The 'BARKING OWL' always has something to say, and like the feathered version, can be either WISE...............or ANNOYING!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A 15 Minute Free Write

I just heard a news broadcast about a guy in Wisconsin who died yesterday, after trying to drive his snowmobile over open water in a partially frozen river.  Death comes so suddenly.  He was probably having a blast with his friends one minute and the next minute he was going "uh-oh, the frickin' ice broke, or the machine did not go as far across the water as I thought it would, and now here I am under water".  The report said that he was pulled out but was pronounced dead at the hospital a short time later.  Didn't sound like he ever regained consciousness.

What a waste.  Yeah, a lot of the things we do are deadly dangerous.  In fact, enough of the things we really need to do are deadly dangerous, that we don't really need to find extra dangerous things to do, do we?  Or do people (of a certain age range) feel...what?   Invulnerable to death?  So bored with safety?  Like something is missing?

Yes, I still hope to go skydiving someday, and I thought that day would be coming as my kids left the home, but now I have GRANDKIDS, and perhaps they will gain from my long term influence even more (assuming my own kids did gain some), so I should be even more careful now than I have been, to live as long as possible.

What do I do anymore that's dangerous anyway?  Over the years as a carpenter, I have been in many dangerous  circumstances (far more than most astronauts, since their every move is measured and rehearsed and studied, and mine have been more haphazard and rushed and simply done to get it done) but I am now, more often than not, the "ground guy".  I'll stay down and do all the cutting and the running, thank you very much, while the young punks climb over the roof and haul the sheeting and the bundles and hang out on the edges of disaster.  Been there, done that.

How much time do you have left?
So this poor guy, I didn't catch his age, has lost his snowmobile.  Perhaps his wife will get to make the remaining payments in his memory.

15 minutes are up.


  1. There is something about being a parent (and then, grandparent) that makes us look at the value of our own lives differently. It matters that we stick around for them. We matter more because they matter so very much.

    My daughter used to ride on the back of her boyfriend's motorcycle. I hated it, but she was old enough to make her own decisions and he was a sensible man. Then they got married and about a year later, she was expecting. She didn't ride pregnant, of course (well, maybe not "of course," because I've seen big baby bellies on bikes), and after their daughter was born, she told him that she wasn't getting on the bike any more.

    They have two kids now and she maintains her no-ride stance. "Maybe after the kids are grown," she says, and I smile. For what she doesn't yet know is that the changes she's experienced are lasting. Sure, some people return to who they were, pre-parenthood, but I'd bet my paycheck that in this instance, she and motorcycles have had their last dance. She is me. Well, she is the new, improved version of me. And that does this mother's heart good.

  2. Way to go Beth: You outwrote my whole article in one comment, and I think it took you less than the 15 minutes it took me!

    Yes, I doubt if I ever will go skydiving. Or maybe the Great Grandkids wouldn't really miss the blithering, drooling mess I'll be by then (but then, maybe the pilot won't let such a wreck in his plane either, even if I DO promise to jump out).

  3. THIS IS GREAT!! I have to go read the assignment now and Mike...i LOVE your writing like this..think it might be the best post you ever wrote..right on thoughts with spontaneity and spunk!

  4.'re saying Brenda that I should give up on plotting and planning and weighing and considering and just go for it eh? Sounds good!

  5. *teeth gnashing* *fingers flexing*
    I so want to go do some editing!

  6. This is so great and so true. Once kids come along we tend to lose our daredevil tendencies or maybe we just trade them for a new tendency toward analyzing cause and effect before we act.

  7. Nice free writing exercise Mike! Run amok, write dangerously, and enjoy the things that come to mind in between the have-to's and will-do's :-)

  8. I might verbally tempt fate, but I'm a chicken, not a dare devil.
    (btw MOm wants your address)

  9. mike,
    i learned long ago that death can happen any time, so beware... my brother never came home after a weekend trip with a friend... he was only 19..... so i live as best i can, without regrets...

    great post.

  10. How you summed up the value of a life. Great job. Great fifteen minute speech to make us think.

  11. You have a much higher chance of dying in a car wreck than from sky diving. The death rate from sky diving is less than one percent, so go for it.


  12. Quite unexpected approach, but you always do surprise me!

  13. Life is so fragile, but too many people just don't get it. I read yesterday about an old Myspace friend who died suddenly this week. He died of an illness that is completely curable if he had gotten medical attention earlier. That is so sad! Why do people take chances with their life? There is only one and when it ends, that is it! I wonder if there is consciousness after death? If so, I bet some are kicking their own butt!


I can't wait to see your response so, unless you can leave a pizza, please leave the next best thing; your comment!