The curmudgeon in me …

Of my nearly 10 years here, most Christmases have been on the quiet side. But as my circle of friends (mostly golfers and some Caldwell people) has grown, it’s given me other outlets for the holidays. So this year was a mix of friends offset by a slight curmudgeonly side. The former was much more prominent than the latter, and it’s good for my two to know their old man has seasonal options.

December 21, 2015

Ellen/Reid: The curmudgeon came out in me this season. For the first time, the tree stayed in the box. Just not much of the holiday spirit floating around the house. Maybe it is that I’ll get the right dose of it up in the Twin Cities, Ellen, when I drop in to visit you guys. Still, I won’t be entirely alone on Christmas day in that I’ll play golf with some folks from my group.

There were quite a few from my golf group who were by themselves for Christmas, so we walked a golf course.

There were quite a few from my golf group who were by themselves for Christmas, so we walked a golf course.

The pro gave us the green light to walk the course even if it won’t be open. Reid, I still need to get the link to the FitBit shirt you want. We’ll just spread out the gift giving season a bit. The traffic around here going to and from the big mall has been totally whack. Out of control.

I hope to get to Charleston tomorrow. It’s largely on a whim and it will be the all-too-typical down and back jaunt. The temperatures are forecast to be in the 70s which means the water temperatures are staying up which in turn means the fish should still be sticking around The Barge and the sand marshes.

I always thought of myself as a landlubber and never dreamed I'd like being on the water so much. That's why there's appeal to Charleston.

I always thought of myself as a landlubber and never dreamed I’d like being on the water so much. That’s why there’s appeal to Charleston.

The replacement parts for the kayak aren’t here yet, so I’ll literally use duct tape to cover the holes. I sent the sand-filled reel to Penn for repairs. Sand literally covered a newspaper on the kitchen table as I dissembled it in an effort to clean it out. But some of the fine parts are covered in ocean grit and it’s probably better for someone who knows what they’re doing to tackle the job. The trip has a secondary purpose. I sure like Charleston a whole lot. The more I’m down there, the more it appeals to me. Once the boat is out of the water and rinsed down of sand, salt and brine, I plan to drive around a bit to check the lay of the land. My habit has been to clean up as best I can and head to Bay or Market streets for a nice post-fishing meal and a beer or glass of wine. Thus, I’ve seen some of the outlying housing areas near the downtown. Charleston has really been on the radar for the past 18 months and somewhat coincides with how long I’ve had the kayak. I’ve contacted a Realtor to nose around for me but nothing has come of that as of yet. It’s an area that’s seeing a huge influx of people and thus nice places are in high demand. I’m not unhappy with my situation in Charlotte by any means so if fate has it that I stay here, that’s okay, too. Miss Emma knows the route to the water. I’ll admit, though, there’s a sense of adventure/re-invention to the whole process. I’m not afraid of it.

The idea of dating has been placed on the shelf. It’s just not apparently in the cards for me right now.  I’m not washing my hands of it, it’s just been relegated to the back burner for the time being. You get bruised often enough and it starts to feel normal. But if you don’t take some lumps I suppose it means you’re not really trying. The other part is that I’m still wrapping my arms around this whole retirement ordeal and that’s moved to the number one spot in the pecking order.

My Medicare card arrived in the mail the other day so that’s one less thing on the to-do list. There are still some benefit and pension things to clear up. Ellen, when I’m in Minnesota, one of my days will be to drive to Des Moines to meet with John. I still don’t have a good handle on how that whole process works but I don’t plan to draw Social Security unless it’s necessary.

My plans for England are still in the works. I was at my friend Jane’s place yesterday for the Panthers game but didn’t corner her for ideas. She’s a Brit and goes home for relatively frequent visits. Reid, I’ll draw on your London experiences, too. I’d like to venture over to the south part of France to see where the Camino de Santiago begins then maybe end up in Portugal. But my passport application still languishes on the kitchen counter. That’s job one, to get that sucker taken care of. Maybe that ought to be on top of today’s to-do list.

Love, Dad


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