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Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.

Substitute write for teach, and that old proverb is the story of my life. Because many of the things that I now write about are the things which I can no longer do.

Three and a half years ago, I was a retired from the US Coast Guard and working on oil field service boats in the Gulf of Mexico and on tugs and ferries in New England waters. It was physical and enjoyable work. I ran, surfed, kayaked, fly-fished and dove into the deepest spots along the coast. I rode motorcycles and I flew my own airplanes.

It was in my favorite airplane that I hurt myself, a 1947 Aeronca Champ, when I mis-judged a landing and caught a tree with my wingtip.  Four seconds later, the airplane cartwheeled into the ground and my life was changed forever. After ten surgeries and months of laying on my back in a nursing home, I had one leg and limited use of my right arm.

We’re all lucky to be alive; some of us just embrace that fact more intimately than others. So I pushed my wheelchair up to the dining room table and began writing as soon as I got home to have a reason to get out of bed in the morning.

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