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September 17, 2012: Happy Birthday to Me

A few years back, I had a birthday get together. I called it an “It’s all about me,” party. I figured that rather than hide the fact that I was having a birthday, that I’d instead advertise the fact. I did this in a big way, by inviting a whole lot of people to my proposed gathering, and by taping a sign that read “PRESENTS HERE” on the picnic table. You can only do this once, otherwise you come across as an arrogant fruitcake.

Subsequent birthdays, including this one, have been more low key. The high point of today’s birthday was the acquisition of a fish hauler – a Rubbermaid cart, the kind that’s usually used on fish docks. It has a deep bed, and 21 inch wheels.

Alys and her new cart
Alys and her new cart

I used it tonight, and hauled full manure buckets in it. It’s easily movable, and has a tight turning radius. And it fits through all our gates. It’s far better than the old metal cart, which was lacking sides. I put it up against the tack shed, where it’s now semi-retired. Come spring, I’ll find a use for it.

The acquisition of this labor saving device is a harbinger of what’s ahead for me. It’s going to be a year of self-prompted change. I digress – last week, Betty, my hairdresser, told me this story. She said she went into her bedroom, and there before her, was a little bird who repeatedly threw itself against the clear glass. She watched, hand over mouth, as it finally fell to the floor and died. She added that this was a metaphor – she herself, for some time, felt she’d been repeatedly hitting glass.

I can relate. I too have been feeling the very same way for some time. I enjoy my life here, but I’m needing to make some breakthroughs, for some things are lacking here, one being a semblance of an intellectual life. Teaching would provide this, and as well, would provide me with an income. The writing feels as if it’s also going nowhere. I also need to acquire more land for my horses. So, the question I have is, how do I move forward? Well, some time ago, in fact when I was writing a dispatch, I determined that my problem is that I lack follow through. I’m good at generating ideas, but not much else.

The hauler is a symbol of follow through, because it’s an essential part of the compost project. When the facility is complete, I’ll be able to put manure directly in it, and then empty it in one of the two New Compost Facility Stations. In other words, it’s a part of the bigger plan.

As for work-related follow-through – I’ve come the conclusion that for reasons that are beyond my comprehension, that I’m not going to be hired on to teach at nearby Mat-Su College. (I’ve been thinking otherwise now, for ten years.) Last night I got wind of a job teaching creative writing in Billings, Montana, at Rocky Mountain College. When I first heard about it, I began putting up obstacles. Like hey, how in hell am I going to get five horses to Billings? Then I realized that I was doing this, and began looking for a way of making this work. Sure, I can go and live down there and get back together with Pete in the summers. And I can take two horses with me, leaving three with Pete. It was then that I began to think more about the plusses inherent to taking on this job. So I’ll apply. Again, another instance of follow through.

This could be a big year for me if I act upon some of my ideas. The fish hauler, it’s a good start.