When Life Gives You Oranges…It’s Time for a Change of Beverage!

Is it safe to read the news again? Is it safe to go out, and find someone to hug? Is it OK to start planning for some “normal summer fun?”

I guess two out of three isn’t bad.

I’ve been MIA lately. I know that. But it has been a pretty rugged year, with loads of friends and family passing away, the fabric of our nation being torn to shreds by nutjobs, and the ever-present danger, that life with masks may be in our future for a few more months.

But, I admit that the past year in particular, has changed me.  And now, it’s time to put away the “Orange tears of rage” (as well as any inclination to drink the orange juice being peddled by DTJ) and try something new and fresh, or at least familiar. It’s also time to realize that being bunkered in the basement (literally on some days/weeks) has brought out some sides of myself, and the world at large, that I am eager to fix.
Let’s be honest about this. The last election cycle, after four years of an almost daily barrage of insanity on social media and “the news,” has exposed us for who we are. It’s like the Trump version of reality, and his army of echo-chamber “truthiness tellers,” was actually an “Anti-Cloaking Device” that pulled off the patina of politeness, and exposed the ugly truth of who we really are.  And, while it’s easy to poke fun at the morons that follow and believe even a smattering of the mythology of QAnon, it is far more difficult to have to address the fact that friendships and families were destroyed because of this insanity. 

It happened to me. And while we are all working toward civility, while dodging a whole host of topics that are still “too hot to handle,” I find myself simply not ready to trust “them” again. And that hurts. Mostly because I still continue to figure out who “them” really are.

So, going forward, I am going to let the SDNY take care of the Trump Gang.  I will keep my eyes peeled for what the worst of his sycophants are up to, like Stephen Miller, Bannon and Stone. But, after the insurrection on January 6th, I will not engage in any further chatter about the future, with those who support Trump. It was unconscionable, and vile…and deserves no time spent, trying to make sense of it, much less forgive and forget. 

What I WILL do, is to start trying to find ways to compromise on issues that are important. The world is a mess, and we are a LONG way away from recovering from the pandemic, and the effects of four years of heinous leadership. 

As much as I want to believe that we will be able to muscle our way back to some sense of commonality in governance, it is silly to think that twenty years of staunch partisan divide is just going away.  What started with Gingrich, continues with McConnel…and the fact is, even the most basic relief and aid packages are going to be met with a wall of partisanship, and will likely be resolved by VP Harris. 

Man. That sounds as good as saying “President Biden.”  Vice President Kamala Harris. She is going to be an important cog going forward.  But, I will have little to do with anything that does, or does not happen in Congress. So I will just cheer from afar.

Back in the 90s, when I owned a music newspaper that also wrote about local and national politics, I had a column called “Somewhere In The Middle.” 

It was dedicated to blowing off the extremes, and finding solutions through compromise.  It’s time for a bit of that again. 

However, it’s also time to get to work. DOING things that matter. Retirement? Do the things that make you happy…right?  Well, working to help others makes me happy. So, after a year off, while dealing with the passing of our parents, I will rejoin my Rotary club. I’ve continued to volunteer for emergency food box delivery, but I know there is a lot more work to do. 

Our work at the school in Buyijja has been decimated by the pandemic, and the kind of government upheaval that makes our politics look sane. We are in a “wait and see,” to find out if the school will even re-open.  At last count…we may be down to as few as 35 kids…down from 270.  It’s heartbreaking. But, we will continue to watch for signs of life.

After a year of losing two parents, a handful of friends, to death (ironically, none to Covid), with another handful fighting for good health…I am counting my blessings, and doing my best to stop being so pissed off all of the time.  It’s part of the PTSD hangover that happens when huge change happens, even if that change is for the better! 

I feel relieved…and am anxious to get moving and becoming vital again. I have had a vaccination shot…will get another soon…and am ready to start celebrating life…while still respecting death. 

So…I will start writing again. Posting at least once a week. Because it is a way for me to stay in touch with my emotions, vent a bit, and also celebrate the GOOD STUFF. There is a lot of good stuff in the world.  It’s time to start finding out what it feels like to stop caring so much about the bad stuff. 

Cranky’s back…but maybe not so cranky as before. 

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2 Responses to When Life Gives You Oranges…It’s Time for a Change of Beverage!

  1. zoraelizabeth says:

    Thanks Pat. I was jusst wondering where you were and prayed that COVID-19 hadn’t knocked at your door.

    I’m sorry to hear of the death of your mom? and your wife’s parents too?

    My family is split over Trumpism and fear of socialism and government sanctioned sins. It’s infected the pews at church too–what few we are who attend with masks and distancing. I don’t agree with some politics being promoted due to unsupportable exegesis of Bible passages, but if I raise the issues, raised BP is all I succeed in “getting.” I was finally disowned by an ex sister-in-law (not widowed sister-in-law), which is OK as she expected me to play her sons to keep her in the loop.

    One of my go-to political analyst is Peter Wehner, as he is a voice of logic, supportable Bible application, and a historian of politics in America.

    Yak, yak.

    Well, I get vaccine dose #1 next Tuesday. I’m more anxious about needing a potty break while in line…. TMI. Why is it that there was simplicity in getting our polio sugar cubes and small pox vaccination and so much mal-planning for the COVID-19 jabs?

    Well, I mowed the front yard: such as it is after a week of snow last month.

    Your writings always give me food for thought.

    Hopes and prayers for the grace of sanity to prevail over liars with their minions.

    Beth McCallum

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