Counters Counters Everywhere! What If?

Day 78


You see them everywhere. Counting down the minutes or days to something. Maybe it’s opening day or how much time you have left for vacation. Maybe it’s telling you there’s no time left to buy a car as the countdown is getting lower. What if you didn’t have that timer? What might you see?


countdown timer.jpg“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” -John Lennon

As I saw the countdown to opening day this afternoon, I asked myself how focused should I be on it and should I really need to see it everyday to realize when it is? And by focusing on it what would I be missing in the mean time?

Tuesday, I was able to spend time with family and friends for the usual Walsh St. Paddy’s day party. My parents have never owned a big home and it’s always crowded with smiling faces and good food.  My mother pours her heart into corned beef and cabbage and potatoes you couldn’t believe how good they are. Green beer flows and music is sung and danced to. Looking back I’m glad I was able to make time for that and not be consumed by what is out of my control as that countdown ticks away.

Starting this journey I wondered how everything could work. I knew I had an aged car and little money. I knew I had obstacles but I kept faith in the idea there are more good than bad in this world.  

Tuesday morning I was looking still for a place to stay as the friends home I am in now was not meant to be a long term solution. I am grateful for every moment I have been able to be a part of his young family and stay under a warm roof. I wasn’t overly worried about finding a place as much as I was not being more of a burden any longer. Time was of the essence but focusing on this particular countdown clock would have kept my mind away from the things I could be a part of.

I knew my effort to find another place to sleep was valid and so did he. It was just a matter of someone answering that call. Would they have the same energy and enthusiasm to help others? I had faith they would. Someone answered my call and I quickly replied saying I would be back in town Thursday to touch base.

Today, I did just that and got my answer. A stranger named Mary would be my new home. More than willing to help, I could hear the wisdom and belief in her aged voice. I told her of my crazy ambitions with baseball and meeting this countries people. She told me about friends in the ’60s who had become established authors but knew the road very well and opened a generation to their fellow countrymen and their stories. Travelling vagabonds she called them and some wrote for very well known magazines now but were still the same free spirits.

Uncle Sam didn’t like the idea of me taking retirement money I had saved. He didn’t like it so much in fact that the amount he is taking is staggering. I know that money won’t last an entire summer so I have faith again. I have faith the amount I do have will carry me with the same power as double that amount. I won’t be able to travel full months in April and May but the journies I will make in those two months will be all the more special.

I’ll look at the odometer on my car and realize the numbers going up is a countdown of the car’s life. Every mile is another mile closer to its end date. I won’t focus too much on it though. I’ll do what I can and realize the miles it is driving I am grateful for. No I won’t worry about the ones it won’t see. If it breaks I’ll try to fix it and if I can’t I’ll hope another way shows up.

The countdown of every passing game won’t frustrate me to see them all because I will be happy with the ones I’ve gotten to see. I have neither the means nor the time to see 162 of them. But the ones I do see will be memorable because those were part of the positive of this fabric I’m hoping to continue sewing.

Today a stranger named Mary was okay taking me into her home and life and not with reckless abandon but hope and faith. The idea there is more good than bad. So Saturday I will have my stuff packed up and ready to take another step towards the familiar but unknown. Had I worried about countdowns and timers I would have missed out on an incredible and meaningful Tuesday. I ask those higher powers to keep those same sensibilities with me to not miss anything else.

I could have missed one of my best friends who flew in from Houston, Texas to be part of our party. And I could have missed his beautiful daughter.

DSC05627.JPGOr missed her writing in her father’s hand.
DSC05639.JPG Worrying about what is out my control and sadly I could have missed this.



  1. juliasrants

    Tom – when we let “life happen” we can live it to the fullest. For we then appreciate every moment of the “now” and not waste time worrying about what is to come or what was. I envy you my friend. You really know how life is to be lived. Godspeed on your journey. I look forward to following along with you – and learning something about myself along the way. Take Care and give Mary a hug for me. She must be one special lady.


