Thanks for joining me!
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton
In May of 1995 I drew my last actual paycheck ever after a year of teaching Chemistry and Physics at Pflugerville High School just north of Austin, Texas. I hired on there from a small school in Hico, a tiny ranching town in north central Texas. My contract had been renewed but I missed my little school and the tough, self-reliant country kids that came with it. Besides, I wanted to do something else even though I loved teaching and it was a good fit for me. Of course, it meant surrendering once again to my recessive “leaf in the wind” gene which, depending on circumstances, can lead to really great things like marrying Dahna or really bad things like losing an arm in Vietnam. The wind blows to a lot of places, and if you’re not careful you’ll find yourself traveling to climes both sunny and dark. At least you’re traveling.
There is no downside to marrying someone like Dahna assuming you can master the task of living with someone whose intellect is obviously superior to your own. Leonard Cohen describes it as being able to shoot someone who outdrew you. My rejoinder to friends who cattily remark about this is, “Well then, which one of us was smart enough marry up?” It’s a nice little logic trap they can’t wiggle out of, and I always put on my best self-satisfied grin when they sputter around. On the other hand, the main upside of being a one-armed retired Marine is the generous disability pension (thanks taxpayers!) and service in the Corps itself of which I’ll always be proud.
So, Dahna and the Marine Corps are the main drivers of my increasingly far-flung self and I’m grateful to them both, more and less respectively, for the wherewithal taking me to all these places. Over the 46 years of our marriage, Dahna has managed to wring every last drop of value from my poor choices of income production such as farming and house building and teaching. She’s stayed by my side through all that and every expensive mistake I’ve made through the years. And the Marines? Well, there’s that too, so now I can travel. Thanks Love and Semper Fi.
Awhile back we bought the domain name, trailwriters.com. with the intention of setting up a blog to provide a writers’ forum for interesting people we meet who are traveling across our path. This won’t include everybody of course, but I’ve discovered that just about every single soul is pretty damn interesting if you drill down a little. That’s not to say they can all string a coherent sentence together. I’ll ask some of them to write about whatever they like as long as they frame the piece through their observations as travelers. I’ll only edit for grammar and syntax, whatever that is. I’ll make no promise as to what I’ll accept to publish, but the general rule will be “Yes” to those pieces that add and “No” to those that subtract. I’m a simple guy.
We’re at Natchez Trace State Park in Tennessee and it’s Friday, Sept. 7, 2018. In ten days it will be one year since we lost Daisy. We got Sacha two weeks later and she quickly reminded us of the fact that dogs are the best, better than us. So now we’re all going north to Nova Scotia together, seeing a few old friends along the way and meeting new ones. I’m looking out of the camper window at the beautiful lake down below and wondering what the hell I’m doing in here. Sacha wants to know too because she’s anxious to tangle with the German shepherd two spaces over. She loves people but is very critical of other dogs, especially small, bite-sized ones. I’m going to try to talk her out of fooling with “Nyla” and get her to settle for looking for Dahna who’s off birding somewhere. Wish us luck.