Almost thirty and I think I have finally found myself. In the past few years I have gone through a crazy variety of experiences. Between getting married, divorced, The Appalachian trail and hitchhiking the US, I have stories to tell.
I Love My Job
I tried the whole "work full time at a shit job in order to afford basic luxuries" lifestyle and was absolutely miserable. I tried fast food, retail, restaurants, healthcare, factory work... it all leads to burning out and hating life. The money wasn't worth the exhaustion, the anxiety and the lack of self worth. So I went on a very long hike and re-evaluated what I wanted out of life, I wanted to enjoy my job, even if it meant I needed to give up many luxuries I had come accustomed to. If I had an apartment and bills to pay then this job wouldn't be able to support me but thankfully I manage to avoid such costs by living in my off-grid converted school bus.
Our Norway Pond
The air horn blared and all at once the fleet of box sleds began their uncertain descent down the hill towards the frozen pond. The bumble bee sled rolled over right at the beginning of the race and the airplane sled started to spin uncontrollably down the hill. The race car sled had the lead, it's wide, low profile allowing speed and stability. Jay and I watched as children got thrown from their poorly made cardboard contraptions, their parents failing to run to their aid, slipping down the icy slope. Jay was nearly in tears laughing, pointing at his younger brother's sled, barrel rolling down the hill, taking out all other sleds in its path. The race was over within minutes, Jay's younger brother the victor, by literally crushing the competition, emerged from his beaten sled in tears and covered in vomit.
The quality of life
We visited Manchester only twice a year when the rations ran low. My mother made the trip into a big event for our family, dressing us nicely and granting each of us our allowance to pick some specialty goods. This year Cal and I had a plan to combine our savings and buy a piglet off Mr. Teri. He gifted us a slab of bacon this past Christmas, it is a rather rare and cherished meat in the northern tundra and was the most delicious thing we had ever tasted. Christmas night Ma, little Cal and I sat around the fire and ate crispy bacon strips while listening to Pa tell stories about life before the snow. We savored every salty morsel and when it was all gone we licked what we could off of our fingertips.
Lucy in the Rye
That's right! I deem Lucy in the Rye as the best breakfast joint in the USA! Found in the small mountain town of Sylva, North Carolina Lucy in the Rye recently opened its doors for the first time, introducing the world to the best combinations of flavor. I have been on many road trips across this country and what that means for me is I have tried many breakfast joints! Is there really anything better than a big plate of eggs benedict or waffles before heading out on an all day adventure? the answer is no. When I was younger my travels were fueled by Denny's and Red Arrow but as I grew older I found more enjoyment picking out the small town diners along the back roads of my journey. From New Hampshire's River House café, Pennsylvania's Squeaky Rail , Urban Egg in Colorado or California's Black Bear Diner there is always a good breakfast to be found... But none are like Lucy in the Rye.
I remember it was a midsummer day in New Hampshire, The sky was clear and we were on our way to the beach. It was one of the few trips we had gone on as a "family" including myself, my brother Tommy, Mom and her boyfriend Eddie. The first stop of the day was to an open house for prebuilt modular homes. Mom thought it would be fun to look around for a cheap new house despite the fact we wouldn't ever be able to afford one. I understood why she wanted to keep her hopes up though, our house was a beaten down, single wide trailer with plastic sheeted windows and multiple holes in the roof. Locals and family friends had named it "The Hippie Shack".
The Unpopular Opinion
Our planet is overpopulated... No one ever argues with me on that statement. If I ask why overpopulation is a problem, someone will usually mention the fact that there are limited resources on the planet and it is becoming harder and harder to provide enough of these resources to allow future generations to live comfortable lives. Others may mention displacement and mass extinction of animals across the globe due to deforestation, expansion of cities and human industrialization. Both are very good points.
My Highschool was lucky enough to have a series of photo tech class' that included access to a dark room. It was an elective that filled quick so I jumped at the opportunity to join as soon as I could. It was in that class that I learned what made an image appealing to the eye.
The man under the overpass
I was walking to work along my usual route through the park when I noticed something different. The old man who was usually sitting on the bench by now, giving me a nod as I passed by, was still laying down under the overpass. I had never talked to him, just nodded back every morning. It was our routine for as long as I have walked to my pathetic dead end job, so I guess about 3 years. I couldn't recall one other occasion where this man was absent for our morning acknowledgement in all that time.
Sagittarius with Virgo Rising
Growing up I often got strange advice from my grandmother. Her name is Elizabeth Hughes and she has studied astrology for a majority of her life. From celebrity star charts to serial killers, she has studied thousands of peoples natal charts finding a huge variety of patterns in the planets that clue her into what traits a person may have, what medical problems they may face and how well they can mentally cope with the world around them.