The 10,000 emails

I am developing an interest for the idea of Minimalism.

Minimalism resonates with how I want to live my life. How I want to arrange my possessions. Minimalism is not a far stretch for how I have always envisioned my life. I have always felt drained in an environment where there is too much stuff taking up too much space.

This way of wanting to arrange my material possessions, this way of wanting to organize and purge items in my environment, is what led me to looking at my email inbox and the 10,000 emails I found. I mean, why not start there?

Keep in mind I have had the same email account for the past 12 years. I did not expect to find hidden among the Gmail labels, 10,000 emails. Quite a few of the emails were from email lists I had signed up for in the past, and then never found the time to read. Reading some emails brought up many tangled memories from the past. Some were from a friend who took her life 9 years ago. I kept those. Some were from an ex who lives in Singapore. We tried to make a long distance relationship work. And we did for 7 years. I kept those emails too.

Try it for yourself. Look at all the email you have accumulated in your inbox. See for yourself how many emails you have not had the time to read and are taking up space. Delete them.

So many things take up space in our physical and mental places. I pared my email down to 800 from the original 10,000. I am still working on removing more of the clutter.

And I’m working on removing or going through the multitude of items my Dad left behind after he passed. He collected everything. Piles and piles of things. Rows and rows. Rooms and rooms full from the floor to the ceiling. Empty boxes? Sure, we have those by the dozen. Jars? Too many to count. Nails and screws and nuts and bolts? So, so many of those..

The struggle is real.

I watched a Netflix documentary yesterday, which I highly recommend to everyone reading this:

The Minimalists: Less Is Now

You really have to check it out. And do it before the clutter sucks all the happiness from you. Believe me, it will.

And remember, it’s a journey, not a destination.

Let’s stay six feet apart

These are some crazy times. I keep thinking of sitting down to write something, anything, but then I never do. So much is going on and my thoughts are like the pollen floating through the air in this city I call home. I wonder if the thoughts, like the pollen, will land some place worthwhile. I wonder a lot.

Someday someone will write the story of how, in 2020, there was a pandemic that overtook the world. And the readers will wonder and marvel at the ignorance of some, and the sheer fierceness of others. They will look at photos with captions about how the playgrounds at the community park were closed, but families still could be found with their children climbing on the playground equipment and swinging on the swings. Or they will read about the church that refused to stop having services. Putting so many at risk. Will they also read of the people who reached out to one another in this time of need, or the medical staff, all the hospital staff, who kept working day by day knowing that they might be the next one taken down by this virus? I will purchase that book when it comes out, but I may not read it.

To think this all could have been, not prevented perhaps, but knocked down to a much lesser degree. So many people have lost their lives to this—so many more will. I take issue every time someone tallies up another death using the words; they had underlying conditions. It bothers me more and more. Let’s put it this way. If the virus hadn’t been able to take such a stronghold, all those with underlying conditions would still be here. They would be alive. Their families would not be in shock, trying to wrap their heads around how something like this could happen. Let’s never lose sight of that fact. This didn’t have to happen.

We have experienced epic failure by our government. It isn’t the people in the United States who failed in this; it is our government who failed all of us by not being prepared. And we will never be ready as long as we value money more than lives. For preparation, we would have to stockpile needed items waiting for the possibility of a time of mass crisis. Such preparedness would cost money and require an ongoing investment. Investments in a place to store the items, in the things themselves, and in the workers who need to be in charge of rotating stock and keeping track of the assets. If everything works the way it should, we won’t need all those stockpiled supplies, all the masks or ventilators, or other protective gear. But that means we are putting money into something without getting an instant monetary return on the investment. And it might happen for the next few years that we do just this. But then someone in government will decide it is a waste of money or a waste of resources because money is always worth more than people.

I work in a hospital, an inner city hospital with level one trauma care, supporting a variety of computer/software/who knows what items and people. Seriously, I support people too. It is not in my job description to be sure. But the stories I could tell which were told to me… I never tell those stories. But I always sit down and listen to the person telling them. I always listen.

This past Friday, I was in the ER, and it felt so unnerving to me. It’s March, and the ER was full. Usually, that thing does not happen until May when the Trauma season begins. Trauma season is when people get out and try to do chores such as tree trimming or cutting the grass (and running over their foot) or driving fast, enjoying the weather, and then ending up in the ER with injuries. Friday, when I was in the ER, I saw machines labeled non corona use and some people in masks and most with no protective gear. I saw people putting their lives at risk to help those in need and still laughing and smiling. I miss the days where I would think the worst thing I needed to look out for was blood trails leading into the ER. Or the unknown bodily fluid trail. I have washed my hands so much and used so much hand sanitizer I wonder about long-term effects. I am aware, constantly aware, that all these people who I work with, some I have worked with for the past eight years, are all in danger. And that we may put others in danger without knowing it. It is now mandatory to have our temperature taken each day using a no contact thermometer. I warily check the results each time.

