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A Lawn Cutting Adventure

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- jim Young “I love the smell of lawn mower gasoline in the morning!” - adapted from a quote by Lieutenant Colonel Bill Kilgore as played by Robert Duvall in Apocalypse Now  We are cutting our own lawn this year for the first time since we purchased our home in Loring. Al and Diena of the now defunct “Cottage Crew” have retired from the lawn cutting business and we wish them well in their retirement. The first time I cut the lawn however, I pondered if in fact, I had been paying them enough for this chore all these years? However, as some of you may know I often like to turn “chores” into “adventures”. So with my 60s Che Guevara bandana proudly displayed on my head, I like to pretend I’m a biker on my way to Mardi-Gras. In my mind, our Ariens riding lawn mower is an Indian motorcycle and although it may not be “The World’s Fastest Indian” it flies across our lawn like a “Bat Out Of Hell”. As I speed across a sea of long grass I stir up the mosquitoes who are quick to attack. But within

Butterflies, Love & Lies

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Money & Time

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Reflections On Retirement

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Published In The Great North Arrow, June 2020: The Battle Wounds Of Old Age

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- jim Young "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." - John Lennon There were a lot of things I wanted to be when I grew up. A cowboy, a vet, a disc jockey, a fireman, a truck driver, an actor and more. Some of those things I became and some of those I didn’t. The one thing I did become, that I never really wanted to be, was a senior citizen but here I am. Of course it still beats the alternative. My mother used to tell me that I was a lot like Ernest Hemmingway. Unfortunately she wasn’t referring to my writing skills but rather my fear of growing old. All my life I’ve had a love/hate relationship with old people. I’ve gone through periods where I shunned old people because I felt uncomfortable around them and I’ve gone through periods where I couldn’t get enough of old people and I hung off every word and every bit of wisdom they were willing to share with me. Now people tell me that I’m old and I guess maybe I am. A lot of changes have happene

Joey Newton's Universal Law of Gravity

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Published In The Great North Arrow, May 2020: First Lines - Last Lines

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(from the wink to the goodnight kiss) - jim Young “I'm always looking for meaningful one-night stands.” - Dudley Moore I think writing an article is a lot like having a brief relationship with the reader. It’s kind of like a one night stand. Every article or story starts out with a wink. The title is the writer’s wink. It’s intended to get your attention from across the room. If the writer can’t catch your attention, you’re going to look away and you’re not going to read any further.  Without a good wink the reader is lost before anything’s even happened. The writer knows he’s competing against all the other writers that are out there. Then there’s the first line. It’s not enough to catch the reader’s passing attention. After the wink, the writer must pique the reader’s interest. It’s the writer’s pickup line. Now that he has the reader’s attention, the writer wants to keep it at least long enough to make the reader wonder “what’s his story?” and hang around long enough for a dance