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Everything posted by LoneWolf

  1. Congratulations. From six months to your 35 years.
  2. J and I hit our six-month anniversary yesterday. I've never been loved by someone like her before. And I've never had someone so much like me in my life. The happiness and her understanding of me as a person has made me much more happy with myself, and in turn, has done what I thought was impossible: healing me of so much of my past. Bullying, failed relationships, toxic workplaces. Decades of damage, combined with a memory for detail and OCD --I see those on an occasional gray day, which there were so many of, and now are so many less I once asked to be healed -I lacked the faith to believe it could/would ever happen. I was wrong. She's the manifestation of God's grace in my life, and it's clear as day. I don't deserve this --and yet, that's what grace is. Every little new thing just makes it clear and I'm so blessed. We make each other feel twenty-five again (that might be why we went shopping cart racing through the store with her on the front a couple of weeks ago). She was between churches and became happy to be part of mine, where everyone has been welcoming to her and overjoyed for me. And I kind of asked God, some time back, if this ever happened again, to hit me over the head with it so obviously that I couldn't miss it, because I can be kind of a clod. Ton of bricks: delivered. So, I'm in love, and I'm doing pretty freaking amazing. How've you been?
  3. My maternal grandparents are now 97 and 95. 5 years ago, my grandmother's journey with dementia began (slowly). My grandfather was still as sharp as a tack. Several years back, my grandfather fell and hurt his back. His body spent so much energy on the healing process, I think it robbed from Peter to pay Paul. That's when his began. And then I didn't get to see them for a year and a half due to Covid lockdowns. I went last year, and had a great visit with them across town. They didn't remember it three days later. This year I went with my girlfriend so she could meet them. I doubt they remembered her a few hours later, and me, probably not more than half a day. My grandfather kept asking her the same introductory questions. I'm the oldest grandchild; as such, they have the greatest long-term memory of me and the couple others of my generation, but the short-term is gone. I'm glad they're not prone to anger like some have become over this time, or melancholy, or afraid as this change has happened. But I miss who they were. I especially have trouble believing it in my grandfather, who I always saw as an indomitable spirit. I hope someday we'll find a way to not let that spirit be stolen by age.
  4. LoneWolf

    Lone Wolf

    I met my late wife on Match long ago, so I just kind of went "Well, I don't know women my age range, so...". Most of my friends are younger than I am, some significantly so. I always made sure that anyone I met, the first date we arrived separately and left separately so they would feel safe. If I mentioned a place, it would be one where there were a reasonable amount of people, and could be easygoing. I had a couple that fell through, and several that sort of fell flat on the first date, but I also realized it didn't fall flat because of me (which I'd have thought when I was younger), but because we just didn't click. My first date with GFoLW was reasonable, but not a "sparks flying" kind of date; the kind that makes you go "Let's have a second one and figure out more". The second date...That was an entirely different story. She had omicron all this week --somehow, I didn't get it despite two days of exposure when she was coming down with it (we're both vaxxed and boosted). But she's negative as of today's test, so that's good.h Btw, @bikeman564™ if you're still on the East side of the state and know where I can find some of Arbor Brewing's Liquid Vinyl Anthology? I will totally owe you. It's poetry in a glass (and both of us love it).
  5. LoneWolf

    Lone Wolf

    At 6'4" and around 260, yeah, not on my concerns list.
  6. LoneWolf

    Lone Wolf

    Oh, I did that too. I caught a catfish and threw it back because I'm more of a trout kind of guy.
  7. LoneWolf

    Lone Wolf

    I tried several apps. I'd recommend Facebook Dating (I know, sounds yech because of Facebook, but it's free, and I think 40plus people have good chances there); Hinge and Bumble may also be worth your time. There will probably be a few odd or crazy moments along the way, but patience can be worth it. I met someone on Bumble (note: on Bumble, women must message first, their primary difference from others). She and I are alike in a lot of ways, more than I honestly thought was possible at this point in life, and she understands emotional loss. I've also never had someone in my life who has been as actively "into me" as a person; that's a very new experience, and a very positive one. While there are a number of things to figure out on the logistics side (we both have pets, live about 25 minutes away give or take a couple with jobs in our respective areas), there's a solid foundation that we're building upon. We even had a little mini-vacation Thanksgiving break in Traverse City, exploring some breweries in that area and just enjoying spending some quality time. I wish you the best in this, my friend. Through our experiences, we have experienced loss; but God has shown me that one can discover a life after it. It doesn't diminish what I had; it expands upon it, and has given me wisdom I didn't always have in going forward to be a better "better half".
  8. LoneWolf

