“Where the years went, I can’t say
I just turned around and they’ve gone away
I’ve been siftin’ through the layers
of dusty books and faded papers
They tell a story I used to know
And it was one that happened so long ago”
— Kate Wolf, Across The Great Divide
This song was recorded by Nanci Griffith on her 1993 “Other Voices / Other Rooms” album. It’s been playing in my head for the last 20+ years. When searching for the right lyrics for my 65th birthday blog, I found that this CD had a ticket stub from Nanci Griffith’s concert at Chicago’s Navy Pier on September 8, 2001. You read that right; less than 60 hours before 9/11.
I’m sure you remember where you were on 9/11/2001. I showed up at Chicago’s City Hall for a meeting of the Zoning Reform Commission only to find out then why it had been cancelled. Others of you from my generation will remember where you were when you found out that President Kennedy was assassinated. I was a freshman in class when our high school principal made the announcement over the PA system and sent us home early that day to mourn.
Personally, I found 1968 to be even more traumatic. I was flying home for Easter break my college freshman year that April and saw my city in flames after Dr. King’s assassination. I went to bed that June night after Bobby Kennedy smiled and said “it’s on to Chicago” only to find out the next morning our country had another martyr. There’s been a lot of history over 65 years. There’s a lot more to come in 2015 and the decades (hopefully) ahead.
I pre-scheduled this blog to post on my birthday, December 28th. So I don’t know what my birthday horoscope will foresee for the year ahead. Yes, I’m a Capricorn. Those of you who know me should have already figured that out.
Last year’s birthday horoscopes were on target. One said my “primary focus will be on partnerships and close friendships.” Another predicted I would be focused on “health, finances and personal reinvention.” I certainly got to know new partners and close friends during this year of reinvention. Thanks to you who have been there.
As I have told colleagues, I haven’t retired since I can’t afford to do so. I have applied for a few interesting jobs and have been prospecting for more consulting clients. So keep those email referrals coming; I’m still looking.
While not filing for my social security benefits, I did file for Medicare earlier this month after some extensive research of an exhaustive topic. As of this date, a “decision has not been made on my application.” There is a future blog waiting for this process to play out.
What I do want to share is my love for my wife of 35+ years, Lynne, and our son of 27+ years, TJ.
Lynne and I had our first kiss in 1975 driving to the Cincinnati airport after my first workshop presentation. The topic was the potential of the Community Development Block Grant program. We’ve been in love ever since and I don’t think it was my CDBG insights. I have been blessed with a partner who shares a common vocation.
TJ was raised at Wrigley Field and so cursed to be a Cubs fan. Perhaps, we are getting closer to the promised land in my life time. He has learned to appreciate winning thanks to the Blackhawks.I joke that I was raised by Dominicans at Fenwick and Providence College. Then I gave my son up to the Jesuits as TJ attended Loyola and then John Carroll in Cleveland. Lynne and I are so proud of the man he has grown to be.
Lynne & TJ will be helping me across the great divide of 65 by spending my birthday together in one of my favorite Midwest spots in southwestern Michigan. I don’t know whether the gray clouds will disperse enough for sunset on the beach, but it will still be a good day to watch the waves and ponder changes in direction.
It’s gone away yesterday
Now I find myself on the mountainside
Where the rivers change direction
Across the great divide
— Kate Wolf, Across The Great Divide