Aging process! [NM]

Friday, July 15th, 2022
“Looking at You”… Ghost

“Growing old is mandatory, but growing up is optional”

How can one resist?

I realize that I should have never stopped scribbling on these pages. For my own sake! For my Friends, my acquaintances. It was, has been a great communication channel. Yes. Selfish thought? No. Simply survival. Survival of the fittest, not necessarily physically for sure but more mentally then ever. Unwanted news keeps dropping as the turmoiled leaves of the Fall, but the colors these days are dimmer. Just news which makes me wonder what an even further timeframe has in store for me. All it is really without getting into a Philosophical debate “aging”…

Who need the television on?!

Physically It has been all about the spine lately! Again. Actually not again as that painful dilemma never took a break but now worse, impossible to ignore throughout daily functions. Recently, more tests. Including one which they dye the bones and take pictures of the body in all the positions possible so the Neuro Surgeon can see a good map of the traffic, figure out where the bottlenecks are. He did. A loose rod. Couple bones rubbing against each other. The puzzle has started missing more substance than in years past. Yet, as a hurtle, my Cardiac History is closing the door to any further surgery while I was also told that it is only going to get worse. Thank You Very Much…

Laid back…

I have to call this period as I called many others “The Comedy of Life”! Think about it. We are on this giant stage with all more or less natural props and we are all actors. Seeing the daily Life taking place under such a lens is even at time hysterically funny and sad all at the same time.

Example? I had a sale transaction not long ago. Selling a brand new helmet and motorcycle Jacket to an acquaintance and even though I had sent some photos of said helmet, he thought it was a different brand. A more expensive one. I was then on accused of ripping him off as also a few other choice words totally out of context. My Life’s door is bolted shut from any negativity that could even pass through the cracks. Was it I have a thin skin or thick skin? which were some of the words I read. I forget, while all I remember is thanking him for this Comedy Play he was the main actor and myself a distant spectator not willing to engage. “The Comedy of Life”!!! That was a good short play.

Laid back… part II

Why am I sharing this story? Because all I see, feel, observe around me is plain and simple an unrealistic reality. I am not within Nature anymore. Only in bursts once or twice a week. Do you think that as I wrote 74 on my Calendar the other day, that I am going to plunge in someone else’s theatrical endeavors? Nope…. Never. Those who remember us [R.I.P. Spirit] know that my favorite daily getaway is my Cocoon. A mental one, a physical one. I always have managed to have a cover throughout the years whether a sailboat, a tent, a yurt, today what I call my little Cabin! This 750 square feet dwelling I share with my buddy “Ghost”. Another gift Life decided to give me or was it Spirit who had enough seeing me alone? I think it was him.

And Toys it is…

Of course there is also a story behind him. Aren’t there always? I will tell you.

I was driving through Ruidoso on a mid day Saturday, Capitan was my destination. On my left, in the Pizza Hut parking lot I noticed a big tent, crates, dogs and cats. Or maybe there was not cats. I needed some dog time and through the incessant flow of the weekend cars I managed to make a U turn and enter the lot while parking in the rear. Yes! Many dogs… “Ruidoso Humane Society” was having an outdoor affair and Pizza Hut was kind enough to furnish them with an open space and even…. Pizzas! I sat by the communal table with boxes of Pizza staring at me, and a beautiful Pit Bull reminding me of Spirit showed up. Pure white, one black eye, a puppy I could not even hold its leash pulling with a few G forces. Time passed, gentled a few, I was getting a generous dog time when this little guy showed up and jumped on my lap with those eyes staring at me. Oh! The handler says “his name is “Ghost”…”. As I go “Seriously?”. “And look” as she goes on, he has a Heart design on his ear…”. Could this be? Was there a possible clearer message at that moment? I did not think so….

“Heart” by Spirit…

I still had to ask questions. He was 5 months old! At 74 did I, could I really start over with a puppy? He was brought in with two siblings which were quickly adopted but obviously no one wanted him. The Humane Society in Ruidoso socializes their dogs, bathe them, spend time with them. It is not a City Shelter. It is clean and immaculate. They drive them around once a month. Again the question arises “a Puppy?”! but… Dogs pick us, don’t they. I was told he did well in a car, in a crate, no damage in his condo. Has all his shots and was chipped for the low fee of $65!

Next thing you know, I have a Puppy on my passenger seat coming home with me and that is when once again, a four legged Human changed my Life around.

