So....I turned 61 today

moparedtn

Ed on the Ridge
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No big deal. Lots of folks live this long, right?
I ain't nobody...
They day started off in the wee hours of the night, as it usually does for me these days.
Probably 3am or so, by my noticing that this hallowed forum had neglected to note my birthday in that little
box on the main screen. :realcrazy:
Meh, nothing new under the sun....eat my pop tarts, take my morning meds, get in the shower, the usual.
My best bud had already arranged to come fetch me for one of our Waffle House/flea market trips we do
once in a blue moon for fun, so off we went at 7am (probably to my wife's great relief)...

Usually, birthdays are sort of a sore subject with me in general - I treat them like a lot of folks do New Years,
taking stock in my life and lamenting losses and making plans to do better the coming year.
Very stoic (and sometimes even sullen) days, these birthdays in my past...
We all get what we deserve in this life, I suppose - and with my work basically being at-home these days,
along with most all my family and friends either being passed on or being far away, it can get that way naturally.
I understand all that and only ask of my wife to let me be, it'll pass soon...

However, this birthday was different for some reason.
I'm still working out why that is, but I think I've figured it out:

Back to John and I in his truck this morning, headed to Waffle House like a hundred times before - but there was
a tension in the air, one caused by our last time together, where John had uncharacteristically been a bit insulting
and abrasive towards me in front of my wife - something that took me by surprise, as well as ticking me off.
I chose then to take the high road and simply walk away silently....and there it had been left until this morning.

John had approached me out of the blue after about a months' time had passed, acting like nothing had happened
and wanting to do this Saturday guy trip thing.
I could have held resentment or what have you - but something instead told me to go along with it, without protest,
so I did - but there was unfinished business between us and I resolved to settle it, today.
I brought it up halfway in the trip and began the process - which if course made John quite uncomfortable, him being
the typical construction mentality type - the persona projected being that of toughness and of having no quarter for
any human emotion typically and John was all that and a bag of chips.
Still, we had become good friends over the years out of a mutual respect, a common life view mostly and for recognizing
in each other an unflinching insistence on getting the meat of the matter - and now, that respect had been breached.
It required addressing and I wasn't of a mindset to allow it to go on...

Well, over the next several hours together, we'd go on about this and that and get into all manner of nonsense and visits
with the cross-section of America that is Appalachia these days, all at a rather seedy flea market, one of those you're
likely to see most anything for barter - and I do mean anything...
(Think: bar room scene in the first Star Wars....)
Just the kind of stuff John and I both like to get into. I have developed a rather illogical lack of fear of about any
situation or person these days - for "reasons" I've written about before - and it's still a kick to wade right in there. :)

I'd bring the main topic back up at the point we left it last time and again, driving it to a conclusion I hoped was good -
but a conclusion regardless.
Turns out, John had also wanted to resolve it for the good - and surprisingly opened up to me about some things in
his own life that were causing him pain and stress, which he never does with anyone else.
We reached an accord over the whole crux of our particular issue to mutual satisfaction and, once relieved of that,
the usual cutting up and adventures commenced...and John loves running around with me because it encourages
him to also be more open to striking up conversations with strangers, "visiting" with folks and leaving just as
benefitted as that old fella you just bought the old tool from at table #6.

Oh, sorry...back to the subject at hand:
It occurs to me that I don't have as much need to be introspective and moody on my birthdays anymore.
After all, it's all been analyzed to death; everything has been hashed to death, settled, planned out, summarily
dismissed as failures or never-to-be's.
I'll let you folks in on another little tidbit as well, since we're just talking here:
Back when I had my worst cancer (#3 for those keeping score at home) about 10 years ago and I did my last of (3)
stints on flatline duty (as in dead on the table), I had the best in the business doing the looong surgery on me at the
time - a fella who turned out to also be one of the most frankly honest (and wickedly funny) doctors I've ever met.

One of the most serious times we had together afterwards was when I asked the question nobody asks:
"How long do I have, doc?"
Rather than give me the usual song and dance, he instead paused, looked me dead in the eye and said:
"You'll be lucky to make 10 years, Ed."
Now - you'd think that would scare hell out of most anybody, right?
It didn't me at the time - because I'd just croaked for the third time, remember - and I was just happy to still be on
this side of dirt. 10 years seemed like one hell of a warranty, really....
By the same token though, everything in my life became the great challenge known as "don't leave a mess" as a
result of that prognosis.
Everything I worked on - everything I did - for the next several years was geared towards that end.
Pay off old debts. Fix this. Build that. Patch up the other.
Finish the damn GTX...
Etc. etc....
One by one, the challenges were met, regardless of several cancers to come - and all the surgeries and organ losses
and all that crap. Through it all, I had a mission and I stuck to it like glue.
My sense of will had been hardened and sharpened, by necessity.

