This Is Me--2019 A to Z Theme

The Challenge of 2019 was the 10th! Since this was kind of a milestone year for A to Z my theme was a retrospective of sorts, looking at my 10 years as a blogger as well as ruminations about my life as it is and as I hope it yet can be. I've got places to be and people to see along the way. Hope you'll join me for this part of my journey...

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog.

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Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Flowing with the Current ( #BOTB Results )



It's usually easier to float with the current than to fight one's way upstream.  Though when things get a bit rough you've got to watch out for those rocks in the river...


Winter visit  to The Sinks on Little River

Flowing with the Current

         When I drive up to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park toward the Townsend Tennessee entrance in the summertime, I will invariably see tubers and rafters floating down the Little River.  A number of tube rental businesses will be found on this stretch of highway leading to the park.  For many, the float experience is a highlight of a summer vacation.

        Drifting downstream is much the way most of us go through life.  We are limited as to our destination as time only goes in one direction for us.  If we try to fight the currents we eventually wear ourselves out into that futile state of resignation or acceptance.  At some point it's time to turn in our rented tubes and get out of the river.

          Years ago--nearly fifty in fact!--my friend Vernon and I floated the Little River, putting in at the old mill dam in Walland which is a few miles downriver from the place where the tube floaters end their river trip.  It was a lazy drift of several miles down the the town of Rockford.  We'd brought lunch since the trip took a number of hours.

         There's a reason the river is called Little River.  Yet there is power in even small things.  We sometimes seem to get swept away by the smallest of influences.  Later we might look back and wonder why we were so impressed by whatever it was that carried us along in its flow.  Mountains from molehills.  Mississippi Rivers from Little Rivers.

         Vernon used to talk about taking a canoe trip from the Little River to the Mississippi River. He had it all mapped out and had done the research.  Along the way he would have to pass through a system of dams and locks.  But he was sure that it could be done and I was convinced.

         He never actually embarked on that great adventure and instead continued to work in the same factory where he ended up retiring after 48 years of faithful employment.  I asked him why he didn't keep working for another couple of years so that he could say that he'd worked at the same place for fifty years.  He just said that it was time to quit.  He was just flowing with the current which is pretty much how I guess my own life has gone.  Not in the same exact way though.  We were floating down different rivers.

         Thinking back on our float trip down Little River I don't remember much other than the peacefulness of being in that quiet small river setting on a hot summer day.  Oh, and the cows.  There were cows at the edge of the riverbank.  Their mouths chewing cuds of disinterest as they watched us float by.

         

Battle of the Bands Results


     
         My latest Battle of the Bands was a tough choice for me.  On one hand I had Van Morrison with "Queen of the Slipstream" from one of my favorite albums by this artist.  This song secures a solid place in my musical memories bringing back sweet memories whenever I hear it.  The song is somewhere in my list of favorites.

        However, the crystalline clarity of the Thompson song is striking to me.  Some of the voters also mentioned the percussion and precise guitar work of "I Ride in Your Slipstream".  This song reminds me of another favorite artist of mine--Bruce Cockburn.

        This is a very close choice for me, but in the end I'm going to opt for the Richard Thompson song given the choice between the two.  And that gives us a squeaker that might have been a tie if not for a final out of the blue vote from "Homely Design Studios".   Anybody know who this is?

        *Flash!!** :  A late vote came in from Susan Kane for Van and now it looks like it is a tie!


Final Vote Tally

Van Morrison                 9 votes

Richard Thompson       9 votes


Next Battle of the Bands on Saturday June 1st

          Since this date is over a week away I might just post something else between then and now.  Then again, I might not.   Since it's a holiday in the U.S. it might not matter.  Whatever the case, be here for whatever happens whenever it happens.

       
           Do you ever go river floating or rafting?   Is your greatest tendency to just go with the flow or to fight against the current?   What is the longest amount of time you've ever stayed in the same workplace (or worked for the same employer)? 









29 comments:

  1. A tie doesn't happen often.
    What I'd like to try is white water rafting. There are some places in the mountains of Virginia and West Virginia that offer it. Hopefully we'll do it someday.

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    1. Alex, I think I've had a tie before but it's been a while.

      The white water experience sounds like fun, but these days I'm too chicken for that kind of fun.
      Hope you have your chance to go.

      Lee

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  2. I so enjoyed your reflections of Little River. When moving to Phoenix in '02, we always spoke of going Salt River tubing. Never happened. To answer your question: Unless I'm especially passionate about something, I'm a 'go with the flow' sort. Despite the tumultuous atmosphere late in the game, I lasted 15 years at my last job. Finally, peace of mind at stake, I cried 'uncle.'

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    1. Myra, I think "passionate" is the key. I tend to go with the flow as well, but if I'm fired up enough I'll lead the way.

      Fifteen years at a job is a good run. My last job lasted for 18 years though I'd been working for that same company for over 30 years. You've got to go when the time comes.

      Lee

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  3. Watching river rafting is satisfying enough for me. I like to sit on pleasant sites, and wave at those brave happy souls.

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    1. Susan K, I'll stick to watching as well.

      Lee

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  4. A tie! It's like kissing your sister (sed Yogi Berra).

    Oh, well, excellent competition, Lee. They don't get much closer'n that! (When I voted for Van, I figured that probably meant your vote would be going to Thompson. You know how that usually works. ;-)

    ~ D-FensDogG
    STMcC Presents BATTLE OF THE BANDS

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    1. STMcC, things stayed pretty even along the way of this contest so a tie is no great surprise to me.
      Hey, we've been voting alike in a lot of recent Battles!

