2014 - An Eventful Year!

There are events, milestones, sometimes years which mark a change in our journey through this life.  This year, 2014, has been one of those for me.  Lines have been drawn, delineating before and after, then and now.

I suppose they are just numbers but my wife also felt it was a big deal so commissioned a photographer to mark our new age categories and give us something to look back on in a few more years.  As a youth I had been conditioned to see a certain age as being old.  Having reached that age this year, I find I have mixed feelings about its significance.  For what it is worth, my wife is now forty and I am sixty.

I also lost both my parents this year.  My father pasted away in January and my mother followed him ten months later.  I have known this was coming but the finality of it does give one pause. One examines relationships and mortality from a whole new perspective.  I am a firm believer that we are no different from every other living entity on this planet, in that we have no purpose other than to live and then to die.  What we make of the time between those two events is entirely up to us, or I suppose you could leave it up to someone else to make those decisions for you.

My father’s line is drawing to a close.  I have chosen not to have children and my brother’s sons seem unlikely to produce offspring, so this particular genetic line will cease to exist in time.  With the world population having risen from three billion to seven billion in my lifetime, I don’t suspect our unwillingness to contribute to the species will have any longterm effect, though.

I continue to enjoy riding my mt. bike, taking two or three days off to recover between rides.  My latest ride was 65 km and my longest this year was 84 km.  As I travel greater distances and at a faster pace, the balance has shifted slightly toward fitness over leisure and photography, with the camera often being left at home.

During a break in my wife’s university studies we undertook some upgrades to the house.  We extended our open garage area, tripling the area under roof and protected from sun and rain.  We also enclosed an underutilized patio off the living room creating a lovely little addition to our living space.

We have had visitors and have driven some around northern Thailand.  We even spent three weeks in Hawaii.  My wife keeps up with friends in Hawaii on Facebook but after three years away it was great for her to see people face to face.  My focus was more on the bureaucracy and rituals of death but I enjoyed seeing my brother after many years.  In addition my wife and her friends brought more joy to my trip than I had expected.

I don’t have as much to say these days, having exhausted my muse over the years on this blog, but I continue to post pictures on Google+.  Most of my writing now is in response to emails instead of posting here.  I continue to be fascinated by what brings people to correspond with me and what odd circumstances can cause them to abandon our correspondence.

My life is blessed with good health, love, companionship, comfort and convenience.  I have a great wife, a lovely house, wonderful views, healthy hobbies, entertaining pets, a few toys and a continuing appreciation for the beauty that surrounds me.  My social life is the only area which suffers a bit from my physical isolation and spontaneity is a hard thing to come by when one lives far from others.  It does happen in the form of bumping into someone while in town or out on the mt. bike but the frequency is nothing like it was while living in Bangkok.

I do not share the common vices of our time and do not have horror stories to tell about living in Thailand and I speak the language.  That and having lived here all my adult life leaves me with little in common with the new bread of old retirees.  Being home in time to feed the dogs and enjoy a sunset walk is more important to me than hanging around with other expats after dark.  Evening is a time to chill out and watch movies or television and just hangout with my wife and pets.

During the day when I am out and about, I do get updates on my iPhone and sometimes comment on Facebook or use Line, but I still prefer to confine most of my online activity to one fixed location.  To that end I have finally updated my aging iMac 24 which I purchased soon after moving into the house in the field seven years ago.  I am presently writing on my new iMac (Retina 5k, 27-inch).  I do like pretty and everything on this screen looks beautiful.

Writing about being happy and content is not an easy thing to pull off.  Without peaks and valleys there isn’t enough contrast to make for an interesting story.  I hope people continue to rummage through some of my early posts but I still haven’t come up with a new direction to drive a continued wave of writing.  With my parents gone, Thailand is well and truly my home, and I have nothing tying me to anywhere else.  This is just to let you all know I am still doing well, here in this house in a field, in a valley with a view.