Music, movies, and the Chicago Au Pairs

It was one of those days where almost everything that happened was unplanned. You see, even though my typical schedule is all over the place, most of my days are relatively structured: wake up, be productive, eat lunch, walk the dogs, be productive again, eat dinner.

But this particular day veered off that routine right after I completed the very first task of waking up.

Somebody else’s stuff. 

I love estate sales and there was one close to my house. It was advertised as having lots of clocks and, well, I love clocks. I didn’t buy anything but I spent a lot of tiiiime there. 😉

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Bark BnB.

Soon after I left the estate sale I was contacted through Rover.com for a last second boarding from a repeat customer, starting that same day for one night. My schedule was flexible enough to say yes and I wanted to do it, even though you might’ve already read that I have a hard time saying no.

Under a shade tree.

The next unplanned event was my friend coming over for a late afternoon outdoor movie. We set up in the back of her pick-up truck, ready for the featured movie, Mulan! It was awesome! My dogs and our guest dog lounged around in the back yard while Mulan saved China.


Playin’ the blues.

After my friend left, I got ready to meet another friend for a show at the legendary Ryman Auditorium. Taj Mahal and Keb Mo delighted the crowd for almost 2 hours with fantastic blues music, and yes, there was a harmonica. Such talent on that stage! This pic was taken after the opener, just before the lights went down for the headliners.

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The Chicago au pairs.

Afterwards, I walked down Broadway and over the pedestrian bridge. Lots of people on the bridge taking pictures, chatting, and a group playing a board game (okkkk?). At the bottom of the bridge was a suspicious gang huddled on the sidewalk. While they could’ve had guns and knives and pounced on me, they’re weapons were actually cute accents, luggage, and happiness. It turns out they had been waiting a long time for their Uber ride, who never showed up! #UberFail

They kindly asked if I could give them a ride to their hotel so I thought, why not? If they really were going to steal my money they still wouldn’t have enough for an Uber ride. 🙂 So we piled in my car and set off to their hotel.

We chatted about all sorts of things and it was so fun! I was hoping they wouldn’t realize how much of a dork I am. Hey, I did play Macklemore from one of my Spotify playlists so that bought me a few more minutes, right? I learned they are all au pairs living in Chicago but their accents are from all over the world… take a listen:


We made it to their hotel without incident, said our goodbyes, and then I drove home, ears still ringing from all the music that night.

A day full of unpredicted fun but sometimes that is the best kind, right? Hope you’ve had a weekend full of fun whether it was planned or not!

-Out of the Wilderness

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Being single at 38 years old

NOTE: This was originally written last spring but I recently decided to go ahead and share it. Life in and out of the dating world can be a roller coaster emotionally. Count the following as a moment of bare honesty on my roller coastery journey.


I’m not exactly sure where this post will go, but I wanted to write down thoughts I’ve been having as a single guy at my old age. Old! That’s how I feel some days. Usually that sensation comes over me the night of, or the morning after, playing basketball or volleyball. I move a little slower, I groan a little more, I tighten my bathrobe a little more snugly arond me. I’m pretty happy with where my life is, with what I’m doing, and the friends I spend time with. Is this where I thought I’d be at 38? The truth is, I don’t ever remember thinking about where I’d be at 30 or 40. And even though I feel old sometimes, I feel really good other times.

I also think I’m past the question, “Why aren’t you married yet?” …because I haven’t been asked it in ages. The answer is always the same: haven’t found the right one yet. That’s partly true. I’ve dated on and off for the past few years and I’ve been in the company of greatness. But for whatever reason the relationships fizzled and died, or never even really started. There have been a handful of dates that would have never happened, if I knew how they’d go. I’m thinking of one at Buffalo Wild Wings, or another attending a Ben Rector concert.

Disasters!

But truthfully, those, and other less memorable one-hit wonders, as in “I wonder why we are here, now, together,” have helped me get to where I am. A little more mature. A little more focused. A little less hopeful. Yes, I said less hopeful. It’s hard to keep hope alive all day every day.

In fact, I’d say it’s impossible.

In fact, stay away from people who are positive all the time, they’re hiding something!

In fact, you don’t want to be there when they explode.

I’ve gone through periods of great hope, great excitement. I want to be there again but I’m in a season of doubt right now. Doubt about marriage, doubt about even wanting to date. Because dating might lead to marriage, and I’m not even sure I want that. We’re taught through many ways that finding a partner will make life worthwhile, that you can be on top of the world like Jack and Rose if you find the other half of you. I don’t really believe that’s true. Life is worthwhile even without marriage. At least that’s what I’m telling myself.

Do you want to know the thought on the forefront of my mind the past week or so? It’s this…

Who’s going to take care of me when I’m old?

My mind drifts to 50 years from now when one of my nieces is stuck with checking in on their cenile uncle. You know, the one who never got married and had all the goats? He keeps mumbling about wanting more tattoos but his whole body is covered.

OK, OK, sometimes I think I’ll get a few more tattoos, not all over my whole body, though! But that would be me: the crazy, single, never-married uncle who didn’t reach his potential as a husband or maybe even a dad.

People get married later in life. People get divorced later in life. People stay single their entire lives. So many different stories. I’m in the middle of mine, just wondering if a co-writer might come along who can help me, and let me help them, through the next few dozen chapters.