The five oh.

I’ve kind of had a dull headache today.  It might have started a day or two ago, and I’m pretty sure it’s not in my head, rather my mind.

Let’s just go in order, it is easier that way.  I woke earlier than I like and couldn’t fall back asleep, oddly, I think it’s because I stayed up too late as well.  So only about five hours of sleep, and really was the worst sleep I’ve had since I’ve been here.  Considering the first few days of hot and cold, not to mention the four am shower the other day, that is really saying something.

Though I’m glad I was able to write so much yesterday, so many good stories in a single day- it’s also exhausting.  Not the typing, though that is a bit too- that is also my assigned PT for my arm and it works.  My spasms/whatever in my left arm have been a lot better over the last month, and I think it’s because I’ve been using my left arm a lot more.  Being non-dominate, it’s easy to ignore and for parts of this year, my arm felt like it was also just slowing losing life.

Out of the tent, on the to the shower and morning tea.  And working again on the digipeater.  One of the articles I wrote last night was answering what a digipeater is; the reason the answer is so convoluted, is that many things can digipeat and are digipeaters, yet function differently.  I’ve been attempting to rebuild one in the style I used in Michigan, yet I’ve just had a lot of issues, mostly with Internet connection.  In the typical way, one the Internet goes down, it’s offline unless you’re local to it.

In Michigan, I was local to it.  If the Internet went down, from my station, everything was still fine.  Not now.  A digipeater, I suppose some might call a toy, or something to play with – yet, I am planning to use it daily.  As I get strong enough to really go trekking into the woods, I want to make sure I don’t get lost and can find my way back to camp.  Also, if something unfortunate does happen to me out here, I suppose my last known location may also be of assistance to others.

So I tore it apart, reconfigured it again, for the last time, now it’s even a graphical digipeater.  Designed first to allow my packets from my HT to the digipeater, as I need.  Secondly, it does try to connect and forward over the Internet too.  Kinda of a me first change on this. And now: done, and it’s working perfectly.  Tomorrow, I will not need to touch it (I hope…!)

Text from my mom, call when you can.  After our talk a few days ago, I knew this might be a challenging call, and it was.

For the first time in my life I told someone the next story that I want? need? should? could? tell here.  It is a hard story.  And harder, at least for me, to tell the first time.  So many details forgotten, it’s like trying to reassemble a puzzle that fell off the table.  Some pieces fit here, a big chunk is missing over there, dozens of details that don’t seem to fit anywhere. I think I’m going to have to tell that story individually a few times, before I can type it.  We’ll see, if nothing else, is a good enough reason to put it off a bit more.

Honestly, not much of a day after so much time on the digipeater, after going to lunch, talking to my mom and stopping at Hoff’s, I didn’t get back to my campsite until after four pm.

One kind of odd coincidence happened today.  As I prepared to go for lunch, I checked the inflation on all my tires (still no new rims,) and three were low.  No worries, I carry a small air pump, five minutes per tire and we’re good to go.  While waiting, I messaged my friend Jay, wondering if fix-a-flat might help put off the rim expense and mentioned my SES (service engine soon) light had come on too.  A few messages back and forth, and the recommendations were clear, no on the fix-a-flat, yes on some pro stuff he knows of, and as for the light, ah, just go check it at an auto zone.

I knew that and I would have done that too.  Eventually.  Yet, coming from him, it was on my list, and while in town I did try to stop at the local O’reilly’s.  However, apparently, they close early at three pm on Saturday, not to re-open until Monday morning.  Quaint, I like that.  So the coincidence?

At nearly the same time, the first text just a few minutes after Jay and I started messaging, my youngest son text me.  On his way home from Florida, where he spent his college winter break skydiving.  Just let me know he was stopping at a local Microcenter for a driving break and mentioned that is car was running low on coolant since leaving Michigan and was having to check and refill it on the way.

What do you know, the guy that just asked his friend what to do about an SES light, turned into a mechanic pretty quick.  How much is it losing, did you check the oil? Could be a head gasket.  Did you look to find a leak?  If it’s just leaking, you’re fine, keep it full.


Okay, I know Jay wants to know about the stop at Hoff’s.  I thought I might have missed her today, as I was so late stopping there.  Yet as I walked in the door, she was just to my right stocking some shelves.  And today, she looked different.  The same, just a little extra.  Maybe her makeup was more precise, or some shade that highlighted something, I don’t know.  Maybe the lighting is just better in that part of the store, not sure, yet I noticed. In that moment, I had thought/hoped that may have been intentional on her part- due to our conversation yesterday.

I notice small things, even more when I try, and lately, I’ve been trying to notice all of the small things.

Right after I came in several other customers did as well, honestly, the busiest I’ve ever seen the place.  I tried a more familiar greeting when I’d entered, “Hi, how are you today?” and I really thought about adding a comment on her looks, yet that is not a game I’m playing. Just a polite response as she headed behind the counter, myself now first in line.

I asked for a vape and a few more of those as I waved to the display, “Okay.” she said lacklustered.

Thinking she must be getting out of work soon, I was planning on asking her to dinner (there is exactly one nice restaurant in town I’m told, and I’d like to check it out in one of my button up shirts with a guest.)   Long day? I said.

“It’s gonna be, I just got here”.

Timing wasn’t right for the rest of my plan and with a line of people behind me, I just said something like, oh, that’s too bad.

Then a few odd details, she took the two fake weed joints, and just kind of tossed them on the counter in front of me.

