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The Sock Club is the gift that keeps on giving. One night this week, Kevin and Andrea presented me with the envelope containing the next installment of the gift they provided me at Christmas. It was a one-year membership to the socks-of-the-month club. Actually, I’m not sure when I’ve enjoyed anything more.


For one thing, you never know what to expect. For another, you’d probably never purposefully pick out the sock selection for the month that comes wrapped in the brown cardboard envelope. Bold and daring are the two words that best describe the selection.


Someone once told me that when your feet hurt, you hurt all over. I’ve lived long enough to know that is also true of your back, but gratefully I’ve never had feet that hurt. However, I intuitively tell myself when I’m putting on my fancy socks-of-the-month that I’m outfitting myself for adventure. I like the concept that provides.


Why not color totally outside the lines? So I guess from the ground up I’m dressing for something other than “same ole same ole” when I put on a pair of those socks. I like to think of them as magic socks. I want to squeeze every ounce of life out of the day and I suspect I won’t be worse for wear because of it. Isn’t it true that most people regret the things they didn’t do rather than the things they do? I understand that the concept of regret can go both ways, but I’m running out of time and there are a lot of things I’ve not carved out the time to do. Now that I am on the threshold of having nothing but time on my hands, I want to hit the ground running wearing my fancy socks and looking for adventure.


The socks-of-the-month for May couldn’t have been more germane. Interestingly the theme for the month is play. I guess whether you are a kid in school or an old man on the brink of retirement, the month of May signals a welcomed change on the horizon.


The General’s sister and her mother are visiting with us this week. For that matter, so are her brother and sister-in-law for all practical purposes. They only live about twenty miles away and we’ve shared a lot of family time this week with them as well. The General’s sister mentioned that her youngest granddaughter recently told her dad: “We only have two more weeks of school.” He countered, “No, you really have three more weeks of school.” Not to be deterred, the granddaughter said: “My teacher said we only have fifteen days of school left. Fifteen days of school is two weeks”. I guess it all depends on perspective. The granddaughter was adamant that she’s only going to school two more weeks.


Even though it was a long time ago, I still fondly remember being on the threshold of summer vacation when school was out from the end of May until after Labor Day in September. Of course, by the time school resumed, I was always more than ready to get back to the routine, but sometimes a time-out is therapeutically refreshing.


According to the thoughtful sock designers, the selection for May is intended to provide the thought that there is always room for a bit more play in life. In fact, they quote Plato who said: “Life must be lived as play”.


The socks are to remind me that there is always room for a bit more play in life. I can hardly wait! I’ve never been one to take life “way too seriously” and I attempt to steer clear of those who do. I recently told a friend who is Church of Christ that my wife wants to start going to church there. She recently attended a funeral at the Dripping Springs Church of Christ and was absolutely mesmerized by the music. She said it was like listening to a top class A capella choir. She added: “The harmony was unbelievable.”


I countered: “In the Baptist Church someone pounds music out of a piano and we joyfully gather around to sing: “Amazing Grace”. As a second thought, I added: “I bet that song isn’t even in the hymnal at the Church of Christ. They devoutly are more focused on the hard work of being Christ-like and sing all four parts to: “We’ll work ‘til Jesus comes.”


I’m not sure where that came from? No offense intended for my Church of Christ brethren. The friend I told that to thought it was haralious.  I knew he would. He, too, is fond of the concept of Grace. What was I thinking?  It must have something to do with my magic socks and bent on adventure. I awakened in the early hours and for a period of time thought about the “crazy days of summer”. Somehow with retirement two weeks or maybe three weeks (depending on how you count it) away, I’m on the threshold of a therapeutically refreshing very long summer vacation.


Yesterday I was talking with someone who mentioned a friend who just retired for teaching as a college professor. Reportedly, the friend confided to the man I was talking with: “I’ve got to find something to get me out of the house. My wife is driving me crazy. She has all these things she wants me to do and I don’t want to do any of them.” Just hearing of the man’s experience was enough for me to break out into a cold sweat. We may have “nothing to fear but fear itself”, but my greatest fear is closely akin to the recently retired college professor’s experience. Consequently, I’m planning to begin everyday by wearing my magic socks and giving myself permission to seek adventure. It will be my ticket to escape if need be from the mundane household tasks someone else thinks is in my best interest.


It is my full intent to become a lot like the socks-of-the-month club. Folks will think of me and say: “You never know what to expect.” I want to be thought of as “bold and daring”. When day is done, I plan to have no regrets for the things I wanted to do and didn’t find the time to do. This is my last extended summer vacation (school is out and work is done) and I plan to squeeze every ounce of enjoyment from the experience.


All My Best!







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