Brunswick I stopped at a wire bridge to walk Vinny and get a closer look. The river is roaring right now and the day was brilliant. A great day to be in Maine.

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As far as I have come over the last few years I still find I’m wrestling with demons of my past, still looking for release from the sometimes harsh reality of the world we live in. As I sat beside the water today I’m reminded of what it is that has always given me the most happiness, the soft blanket to rest my soul on. Walking with my dog, the solitude in nature, no sound but the wind, the sun on my face. Some moments are so surreal I ask myself, Am I alive or thoughts that drift away?


Lightning Crashes

Lightning crashes a new mother cries
Her placenta falls to the floor
The angel opens her eyes
The confusion sets in
Before the doctor can even close the door

Lightning crashes an old mother dies
Her intentions fall to the floor
The angel closes her eyes
The confusion that was hers
Belongs now to the baby down the hall

Oh now feel it, comin’ back again
Like a rollin’, thunder chasing the wind
Forces pullin’ from
The center of the earth again
I can feel it.

Lightning crashes a new mother cries
This moment she’s been waiting for
The angel opens her eyes
Pale blue colored iris
Presents the circle
And puts the glory out to hide, hide

Oh now feel it, comin’ back again
Like a rollin’, thunder chasing the wind
Forces pullin’ from
The center of the earth again
I can feel it.

Oh now feel it, comin’ back again
Like a rollin’, thunder chasing the wind
Forces pullin’ from
The center of the earth again
I can feel it.

Oh now feel it, comin’ back again
Like a rollin’, thunder chasing the wind
Forces pullin’ from
The center of the earth again
I can feel it.

How much control do we really have over our lives? Can we overcome anything that confronts us? We like to think we are the masters of our fate, our decision making powers provide us with the ability to take charge of the circumstances that present themselves to us, the forethought to have prepared for the worst. We are going to make our mark in this world before we die, we can make a difference that will leave a lasting change in the fate of others. But what if were wrong? What if there’s no rhyme or reason to it?

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Will this be the last sunset I ever see? If so, can I savor it in the here and now with the knowledge of whats to come? I think not. I think we have no idea of whats going to happen in the future with any certainty. Oh we can plan for this contingency or that, prepare for bad times with the hope of skating by with little damage, but I truly feel it’s mostly just dumb luck.

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Was this pond formed for the expressed purpose of providing a habitat for the woodland animals and migrating birds in this area, or was it just because it was gouged out by a glacier during the last ice age in the correct shape to hold water? How did the fish arrive in it’s depths? I think the human mind can think up all kinds of methods or reason many ways that this or that happened, but ultimately we don’t really know for sure. We can attribute some sort of consequence that led to our existence on this planet but we have no solid proof to show for certain how it came about.

I choose to believe there is a balance to all things. An underlying equilibrium that plays into everyday life. Not fate per say, but more of a poetry of existence that shows itself in the opposites of every action. As every child is born, someone dies having lived a full life, after a forest burns, new seedlings sprout to once again showcase the splendor of nature. A storm may wipe away a desert landscape, but a fuller array of life comes forth where only sand was before.

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Like this flowering tree against a cloudy sky, life provides many contrasts, many colors that soothe the everyday trials. Our senses provide the impetus that completes the circle, the stimulation that gives us clarity of our surroundings. Each smell and taste, sight and sound, conspire to bring everyday experiences into a more concise arrangement, a palate of life full of the colors that show us how wonderful it is to be alive in this world. I for one relish every day of life and will continue until it’s last breath.

Reset In Maybrook New York

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Like most every reset I like to take a walk with Vinny my dog. Today we are at the TA in Maybrook NY. I was told by someone who works here of an old farm that used to be in the area, so we went to take a look.

Here’s the stone entrance he spoke of.

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Whats that smell? The smell of death is never mistaken for anything else. Here is the carcass of a dear and other trash dumped by someone.

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A little further up the road and one would think they arrived at the town dump.

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Even more around the next corner. Many people have no respect.

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Some of the trash has been here a long time. When was the last time you saw one of these?

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A little farther in I found the old farm well and what looked like a large stone BBQ.

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Here’s the remnants of a cement block barn, and even more trash!

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Past this point I come into an area that looks like it was open pasture some time ago.

 

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As we are walking back to the truck I notice something shiny in the crotch of a tree. What in the world is that doing there? You never know just what you will find at old homesteads.

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As we walk back into the truck stop, I thought it fitting that this truck came out hauling hay.

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Well Vinny, time to kick back, pluck all the ticks out of my socks and your fur and take a nap. Goodnight all!