Solstice Blessings

I see those around me gearing up for Christmas, doing their best to meet the cultural and commercial expectations our mamas all raised us with. I’m not unaware of the change of the soundtrack as I shop for my daily dose of chocolate milk at the local King Soopers or stroll the aisles at Wally World restocking hobo essentials. Santa-branded candy is as overpriced as a class at the late Trump University which is slightly abated by the recent heavy discounts on Bronco-branded merch. You can also pick up some heavily discounted pumpkin-spiced croutons for your salad right now if you know the right aisles to shop.

The sounds of the season and the Xmas themed end-caps at the stores were in place long before Thanksgiving eve. This is the Christian holiday snatched from the pagans and assigned as the birthday of Baby Jeebus fully re-dedicated to the American God of Retail. O’Holy Night and all that and “get your grimey ass back to Mexico” says Tucker Carlson on God’s Chosen Channel. I’m eternally and daily thankful I’m free of the cognitive dissonance required to carry water for this imaginary monster. Hippie Jeebus I could stomach.

Now what to celebrate? Are we totally screwed? Maybe for those whose imaginations need to be filled by self-righteous holy pricks imaginatively interpreting The Goat Herders Guide to the Galaxy. Somebody give these people a science book ferchrissakes.

This Rambo Jeebus, this malignant Christian Nationalist Jeebus, this “FU dirty hippes!” version of Jeebus has soured the entirety of the American religious landscape and made many realize that the true history of Baby Jeebus is as nebulous as the the position and speed of an atomic particle. At least an atomic particle leaves a reliable footprint. Though we may sometimes tire in our attempt to hang onto that which is most precious to us it’s best to maintain a firm grip on the reliable atoms in the rope than to let go and pray for a miracle against gravity, and everybody dam well knows it.

As for me? The most blessed all of the hobo heretics the high mountain meadows can muster? I’ll continue to spread honesty, cheer and happiness around me in as eager and prolific a manner as the spirits of an aging hobo and his old hobo hound can muster, fully leveraging the utility of the companionship my cute publicity-loving-pup adds to the mix. There may be some weed involved, all legally obtained and distributed under the laws of my totally utopian state. I’ll always strive to maintain as much of a positive public image as can be had from such a minimalist perch as this poverty-tainted platform will allow.. Build new friendships and try to maintain the many acquired along the happy trails.

At this most blessed of holiday seasons, I’d be remiss not to note the most serendipitous of the many hobo blessings (that coincidentally happens to make a fundamentalist Pentecostal wince hardest) is that I am living as close to the purported lifestyle of the beloved Baby Jeebus as is humanly possible in the 21st Century. That noted, I’m not nearly as incommunicado, nor has my army of a dozen female apostles completely gelled, just yet. I’m less inclined to push against those wishing to form a religion around me the older I get. It’s a feature, not a bug. Hoocoodanode?

Chalk it up to the curiosity of my nature. It’s what my mama raised me with. That, and a round Earth.

Enjoy.

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New Year Thoughts and Plays

I pause once again to thank the goodness of my friends for helping enable the “level of success” I have achieved since returning to the US as a shell-shocked (yet surprisingly fabulous) senior citizen expat widower three years ago.  One thing I’ve learned from the experience is that there are more people out there actually paying attention to my content and concerned for my well being than I would ever anticipated. They’ve been the difference between survival and what I define as surthrival, which is at least halfway up the fourth tier on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.  Self actualization can only be achieved in a sunny high mountain meadow sipping fire-brewed coffee and passing one of Willie’s Reserve around the tambourine circle, but I don’t want to give away all the secret society stuff.  Come visit and we’ll talk.

The Hobo Heretic Has Arrived

I’m claiming my rightful throne as Hobo Heretic of the high mountain meadows.  It’s the direction that providence has pushed me.  A retirement position that combines talents acquired lately in the fine art of minivan living with my lifelong fight against the disruptive effects of belief in things that cannot be tested.  As always, my content will reflect that which interests or concerns me, untainted by the concern of mass appeal or monetary manipulations.  Expect a mix of the usual eclectic high mountain meadows magic, notes on van life along with the occasional political screed, because, well….just because.  (He’s guilty as shit and everybody knows it)

Enjoy.

Loose Endings

No Longer an Okie from MuskogeeHeading West

My time in Wagoner, OK has come to a close. I packed my life back into my four suitcases and me and Bandit headed down the road in search of a better tomorrow early in the wee hours of Saturday morning. Though things didn’t work out as well as I had hoped for in Oklahoma, I’m grateful for the opportunity and thankful for the companionship my host family provided me during my time there.

