Through a lucky break,
I had a nearly four-day Labor Day weekend. I'm proud to say that it was time
well spent... which you'll know is important if you read my last entry.
Jessie came up and helped me do some shopping for curtains and
such. My windows are still bare, but I have an idea of what I'm after. I
never dreamed that I'd be a "curtain man," but I've decided that entirely
too much light is sneaking in through my blinds and that I'm ready for my
place to look lived in. I'm not in college anymore... And there's no reason
for this to look like a college pad.
I've been shopping for wall art and digging through years of photos I've
taken so that I can have something to hang on my walls. Of course, most of
those walls are also bare... But as is the case with the curtains, at least
a game plan is in place.
Saturday night, I watched one of my former colleges (yes, there was more
than one) get kicked around a bit and Sunday I drove back to
Smallville for a few days. I managed to spend a few hours Sunday evening
doing absolutely nothing... And I can't tell you how great it felt. Sure,
I'm pretty good at doing nothing here at my apartment, but there is always
something here that I should be doing. At home, I was free.
Sunday afternoon, my old department was paged out to an auto accident. While
it did feel odd to not be a firefighter there anymore, I couldn't stay away
from the action. So, I went back to the thing that led me toward a career
in the fire service -- photography. My reward was a color shot of the incident
on the front page of the local paper. I've been running calls with those
boys for many moons as both a newspaperman and as a firefighter... I'm not
sure that I'll ever be able to quit.
The rest of my time at home was occupied with something I hadn't planned
and didn't have to do... but was glad that I did. I cleaned out the walk-in
closet in my bedroom. Before this weekend, my closet at home had resembled
a Superfund site. I had so many years of stuff and clothes crammed in there
that it was no longer a "walk-in" closet. It was more like a "reach in, hold
onto the door frame and lean perilously into the void" closet.
I pulled almost everything out, sorted it, trashed a couple of tons of it
and then placed anything that went back in some sort of order. Okay, so it's
not the Dewey Decimal system in there... But at least you can walk in now.
I was able to set aside quite a few clothes for charity, throw away a dozen
pairs of holy jeans and take one helluva trip down memory lane. I couldn't
have asked for a better holiday project and it sure beat the heck out of
sitting and twiddling my thumbs enveloped in
Tuesday was a somewhat bittersweet day for
me. I finally got around to turning in my pager and radio for the
Smallville Fire Department. I'd been meaning to do it before but schedules
never allowed me to. In addition, the chief also needed a formal letter from
me resigning my position on the department. I've been gone more than two
months but putting those words on paper still made an impact on me.
If that wasn't enough, I checked out my old school paper's Web site and noticed
that I'd been deleted from the "about us" page. Again, I knew it was coming...
But it actually happening sort of served as an exclamation mark on me moving
on from there. It's over. It's done with. That chapter is closed. I guess
I'm still amazed at times by all of that because I'm out of practice in the
starting over department. Of course, I think I'm doing okay.