Alpha/Omega

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April 2, 2021- Every so often, I get a reminder about the commitment that I, as “an American of some affluence”, must have towards the poor of other parts of the world. It usually comes in the form of a veiled demand, but is at least offered with good wishes for my health and well-being. That stands to reason, as a sick person would hardly be able to offer anything to others.

My dealings with people who primarily view the world through a transactional lens are, of necessity, getting more and more limited. Even among those businesses I frequent, I regard the people therein as friends first, and means to an end second. One example is a local family restaurant, Zeke’s, where I sit at the counter, gab with the wait staff and other patrons, and comment freely on goings on. The same is true of Rafter Eleven, Synergy and, to a lesser extent, The Raven Cafe. It is increasingly true in the schools where I am taking on special assignments until the end of May.

My circle of friends trends larger these days, even with-and in some cases because of-virtual connections. The first and last, alpha/omega if you will, is compassion based on love. Those whose primary focus is transactional have a hard time seeing this-and there was a time when part of me was there. Much of my standoffishness had to do with lack of self-confidence, and a degree of self-loathing, as if I were not “good enough” for others. I suspect that is true of those who behave in this manner now. More’s the pity.

There is, to a good extent, the notion that failure to thrive is a Catch 22, a vicious circle. That realization came to me, about four months after I met Penny, back in 1981. Gradually, over several decades, the self-doubt has fallen away-so that even in the most harrowing of circumstances, the faint light has been in view.

I thought of this today, as the Mystery of Alpha/Omega from 33 A.D.: The Passion of Jesus the Christ, plays out in the minds and hearts of millions across the planet. His basis for everything was compassion, rooted in love.

Vigilance

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November 11, 2020-

Today was Veteran’s Day. I was treated to a nice breakfast at Zeke’s, watched most of the downtown Parade, met for a while, on Zoom, with some friends in a spiritual discussion group and had a light dinner at Raven Cafe.

One of the qualities people most admire in our nation’s military is that they (we) have exercised vigilance, in the performance of our duties. I did, whilst serving in the United States Army, remain watchful in handling the mail, remained alert on guard duty and executed any other duties assigned, with loyalty and honour.

These commmitments translate, for most of us in civilian life, as integrity and trustworthiness. There are certain generalities that still matter greatly to me, and in which I will stay vigilant:

  1. Everyone’s vote should count. I see no evidence that this is not being honoured by those entrusted with the electoral process. I see no evidence that the party whose candidate is leading is circumventing the process-and vigilance will keep it that way.
  2. The rights of every citizen, from the time of physical conception to death by natural causes, should be defended by everyone of conscience. Reports are surfacing that at least one technocrat, who favours a national triage system for medical care, is part of the presidential transition team. His views should remain just that, his views. Widespread abortion and forced euthanasia are not the hallmarks of civilized society, and must never take the place of the rare instances when those practices may be viewed as necessary.
  3. The Constitution must be followed. On December 14, the Electoral College should certify the next president, according to final vote tallies. On January 20, 2021, the person certified as winner should take the oath of office as President, no matter who is upset by this or how many who voted for a losing candidate take umbrage. I have long taken my own pledge as a citizen very seriously. That will not change.

My Favourites List: Ten Prescott Restaurants

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October 8, 2014, Prescott- My next few posts will focus on the places, and people, who help make this life sweet.  Living alone, I get out and walk around Prescott just about every day.  Here are my ten favourite places in town, to stop in for lunch or dinner, or an occasional breakfast.

10.  Scout’s-  This is a novel and refreshingly-themed place to get a tasty sub for lunch.  Each item is named for a particular National Park, and it’s all made from scratch.  Soups are good here, also.  I stop here when getting my car serviced nearby, or when going for a haircut at Fantastic Sam’s.

9.  Rosa’s- Arguably the best Italian restaurant, in a town filled with good pizza and pasta.  I usually grab a seat at one of the long counters.  It’s always homey, and sometimes raucous.  The food never disappoints.

8. Sue Ann’s Apple Pan– I’ve only been here a few times, being a “breakfast at home” kind of guy.  Sue Ann’s lunch items, though, are also made fresh.  Here, too, I sit at the counter, feeling more at home that way.

7.  Lone Spur- Being right downtown, this is one of two places to really load up on food, if the day requires a “one-meal” schedule.  It’s all great stuff, and runs the gamut from heart-healthy fruits and grains to local cultural icons like chorizo, or biscuits and gravy.

6.  Zeke’s Eatin’ Place-  This used to be the toast, and a lot of other stuff, of Prescott Valley.  Now, Zeke’s is an anchor for the resurgent Frontier Village, on the Prescott Yavapai Indian Reservation, just east of town.  Like Lone Spur, Zeke’s is an old-fashioned, pack-it-in, establishment.  The food is well-prepared and hearty, and one can easily take home enough for two more meals.,

5.  Wildflower Bakery- This is the only chain establishment on my list, and it’s always crowded, but the counter staff and servers are as friendly as if they were working for Mom and Pop.  It’s all healthy here, even the pastries. The fireplace adds to a relaxing ambiance.  Wildflower is on the east side of Prescott’s Gateway Mall, three miles east of downtown.

4.  Shannon’s-  Here’s another small, downtown establishment, with freshly made sandwiches, and the best soups in town. Shannon and Murphy specialize in cheesecakes, which come as a treat, every now and then- and make great gifts.

3.  Soldi’s-  Three spunky young ladies, work out of a stationary food cart, in a garden setting.  The kids, helped by their mother, put on a fabulous lunch, with modest portions.  Friday nights feature custom hors d’oeuvres, to which one may bring one’s own beverage.  Soldi’s is bound for nothing but success.

2.  Park Avenue Deli-  An unassuming strip mall place, on the southwest corner of downtown, and on the front end of a liquor store, of all places, Park Avenue is run by two mellow young folks- Jessica and Jon.  The place is geared towards parties of three or more, but I’ve always been accommodated when dining alone.  It’s never dull, with high-powered business people, groups of guys or ladies who seem to be friends of one of the staff, and random seniors coming in from the pharmacy across the way.  I often learn more about what’s going on in town here than I do from Prescott’s Facebook page.  The food is excellent and well-portioned.

1. Raven Cafe-  Everything here is organic, both food and beverages.  It’s another lively spot, and seems to be full with regulars, no matter what time of day or evening I happen by.  Raven is also geared towards groups, but Lone Wolves are welcomed.  Staff is a bit phlegmatic towards non-drinkers, but the food is fabulous and the rest of the ambiance is refreshing.

At most of these places, the staff would recognize me as the quiet, unassuming soul who takes a place at the counter, or at a small table, orders pleasantly but quickly, eats relatively quickly and takes his leave without fanfare.  Nonetheless, I appreciate everything they do to make our lives here more pleasant and well-nourished.