Mud's Life in A Few Paragraphs

I think my life has been really six decades stacked together like Lego's. The first 10 were the little boy years where I spent my time completely enraptured with playing and winning games with my friends.

 The second 10 were highlighted with the discovery of girls and my marriage to Barb. The next 10 were the Army years highlighted by a year (1968) in Vietnam. The next 10 years were the education and beginning of a career and the birth of my son. The next 10 were spent trying to get promoted to higher ranks and position and moving to do so. The next 10 were building and paying for the retirement home of Barb's dream and finally the last 10 years of my life have been about living and enjoyment from the retirement we built. Let me elaborate a little on each decade.

I think that the number one face on my life list of friends is the first friend I ever had and that was Harvey. He and I had a bunch of sisters and I think that we used each other as a way to escape being in a female dominated world. He was a year older so I was the little brother but did my best to hold my own. I will throw in the names of Ron, Wayne, Dennis L., Neugene, John and Whitney in the pile of friends. The really sad part is that only Harvey, Ron and Eugene and me are still alive. Almost all of the adults in our lives are dead. 

From the age of 10 to 20, I did the typical turn around about girls. They were yucky at 10 and by 20, I had found the love of my life. In between were Sheila, Connie, Donna, Holly, Clydene and finally Barbara. I went from a crush on the first to a lifelong commitment to the last. My life from about 15 to 20 was work, girls and school. The end year was the beginning of my Military years.

 What can I say about the Military years? basic, AIT, OCS, Train for and deployment to Vietnam and then return. I got out of the Active Army in 1969 and joined the Guard in 1971. I stayed in the Guard during my student years and starting out in my first job with Chevrolet. I found a full time job in the Guard in 1975 and moved to Ottawa, KS. For the next 5 years, I did my best to learn how to be a trainer and find a way to get promoted to Major. I also tried my best to learn how to be a father to our son. What was really important is that Barb continued to be the rock for our family. I finally gave up trying to get promoted at the lower level unit and moved to Topeka. The first 10 years there I did everything I could do to fit in and become a good staff Officer. I bought a house and completed Command and General Staff College. I spent almost 10 years as a Captain and only half that time as a Major. Somewhere in this period, a Tornado came by and tore down our house and we were home at the time.

 We rebuilt that house and never fell in love with it so we looked for a new place to build a home to be called Rabbit Run. The first time we walked into the property, the front half was a wheat field and there was no road in to the place. It was almost a year later that we found that the actual site we wanted was for sale. I will give Barb and Carrie complete credit for the design of the house. Barb was busy having it built and I was doing everything I could to get my career back on track including commanding an Artillery Battalion. I continued to be a Dad to my son but thanks to Barb, that was a pretty easy task.

 The last 10 years in the Military I was a Lieutenant Colonel and the a Full Colonel working hard to be able to retire with a paid off house and a retirement. Check (That means yes to you non Artillery types) on both sides. In 1997, at the ripe old age of 50, I was retired from the Civil Service and the Military on the same date. I am sure that my retirement was forced because of my disagreement with the General and the fact that I completely treated him with disdain. He was not idiot in my mind and he played loose with the rules about money. That made him dangerous and I did not or would not play his game and I am sure that he pushed the retirement button. Don't throw me in the briar patch Brear Fox. The funny part is that I out lived him and got to retire with my health and enough wealth to enjoy the life we had and have. 

The last decade of my life is now filled with pretty much whatever we want to do. I tell anyone that will listen that I have everything I need, most of what I want and a WalMart nearby. My son lives just up the road with his wife. I tell him all the time that he is very luck to have a wife and a mother that love him and they like each other. 

Only time will tell how many more decades I will get to share this life but when I am gone, I hope my friends and  my family will know that I lived life about as full as I could. I hope to arrive in my grave all battered, used up and bruised from the experience and get there at least a day before the Devil knows I'm coming. I plan to stop at Fiddler's Green and share a few cups of Muzzle Blast with my friends, and probably a few enemies. I hope you can hear the laughter of tales well told from that camp site over any cries of my departure from life here near Topeka.


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