Just some odds and ends of things I’ve done – so as old age creeps up we don’t forget – and my daughter requested . . . and because everyone says: “oh, but you’ve lived such an interesting life!”, LO dry L’s; you be the judge . . .
I’ve sat in a swamp in the dark of night, up to my shoulders in filthy water, feeling the subtle tickles of ticks settling in – upwards of fifty a night . . . listening…
I gave up counting car wrecks after the eighteenth one. No – I’m a very good driver – I just seem to pick bad drivers to ride with a lot of times in my youth.
I pissed in the golf hole on the Augusta Club’s Master’s Tournament golf greens late one night with a bunch of drunk buddies and a case of beer. I always get a chuckle when I watch them reach in that hole. Any hole. Cuz’ I was too drunk to know what hole it was. (LOL, I hear my teenager buddy Matthew laughing. It was him, no doubt – we were about 16.)
I almost drowned swimming between islands, fully clothed and with boots, breathing through a thin reed . . . huge lake; “they” (the so-called enemy; this was a training exercise). I remember – I got soooo tired, soooo very weary – had to keep UP! Breath through the reed . . . moving slowly; lest they notice a single stem moving through the water. I very barely made it.
I know what death looks like. Up-close and personal, in-your-face kinda stuff.
I’ve seen the results of a man blowing his head off. Grisly stuff, that. Yet … the mind makes interesting notes. The butcherhouse beef smell; the smell of fresh blood. While the round hadn’t done much damage, all that blast entering his brain had. Thinking “pipe bomb” here. What I thought was a fine speckled paint all over everything — was him. And yeah; I liked him. He and I were sorta friends, though technically he was my SIL.
Funny thing: still can see ‘things’. Won’t gross you out with them. But just . . . anatomical oddities, so to speak. We won’t go into them.
I’ve owned 32 cats at one time. Purely accidental. They kept breeding and breeding and breeding . . . until they were dropping their kittens and walking away from them. No money to do anything, but we took care of them, thank god. They were decimating the wildlife.
I accidentally catapulted a cat through the air in a thunderstorm one night. It went howling into the darkness over the house . . . yeah, still alive. It was fine.
I petted a wild bear in the Appalachians as a child. Right on the nose. He had wandered into the parking lot, and so had I. Brother Bear . . .
I had one friend lived in the woods for 8 years – right in town. Even got a wife there. Then the baby died . . .
I’ve made money with my back and with my mind, and sometimes using both. It pays to know things.
I was taught: build it yourself; we are too poor. I learned how to sew my own stuffed animals by 9. Not good ones, but they were cool. Still have one left from those times.
Because of that, I’ve studied everything. I know what I’m good at, but more important – what I’m not. I’m not an electronics whiz: I can replace boards, but not fix them. I don’t like doing house wiring.
Other than that – 40 some odd years of studying have taught me a lot. I’m the ‘go-to’ man when it comes to solving thorny or technical problems. Weird, hunh. Is to me.
I hate compliments. Don’t know why. Can’t stand them. “Just doin’ my job.” is what I tell folks.
I’ve driven (in the old days) down the highways under a full moon – 75 miles an hour, no lights . . . driving a silvery ribbon. Back in those days, you could. Once I drove all the way to Atlanta and back, all on I-20. Couldn’t do that today . . . and I didn’t care if I died or not. I was then 16 or 17.
Fell off a cliff; nearly broke my back, attacking a machine gun nest at night. NOT a good thing . . . pesky bastards. Why didn’t I see that coming? . . . oh, yeah: night. 3 point landing – forehead and two hands. Never lost my grip on my weapon; came up firing . . . o’tay, sure, it was just maneuvers , but Marines play for real. We camped and had our wars in the places the other military services avoid: the ‘impact areas’ – live ammo the size of your leg down to little bits of metal that could kill ya . . .
We never went on a set of maneuvers where no one died. In the desert: 240 heat casualties in less than two hours. I don’t know how many died. I do know there were others that died.
Marine Corps! Simper Fi! Until the end . . . (grin). Yeah, ya gotta be like that, or get the hell out. Cuz’ losin’ friends for no good reason is hard on a man, ‘specially when you got no time to grieve.
Well, that’s enough for now. We’ve just been having a weird time these past two days (should be used to it by now, I’m laughing!) – and that’s okay, too.
It just means somethings going on, and we’ll find out when the time’s due.
Jeff & Friends