There’s always another horizon…

I’m 56 years old and as my dear wife is fond of saying about herself, I’m of a certain age…

Today, I’m of a certain age at which I contemplate horizons. Oh, not what you think (though that “certain age” does lend itself to such ruminations)… we all have many horizons that we may or may not chase, and that we may not or may want to cross.

IMG_0869I was grinding coffee beans and thinking of two horizons. I remember not even 10 years ago thinking to myself that I would never spend $24 per pound for Jamaican Blue Mountain beans – outrageous! I’ve crossed a couple of horizons since then. I’m of a certain age that if I want good coffee, I’m going to buy it for myself. As it turns out, I’m not all that impressed with Jamaican Blue Mountain, but I do have a penchant for Ethiopian beans, which are not inexpensive – Kossa Geshe being my current preferred. I enjoy trying different, locally roasted beans from all over the globe. The beans I ground for a cuppa were El Espiritu, from the Dominican Republic (and I usually use an Aeropress). I actually don’t know what the forward horizon looks like for my with respect to coffee, but the other horizon? I see Folgers in the rear view that I never want to cross again.

IMG_1186Another horizon…I like craft beer. I used to prefer red wines, never being a “hard” liquor fan, but I find beer offers so much more than wine ever could. I’ll catch a lot of grief for this, but a Cab is a Cab is a Cab – quality varies, but the taste negligibly does. Now, a stout is not a stout, nor an IPA and IPA. Try a Prairie Artisan Ales Pirate Bomb – an Imperial Stout  “aged in Rum barrels with coffee, cacao nibs, vanilla beans and chilies added”, and then…if you can stomach it – a…{cringe} Guinness “Stout”. Wildly different flavors. So… the horizon for beer was – only five years ago – “$10 for a bottle??!” Outrageous! (That word gets a lot of use with horizons.) Well….crossed that horizon. This 50/50 Brewing Eclipse special edition was $27 – but…it was an Imperial Stout aged in Apple Brandy Barrels. And quite good. The Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout – a mythical whale that has not been produced in a while – came available and I managed to get two, for the I_don’t_care_I want_it price of $26 apiece. I know what my next horizon is for beer, and I’m still shaking my internal head, but this year I was ready to spend $200 for a 24 oz bottle of Sam Adams Utopias. Sadly, I missed the window – every one in the area sold out immediately. Apparently, many other beer fans have no qualms about that horizon.utopias2013horizontalhighblog--en--b11cf01e-6ca8-46b3-89c5-b697f64481cf

We spend a significant part of our lives sleeping (well…most people do…) One horizon you shouldn’t flinch over is a good quality bed. Makes a difference. Yes, good ones can cost $5,000, but if you spread that over 10 years, it’s only $1.37 per day…$0.22 per hour! Worth it. (Of course, you can get a really good sleep for $1,000 with the Purple Bed…just sayin’)

IMG_1228And speaking of beds…before our fire, pets did not sleep in the bed with us. We generally shooed them out of the room. Having lost four beloved cats, displaced and still in shock, we got three kittens (and another a bit later). To socialize them, we crossed that horizon and had them sleep with humans.

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Now, four plus years later, Juliet still sleeps with me most nights.

She gets a little put out when I’m not in the “right” position for her. So, curmudgeon melts and I roll over. Sigh.

One caveat with that horizon crossing: it comes with a a small burden in that I’m actually allergic to cats and I have to roller off her black hairs from the sheets, blanket and comforter a lot…

img_8805I crossed a horizon with little notice due to a couple of reasons. One…I aged, and two… it involves food, which I tend to not think about much. Back in 1993, we ate at Tavern on the Green after a Broadway show (The Will Rogers Follies, in case you were wondering – Larry Gatlin had the lead from Keith Carradine and Marla Maples, famous ex but not at the time, had a bit part). The “fixed price” menu – need I mention the portion size? – was …wait for it…outrageous! “Where’s the rest of it??!” But I was young. Now that I am of a certain age, I appreciate good food, and am more than not alarmed when the portion sizes are too large!

Finally…for now…I have an odd horizon when it comes to books, one that has a limit I don’t know how far I can push. I’m reading a review copy of Simon Garfield‘s book Timekeepers: How the World Became Obsessed With Time,  and in it he relates an anecdote about dinner with Bill Nighy, who it turns out is a huge football fan, particularly of the Champions League. Nighy says he “measured out his remaining time on earth by how many Champions League Season he had left.”

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It may or may not come as a surprise but I’ve measured my time remaining by books. I try to read  100 books each year, a goal I’ve met or exceeded for the past six years. It might be wishful thinking, but if I have 40 years left…that’s only 4,000 books!! Part of the ADD thought web today was, when I retire and (ostensibly) have more time, will I read more? I don’t know the answer, because I had time today – no pressing chores – and still found ways to distract myself from finishing The Princess Bride, a delightful book, by the way… So many books! So little time!

There’s always another horizon. Go after yours. Shift it.

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