“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there”. George Harrison said that almost twenty years ago. Is that ever true! Of course, in this life, if you know where you’re going, then you must have some sort of knowledge that most of us are lacking.
I remember a time when all I wanted to do was play guitar and have fun, but reality starts to seep in and things start to head in directions that aren’t on the map. Next thing you know, I was learning carpentry and paying rent. Then came car payments and utilities. Although I was working plenty and paying bills, I did manage to find an opening in my life to pursue a bit of a dream in my late twenties.
As a young boy, I had lived a few years on the island of Crete in the Mediterranean Sea and longed to be near a big body of water again. There’s nothing like having a coastline nearby. I packed up and severed a few ties in Texas and headed to California. I was back to playing guitar for most of my living, but then reality stepped in again! There were still car payments and rent, which was quite a bit higher than it was in Texas, but, hey, I was living in Huntington Beach only four blocks from the Pacific Ocean. No man-made air conditioning and sleeping in an ocean breeze is something everyone should try.
Along with the day to day expenses, I leaned into carpentry again. It was actually a great job because the weather in Southern California is so nice most of the year and I love working with wood. There I was, moving along with life, perfect weather 360 days out of the year, playing music about twenty days out of every month and enjoying hitting a few nails with a hammer about three days a week, and in walks a woman. And I married her. And we had three sons-something I never expected to do was have kids. Especially three kids! Somewhere in the mix of things, I moved back to Texas when my dad’s health started failing. Fortunately, I had over eight more wonderful years with him. And to this day, I still have my sweet mother.
Now, back in Texas for about 35 years, I find myself still heavily involved with music, and still remodeling homes. My California wife is now my Texas ex, but my friend and mother of my three children, so very important to me still. My three sons, Mathew, Jimi, and Mackey, have been the greatest blessings in my life. If I had known how wonderful children could be, I would have taken the fatherhood route a lot sooner!
I thought I was settled in and content with what life had given me and contemplating retirement, when yet another major turn on life’s highway came my way. Of course, it involved a woman. Ann. This time I’m a Senior Citizen, as Ann is, and we’ll have to be happy with blending our children and not adding any more, unless they are grandchildren. We still work, but plan on retiring soon. If these changes aren’t enough, as I write this, I’m surrounded by cows, chickens, pigs, goats, and farm dogs. And maybe an occasional rattlesnake. If I ever did any planning, I definitely did not plan on rattlesnakes!
So here I am, wondering, “How did I get from playing guitar to feeding pigs and dodging rattlesnakes?” To try to answer that, I go from a wonderful quote by George Harrison and turn to rocker Jon Bon Jovi for one of my favorite quotes, “It’s okay to map out your life, just be sure to use a pencil”. Is that ever true!