Hands gnarled
Back stooped
Mind – sometimes good , sometimes not
Pain, ever-present pain
A look of wonderment as to why she is still here
She wants to go – has asked the Lord many times to go
And yet for some reason not known to us, is still here
We remember when we think about it
The days when we were held and she melted our incurable problems away

Reminds me of a Des Moines Rotary party
At 58, I’m definitely on the young side of the group
As is the case with this age, it’s five to three women versus men
In retirement, everything’s an issue – the sun is too hot; not enough wind; too much wind; pool to cold

South Texas at its best
Blue sky, slight breeze and 85 – humidity low
A luxury resort at 3:00 p.m., around the pool
Humanity at not its best or worst, but its average
A German tanned muscular skimpy suited guy
A woman, 60 plus cellulite and tan, earlier looking very royal in a pink gown and interesting hat – a wedding party, I believe
4 kids playing their version of water polo with a tennis ball

The Winona sails wrapped, anchor down – a pretty boat always moored
Who owns it – some wealthy industrialist, who flies in for a weekend–rarely
Or a movie star or singer with the same name
It’s fun to guess as we lie on the beach and look out to the water
A private beach, not for locals – a techno guarded gate and people; each with a story
The young couple, skin as white as the sand

When I was young I had no silver magic box-

Notes and mail and clocks and signs and most of all–memory-of things past-things present and future things to do ran my life.

If I needed knowledge-the Dewey Decimal System learned in college became invaluable.

I read books, I listened to learned men. I connected ideas, formed opinions and many times just stared at the clouds and became aware of new thoughts.

A spring morning – dew on the leaves – quiet, but with life all around

A winter’s day – a wet snow fallen like a blanket covering all we can see – nothing stirring but oh so beautiful

A morning view from Haleakala looking outward across the ocean

The tops of mountains with clouds surrounding

A hot July day looking across the western desert, the heat shimmering on the landscape

The End of the World, December 31, 1999

I remember in the ‘50s, someone said the world would end in the year 2000 – something about the apocalypse

I remember in the ‘60s, someone said the world would end in the year 2000 – the second coming or what not

I remember in the ‘70s, someone said the world would end in the year 2000 – the bomb or something

In today’s society it seems as if many folk look at an issue in a vacuum without considering the consequences of what happens if we act in an opposing way. Will the outcomes be worse or better then having done the former ?

Four examples come to mind currently under debate.

The first is the drive to, in some conservative quarters, reverse Row vs. Wade. A couple of the Republican candidates have taken that position. Personally I think I’m with a majority of Americans who believe terminating a pregnancy on purpose by using legitimate medical procedures is not a good thing but definitely beats the alternative of back alley abortions where the life of the mother becomes at risk or, if after making a heart wrenching decision, the woman is charged with a crime as was ,many times, the case in the 50s.

Right up front, have I read the 150 plus page agreement- no .

Given the technical details of the agreement I’m not sure I would understand it. (1)

What I am sure of is this: almost all the folks who are in opposition are following their preferred Republican presidential candidates and their reasons for opposition. Personally I would not follow a presidential candidate’s position on this issue whether it is Republican or Democrat because those positions are usually based on the politics of the situation.

The events in Charleston, South Carolina a few weeks ago brought back a flood of memories about the South and how it has changed so much in the past 50 years. Yes the South, and all of us in the North as well, have a ways to travel in improving the relationship between races and although the events in Charleston were horrific, the grace and forgiveness of members of the Mother Emanuel Church will go a long way to improve relations and move us forward a bit more.

One subtopic that has been in the news is the debate yet again about flying the Confederate Flag. My views on the subject are bit more nuanced then most. Although I never lived for any length in the south, except for a stent in the military at Fort Benning Georgia, I was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee and all my relatives are from the south.