WHAT IS YOUR PURPOSE?


If  you can’t figure out your

PURPOSE

Figure out your

PASSION

For your Passion will lead you

Directly to your

PURPOSE,

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Remember who you are!


When I was a little girl growing up in San Pablo, California in a working class neighborhood,  my Mother would say to me:

  ” Remember who you are”. 

  There were a lot of Tar Paper Temporary Housing, wartime  shacks, populated by red-neck country people that had come out to California to work in the Ship Yards during the war. My Mother was a farm girl from Oklahoma who came out to work in the same Ship Yards.  However, once she got a taste of independence and the bright lights of the city,  there was no getting her back to the farm.  She divorced my Father and married a Sailor from Boston.  He was much more sophisticated than she and she soaked up this new exposure like a sponge. He took his GI Bill and went to Carpenter School.  She owned one of those Tar Paper Shacks which we lived in while he built us a new home on the back of the property.  Later tearing the shack down and building a big Garage in front of the new house.  It looked a bit strange but it was one of the RARE new homes.  They sold that one and bought a larger lot one street over and my Sailor Daddy proceeded to build us a bigger, new home.  We lived in it before we could afford to put in a front door.  A piece of plywood was nailed over the door jam.  I remember having to climb in and out the kitchen window for awhile.  He built the house from reclaimed lumber that he got from tearing down buildings at the Ship Yards in Richmond.  I do not remember how many years it took to build the house, but when it was finished it was the newest, nicest house on the block.  My Mother was very pleased. She would have preferred we not play with any of the other kids in the neighborhood with their slow drawls and poor grammar. But since she worked we were left on our own a great deal.

Sailor Daddy Working on the house.

Sailor Daddy Working on the house.

  We lived one year in Boston and I acquired a bit of a formal accent but still distinctly West Coast.  I had some very good grammar school teachers and English spoken correctly was stressed in our home.  I was teased about being from Oklahoma and often called an Okie.  Which was intended as a slur.  Despite my Mother’s: “Remember who you are.”  I had the same self doubts and lack of solid identity that most young people suffer.

Several years later when I was an Adult,  I had the good fortune to travel to Oklahoma for a family reunion.  Where we all gathered in Alabama where my maternal Grandparents were from.  It was there my Uncle; J D Hill produced a book of the Hill family.  He and his wife had spent many years traveling around compiling our family tree.  It was here that he announced that our family was one of the earliest settlers of America.  That our relatives had fought in the American Revolution.  Which meant that any of us and our off springs were qualified to belong to the DAR; Daughters of the American Revolution and the SAR; Sons of the American Revolution.   People of the South especially consider this to be comparable to being American Royalty.  

I was very impressed.

Later I was telling my Paternal Grandmother ;  Mae Dunlap of my prestigious roots on the Sam Hill side of the family.  She then informed me that my Great Grandfather; Jimmie Dunlap had come over from Ireland as an indentured slave.  Not uncommon in those days for the poor Irish to sign a contract to work for room and board for several years as slave labor to pay their passage to America. Once my Great Grandfather had satisfied that debt, he worked day and night to save enough money to invest in a Mule Team.  There was land being given away in the Oklahoma Territory.  All one had to do was file a claim and make a run for the land.  Which is how the Oklahoma Sooners came to be.  The Sooner you got there after the Shot was fired to start the Race you were insured a claim to a deed of land.  Which is how my Great Grandfather  Jimmie Dunlap, from Ireland came to own a section (160) acres of land.  My cousin’s son Keith Winchester still farms that land today.

On my Maternal side of the family; Sam and Mary Hill had fourteen children and later hit oil on their land. And bequeathed to me, one of 64 heirs a share of the the mineral rights to that oil.  Plus the right to claim membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution.  Ascertaining that my family were early founders of America .  Almost  American Royalty.

On my Paternal side of the family Frank and Mae Dunlap only had two children.  They farmed the original land grab that my Irish immigrant Great Grandfather;Jimmie Dunlap secured as an Oklahoma Sooner. Which in Oklahoma is equivalent to being Royalty.

