autumn moods.

On Saturday, I’ll be driving over to Maine with Quinn, to visit the sister of an old friend who died two years ago.  I had been making noises to her about coming to see her for over a year now, and I’ve finally decided to take a Saturday and just go.  Quinn’s coming along because he wants to see the ocean, and because he likes going on trips with Daddy.  I’ll stop in Portland for lunch with one of my VPXII pals, which will be nice.  My friend lived in a town not too far from Bangor, down by the coast, so there’ll be ocean for Quinn to see, and the colors should be popping right now as well.

VPXIII just wrapped up last weekend, and I’ve been reading the blog entries and message board posts of the brand new VP alumni, whose experience seems to have mirrored the one we had just a year ago.  (Hard to believe it’s been a year already.)  I feel a weird sort of homesickness when I look at all the new Flickr albums taken by VPXIII folks, and I’d love to go back some year, but someone else said that Viable Paradise is as much a “one-time only” experience as your first kiss, and that makes sense. 

I get a little more contemplative than usual in the fall, and the imminent visit to the place where my old friend lived his life combines with that odd feeling of homesickness I’ve mentioned to make me a bit more melancholic than usual.  I recently signed up at a German web site for finding old schoolmates, and a bunch of my old friends from school are already members.  When I look at the pictures they’ve put online, it’s kind of shocking to see how people have either hardly changed at all, or changed so dramatically that I wouldn’t recognize them if they passed me on the street.  I think I’ve only now started to realize that we’re all heading into middle age at full steam, and I simply don’t feel middle age-y just yet.

If this all sounds like the heralding of an impending midlife crisis, have no fear.  I’m happy where I am in life, pleased with how it has all turned out, and looking forward to the next ten or twenty years, because I’m just now doing what I have always wanted to do with my life.  So no, I won’t be getting that cherry-red Corvette to cruise up and down in front of the all-girls college any time soon.  It’s just my annual mental housecleaning process.


13 thoughts on “autumn moods.

  1. Desertrat says:

    The nice thing about turning forty is that you may well have finally accumulated enough mileage to justify your opinions.

    :-), Art

  2. MarkHB says:

    “We do not stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing”.

    If sitting around in your skivvies with a boozy drink and writing about redecorating continents with orbital laser cannon isn’t playing, I don’t know what the hell is.

  3. Jay G. says:

    No Corvette. CBR.


    • Kristopher says:

      He’s gettin’ old. Maybe a Goldwing … or a fake harley.

      Or get a Valkyrie and do both at once … heh.

  4. crankylitprof says:

    This time of year always makes me a bit reflective. Partially because I fell, as you do, that I’m not really middle-agey yet. Hell, I feel as if I’m barely out of college and still have a world to conquer.

    Then again, my job may have something to do with that.

  5. Tam says:

    I get a little more contemplative than usual in the fall…

    Grey skies and the scent of woodsmoke on a cool breeze; does it to me every time.

    At least, it’s done it consistently for about forty times in a row. Hopefully it’ll do it for another thirty or forty…

  6. Louise Townsend says:

    I agree with MarkHB!
    I am going to be 53 in December and I am loving life!
    Lots of outside time and 2 young grandkids to keep me on my toes really helps.
    I did however receive a 1980 red MGB for my 50th birthday from my husband.
    I love the car, and we called it my mid-life correction.

  7. Wild Deuce says:

    I would highly recommend a visit to Bar Harbor / Acadia National Park. I don’t know how much time you will have or how close you will be but it is worth the time. A contemplative moment or two on top of Cadillac Mountain with your loved one(s) is something to treasure.

    Word of caution … I think they roll up the sidewalks and shut the town down around this time of year.

  8. Sendarius says:

    Why no red Corvette?

    If the reason is purely financial then I understand, but if it is more “Well, it’s what I REALLY want, and I can afford it, but it’s kinda showy, and people might get the wrong idea… ” then I say go for it.
    Why deny yourself something based on what others might think or say?

    I promised myself a Porsche by age 40 – sort of a personal goal/reward thing. I made it (just!) but only by buying the red-headed step-child of the Porsche family – a used 944S2.

    I have never enjoyed simply driving as much as I do in that car. Without ANY doubt it was a great decision. Sensible? Probably not – a Japanese econo-box would have been a smarter and more economical choice, but I think I would have died a little inside if I had gone that route again.

    • Tam says:

      A used 944 is maybe one of the best grin/$$$ values out there. I still miss my 924S almost fifteen years later.

      A friend told me how jealous she was of my little red Porsche and wouldn’t believe me when I told her that, for the cost of the S-10 she was driving, she could have had a different 924S for every day of the week…

      • Sendarius says:

        I don’t EVER intend to miss mine, ’cause I won’t sell it.

        If I’m not buried in it, that will only be because I am buried in the 928 I bought off EvilBay last year for three packs of gum, two postage stamps and a Pizza Hut discount coupon. (Not really, but it was about that cheap. It cost more in freight than it did to buy.)

        I tell my wife that having me come out of the garage smelling of motor oil & grease is better than coming home late smelling of cheap perfume.

        • Tam says:

          The only reason I don’t miss my 924S (or my earlier 924) is that my Zed Drei would slaughter either one, with the top down. 😉

          I’ve had it for eight years now, and if I’m lucky, I’ll have it for another couple years until it won’t be worth selling.

          I’ll hand the Jerries this: They sure do know how to build a car with all the fun-to-drive quotient of the best from Limeyland or Pastaville, but without most of the maintenance headaches…

  9. Bob says:

    My Grandmother confided in me, a few years ago, that at 87 she would catch her self unawares walking by a large mirror and glancing at it wonder who that “old brawd” was.
    At 53 I understand her sense of wonder and surprise.

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