Sunday, August 21, 2011

Four years ago

Four years is a mighty long time.  I think we all get tuned into four year time periods because of high school and college.  When we were becoming freshmen in high school, four years seemed like an eternity.  How in the world could we EVER become high school seniors?  Looking ahead at four years coming out of 8th grade made four years seem gargantuan.  Likewise when we graduated from high school, we knew we had to somehow get through four years of college to get that coveted degree.  But, come one, let's all admit it, didn't the prospect of spending FOUR full years in college seem like FOREVER?  Well, it sure did to me and I suspect it did (and does) to everyone that age.

Ever since my high school and college days I've held on to that "four year paradigm" deal.  I tend to measure time in four year increments instead of five year intervals.  It's a habit.

Well, we are sitting at a major Four Year Milestone here tonight.  We've actually been in this milestone's "window" for a few days but have refrained from mentioned it until this evening.  Four years ago tonight was my last night of freedom.  On August 22, 2007, I stepped into a tired old building at 357 Constitution Way here in Idaho Falls and began serving my 2.5 year term as Director of the Eastern Idaho RSVP.  Granted, it was a paid job and had benefits and some perks but it sure felt like walking into the slammer.  After being footloose and fancy free as a retired guy since January 2001, going back to an 8-5 paid day job was a real heavy hit on Ye Ol' Psyche.  Four years ago tonight, we were living in our travel trailer at the Snake River RV Park over off Lindsey Blvd.  We were having my last Happy Hour as a free range man.  I told Susun back then that what the upcoming gig really represented was a thrown down challenge to "stand and deliver."

It's easy to talk the talk but when you really have to walk the talk, it's a wee bit different.  People can talk the talk all day long 'til the cows come home but they all skee-daddle pretty pronto when it comes time to walk the talk.  I must admit that four years ago tonight I was filled with dread and foreboding.  I didn't want to go back to work.  No way, no how.  But life had some how conspired to put me in that position and on August 21st, 2007, I felt I had no choice.  Of course, I really DID have a choice but I just didn't understand my options, or something like that.

Anyway, we had a fine Happy Hour four years ago tonight.  I woke up the next day and packed a lunch in an old antique tin lunch box and bicycled off to work like a singing dwarf in a Disney movie.  And the rest, as they are wont to say, is history.

We will be chattering about our lives and times four years ago for the next few days here in Da Blog.  It was a time of great transition in our lives.  In hindsight it was all GOOD transition.  Some of it didn't seem so at the time but, as we say, everything happens for a porpoise.

We are very happy to be here in Idaho Falls.  This is our home and we are proud to call it our home.  We love this city, its people and all of its idiosyncrasies.  It's a great place to live year round.  We're lucky to be able to go to Arizona each winter but, honest, we'd be very happy to be here in the depths of a brutal winter, too.  Why?  Because this is an awesome place to live and the people here are as equally awesome as the place.

Well, we are in the midst of re-creating the Happy Hour we staged four years ago tonight so we will leave you now with fond thoughts of all of this nostalgia.  Somehow, with the passage of these four years, I feel like we ought to don a cap and gown, listen to strains of Pomp & Circumstance, go on stage and receive a rolled up degree.  The third degree, perhaps?  Nah, the Nth Degree!  Viva El Ciudad Del Rio!

Have a great evening and Many Happy Cheers, jp

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