I held my head a bit higher after learning all of this  family history and never again allowed anyone to call me a dumb Okie.   I now knew who I was.

My Mother was right when she said to me;  “Remember who you are.”

To all my young relatives that are trying to find their identity

Skylar Katz, Jamie Katz, Brandon Katz, Nick Katz, Stephanie Harris,Kera Speight, Leeanna Ryel, you and all of your children are entitled to be members of the DAR or the SAR.

I say to you as my Mother said to me; 

“Remember Who You Are”!

Pass it on to your children.

 

 

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Meet Tucker; Four month old Mini-Schnauzer Salt and Pepper Puppy


DSCN0679Salt and Pepper Mini-Schnauzer PuppyThis little guy was named Tucker because he likes to tuck his little head under your chin.

He is house trained and very loving

AKC reg.

$700.

530-589-4450 call Mary

 

 

 

 

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My Parent’s Love Affair …by Michael Gartner


 

This is a story of an aging couple
Told by their son who was President of NBC NEWS.

This is a wonderful piece by Michael Gartner, editor of newspapers large and small and president of NBC News. In 1997, he won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. It is well worth reading, and a few good chuckles are guaranteed. Here goes…

My father never drove a car. Well, that’s not quite right. I should say I never saw him drive a car.

He quit driving in 1927, when he was 25 years old, and the last car he drove was a 1926 Whippet.

“In those days,” he told me when he was in his 90s, “to drive a car you had to do things with your hands, and do things with your feet, and look every which way, and I decided you could walk through life and enjoy it or drive through life and miss it.”

At which point my mother, a sometimes salty Irishwoman, chimed in:
“Oh, bull shit!” she said. “He hit a horse.”

“Well,” my father said, “there was that, too.”

So my brother and I grew up in a household without a car. The neighbours all had cars — the Kollingses next door had a green 1941Dodge, the VanLaninghams across the street a grey 1936 Plymouth, the Hopsons two doors down a black 1941 Ford — but we had none.

My father, a newspaperman in Des Moines , would take the streetcar to work and, often as not, walk the 3 miles home. If he took the streetcar home, my mother and brother and I would walk the three blocks to the streetcar stop, meet him and walk home together.

My brother, David, was born in 1935, and I was born in 1938, and sometimes, at dinner, we’d ask how come all the neighbours had cars but we had none. “No one in the family drives,” my mother would explain, and that was that.

But, sometimes, my father would say, “But as soon as one of you boys turns 16, we’ll get one.” It was as if he wasn’t sure which one of us would turn 16 first.

But, sure enough , my brother turned 16 before I did, so in 1951 my parents bought a used 1950 Chevrolet from a friend who ran the parts department at a Chevy dealership downtown.

It was a four-door, white model, stick shift, fender skirts, loaded with everything, and, since my parents didn’t drive, it more or less became my brother’s car.

Having a car but not being able to drive didn’t bother my father, but it didn’t make sense to my mother.

So in 1952, when she was 43 years old, she asked a friend to teach her to drive. She learned in a nearby cemetery, the place where I learned to drive the following year and where, a generation later, I took my two sons to practice driving. The cemetery probably was my father’s idea. “Who can your mother hurt in the cemetery?” I remember him saying more than once.

For the next 45 years or so, until she was 90, my mother was the driver in the family. Neither she nor my father had any sense of direction, but he loaded up on maps — though they seldom left the city limits — and appointed himself navigator. It seemed to work.

Still, they both continued to walk a lot. My mother was a devout Catholic, and my father an equally devout agnostic, an arrangement that didn’t seem to bother either of them through their 75 years of marriage.

(Yes, 75 years, and they were deeply in love the entire time.)

He retired when he was 70, and nearly every morning for the next 20 years or so, he would walk with her the mile to St. Augustin’s Church.
She would walk down and sit in the front pew, and he would wait in the back until he saw which of the parish’s two priests was on duty that morning. If it was the pastor, my father then would go out and take a 2-mile walk, meeting my mother at the end of the service and walking her home.

