Coffee Share 181215

This is a Weekly Coffee Share hosted by: Eclectic Alli.

Alli manages a weekly list of posts from any who want to just stay in touch, chat about blogging, writing, travel, photography, children, pets, work, life hacks or just about anything else that might be of interest.  Thank you Alli!  We appreciate you doing this for us.

Here’s the link for last week.

Here’s the link for this week.


Ah – there you are. Come in – come in so we can close the door and keep this precious heat inside. Did you get caught in that small wave from the sky that just passed by? The radio said that it was just a preview of the storm coming. Very soon, heavy rain and high winds will be upon us. About this time of year, we always get one great blow. It shakes out the last of the leaves that need to fall and almost always shakes loose any dead branches and we can normally count on finding a few trees toppled from the combination of the wet soil and high winds causing some aged trees to call it quits. I almost always go out after the big blow to make sure our long driveway is not blocked by a downed sycamore. I really should get my dad’s old chainsaw checked because one of these days. . .

This has been another busy week at work, leaving me little time to think about Christmas or anything else for that matter and certainly no writing which, if I allowed it, would make me cranky. Since this would unjustly torture my family, I avoid it, but it gnaws at my innards some.

But – the weekend has arrived and my work only rarely interferes with my days off, so I’m thrilled to share a few minutes with you, offer a variety of warm drinks and, I’d have to check, but I think the kids left a bit of pancake batter, so yes, I can offer you a couple of our family’s signature carrot-corn pancakes with real maple syrup of course. Even if you’re not hungry, you really should try one. This recipe has converted many who claimed they did not like pancakes.

So, what’s happening worthy of discussion? Do you recall Maria asking us about our home towns? This topic has been bouncing around my skull ever since. So much of how I grew up, the friends I had, the hills and trees I climbed, the family I had around me all came together like a spontaneous concert of random acts and events that molded the soft clay of who I started as and made me. I still own all the choices and mistakes I made, but if I had been raised somewhere different, the array of choices and certainly the friends I hung around with all would have been different. So, it makes sense, at least to me, that all these different choices and influences would have made a different me. Okay, but since we can only examine actual history and effects, this is only worth so much because we are all limited to but one history.

None of us get to know for sure what would have happened if we had decided to date or not date that one person from our past that we’ve always wondered “what if?” about, or some event that we attended only because we had nothing better to do at the time, but changed us substantially in the long run. What if mom and dad needed us to babysit that evening instead. . . ? We can’t know for certain, can we, because any possible alternate history is only fiction rooted in a situation that was very real, but led us along whatever path ultimately became reality.

After High School I moved around a lot compared to how I was raised. We only stayed in the house I was born in for 2 years, so I don’t recall anything about it, and my second home was home until I moved out at age 19 and in the next 5 years, I had 4 different homes and wildly different groups of formative friends and adventures. By age 25, I had another new home, a wife, an exciting new life with new friends again and a still-wide world to explore.

Today is the 39th anniversary of the day I married that girl and 18 years since we and our children moved back closer to my family and about a 20 minute drive to that second home I grew up in. It’s fun to mentally tinker with some of the “what ifs”, but frankly, I’m so blessed by how my life turned out that there are few things I would change (outside of a few screw-ups that I would not repeat).

Did you move around much when you were young? If yes, I’ll bet would agree that each move gave you a certain freedom to instantly become someone you really wanted to be but somehow couldn’t while surrounded by your previous friends and environment. I always found that friends, without planning to do so, resisted me changing, and it was always easier to not rock the boat. But when I moved, almost all expectations were reset and I could introduce my new and improved self and be the current me, free from anyone’s expectations.

I have come to realize that most of the best things that happened to me have been the people I got to hang with along the way, thus I treat almost all new acquaintances as potential future adventure partners. Is that going to be you, or am I your next adventure partner? Hmmmm.

Thanks for stopping by. I’ve trapped several of the background stories to some of the above. If you would like to sit and just enjoy a fun read while I tidy up, I’d love to share the following with you:

The story and recipe behind the carrot-corn pancake fun
The 10th anniversary story my wife and I made almost 30 years ago
The smattering of people who helped me build a career

Blessings all.

To select another story, please visit the full index by clicking here.

Gary photo n bio

11 thoughts on “Coffee Share 181215”

  1. You are indeed blessed Gary! Thank you for sharing that story of your life. I’m so impressed with people that are happily married after many years together. That is a very beautiful thing. Something to be proud of. The Christmassy coffee photo at the top is very nice 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Maria. I’m glad you checked in for coffee this week. Your point earlier was my inspiration for this short essay and I’ve had fun thinking it through. Thank you again for your kind words and (as is normal) you are correct that I am blessed. You too have such a full life and I love following your adventures. The world is a big place with lots left for us to discover. Blessings to you and your daughter for a wonderful Christmas. Thanks for reading my writings.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations on your 39th anniversary. I thoroughly enjoyed your post as I am intrigued by memoir and identity. I believe you can have several identities at the one time depending on what stories of yourself you tell. The problem becomes when you have big birthdays, which now seem to be coming around quickly, how do you have a party where you can be the self you are to the person when all the persons you are different people to are present together. It is not always feasible to keep moving although I moved a moderate amount in childhood and a huge amount in adulthood. Thanks for the thoughts and coffee,

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    1. Thanks Irene. I bristle some at the thought of maintaining separate identities. At first glance, it feels dishonest. I’ll grant that as one person, I might honestly relate to my work peers with some distinction from how I might relate to family or close friends, or to progress your example, groups of people from when I lived in different places. And yea, it does get confusing when somehow, they all wind up in the same room and “expect” us to be the person they know. The thought summons us to careful navigation so as to not disappoint or confuse. You have a great mind there my friend. I had not pursued this far enough it seems.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. We moved around a lot when I was small, but I recall not wanting to leave the friends that I had. I recall it being harder to make close friends after a move, but I did it. They got me excited about moving to Florida at age eight after living in some very cold climates. (Dad was in the military). Well, except for an eight-month stay in OK, I have been in Florida ever since. I just do not want cold weather anymore! Have a great week, Gary, and Congrats on the anniversary!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It has been 10 years since coming back to live in my hometown where two of my parents, 3 sisters and brother and aunt and uncle and several cousins live. My husband and I lived 25 miles away for 13 years which was barely a move away. But it feels right to be full circle back home.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s funny how life unfolds. My youngest sister and I ha so little in common and now she and I speak often and since she’s only about a 3 minute drive away, we see each other often. Both our parents are gone now, but we moved back here in time to spend their final years nearby. You are correct – it feels correct in a way that goes very deep. Thank you for reading and commenting back. I hope your and your family have a wonderful Christmas.

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  5. I think it would have been interesting to have moved from one town to the next, but we were born and raised in the very small town where my father lived and his parents and many of their siblings. Saw many different places on short trips with my mother and day-trips with the family, though. And there was a commuter train that I took to get to and from the “big city” when I’d saved money from my allowance for tickets.

    What-ifs are intriguing, but not as wishes, I think. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Lizl, It was for me. I really needed to move around some to spread out and grow up some. In my place, I could see you telling me that the friendships were fine for what they were, but they had shallow roots because they are not the same as growing up together. And you are correct. I agree that the “what-ifs” are fun to fiddle with. Some even make fun chains of thoughts for fictional stories that, really, someone should write. Blessings to you and your family.

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Autobiographical fun in 10 minutes or less

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