Well .... I just completed my 10th year since that killer cancer.
Most everything I had on my list has been accomplished, more or less - and yes, Fred the GTX is enough of a car to
meet the objective too (drove him to a Cruise-In last night, then around shopping in town today in fact).
I got bad sick more times, lost time in hospitals a few times, collected more cool scars along the way.
A few more loved ones and good friends passed, too - something that hits me a little differently than most.
I know I'm living on borrowed time, but there's nothing seemingly of importance left for me to tackle.

So....all good, right?
Well, I guess....sort of.
The problem is - there was never a plan for if I made it past my expiration date.
THAT was never even a consideration - not even a possibility, hence the urgency in getting all the stuff done.
Now, though?
I'm sorta floating along really - the GOAL being accomplished, the clock being essentially beaten - and I'm still here.
What's next?
Who the hell knows. Lots of praying to the Guy Upstairs over that one....but I ain't nobody.
So when this birthday hit today, it wasn't the usual serious and sullen affair....

It just was.
 
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Kern Dog

Life is full of turns. Build your car to handle.
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First, HAPPY BIRTHDAY !
Second......
There was a short story about a guy that was approached by some mythical being that offered him the opportunity to learn his actual time of death. The man chose to know and with that knowledge, he had no fear throughout his life. He lived, he loved, he took extreme risks and reaped great rewards. As his time drew near, he had all of his affairs in order and was ready to go.
The date came. He did not die, he kept on going....only now, he was afraid to do anything. Before, he knew he had a predetermined expiration date but now, he had no certainty and was completely on his own.
Off topic maybe but I thought I'd pass it along. I always enjoy your non sequitur rants!
 

Dave6T4

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Happy Birthday, Ed, and many more. It sounds as though this was an important one for you, and especially happy, given your past medical trials. I recently passed my 5th year of being cancer-free, so can empathize with you, although my fight was not as serious or prolonged as yours sounds.
Maybe you didn't get an official notice because the Birthday God did not think you would not make it this long? If that is the case, you got the last laugh. Keep on laughing, Ed.
 

f569

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Happy Birthday Ed!
Hope it was a great day for you with yours.
61 eh?
That's a few more than I've seen.
All the best sir.
 

1967coronet

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haywire 440

Not Illinois anymore, now Regnat Populus
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Welcome to 61 Ed! You beat your doctors best guess and straighten out a valuable friendship. You’ve completed a lot.

We’ve pecked words back and forth a few times. I’ve read some of your stories.

Over the last year or so I’ve engaged in a 700 mile move from N. Illinois to Arkansas.
It’s been busy. New house, new garage nick named the Taj garage by my wife.

Here’s a few photos:

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Setting up a new work area is a puzzle where pieces fall together. It’s shocking how all of a sudden “all this stuff” that was hauled south finds a place. The Taj is 30’x44’ this is the car lift bay. There’s a 2 car bay on the other side of the wall with it’s own mini-split.

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The tall workbench was self built but here’s a low work table and water cooler. Yes the GTX is dusty from all the sawing.

Now Arkansas is much more quiet that N. Illinois were we had 3 targeted drive by shooting. Not to mention the other 4-5 incidents, shots at vacant houses, high speed car chase w/shots fired (shells 100’ away) and all the other shenanigans!
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I’m pretty sure that these are Black Widow egg sacks and they were eliminated along with Momma. It heightens one’s senses when danger is around.
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A great friend of mine gave this to me before I moved. The background is already spruced up checker board stick on tile, black, silver and gray. Other car related wall hangs are up too.

I’m digging my new digs!

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You probably like to read others stories so I gave it a shot…..In Honor of your Big Big Big Big Day.

The last shot is of a car that I might land but I’m be vague as to not jinx myself.

Happy Cruising to 62,
Haywire
 

1STMP

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Happy Birthday, Ed.
Got your birthday wishes in
two hours before the deadline (MST).
Been in the garage today after my 3 day
bout with "I have a bad back".
Felt good being able to accomplish
something.
Hope you had a good day.
 

Richard Cranium

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Probably 3am or so, by my noticing that this hallowed forum had neglected to note my birthday in that little
box on the main screen. :realcrazy:
That's because your name isn't Richard Cranium. :lol:


Happy belated birthday Ed & I'm especially glad to hear you beat the dreaded C-word.