No tapping, to tightening the twist.  And no little paper sack.  Six trips there and always the little paper sack.  No worries, whatever.

I thanked her and walked out to my car.

And just as I sat down, a thin Mexican man in his mid twenties with a gritty look, whom had been sitting in his truck when I pulled it was getting out, and had walked about halfway to the door, turned back to look at me, and said “Nice, car man.  What year is that?”

Hmm..  Sometimes I can tell when people have or haven’t read what I wrote – or at least I think I can.

It’s a two thousand I said, thank you, quickly and sat quickly in my car and closed the door.  The man then went back to sit in his truck, and as I sat there looking at my phone (for no reason, the way to site is simple from Hoffs, it’s on the same road!)  And another man similar to him, the third or fourth customer in the store, came out and stood at his door, chatting with him.

I looked to my left and gave them both a big smile as I backed out and drove away.  Five oh?  For the last several weeks I’ve had exactly one reader in Texas.  Today, I had eight.  I’m not sure if this secret website –  not to Jackson or to anyone that knows me or to anyone that knows my first and last name to Google me (love the stats on that too!)

Yet here in Mathis, my name is Jeromy, and a wear a hat that says Jackson and I’m open that I’m from Michigan, yet other than Dick and Laurie last night, I have told no one that I write, hence here at least, it is a secret website.  Not a kept secret, just one of a million stories that haven’t yet been provoked out of me in conversation.  If I say I’m in town for two weeks in a campground, and if someone asked, “oh, that’s cool? What do you do with you time”, well I’d have to tell them I spend four to six hours a day typing for PT and the rest walking for PT.  From there, certainly the next question would be, well, what do you write?

Not a secret, just waiting for someone to ask.  Really, if someone was good at Google, I’ve given just enough to be found here.  “Jeromy” from “Jackson” “Michigan” would be enough if they read past the first page of results.  Yet, how often would someone just Google a complete stranger?  So far my thought, certainly with Erica, will be to randomly leave one of my cards behind before I go, just slide it on the counter as I grab my last vape on my way out of town next week.

Back to site after all that, I sat and relaxed and checked those stats. Eight hundred percent growth in one day.  Hmm, I think it was five oh.

Just then I looked at my laptop, I was on my old on running Ubuntu, and look what I saw!  Look close, down on the left side of the screen.

Praying mantis’ are my favorite bugs.  Usually I’m excited to see the big ones – I have some photos from a few years back on my old Facebook showing a two or three inch one back on my porch in Michigan.  They are cool.

Yet, I’ve never seen a baby praying mantis.  And he seemed to like me.  From my laptop he ran across the key on to my arm, across the chair arm on my left, around my back down the other arm and back to my hands.  I have a video of him just running on my hand, but I can’t really upload that from here (one bar of service.)

The only things I had left to do were to take my walk, eat dinner and write this post.  I was ahead for the day, so I just sat and watched this baby bug.  Amazing how far he could jump, two or three inches easily.  Still playing on my laptop, I lost track of him after a minute.  Then saw another – or the same one – again a minute later.  Okay, it was time to walk.

Half way down my street, I looked down and he was still on my arm.  He seemed to be enjoying the ride, so I let him tag along.  Not sure how long he stayed, I haven’t seen him since.

The walk was nice, not a race pace today (yes, the thirty three minute time was my race pace.) Rather, I wanted to focus on good clean steps, and it is coming easier.  It’s hard by I can walk short distances with a good gait, and if I take small steps too, I can almost pretend like I don’t have a limp.  All the steps were right in my steps, heel up, knee up, rotate hip, extend knee, push heel, land on side of foot, roll of toe.  Yet last week I said “then” between those steps. And when I said “then” I would relax my leg.

Hmm… imaging a musician, thinking about each note they play, rather than the melody they are creating.  Walking means my leg is always doing something, no little “then” breaks.  With new effort, the gait is coming. Also, I didn’t mention I yesterday, yet on my catfish point trail, there is one big hill to climb.  I took a picture to show you, yet in the picture it doesn’t, well look like much of a hill.  However, it’s a solid four feet above the grade, with a sharp incline (that a toddler could walk up with four steps, a grown man two at most.)

Yesterday I planted my left foot midway up and tried to two step it.  It worked, however my left ankle bent more acutely than every before and I felt a sharp pain, no choices other than fall backwards I stepped through it and it was fine.  Better actually, now I can bend the ankle that far without the pain.  Which means bigger steps, really pushing off my left leg and getting distance as I stretch out the right.  Now I can feel a new tightness thing with part of my inside thigh.  Solve one thing, put another on the list.

Okay, I’m tired, I may be missing some things though I don’t think I am.  Something I mentioned to my mom today, as she asked me why I don’t think I can hold back some things on this site, the answer came quickly.  What ever I choose not to say, I have to ask myself why?  Why am I hiding that?   Jay didn’t ask earlier, yet a comment to me was “You are nuts. Remove own staples, smoke with the mexicans, pis your bag and share…”

Yeah, I pissed myself and shared.  I’m human, I’ve been busted up (a year tomorrow,) and with my issues, I ended up with a Piston mummy bag.  Kinda like my public service message here kids: fuck around and find out.   Looking for a laparotomy scar? Go big, land faster, you can do it.

I’ve learned things this year that I cannot let myself forget and the only way may be if I do what I can to teach them to everyone I encounter.

Time to rest.

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