I took a bit of break from the daily grind of writing posts partly because I just got really busy with a number of other things including a stupid amount of landscaping. I wish Maggie would whack me on the back of the head when I dream up these projects. You would think she would be eager to whack me considering she usually gets roped into doing a lot of lugging and mulching.
She’s a good soul is our Maggie.
I took a break because this year had a somewhat rough start with four deaths in the family over a few weeks in January and early February. These were people I have known and cared about all of my life and the loss of them made for a bitter spring. I needed some time to contemplate things and I came to the realization that my family has been too busy to stay in touch the way all our parents kept us in touch as we were growing up.
So. . .I decided to organize a family reunion and invited some 80 people from newborns to a few in their 80s. Because Maggie and I are hosting it here at the ranch, it’s been a lot of work preparing for the onslaught but it has been worth it. The response by the family has been a little overwhelming and people, some of us haven’t seen or talked to in a very long time are coming; some from great distances, to reconnect with each other.
The other reason I needed a break was because I had lost my sense of humour and was becoming just one more angry voice in the discordant choir that has replaced civil discussion and thoughtful debate in this brave new world. We spend more time choosing sides, assigning blame and arguing about who’s right or wrong than we do trying to find solutions to our common problems. It’s as if we see life as just one big sports event and all we do is cheer and jeer. I wanted to take some time to reasses what I believe in and what is important to me.
Family stood out as the most important thing to me and my great regret is that it took the deaths of four people to remind me of that.
I’m ready to get back to it now, or more accurately, as soon as the reunion is over this weekend so I will start posting again on August 4th. There’s a lot going on in the world, much of it dangerous and too much of the west’s response has been weak, foolish and remarkably uninformed. Too many innocent people, especially children, are being slaughtered in places like Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, Ukraine, Iraq, Israel, Egypt and Pakistan and I can’t help but think of the devastation that has been brought to all those families….those innocent families just like mine…. as a result. I also couldn’t help but wonder if we would be as arrogant in our assumptions about who is to blame or what should be done if it was our families being slaughtered. It’s the 21st Century but we don’t seem to have learned very much for all of our technological sophistication.
But we can talk about that next week. Until then, hope for the best for this savaged world and I’ll hope to see you next Monday.
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