Windmills

It's been a few days since my last blog. I have been very busy with work, trying to sort out what the next two months are going to be like, and spending time with the boys. But tonight, though its late, I needed to sit down and share a couple things I have seen recently, things that have hit home and made me really stop to think.

Ralphie and I have been friends for a long time. He has been there through the birth of all three of my sons, through the loss of my mom, and my divorce. I have watched him go from a very grounded, worry free life through a divorce, and then other curve balls life has thrown at him. One thing I always admired about him was his relationship with his oldest daughter. When she was younger, they were inseparable. She was the apple of his eye, and she was a Daddy's girl. She grew up with John-Michael and Bobbi's daughter Brianna, as we got together often for them to play and for us to catch up. But her Daddy was clearly her best friend.

On Saturday I was at Ralph's house, the same one he grew up in and bought from his parents a few years back. I am going to move there to cut costs and help him though a rough patch in his life. It;s what friends do, and we are both very excited about the possibilities of our bachelor pad. As we sat and talked about life and the plans, conversation turned to his daughter. I have only seen Ralph cry once or twice in my life, so it hurt me to watch him shed tears as he told me he doesn't think she wants anything to do with him. He went into the details, though I won't share them her, and I was so saddened that the strong bond they once had seems to have dissipated. With my guys paying in the next room, I tried to comfort my friend by telling him it could just be a pre-teen girl thing. Neither of us would understand what that is like, but I hope for his sake that relationship can be restored.

I had to drive to Ft. Wayne, Indiana Thursday to look at a new project. A 3 hour drive each way, I spent nearly all day in the car staring at empty fields and small towns. The sights are definitely a little monotonous, but there were a few interesting that I came across along the way. A field on fire, being burned before the farmer sets crops in it this year. A massive semi that must have had seventy wheels, carrying something cylindrical I can only describe as a water tower on its side. It was escorted by 8 police cars, who kept traffic away for a half mile in front and behind it. And then there were the windmills.

Just off I-30 on the Ohio-Indiana border, these massive fans were unlike any I had ever seen before. Sure there are windmills in Rio Grande by Bob Evans Farms, and even one high above the car dealerships on Sawmill road. But they are dwarfed when compared to the ones I saw that day. There were three that were complete, two more that cranes were putting the paddles on, and the foundation poles for at least 15 more. I would have to imagine they stood 200 feet in the air, with each arm being 75 feet or more. I thought about how much air my little bedside fan puts out and imagined that these things must create hurricane like gusts. It was very cool to see, as this area clearly has decided to go green and be more efficient. I wish we could do that here, in the larger city.

I also thought about what the local residents must think of these gigantic turbines going in. It has to be a shock to the system of a lot of people who live there. It is a very rural area, and the change may have come with some discord. Of course, as I am known to do, I related this to my own life and the things going on today. I thought about  how they may have had serious doubts about whether the windmills were truly a good replacement to the energy sources they have grown accustomed to over many years. How much resistance did this change bring? Is this really a good thing? I imagine it took years to get to that point, to see the fruition of this idea. And as they disappeared in my rear view mirror, I hoped that it the long run it was for the best for the people in this area.

Along the road of life, Ralph has done a lot of things. He completed his college degree, in English. He wrote and published a book, Keys to the World. He is an accomplished guitar player and song writer. And he is a Dad. No matter what happens in life, that fact remains true. As the he embarks on a new journey, to become a nurse, I think about how his story relates to the windmills. He is completely re-inventing himself. Finding a new and more productive way to do things. And while he may have his serious doubts right now about where these changes are leading, I think he also sees that this is a better way to go. I am proud of my friend. And I hope it all comes full circle for him.

Of course I think we all have our proverbial windmills. New and big things in life come along that we are really hesitant about embracing. I know this is true in my own life. Yet as I face some uncertainty in my health, I am eager about what happens after that. As I always say, the winds of change continue to blow. This time, though, they may be powered my windmills.

CT tomorrow, then an appointment Tuesday. Hopefully we will schedule surgery at that time.

Good Night All........................................

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