Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Future Arrived

Yesterday was Back To The Future Day.  Remember the movie trilogy from my teen years that had  Marty McFly take a DeLorean time machine to the future? To October 21, 2015 to be exact. 

I do not want to spend any time analyzing the predictions screen writers or movie makers made when they were making Back To The Future. I spent Back To The Future day just contemplating  the passing of time and thinking about my life thirty years ago and my life now. 

When the movies came out my my future was so unclear. Of course I was only a sophomore in high school. But still, I had no career aspirations, no plans to attend college. Little did I know then a few short years later as I put myself through college I would find a passion to help others and spend the next twenty-five years doing just that. 

I never saw myself as being married. Or having children. I never saw myself old enough to have a son in college, but here I am. In reflection,  my life is good. It is not without challenges; the occasional riff with the spouse, the difficult parenting moment, the tightening of the belt every now and then. But overall I have very little to complain about.                


There is a place in my life where time has nearly halted.  My great aunt owns the house and property that she was raised in with her parents (my great grandparents) and her siblings (one of whom was my maternal grandfather). Each year she host a fall gathering at the place we refer to as The Farm. 
Sure time has touched The Farm. None of us are immune to the effects of time, but so many things at The Farm have not changed. Every visit to The Farm causes us to slow down and remember a past that we desire to remain connected to.  

The gateway sign has been repainted but it has been welcoming us to The Farm for years. So has the wooden gate. The house itself has been standing for decades. My Great Aunt tells us how the kitchen area is "new". Her parents had it delivered on a flat bed trailer and added it to the house.

My Great Aunt has left the home very much as it was the day her mother passed in the early 1980's. The home has electricity but no running water.  There is no television. There is a radio. There is no indoor bathroom. There is an outhouse a few feet out the back door. There are a lot of  animals at The Farm. Many of them are plastic. But you never know when you will be visited by the real ones during your visit. 

My Great Aunt still drives out to The Farm and spends time there. When she is there she cooks on this antique stove. It does not run on gas or electric. It is an old wood burning stove. Can you image how difficult it is to regulate your oven when it runs off fire? Besides a little dust, it is in great shape.  The kitchen is in the "new" part of the house.

As much as I think The Farm is just as it was, I realize that is not true. During my last visit, I noticed small things; cobwebs where there use to be none, or dust collecting in the corner, or a ceiling sagging in need of repair. The comparison to my own life does not escape me. I too sag in places I never sagged. I have cobwebs in my memories.  There is dust collecting in parts of my life that I have put on hold for other things.

Every direction you turn at The Farm you notice a simpler life. Not necessarily an easier life but maybe a quieter one. I already mentioned there was never a TV in this home but there was certainly never a telephone and cell service remains hit or miss. After a visit here, I always think I need to slow my own life down. It never happens but the reminder remains. 

If you do sit quietly, pondering the last thirty years of your life, you might find one of those real wild animals sharing the same space as you. The Short Chic and I found this frog. We were quiet and respectful of his space so he allowed us to join him. He surely wasn't around when Marty McFly jumped into that DeLorean.  But who knows, maybe his ancestors have lived in my Great Grandparents pond for generations.

I thought I would go the entire post not analyzing the predictions for the future that were made in the film but I have to comment on just one. The film predicted the Cubs would beat a team from Miami (when there was no baseball team in Miami when Back To The Future was filmed) to win The World Series. Baseball fans and science fiction fans have both found it thrilling that the Chicago Cubs were in post season play just as the film predicted. Sadly, on Back To The Future Day the Chicago Cubs lost four games straight to the New York Mets in the National League Championship Series.

If all you broken hearted Cubs fan need a team to cheer next, might I suggest our Kansas City Royals. I know the movie makers did not predict they would win The World Series but ironically, the last time the Royals won a World Series was in 1985. The same year Marty McFly went to the future.

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