Deep Into the Precipice

The morning routine’s well-practiced. (That’s why they call it a routine?)

Arise between 5:30 and 6:00 a.m., visit the room with all the porcelain accoutrements, start a cup of coffee, feed the dogs, prepare a hypodermic syringe and inject 14 units of insulin into the left side of Rover, the Dynamic Diabetic Doggie (my caps and alliteration).

(Left side/morning, right/night).

Fetch the coffee, read something spiritual that reminds me of why TF I am on the planet. Today: “I pray that as I have received, so may I give.”

Check out Facebook, and Second cuppajoe. Sometimes a second visit to the room with the porcelain.

Yesterday, I combined those two and as I’m standing there in front of the porcelain accoutrement that loosely resembles a chair, cup of coffee in one hand and, well, you get the picture, it struck me that I’m 58 years old.

No longer approaching or even standing at the precipice of middle age. The U.S. Census lists the category ‘middle age’ between 45 and 64. That puts me deep into the precipice. I mean, do the math. 58 + 58 = 116. I sure as hell won’t live that long, and if I’ve learned anything in 58 years it’s that euphemism and spin are perishable commodities.

So let’s name it accurately.

OK, twist my arm. I'll have a third.

My father

turned 58 in 1990. On this date in 1990, his eldest son was in chemical dependency rehab in Johnson County. The third of three and it still didn’t take. My last drink would come less than a year later.

So as I sit here at the dining room table at 58 years and 24 hours, enjoying my second cuppa joe in a Waechtersbach coffee mug (my lone nod to Christmas decorating – hey, we’re busy), I contemplate whether to have a third.

Being carried along in the mainstream of a river than runs directly through the precipice of middle age,

I gaze east through the sliding glass door at yet another breathtaking Flint Hills sunrise and wonder if my mother looked at one just like it 58 years ago, right here in Manhattan, Kansas.

Donna Fargo

was dead wrong, btw.

I wrestle with such monumental Earthling problems as determining the social media etiquette in acknowledging the nearly 300 Facebook happy birthday greetings (“like” ‘em all?) Then I translate that into nearly 300 individual decisions made to take the time and energy to think about li’l ol’ me and I am humbled.

I ponder how a seeming malcontent like Zack Greinke can earn 34.4 million dollars a year throwing a baseball. Part of me thinks it patently obscene. But another part of me has happily and oh so willingly shelled out big dough for Playoff and World Series (MLB’s caps) tickets and togs each of last two seasons.


ow ca

n I rage against the machine when I’m greasing its cogs?

When my son called to wish me happy birthday, I was standing in a line at Bill Snyder Family Stadium to visit another room with porcelain accoutrements (they’re everywhere). It was the second time this season I got a call from him whilst standing in this queue, which probably speaks more to my



Scott will be 58 in 2043. By then I’ll be 86.

I could make it to 86.

But not if I don’t make continual, purposeful choices and decisions. Salad instead of a cheeseburger. Truth instead of spin. Water instead of coffee. Others instead of me. Moderation. Common sense. Logic. God’s will instead of mine.

I try to do all this as quietly as possible, so as not to disturb my still slumbering wife.