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?


  1. Jono--That's a wonderful picture of the owl. (I think he's in the witness protection program. He doesn't look too happy at having his photograph taken.)

    Second chances are always appreciated. As a writer, I feel like I get a 2nd chance, a 3rd chance, a 4th chance and so on as I revise my work.

    (And as a college student I thought I could take a couple of weeks off when I got married, I didn't feel it necessary to let my instructors know--I was an adult at 18 right? This wasn't elementary school--and when I returned after being AWOL, I was so behind I just dropped out. Unofficially, of course. Which meant that when I returned to college 10 years later, my GPA was 0.9 because of all the F's I earned from my dropped classes. I had to go to each department head and beg to have my record expunged, so I could begin education classes. Without those second chances from all those department heads, I wouldn't have the best job in the world!)

    And you could have a 2nd chance at hair on your head if you'd like, but I imagine bare is better than some of the rugs I see these days... ;)

  2. Second chances are usually given only when you've appreciated what a mess you made of something the first time. It's rare that they come out of the blue, like your owl. He is gorgeous. And I think you must be a very lucky man in that Cooker has also given you second chances.....we women often have high standards for our men

  3. Lovely owl photo!

    Second chances are rare and precious in this world. Seize them.

  4. It took me too long to realize that if business as usual isn't working, it's time to erase the slate and start over. Here's to second chances--and third and fourth...

  5. I need all the help - and the second chances - I can get. Just a lovely post!

  6. Oh, Wow! That Northern Hawk owl is gorgeous! Love the shots from your childhood. Adorable.

  7. Sioux, the owl wasn't happy, but he tolerated me. I think there maybe enough good college stories like yours to make a very thick book. A time of great learning, some of it in actual classes. I kind of like my low maintenance head. :)

    aitbr, Also note that I have given her a few second chances, as well. :)

    Ahab, thanks! Carpe casus (Seize the chance)!

    Donna, You have lived it!

    Agi T, They give us all a chance to be better. We all need it.

    Dawn,Thanks! My dear brother copied about a thousand of our father's photos to digital. I am grateful.

  8. Love the photo of the owl! We have an ongoing battle with the Great Grey Owl near our place - when the camera is focused exactly right and he can see the finger moving toward the button he takes off. Maybe a cable release... ;-)

    And I'll take any second chances I can get!

  9. "I hated my job, my dog got run over, and I couldn't afford to keep my piece of shit car running..."

    Sounds like a good country music song to me :)

    That owl is beautiful. Great childhood pictures as well.

    Second chances. Yes, we all need them at some time or another - some of us slow learners need them more often. Speaking for myself.

  10. Sweet
    If I don't get the chance
    Happy new year to you

  11. I didn't date in college; I was extremely studious, very shy, and going thru lots of family crap. But I regret not having taken risks in that area. Then again, we can only do what we're ready to do at the time. So I guess I'm conflicted about your question. That means it's a very good one.

    Have a very Happy New Year's! xo

  12. I love the pictures from your childhood...aren't they the best conversation starters among the people in the photos?

    Very jealous of your owl picture. Never have gotten one. Once, during my evening walk at dusk, one was sitting on a neighbor's roof, practically posing for me. He knew I only had my cellphone with me...

    I'm big on second chances, especially chocolate. Oh...wait, that's second helpings. Never mind.

  13. Jono--If I were a guy, I would SO either embrace my hair retreating or I'd shave it.

    It's got to be easy for me to maintain...

  14. Diane, I usually only get one chance a year to get a good owl pic. Maybe try a wireless remote and an owl costume. :)

    jenny-o,You are not alone in the slow learner department.

    John, Thanks and likewise!

    Rawknrobyn, I'll bet you were a heart breaker in college without ever knowing it. All those guys too shy to approach you.

    PP, they don't show themselves often and I live in the middle of their habitat. I feel I've gotten to know your area of Florida just through your pictures. Especially the birds and the cleaners!

    Sioux, I so enjoy having a low maintenance head. At least on the outside.

  15. Nice shot of the owl!

    Your coming-of-age story resonates with me. Enjoyed the journey and the message: Have the courage to take the second chance when it arises. Defeat, begone!

    Happy New Year!

  16. My life has been a series of second chances. I got a second chance at marriage and it seems to be working quite well, possibly from all the lessons learned in the first. My kids have given me second chances at being a better father to them, time and again.

  17. PS, the owl is now my wallpaper. Beautiful. Happy New Year.

  18. Second Chances? It's all about taking chances. You don't want to know about my young life in Detroit. I was a homeless socially misfit juvenile delinquent for a few years playing against a stacked deck. If I had been born black, I would have died a long time ago...There is something to be said bout luck, the ability to dream and want something else. Envisioning something is half the way to achieving it. I'm 65 now and very happy. I could not have imagined the life I live now when I was younger.

  19. BF, Happy New year to you!

    microdot, I pictured you as younger. The circumstances of our births say much about how we will get on in life.

  20. That picture of you with the corded electric razor brought back some memories, for reasons I can't explain. Here's to second chances. That owl picture is amazing.