There are those moments in life when it is tough to count the blessings even though they out number the disasters as the disasters large and small look as though they they might drown the blessings. That, in a nut shell, is my world since Labor Day weekend. 
As noted in previous posts, the television died (long overdue as we purchased it used almost a decade ago), the DVD player died from obsolescence, the drier that should have lasted more than seven years died, the swamp cooler motor that should have lasted more than three years died, and a bearing in the cooler died, all since the holiday weekend. As of yesterday, our primary computer, the one we purchased a year ago last spring, the one that came out of the box with a defective hard drive, appears to have developed a case of extreme senility. 
As of this morning my dearest friend was working diligently to recover information, including book keeping files. First, however, she needs to see if it can be resuscitated.
Yes, we have most files on backup. However, we will first need a computer that will accept the backup files, a computer that contains the program associated with the backup files, something that is not happening at this time. 
Meanwhile, on the writing computer, I spent most of Sunday racing toward the December deadline for the Route 66 historic atlas. This too is a mixed blessing. 
The deadline is actually December 31 but as I want the debut to be at Cuba Fest in 2014, it will need to be finished by December 1. As this represents the third book written in eighteen months, it is a blessing since it represents a quantum leap toward the fulfillment of the childhood goal.
This was after a mixed bag Saturday that included a wonderful lunch date with my dearest friend, a productive afternoon of correlating new research material for the book, a haircut and great conversation with the barber, and confirmation of pending appearances. 
Now, its just a matter of juggling the next six weeks that are filled with mixed blessings. On Friday after work I am to drive to Las Vegas to catch a flight to Chicago, my first venture via airplane in a decade. 
On Saturday morning I start a whirlwind six day introductory tour with Wes Davies, publisher of New Zealand Today magazine who is looking at hosting two Route 66 tours next year. 
A Route 66 adventure is always something to look forward to. However, this particular adventure represents another episode in the continuing series of mixed blessings.
It will be the first time in many, many years that an adventure did not include my dearest friend. Call me spoiled but this is going to suck the color out of the entire trip. 
On the Thursday after my return, I am to speak at the Westerners in Flagstaff. This will require a day at the office, followed by a drive to Flagstaff, which will in turn require a drive home afterwards since I need to be at the office by 8:00. Another round of mixed blessings.
Two days later, on Saturday evening, it is Chillin’ on Beale that will include the Smithsonian Institute Journeys program. I am scheduled to speak on the evolution of Route 66. This is after I sit for an hour interview for a forthcoming program. Again, mixed blessings. 
Two days later, on Monday afternoon, I am scheduled to speak to Dale Butel’s fall Route 66 tour group. Again, mixed blessings as this is an opportunity to visit with a friend and his wife, and meet great people, but there is also the issue of an interview scheduled for later that evening that will no doubt be tinged with a hint of exhaustion. 
Rising seas, taking on water, no lifeboats, sharks, and a hard list to port, no problem. It quickens the spirit, may give me an opportunity to learn to swim, may give me an opportunity to see if what I read about defense against shark attacks is true, and, if I survive, it will provide for some great stories to tell around the fire.  
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