Life is funny.
Growing up in rural area, I felt like being young was going to last forever. When would I get ‘older’? What would I be when I got ‘older’? Then I got older. Sounds strange to say it out loud, but it happens. Now that I am ‘older’ I still wonder what I’ll be when I get even ‘older’
But I digress…
When I was in my later teens say 16-18, I decided it would be fun to bicycle around the country, and by country, I mean the good ole’ USA. So my first bicycle trip was about 1800 miles from Michigan to Canada, across the Adirondack states up to the tip of Maine and down the Atlantic coast. Then the following year, my best friend Mike and I did a trip of about 2100 miles, all through the Great Lakes regions. Those were some really awesome trips, fantastic memories, and led to inspiring thoughts. When I turned 18 it was time to buckle down (kind of) and look to the future of adult life. So I was accepted at Wright State University. I enrolled in the Environmental Science program, I took Chemistry (ick), Biology, Archeology, and other required ‘ologies. Then one summer day while perusing the local paper, I saw a small ad for the position of Naturalist with the local Park District. Wow, I had no idea that taking that little part-time job would affect my life. They were going to pay me, to talk to people, be in the beautiful outdoors, and I could still go to college! This part-time job soon led me to another job and schooling opportunity- PARK RANGER.
This wasn’t some job as a ranger collecting money at the entrance to a park, no, this was Law Enforcement! Soon I was enrolled and graduated from the Ohio Peace Officer Academy, As a Certified Peace Officer, with the title of Park Ranger!
I was on cloud nine and a half, I had a house provided to me in a park, I had the uniform, the badge, the gun, radio, cuffs, body armor, all the gear needed. I had a 4×4 Police Vehicle, and I had an entire county to patrol! Again I couldn’t believe I was getting paid to do a job I had dreamed about for so long.
The years went by, and I really, really like my job, so when a colleague of mine sent me a job description that a big agency was on a nationwide search for a Chief Ranger, I knew I had to apply. I went through multiple interviews, background checks, FBI checks, more interviews, several group session interviews of me by other Chiefs, and Criminal Justice Professionals. I waited by the phone (cell phones were things Magnum P.I. had) Then, I got the call, they wanted me, So for the next 9 years, I was Chief Ranger! Loved it! I started a family and raised a great son, Jake. Then because of a need to increase our jurisdiction into adjacent counties and municipalities, my Ranger Department became a Police Department in the eyes of the law, so I was then handed a new badge, Chief of Police! I continued in that role for 8 more years, then I decided I needed a switch. I had been doing all sorts of projects on my home, I had hobbies, but I thought, “before something bad happens” I need to get out of the line of fire, both physically and politically (oh yes- lots of politics in being a Chief).
So I resigned and turned in an early retirement to the State of Ohio, and moved to the State of Wisconsin to partner with my brother in his home building and remodeling company Reinemann Construction. That was 2007. Guess what also happened in late 2007 and 2008? That’s right, a RECESSION, so while we still had work, it wasn’t exactly going gangbusters, but it more than paid the bills.
Nothing good ever comes easy, so we should be happy that we have been presented with obstacles in life that can help us learn and grow.
Accept the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of your life. It will be worth it in the end.
In 2009 I met someone. Someone who I felt was the other half of me, I know that sounds cliche’, but damn, I really felt I had met the person would see me through till the sunset of my life, Pamela.
I ended the business partnership with my brother, and my wife Pam and I started a couple of small businesses based on our talents and interests, now we both live, in a semi-retired lifestyle.
My wife works for herself part-time and has a great side hustle that she loves and it works so well with her talents in design, jewelry, and antiques. I found a part-time job doing…guess what, fixing stuff, it pays good, and I have lots of time off to spend with Pam, and our two dogs Copernicus (Copper) and Hubble – yes named after scientists, as ALL my dogs have been.
Now I do what my grandfather and father would do in their retirement years, I ‘putz around’. the Dictionary defines putz around as To engage in aimless recreation or frivolous time-wasting. I disagree with that, after all, I putz with a purpose. Whether it’s fixing something or building a new antenna, there is always a result I am looking for.
Now I am here, at this moment, writing a blog that may, or may not be seen. Don’t care really, just enjoy putting it out there into the ether. I only want to pay it forward, help someone out to discover something new. I hope you learned something, and if I can quote Major Dr. Sydney Freedman from the TV show M.A.S.H.
actor Allan Arbus
“Ladies and gentlemen, take my advice, pull down your pants, and slide on the ice.”