Sunday, December 28, 2014

Second Chances

We all seem to need them at sometime. I can only speak for myself, but I think they come in many forms.

When I was a little kid (with hair on top of my head) I would occasionally screw up by forgetting to do something the way I was told it was supposed to be done. Usually this was pretty trivial stuff. If I realized my mistake my stepmother would often give me a second chance to not screw up. Usually I caught on, but not always. Sometimes I needed more than just a second chance. Sometimes a third or fourth was necessary, but I was usually pushing my luck at that point.

This is my younger brother and I with our grandmother. My hair was short, but covered the whole top of my head.

Then came the teenage years. I still had hair, but it was showing up in more places.

At this time of my life I didn't need many second chances because I was usually right the first time. Or so I thought. I really didn't need many second chances with the girls because I rarely had a first chance. I was actually pretty shy. In my own mind I was pretty cool and my big chance to get away from home was coming as I was almost done with high school.

Here I am with my brother and his cat. I'm cool, but the cat has me beat.
Then came college. I didn't start out so great and they gave me a second chance after the first semester. I didn't want to go to Southeast Asia dressed like everyone else, so I took them up on their generous offer.

I didn't date much, being shy and all (And poor. You can't show a girl a good time with a quarter in your pocket), but there were a couple of second chances I maybe should have taken.

After college I moved to Minneapolis and tried to make it. I hated my job, my dog got run over, and I couldn't afford to keep my piece of shit car running, so I went running home for a bit. My parents were usually gone so I found a job, took care of their house, worked nearly every day for nine months, and took a second chance at Minneapolis. It took about 2 years to get back there after I left Delaware because of a detour to Iowa, but that's another story. This time I made it after all. Just like Mary Tyler Moore, who helped inspire me at the time, I made it back to Minnesota where I lived with my goofy, yet capable, friends.

All these years later as an over ripe adult, I have gotten quite a few second chances from the Cooker. I'm not sure I deserved all of them, but I'm not one to second guess a second chance. No sir, not me! I will always take a second chance opportunity nearly every time I get one. As time becomes THE precious commodity that won't give me a second chance I have to be alert.

So after my last post my friendly neighborhood Northern Hawk Owl came back to give me a second chance at getting a good look. I put on a longer lens and got to take a few more shots. They came out much better.
 Second chances always give me a chance to improve. Do they work for you?

Saturday, December 13, 2014


Poetry, painting, music, writing can all talk about dreams or be inspired by them. Humans have looked for meaning in them as well as glimpses of the future. Physiologically they are just electrical and chemical actions going on in our brains. Are they controlled by the subconscious ramblings of our minds or just random electrochemical operations firing off whatever and whenever they want?

Beats me! I'm no genius! Sometimes they are pure entertainment and other times I try to figure out if there was a trigger that caused a certain subject, scene, or event to occur in the dream.

One of the most fun things that happens is I get to see old friends. One of my very best friends died in the summer of 1995 of a congenital heart condition. Every now and then he comes for a visit and sometimes we play music or just hang out or go exploring something. Last time he was helping me pick out an area in my huge concrete basement for a music room. At the far end of the basement (it must have been a couple of hundred feet long) was a restaurant and bar run by some other friends. I guess I didn't think much of it other than the convenience factor.

Sometimes my father comes to visit. He died back in 2006, but still hangs around in my thoughts and dreams. It's comforting in a way, now that I'm an orphan.

Of all the songs about dreams I think this is one of my very favorites.

Sometimes dreams come on the wings of an owl (Northern Hawk Owl) and depart just as quickly and in a haze. I remember what it felt like, but the details are gone.

It might be fun to see how other people dream or what scenes play out in their heads, but my own are curious enough. What would Sigmund Freud think?