Category: My Life

Jun 11, 2018
By Michael Rupured

Pile Shifting

Growing up, I’d come home from school sometimes to find my bed piled high with anything I owned that wasn’t where it was supposed to be. In addition to clutter, the massive mound included the contents of any drawers, closets, or shelves that didn’t measure up to Mom’s very high standards. The experience left a lasting impression. Before I could do anything else, I had to deal with the pile and pass inspection. Everything had to be neatly stored — a place for everything, and everything in its place. To get there, I sorted Mount Clutter into smaller and smaller piles until everything was put up or tossed out. Pile shifting remains my preferred way to deal with clutter. The …

Jun 04, 2018
By Michael Rupured

My Little Garden

My garden is ready for a long, hot Georgia summer. A ton of rain helped. We’re six inches above normal for this time of year — most of that coming in May. Getting all the new arrivals into the ground early helped too. I’ve gardened for more than thirty years. Space constraints limited options with my first two, leading me to buy a house with a ginormous yard for #3. Over the next ten years, I accumulated more than 600 varieties of ornamental plants. Taking care of the sprawling landscape and spacious house by myself was too much, so in 2012 I downsized. The first year or two, I didn’t do much in the yard beyond mowing. Not having to …

May 28, 2018
By Michael Rupured

Savoring Solitude

Ten weeks have passed since the unexpected death of my ex and best friend. Our seventeen-year relationship was complicated — especially the last few years. Adjusting to life without him is an ongoing process. How am I doing? Mom says I’m doing great. Arguing with her is pointless, but in this case, I’m inclined to agree with her assessment. Life goes on. Commitments must be honored and stuff that comes up at home and at work has to be dealt with. Letting things pile up just makes for a bigger mess. After wrapping up several projects last week, I’m caught up at the day job for the first time this year. I’m still crazy busy, but the pressure is off — …

May 07, 2018
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on The Teacher in Me (Part 2)

The Teacher in Me (Part 2)

The teaching I do through Cooperative Extension is not classroom teaching. Other than other extension educators, I tend to see my students only once. Over the past thirty years, I’ve presented personal finance information to the public and provided training to county-based Cooperative Extension educators, school teachers, and others to provide personal finance education to youth and adult audiences. This past spring semester marked my return to the classroom for the first time since graduate school thirty years ago. I taught Introduction to Family and Consumer Sciences — a one-credit course every student in the college must take to graduate. With guest lecturers for almost every session, I didn’t have teach so much as manage the class. Although I’ve done dozens …

Apr 30, 2018
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on The Teacher in Me (Part 1)

The Teacher in Me (Part 1)

Education was one of many majors I tried on during my ten-year stint as an undergraduate. Thanks to a mountain of credit card and other debt, working full-time (and more) wasn’t optional. I had to change majors because practicums and student-teaching didn’t fit into my schedule. I compared the credits I’d earned to the requirements for every degree offered at the University of Kentucky in search of the shortest route to a degree. The result was to major in Family Studies in the College of Home Economics. My other option — English — seemed unlikely to improve my lot in life. After graduation, I left my middle-management position in the hospitality industry to work as a secretary in the Family …

Apr 09, 2018
By Michael Rupured

Filling the Void

Three weeks ago, my world forever changed when my companion of nearly seventeen years unexpectedly passed away. Grief is no stranger to me. Lots of people who were important to me have died. But this time is different. We’ve lived together for years. The few months he wasn’t living with me, we saw each other just about every day. A month is the longest we’ve ever been apart — and that only happened once. His death leaves a huge empty space in my life. Writing in my journal has eaten up big chunks of my time. Entries since he passed are letters to him about things he was interested in, what I’ve been up to, and how I’m feeling. The letters …

Feb 19, 2018
By Michael Rupured

Just Like That, I’m Old

My sixtieth birthday is two short weeks from today. The Crotchety Old Man moniker I’ve used on my blog for years is no longer ironic. It’s who I am. Ask my neighbors. Say what you want about age being just a number. I’m not buying it. Sixty is old. I’m not complaining. Getting older is a privilege. Aging, however, is a major pain in the ass. I’m lucky. Aside from vision issues, my health problems are trivial. Still, I collect health care providers like they were Matchbox cars. An assortment of physicians and specialists oversees my aging body. Hardly a month passes without at least one medical appointment. Last week, I added a cardiologist to my collection. My regular doctor ordered a stress test to …

Jan 08, 2018
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on My New Gym

My New Gym

After the gym I’d used for six years closed in May, I joined a YWCO. Differences between the Y and my former gym were immediately apparent. I wrote about the most obvious on this here blog thingy back in November — 11/20/17 to be exact. If you’re on my web site, scroll down for that post or click here to check it out. With maybe a tenth of the equipment available at my former gym, I worried about crowds. Waiting in line is not conducive to a good workout and would likely deter me from going. My fears, however, were unfounded. Rarely do I see more than two or three people in the workout room. On several occasions, I’ve had the place to …

Dec 24, 2017
By Michael Rupured

My Personal Relationship with Santa

The arrival of the Sears Christmas catalog kicked off the holiday seasons of my childhood. The massive tome offered everything I ever wanted and served as a reference for my annual letter to Santa. When I was old enough, Mom said Santa needed the page number and item number for everything on my list. Santa kicked off his U.S. tour with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in New York, followed a few days later by the Christmas Parade in Lexington, Kentucky. He rode in his sleigh with eight tiny reindeer atop the biggest fire truck in the city. Dad was on the fire department, so I got to ride on the truck with Santa and toss candy to the crowd. That’s right. …

Nov 06, 2017
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Cologne: A Confession

Cologne: A Confession

Spritzing on cologne is a part of my getting-ready-to-go routine as much as brushing my teeth. Smelling nice is my brand. Unless I’m walking the dog, going to the grocery, or hitting the gym, I’m packing fragrance. When it comes to cologne (and men), I’m a serial monogamist. Over the years, my preferences have changed, but, except for an experimental phase in college and most of the 1980s, I’ve been faithful to one cologne at a time since seventh grade. Old Spice was my first love and gateway fragrance. Mom hooked us up for my first dance. We had tons of it around the house — remnants of gift boxes my dad received for Christmas, Father’s Day, and his birthday. …

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