I would never say one particular dog has been/is the best throughout my years. They are all the best for that particular stage passing by. Lady Tascha was such an incredible creature throughout my sailboat years. Spirit? What a dog!!! Camping for 14 years? Faithful eyes and soul focused on me 24/7! three hundred thousand miles or so in his sidecar devouring the endless sights and smells. Spirit will always be the “King of the Outdoors”, and as I call him often “The Dog”.

Please….

Ghost and I have been together now for about 9 months. He has turned one more or less. From his first day here I waited for some damage, one way or another. Never. From his first day his one parent being an Australian Shepard, he has never stopped working filled with an overflowing love while I also need to add “an incredible patience” as I am not anymore the one that jumps out of bed or move as fast as I use to. I often think “what did I do to deserve him?”. My only concern quite often is his intelligence superior to mine! I don’t know how he knows ahead of me my next moves, but he does. I never thought I would say this, but I already miss him being a puppy. He was such a great one while now I call him a “Juvenile delinquent”… He is always within my vicinity, loves to lay next to me, his head on my shoulder or on my lap still at 37lbs, and since he bought his new watch his eyes five inches from mine staring every morning at 6am. But he is not as I call them “a Velcro dog”. He is perfect. He makes me laugh throughout the day! How would you react to those eyes beaming on you constantly?

This feels like a rehabilitation to my Journal tip toing through its main entrance. I missed it but the times were never quite right to before turn that knob. The balance was never there. It has taken me such a long time to adapt to a Life which unlike previous ones “I did not chose”.

Hello again…


Yes! Aging can be and is such a process I must say! Many unknowns suddenly pop up. Some, surprisingly so good and some, well, could do without! But isn’t it Life as such in general?

Stay well, as always

Ara and Ghost
[RIP Spirit 04/04/2018]

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32 Responses to “Aging process! [NM]”

  1. Steve Says:

    Good to see you back blogging, hearing your wisdom and seeing some fantastic dog photos. He is a beauty.

  2. Ara & Spirit Says:

    Thank You Steve… Glad that the comments work. BTW, I am not using Windows Live Writer but WP itself! Lots of changes. Easy… [obviously!]

  3. Donna McNicol Says:

    I can’t tell you how happy I am to see a post from you and one with both the good and the bad. Yes, aging isn’t for sissies. I just finished shoulder surgery for a torn bicep that happened almost a year ago when I took a hard fall. I’ve been diagnosed with osteoporosis and am developing that ugly dowagers hump as I shrink (2″ thus far). I have lost many friends (some online, some real life) in the last couple of years and realize it will continue as the years roll through.

    We are still cruising as much as we can (and can afford). I’m still writing my mystery books, Stu is working on the final stages of his hobby pole barn where he will build/repair old cars as well as maintain ours. He still takes the trike out for a longer trip or two. I can only be a passenger for 2 hours or less due to the jarring of my spine/neck. But it could all be worse.

    So glad you found Spirit and yes, I do believe he was sent by Ghost. So sad to hear of your back pain and inability to have surgery to help correct it. Know how much love I am sending your way!!!

  4. Cindy Says:

    Welcome back stranger! Thanks for sending me the link. I do check in here every now and then but since I knew you weren’t really writing much anymore, I had slacked off. Good to see you back! Thanks for being a shoulder for me to cry on last time we talked…I was miserable. ButI’m better now. Things haven’t changed but my mindset has. And that is where we have the control, right? Trying to talk Bull into coming back through Alamogordo on our way back east. I’ll keep you posted. Hopefully fuel prices will have gone down some by then. I am really in no hurry to get back to the SE Texas heat and humidity along with the rest of the things I have to deal with/tolerate there but he is. Life….you have to go with the flow. Take care and we’ll talk soon! Scritch Ghost for me! (He is such a handsome dog!)

  5. Shawn Connor Says:

    Ara, happy you are back writing on your web site. As always, I enjoy reading your posts as they always are a breath of fresh air.

  6. Ara & Spirit Says:

    Thank You Shawn…

  7. Ara & Spirit Says:

    “Shoulder” is what we do as you have done for so many years since I have known you two. Think often about our conversation and still scratch my head. Glad your mindset has stepped up, it is always a must. We cannot avoid those Valleys and Peaks always ahead of us. And yes, would be wonderful to see you two again. Call anytime…

  8. Ara & Spirit Says:

    Well Donna, so nice to read your words. You might want to change “ourprimeyears”!!! Nothing “prime” about all this…. Just as whoever came up with “golden years”, well, he/she is suffering probably enough from that error in judgement! I am so sorry to read about your ailment. Obstacles are always of many. We know it well by now. Yet, we have more than most and there is really no other path than be “Thankful” for this present even if it is not what we have chosen. Seems like we don’t have much choice at time. Putting it mildly. I hope we stay in touch. I have rejoined FB wanting a very close circle of Friends realizing I am missing many of them. I think I have with the help of a Friend have it really private. Do you remember when you helped me with Google+ ?!!! And I will add “has your taste in BBQ changed?”… ah!ah!ah! I can still taste it… “Fresh Market” was it? My regards to Stu. HUgs.

