It is just about 4 a.m. on this Tuesday, and the cabin is a bit cooler than I meant for it to get. Having only a wood stove for heat, when wind chills at night dip below zero, it means having to wake every few hours to tend the fire. Over the years I've stopped setting an alarm and relied on my feet getting cold to wake me just for this task. On this night, I almost slept too long as there were only a few coals left to keep the inside of the cabin warm.
The last few nights have been colder than I can remember since moving into the cabin some 15 years ago. The winds howl through the overhead electric lines for extended periods of time. Even the howls of the coyotes sound more like complaining than communal ritual. With this arctic front I've spent the last few days lost in space, playing a game entitled No Mans Sky, establishing my first planetary base and recruiting workers from various star systems. I've also finally caught up on the last few episodes of season one of the TV series,The Expanse. As much fun as games can be, there is work to be done, and these distractions put me further and further behind.
I should be well into the winter readings I set aside for days such as this, but I've let my glasses prescription expire and am having a bit of trouble reading the printed text, a matter I intend to resolve this week. It is strange to be an age I do not feel I am. Even more difficult is knowing parts like my eyes appear to be wearing down as the years move forward. All those lessons my physical education teachers tried to impart back ingrade school and middle school must have been about preparing for this age. All those yearly reminders from the dentist to brush my teeth several times a day and those lessons from my mother about eating right all seem to be hitting at once. And to think, this is only the beginning. There were a number of years that I failed to live up to the realities of the student I should have been. No one extends their lifespan without extending their knowledge.
During the holidays, I'll be thinking more about those who put so much time and effort into improving the quality of my life. A lot of mistakes and lessons learned are passed on to each and every one of us from those who came before. To those that taught me then, and to those that continue to teach me now, don't ever think your efforts go unnoticed.
Enjoy the holidays,