We are practicing social distancing here in this state where I live. Our Governor holds a press conference each day to tell us we will get through this. He says it will be hard, and it will get worse. The Governor is losing his voice, and no longer wears a tie or sport coat. Most days, he wears a button-down shirt and jeans. The Governor has closed everything except essential businesses. We can get delivery or carryout from restaurants. Grocery stores are still open. The liquor stores are open. I guess that is an important business. Schools closed two weeks ago. No one knows when the end will be in sight. What we know is, if we don’t take make changes now, more people will suffer.

Let’s be a good neighbor and stay six feet apart as Andy Says.

“The smell of hospitals in winter
And the feeling that it’s all a lot of oysters, but no pearls
All at once you look across a crowded room
To see the way that light attaches to a girl”

-Counting Crows

I awoke early yesterday morning and heard a group of birds signing outside the bedroom window. I couldn’t recall when I last heard the birds singing their tune. I know they have always been there, every spring especially. I can’t say for sure why I hadn’t noticed them in such a while. I can say that I am feeling closer to the me I used to be. It’s been a long ride and I am finally, surprisingly, not unscathed of course, seeing the other side.

And I can hear the birds sing in the morning again.

And it’s annoying when trying to catch those last few minutes of sleep.

And it’s wonderful all at the same time.


We planted some flowers in a barrel planter and I could not resist getting a few photos of them before the rains came this past Saturday.




Took the road bike out this afternoon to the park where I could do hill repeats virtually uninterrupted by cars and people. It is not the most fun a person could have, doing hill repeats, but it works. I start off at the bottom and try to sprint as far up as I can. Usually until my legs begin the burning feeling which signals a possible leg cramp.

I have been plagued on group bike rides, by leg cramps these past few years. On one 50 mile ride the cramps were so bad I could not straighten my leg out to stretch the cramp out.  I had to look for a grassy area and then fall over.  Once on the ground I would stretch my leg out and get back on the bike until the next round of leg cramps set in. Granted I could have flagged down the sag vehicle (it was an organized ride) and then gotten a ride back to my car, but if I had done that then I would not be me. Stubborn. Determined. And other adjectives which apply. So these hill repeats are meant to get me back to the shape I used to be in. Or at least make me think twice about eating those ranch hot Doritos before I go for a bike ride.


This is what I look forward to on my after work bike rides. A 13 mile ride today, and this was the halfway point. It is a cell phone picture, but not too bad.

Managed to get out and try some trails at a place I had heard good things about, but which I had not yet been able to experience for myself. They also have mountain bike trails out there – I will need to be checking those out as well.

I know this about myself, but I guess I sort of forget it as well. If there is a creek, or a stream, I am going in. Sometimes it is purposeful, sometimes it is falling in. But I am always going to wade in to test the waters.


I shot this picture while standing in the water – it was about 2 feet deep here and cold too. Of course I did not think to bring any dry socks with me…


I tried to let my shoes and socks dry out some but I still managed to have to hike out with squishy foot sounds. It was worth it.


On the hike, I had to stalk this bee to try and get a picture. I could not get any closer because the bee kept moving farther into the field of flowers.



The above picture is one of my favorite pictures I took during the hike.


I was amazed at the amount of frogs running across the trail. I did not see any snakes though. Maybe next time.

IMG_9515rrAnd this was the view from the trail heading back out. A perfect day it was.

I was trying to locate a particular photo –  but all I could find was the small condensed version. I know the original picture is someplace… but here is the small one anyway.


This photo was taken about 7 years ago? This was taken at a friends annual Halloween party. I always really wanted to wear a tux, and what better time than when everyone is dressing up as someone else?  At any rate what I recall the most was how comfortable I felt. As though I had finally stepped into the skin I was always supposed to be wearing. It was so… relaxing dressed as I was.

And in other news, if it ever dries up for any length of time I am looking forward to getting the new Mountain Bike out on the trail


I am going to be putting on some new pedals – the ones on her currently will not work for trail riding.  I will however not be using clipless pedals. The name sounds off when you consider that clipless means your feet are clipped in. I can ride clipless on the road, but on the trail I need to be able to vacate the bike when the moment arises. I have had wrecks where I have went head over heals down a hillside, finally stopping myself by reaching out and grabbing a piece of a fallen tree. I do not think that it would have gone as well if my feet had still been attached to the bike…

I do not often have a Saturday/Saturday night all to myself. I have huge plans to read more of this book:


One might think a book about the history of the Gene would be dry and textbook like. But this one reads like a story – and the author has done a fantastic job at presenting the history in a way that makes it, quite enjoyable. I like to read just abut anything – I can go from reading something just for fun, to reading something because I have questions, and I do always have questions.

And on that note I am off to wonder the web, and other things.