If it was the assistant pastor, he’d take just a 1-mile walk and then head back to the church. He called the priests “Father Fast” and “Father Slow.”

After he retired, my father almost always accompanied my mother whenever she drove anywhere, even if he had no reason to go along. If she were going to the beauty parlour, he’d sit in the car and read, or go take a stroll or, if it was summer, have her keep the engine running so he could listen to the Cubs game on the radio. In the evening, then, when I’d stop by, he’d explain: “The Cubs lost again. The millionaire on second base made a bad throw to the millionaire on first base, so the multimillionaire on third base scored.”

If she were going to the grocery store, he would go along to carry the bags out — and to make sure she loaded up on ice cream. As I said, he was always the navigator, and once, when he was 95 and she was 88 and still driving, he said to me, “Do you want to know the secret of a long life?”

“I guess so,” I said, knowing it probably would be something bizarre.

“No left turns,” he said.

“What?” I asked.

“No left turns,” he repeated. “Several years ago, your mother and I read an article that said most accidents that old people are in happen when they turn left in front of oncoming traffic.

As you get older, your eyesight worsens, and you can lose your depth perception, it said. So your mother and I decided never again to make a left turn.”

“What?” I said again.

“No left turns,” he said. “Think about it.. Three rights are the same as a left, and that’s a lot safer. So we always make three rights..”

“You’re kidding!” I said, and I turned to my mother for support.
“No,” she said, “your father is right. We make three rights. It works.”
But then she added: “Except when your father loses count.”

I was driving at the time, and I almost drove off the road as I started laughing.

“Loses count?” I asked.

“Yes,” my father admitted, “that sometimes happens. But it’s not a problem. You just make seven rights, and you’re okay again.”

I couldn’t resist. “Do you ever go for 11?” I asked.

“No,” he said ” If we miss it at seven, we just come home and call it a bad day. Besides, nothing in life is so important it can’t be put off another day or another week.”
My mother was never in an accident, but one evening she handed me her car keys and said she had decided to quit driving. That was in 1999, when she was 90.

She lived four more years, until 2003. My father died the next year, at 102.

They both died in the bungalow they had moved into in 1937 and bought a few years later for $3,000. (Sixty years later, my brother and I paid $8,000 to have a shower put in the tiny bathroom — the house had never had one. My father would have died then and there if he knew the shower cost nearly three times what he paid for the house.)

He continued to walk daily — he had me get him a treadmill when he was 101 because he was afraid he’d fall on the icy sidewalks but wanted to keep exercising — and he was of sound mind and sound body until the moment he died.

One September afternoon in 2004, he and my son went with me when I had to give a talk in a neighbouring town, and it was clear to all three of us that he was wearing out, though we had the usual wide-ranging conversation about politics and newspapers and things in the news.

A few weeks earlier, he had told my son, “You know, Mike, the first hundred years are a lot easier than the second hundred.” At one point in our drive that Saturday, he said, “You know, I’m probably not going to live much longer.”

“You’re probably right,” I said.

“Why would you say that?” He countered, somewhat irritated.

“Because you’re 102 years old,” I said..

“Yes,” he said, “you’re right.” He stayed in bed all the next day.

That night, I suggested to my son and daughter that we sit up with him through the night.

He appreciated it, he said, though at one point, apparently seeing us look gloomy, he said:
“I would like to make an announcement. No one in this room is dead yet”

An hour or so later, he spoke his last words:

“I want you to know,” he said, clearly and lucidly, “that I am in no pain. I am very comfortable. And I have had as happy a life as anyone on this earth could ever have.”

A short time later, he died.

I miss him a lot, and I think about him a lot. I’ve wondered now and then how it was that my family and I were so lucky that he lived so long..

I can’t figure out if it was because he walked through life,
Or because he quit taking left turns. “

Life is too short to wake up with regrets.
So love the people who treat you right.
Forget about the ones who don’t.
Believe everything happens for a reason.
If you get a chance, take it & if it changes your life, let it.

