The Tenth Anniversary Torrent


August 11, 2021- The nimble little girl danced in the rain, barefoot, to the music inside her head, carefully prancing and pirouetting, along a fairly narrow wall between her alley and the parking lot of a nearby restaurant. S captured my heart several years ago, as a shy, grinning toddler, who proudly showed me how well she could ride her tricycle. She and her family are essential to our neighbourhood, alternately taking a leading role in keeping a sense of balance between an “Over 55” mentality and a street overrun with kids, and being, for a short period, the only child-centered family on the block. I don’t mind the street full of kids part at all, as that was the way it was in my childhood-we children were everywhere. I watched S dance, from my living room window, lest she had slipped and fallen-in which case, I’d have been across the street like a shot. Every child who lives in this block has my heart. As it is, they also have my admiration, especially when living out their dreams.

The afternoon had brought a torrent of rain, on top of yesterday’s deluge. As I watched the sheets of precipitation pour down, I was reminded that it was ten years ago, today, that I wrote my first post on Word Press, after my previous blogsite, Xanga, became monetized. There are people I miss from Xanga, that I have not heard from since 2011. There are also those who turned on me, some for good reason, and others in fits of pique. For the most part, I am still in contact, either here or via other social media, with the Xanga friends who have stuck by me.

Many other changes have enveloped me, in this past ten years. Rage stemming form personal affronts now seems cheap and a waste of energy. I no longer harbour thoughts of long-distance thru-hikes of the Appalachian or Pacific Crest Trails, at least for the time being. There is simply too much to be done, with other people around, both here in Home Base and further afield. I am more contemplative, before speaking or acting. A Basal cell has been removed and my immune system has been largely built up.

is There are other ways in which life is the same. My best friends, locally, are for the most part almost a decade or more, younger than me. My contemporaries don’t understand me any better than they ever did. That’s fine; being someone who is humoured and sent on his way has been my lot, among my age-mates, for a very long time. The “kids”, from Gen X to the Alpha Generation, have come to know me better, as I worked with them day-to-day. I can talk with many of them for a long time, without their passing judgement or getting their socks in a knot over some real or imagined slight. There are exceptions, among the Baby Boomers-like my hiking buddy, but it is with those my junior that I am most in my element.

Ten year into Word Press, self-assuredness and recognition that I am a person of worth have grown-and all the journeys of mind and body have only gotten richer.

The Summer of Rising Tides, Day 2: Fear Itself


June 2, 2020

One of the things on which many men of my generation claim to pried themselves is a relative lack of fear. Many went to serve in the military, in VietNam, saw horrendous things and came back with PTSD. Part of their coping has led to a very strong sense that nothing in civilian American life even comes close to what was experienced in wartime. Thus, COVID-19 is “a socialist hoax” or “an assault on freedom”.

I will agree with the second part. I just don’t agree with my contemporaries’ idea of the assailant. It’s academic, at this point, as to the exact source of the virus. All that is known is that the first victims were in Wuhan. It is not, a brainchild of an American socialist who is looking to take over our country, by killing off conservatives, as some have actually claimed. As I said last night, that socialist is very long in the tooth, and more at risk of getting COVID-19 himself, than most of us are.

Well, live long enough, and you’re bound to hear and see just about anything. There are still people in the world who swear that the Earth is flat, that witches once wore peaked hats and rode on broomsticks, and that there are Sasquatch in the Cascades. We have a wealth of science fiction, being popularized, all along the continuum of thought.

This year, though, is a SyFy dreamworld-and for many, a nightmare. I’ve had a few moments of trepidation, myself. So far, none of my fears, as to personal safety, have panned out. My most earnest prayers, thus, have to be for the safety and well-being of others.

The Cost of Anonymity


July 19-21-

I am back in my salubrious Home Base, for three days, give or take.  No one knew I was back, until I announced my presence- such is the anonymous state of being that proceeds from apartment living, in a community that relishes independence.

I went down to one of the local coffee houses, on Friday morning.  For most of the time, I was the only patron sitting inside. The barrista, a recent graduate of our community’s high school, was bored out of her skull.  Too shy to talk to this old guy, she busied herself with grinding coffee beans, swiping her phone and otherwise staring into space.  I’ve learned to respect personal space, and so focused on my simple oatmeal breakfast.

Towards lunch, a visit to Ms. Natural’s, one of my favourite hangouts, revealed a different atmosphere.  The proprietor, C, was delighted that I was back, even if only for a few days.  One of the waitresses, C2, engaged me in a lengthy comparison of summer adventures:  Mine, on the road and hers. locally-based, but no less interesting.  After C2’s boyfriend showed up, they left and I talked with C and another waitress for a few more minutes, feeling that I belonged here.

