Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Looking Forward, Looking Back

Indulge me for a minute. Couldn't sleep. Got up, made a cup of  'joe' and turned on the tube. There on the screen was a PBS pledge drive special, The Bee Gees:One Night Only! An amazing 1997 concert in Las Vegas that "covered the whole spectrum of our career," according to group member Robin Gibb. Their hit "How do you Mend a Broken Heart" was on this LP that I won decades ago at a live radio broadcast:
Remembering the Bee Gees' initial membership in the British invasion, along with Gerry & the Pacemakers and their evocative song "Ferry Cross the Mersey" and its first line:

Life goes on day after day/

...though I'd enjoyed the special before, as I tuned in (remember tuning in?) the Bee Gees were starting their hit "Morning of My Life"...

In the morning when the moon is at its rest/
You will find me at the time I love the best
The minutes take so long to drift away/Please be patient with your life
It's only morning and you're still to live your day
In the evening I will fly you to the moon/Where we'll stay until the sun shines/
Another day to swing on clothes lines/May I be yawning

There are two ways I can live life - through song lyrics (doesn't everything remind you of a song??) or punchlines - to paraphrase my colleague George "...and that's why they don't let me in the A&P anymore!" And I would be yawning, because it was 0400 hours at the time. I wondered what it was like for the three brothers to be singing those lyrics into a shared microphone, a capella and no doubt reflecting on their long career.

As I am.

After 33 and three-quarter years, it's time to hang it up. Not blogging! Day job - you know, don't quit your day job? Well, why not?? And of course this moment reminds me of...trains.

When riding a train, there are three ways to look - forward, backward, or out the window. What's coming down the track? What's happening right now? Where have we just been? What's your preferred view? While I enjoy wallowing in nostalgia, especially railway nostalgia, there's a time to look ahead and keep your eye on the tracks ahead.

I was standing in a Budd-built vestibule in May, 1985 having crossed the Ontario-Manitoba border (top photo) as the setting sun illuminated me and the reflection appeared in the open upper Dutch door. Meandering moustache and Icelandic sweater knit by future bride are to be seen in this early-era selfie.

Take this little trackside guy, waving at the bemused crew of a westbound CN freight at Mi 182 Kingston Sub in March, 1971. 
 L.C. Gagnon photos, scanned by David J. Gagnon
Also trackside, the next summer, my Dad and I were going for a walk down the farm lane across the Kingston Sub with binoculars and 'gun' made out of Meccano. (With a pacifist mother, we couldn't 'buy' a toy gun, so I guess I resorted to making one, to hunt those 'bad guys'.) Speaking of dressing up, Hallowe'en 2018 photo includes me 'dressed up as a retired guy' and two other colleagues who have since retired. Why not join 'em? (Though I will not be returning on a part-time basis, as they did)
With VIA's new emphasis on bidirectional consists and more to come in the future, at least ticket booking now includes notification of forward-facing or rearward-facing seats. I don't really mind riding backwards, though some objected strenuously on Twitter when the practice first began! But I don't want to spend ever trip seeing where I've been. I'd rather see what's coming - and be ready to photograph something interesting.

We're looking forward to doing some new things and some of the same things. Because you know, once you use the 'R' word, people ask, "Are you going to get a part-time job?". Well, not with what I do. "What will you do?" and "What are your plans?"are other popular questions. Plans include:
  • spend time with family including train-watching with that little rascal grandson o' mine!
  • enjoying the great outdoors
  • blogging and model railroading 
  • volunteering with music will continue
  • delving more into Kingston's industrial and railway history
  • travelling aboard VIA Rail, and lots of day trips
  • learning to say 'no' (thanks, Kevin!) but being open to new opportunities
Thanks for indulging me. And this is no April Fool's! Though the first pension cheque will be in the mail April 1.

Kevin's suggestion in meme form:
 Followed by best wishes from fellow Portage modeller Randy O'Brien:
And your humble blogger in his natural habitat:


Canadian Train Geek said...

Here's to a long and happy retirement - and more blog posts! :)

Eric said...

Should be lots more time for blogging, Steve. I intend to maintain my regular but leisurely posting schedule, just the same!

Thanks for your kind wishes,

Anonymous said...

congradulations, you have earned it

Eric said...

Thanks, A!
I like your enthusiasm and good wishes.

Michael said...

Life is giving you the highball signal. Go with it and have fun! This is truly time for you, your family and your passions.

Eric said...

Thanks for your support, Michael. I couldn't agree more!

Eric May said...

Congratulations. Looking forward to more or your posts. And I'm still laughing at your Bombardier model kit joke.

Eric said...

I took my job seriously, but never took myself too seriously, Eric. And I'll keep it that way. There are indeed many posts to come - no end in sight!

It's comments from, and support of, and engaging with readers that keeps blogging interesting, and thank you for all three!