Between the Waters

Growing Up, Springtime

By: EarlB, 9:14 PM GMT on March 27, 2010

On this beautiful Spring day in March I will get to watch a young woman
who is as close to a daughter as I will most likely ever have, marry.

It was an Autumn day 40 years ago, that I was witness to her parent's
wedding. These two friends of mine were, and are, as close to me as a
brother and sister (that I will also never have by the usual means).

This is my family, a family chosen, not bound by genes but by friendship
and love.

I have watched three children as they grew to adults, and have been proud
of them as if they were my own children. And I have been even prouder when
they call me "Uncle" (not Uncle Earl, mind you, but just Uncle).

So pardon me this bit of loving and nostalgia, but I am a proud Uncle,
every day, to be sure, but this day in particular, when "my" little girl
gets married.

Updated: 3:52 PM GMT on March 29, 2010

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Harbingers

By: EarlB, 1:36 AM GMT on March 17, 2010

Signs are everywhere at this time of the year, it's a
time of changes, a time between extremes. A month ago, a
friend told me of hearing the spring peepers sixty miles and
one bay south of home, while I was still looking at snow on the ground!
Then, two weeks later, I heard them, they coughed out their peeeeps,
the intermittent call was like light passing over shadows on a
windy day. Only two days later, they had found their voices, and
individual peeps became an hours long "peeee...p". Then last
night, driving home in late twilight, every gut, ditch, pond
and puddle doppler-peeped outside the car: spring peepers.
And now the snow geese are making their intentions known, their
necks pointing north.

February's snows have become March's rains, and tonight, those
rains were punctuated by lightning and underlined by thunder.

Harbingers, as sure and reliable as falling leaves, as falling snow:
spring comes on a-rising:

Wee omens they may be,
Sma, true they are.
But golden are the wins
As they melt awa the mirk.


Slender greens of bulbs, swelling flowers of maples, lengthening days,
soon enough Spring will be upon us.

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Douglas and I Are Fading Away

By: EarlB, 2:22 AM GMT on March 05, 2010

One more day.... Sometimes that is what we want, sometimes what
we have, other times what we wish we didn't have. Considering the
ambiguity, what does time matter? There really is only one time:
the present. Although, when we are young we think mostly of the future,
when old, mostly of the past.

Tomorrow, I will complete 32 years of employment with one company (and
before "congratulations are in order" comes to your mind, I have to tell
you that 3 days later, I'll be back at the same desk, doing the same job
minus "travel" and minus about 20 hours of work per week).

Last weekend I was honored with a retirement party (the best I have
ever attended!), complete with gold watch. It was made more complete by the
group of people that came to share the few hours with me.

Of course, I made a little speech (I unnecessarily reserved the time more
for "rebuttal" than speech) from which I will save you, all but the pith.
I feel the speech rose from my feelings about life as much as about work.

I said that there were some events in my career which I was proud of, and,
maybe I didn't say that my pride arose from the having had the opportunity
to participate, not from my contribution to the project. I paid homage to
those who helped form and encourage my career personality, who showed me the
path to freedom of expression. I remembered those who were a part of my
growth, who have died, but who I will hopefully always be able to remember. And
then I thanked those people present and a few that were not, for THEY were what
really made my career what it was for me.

Like my friend Gomer said so many years ago, "In five years, what will it
matter?" He was right about events, he was right trouble. But what I have
come to realize over the years is that it is people that matter, 5 or 32 years
later, people matter.

Every opening door has a closing, and as I am about to cross that threshold,
I see the opportunities in front and relish the thought of a new present,
not the past nor the future.

Oh Douglas, I just can't feel your disappointment and bitterness.

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