Thursday, February 18, 2010

Two Voices

Now there are two. I can't figure out how to make the name change from one to the other, so you'll have to play a guessing game about whose point of view you are hearing. Likely the subject matter will be a pretty good clue. We are two pieces of a puzzle and hopefully the combination will give a fuller version of whatever the future holds.

It's seven weeks from today that we officially land, and I am getting giddy with excitement. We've another week or two of relative inertia, then things will get rolling and life will really get interesting, followed by the peace and quiet of the Highlands. Yesssss.

A Mystical Experience

Prior to Going Wandering, we moved back to our old home town of San Clemente, California. The town where I grew up and at one time the home of the Western White House, yeah Richard Nixon's lair while president. San Clemente is like so many SoCal beach towns, more surfboard shops than grocery stores. It was actually a wonderful place to grow up, surfing before school, the full Beach Boys life style of the late 60's. My Dad would drop me at the beach on his way to work and pick me up on the way home, carefree days of surfing, swimming and lying on the beach. Those were the days!! But like any idyllic time and place you can't go back. The town of 10,000 is now 65,000. The streets are crowded, the beaches are packed in the summer and the small town of many good memories is now just another over developed blot on the landscape of the OC. Yuck. It goes to prove that you can't go back. Oh well. Moving on.

I was saddened two years ago at the passing of one of my high school classmates. Not a close friend, but a man my age. John had a heart attack while riding his bike. John ran a local bike shop and had done some repairs on a bike of mine. I had just been into his old shop, still run by his wife, to have my bike tuned up. There is a makeshift memorial to John along the bike trail where cyclists have left water bottles, jerseys, bike frames, etc. I was out on a ride and about 10 miles from home when my bike developed this annoying knocking sound in the crank. Every pedal came with a clunk that was driving me batty, but I knew I could make it home and then I could take my bike back in and get in fixed again. As I was pedalling home I decided to stop at John's memorial and leave my water bottle. I stopped for a minute, took a drink and tied my water bottle to the fence. I got back on and began to peddle and the annoying clank was gone. I thought a temporary fix that will come back when I have to crank up some of the hills on the way home. The hills come and go and no sign of the noise. Coincidence, I thought. There really was something wrong with my bike, the noise will return. Well, the next day a long ride and no sign of the clank. An unexplained miracle. I stopped by the shop and told John's wife of my miracle. She smiled knowingly and said her son would be happy to hear the story. Thanks John, still working at the bike shop and never to busy to do a favor for an old classmate.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

He Said

Living the dream on a shoestring. Retirement was supposed to be owning our home as well as a humble vacation home. We always dreamed of a small flat in Scotland where I could indulge my links golf addiction and we could spend our summers in splendid isolation in the Highlands where there are more sheep than people. But then President Shrub decided to spend billions a day on destruction, which in my mind turned the economy into the dumper and made our life savings disappear into the black hole of Enron and Goldman Sachs. I will always believe that had our country chosen to invest in building our own country rather than destroying another, things would have been vastly different. So I blame President Shrub for our fall, but also credit him with giving us the strength to take a leap of faith. So, armed with a teacher's retirement pension and a flexible wife we chose to pursue our dream, though not as grandly as once hoped. We are off in April to the Scottish Highlands, flat rented, golf club joined and plans being made.

The Royal Burg of Dornoch is a small village of about 3,000 folks and a world class golf course. The other claim to fame was that Madonna had her child baptised in the Cathedral. From the first visit Dornoch has always tugged at me. The village is one of picture postcards, solid stone houses and neatly tended gardens. The sea near by and surrounded by the beautiful hills of heather and whins has made Dornoch one of my favorite spots in the world. You can almost feel your blood pressure drop as you ease into the rhythm of a different time and place.