I have been lucky to travel a little outside my small box of Ulster County New York. I found myself stuck repeating the same process of working and being laid off. I sought a way out of that mad circle and into the US army. In my first two years, I moved five times. All in the United States, but still outside of my box. I lived in Texas, Georgia, New Jersey, and Hawaii. Each place presented different people, and different attitudes. I loved watching people. I got a larger picture than I have ever had. Pieces of these people’s personality will show up in my writing. Probably not intact but mixed to create the beauty and the horror in my stories.
Because we are human, and because when I joined the army I was still not mature, my wife, Shirley and I stumbled through life making every possible mistake along the way. We did not miss any opportunities to make mistakes, I think we made them all. Love has a way of not giving up, not surrendering for us. We fought against the urge to divorce. It was never due to a lack of reasons, we both had plenty. Love still ran strong through us and bound us together. We found ourselves tossed back into the fire, melted and reforged again and again until we could learn our lesson and move on.
We have moved on to a better understanding between ourselves and others. One thing we never got out of was helping out other people who appeared to be lost along the path of life. The type of people we were afraid that would get lost between the cracks of services and disappear. Approaching retirement fast, we have had to cut back and become more focused on where we are headed, and prepare to move into a reduced salary. I will begin to tell about those we helped although the names will be altered to protect them. Look tomorrow for Owen of Ohio.