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“Middle” can refer to a lot of things. At fifty-four I am middle aged- I hope literally as I’m planning to live at least 108 strong, vibrant years. The Middle West is where I was born and spent the formative first ten years of my life and where I’ve lived the last 20 plus years, both in Iowa and Indiana. Then there’s the middle of the alphabet: K, L, M, N, O & P.

All these middles converged nicely for my farewell tour of the USA’s midsection. I am road-tripping to Yellow Stone and parts west with my wife, her big sister and three tweens; a grand-niece and two grand-nephews: Three folks born in the middle of the 20th Century and three from the Twenty First. The cast of characters includes me- Keith,  my sister-in-law Lenore, nephew Mark his twin sister  Nina, their little brother Owen and my delightful wife Patricia. Sometimes if we try real hard we can make the stars align.

Mid-Life crisis is another middle word. I am now technically unemployed. I turned in my thirty week notice for my job as a bicycle mechanic back in February (Union Contract. Need a big lead time to fill my shoes- kidding!) and Wednesday, August 5th was my final day as a mid-west wrench.

My middle-aged, anything but mid pack wife secured a mid-level managerial position in a mid-sized Fortune 500 company down in the middle of Florida. We currently own two homes, a rather large six bedroom in Iowa and one two-thirds its size north of Tampa. If you’re looking for a nice house in a great but rather sleepy part of the country let me know, the Cedar Rapids abode is for sale.

I have a job secured in Tampa but in my mid-life change I’m determined to become a writer as opposed to a blogger. I don’t mind being a kept man but I think it’s time to put my money where my mouth is and learn how to eek out a living as a wordsmith. I’ll let you know how that goes but for the next two plus weeks or so I’ll keep you abreast of things out west.

I hope to have a thrilling, note-worthy trip and to finish the round-up with all the doggies that we started with but we won’t know the answer to that until the twenty-second of the month.