Three months ago, I took a one week trip by train to the Midwest to attend a cultural event in Milwaukee. I had never been to the Midwest before (except for a one day business trip).
I spent time in both Milwaukee and Chicago.
I had always wanted to see Chicago. An acquaintance of mine who traveled a lot in his business career told me that it was not a particularly interesting city.
I found that it was a great place to visit. Milwaukee was less interesting, but pleasant.
Anyway, what I wish to mention in this post is that I met a fellow on the train who is in his early 40’s. We struck up a friendship over a long conversation during breakfast in the cafeteria car. We have managed since to keep in touch.
He has a day job, but has aspirations to become a writer. He is desirous of feedback from me about his writing and advice about how to start a blog.
We tried to touch base over the holidays but kept missing each other. He lives in Ohio, but he has family in New York City and visits here often.
I got a phone call from him today. During our conversation — pleasant as usual — we inquired about one another.
I told him that I was doing very well absent the usual problems that seem always to crop up in one’s life, like burdocks. You can’t be rid of them, it seems; there’s never any respite.
He laughed, in his usual good natured way. His reply was: “When you no longer have problems, you’re ready for your last ride.” He said this was how a friend of his put it.
Having problems, he said, is part of life; it means that you are ALIVE.
I loved the way he put it. “Your last ride,” to the cemetery. It may be a common expression, but I had never head it before.
Last ride. Problems are a part of life – intrinsic. Having and experiencing them mean that you are not, by the grace of God, dead.
I loved the thought and the choice of words.
— Roger W. Smith
January 14, 2017