Let us make a list of favorite things, past and present. I say past and present because it’s too easy to focus on your current favs or mire yourself in the past. Instead, it’s interesting to see what persists over the years, what has faded, and why.

After more than forty years, a certain winsome young lady is still at the top of my list, followed by the sea. She, like the sea, is woven so deep into my existence that I’d never want to try to untangle the skein that binds us together.

Things that have fallen from favor are habits surrendered when they took up too much of my life. So fine brandy and tobacco are off the list. Travel still makes my list of favorites, but my thumb is no longer a prime means for obtaining rides. I still see frolicking detours as the best way to spend my time, and they do not have to be spent far from home; we miss much by ignoring what lies within a two-hundred-mile perimeter of the house.
I still wonder where some of the map edges are, and I cautiously hope to find some of the places I spent time in that are waiting just on the edge of wonderment.

Career. There’s an interesting one. It makes both lists because, over time, my interest in it has shifted. The old pursuit of a career meant more significant, better positions, papers presented, and professional advancement; that died in 1995, at the end of government employment. Instead, something grew in place of it—interests in my craft, intellectual development, and growth as an individual.

So the list is an interesting exercise in what was gained and what was placed to one side. I think I am headed in the right direction, and I hope you are as well.

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