I have traveled across this great land of ours, with 18 wheels of steel and rubber. 80,000 pounds of rolling thunder. Hauling fruits and vegtables from Texas and California, to the Midwest. Pork from Iowa across the great Ohio. Steel from port to plant. Signs from factory to construction sites throughout the east. I have packed and hauled family’s most treasured possesions , and delivered them 1,000 miles away, safe from harm.
I have seen the sunrise over the Atlantic and the sunset over the Pacific.
I have flown my aircraft over the fires of the prairies, over factories and farms.
I have flown through stormy nights and watched as lightning danced across my wings.
I have seen the spendor of the Rocky Mountains in all their many seasons. I have gazed out over sheer drops just to see the Autumn’s many colors, dapple trees throughout the Shenendoah Valley.
I have lived in 9 different states and visited 43.
I have spent a snow filled night in Alaska and a warm balmy night in Hawaii.
I have endured the monsoons of Honduras, as well as the dry sweltering heat.
I have smelled Korean rice patties in spring and watched their harvest in fall.
I have stood alone on a moonless night, as snow fell……the whine of a jet penetrating my very bones…..winter’s rushing wind and prop wash cutting through me like a knife…..the ground frozen solid underneath my feet….my feet like great blocks of ice. And once over, done it all again.
I have been in 10 different countries, and at least one territory, and laid my head to rest in 8.
I have fixed airplanes as well as flown them. Repaired lawnmowers and used them to earn my living. I have dug a grave and laid loved ones to rest….and when it was over….carved their names in the marble above their head.
I have served the hungry and cleaned up the mess.
I have worked with a computer and on them.
I have made maps and used them.
I have bounced radio waves off the troposphere and laid telephone lines across the ground.
I have been shot at in a foreign land, and by the grace of God been missed.
I have manned a foxhole, my communist foe all too real, and far too near.
I have been entrusted with my country’s secrets, and kept them.
I have poured concrete and watched it harden, cut steel with fire, and joined it back together again. I have slept in a house, a hooch, in a tent, a semi, a car, a pick up truck, an RV, in an airplane and under the open sky.
I have driven over over mountains across the wide open plains and across the desert.
I have survived torndos, hurricanes, blizzards and monsoons. I have been admitted to a hospital , yet never broken a bone. I have been severely burned yet never had surgery.
I have fired a .50 cal machine gun and thrown a live grenade. I have been married and divorced. I have watched a loved one as cancer wracked their body, and seen the cure do the same.
I have loved and hated, been loved and hated. Abba and father……
I have worked for others and had others work for me. I have taken the reigns of leadership, and handed them to others…….I have led and I have followed. I have rented and I have owned and a landlord been. I have had my day in court and triumphed. Picked poison ivy and poison oak, with not the slightest ich, yet the tinyest mosquitoe bite can drive me mad.
All of this and yet. As I look back some 25 years….This is not what I planned….Plans changed and things went awry…..a career changed while another sits on hold. It’s not that I’m greedy, Really, I’m not….yet still…I want more…