Sunday, June 5, 2011


My buddy Tracey has always loved the Rocky Mountains. He finally moved there. After this year's storms he said, “I’ve had enough of this nature crap!”

Most of my friends have followed their dreams away from St. Louis but I just can’t seem to find a better permanent place. I love the mountains and I love the desert. I love rivers and I love oceans. Everywhere is a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.

All I’ve ever wanted was a small place to plant my studio.

Valerie and I have been thinking about places you could live comfortably on a Social Security check. There’s supposedly a place in the mountains of Ecuador where it’s 70 degrees every day of the year. You can live in a beautiful villa and meet all expenses for $1,100.00 a month. There are a lot of U.S. expat artists there. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

Valerie and I like to sit on our back porch and listen to music. We’re on the second floor totally surrounded by trees. It feels like we’re in the canopy of a rain forest.

Almost every night I catch myself saying, “I wish I was twenty.” It’s not a longing for youth or beauty and I have plenty of energy. I just want more time. I still have a lot of projects rolling around in my head, but I have to pick goals that are within reach. It’s maddening!

I’ve been a private contractor most of my life. That means I’ve worked for people who found a legal way to not pay for health care, sick days, or vacation time but they still push you around like they’re your boss.

I’ve always dealt with my own taxes and unemployment insurance. Try collecting unemployment insurance when you’re self employed.

I have worked for the legitimate man enough to collect Social Security. I think I’m just young enough that it won’t be available for me.

I can’t understand people who want to privatize Social Security. If we had when Bush was pushing for it, we would have all been wiped out. At least we would all been in it together. That would have made it less painful, I guess.

Retirement is probably a thing of the past. My dreams are going to have to start bringing in money, because, like sharks, we have to keep moving or we die.

Love what you do and you’ll never work a day in your life.

A few years ago Valerie and I went to a small airport outside of Cleveland. I hadn't gone skydiving in Ohio yet and she wanted to go to the Rock Hall of Fame. My one retirement goal is to do a blue highway tour in a rented RV and jump in the states I haven't hit yet. (so to speak) This photo looks like what I imagine retirement must be like.


Anonymous said...

It's odd to me that you have always stayed in Saint Louis, by choice, I assume, but you continue to refer to Central America as the land of affordable dreams!

You would never be happy in a place so far removed from immediate contacts with people and events you consider necessary for your existence.

Your Mom

Tracy said...

that photo reminds me of a scene from "Raising Arizona" “Our love for each other was stronger than ever, but I preminisced no return of the salad days.”

By the way, I still love all the beauty of where I love, I just need a break now and then, some contrast.