Satori! was a feeling that led me to take action. A sudden bolt of lightning that reminded me that my life clock is ticking. Satori! is an emotion, esoteric and translucent. Maybe it was the fact I’m approaching 55. Maybe the death of my father, father in law, the pandemic and realizing how quickly this construct of life can be altered or ended. Whatever the reason, I became engaged in my Satori moment and determined to make the next 20+ years (God willing) count.
Capstone is concrete. Capstone is things I’m doing, thing’s I’m building. They are the things I wish to be remembered for, along with father, husband and veteran.
I rented a workshop and since September I have been making progress to prepare it for my first project. The bathroom has been freshened and made presentable. I am in the process of adding more lights, more 120v power and I’m installing 240V for my air compressor and welding machine. Work benches have been built. Bookshelves installed.
The workshop sign is up, although a replacement has been ordered because it was made up on the incorrect sized stock. No matter, the shop has been christened. Mementos are inside: pictures of my Dad, my son, my father in law, flags that flew over my submarine. Cigars and bourbon are there.
When not physically preparing the facility for my first Capstone project, I’ve been studying, considering multiple projects before me. I don’t want to be coy so I will just spell out my Capstone objectives:
- Build (not buy a ready made car) a classic car. Pre-1974, points for a 1966 (my birth year).
- 2026. Test the Car in North America: Key West to Deadhorse, Alaska. 5,500 Miles.
- 2028 (or 2031- you have to be selected) Peking to Paris Historic Car Rally. 9,300 Miles and a lot of money.
Three objectives. The car. A platform that can handle off road, overland, dust, mud, stream crossings, speed, endurance, durability and safety. Its a lot to ask for. Skills, developed over a lifetime, beginning with lessons from my father, the Navy, my career. The application of skills and smarts, expressed in steel.
The drives. Why? Life is about adventures. Being able to combine my love of mechanical machines, travel, adventure and accomplishment without fanfare is a lure that no drug compares to.
36 years ago today I left the safety of my home and joined the US Navy. Immature and too young for what faced me, I survived and pressed on. By the time I left the submarine in February 1991 I was mature, hardened, focused. My uncle gave me my first opportunity and I made the rest of my opportunities happen. I willingly made sacrifices to move my career to where it traveled. Then, Satori! 2020 came, 2020 forced introspection and an examination of what is and was important. I’m looking at my career in shorter horizons now, thinking about 60 as the time to step away, perhaps 62. I love what I do and I’m dedicated to the people I work for. Satori. The Capstone Projects. I couldn’t wait to 62 to gear up for these things, so I will use these 6 years or so preparing for the day my work career ends and I spend every moment preparing for those objectives.
I’m not trying to impress anyone nor am I trying to be some social media influencer type. This is a time capsule I’m burying for my grandkids. I’ll teach you about me, our family and history, and hopefully when this is being read in February 2021 by a great grandchild they will be able to relate a bit to their distant relative in a way I can’t just looking at the old black and white photos from 1921 of my ancestors.