My Mothers eyes grew large

My Mothers eyes grew large

At twenty one I decided to try and earn a living working with my hands.   I was apprenticing in the shoe repair trades.  I was doing orthopedic prescription work for the local podiatrist and keeping rather busy.  It was “hippie times” and the lure of a leathershop loomed large in my idea of “gainful employment.”

I am an avid reader and a student of history, anthropology, sociology and the natural sciences.  Alas, I am also the product of an incomplete education.  I fancy myself as an 1870’s leathersmith that was reborn a century to late, Yes, a Johnny-come-lately.

At this  formative time in my life, my mother expressed her heartfelt concern.  Her eyes grew big as she realized that I was not going to pursue the Optometric profession that five other close relatives pursued.   In a moment of alarm she looked me in the eye and said “you will not be a professional, you will be a public servant and merchant”.

My mother was desperately concerned that I would not be able to fend for myself with my wild eyed idealism.  I’m glad to report that she should not have a concern about her son.  Things have gone well.  She passed on almost decades ago.  I have been supported by a community that has shown unflagging patronage over the years.  My family has not gone hungry and we reflect with gratitude and appreciation.

As a merchant I have worked mostly five and a half to six days a week.  Rest assured I don’t seek your sympathy.  I have enjoyed my station in life and all the travails that have beset myself and family.

If I had been a professional I would have built up far more vacation time than I did as a retailer.   I estimate that as I near retirement, I should have approximately seven hundred vacation days that haven’t been used.

My wife and I are “late bloomers” when it comes to international travel.  Only in the past five or six years have we left the continent.  Tonight I press the GO button!  I purchase plane tickets to spend New Years in South America.  A gracious invitation has been extended to us by friends in Peru. We are headed to Lima and points unknown.

They have let us know that the New Years eve party starts at ten p.m. and we will enjoy the sunrise on a beach South of Lima.

I am studying the travel books, reading the Lima newspapers.  I hope to find a musiica’ instructor and spend some time on an indigenous instrument called the Charango.  I am also learning  how to salsa and would like to take you  along .

I invite you to follow us on this journey!

Bill Keitel




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