I hijacked my old blog (THE ATTENTION DEFICIT COMPAN aka THIS-DOMAIN-IS-NOT-AVAILABLE.COM) to report on my big adventure: getting a high-tech prosthetic/orthotic. Hopefully, it will enable me to walk (avoiding amputation) and maybe even run again. If you haven't seen the GoFundMe page: here it is RunVinnyRun.Fund
A bright sunny Senior Citizen Day at the New York State Fair -- and Bowzer's bringing his Rock 'n' Roll Party to Chevy Court at 2 PM o'clock. Never cared all that much for his persona but, hey, it's free Doo-Wop -- gotta go! My hair's not long enough yet for Locks of Love -- so I brush it back and put on a 50-year old headband along with a tanktop. I can't call it a muscle-shirt because, except for a few 'minor details', I look a lot like Olivia Newton John as Sandy in "Grease". Summer Days and Summer Nights.
Put my Handicap Tag on the handlebars of my scooter -- and pay a whole dollar for a bus ride from the Regional Market to the Main Gate. The bus genuflects to let me off -- and I roll on through the gate, as the young guard asks, "Is that allowed?" and the old one replies, "Sure, why not?". My question is this: "Why am I the only person out of 100,000 who's riding a scooter today?" Go figure.
I learn that Bowzer's name is really Jonathan Bauman and, at the age of 12, he studied classical piano at Julliard. The highlight of the Rock 'n' Roll Party was when he played "Chopin's Etude in E Major", his mother's favorite tune. When he got a standing O from the crowd of 10,000 or so, he got all choked up. All of a sudden, I really like this guy. Guest performers included the original "Duke of Earl" (now 74) and others whose names we've forgotten -- but not their songs. The concert ended with "Good Night Sweetheart" (well, it's time to go, ba-bah'-ta-dah-dum'), just like every show he's done with Sha-Na-Na and thereafter.
Bowz' then signed autographs and posed for photos for a queue way too long for me. I got within earshot, though, played a few bars of "Goodnight, Sweetheart" (on an F harp, his key) and said "Your Mother's proud of you, Jonathan!". He looked at me, gave me a big thumbs-up, smiled and said, "Thanks -- by the way, that sounded really good on your harmonica ". I waved and scooted off. When I rolled back by Chevy Court about an hour later, he was still there with 100+ people still lined up. I really do like this guy. I really do.
Why name a boat "Moonshadow". Why change the name from "Ariel"?
A new phase of my life has begun. After being together damn-near 46 years, I miss Debbi profoundly. I considered naming the boat in her memory, like "Summer Song" by Chad & Jeremy, but then I'd get melancholy every time I thought about it. Memories are safe in the past; nothing can harm them there. The future is a concept; nothing will ever happen there. All we have is this moment, right now. Whoops, it's gone ... but here's another.
I am indeed "leaping and hopping on a moonshadow". I face a very real possibility of losing my right leg. (Put the bone-saw down, Doc, I've got some options to explore). I do believe that the "faithful light has found me". I found the following interpretation of "MOONSHADOW"on Songfacts.com. Perhaps it should be called an interpolation. Whatever. As a description of this moment, for me, I'll quote from MY COUSIN, VINNY. "Dead on-balls accurate."** MOONSHADOW [Cat Stevens] wrote this about finding hope in any situation. Be present and joyful. See life as it is, right now, and don't compare it to others' lives, or other times in your life. Every moment in life is rich and unique; whether we are aware of it or not, we are always leaping and hopping on a moonshadow - the inescapable present moment. If we are wrapped up in our whirlpools of worry and concern about what could be, or what has been, we are missing the richness of life as it is. In the bridge of the song, Stevens seems to be speaking of faith, indicating ... that, although he is experiencing this ecstasy in the present, despite all the losses and suffering of existence, it is the light that has found him, and not the other way around. He is surrendering to a power greater than himself - the "faithful light." -- from Songfacts.com Oh, I'm bein' followed by a moonshadow, moon shadow, moonshadow--- Leapin and hoppin' on a moonshadow, moonshadow, moonshadow---
And if I ever lose my hands, lose my plough, lose my land, Oh if I ever lose my hands, Oh if I won't have to work no more. And if I ever lose my eyes, if my colors all run dry, Yes if I ever lose my eyes, Oh if I won't have to cry no more. [Chorus]
And if I ever lose my legs, I won't moan, and I won't beg, Yes if I ever lose my legs, Oh if I won't have to walk no more. And if I ever lose my mouth, all my teeth, north and south, Yes if I ever lose my mouth, Oh if I won't have to talk...
Did it take long to find me? I asked the faithful light. Did it take long to find me? And are you gonna stay the night? [Chorus] Moonshadow, moonshadow, moonshadow, moonshadow.