  2. AJRoxMyWhiteSox

    It’s like you’re in my head with this countdown thing. Stop that. 😉 Those are awesome pictures, and your party sounds like it was lots of fun. Hope the Roadster is doing well. I’m glad you have another place to stay. The last thing I want is a person as wonderful as you are on the streets. I know you’d be able to survive, but I’d much rather have people have faith in you and what you’re doing. I hope you find enough people like Mary that will help you along the way. The world needs more people like you, Tom. And if I had the means to help you out, you know I would.

  3. raysrenegade

    Jenn, I am glad you said something about the roadster. Last thing I knew it had to have some major loving done to it..the mechanical kind, but I have not heard if it recovered in great shape, or if it is still on life support right now waiting for a donor fuel injector or something. Tom, how is our rolling roadster that we can live vicarious through you doing right now?

    People need to know she is right there with you anxious for the trip. Do not forget the Pennsoil?

    Rays Renegade

  4. Kaybee

    Great entry, Tom! That was beautiful. I was thinking about you yesterday and wondering where you were in the process of your journey, and what do you know, here’s an entry updating us all! I’m still praying for you every day, and I will continue to be, especially as things get more serious in the journey. I’m so glad you’ve got a new place to stay! Keep safe…

  5. rrrt

    Tom, you are so right in the importance of not getting caught up in all these “countdowns”. It makes no sense to obsess about it, as we have no control over the passage of time. Yet it is so easy to fall into that trap – wishing something would get here quicker, whether it be a vacation, Christmas, or Opening Day. Then I always a phrase I heard (and I don’t remember where) about not wishing your days away. Each day is special, and we should appreciate them all!
    Your St. Patty’s party looks like it was a lot of fun!
    Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts

  6. mlbtribefan

    You always bring me outside of my own world so focused on countdowns and then help me to realize to cherish the reality of children, family and friends. These are the people that matter, no matter what the clock may say about Colorado or Cleveland or anywhere else. Thank you for this.

  7. rockymountainway

    Julia- Don’t be too envious. I am not always the wisest and scratch my head at unwise I can be : )
    Jen- You are already helping out doing the things you do. nobody’s perfect but with a dead here or there worldwide it can add up.
    Rays- If it’s not one things its another! Got the overheating licked but now it’s another thing(s). Lol oh well. One at a time. And I was recently converted to Valvoline.
    Kaybee- I try and be psychic like that : ) As always thanks for the prayers.
    Sue – Couldn’t say it any better and not wishing away the ones we have. Sometimes it’s too easy to do otherwise.
    Aaron- You’re welcome : ) You have always sounded like an appreciative fellow so I’m sure you’re doing just that in your life.


  8. redbirdchatter

    Great story. On my last birthday, I marveled at the time that has passed. I still feel 28, but my driver’s license says that is a lie. Sadly, much of it has been spent, not in the moment, but wishing for 5:00, wishing for the weekend or even wishing for opening day. Sue is right about us wishing our lives away.
    As a face a “significant” birthday in 2010, I worry that Autumn is coming much too quickly. I have always been a lover of life and seeker of new experiences, but I am starting to feel a greater urgency to Carpe Diem. Then there is the friend who is my age and may have ALS, and I am reminded that we are not guaranteed one more minute. I would hate to go out in a minute I was wishing away.
    Wow, that was a long, heavy comment! Guess you touched a nerve…a sign of great writing.

  9. Kylie

    Wow, that is a beautiful daughter your friend has. Great pictures, too.
    We have a countdown to graduation up at school. Since high school has been a rather lackluster experience for me, I’ve kept my heart glued to that clock, waiting for the day when I’m not a kid anymore.
    But today one of my friends reminded me that by the way, I’m still stuck here for another two months so I should probably get to enjoying it. Appreciate what I have because it’ll be gone, and then I can remember it the way I wanted.
    Kylie —

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