  9. Shadowmoss Says:

    I’m glad I kept you on my blog sidebar so I see this post. Good to see you again. I don’t write often anymore but read others blogs. I have my health mostly, and know that I should get out and enjoy my retirement more. You have been an inspiration for dealing with what comes as the years go on.

  10. dale Says:

    What a great story and so good to hear from you again. I am convinced that our pets are one of the nicest blessings in this life. Last year I had a kitten choose me by jumping out from a hole in the side of the road and demanding I do something as I was walking.

  11. Stuart McNicol Says:

    Oh so great to read you words again. Happy to see ghost and you together. The “spirits (Spirit)” know when it is time. Stay well my friend.

  12. Ara & Spirit Says:

    So nice to hear from you. Yes, I am sticking my head out of this nest!!! I didn’t know you restored cars. Am I correct? Coincidence as I had to stop at a shop which does frame up restorations. They gave me a tour and WOW, I had never seen anything like it! From junk to gorgeous cars… 70 Challenger, 70 Corvette, old Bronco… Will stay in touch for sure/ Thank You.

  13. Ara & Spirit Says:

    Dale! So nice to read your words. Yes, Ghost has been such an incredible Gift. So was Spirit and Lady Tascha before him. Very fortunate. Will stay in touch. Thank You…

  14. Ara & Spirit Says:

    Stu! So nice to read your words. So glad I decided to emerge from my hole!!! Not much future in that but, things happen and here we are at last. I didn’t know you restored cars [if I understood well]. I was in a shop lately which does frame up restorations and I had never seen anything like it! What an Art!!! Nice 70 Challenger… Corvette… a couple older Broncos! Nice to see you taking better care of your body as myself had to. It feels good…. right? Will stay in touch. Wish you were closer.

  15. Ara & Spirit Says:

    Dale! So nice to see you here. Yes, Ghost has been such a Gift while I ask myself what did I do to deserve him. He is quite the dog now in a house environment together 24/7. We go everywhere together also including shopping at Walmart. He behaves so excellent while I call him a Juvenile Delinquent! A year old and he was such a great Puppy! Will stay in touch for sure…

  16. Ara & Spirit Says:

    Of course I remember you! Yes, get out more… There is a whole World out there even though the traveling has pretty much vanished. Who would have know?!!! It is always a choice while I must say they are getting harder and harder. But, we can do it, have to. Take good care of yourself. “One Life One Chance”… Thank You

  17. Paul Sankowski Says:

    so good to see and hear from you again here. I missed your musings and images.
    This really brightened my day.

  18. Ara & Spirit Says:

    Glad it did Paul. We can all share Life now…

  19. Jerryc Says:

    Great to read you’re still around. Often wondered as I would see your blog on my blog list. I always enjoyed reading posts of your adventures in years past. The aging process isn’t easy, for sure. But a companion like Ghost can make it easier. Hope the pain issues can be alleviated for you. Keep posting!!!

  20. Shawn Hall Says:

    It is great to see you write again. I have missed your insightful words. How did I miss that you had time on a sailboat? That is my life now. Did you write about that time on the boat?

  21. Ara & Spirit Says:

    I laugh reading “you’re still around”!!! Must be that time of Life when everyone is a bit unsure of each other’s presence. Funny but of course true. I can only hope for a smooth passage as in not getting run over by a bus. Luckily we don’t have many busses here… The pains are the pains. Meds help. Not crazy about them but at this stage whatever helps is welcome. You take care of yourself and Thanks for writing.

  22. Susan Vila Says:

    So glad you are back Ara, we missed you. You write so well and those photos are so precious. We will keep in touch. It was so good to visit with you this summer. We’d like to see you again sometime. Hi to Ghost.

