Let’s not lose sight of the present… NM

Sunday, April 28th, 2019

“Live Today! Do not allow your spirit to be softened of your happiness to be limited by a day you cannot have back or a day that does not yet exist.” ~ Steve Maraboli ~

Brantley Lake-3
Finally went camping. “Brantley Lake”, south of Artesia.

It is a realization which yesterday came to me more than ever like, as they say, a ton of bricks! 
It was Easter Day, a remembrance for me of the last day I ever spoke to my Mother six years ago, and as I was invited by my Dear two locals Friends for dinner at their Friends, I, must admit, reluctantly went.
I knew their Friends. A very nice couple who has just bought a house 17 miles south of here reminding me of the Big Bend Desert, and a single Friend, also a Cardiac Nurse as one of my Friend is, herself a Cardiac Nurse Practitioner. I always joke that I am indeed in good hands with them! A certain sense of security.

Brantley Lake-1
      Some new gear and mostly the gear which supported us for 12 years. It was flawless.
      There are 35 State Parks within three hours and 25 of them have fishing.
      Senior Citizens [like me!] unlimited entrance/camping pass is $100 a year and the fishing
      License is free. All State Parks have 20 or more “first come, first served” spaces.

It was a pot luck dinner and on my end my thought was to indulge the one person who is a vegetarian by making some hummus and babaganoush. For those who don’t know what babaganoush is, it is the same recipe as hummus except instead of chick peas, roasted eggplants are used. Delicious with "34 degree" thin crackers or cut up vegetables for that matter.

      How things have changes! Power, Dometic refrigerator/freezer, gazebo… The spaces are fairly
      far apart from each other. It is not anymore as Spirit and I use to camp.

A beautiful house still not quite totally furnished or finished on the outside as far as landscaping goes, and the silver lining being Cody, just a few months old more intelligent than me German Shepherd who I had never met. The food was wonderful even though I don’t anymore eat many items such as sugar, carbs, meaning bread, pasta or rice except for the occasional delicious Pizza up in Cloudcroft [one has to live you know!] and the conversations with much laughter of many. I have been these past weeks, for no reason to myself, a total hermit. I have been content as much as one can feel as such in my bubble seemingly with its walls getting thicker and thicker. Happiness, since the day I realized that I needed to enjoy my Life has been germinating and the flowers of the many branches staring at me have been finally producing the little buds while witnessing their growth. It is spring after all! My favorite time of the year as a birth for the coming months. Spring I always thought should really be New Year which is what it represents for me. Another new alike germination of the times to come.

              All is now so much easier. Different times, different ways. Life goes on…

And yes, the conversations are what incited me to think about my own present. Great lives everyone lives and yet, a bit of trouble here and there with work, with the children and grand children, a bit of family politics and on and on. I would say "the usual family and Life stuff". I realized how in comparison quiet is my own Life. It is just me. That is it. Me, being retired, and as the saying goes "I am not dead yet!"… while time is the only aspect of my nights and days left to enjoy. Quiet times. Of course there is something wonderful to be said about having family, children even more but, in my case, all is absent and the solitude and silence takes over the present times. And again, of course I miss it. Yet, there is something to be said about a trouble free Life. We are never in control of it, that is for sure, but we can try and often with positive thinking we can often avoid slapped back!

      Sunrises, Sunsets, they are back and what a Gift.

All of this, one great afternoon, made me realize the above "let’s not lose sight of the present". The choice is really ours. Live in the past with regrets? The past is gone to never again reappear. Bad choice to get lost on those avenues. Do away with the present while constantly weighing in the future desires and imagining how great and wonderful it would be to have what we do not yet have? true, we do not yet have! Planning? Yes? But letting go of the present while wishing so hard being quickly transported in the future? What a waste of such present. The clock is ticking… I am closer to the end than the beginning. The hand of the seconds have become louder and I cannot let go of enjoying its constant feedback as it seem to have picked up some speed and ignorant of the traffic signs passing by almost as a blur.



I had to take my car in yesterday for a scheduled maintenance and a State Patrol also pulled in with his blacked out patrol car. I was always curious what those cars have under the hood and I asked him. Some monster engine which I forgot its power but do remember it is a twin turbo. One thing led to another. It turns out that he was born and lived in Alamogordo all his Life, his first career being in the Air Force at the Holloman Air Force Base a few miles from here, and this was his second career while he would retire next year after 20 years patrolling on the road. What a full Life. He will then be going fishing with his Dad attending Bass Tournaments. Not a bad “planned” future! Of course we talked about the wonderful local drivers who have no clue what a stop sign is, a right lane or a left lane as I skip more aspects! He surprised me when I heard his bottom line "at the end of our conversation “who cares?". Kind of left me speechless. He did care, yet he was looking at the big picture and what can one man do? Is it worth ruining your own Life considering one will never change the spin this society is on? Interesting, and as we parted as I had never seen his car before I asked him "please don’t ever pull me over". He smiles. Cool guy.



