Sunday, January 27, 2013

Skipping Rocks

I've mentioned before and it's probably obvious, that I'm no stranger to technology and geekiness in general.  However, today as we were waiting to go to a friend's apartment for their child's fourth birthday party, we were walking along the beach and I was skipping rocks.  For whatever reason, this particular beach across the street from our friend's apartment had several good skippin' rocks.  It was littered with pieces of shale.  I might have mentioned it before but the typical coral rock found on the many beaches we frequent aren't very good for skipping, though they're flat, they're too light and don't have enough heft to get a good throw.  But today I was in (comparative) rock-skipping heaven.

It made me think, even as I reached into my pocket resisting the impulse to pull out my iPhone and check Facebook or while away the time in some other manner, that I sometimes dislike modern conveniences/technology and would like to go back to the way things used to be.  I'm not a hopeless romantic concerning the past, I don't look through rose-colored glasses at my childhood and want everything to go back to those simpler times.  BUT, there's a lot of therapy in contemplation and rock-skipping.  Fishing is another one, I LOVE wading out into waist-deep frigid water to cast into the weeds in search of angry Pike.  My life, wether fortunately or unfortunately, has taken me far away from those, more simple, times.  I miss them sometimes and I relish the times I do get to relax, stop checking the phone, and simply sit (or in this case walk) and think.  That's definitely one thing philosophers seem to do more often than most, sit and think.

After the party I was talking with my wife, Michelle, about our post-military life plans, and I mentioned that I'd like to come back to this island.  We were talking about that idea, and this is something like how it would go...  I'd retire, hopefully as a Master Sergeant (E7) or above, and move back to Okinawa to teach English.  I know Michelle doesn't want to live overseas forever, so I'd like to do that for just 5 years or so, right after retiring from the AF. I'd use my retirement pay to rent an apartment right on the ocean and the money I'd make as an English teacher would pay for everything else.  There are dozens of military bases on the island so we'd always be near a military hospital and be able to use the commissary and other base amenities including the many military-only resort areas.  It seems like a cool idea to me and Michelle seemed onboard with the idea as well.  We'll just have to wait see.

Regardless, one of the main things I'm looking forward to after I'm done with my, relatively short when compared to a civilian job, military career is take more time to skip rocks and go fishing.  I hope that wherever I end up at that stage in my life I live close to a place where I can do just that.

Pretty much as fair as fishing gets!  You have to swim close enough to the fish to spear it with a pole