Much of the modern West thrives on anonymity.  People don’t monitor a person’s actions, all that much.  Some of my contemporaries make it look as if they are watching what’s going on, but an old white guy staring at others, and not saying much, isn’t doing anything to deter either loneliness or miscreance.  I have chosen involvement in community activities, as an antidote to both.  It’s a fine line that needs to be trod-one can not force oneself on others, nor can one just turn a blind eye to incidents, large and small, that impact a community.

So, I went to a couple of meetings, Friday evening and Saturday afternoon, and joined several comrades for breakfast at the Legion Post, Sunday morning. I was apprised of all that had gone on, drama and the rest, over the last six weeks.  There was a fair amount of planning and the scene for Autumn looks to be fulfilling.  The cost of anonymity can only be paid by breaking out of the chrysalis.

Now, I look forward to a week with my Carson City family.

Season’s Greetings


December 18, 2018, Prescott-

So now, my full days of school, for 2018, are in the rear view mirror.  Three abbreviated school days remain, before we all take a break for the period which, for many, is a time of celebration and revelry.  For others, it will be a time of remembrance of a Great Being, Whose sacrifice and teachings are fully intended to bring peace to those who understand them.  For still others, it will be a time of lying low and making do with very little.  Then, the Gregorian clock will reset itself, and we will have 2019 AD/CE. (I am old school, and prefer the former, in figuring time since the Birth of the Christ.  Further disclosure: We Baha’is determine our place in time, dating from the Declaration of al-Bab, in May, 1844 and thus will refer to next year as 176 Baha’i Era, or B.E.  For general social purposes, though, I will continue to date my posts by the Gregorian system.)

During this period of  revelry, rest, reflection and resilience, I wish these things, to the following:

Seniors (75 and onward):  May your curiosity continue and may it bring you the recognition and relevance that ought to come with accrued wisdom .  The elder among you raised our generation and can take large credit for the best that we have been able to offer the world, through your parenting.  The younger among you are our older cousins, siblings and mentors.  It would have been harder growing up without your shared experiences and occasional babysitting. You remain friends, and vital presences in my life-Mom, Uncle Jim and Aunt Jackie, Aunt Janet, Aunt Carol, both Aunts Helen, Aunt Gail, Uncle Jerry,  and my online friends and older cousins, (you know well to whom I am referring).

My Contemporaries (55-74):  My siblings, many cousins, classmates, immediate elders and juniors, and a good many of my friends-We have gone through many of the same experiences, hard times, great celebrations, triumphs and tragedies, victories and losses.  We have seen Woodstock and the Men on the Moon; the gradual “shrinking” of Planet Earth, and changes that we never anticipated. Considering that my first phone call, to my late Aunt Hazel, was aborted by a shrill voice telling me to get off the phone, as it was a party line “used  by grown-ups, for important matters”. I did as I was told, and remember my mother’s eyes rolling, as she quipped, “important matters, like everyone else’s business!” Now, the picture phones and calls between vehicles, of which I once dreamed, are de rigeur.  May our days not be hamstrung by health-related woes, to the extent that we can use natural remedies, exercise and a well-varied diet, to keep us going.  May we continue to love those older and younger than we; and because we first know to love ourselves.

Millennials and Generation X (20-54):  You have brought many of the ideas of which I once dreamed, as a child and teen, into being.  Many of you were my students and counselees.  I helped a fair number, confused some and let others down, but loved all of you.  Among you are my nieces and nephews, and my own beloved son and daughter-in-law.  You grew up in my hometown of Saugus; or in the woods of central Maine;  or in the elite families who sent you to  a boarding school in the midst of the Sonoran Desert; or on the Navajo and Hopi nations, reared by loving, but often struggling extended families, who gave me more than I could ever repay; or in the western Sonoran Desert, a string of communities that gave newcomers a wary, if cordial, welcome-even when several were newcomers, themselves; or you grew up, as our son did, moving from town to town and making the best of life, even when it felt lonely.  I wish you a future far better than the recent past has shown you, and know that you have it within, to make wondrous things happen.

Generation Z (Newborns to 19)- I am thrilled to see the older among you come of age, shed the misgivings of your elders and take on the challenges that the Universe has sent your way, either because of the nature of life or because of what the rest of us have managed to create.  Every generation hands down both blessings and banes to its progeny, so do forgive us and know that you are also very much loved.  You have come into my life, as my working years are winding down and you have given me the confidence, the sense that my volunteer, travel and, quite possibly, grandparent years will be as bounteous and fulfilling as all that has gone before. May we all greet and nurture the generations  that come after you, as well.

To all, I treasure my time among you and may it long yet continue. A Merry Christmas, Bountiful Kwanzaa, Joyful Solstice and Healthy, Prosperous and Happy 2019, to each and every one.