My Magnificent Obsession
Along With Benefits

I have acquired several idiosyncrasies during my nearly eighty years as I journeyed down my yellow brick road. I would not delete or change any of them. I have benefited from them. However, these quirks are often trying and time-consuming. I am not looking for things to do to fill the day. My eccentricities also haunt me. Such as, I am driven to find all the answers to my questions about life.

To say that I am driven to explain things to myself doesn’t come close to my motivation. It is an obsession, a magnificent obsession. I grasp some of the causes for my obsession. For example, feeling dumb and poor in Mt. Lebanon was a huge motivator. Additionally, my two dances with death were initially curses, which turned into blessings. I wouldn’t delete Mt. Lebanon or my two dances from my journey in life; I have benefited from both those experiences. Nevertheless, the question that haunts me isn’t about being driven; I’ve always been driven. It has to do with the energy that motivates the drive.

Exactly fifty years ago, Hurricane Agnes came up the East Coast and stalled over Eastern Pennsylvania. Days of rain flooded out all the towns along the Susquehanna River including Kingston, PA where I lived. After the flood waters receded, residents returned to their flooded homes. I had one of the dozen homes that weren’t flooded. Many residents had water on their second floor.

Agnes came to destroy.

For weeks, everything was thrown out into the streets from homes and businesses.



I noticed the front doors from the Presbyterian church laying in the street waiting for a bulldozer to dump them into a garbage truck. I retrieved four of the doorknobs and locks. This is one of them

For fifty years, I haven’t attempted to get decades of paint removed from them. I wanted to clean them up, but there were other more passing things on my must-do list. However, for some unknown reason, I decided to clean up two of them, which took me an unbelievable about of time. What haunts me is why was I motivated to spend all that time on the doorknob and locks that date back over and century and a half?

Ti Ti will soon arrive to live here in my home in Crown Point and attend college. Her mother will travel with her to the States and help Ti Ti begin to adjust to her new life in her new world. I’m cleaning up my home, fixing things, and replacing things. However, there must be more than that which motivated me to restore doorknobs and locks. Just the cleaning of the house and yard isn’t close to being completed. Restoring two handles would have been the 674th item on a list of 100 things that needed to be done before their arrival.

My drive to fix up the house is understandable but not the doorknobs and locks. Not understanding the why behind my being so driven haunts me.

Another haunting issue is my desire to accomplish everything. When I can’t figure something out, I ask people. I can rattle off a couple of dozen names of people who I asked to help me. The people weren’t known to me. They range from getting Ti Ti into college, to restoring the doorknobs and locks, and the list goes on and on.

My level of drive to accomplish things is rivaled by my drive to ask people to assist me. Most of those people were total strangers. And yet, I asked.

I simply explain my situation and people often go out of their way to assist me. My magnificent obsession allows me to accomplish things along with thanking people on my journey down my yellow brick road of life.