.......and Reflections

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Beginning a New Chapter

For someone that has a lot to say, I have disappeared from my blog for over 2 months. If you've been looking for something from the middle of nowhere I apologize for not delivering. The fact is that I have been experiencing a transition into a new chapter in my life. I have moved away from the city to a wonderful 14 acre farm in Trumbull County, Ohio. It is a change of pace and a change in scenery. It is, in many ways, "in the middle of glorious nowhere".

My guess is the best way to kill even the best blog is to talk about one's self. I certainly don't intend to clutter cyber space with gibberish about me but I think my negligent blogging deserves at least some explanation.

January was a strange month. It was a combination of packing, moving and a birding challenge. Moving Larry is no simple matter. That I am never at a loss for words is challenged only by I unlimited collections of bird books, field records and natural history artifacts. Moving for me is perhaps comparable to the building of the Egyptian Pyramids (no ego there!!!).

On top of the moving, I felt compelled to attempt to see 100 or more species of birds in Ohio in January. This is, for those of you unfamiliar with Ohio...or birding....or both, a significant challenge. The first 90 species were steady and relatively easy. The last 10 were frustrating, difficult, challenging, expensive and time consuming. It cost me a whole day and about $100 to find a Pine Siskin and a Baltimore Oriole. Birding is not as much fun at $50 per bird! To make matters worse, I missed about 6 species of birds that were reported at specific locations and NOT THERE!

February was a lot better. I spent a lot of time arranging my new home which is the upstairs of an Amish built home that my daughter and her husband purchased for their horses and agricultural interests and endeavors. I did some local birding and exploring, as our home is very close to Grand River Wildlife Area, Mosquito Creek Wildlife Area and Mosquito Lake and State Park. I also took a wonderful group of birders to Trinidad and Tobago for nearly 2 weeks and I will be blogging more about that place and it's natural treasures in soon to come blogs.

The bottom line is that for those of us that work hard for 40 to 50 years and then make a switch to retirement, it is a tricky transformation. Retirement can be difficult and even lethal to some folk. It must be like falling off a cliff for those that can't make the change. The secret lies in staying active and engaged without the structure of a job. Standing face to face with the opportunity to do whatever you want and not knowing what it is that you want to do can be very daunting.

I think I have it all figured out. I don't miss my working career. I like knowing that I can dedicate my time to me and the things that are important to me. The Middle of Nowhere is a great place to retire. It may sound like "the Twilight Zone" to some but it is a great place and a great pace to really challenge the senses including "smelling the roses".

I'm going to be busy now that I have turned the page to a new chapter in my life. I am volunteering my time and birding skills. I am guiding birding field trips that will enrich participants and provide a small income that will help offset the activities that I thrive on. It isn't a grand plan or an elaborate strategic plan or any plan at all. I am doing what I have advised people to do all my life....."follow your heart".

My heart is in "the middle of nowhere", where there is always adventure, exploration, and discovery. I now have a beautiful home base that has a "middle of nowhere" flavor. My neighbors are Amish. They drive horse and buggies. They till the land with big Belgian draft horses. They burn gas lamps. My road is frequented by pick up trucks and the enchanting cadence of horse drawn vehicles. I am greeted with smiles and neighbors that are independent but community minded.

That is more than I intended to portray in this blog and I look forward to sharing with you some compelling reasons why Trinidad and Tobago is a great destination for tropical birding and tropical "middle of nowhere".

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