14 July, 2011

{this memory} 8

This image from Tuesday's post shows the author in the spring of 1978, just shy of my thirtieth birthday. I don't look like that anymore, by the way, since a third of a century of life does things to a person.

At that time, I owned a 100-year-old farmhouse on about three acres just south of Oneida, New York. I suppose the first thing to note is that I'm not physically challenged in the photo. Not yet anyway, but even then there were some very faint symptomatic hints. I still had few years though before the weakness would begin to take hold and grow. I was able to build fences, fix up my small barn, paint, wallpaper, build a bar, install shelving, lay carpet and sheet vinyl, yada, yada, yada. Yes indeed, I was quite the handyman.

That also included blowing out a very large window to put in a patio door that would offer access to the deck you see me constructing in this image. In particular, I'm explaining to the photographer, a beautiful young Italian woman I met a few months earlier and married the following January, where I was going to install some lighting.

As you can see, there was quite a vista to the east. I could pick out a distinctive tree on a distant hill fully 15 miles away. It was gorgeous.

What else do I think about when I look at this? Well, I don't really think about healthier days. That's a waste of energy. I recall that we had our wedding reception in this home, that both of my daughters were born when I lived here, and that this deck witnessed countless student or family gatherings, in spite of being 25 miles from campus or aforesaid family. So many wonderful memories.

Speaking of students. Look at this dude! Long-haired, bearded, over-educated, bell-bottomed, buff and tanned, 280Z-ed. Would you let your daughter take a class from this hippie freak?

Never fear. Although I wasn't like John Travolta in Michael who could put a "block" on you, I carefully kept a respectful distance. When I was single, I might have read the menu on occasion, but I was never tempted to order anything.

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