Sunday, April 22, 2012

Going Back in Time

I do a lot of thinking during my daily one hour walk. Today I got to thinking, suppose you were given a chance to go back in time. You would still have to live through the same times moving forward, but you would know what you know today. How many years, or what age would you go back to?

I thought about ten years. I'd be 53, not 63, and I would not have had the cancer experience. However, I was not running the training group I now manage, I was still very much over weight, I was a Type II diabetic, had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and did not have much get up and go. So no, I would not go back ten years.

How about 20 years, to 1988. Well, I'd have been in Arkansas one year, I would be going through the stress of relocation, a new job and my divorce. I would do some things differently, but it was not a good time in my life. So no, I wouldn't go back 20 years.

Today I have a job I love. My wife and I are financially secure. Our property is well developed and will be paid off soon. We have some money in the bank, an investment portfolio, and I have survived cancer. I've lost 50 pounds, my blood pressure is normal, my diabetes is gone, and my cholesterol is normal. I only take two prescription medications, and my get up and go is back.

So how far back would I go. Well, I'd go back to age 18, 45 years ago. I'd have a lot of choices to make. I'd probably go into the Army first instead of after college. I'm not sure I'd go to college, I'd probably learn a trade. I would know about drinking, cigarettes, and how my marriage would turn out. Would I marry the same gal? Hmmm, there really isn't a good reason not to. She is a good woman, and had I known what I know now, maybe our life choices would've turned out better.

So I guess the answer is, Naw, the choices I made have turned out the best. Life is good, just shorter now. I'll enjoy the years I have left with the decisions I made, no regrets.

Brookfield Poo Pond & Kenny Kiar

Never heard of Kenny Kiar? I have. The year is 1965, I get a summer job at the City of Brookfield, WI Sanitary Department, otherwise affectionately known as the Poo Pond. I was hired for general labor and the first thing I had to do was scrap and paint a very long metal railing that went around the place. I was out doors, no one pushed me and I just worked along. However, if you know me I was bored stiff and angling for other things that appeared to be more interesting, like driving around Brookfield servicing substations.

Kenny Kiar was a maintenance man, and older fellow, in his 40's perhaps. He worked at the Brookfield Sewage Plant several years before I arrived. He was gone most of the time on repair assignments to the various pumping stations or substations and we did not work together much at first. However, when I was done with the railing painting and the mowing he and I did start traveling about the city on repair missions. I would glaze broken windows he would check on and perform preventive maintenance on the equipment. We became friends.

After a time every morning meant a stop a the Brookfield Cafe for a sweet roll and a cup of coffee. Here Kenny indulged me with stories of his Navy days and lamented that he never had the opportunity to go to college. As a result he would never let me buy the sweet roll and coffee for either of us. He would say, "Your going to college, you need to save your money, don't become like me a man who'll have to physically work the rest of his life."

Every time I have a sweet roll and a cup of coffee I think of Kenny. I hope his life turned out well and he got to sit in an easy chair and watch his garden grow.