Not a bucket list.

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Some things I wish would happen again, but that never will:

Clipping onto the lifeline on Stella Blue and reefing the main in a blinding storm.

On a calmer day, trimming the sails perfectly and riding at the bow, pretending not to have a care in the world.

Leaning hard into a mountain turn on the Harley, then hitting 110 on a two-lane straightaway.

Getting another piece of art into the Virginia Artist Biennial at the Virginia Museum.

Holding a loving woman in my arms.

Believing that I would leave behind something that has value and meaning.

There are more, but why be boring?

One thing that WILL happen:

Outliving Hannah by 3 days, so she won’t always look for me and wonder why I left her.

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Why the hell not?

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With the rare exception of an occasional cigar, I’ve been a lifelong non-smoker. After my recent near heart attack experience and subsequent stent implants, I decided to quit them altogether. Not a difficult thing, since I only smoked one every few months. Then yesterday my doc called regarding the results of a test last week that revealed 80% blockage in a carotid artery. So now I have an upcoming appointment with a vascular surgeon, and am thinking WTF difference does it make?

I’m 65 years old, and there is going to be no reversal in my body’s inexorable descent into entropy. I’m not happy about it. I’ve always been pretty thankful for my good health. Had a few accidents over the years, which I figure don’t count. Even after prostate cancer and surgery in 2001 I’ve considered myself generally healthy, at least physically. I did fall into a pretty nasty situational depression after the heart thingy, but had been feeling better for the last week or so.

Now I’m mad. Walking around the house slamming doors and drawers. Thinking WTF a lot. I don’t want to slip down this long dead end road millimeter by millimeter. Death from a heart attack is one thing. I can deal with that. The prospect of a debilitating stroke is another thing altogether. And wondering what might be next, and when, is yet another. Yep, I’m mad.

I thank the universe for my sweet little anchor to this world, Hannah the Beagle. It’s probably an unfair burden to place upon her, but I doubt she’s aware of it.