My niece bought a coffee shop last month.
The previous owners had allowed me to sell my local history book in their gift store so I stopped by this week to restock.
I ran into a high school class mate. We decided to do coffee Saturday morning.
Saturday, as I sat at the main table, I was concerned I was sitting in someones chair.
“Not to worry,” they said.
One of the regulars, (Jack) is a plumber. I’ve seen Jack around town for 40 years. He was heading to work on a water heater after he left the coffee-house.
My classmate asked me to guess how old Jack was after he left…I guessed 80 only because I knew he was about my dad’s age…
Jack is 88. He has the energy of a man 20 years younger. Now think about it for a second. On a Saturday morning Jack was installing a water heater for someone. I thought I was doing good to be at the coffee shop on my day off by 7:30. 🙂
My dad used to say “The word retirement is not in my vocabulary.” Another one I’ve heard him say is, “Do what you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life…” Those little ditties were being lived out in front of my Saturday morning in the person of Jack.
I am still reading John Muir His Life And His Letters And Other Writings. I started using the highlighter. The guy was a poet.
Came across another nugget the other night. He was telling a friend goodby….
“I don’t envy you. You’ll have a hard time keeping your heart light and simple in the midst of this crowd of madmen. Instead of the music of the wind among the spruce-tops and the tinkling of the waterfalls, your ears will be filled with the oaths and groans of these poor deluded, self-burdened men.”
Reading that admonition by Muir to his friend, confirmed for me yet again this impulse to keep my heart light and simple in the midst of life.
Yes, sometimes I wished I had a little more wiggle room when it comes to finances. If I had the option, would I rather spend my life making lots of money in a job I hate with the goal of someday slowing down and enjoying it, or make a lot less and enjoy myself now.
As a firstborn, formerly driven workaholic, I can now take a nap without shame. (That is no small feat.) I no longer hear the voice of the old German taskmaster who lives in my head. I know he’s still up there, but he no longer in charge.
The old German.
And on an almost unrelated note. We had a crop failure this year with the apples. (we have a small orchard of about 100 trees) In June we had a nasty hail storm. The apples kept forming but 90% of the crop was severely blemished. Still OK for cooking, cider, etc. but not marketable.
2017 hail damaged apple
Had two different Amish families come and pick some for cider. I know they probably thought I was nuts to just give them away…but hated to see them go to waste and I was darned if I was going to deal with snarky comments.
I would rather give them away or let them rot.
…“keep your heart light and simple, in the midst of this crowd of madmen…” John Muir