ehrlif / iStock / Getty Images Plus

What a long strange trip it’s been…

Sept. 11, 2019
I’ve had a chance to think about where I’ve been, and where I am going in the next few years.

(Credit to the Grateful Dead for those words.)

You may have noticed my absence recently. It’s time for some explanations. I had a simple work accident, that not only shattered my femur, but seriously upset my Summer and life in general. I was assisting a longtime friend/business associate to carry a small wall mounted boiler up to the 2nd floor class room of our office. I was on the uphill side, climbing the stairs backwards, lost my footing, sat down hard on the steps, and dropped the boiler on my left femur bone, the largest, hardest bone in the human body. This was a first for me. I guess I’ve lived a good life, because I made it to level 66 before breaking a bone.

So, this was the beginning of the Summer from Hell for me. I was completely out of commission for the first two months of recovery. I’m extremely thankful that my employer had the good presence of mind to carry a good work mans compensation insurance program, or I’d probably be filing for personal bankruptcy right about now.

So after having actually lived Jimmy Stuart’s “Rear Window” movie, I finally got well enough to return to work on a limited basis. I am still undergoing intense Physical Therapy, a.k.a. PT, a.k.a. Pain and Torture, a.k.a. Pay for Pain. I have transitioned from a wheel chair, to a walker, from a walker to a cane, and am now in the process of shedding the cane. Recovery from this sort of break (Comminuted fracture) is very slow. They had to cut quite a few muscles to give me my new Titanium hardware. Although I will still carry my “Pre” airport clearance card, I will also have to carry a card explaining why it is that their magnetometers are going crazy when I walk though them… Just another life style change I hadn’t anticipated.

During my slow Summer recovery, I’ve had a chance to think about where I’ve been, and where I am going in the next few years. When I was transferred from the hospital to the rehabilitation facility, my Social Worker was explaining to me that my in house care would be supervised by a company called Rocky Mountain Senior Care. I was thinking to myself, “Why the heck do they have a senior care doctor monitoring me?” when reality set in. I’ve been living in denial for the last couple of years. I don’t even ask for a senior citizens discount! I realized then and there that I am now considered a senior citizen (I prefer the use of the term Seasoned Citizen).

In any case, I have come to a decision that I need to start focusing my efforts on not only getting well, but that I also need to begin planning for the big R word (retirement). I realized that I have been writing articles for this magazine for well over 20 years (23 to be exact). There is not a subject that I haven’t covered, many of them in different ways and different views. I hope to finish writing a book that I have been working on for many years, that I’ve decided to call a “Recommended Practices Manual” basically taking most everything I’ve been writing about for these last 23 years, and provide something that both the seasoned craftsman as well as the newby coming into the trades can benefit from. I’ve completed the manuscript, and am now working on the hardest part of the publication, the graphics. Keep an eye out in this magazine for advertisements calling out its availability.

So, as you can probably tell, I’ve decided that I have come to the end of my monthly writing career. Kudos to my friend Dan Holohan, who got me this writing gig in the first place. Dan gave me with the best words of wisdom that have worked well for me over the last 20 plus years. He said “Write like you talk. People like to listen to you and if you write like you talk, it will be like you are in the room with them, holding an interesting conversation."

I know Dan has retired from the tour circuit and continues to write for numerous magazines. The man is and has been a strong mentor for me and many other writers over the years, and continues to inspire us. Thank you Dan. I owe you a great deal of gratitude that I will never be able to fully pay back. And thank you also to all of the editors (four of them all told) that I have had the opportunity to work with over the years. I appreciate your guidance that has kept me out of hot water all these years. It’s been a pleasure working with you all, and I’m sure our paths will cross again, somewhere down the road.

Lastly, thank you to all of my readers. Without your attention, I’d not have had a reason to write and give you all the benefit of my many years worth of experience. I appreciate your time and attention, and ask that you continue to support this fantastic industry. I look forward to being on the other side of these articles, that being a reader instead of a writer. I hope that my replacement will keep you as entertained and educated as I have had the opportunity to do over the years. Thank you all for your years of support.

Mark Eatherton material, in print and online, is protected by Copyright 2017. Any reuse of this material (print or electronic) must first have the express written permission of Mark Eatherton and CONTRACTOR magazine. Please contact via email at [email protected].

About the Author

Mark Eatherton

Mark Eatherton material on this website is protected by Copyright 2017. Any reuse of this material (print or electronic) must first have the expressed written permission of Mark Eatherton and CONTRACTOR Magazine. 

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Contractor, create an account today!

Sponsored Recommendations