**Coincidentally, that same phrase was used many years ago to
describe my seat-of-pants navigation when we sailed this very same boat
from Oswego to Sackett's Harbor, despite small-craft warnings issued
after we were well underway . Not bad, considering the wind-drift and waves that resembled my garage. I have a photograph ... somewhere.
If you were wondering where on earth Mike and I have been for the last week or so, Vinnie the Poo will tell the story --- color commentary (mostly gray) by Ee-yore, the perennial pessimist.
Chapter 1 - Introduction
BONAIRE is a Dutch Island in the Caribbean, about 35 miles off the coast of Venezuela.
It rains about 9" per year, mostly in December. We like to go in April, because at home "April is the cruelest month" -- cold and drizzly.
Ee-yore: "It's a heap of coral, parched by the sun. Outside of the rainy season, the weather is always HOT and WINDY. Except, of course, when it's HOT and VERY WINDY. The constant trade wind fools you into thinking you're comfortable until you've been burned beyond recognition.Underwater is the safest place for tourists to be in the afternoon, while the residents have their siesta.
The island is an emergent reef; and inshore waters were declared a Marine Park sometime around 1955. No long boat rides out to a barrier reef. You're not allowed to drop an anchor or to fish with a hook (except on Good FridayR). So the reef is pristine. The fish do not fear divers. On a night dive, you can pet a Moray, but it's not a good idea because some people feed them hotdogs, which look like fingers.
EE-YORE: Skinny-dipping is not advisable ... for the same reason". (Believe me -- they don't call us "donkeys" for nothin'.)
Chapter 2. Accommodations
stayed at the nicest ocean-front accommodations that we could afford.
Here are photos of the "Red Slave Huts" and also the "White Slave
Huts", by the light of the rental car.
Ee-Yore: "After the accident, we
got a ticket for driving an uninsured vehicle. It expired the day we
got the car. In Bonaire, 07-04-14 means April 7th, not July 4th". Go figure! "
Please note that I never said we actually stayed in the slave huts. A nonsequitor is a venial sin, if a sin at all. One night there was considered, but the island has aggressive land crabs that will come out of their shell to attack you. Really ! So, we stayed at a somewhat nicer oceanfront place, where we have a timeshare studio apartment, a relic from a former life. Mike won't let me sell it.
Chapter 3 - Flashback by Ee-Yore "Getting There Was Half the Fun !"
FRIDAY ... up @ 7:00 am Lots to do the day before scheduled departure ... no nap...no sense going to bed ... gotta pick up Mike @ 4am ... park the car ... back in time to learn that Untied Airlines cancelled our flight to Newark. Called the airline, got Blanche in New Delhi ...so I gave the phone to Mike. He gets us on a Delta flight through Atlannah, which would get us to Bonaire earlier than the Untied Airlines flights. One minor logistical problem...recommended check-in is 2 hours before departure. We had 15 minutes. Checked one suitcase, but too late to check the dive gear ... with the diving knife ... so I politely handed the knife to the agent who caught up with my bag and stowed the knife. Then Mike ran pushing me in a wheelchair with 3 bags, went through TSA security twice ( don't ask), combat boots off and on and off and on ... run and roll some more ...got to the gate just as the door closed ...and, of course, once it's closed, they won't open it again even if the plane is on fire. Back to Untied Airlines...and Mike gave the agent a lucid explanation of why they had to accept our Delta tickets. I heard that Rochester is nice in the Spring ... got a half-hour nap ... no sense going to bed for the night though...picked Mike up again at @2 am and drank Red Bull as he drove us to Rochester. From 7:00am Friday to Sunday night @ midnight, I had slept a total of 30 minutes -- and didn't feel any different than I ever do, except that my legs wouldn't stay still while we flew to Newark in a Bombardier. Never thought I'd ever feel so happy to be in New Jersey!
A new year and I'm still here. For that, I'm grateful.
Yet, what difference does a new year make?
Every day, every hour, every minute,
every breath is a new beginning,
If I declare it to be so.
On we go.
One step into the future is a step out of the past.
But what of the moment? Where am I now?
If always coming or going,
when does a human have time for being?
When is Life?
We leave the past behind:
the celebration and the sorrow.
Memories are safe there -- nothing can hurt them.
Tomorrow has hope and fear, dreams and tears,
and maybe even glory.
Is that the real story? I don't think so.
Every story has a beginning and an ending.
That's what we remember,
but it's the middle that really matters:
where the peanut butter meets the jelly.
When I look at my hands, I can see where I am and where I have been.
I feel the roughness and the callouses, the stinging that lingers,
the wounds not quite healed.
One hand is empty - nothing to clutch, nothing to do.
The other holds a pen.
Ah! There is the moment - alive and well,
creating something, pausing, moving, stopping,
making sense out of life. So it goes.
Let the revellers toot their tin horns.
Let them have their new year. I don't care.
All I want is one more breath.