  23. Ara & Spirit Says:

    Yes! Looked at your Journal and my Heart skipped a beat. Besides motorcycling and standing 16 hour days in kitchens, those winches are also the culprit of this broken painful spine! But, no regret! My sailing was mostly in the South of France. You know maybe that sailing is the National Sport in France [amongst others! soccer…]. Then it was the treacherous San Francisco Bay which taught me more lessons than one! Some Florida Coast based in Naples [FL] which was a disaster considering how shallow the waters are! I lived aboard for many years. My passion until it was no more due to circumstances. My last one was not a good sailing boat. 1972 37′ center console Irwin, one made in near Tampa, not England. Great live aboard however! I was always a solo sailor while throughout a time with “Lady Tascha” who loved “unfortunately” the water a bit too much. Even if I had another sailor with me I never let them touch anything! All my lines color coded and mostly doubled up the mast because of my vertigo while if losing a line I would have a spare as I could never go up that mast!!! Pathetic!!! I learned in France to be a bit of a daredevil! My favorite sail being a symmetrical spinnaker! I would go out, meet the storm, real storms [!!!] and surf back with a drogue to stay on top of the wave. As you know, still reason unknown, generally the 7th wave is always the tallest! Of course always tethered to the boat and so was Lady Tascha. Always dragged also a 150′ line with floaters just in case to grab if falling over! I use to practice that… Those were the days. Never had a Blue Water sailboat however like the English Channel Cutter [I think!]. Tight and designed to cross Oceans… Too late for that! My full on experience these days is the rubber duck in the bathtub!!! Would be fun to talk! I had solar, wind vane, too many gadgets. I just want to add that I always had 3 of each. The idea behind it? If one GPS broke and sent for repair, I still had a spare… Ah! Nothing like it…. That sound of the wind through the shrouds. Well, back to reality with my rubber duck!!! LOL…. stay in touch, stay well…

  24. Ara & Spirit Says:

    Thank You. It was a great visit… still is! Shame the distances are so great. Will do the best we can. You both stay well…

  25. Denny Gibson Says:

    Seeing this post pop up in my RSS feed was a welcome surprise and a very happy one. While we’re near the same point in age (I’m 75), and I have plenty of minor aches. pains, and limits, I have so far been spared any major health problems. I’m sure that’s partly due to my life being much less interesting than yours and also a goodly amount of pure dumb luck. I do still manage to get in some traveling although mine is all on four wheels. Maybe you’ve not written of it much or maybe I wasn’t paying attention but I really wasn’t aware of your sailing history. Fun to read. I’m glad you and Ghost found each other and look forward to the next post.

  26. red Says:

    It’s great to see you posting again! Congrats on the new pup! Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and they’re all correct.

  27. Ara & Spirit Says:

    That is for sure! Thanks.

  28. Ara & Spirit Says:

    HI! I wrote a bit below in a reply regarding sailing. That was a couple lives ago. Shame I never took photos, same as when I was working! Never thought about it. Things were different. Well, keep up the good Health!

  29. Marti Jeffers Says:

    Hi Ara — it is so wonderful to see you posting again. I just read an article that you wrote for DesertUSA about Terlingua. It was quite synchronistic as I had been wondering what you were doing lately. I am so happy to see you with Ghost. Yes, I believe Spirit sent him. My husband and I had a homeless collie sent to us about a year ago by our previous dogs (Lilly and Chloe) who passed away within a year of each other. She is a jewel and, like Ghost, such a well behaved and wonderful girl. I understand about the aging as I have a couple of years on you — now 76. But, we keep on keeping on. The aches and pains are not too very serious and Missy, the collie, keeps me moving. And, indeed, everyone has the best dog. I don’t know if you got the word, but TJ Avery, my photography workshop assistant and teacher in Big Bend, passed away from pancreatic cancer last year. He passing was quite a loss and all of us who ever photographed with him miss him terribly. It is so good to see you posting again. Thinking of you, Spirit, and now, Ghost.

  30. Ara & Spirit Says:

    TJ Avery! I had not heard as out of touch for quite a while. That is the sad aspect of aging and hearing the news of beloved people passing away as, we, lets face it, will some day. It’s just that it keeps adding up a bit faster than I would like it. Thank You for writing. I have missed being in touch with wonderful people such as you, these past years, well, I would call it kind of an omelet! For you and Missy “Stay Well”…. This is not a rehearsal!

  31. beth carter Carter bell Says:

    Ara!!!! My heart is so full of joy and is singing from this post. I have been searching for any news from you for years now. There are many beautiful memories of our times together. Super happy to see you and meet Ghost. I cried and cried with this post. It was most definitely a divine intervention with Spirit at the helm. Whether you know it or not, your writings, your art, your cooking, and your friendship with nature and our beautiful world have had a huge impact on many of us. Welcome back, my beautiful friend. You look fabulous. I am grateful to see you and hear you,
    And so it is,
    Big Love,
    Beth, Kenzie, Tiité and all the puppies and kitties from McKenzington.

  32. Ara & Spirit Says:

    Thank You for the wonderful phone conversation…. Keep at it!

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