Thursday, August 03, 2006
 

Jake--Take Two


After all the events around here, I guess I'm feeling a mite philosophical. Truth is I'm four months into retirement and ain't sure if I like it or not. I sure been hanging out a lot at Java Joint. Getting to know people can be downright interesting. Sure, I knew most of 'em before I retired, but I'll tell ya, working in a saw mill for a living burns a lot of daylight. I'd get up close to three in the morning and the only place I could get coffee was in my own kitchen. Bailey's brew is a heck of a lot better than anything my old Mr. Coffee has ever brewed. So when I was working, I couldn't always be around the Java Joint. Now I can come here when she opens for the good stuff.

I still get up at three. (Old habits die hard.) I piddle around the house, feed Cracker (that's my old blue heeler) and watch the weather. Most mornings lately, I go out back to my tree stand and watch the sun come up. Yesterday as I waited for it to rise, I was thinking about transition. It was so dark out there I couldn't see my hand in front of my face. That's how I felt right before my big day of retirement came. The day I didn't have to send my old tired bones to the mill. My chest had been heavy for about a month before that day. I'd get excited and then I'd get downright spooked. I've been in that mill more than I've been out of it. Least that's how it feels. My whole world felt dark.

I remember getting that feeling on my wedding day, too. Probably not a great thing to admit. But the unknown has always put a fear in me. I decided I couldn't have Lily know I was feeling all scared. I was a man. Couldn't be scared. No sir. So I walked to the tree in the forest that Lily and I used to sit under, and I took off my boots and I nailed 'em to the tree. I figured that as long as the Lord let me live, I'd be able to go back there every time I got scared and think of my beautiful Lily's smile and that'd make the dark go away. And I was right.

"There," I told myself. "A change in life deserves for the old to be hung up and the new a chance to get worn in."



The next time I took Lily to the tree I had some explainin' to do when she saw my boots. She laughed and took off her own shoes and asked me for my hammer and nails. She said she was scared, too.

Since then that tree's seen a lot of pairs of shoes nailed to it from lots of folks. I guess I started something.

Four months ago, I nailed my old work boots to that tree. These new ones still ain't broke in. But I'm sure with some time they'll stretch out and I'll like 'em just fine.


-- Jake

Posted by ~ Bailey Truitt @ 7:00 AM
Comments:
What you need is a new hobby, Jake. Something to learn. How about working with wood? Not far from the saw mill work, anyway. You could make jewelry boxes and such. Maybe even sell 'em.
Posted by Anonymous fred wiley : 6:45 AM
 
Hi, Jake. I think what you need to do is volunteer around town. We could use another volunteer fireman. Nothing like chasing fire trucks to get a man's blood running.
Posted by Anonymous burt laroy : 6:46 AM
 
Hi, Mr. Tremaine. I liked your story about the shoes. I can think of a lot of shoes I could nail to that tree already. Like one for an ex boyfriend, and another for that yucky year of eighth grade a couple years ago.

Does S-Man have any shoes nailed to the tree?
Posted by Anonymous carly suggs : 6:50 AM
 
Loved your story, Jake! What a precious moment for you and Lily. You two sounds like a very special couple.
Posted by Blogger Dineen A. Miller : 2:11 PM
 
Very nice site!
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Posted by Anonymous Anonymous : 4:08 AM
 
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