Just Stay Calm… Calmmmm!

 ALL RIGHT, realsurfers and everyone else, we have every reason to be anxious, nervous, even worried; possibly scared; shit’s happening. If you don’t know what’s happening, maybe you’re in a different world.

SPEAKING OF WHICH… My friend Stephen R. Davis has been on the Big Island for a while now, and there are some signs he’s fitting into the surf scene over there. There’s some concern that with waves way more consistent than the fickle Strait can provide, warm water and, you know, all the Hawaii stuff, he might not want to trade in board shorts for 4/3 neoprene. So, without trying to further guess what’s going on in the foreshore area, here’s a (hopefully) calming photo of a wave Steve says I would love; one foot Hawaiian, super awesome and probably chest high Strait scale, and, it should be mentioned, if you wipe out on the reef… good luck:                               

my guess, someone trying to retrieve a fin lost in a previous session.

BACK TO THE ANXIETY- Here is the column I wrote for the November edition of the Quilcene Community Center Newsletter. I always delay the writing until the end of the month, and usually, as in almost always, get a phone call from Robert L. Rosen (legit Hollywood guy- IMDB him) now living a canoe ride from Surf Route 101.

So, like, two days ago, I get the cell phone call while I’m heading up 101, and I tell him it’s almost done, and he says, “Good; you know it’s only six more days until the Civil War.” What? I mean, WHAT? I put the phone on speaker. I had heard there might be some… Civil war? Jeez, Bob, relax.

I am, in this piece, trying to sound impartial. If I had written it for realsurfers it would, undoubtedly, be a bit stronger, and totally partial. Hoping/guessing that locals who might not agree with my actual tendency to not vote for people who (not getting into the list of negatives right now) probably don’t check out this web site, HERE IS THE PIECE:

The most obvious part of my public, if not my self-image, is that I am a painter, and have been one for, well over, if not way over fifty-one years.  Since it is, by the time you scan through the November edition of the Quilcene Community Center Newsletter, probably just past Halloween; I will add that, at this time of year, when stopping by a market on the way home, I do frequently have to tell children, the ones who are staring, that, “No, it’s not a costume; and, yes, it is quite scary.”

If you are reading this before November third, you are, no doubt, anxious.  We all are.  Anxious; with a level of nervous, stomach-churning anxiety several levels above (somewhere in what would be, in a normal season, the nosebleed section) the usual anticipation/hope/fear a Seahawk fan feels when going into the fourth quarter.  Yeah, nervous, whether the team is behind, ahead, tied; it doesn’t matter, the game is not over, ever, until the final play; when one of the no-doubt irritating TV play callers (almost certainly never willing to give the Hawks their due), says, “another nail biter in the books.”  “No, wait; we’re going to overtime.”  “Noooooooo!”

If you’re on heart medicine, check your dosage.

Eventually the game does end.  At our house it’s either “Trish, you can come out now,” five of those so far this season, with the rest of our day/evening spent with Trish watching all the highlights she missed while hiding in the bedroom, or me shutting the damn TV off (as was the case with the last game), swearing, among other things, not to be a fanatical kind of fan; not to think a loss is the end of the world.

This anger wears off well before the next game; the anxiety starting to build by, say, Wednesday. 

As you can see, I am identifying myself as a Seahawks fan, though, I have to say, one with a level of faith in the team somewhat higher than Trisha’s.  Yes, I can watch until the final outcome- teeth gritted, hands ready to become fists if not clenched already.  Doesn’t mean I’m not equally anxious.

This anxiety is nothing compared to what many Americans are feeling about the election.  Anyone who has a choice, an opinion, is anxious.  And, with what is widely predicted to be a contentious voting day, with the possibility of no clear winner; and is promised/threatened to be a litigious non-decision on November third, we, my fellow Americans, are probably headed for… yeah, overtime.


Anyway, I wasn’t planning on writing about the election.  Trish and I have voted.  We got our ballots in the mail, and, just to make sure, dropped them in the box at the Jefferson County courthouse; then went online to make sure our votes will be counted.  Yes.  Take that off the worry list, move something else up.  There’s always something to worry about.  I have, I believe, read that a bit of anxiety helps keep fat off the heart.

Which only matters If constantly elevated anxiety doesn’t kill you.  If it does, before election day, your vote won’t count.  Or so I’ve read.  Or heard.  Somewhere.

So, Americans, stay alive.

Oh, yeah; deferred maintenance.  A house I painted had been recently purchased.  It had some problems beyond peeling paint.  “It seems to have had a few years of deferred maintenance,” the homeowner said.  “Well,” I said, “mine has had about forty years-worth.”  I wasn’t really even exaggerating.  I’ve done some remodeling, just hacked my way to the pumphouse to make sure it’s more ready for this winter than it was for the last one.   Yes, I have done some repairs, but really, it’s time to remodel areas I remodeled in the past.

Somehow, I thought I could twist this into something about how a community will have to come together after the election, whichever way it goes.  We all have friends and relatives who are obviously brainwashed or insane or insanely ignorant, meaning, of course, these friends and relatives believe the same things about us. 

Okay, the transition to getting past the divisions; let’s just… let’s get past the election, then move the anxiety of whether I can call my sister on Thanksgiving, or if I have to continue to avoid conversations on politics at the Post Office or the hardware store, and for how long; we’ll move all that up to the top of the worry/anxiety list.  Temporarily.    

Meanwhile, the addition of bandanas of various colors, and other face protection; these do make my painting outfit seem just a bit more like a, yes, costume.  Color coordinated, of course, probably sort of scary. 

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