1928 - Alderson High School - 1968



Starting over; To begin anew. To set into
motion or circulation again. To re-establish
or re-commence. To set out or go forth again.
Dan Duff

It seems strange to start over again. Even after you have done it many times, it still causes a nervous twinge and a hesitant foot. I was thinking of changes when the new year came in. As so many people, we stayed up to see the ball in Times Square float down to commence 2004. I did say a little quiet prayer to God for letting me see the new year. In early December I had another bout with this heart of mine that seems to keep working beyond all expectations and sometimes bewilders even the most learned of doctors that treat me. They gave me a new device this time. A little machine under the skin that will keep the heart beating properly and if need be re-start it.

Come to think of it, I have started over many times in my life. I remember leaving home to join the Army just a few days after graduating from high school. That was a real trauma. I soon came to accept it and they came to accept me. Not a mutual admiration of either of us, only acceptance. I started again when I was released from the service and returned home to start a new life as a civilian. I soon found that some people would accept me, but most people could care less. Unlike the army where all accepted me, I was a floundering fish complete without a comfort zone.

Marriage came and then children. The changes that come when you have a family is probably like having a circus full of wild animals and not having a tamer. Somewhere in there I started a career. That in itself meant running the circus, working and trying to go back to school. Change was usually the order of the day and as in the movie “One flew over the coocoo nest” I had no idea who was in charge.

As I look back now, I see just how many times a person can start over and begin anew. Sometimes because I wanted a new start. Sometimes because someone around me wanted a new start and sometimes because circumstances forced me to make a new start. Some new starts were completed with little or no expenses either monetarily or emotionally. Some came at great expense to both and some were absolutely devastating. Some I look back to see I was right in making the change. Some I look back to regret. Some I do not wish to look back on at all, because they are too painful.

Now I find myself making fewer and fewer changes in my life. In fact, I find myself balking at any change at all, even when they are for my benefit. I find myself needing my comfort zone and do not wish to tip the apple cart so to speak. I fight it and push against it even though I know that change are being made for my benefit.

One of those big changes is about to happen. I must give up my house and pool and familiar surroundings. I can no longer keep up the house and grounds the way it should be. In a way I will be glad to move to a place where all the maintenance work is done by someone a lot younger and more energetic than I am. I can sit on the porch and whittle or read and think about my next column to be published.

I have never been in a position of relying totally on someone else. I fear it with the same reluctance you have when you are in the hospital and have to ask for a bedpan. I know the people behind this change mean well and have my best interest at heart, but independence is an inbred existence. It fights for its life as any cornered animal would. Change will keep coming in my life. I suppose they will occur until I make that last great change from this world to the next. But come they will and I must accept them.