This post marks two major milestones for this blog: this post denotes that I have written, edited, and posted 2700 musings on this blog. It also recognizes that I have been blogging for TEN years.
Yep, I started writing…
…this ‘ol blog on January 26, 2008. The content of that post was about a timeless subject: my daily life in boots and leather.
I made the point then as I have made it countless times over the last decade — I wear boots, I choose to wear leather, and that combination of footwear and garments is my choice to wear regularly.
I wear boots all day every day for all of my activities. Cowboy boots, motorcycle boots, work boots, and occasionally dress boots… at work, at home, while riding my Harley… wherever I go, there I am, in boots. Though I admit when I am at home relaxing with the Spouse after dinner, often “just socks” is what I have on my feet. Even a Bootman like me enjoys the comfort of going almost barefoot. But no shoes or sneakers for me — and especially no flip-flops or crocs! Bleccchhh!
I wear leather jeans, shirts, jackets, and protective outerwear (chaps, gloves, vests) when the weather is suitable (cool months) and certainly much more often than once- or twice- each year to attend a gathering of The Great Leather Clan. My leather gear collection is vast and composes many items that I have worn, and continue to wear, on a regular basis.
In my past, I have enjoyed “bluffing up” (donning dressy all-leather ensembles, including tall boots and leather ties) and going out with my man to bar nights and other leather-oriented events. But those days are behind us. Nowadays, the Spouse and I enjoy staying at home and going to bed early. 🙂 I have never been the night-owl party boy anyway.
But there is more to this blog than “just” boots and leather.
I am active in my community as a contributor to society. I lead several groups and organizations that serve for the betterment of my neighbors and my community as a whole. I once served in non-partisan elective office. I am a Life Member of my local volunteer fire department. I am invited to speak and attend civic meetings as (what I refer to myself) — “the old sage / old fart” who has lived here his whole life.
I am also an avid motorcycle rider, and am an enthusiast for safe riding and “ATGATT” — All The Gear, All The Time. If it were not for my ATGATT principles, I probably would have incurred disabling if not life-threatening injuries when I had a crash on 31 May, 2016, and slid some 300 feet down a hill on a highway.
I have recounted the joys of many motorcycle rides, the pinnacle of which was my ride with my buddy “S” through the “Mighty Five” National Parks of Utah this past July. Man, that trip still reverberates in my memory and was clearly a “bucket list” trip — achieved! Other than riding in a monsoon, I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
I have also written a lot about what it’s like to be a gay man where being gay is incidental to what makes me the man I am and does not define me, my “lifestyle,” where I choose to shop, or with whom I am friends. I do not denounce or hide the fact that I am gay. But I don’t go about waving the gay flag either. I am a man first, and a man who happens to be gay — not a gay who happens to be a man.
I am also a proudly married man. Growing up, I had always thought that some day, I would be married. But by the time in my early 20s I realized that I am gay, that dashed my thoughts or hopes of being married. Back then, the joy that I have today — to be married to the man who completes me — were nary a dream.
Not everything in the past ten years has been all peaches and cream.
I cared for my elderly uncle through his death, helping him execute his final “bucket list” before passing away. I’ll never forget that caring for him was the best unpaid job I ever had.
Then caring for his wife through seven years of deterioration and eventual death due to Alzheimer’s Disease — my promise to my uncle (my aunt’s husband) — gave me insights into my character that I never knew. Caring for my aunt was difficult, but the most fulling job I ever, ever had.
Throughout the past ten years, I changed jobs twice. I landed on my feet quite well through persistence, hard work, and the strong support of my (then partner and now) Spouse. I am at the pinnacle of my career as I write this. And when it all ends, sooner or later, I can retire and know that I led a working life of great service and be proud of what I have contributed to my profession and to my country.
But most of all — throughout these ten years of blogging — I have poured out my heart about how I feel about one very special man. The man who lights my journey. The man who carried me when there were only one set of bootprints in the sand. The man who said, “of course, silly” when I asked him to marry me.
I have written about my man’s long and enduring battle with persistent illness transmitted by a tick. How we fought and struggled for his health. How I applied all of my caregiving skills learned through caring for my uncle and aunt. How I worked with doctors and other professionals to get my man the support and medical attention he required. How I fought battles with his insurance companies and his past employer that tried to discriminate against him for having to be off work so much due to illness.
But most of all, how WE endured. How we got through this. I won’t let the affects of this illness divide us, as it has caused more than half of couples where one person has it to divorce.
If anything, that long spell of bewildering illness and its long-term consequences with which The Spouse is still dealing with, brought us closer. Even just last night when The Spouse asked me to do something for him, instead of saying, “I’m really busy” (which I really am!), I smiled warmly and said, “sure, my love.” That is really what I mean when I have closed numerous posts on this blog with the statement, “show those you love how you love them, each and every day.”
I am no saint. I have my foibles, problems, and instances of being short-tempered and … well … human. I do not suffer fools. Sometimes I open my mouth and “set people straight,” even when I don’t really have to (or should) say anything. But all-in-all, as my last decade of blogging accounts, I have a pretty good life and have much more to do — to love — to live for.
Live, laugh, love. That’s what it’s all about. That and…
Life is short: show those you love how you love them, each and every.single.day.