Adjusting to life's changes with hope… through poetry, haiku, and commentary

Odds and Ends No. 15


How could I forget? I was sitting at our auto
repair shop waiting for them to finish an oil
change on her old Mazda Millenia.

I was sipping my second cup of coffee for
the day. They have a Keurig maker. All of
these gizmos should come with an air spray

in coffee-flavor so you can make-believe the
smell of fresh brewed coffee is filling the room.
Okay in a pinch. As I sipped, I looked up and

noticed a large oval company plexiglass sign
in black and white centered on the front of
their service desk. It said “since 1987.” You’d

swear it should read “since 1957.” The highly
polished black and white linoleum tile floor. Car
and family pictures on walls. Service awards

on another wall. She just came out; needs an air
filter. Not surprised with desert dust and all. “All”
here means I’m about a thousand miles or so

over. Was every 3,000 miles; then they went to
every 5,000; now back to three, so, I’m late. But
the Mazda is still running. (Thank you, Lord.)

Here is the crux of the matter. I usually remember
that I retired from the Army on 01 FEB 87. But
this year, the day just floated by me devoid of

Army thoughts or memories. In spite of my foot
pain and upcoming brain MRI, as I sat there
waiting for the car, I became more sergeant-like

by the minute. My posture in the chair stiffened;
I became more vigilant for no reason looking for
probable enemy avenues of approach. “Sir, your

car is ready; I can take your money now.” That
broke the spell! Not riding on or in M113 APCs
anymore. Or teaching cav tactics with an M551

Sheridan either. No more singing cadence on
a long road march in BCT. “Sir, your chariot is
out front.” Memories came late, but memories.

Thank you, Lord.

It may not be Ft. Dix and it may not be Ft. Knox,
but I do get to drive the Mazda home for another
day of life. (Wow, retired thirty years!) All is well.

Author’s note: See previous retirement blog and
photos of me back then, click this link:
25th-anniversary-us-army-retired-01-feb-1987

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