Adventures in Fund RaisingToledo Scale

Friday, I finished up with my “Great Aluminum Can Adventure” by taking the cans I’d collected during my daily walks with Bandit to the local recycling center. It was a lot of fun and a bit of an adventure wandering the streets around Wagoner, snatching cans and taking photographs as we toured the area. I’d estimate we traversed a good twenty miles in the eight to ten hours we spent wandering around aimlessly. The final aluminum tally was twenty pounds collected and the payout was eight bucks (at forty cents a pound), leading to an average of a bit less than a dollar an hour payout. I wouldn’t recommend it as a career move, but I do enjoy walking with Bandit in the evenings for fun and health anyway. Getting paid for doing it is a bonus and better than paying out for a gym membership!

If you are feeling charitable you can help support me in my struggle to rebuild my life from scratch by tossing a nickel into my emergency relocation fund.

Next up? Memphis.

Enjoy.

Best of Mississippi

Best of Mississippi and a Farewell Kiss GoodbyeWinter Golfing in Dixie

I did a best and worst of Iowa series while visiting my sister up north, so I figured I’d attempt to recapture that again in my final blog post from deep down in Dixie. I’ll be heading out of town next week to continue on my “Pike’s Peak or Bust” Mystery Tour.  I’ll refrain from a “worst of” entry for Mississippi since there’s entirely too much of that on display in mainstream media already.

Special Thanks to Mike ParkerPower Couple

Bandit and I have been staying with a long-time and dear friend in the suburbs.  We’ve been extremely well cared for by my good buddy Mike Parker.  Mike is a successful restauranteur here in Jackson.  Mike and his late partner Larry were highlighted in a local magazine article in 2012 as a Jackson area “Power Couple” and as the article above notes, their pizza business has received multiple awards since it’s opening in 2006. Sadly, Larry passed away of cancer a couple years before my wife Rita followed him to the great beyond.  Mike has since found a new and loving partner to help him pick up the pieces of his life.  I’m not ready for that kind of commitment again at this point in my life since I’m still mourning the more recent passing of my beloved mate (and best friend).  Even though Mike has remarried, I know there’s still a void in his soul from the passing of Larry that will never be filled.  It’s good to be staying in a house with such love and understanding of what I’ve been through in the last six months.  I cannot say enough good things about the quality of support my friends here in the South have provided for both myself and my furry travel companion.  Such blessings are hard to come by.

Fond Memories of Mississippi

Below is a slideshow of some of the highlights my hairy beast and I enjoyed here in Dixie during the last several months.  Even as we make our way forward and on to new and exciting adventures, I will always cling to the pleasant memories of my stay here in Mississippi.  There are others in my sphere who have also been essential in keeping our spirits high and our bellies full.  I shall respect the anonymity I know they desire but I shall not fail to make note of them here in passing.

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Enjoy.

One Last Bite

Updated to add: My dear and lovely wife Rita is gone. She passed at seven p.m. here in Germany the last day of September, after battling a series of cancers and tumors that eventually consumed her. She passed at home, in as peaceful and loving an environment as any of us could wish for ourselves or any of the loved ones we hold dear. She was truly a very special princess.  Details of memorials and services to follow. This blogpost was being proofed for release as I watched over her in her final hours.

Fast Food and Timeless Love

Those who follow my life’s travails on Facebook will have a better grip on the decidedly gloomy situation imposed upon our family by the continued degradations from my wife’s terminal illness.  There’s enough pain, sorrow and heartache to drive many a formerly sober man to whisky, without delving into the hoarier details involved in cohabiting in the apartment above my 85 year old Nazi-era mother-in-law!  Before proceeding, be advised that these missives have been prepared and released under the most dire of circumstances and incredible stresses.

On the matter of the extraneous errata of my sick mind, it’s probably as a result of the mind blowing decisions my wife and I discussed being up against, of which a brief glimpse is offerered in the love story I’m sharing with you today.

Whatever else bubbles out of my brain, today’s offering is just a ‘simple’ tale of a man and his dying wife going out on their last dinner date together in a romantic German location, on a rare balmy night in late Autumn somewhere close enough to Paris to fear guillotines pulled by donkeys headed north.

For some odd reason, the French really have issues with the past when it comes to dealing with the Germans, but there were no wagon wheels or donkey hooves pounding north on the cobblestone streets the night of our last dinner together.  It was just another of the minor blessings that have fallen our direction.

We grab blessings these days with all the vigor we can manage, because time and the degree of significance of their appearance is amplified by the deepening shadows and gathering storms we’ve ignored in order to remain in our amorous stupor for as long as is humanly possible.  You count your blessings where you find them.  That’s the philosophy Rita and I have maintained for a quarter century together and I’m not messing with success.

The Gathering Storms

If you’ve an aversion to fear, death, Nazi storm troopers, video game screen caps or humor bred of morbid fear and impending doom, stop now.  Everyone else…..
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