    Lone Wolf

    That would be me guys. Still alive and kicking. Haven't been here much lately. Work has been a bit busy. I also started dating a bit late summer, and after a couple of false starts and such, I started seeing someone in November, which has filled my schedule a lot as well. That's going really well. Still figuring myself out a lot after a lot of changes, and as I get closer to fifty. Still think about y'all all the time.
  9. Maybe the ill-fated (and poorly thought-out) Bricklin SV-1?
  10. While I'm glad they're getting better, what bothers me is that these are the people who didn't have to get it in the first place. Could have gotten the vaccine. Could have not gone to Florida. Could have masked in Florida (am betting they didn't, but feel free to correct me). And finally, could have not taxed the hospital system in their area more by ignoring all of the science and advice. These are the people that don't trust what the doctors and nurses say -and then go to those same doctors and nurses! The cognitive dissonance and mental gymnastics required to be this ignorant are significant. The "Big Pharma" conspiracy some of them peddle...Umm, who do you think manufactures monoclonal antibodies (at 20 times the cost of a vaccine) or ivermectin? The pharmaceutical companies. Why? Then to top it off, perhaps they transmitted the virus to others. Who's to say if those people will recover, or if they do, will recover without serious long-term effects? Do we completely not care any more about the people around us? That complete lack of care for our surrounding community in so much of this is what bothers me most of all.
  11. My main ride still bears 100th Anniversary TdF Look A5.1 pedals I got from him. Release tension is still hella stiff years later, to prevent unclipping during racing; it makes entry stiff too. I keep looking at getting pedals (not that I ride often any more, but when I do) that are easier in and out. But I haven't; and that's honestly the one reason.
  12. Let us all remember, that while I give no absolution here --that few boys can act like men without true men to mentor them. Be that a father, a grandfather, a big brother, or a figure raised with the values to teach that manhood, without that experience, the experience of a community that carries forth the very standards needed to bring someone to that manhood, Styron's "Lord Of The Flies" is not as unrealistic a result as we would like to think it is. Without a culture that teaches principles, values, kindness, empathy, and selflessness -we will be culturally bereft of those values themselves. We will see a neighborhood that serves itself. People who look out for number one, even at the expense of others. People whose sense of right and wrong are twisted by "What's right for me, right now in the moment, because nobody else is going to look out for me but me." No, this isn't forgiving something horrible. It's a remembrance of what we need to be to others as we live out our lives going forward. To be the someone who looked after someone who thought nobody would. To be the someone they look up to so that when we exhibit principled behavior, we become the role model for that behavior. To be our neighbors to those in need of one, with no thought of quid pro quo. And through doing it as a community, building a nation of community serving each other, and in so doing, change the world one community at a time.
  13. Lobster tail is amazing and scallops are divine. So are shrimp and crab, provided it isn't peel and eat, or crack it open yourself. If I have to work that hard for it, I will find something with a softer shell, like a cow.
  14. While I was in Chicago two months ago, I bought a (very gently) used top-end Panasonic 60" plasma, because I'm an old-school geek who loves the colors (they are no longer made). Paired with a 5.2 Dolby sound bar, I must say, it's pretty amazing.
  15. I think plenty of states need help with their construction and infrastructure projects. War wouldn't be needed.
  16. Quote of the day, week, month, year. I am where I am, and I'm loyal, because in the year and a half I've been there, they've had my back. They pay well, they appreciate both with praise and with benefits, and they were there for me throughout my time with WoLW, going above and beyond, and saying "Family comes first; you go be with your family". Even helping me find a notary at an eleventh hour when it was desperately needed -and then, unexpectedly, covering the cost and saying "It's the least we could do". Pay does indicate a level of respect. But once that is reached, culture and management quality are what makes someone stay at a job, even if someone else might pay you more.
  17. Sadly, stress can cause, or exacerbate much. Shingles is a great example of something often linked to stress (in addition to the chicken pox). Been there, done that. And caregiving is a huge drain both physically and mentally. I hope very much that you have friends and family in your life to lean on, and who step up and give you support. Those are the greatest resources in my life, and I'm so thankful for them.
  18. Sometimes I'm perhaps clumsy in my descriptions. I'd describe myself as a "blue collar Christian" or a "coarse Christian". I have an incredibly bawdy sense of humor, among other things. There is much that belies the faith I do have, as someone who feels like he has one foot stuck toes-deep in the heavenly realms, and the rest fully anchored to the sinful, earthly side. I'm a grain of sand on a vast seashore. And in that realization, perhaps what I'm saying is, if a grain of sand can be used by Christ to teach a rock, or a tree, perhaps there's hope for all of us, my friend. In Christ.
  19. For people like me, who didn't know what hypokinesis or ejection fraction are: Hypokinesia: https://iliveok.com/health/hypokinesia-heart_129710i15949.html Ejection Fraction: https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/heart-failure/diagnosing-heart-failure/ejection-fraction-heart-failure-measurement
  20. If a sinner like me can teach you something, there's still a little hope for us yet.
  21. Kirsten's (WoLW's) memorial was Sunday. It was beautiful and sunny out (had outside on the school grounds she taught at). It was beautiful and poignant. It was sad and yet joyful at the same time. Hundreds came. We sang. My pastor gave a wonderful, thoughtful message. The whole thing would have warmed the cockles of her heart; it certainly did mine. Some of us have seen miracles. But I have to think that if we see miracles every day, we'd become inured to them, kind of like having our favorite dish day after day after day. I realize that having my wife was like standing next to a miracle. Sometimes you get used to it, and it takes others to remind you periodically just how miraculous something is. And I saw hundreds of tiny miracles yesterday, in what she evoked in other people, both near and far, young, and full grown, now with jobs, maybe kids, incorporating who she was in their daily lives. Touched by who she was, and continuing to be so. I'll remember it forever, and it sustains me. I'm moving on. A few inches here, a few there, over time. I have friends. I have family. I have animals, who give both love and laughter. I don't know what the future holds; but I know I've been blessed, and I'm thankful for it. May God be praised.
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