Things I’ve Learned


December 31, 2022– As another Gregorian calendar year heads to the history books and memory n, what is most important, for an individual, are the lessons brought forward over the twelve months now past.

So, here are twelve things I’ve learned, some cogent, others banal-but all useful.

January- The border between the United States and Mexico is neither as chaotic as politicians away the border claim it is nor as smoothly functioning as it might be. I saw many content, focused people at the station in Douglas, AZ and no evidence of hordes of people sneaking through, at Coronado National Monument, a rural station, south of Sierra Vista.

February- Human beings, regardless of how they come to identify themselves, deserve the respect of those around them-and a keen listening ear. Losing someone who has not been completely understood by some of those around her was both unsettling and cautionary. Rest in Peace, Salem Hand.

March- Most of Man’s inhumanity to Man stems from insecurity. Andersonville showed the historical proof of that, both through its physical remnants and through the exhibits on Prisoners-of-War, both within this country and around the world. A more benign case occurred, in Miami Beach, stemming from a middle-aged man, having designs upon much younger women and threatening violence when I cautioned them about one aspect of his proposal.

April- There is no foolproof means of transport. Taking a train, when the route is secure, is a marvelous way to both see the countryside and to make good friends. The system is not without flaws, though, and a fire at a remote bridge resulted in my taking a Greyhound bus, between San Antonio and Tucson.

May- It is never too late in life for people to connect. An odd proposition was made to me, by someone much younger-and was quickly, if politely, deferred. On the other hand, two people who had been alone for several years, found each other and had a lovely garden wedding, making for several years of a solid bond.

June- There are still places where even brief inattention to surroundings can lead to discomfort, even momentarily. I found one briefly “wet” situation, checking out the depth of a bog. Fortunately, it was an “oops” moment, and caused no difficulty to me or anyone else.

July- You can go home again, but family is often going to be swamped with schedules, plans made at the last minute by spouses and friends, or just the crush of dealing with one of the greatest of American holidays.

August- No matter how well a car is maintained, the aftermath of a chain-reaction accident can lead to a total loss being declared, even 1.5 months after it occurs. So it was, for the vehicle that took me across seemingly ridiculous distances, with nary a squeak. Another person’s health issues led to Saturn Vue’s demise.

September- Not all Baha’i school events need include a heavy dose of scholarly presentations. Just being with children and youth, in crafting, dancing and fellowship, is as much a tonic for the soul as any engagement with intellectuals.

October- New friends, made in the wake of a bureaucratic flub, and clear across the continent, to boot, are as fine a result of a mistake as I can imagine. Three Bears Inn will be a place where I could definitely stay for several days, especially en route to the great mountain parks of the northern Rockies. It is all the sweeter when followed by a visit with dearly beloved friends, themselves so much like family.

November- Speaking of family, it is never necessary for my biological family to expend energy on my entertainment. They do so anyway, but just reveling in their presence and celebrating their achievements, is the finest way to spend any time-especially a holiday.

December- As an Old Guard increasingly passes from the scene, among my cohort of veterans, younger people are arising, in service to those who served our nation. I am also re-learning the rewards of patience, with those around me, as we all face increasing uncertainty. They need me, as much as I need them. I also need to be patient with myself.

Great Responsibility


January 28, 2021-

There is a hue and cry going up, all over, about the plethora of Executive Orders coming from the White House, these past eight days. None of them surprise me, many of them are reflective of a long view and some are just plain expedient. Whether one agrees with some of them, or any of them at all, depends on your view of government, view of who ought to have what sort of freedom and whether it is recognized that consequences deserve consideration before action, as in “Be careful of what you want……”.

I don’t have a problem with all that many, PROVIDED that what is being taken from people (i.e. oil and gas jobs) is indeed being replaced by something as good or better (i.e. renewable energy jobs, which deserve full government support-especially if their predecessors are going to be phased out faster.)

As you might imagine, I do have a problem with the force of government being put behind the abortion industry (and when we are talking about organ harvesting, it is an industry, where profits can replace the earnest desire to help women, and the use of force is all too easy). The key, to women exercising their GOD-GIVEN right to decide what happens with their bodies, is education. The full impact of terminating a life, on the mother, on the father, on the extended family and on many of those performing that termination, has to be horrendous and it plays out over many years. Then, too, is the question of the re-emergence of Eugenics. I shudder at the prospect of any government becoming inured to unprincipled elitists deciding which children (which PEOPLE) should live and which should be killed. Bottom line: Scars don’t heal, unless the wounded are enveloped in love.

The same is true with people who have their gender re-assigned. It is not something that anyone of us who hasn’t experienced such a transformation can ever comprehend, totally. This is why a full education-not conversion therapy, but education as to all that might lie ahead-throughout the person’s life- needs to be in place. That education should include the impact on organized athletics, as both the transgender person AND those who are cisgender, whether gay or straight, have the right to compete on a level playing field, no pun intended. How long does it take, for a person to lose the unfair advantage of residue from their former gender? This is not something that an Executive Order is going to resolve. Scars don’t heal, unless the wounded are enveloped in love.

There is much that needs to be corrected, and much that needs to be avoided. I pray the new Administration can make a clear distinction, as to which is which.