Posted on 15 Comments

Gathering My Thoughts

New Years Day 2021

Gathering, Collecting and Amalgamating…

…my thoughts is a ritual I engage in most Wednesdays around three in the afternoon at Third Wheel Brewing in St. Peters Missouri. It’s usually nice and quiet just after they open, the Wi-Fi is good, the beer and food are awesome and the staff and guests make a wonderful community. What better place for a guy like me to gather, collect and amalgamate my thoughts?

Third Wheel Brewing 4008 N. Service Road Saint Peters MO 63376

And there are plenty of thoughts

Here’s one thought. A review of last year’s resolutions that I published January 17th.

  • I resolve to be present on this side of the fence.
  • I resolve to protect my relationships.
  • I resolve to practice being a human being.
  • I resolve to write more.
  • I resolve to make better art.
  • I resolve to “be” all that I can be.

I think the gist of that musing I wrote nearly a year ago for myself was to become less of a “human doing” and more of a “human being”. Here’s a link if you need clarification, I Resolve.

Two months later, my personal resolution to practice “being” ceased to be voluntary and became imposed by an external edict during the “lock down” over the spring and summer. If I wasn’t working on the house or taking another walk, I was sitting (gathering, collecting and amalgamating my thoughts) in my garage distanced from social interactions, reading a book or listening to music and drinking beer.

Maybe you had similar experiences.

Humans Are Social Beings

The easing of restrictions (in my neck of the woods) mid to late summer was a blessed relief. It’s not good to be locked down alone with one’s thoughts for an extended period of time, unless you are a monk. I am not a monk. So I am very happy to see that Third Wheel Brewing and The Window (food for the craft beer lover’s soul) survived by their wits and providing carry out. (Many businesses did not.) Thus, the social being that I am has a place to sit on Wednesday afternoons to gather, collect and amalgamate my thoughts and produce philosophical prattle, like the stuff you are currently reading.

In Remembrance

I know you’ve suffered loss and pain last year. My heart is with you. I lost three close friends.

Cary O’Brien, a genuine down to earth good hearted man, suffered a cardiac event two weeks into the lock down. I mourn his death and the forbidden gathering where we might have comforted and embraced one another to ease the pain and start the healing.

Sulinda Kramer George, Patty’s long time colleague and my friend, after a three year battle with cancer died the week before Christmas. Again, these unprecedented times set the memorial service to some time in the future.

And finally our fur baby Noel, the sweetest little lap dog ever, died of old age (15) who in consideration for us, waited until we were out of town to die.

Cary O’Brien, Noel, Sulinda Kramer George

One Final Thought (For Today)

Celebrate the good.

Everybody wants to leave 2020 behind. However flipping the calendar over a page won’t change a thing for me, but focusing on my resolutions from a year ago will. I resolve to celebrate the good, change the bad that I can influence and ignore the rest. I resolve to make better art by becoming a better artist. I resolve to seek the balance between doing and being. I resolve to celebrate the good.

Last year America launched men into space for the first time since 2011, my brother Pat opened his own brewery Ogden River Brewing, and I walked my youngest daughter down the isle. Good things to celebrate and think about.

Thanks for hanging in there with me while I gather, collect and amalgamate a few thoughts.

I hope 2021 brings you good things including prosperity and good health.

Your friend,

Ps. I’d like to hear the thoughts you’ve been collecting in the comment box below and you know where to find me when you are thirsty for a cold craft beer and some company. Peace.

15 thoughts on “Gathering My Thoughts

  1. I love that you began and ended this writing with the positive. The three losses that you experienced is an intricate pet of appreciating the good. It hurts my heart that you weren’t able to properly mourn your friend’s death. Thank you for sharing. Your friendship is one I treasure. I look forward to that craft beer.

    1. Thank you Anna! I too cherish our friendship. Cheers in 2021!

  2. Great blog post Mike! Love the way you share. That’s why we call you the Philosopher!

    1. Thank you Coach Manny. You are a good man!

    2. Mike, that is an incredible article. The other day I was thinking that the isolation we all feel now must be a taste of what the pioneers felt when they settled the West.

      1. Kevin – we must be on the same wave length. I’m in the middle of an Audible book, Boone: A Biography by Robert Morgan… and lately when faced with what to do with myself I ask this question, “What would Daniel Boone do?”. And if the sun is down, usually the answer is go to bed. Wishing you the best in 2021 and in the words of another famous woodsman, Coach Manny, Peace!

  3. Mike, not sure if you ever took a Philosophy class but in the world of existentialism, I am delighted that You Sir, exist, which proves that therefore, ‘You am’. Post Covid vaccine, I would be delighted to ponder additional thoughts, wax philosophy,over a beer with you.

    1. Mark – I spent 20 years in Christian theology, but that was 20 years ago. I read Philosophy for Dummies once. We think, we drink, therefore we are. I’d love to meet up with you any time.

  4. Mike, I am so happy to back in the networking group. Thank you for your kind words each week. You are an inspirations to all of us. I wish much success in your artistic skills. You are such a kind soul. Thank you for being who you are.

  5. Thank you for sharing your thoughts Mike. First, I now know of a new place to grab a beer, and can’t wait to try it. Second, your insight on “flipping the page” on a calendar won’t change the fact that we had plans and accomplishments that did blossom despite the chaos, is on point. My newsletter this month will focus on how to reflect and recharge and aligns well with your sentiments. I’m sorry for your loss and excited for your gains. Looking forward to learn more about you and your creative art. Happy New Year!

    1. Thanks for your “thoughts” Tina. Make sure to send me your newsletter.

  6. Perhaps one good part of the mess that we call 2020 is it made many of us stop and think instead of racing forward at breakneck speed. You have an eloquent way with words and I appreciate you sharing that gift with us!

    1. Thank you Chris.

  7. 2020 has been a difficult year for many. It has been unusual, to say the least. But human are resilient and we will get through this. I am glad we are friends and I have enjoyed sharing a beer or two over the past year. Looking forward to another drinky-poo in 2021 🙂

    1. Cheers to that girlfriend!

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