Failure Is Not An Option

The little courtyard, just outside my front porch, is plain and simple. In its simplicity lies the statement of the value of finding truth in simplicity.

Failure Is Not An Option

By Richard Mabey Jr.

My life, here in Central Florida, is quiet these days. I write three or four hours a day. Sometimes more. Mostly I work on my book, “I Remember Dad.” I do rewrites. I take chapters out. I reconstruct chapters. I do a lot of new writing for my book.

Mostly all of the writing that I do now for my book, is done while sitting on my front porch. It is a screened-in porch. There are palm trees, up and down the street, standing proudly on neighbors’ yards. The palm branches sway in the breeze as I write, write, and write some more.

This is the very rocking chair, on my porch, where I sit for hours writing and writing and writing new chapters of my book, “I Remember Dad.”

Writing is hard work. It’s painfully hard work. I sit on this great old rocking chair and pour my heart out, of my remembrances of my dear old Dad, onto blue-lined white notebook paper. There is a little electric grill beside my rocking chair. Sometimes, I’ll cook grilled cheese sandwiches or hamburgers or hot dogs for lunch or supper, while I’m writing. I’m 63 now, time is precious. So, I write even while cooking lunch or supper. Life is short.

Figaro in her clubhouse. It sets right next to my old rocking chair on the porch.

Figaro loves to be with me when I write. Her clubhouse sets right next to my old rocking chair. Figaro is so smart. I’ll be writing and she will want me to pick her up and pet her. I try to ignore her and keep writing, but Figaro won’t give up. So, then Figaro will come over by my feet and butt her head against my legs and look up to me and meow. I just can’t refuse her. So, I put my pad and pen down and pick her up and pet her. Figaro then purrs, as if to say, “I got my way!”

Figaro atop her clubhouse. She thinks she is a watchdog.

A lot of times, Figaro will jump on top of her little clubhouse and play watchdog, while I write. It is the cutest thing in the world. I think she learned the fine art of being a watchdog, from our dear, sweet Sheltie, Foxy. Foxy passed away, a little over two years ago. I still miss her dearly. I know that Figaro does too.

If someone walks by the house, Figaro will jump off the roof of her clubhouse and run over to the screen door. She then fixates her eyes on the passerby. Sometimes she lets out a little hiss. Especially if the person walking by, is walking a dog. And, if the person walking their dog, lets the dog do its business on our lawn, Figaro will begin hissing even louder. Figaro is quite a smart cat.

My birdbath is a favorite resting place for the birds in my neighborhood.

To the right hand side of the front porch, is a simple bird bath. Often times birds will land on the edge of the birdbath and get a fresh drink of water. Sometimes, they will be so bold as to jump in the water and flutter their wings all around. When this happens, Figaro really starts hissing. I know that Figaro would love to catch one of those birds. I think that birds know that there is a screen between them and Figaro. Because, sometimes they just keep splashing around in the water, in spite of Figaro’s protests.

Dad standing beside the wing of a B-25 Bomber Plane at Hickam Field, during World War II.

Sometimes, my heart fills with self doubts. I question my talent as a writer. I wonder if my dream to see “I Remember Dad” published is just a pipe dream. Then, as I am sitting on that old rocking chair, I take a look at that great old picture of my Dad standing beside the propeller of a B-25 Bomber Plane, in his Army Air Corps uniform. Determination then burns brightly in my heart. And I remind myself of this simple statement, “failure is not an option!”

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This entry was posted in 2017, Be Strong!, Believe in yourself!, Central Florida, Creative Writing, Dad, Destiny, Determination, Dreams, Encouragement, Faith, Figaro, Finding Your Purpose in Life, Florida, Gated Community, Hickam Air Field, I Remember Dad, Journey to Truth, Life's Dreams, Modern Life, Never give up!, Richard's Rocking Chair, Sacrifice, Second World War, Spiritual Lesson, The Birdbath, The Front Porch, Wisdom. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Failure Is Not An Option

  1. Everyone has to soldier on, Richard. Keep on, keeping on.

    • Dear Arcturas,
      What can I say? Thank you for your kind words. I love the “soldier on” imagery. For in truth, a writer is always in the midst of a battle. The writer battles the pretentious, stuck up attitude of book editors and publishers. The writer battles the snobs in the ivy covered castles of the academic world. A writer gets dirt in his fingernails, in a never-ending search for truth.
      Sincerely,
      Richard

  2. What a peaceful image you paint! Seems like the perfect setting to do some good writing. And Figaro is adorable. And I love watching birds (I have several birdhouses, so I often watch sparrows as they go about their lives, having chicks…and then watch them as they grow up…)

    I think it is wonderful that you are writing this book about your father. It’s definitely not easy, but it will be worth it. He would be so proud.

    Wishing you the best, Richard!

  3. Dear Dr. Phoebe,

    Thank you for your kind words. I have a bird feeder hanging on the big oak tree on my front lawn. You have inspired me to add a birdhouse to the branches of that dear old oak.

    Thank you for your kind words about Figaro. As you know, you do have to be careful about giving a cat too many compliments. It easily goes to their heads; then suddenly canned cat food and dry cat food is no longer good enough for them. Then they start demanding lasagna for every meal. You also, have an adorable cat in Samantha, who now has her own fame and following.

    The world needs more healers like you. It is very subtle, but sadly not all doctors are healers. The healer is one who sees beyond clinical charts, blood work, and biochemical data. The healer has been given the fine art of being able to read people’s eyes and feel their pain. To communicate to patients with a certain empathy and sensitivity. You truly have that gift.

    More and more, as we enter the Buck Rogers era of medicine, I think that today’s doctors do not really need one more seminar on the benefits of the whizmo-gizmo super-duper blood analysis of the new biochemical chromatic electrofusion device. Alas, instead they need to watch a few reruns of that old TV show, “Marcus Welby, MD.”

    Sincerely,
    Richard

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