Friday, January 6, 2017

A return to yesteryear

2017 -- a new year, and the end of another family-centered holiday season. As always it was a time of Christmas cards and Christmas letters---reading about friends and family we may not hear from for another year
If that sounds superficial and synthetic, I would argue that it is not. There is no rule that says we have to see people every week or every month before we welcome news about the life they are living, and relive the memories we have created together. 
This year my personal memory bank was stirred up more than usual by a string of year-end updates from old (I use the term kindly) high-school classmates, who added their voices to the world of cyber communications. As you would expect 61 years after-the-fact, every one of them, like me, is dealing with their own personal form of November Years reality, and thankful for November understanding and support.
Another thing that struck me was the many age-appropriate ways my one-time classmates have found to make their late-life satisfying, even rewarding. As one who writes about those times, I know that it takes a certain resourcefulness to pull that off. Though there is certainly no ‘one-size-fits-all” way to do it, that elusive ‘right answer,’ the one that works for each of us, is well worth seeking.
Perhaps like me, you sometimes find that satisfaction by revisiting the past. I’ll bet we weren’t the only ones who spent a few holiday hours thumbing through photo albums, trying to convince the grandkids that our long ago ‘dorky’ good times were actually fun. Do you know a better way to brighten a day?
Of course, you can take that ‘remembering’ theme a bit further. A case in point---the new story Roma and I recently finished, which is actually a prequel to A Year to Remember. We call this one An Oregon Outback Odyssey and we are actively seeking feedback about how it reads. You can check it and the others out on our Amazon page.
An overview of An Oregon Outback Odyssey, you ask? You tell me, does this sound like a history worth revisiting?

You remember those famous pairs---the ones from our childhood---Roy and Trigger, Gene and Champion, the Lone Ranger and Silver. It was a time when every kid wanted to be a cowboy. Yet, how many of us made that dream come true?
Well, we did. We bought a ranch, some cows, and that all important horse. And though they never made it to the silver screen, Gil and Star might have become a team worthy of  the Outback---if only Gil had learned to enjoy his time in the saddle.
More to the point, could the great Oregon Outback have made room for a wannabe cowboy who hoped to raise hogs?We started out with Priscilla Goodbody, then moved on to the only gay boy-pig in the whole darn county?

However, since I am not writing this post from Poison Creek Ranch, you can probably guess that particular detour did not pan out. Yet, when all is said and done, and I look back at how the last 61 years have treated me, I must conclude that I have been one of the lucky ones. I have a wife and family I scarcely deserve, equally-ancient former classmates to visit with, and the time and freedom to tell the stories I want to tell, the way I want to tell them. Come to think of it, I believe I have hit the jackpot. I hope you have been just as lucky.

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