      Lee

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  5. I like how, when you have a tie, you let it ride.
    This was a fun challenge, Lee.

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    1. Michael, I let it ride--or let it flow.

      Lee

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  6. Interesting BOTB tie - like my initial indecision. My rafting highlight was a memorable white water expedition in the Canadian Wilderness when I was in my late teens. A dozen guys - an ex-marine, rugby players and students - made the first known descent of the Beaver River from the Yukon to BC.

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    1. Roland, sounds like an epic adventure. As far as I'm concerned that's a younger man's game. Actually I wasn't all that adventurous when I was younger either.

      Lee

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  7. Lee,

    Years ago, I did a lot creek swimming but I never went tubing. These days you couldn't pay me enough to get in any body of water that hasn't had a ton of chemicals added to kill the bateria and other unknows. I'm paranoid like that. Anyhow, generally I flow with the current but I do fight at times. That proves to be a difficult, fruitles fight everytime, too. When will I learn? I think the longest I ever stayed at one job was three years. I really didn't have a long career life after college, maybe five years max but it felt like eternity, before I retired to be a mommy. DH always stayed with his employers until downsizing or other economic crisis forced the ax to fall on his shoulders. I sure hope we don't see that again and is able to finish out the rest of his years until retirement.

    WOW, your battle ended with a tie! That's a bummer I know but it goes to show that you did an excellent job putting two artists up in this round.

    Have a great afternoon, my friend!

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    Replies
    1. Cathy, I would think the Little River would be relatively clean that far upstream as where the tubers frolic. Maybe downstream toward Fort Loudon Lake not so much.

      Being a mommy is a very noble job. My oldest daughter has been doing the same though working from home on her own time. Your kids are only little once and it's good to enjoy that time of their lives.

      I don't have a problem with a tie because I feel like I have put together an evenly matched Battle when that happens.

      Lee

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    2. Lee,

      I don't think any body of water is as clean as it was say when we were kids. There's so much filth being dumped that it's bound to find its way into streams even if it's animals doing it I don't like the thoughts of that. I've grown paranoid as I've gotten older. I was blessed to be able to stay home with our children. I'm gald that your oldest daughter is able to do the same because you're right kids are only small once and it's good for mommies to enjoy those fleeting moments. I'm glad to have your perspective on battles that end in a tie. That changes my thoughts on it and now I won't feel so bummed when it seems that's what will happen in my showdowns. :) Have a good week, my friend!

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  8. Unusual to have a tie, but they're both worthy contestants, so it's not too surprising.

    I've never gone river rafting or anything of that nature, but used to go against the metaphorical current all the time. Rebellion is kind of a point of honour. ☺ That said, one tends to mellow with age and "go with the flow" a little more.

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    1. Debbie D, I think I was always kind of old in some of my thinking, but there were more than a few times when I unleashed my inner rebel.

      Lee

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  9. A lot of us float down the river of life without knowing where we are going.

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    1. PTM, in most cases this is probably true. And sometimes planning just doesn't turn out the way it was supposed to.

      Lee

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  10. Thanks for a wonderful post to read Lee. It was a hard decision to make with the BOTB, A good and fair result.

    Yvonne.

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    1. Yvonne, I think it was a very well matched Battle.

      Lee

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  11. I would have voted for Van! I love tubing in rivers and have done it at least 3 or 4 times. Such a fun way to appreciate the water...

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  12. Lisa, your vote would have put Van over the top--by one.
    Tubing does look fun, but I've never been much of a water person.

    Lee

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  13. I love this thoughtful post, Lee. I've had periods of fighting the current and others of going with the flow. The flow is easier, and sometimes has surprising results. As for jobs, the longest I stayed with any one company was eight years, but I had several different positions within each firm. I guess I was never satisfied with the status quo for long.

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    1. Patricia, I'm a loyal worker but not a "company" guy in the traditional sense. But flowing is easier than fighting and usually we all end up in a similar place no matter how we approach it. That's the case for most of us I think.

      Lee

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  14. You had a tie too! I'm glad that Van had such a good showing.
    I've never river-rafted but would like to.
    I'm pretty much a go with the flow kind of person, unless I find myself really determined to do something or achieve something and I keep hitting obstacles. Then I shift gears and fight the current with might!
    As for the longest gig I've had: it has to be my self-employment. I've been self-employed since 1994. Three different businesses over that time though, the longest being my current gig (18 years). I'm way more suited to work for myself than for other people.

    Great job on your battle.

    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. Michele, I had no doubt that Van would have a good showing. I would not have been surprised if he had overwhelmingly swept up the voting.

      I like being the boss, but I don't like when I have the responsibility for a business and it loses a lot of money. That can hurt!

      Lee

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  15. Oh, and this phrase was excellent: Yet there is power in even small things

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    1. Susan K, encouragement is a good thing. Thank you.

      Lee

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Go ahead and say something. Don't be afraid to speak your mind.
I normally try to respond to all comments in the comment section so please remember to check the "Email follow-up comments" box if you want to participate in the comment conversation.

For Battle of the Bands voting the "Anonymous" commenting option has been made available though this version is the least preferred. If voting using "anonymous" please include in your comment your name (first only is okay) and city you are voting from and the reason you chose the artist you did.

If you know me and want to comment but don't want to do it here, then you can send me an email @ jacksonlee51 at aol dot com.

Lee