Life at 70. So much change now, seemingly daily. I know that I am not changing as fast as the world is. In large part, because the past 70 years have set so much in stone. I am constantly going back to old ways for understanding these times and old ways to keep up the life. Change is out pacing me.
I am reminded that Tom Selleck well depicted the older man and change in the movie, Monte Walsh. The movie opens with this old cowboy sitting in a rocking chair, eating a can of peaches with a little bourbon tossed into the broth. A can of peaches grounded Monte Walsh in the ever changing world in the late 1800's. The satisfaction and look on his face, as he eats a half peach form the can, tells the whole story to me. The working world of the cowboy was disappearing, the automobile was hitting the trails and the folks driving them spoke that horses would soon be outlawed on the roads. Hard reality for the cowboy to see coming. Add to that their ways of living and earning a living were also dying. Monte was bound to hang on as long as he could. Near the end of the movie, Monte rides into town, visits with an old friend and chooses to purchase a can of peaches over a bottle of bourbon. And to add insult to injury, Monte finds that the can of peaches has risen to 5 cents. Maybe this can of peaches was eaten at the end of the trail that night to again ground and bring familiarity to Monte in a changing world.
Change is constant. Younger folks work their way though it and easily adapt. I am learning that older folks (this one for sure) struggles.
I do find though that we can bring moments into our lives that give great satisfaction and glue our past to the future. And maybe only for us which is just fine. Those are times we let go of everything and see the moment and take part of the greatness of that.
On a warm summer day, I find a great moment in finishing another row of cord wood in the wood shed. I position the chair outside between the garage and shed with sun not in my eyes, yet warming me. The new row of wood is in the center of my view, the tools are strewn where they were last used.
A cold beer from the fridge, I remove the cap like I use to do when I was young. The dog sits down next to me as I prop up my feet. The moment has begun. And there will be no more work done that day. The next half hour is spent in longing thoughts and the beauty of split wood neatly stacked. Each piece is a project in of itself and blends into a artful masterpiece that is a row of firewood. I am always at ease and at home in house heated with wood.
A few years back, our neighbor and close friend, invited us over for dinner. He brought out a bottle of Remy Martin CO Cognac and two small shot glasses. We were going to enjoy a few shots and the time to sit and visit. In all my years, I had never had Remy Martin Cognac. After the first shot, I told him that it is a very good thing I did not know about this during my drinking years. After dinner that night, he gifted me the rest of the bottle. A gesture beyond anything needed for our friendship. But more as a sign of the depth of our friendship.
I set the remainder of that bottle in the plow truck and vowed to only partake when plowing the snow from the driveway that winter. That worked for a few times until the day I remembered there were a few shots still left in the bottle sitting on the front seat of the plow truck. To this day, a shot of good Cognac brings with it that moment with my friend, his dinner table, our conversation and laughter. Every time.
I understand the can of peaches!