# 5 Anticipation 11/16/19

I clearly remember how each Christmas, I would lay awake until well after midnight. The wide-eyed pre-teen, for one night each year. Christmas meant a lot to a kid under ten, ok under 12…maybe even fifteen.

Each Christmas Eve day, I carefully planned, to be filled with comic books, purchased ahead and saved for this mind-numbing day. How else can one make it through the slowdown of time itself? No one understood my relaxed attitude and appearance of lying in my bed, reading comic books until dinnertime. What they had no idea of was my internalized near ulcer excitement.

 

After all, Christmas Eve was unique in our house, the real tree came in, got a few aspirins, and decked out with red ornaments and tinsel. Never was there a blue or even a gold decoration, always red, never miscreant tinsel tossed, each draped as if a religious experience. Also happening was this middle child having a glass of Mogen David. You never know what goes on in these Protestant families. Yes, somewhere there are pictures of ornaments hanging off my glasses in a drunken state at twelve. I think it was meant to put me to sleep, sorry didn’t work. Rubbing a child’s gums with Vodka while teething did, but that is for another day. Before you check the statute of limitations has expired.

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That is how it feels to me now with a full one hundred calendar days to go to retirement. I feel like time is slowing down, I know it will pass, I know it will get here, but dang it happens in ultra-slow motion right now. Every day of waking, driving to work, only to feel more like a prison sentence and subsequent work release. Do they not hear the voices in my head screaming out, wanting to be free? No, I guess not.

My time of keeping up with things going on is passing, in the working world has passed, thankfully. I started in the days of a blinking C:\ and came through it to this point of connectedness that I do need my Internet. Lord, I recall when my oldest son, confiscated my fancy Hewlett Packard 386 and turned it into a BBS. An online answering bulletin board. My Johnny-Come-Lately approach has been the same. “What the heck is it good for?” I never saw that 386 again.

 

Another big win for Dad was asking, “Why do I need to get on the Internet at all? What the heck is an email?” Confession time, I still have a live AOL account from 1994. Another quote from me I recall distinctly was, “Explain to me why anyone would buy anything over the Internet when the store is right there?”

 

Ok, so I was not exactly the technology forward thinker. I do recall being so proficient with DOS that I hung a catnip mouse from a shelf to protest being forced to go to Windows 3.1. Then there was that heart-stopping time my son and I installed all 12 of the 3.5 disks for the notorious Windows 95 on my work computer one Saturday. We have never looked back since.

At the time we lived in Burlington, Vermont, I had arrived in the world of IT phone support. One particular car trip had us saying, one day when they break the one to one ratio for a movie on a DVD, CD’s had no arrived yet, it will be huge. Now we see Walmart sell CD movies for a dollar in a discount bin. So many missed opportunities.

 

Now back to the Christmas anticipation. A relatively short time to anyone in a non-pending retirement situation. For me, it's grueling. Each day I survive, this is a significant accomplishment. So why is Christmas a watershed moment for a Social Security bound American?

We get to go on our Iditarod. We load up the Huskies and mush south to Texas. Our first voyage, a Bottom of the Sea adventure. Now imagine the dogsled, some thirty-eight feet long with a U-Haul dolly to tow the SUV back home — a mere 1300 miles of slushing through the snow.

Certain aspects of this adventure are now in a constant state of discussion at the home front. Marlene found the Motorhome specifications sheet interesting.

 

“Do you know this thing is twelve feet seven inches high?”

 

Note to self, we won’t be navigating any back roads with low train crossovers. Visions of semi-trucks stuck fast under an overpass filtering into my thoughts. Oh well, life happens.

GPS for truckers with relevant height restrictions does exist, and we will get one before we go on the road.

Once George, or is it, Georgette, the last one I heard was Georgia Peaches, is safely parked in the driveway, the real work will commence. Somehow, I fear the two coffee makers and one Keurig will not make the cut. Parting or packing with one’s comfort level is not easy.  I may need to give up my bean grinder, the horrors of it all. Will it never stop? Anyway, once back home, the renovations commence. The bunk beds come out and in goes a one-man cave. Otherwise known as my office.

Onward and upward. Oh, by the way, my sequel to Escape Key is nearing the finish line.