As our internal temperatures and landlubber apprehensions gradually diminish, the weather moves in another direction – around 73°F today and clear. The polarization is a welcome adjustment as we successfully organize our digs for hibernation on Hilton Head Island – and contemporaneously flatten the curve on our domestic apparel suited for beach weather, cycling and transitioning to a life of unparalleled indolence.
In spite of the keenness which has overtaken us in reacquainting ourselves with the Island after a 5-year sabbatical, there are for me at least some unanticipated qualifications. To be succinct: I’m an unalloyed old fogey! Oddly the decomposition overtaking me is I have reasoned of no more consequence than what one should expect at my advanced age. It notably contrasts with my recollection of things five years ago. To my surprise I can no longer move as far or as fast. No matter. I view the fractionation as a warranted authority for pursuit of my otherwise meritless endeavours.
As I have remarked so often before, I’m not saving it for the funeral! Now is the time to focus upon the present and to make the most of it. A day ago I overheard someone say, it’s our duty to distinguish what life has given us, not what it has taken away. I am bound in the same breath to observe that in my opinion life owes me nothing. Accordingly the trifling limitations and obstructions which prevail are of little preoccupation for me.
A peculiar realization struck me earlier today when, driven by habit more than need, I frequented Belk department store in Shelter Cove in search of some new casual clothing. My initial objective was to purchase items which, although they repeat what I already have, are refreshed and updated. Thankfully for my benefit the store hadn’t what I was looking for in either my size or colour. I have become obsessive in matters of apparel (as I suppose I have in everything else). Basically, black and blue are the reigning colours. As for size I already possess a fat and thin wardrobe. Finally however the more immediate and immersive confession is that my repetitive inclinations are tarsome to an Olympic degree! This deduction first exhibited itself when I recently told my car dealership that I would prefer to wait until Spring before getting the newest edition. I have become one of those tottering old farts who with inordinate satisfaction retain the same vehicle they’ve had the year before or longer! The predisposition has nothing to do with matters of economy; rather it demonstrates a dislike of change – another old fogey trait. Nonetheless its restraint assuages my customary profligacy. The same characteristic poisoned my erstwhile ambitions for a new iPhone, iPad and MacBook Pro. It now seems all so wanton and reckless.
This apparent improvement – or should I say, impoverishment – of my thinking simply captures my switch to different novelties. It has succeeded to taint even my former fascination with trinkets – the last of which, if I recall correctly, was a compass from a yacht outfitters emporium in Daytona Beach several years ago. That curious object – along with other useless items such as a pocket knife, three watches, a pile of gold and silver jewellery and accessories too cringey to mention – now inhabit draws at home in Canada. The value of new material things has utterly evaporated. I guess my body is telling me that time is running out – and I’m doing my best to keep up with it without having to carry unnecessary baggage which will only impede my progress. I’m guessing. Let me be clear however that I derive shameful elation from what I already have. After a spendthrift life I have cornered myself with the smug pleasure of Little Jack Horner.
“Little Jack Horner” is a popular English nursery rhyme with the Roud Folk Song Index number 13027. First mentioned in the 18th century, it was early associated with acts of opportunism, particularly in politics. Moralists also rewrote and expanded the poem so as to counter its celebration of greediness. The name of Jack Horner also came to be applied to a completely different and older poem on a folkloric theme; and in the 19th century it was claimed that the rhyme was originally composed in satirical reference to the dishonest actions of Thomas Horner in the Tudor period.
Little Jack Horner
Sat in the corner,
Eating his Christmas pie;
He put in his thumb,
And pulled out a plum,
And said, “What a good boy am I!”