Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Deadlines and old age

What’s with missing deadlines in my old age?

Ya know, when you practice at something for 60 years, you might reasonably expect to be at the top of your game. So why is it, sitting here on the front porch of The Golden Years, I catch myself in rookie mistakes. Hell, not even mistakes, for mistakes implies the poopertrator acted in ignorance. I’ve held deadlines to be sacred since those salad days on The Rider Roundup. I can thank Mother Mac for that; the old bat drilled the fundamentals into us like a freaking’ jar head top kick minus the language, bless her heart!

Okay, thumbnail version; I put two days into building this dirt cheap mud hole in our shrub jungle, rigged up a waterfall base and trickle hose (Texas is in a record, Class Five Excessive Red Flag Flying killer of a drought, in case you did not get the memo, and the water police have eyes everywhere), stuck a self-contained solar LED lamp at its base and called it AnniePie Millers’ Mothers’ Day Garden; a fun little project that kept my now fully retired butt outside and from under foot when not actively seeking gainful employment outside The Home, don’ cha know. On or about that same time, I set a deadline to publish the next issue of this journal no later than Mom Day midnight, thinking to write a wrap up piece on Mothers' Day at Miller's Cave. You see, while Annie got a new garden out of the deal, I renovated our 8 X 12 shed into a man cave, but that's another story.

The two of you who follow this rag already know I busted deadline. Friends, the last time I recall that happening was the wee hours of April 11, 1979, when we failed to make the first early edition. There was a night!

Part of the problem, as I see it, is that I quit thinking of myself as a newspaperman when the Tribune-Chief was sold out from under me. Use it or lose it NEVER takes a day off! For the rest of it, I’ve just got to face up and fess up to the immovable truth. I am old.

I am old. I have reached the age my grandfather was when I was born; and I am here to tell you, children, that old Hardshell Baptist deacon, Wiley Preston Saunders, came into this world old and just proceeded to get better at it! Of course, he rarely hobbled himself with deadlines, choosing rather to approach his chores d'rectly ("JREC-lee", adverb, to get around to doing something when one is damned good and ready).
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