Monday, September 27, 2010





It's been a busy week here and I didn't get a chance to write anything. So I'll just leave you with some photos my daughter Mallory took while we all were hiking.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

My Eyes Have Seen The Sky

I truly believed I was developing glaucoma. Everything around me was gray. It was as if I saw the world through cheesecloth like a close-up they use on an aging actress. I don’t even know if that‘s what glaucoma is like, but as far as I was concerned I had it. Turns out I just lived in New York all my life and didn’t know any better. Once I moved West my first thought was “So that’s what they mean by a blue sky”. I mean you can see things, really see things. I went right out and bought a tube of ultramarine for my landscapes. Of course the drawback is there is very little air to block sunlight, and the oxygen content is thirty parts per million.

It took some time adjusting to the high altitude. Opening cans required a quick ten-minute nap. And I’m still getting use to mowing the lawn while wearing a nebulizer. My lungs keep asking me “hey, where’s all the crap that use to be here?” in my fading Long Island accent. Like an ex-smoker clearing out his lungs, I spewed out tar balls the size of walnuts for a week.

If it wasn’t bad enough living at 5,200 feet, my wife suggested that we take a drive up to the mountains our first week. “You mean we can go higher?” I asked all dried and cracked as if auditioning for Jack Klugman. When the signpost read “You are now two miles above sea level” my heart let out an audible squeak like a strangled hamster. Once we got back down below tree line I breathed easier. And I mean that in every way possible.

It doesn’t seem to be affecting my wife and daughter as much. I guess fifty plus year old men have a different metabolism. Especially ones that stopped working out. On top of that, because my body is not getting its daily carcinogenic requirements my appetite for junk food has increased ten fold. I’m shoving cupcakes, pies, potato chips, and cookies down my throat faster than they can stock the shelves. And this is from a guy that weighted 160 pounds in sixth grade! I had a higher fat content than a Happy Meal.

So I should be healthier living here and I hope some day that is true, but for now it’s just one step, then a deep breath, at a time.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Closing Time, Last call!

It's closing day in NY.

Call the lawyer. Call the lawyer for the new house. They just picked up my wife's car. Hey, I sold my car! Hey, I have no car!?! Now how am I suppose to get around? The buyers called and want the jungle gym removed. Is my axe packed? The couch won't fit out of the basement. How did that happened? Must have soaked up all the moisture down there for ten years and grew two inches. Get the chain saw. Now we have a love seat and a ottoman. 80…90…115 boxes. My wife packed three of those so it's not like I didn't have help. Keep moving, keep packing. Do I want that? I guess not. Trash. How about this? Probably not. Gone. No the dog comes with us.

Go to closing. Sign some checks. Get some checks. The dust is settling. The movers are leaving. Everything we own is on that truck. Am I going to see any of them again? They seemed like nice guys, even if they had tattoos that read "Death for the Hell of it." Dinner in Smithtown for the last time. My son drives us to a hotel near La Guardia Airport. It's been a long day. But I don't fall asleep right away. Instead, I lie in bed, staring at the ceiling wondering if I remembered to pack my 1962 copy of 'What Happened to George,' a children's book about a pig that could not stop eating. My family used it to poke fun of me when I was a chubby little boy. Why was that popping into my head now?

The Big Move

After growing up on Long Island and spending the past (Let's just call it some time shall we? No reason to start off depressed.) years there, we finally made the Big Move and headed out to Colorado. It wasn't easy for me leaving friends and loved ones behind. And there were some concerns by many like "Where are you going to get a good slice of pizza?" and "What if you get lost?" You do realize it's a state right? Can you image if Columbus had to go through that? Hey Chris suppose your sail gets a hole, then what? Sounds like death before you get out of the harbor. I know they all meant well, but it didn't exactly fill me with confidence. Maybe they know me better than I do myself and realized how ill-equipped I am for anything that doesn't require a trip to a strip mall?

After packing, giving away, throwing out, or selling every last item we accumulated over time we headed out. Go West Old Man! It's too crowded here now. One less Nissan on the LIE. One more seat at the Multiplex for my 3D adventure. To give you some idea of what those last weeks were all about, here is my weekly agenda compared to one at a more sedate time.





















When you look back at oral surgery as simpler times you know you're in trouble.