More luxury! My own water fountain. No tent to set up with this tent/cot and this Kermit Chair
has carried me for over 30 years.

It is not indifference, it is reality. As they say "don’t burst my bubble". I personally will not allow it as having rebuilt my Life already a few times. I have reached the mile marker post where I can see the finish line and one more time rebuilding is not anymore an option. Meeting him yesterday was also a true example of what my Social Media exchanges are these days. They are true, they are not hidden behind a screen, they are real and vocal. I truly enjoy it.

           Same stove, same pots and pans and same Breakfast of Champions. That morning was steel cut
           Oatmeal with strawberries and honey.

Stay well, Ara
                      R.I.P. Spirit [04~04~2018]

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14 Responses to “Let’s not lose sight of the present… NM”

  1. Judith Says:

    So glad to see that you have been enjoying being out and about. Ummm. What is that cooking in the last photo? Is that the oats with fresh strawberries added already to make the liquid reddish? No matter, whatever it is is probably good, and food eaten outside is always good.

  2. Jen Chambers Says:

    It’s nice to see you back out on the road.

  3. Nicky Says:

    What you have written

    … happiness has been germinating
    …all is so much easier
    …there’s something to be said about a trouble free life…
    … let’s not lose sight of the present
    … what a Gift.

    indicates more of a lightheartedness and contentment than I sensed about you during several prior months. I was happily surprised to feel a type of elation after reading this page in your journal, Ara. I attribute my being surprised to the fact that there were times when empathy for what you were going through left me feeling a bit blue. It seems these past weeks you lived as a total hermit have been fertile ground for growing what you are becoming

    – namely an even wiser, peacefully fulfilled man with a greater capacity to be a positive influence in this world.

    Though I considered myself fortunate to have the opportunity to read both of the prior two pages you published, obligations for my time prevented my writing a comment to express my appreciation for those. Ordinarily, I try to be better at maintaining correspondence with people, such as yourself, that I have grown fond of, I hope you trusted that I had not just wandered away without a good reason.

  4. Zelda Says:

    Dear Ara,
    So glad to see you camping again! I can smell the pine scented (?) air just looking at your pictures. Some of your cooking gear looks familiar.
    We will be helping our older son move with his family to Rochester, Minn., so will be awhile before we take our camper out. We’ll probably be providing pet care to a dog and a cockatoo while the family finds a place to settle down. We’re looking forward to it! Happy camping!
    Fond thoughts of you and the times we enjoyed with you and Spirit,
    Pam “Zelda”

  5. greg Says:

    I passed up Brantley Lake after seeing some bad reviews, but it sure looks like a decent spot, and those seem to be scare that close to the Permian Basin.

    With those traction mats and that shovel you look like you’re ready for some serious roads! Or should I say tracks.

  6. Charlie Says:

    Hey brother good to see your getting out and meeting people.
    Next time we get a chance remind me to tell you about a chance meeting late at night with a TX state cop in a Mustang interceptor in the 80s!
    Jeep is looking like a real camping rig
    Be well
    Charlie and Mom

  7. Mark Says:

    Thank you for posting your thoughts for so many years. You present many truths that are difficult to express … and they resonate. I can say that your words help me understand my own aging process. I take encouragement from your thoughts on looking forward and not back (too much). I look forward to many more years of your writings and photographs. You have many readers and we all look forward to your posts. A great contribution you make! Thank you.

  8. Ara & Spirit Says:

    Hi Mark…
    I appreciate your kind words. I often think I “think” too much and yet my own pages helps me getting through these present times with a certain reassurance that my path is not of a stray one. Stay in touch… and Thank You. Ara

  9. Ara & Spirit Says:

    I guess will have to visit you again soon… Maybe this time with Baby Back ribs if I can plan it! I don’t think Mustang made an Interceptor. I think it was Dodge?
    Big hugs to you two… Ara

  10. Ara & Spirit Says:

    Well Greg, this is one reason I don’t read comments. Have you noticed as how 90% of all comments, food, items, campgrounds, you name it, have become so negative. What trend! Trial and errors and always making the best of any situation. Have a great day. Ara

  11. Ara & Spirit Says:

    Good memories for sure I still live by… Especially in Montana! Have a great day. Ara

  12. Ara & Spirit Says:

    Sometimes that path we walk on we realize has no rhyme or reason! No worries or concern, your words are always welcome. We at times have to dig deep to blossom and live the present Life more positively than ever. It can happen… Stay well. Ara

  13. Ara & Spirit Says:

    It does feel good Jen and at the same time more than ever the memories of the past years surface stronger than ever. Stay well. Ara

  14. Ara & Spirit Says:

    Smiling! Yes, all is mixed up and the oats take on the color of the fruit. Delicious and healthy with a teaspoon of raw honey. Try it… Ara

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