Friday, December 16, 2016

Random Thoughts, December 16th, 2016

Clark recently realized that he had not written a blog post since November 16th. He hopes everyone is happy, healthy and wise (wealthy as well, which would not apply to him).

Clark has definitely been enjoying his retirement, although he does become concerned occasionally that he does not do much of anything worthwhile these days. That wasn’t a problem when he first retired, because he seemed to have lots of things to do around the house and he attended many events in Sioux Falls, including: the annual suicide prevention walk, Sioux Falls Canaries (baseball) games, movies, arts festivals in Brookings and Sioux Falls, concerts, a couple of trips to Fargo to visit Zeb, and other activities. However over time, Clark has discovered that he doesn’t need to be as busy with activities as he was when he first retired. Recently he has learned to enjoy a more leisurely pace.

He also enjoys spending more time with Pat. However, he has noticed that she does not always want him following her around the house and constantly yacking about some stupid or annoying topic, such as: Donald Trump; The weather; What he believes needs to be done to the house (all of which will probably never get done); Donald Trump!; How much chicken breasts cost these days; The fact that it only takes 20 minutes to drive to the nearest Walmart; Donald Trump!!; What strange vinyl record he just listened to (such as The Fabulous Fabian, which he listened to recently and pronounced it to be a really bad experience); Which vinyl records he is seeking to purchase; Where are the pants he wore yesterday and wants to wear again today; Donald Trump!!!; What are we going to do today; Why he has been keeping one of his socks (with a hole in it) on top or the dresser in the bedroom for a few months, Donald Trump!!!!; etc.

Pat and Clark try to keep in shape by walking when the weather cooperates during the spring, summer and fall. They like to walk, with their three little dogs, along the fourth fairway of the golf course and past the green to the tee of the fifth fairway and the wooded area beyond and then back home. They used to walk a much longer trek that also took them along the fifth fairway and then back home on a neighborhood street, but these days both of them and the dogs are usually not up for that longer walk. Of course South Dakota winters are not very friendly to us casual walkers, so their outdoor walks have pretty much ended until spring returns.

Believe it or not Clark has gotten older, but he doesn’t like to admit it. However, he has also developed some nagging health problems, which are currently being controlled fairly well. He doesn’t quite have the stamina that he had only a few years ago. He doesn’t like that at all! However, “It’s Hell to get old, but it’s better than the alternative.”

Clark and Pat must hype themselves up to endure a rather extreme weather environment during the next few days. About 4-6 inches of snow along with a deep freeze of below -20 degrees and strong winds are expected. When they first moved to South Dakota back in the early 1980s they experienced temperature extremes like that many times and even more extreme temperatures down to -30 degrees. However, it seems like a long time since they have endured temps lower than -15 degrees, although they certainly have endured many snow storms that dumped a foot or more on their driveway and sidewalks. Living in South Dakota requires rugged determination and thankfully, Clark has a big snow blower!

Clark tries to ignore the climate and pursue whatever strange activities (within the limits of decency) that pop into his head, although pursuit of many of those activities turns out to be very disappointing. However, he pacifies himself with his vinyl collection, which is expanding at a threatening rate. Unfortunately for Clark’s Facebook friends, he likes to post some of the albums that he listens to on Facebook, which allows him to try to tempt his friends to listen to the albums and comment on them, whether they like them or don’t like them, etc. Anyway, the expanding vinyl collection is eating away at the family room and Clark already stores some of the vinyl under the pool table. He may need professional help with his vinyl addiction!  Although Pat seems unconcerned about the whole vinyl-hoarding situation, probably because it distracts Clark from following her around the house.

This morning Clark could not find his eyeglasses, which he usually places on top of a small bookshelf in the bedroom before he retires. Since he gets up earlier than Pat, he had to quietly search the bedroom for them this morning. Although Clark is not exactly the calmest (or quietest) person when he is frustrated, and his frustration increased while he continued to search all over the house including several different trips to the bedroom. He was sure that Pat was awakened by all the ruckus (and the sighs) while he was in and out of the bedroom several times looking. However, Pat refused to get involved with the frantic search process and just kept her eyes closed during the process. He finally found the glasses in the bathroom attached to the bedroom and Pat is still sleeping as he writes this.

Well, I doubt that anyone was impressed with reading these random thoughts from Clark today. However, both Clark and Pat wish a Very Merry Christmas (or Happy Holidays for those who prefer it) and a Happy New Year to all of our friends, wherever you may be in this world or beyond.

Take care,

Sincerely Clark

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