Saturday, 2 October 2010

I'm back!

I'm back.

Haven't posted anything here since August 16, because frankly, I haven't wanted to. I have had no desire to be creative, no desire to express any form of thought, no desire to type, no desire to do anything but eat, sleep and work (the work thing is on the fence). Yesterday I spent the better part of 8 hours loafing around the house bored stupid. Several times I looked at things I should have or could have been doing, and then opted to waste more time in useless endeavours. Eventually I fell asleep on the couch with the TV on. Around me, my son came home, my niece went home and apparently my sister was here.

Missed it all.

Stupid. I wasted a day. Well, no more. I need to rejoin the living. This is a good start. Part of the reason I haven't posted is that I've had to endure some fairly shitty days of late, and as much as I've wanted to tell the 3 people who read this all about it, I felt that I should be better off just keeping my trap shut. So I did. I haven't written anything for fear of my temper showing itself in my writing. Nutbags and asshats begin that way. Writing evil diatribes and manifestos, letting the world see their anger through their writing. Ted Kazinski was just one such nutbag, now he's serving life for trying to blow people up. Luckily, with the support of my family and friends, I have felt now need to make anyone go boom. I'm on the path to fixing things. This is therapy writing now.

Therapy action has been going back to the Cadet organization. I started back last month after a five year hiatus. At the time it was retirement, but now that I'm back in, I wonder what the hell I was thinking by ever leaving. For the past five years there's been a hole in my heart where the kids used to be. I missed them more than anything else. I've been involved with them for just shy of 30 years all tolled, and my life was empty without. I got involved here and there from the outside but never was I parading and teaching. It just wasn't in me for the longest time. As time went on I felt the calling. I felt the pain of not being a part of the Corps. Last May I got a call from an old friend asking if I wanted to go back. I was asked to go help fix a nearly defunct unit, and I jumped on it. I have to re-enroll as an officer, I have to go through all the training again, I will lose my rank, and for the next year or so I will be parading as a civilian instructor, but that really doesn't matter. I'm back.

I just came home from spending my Saturday afternoon cleaning the Corps office. A blank slate as it were - we had the chance to clean out the old and bring in the new. Ideas flowed like water from the well, three of us working away, no cadets or parents around, just working on brining back the glory of this 40 year old Corps that almost closed last spring. We get to fix it. The very idea of being part of that is exhilarating. I had memories come back to me that haven't paid their respects to my consciousness in years, like the time I blindfolded cadets four at a time, drove them around county roads for a half hour, then kicked them out and told the to find their way back to camp. Not to worry, each group was armed with a compass and map, and I dropped every group within sight of a visible landmark to the camp. If they had paid attention, they just beelined for home. All but one group made it back fine. Those were good times, even if the CO was pissed at me. The kids loved it. The Mongolian Tree Sloth is another story. I'll save that for another post.

This Corps is lacking in officers. Hurting actually. I was actually recruited as a Lieutenant, but the paperwork problems were not readily foreseen. So we're still short a couple. We have a very competent Lieutenant now, and a Commanding Officer we're borrowing from another Corps. It'll be a while before we're up to full strength. Until then, I will be parading in a suit. I'm the drill instructor. A role I've always loved. The small problem is that civilians aren't supposed to teach drill, but we do what's necessary to accomplish the task. Each week now I've been on the square yelling like a marine, bringing these cadets up to snuff. I haven't done this in years, so my voice is cracking, my demonstrations are rusty, and I have on more than one occasion referred to the Canadian Forces Manual of Drill and Ceremonial (affectionately known simply as 201). I'm getting there, I review my lessons, and march around my house like a dipweed, but I'm getting the cadets back to parade ready. I'm proud of what they've accomplished in a few short weeks, even though each week has involved me tossing out everything they know and starting over. You see, the previous CO never opened good old 201. He wrote his own book!

We've got weekend exercises planned soon, and parades coming up for the Kingsville Migration Festival and Remembrance Day. We're also planning shooting weekends and fundraising events. We want to give these cadets what they deserve - opportunity. We want to bring back the pride in their Corps. We want them to be proud to wear the uniform and the badge of the Essex and Kent Scottish. Last week we let them put on their kilts for the first time in months, and they were damn proud to do it. They want more and it's our job to give it to them. We want the Corps to grow, and in a small town like Kingsville that's not easy. A tough task for an established Corps, nevermind one that's in the process of being rebuilt. But I like the challenge.

On an ironic note, the weekend camp in mid-November is at the same place that saw me blindfolding cadets and twenty year Mongolian Tree Sloth sightings. I can't wait to go back.

When something grabs your heart and doesn't let go, you shouldn't let it go. You should hold on to it and nurture it. That's how it is with this organization. I never should have let it go. I'm happy to be given the chance to give it a second go. I'm motivated now, more than I ever was. I feel a purpose beyond just working and keeping house. (family excluded - they're always my purpose), but a person needs passion. Mine is seeing young cadets grow and achieve. Seeing them move up in ranks, win awards, and lead their peers, and know that I've been a part of that effort. I makes me proud.

On Annual Inspection in the Spring I will stand off to the side and watch my cadets come forward to accept what they've earned, and I will beam with pride. Once again, they'll be my kids again. Once again, I'll have purpose.

The old me is back!

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