Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Commentary - Milestones . . . Embrace them . . . !


A bit of reflection today . . .

There are specific milestones in all of our lives that, while important at the time – blend into our life’s timeline. Today I have reached one of the traditional “markers” in my journey . . .

One of the earliest I remember was the passing of my dad. I have memories of bits and pieces – but just that, bits and pieces. I was only 7 and the biggest change was my mom’s change in career, selling our home and moving to something smaller and her determination to make sure I grew up a “normal” (ok, those who know me, no laughing!!!) boy.

10 was a biggie – out of the single digits and in a hurry to become an adult!

Of course 13, bring on the teenage years!!

Is there a bigger, more important age than 16 when you’re a young male hungry to make your mark on the world? Driver’s license, bought my very first car and the very beginnings of our life together – boyfriend, girlfriend – Bill and Sue . . . we’re still seen that way . . .

18 holds a special place as well. Within three months I was in the military and headed off to basic. It would be 21 years before I would put on the uniform for the last time.

21 of course. If you can actually remember how your day ended. For me the celebration began early in the NCO club at Peliku AFB in the central highlands. The “tradition” was to down 21 drinks – at a dime a piece. A task I vaguely remember completing. More memorable is being rousted from my bunk to head out to the runway tower to repair damaged equipment. I remember driving over the stop sign as I left the base in a very intense fog. The hard evidence shows no bullet holes complements of the local VC, probably do in no small part to my “evasive” driving skills I’m quite sure.

22 and my marriage to Susie, the absolute single, solitary love of my life!

25 and an Associate’s degree in Industrial Electronics.

The big 30 and a newly minted BS in Computer Systems Engineering and a new job in Iowa at Rockwell. The 30s decade was a bizarre mix of terror, fear, joy, relief and more of that mix. The birth of the best daughter and son on the face of the earth. Susie’s cancer and subsequent cure . . . and all that goes with trying to paste your life back together after that.

40 was kinda a non-event . . . things had finally settled out and we were finally just caught up in the flow of life, not the drama.

50 was met in the sandwich line at a local subway with some of the folks that worked for me delivering the infamous “black balloon bouquet”. The 50s also brought a Prostate Cancer bump for me and a decade of scouting and watching my son grow into the good man he is today. The introduction of granddaughters to the mix reminded Susie and I that very young kids are a joy and blessing . . . and totally exhausting. That said, bumps and all it was a great time!

60 was once again pretty much a non-event . . . punctuated with the wedding of our son and Holly. A very fine time was had by all and gaining Holly as a daughter was a true gift. And, life has taken a bit of a breath . . . kinda nice . . .

Which brings me to what, in my mind’s eye, is the “last” of the biggies . . .

Today I’m 65 . . . how the hell can that be?!?!?!?

I guess I see everything from here out as just gravy – to enjoy, to take advantage of and to relish my time with friends, kids, grandkids and the love of my life – Susie.

So how does this fit into a firearms training blog?? A few thoughts . . .

Time goes blazingly fast . . . enjoy every day!

Friends do the same . . . love and enjoy them . . . every day . . . and tell them you love them!

Family is family . . . sometime it’s good, sometimes not so much . . . but let them know you love them every day . . .

You have a right to life . . . as do those around you . . . be prepared to defend it!

Your life, your direction, your choices are YOUR responsibility . . . as is the defense of yourself and your family . . . take it seriously!

Age . . . “old” . . . limitations . . . “things you are too old to do” . . . lives between your ears . . . not in the real world . . .

Training, range work, learning, growing, challenging yourself, expecting more from yourself, goals, direction . . . these are LIFE LONG processes . . . until they “lock the lid” . . .

Consider me your time machine, your glimpse into the future . . . 10 years, 20 years, 30 years, 40 years . . . and realize your future is in your hands. The milestones will come – like them or not.

Live your life, enjoy the journey . . .

And it the range!!!


  1. An excellent piece of writing, sir - and an ever better reminder about living each day free of self-imposed limitations. Thank you.

  2. Hey, thanks for that gift. OBW, Birthdays, you are doing them wrong =)

  3. A journey of discovery every single day. Happy Birthday! Coming up on 69 here, so much still to learn, so many more hugs to give, and so much to be thankful for.

  4. And remember to enjoy the friends one makes along the way... Even if you don't see them for thirty years. :-)

  5. And remember to enjoy the friends one makes along the way... Even if you don't see them for thirty years. :-)