tionesta-creekI’m closing in on 40. I would say I’m nearing the common grouping of years generally referred to as “middle age,” but that’s a hard thing to nail down these days with people across the world, and this country especially, living longer.

Regardless, I’m sure it won’t be long until I’m a blip on AARP’s radar. I’m fine with it. I’m fortunate to be where I am right now – in life and career. Others aren’t so lucky.

It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly 10 years, but I don’t remember turning 30. I do know that was the age when it suddenly took me much longer to recuperate from a long night of drinking. Hangovers suddenly became very real miseries.

I’ve never been one to celebrate special milestones in some spectacular way. No 21 shots of alcohol on the night it became legal for me to drink. Though, when I turned 35 I ran a local 5K road race. I finished. My personal record, or “PR” as the diehards call it, from that race still stands. That’s because I have yet to run another one. And I have no plans to. I’m not the running kind.

With 40 on the horizon, and the way time peels away from itself with each stop of the second hand, my next significant birthday will be here in no time.

While making my way through this apex on the parabola of life, much like a roller coaster slowly clicking and clacking toward the pinnacle of its initial inertia-building hill, I am going to mark this milestone. And I’m going to do so by setting out upon a spectacular quest. I’m borrowing the idea from a fishing buddy, so it’s not original.

I simply want to fish 40 streams between Aug. 10, 2013 and Aug. 10, 2014. That’s 40 streams for 40 years.

It’s a modest goal, and I’m nearly a quarter of the way there already. But it gives me something to look forward to. Gives me what I feel is a pretty solid accomplish for somebody who loves and is active in the outdoors.

I’m not going to limit myself by many ground rules. For example, I’m not going to fish only “streams.” If I fish the Allegheny River – and I will – it counts. If I fish a local a strip mine pond – and I will – it counts.

In between fishing excursions I’ll be sharing other adventures.

Some will relate to efforts pursue a self-sustaining lifestyle. The homestead – a four-acre farmette – is flush with gardens, fruit-bearing bushes and trees, and a barn that’s filled with cackling chickens that deliver us eggs each morning. And the freezer is full of meat from deer I’ve killed.

Expect there to be some hunting stories as well, especially since it’s getting to be that time of year in Pennsylvania. Who knows what comes next.

What comes next
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