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ACROSS
1. Richard’s great-grandson
5. Rev ____________: one who dislikes
6. Where the McLees emigrated from
7. The ’57 Ranch Wagon

DOWN
1. Richard’s second son
2. #1 down’s favorite car
3. I goof
4. Richard’s father

My apologies to any innocent who happens upon this blog and doesn’t know me. Admittedly, a certain amount of arcane knowledge is required to solve it but since this blog is read primarily by people who know me there shouldn’t be too much head scratching.

Why a crossword puzzle? Well, in case you haven’t noticed, Chelan Traveler wanders wherever my mind happens to be on any given day and I’ve been working crossword puzzles this morning. Ergo …………

Which raises the topic of time wasting vs. time well-spent. To the average stiff who must work each day to pay his bills, this issue is somewhat moot. But for a retiree like me with oodles of free time, the question looms large. On a day like today when I have wiled away several hours in a trivial pursuit such as a crossword, I find myself reassuring myself that I have not “sinned” against …………what? – some self-imposed standard of accountability?

I’ve been down this road countless times and it always seems to end at some sort of Epicurean stalemate in which much of what is popularly accredited as “worthwhile” is nothing more than a fad in the final analysis. Accumulating great wealth (something I have never been accused of) is often cited as an example of an activity to which many devote a great deal of time but that once achieved fails to satisfy. By that standard (personal satisfaction) my various hobbies (crosswording, reading, gold panning, model airplane flying) are very worthwhile. By themselves, they do not induce a state of nirvana, but then nothing does that.

If we are accountable for the time of our lives, I don’t know to whom that might be. When I step out of our trailer in the middle of the night to take a leak, I almost always look up at the stars and think of the vastness of the universe and the experience is properly humbling. While not exactly a religious experience, a certain Bible verse does come to mind: “Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return.” Yeah, that pretty well sums it up for me.

And so I conclude that while I may not be saving the world (which I consider an impossibility anyway) I’m doing a pretty good job of satisfying myself – which apparently is no small accomplishment when I look around at my fellow humans.

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