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moparedtn

Ed on the Ridge
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First, HAPPY BIRTHDAY !
Second......
Off topic maybe but I thought I'd pass it along. I always enjoy your non sequitur rants!
First off, thank you - twice - for the kind words!
Secondly - no, I'm not afraid of much, so I can't relate to your story in that regard
(heights/vertigo notwithstanding).
P.S. Hey @JackR - why the red "X" on Kern's post? Care to explain?
I recently passed my 5th year of being cancer-free, so can empathize with you, although my fight was not as serious or prolonged as yours sounds.
Maybe you didn't get an official notice because the Birthday God did not think you would not make it this long? If that is the case, you got the last laugh. Keep on laughing, Ed.
That's fantastic news, congrats Dave! The threat of demon cancer doth humble us all; truly a situation folks can't
really relate to unless they've "been there" also. One can't help but be changed from dealing with it.

As far as this site not posting up my birthday on the front page, I've changed nothing in the settings and it's always
been "published" before - but then, the folks that run this joint don't care much for me, so it's not unusual to see such...
Welcome to 61 Ed! You beat your doctors best guess and straighten out a valuable friendship. You’ve completed a lot.
We’ve pecked words back and forth a few times. I’ve read some of your stories.
You probably like to read others stories so I gave it a shot…..In Honor of your Big Big Big Big Day.
The last shot is of a car that I might land but I’m being vague as to not jinx myself.
Happy Cruising to 62,
Haywire
Hey, thanks very much. Shop is looking awesome, congrats on that! How are you liking at wall unit a/c-heat deal?
Yes, that is/those are black widow stuff, a pretty good-sized one from the looks of it.
They aren't aggressive like brown recluses can be (which are also in your neck of the woods), but they'll nail you
if they feel threatened - trust me on this, they'll make you dog sick when they do!
Good luck on that next car!
Happy birthday Ed,your 3 years behind me.
Thanks my friend. As with cars, it ain't the model year that matters....it's the mileage. :)
I got a lot of miles for my model year and there's no extended warranty.
Happy Birthday Ed!......how did this get past the birthday nazis? :lol:
Folks (like me) peruse the little birthday box on the front page of this site every day, seeing whose birthdays are up....
and for whatever "reason", mine didn't show this year there, despite my not touching the settings.
You do the math....:)

Thanks everyone, I really do appreciate it.:thankyou:
 

moparedtn

Ed on the Ridge
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That's because your name isn't Richard Cranium. :lol:
Happy belated birthday Ed & I'm especially glad to hear you beat the dreaded C-word.
Thanks!!
Very true - if anything, to the site managers, I'm the anti-Cranium.

Yes sir, I've "beaten" cancer six times now - and had a recent scare of a 7th even - although
other than just being too mean to die, I don't think I had much say on the whole thing.
Living proof that sheer will gets a fella through about anything, enough of it applied. :thumbsup:
 

68gtxman

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@moparedtn Happy birthday my friend! It was nice to read your birthday saga. Glad it worked out for you. I know that you live every day as if it was your last - great!!!
 

Chargerjase

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Hey Ed, happy birthday. One of the greatest quotes in movie history is

Get Busy Living or Get Busy Dying​

This famous line was delivered both by Andy Dufresne, played by Tim Robbins, and by Ellis “Red” Redding, played by Morgan Freeman, in the movie The Shawshank Redemption.

I actually live my life by this quote. Life is for living, enjoy every moment you are in it. You have overcome some major medical traumas and you are stronger for it. I have always enjoyed your stories. You have a lot to offer young people. Your work here is not done. Be strong and prosper.
 

moparedtn

Ed on the Ridge
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Happy birthday my friend! It was nice to read your birthday saga. Glad it worked out for you. I know that you live every day as if it was your last - great!!!
Wow, I get the famous birthday "wall"? Thanks, my friend. :)
I think a better way of describing my mindset as I gear up each day is "well....let's get on with it".
Anticipating some challenge is going to get up in my grille makes me more prepared to beat it
back down.
Sounds sort of pessimistic - it isn't. More of a "self-motivational" thing, really.

Hey Ed, happy birthday. One of the greatest quotes in movie history is

Get Busy Living or Get Busy Dying​

This famous line was delivered both by Andy Dufresne, played by Tim Robbins, and by Ellis “Red” Redding, played by Morgan Freeman, in the movie The Shawshank Redemption.

I actually live my life by this quote. Life is for living, enjoy every moment you are in it. You have overcome some major medical traumas and you are stronger for it. I have always enjoyed your stories. You have a lot to offer young people. Your work here is not done. Be strong and prosper.
Thanks. You're too kind, sir. :)
Just watched that one again the other night - Morgan Freeman is amazing in it.
As for the young folks - well, we know for the most part, they aren't asking for advice and won't listen to
any unsolicited - but yes, I do enjoy spending time with the grands and the kids in the schools I look after,
preferring to limit my responses to direct questions they offer - and turns out, they got LOTS of them. :)
 

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