Nobody said life would be easy, they just promised it would most likely be worth it.”

ENJOY LIFE NOW – IT HAS AN EXPIRATION DATE!

 

Posted in A Love Story, Birthdays..Aging..Fear of Aging..Glories of getting older...wisdom...advice..., Childhood memories., communicating.. | Leave a comment

Fire, Fire, Fire. Follow up with neighbors.


Dear Folks,

We met with the Mother and the boys today.  We had a wonderful visit.  The first of many to come I hope.  I was shocked to learn they have lived there 9 years.  I thought it had only been a couple.  I am ashamed I did not make an effort to get to know this family.  The children are charming,  they are good people.  I have cheated myself out of some good times with them.  Attached is a letter written by the Mother;  Laura.

Love,

Mary

 
 
 
 

Dear Mary,

Thank you for reminding us about our letters of apology.  We, too, have been frustrated by the frequently missing mail, but that was not the case here. 

I am very sorry and embarrassed about the fire our two youngest sons (then aged 11 and 12) started on your property.  I knew from the beginning that you knew the cause of the fire, as the investigator asked if it was alright with me for him to talk to you about it (since they are minors).  We have been doing our best to work through the situation with the boys, but my husband and I couldn’t agree on the best approach where you were concerned, so we did nothing, and for that I am sorry, too. 

Thankfully, as you said, the damage was minimal and no one was hurt, but rest assured, we took the situation very seriously as the potential was great for a very different outcome.  As a result of this incident, the boys were not allowed to go to camp this summer, are now in counseling, confined to a small section of the property while playing outside (which can be seen from the house) for the entire summer, have had several fire professionals at church talk to them, are expecting to attend a class for junior fire setters, and have about 8 cords of firewood to move to keep them occupied while outdoors.  We have gone over, in great detail, all of the possible ramifications if the fire had… A) burned them.  B) burned anyone else.  C) burned our barn.  D) burned your horse trailer.  E) burned the neighbors greenhouse.  F) burned the other neighbors bird pen.  G) harmed my elderly in-laws who were trying to keep it under control until the firefighters arrived.  H) And of course, how dangerous fire is not only to the firefighters, but the potential risks to everyone in their proximity as they speed to the scene of any emergency. 

You are correct in saying that children must be held accountable for their actions if they are to have any chance of growing up to be responsible adults.  I think it’s vital that they “own” every bit of the situation they created.  To this end, I let them explain when anyone asks what happened in that field.  I honestly believe that they have learned some invaluable lessons and are quite done playing with fire. 

After extensive discussion, it has been decided that in addition to this, and the boys’ letters, they will be spending their lunch break (we homeschool) for the foreseeable future cleaning up what they can of the fire damaged area.  We’ll start on Monday, August 18, 2014 at 12:30 P.M., if you’d care to come speak with us/them.  I suggested they might work on it for 2 weeks, but to give you an idea of what good kids they are and the depth of their contrition, my younger boy said he thought they should go until it’s done, and the older one suggested that since your property was damaged, you should be the one to decide when they might be allowed to quit.  They are very empathetic, and still tear up often when the subject arises, so I greatly appreciate your willingness to let the matter drop with leniency. 

Again, I am very sorry about this whole situation including our lack of communication.

Sincerely,

Laura

 
UPDATE:
Thank you, Mary, for your amazing grace and generosity.  I had been a little worried how our meeting would go (if you came to talk to us) but both you and Ron left us relieved and delighted, with friendly conversation rather than accusations and condemnation.  When Ron said you were baking cookies for the boys and bringing them bottles of cold water, I just about lost it!  Thank you again, lovely lady.
 
Posted in communicating.., healing, Neighbors | Leave a comment

Grand daughter’s birthday…


Happy Birthday to my darling Grand daughter; “Jamie Kay Katz “. She was born at Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley, Ca. in 1987. The same hospital her Mother and my youngest son was born. I knew the wonderful Maternity Ward well. When Jamie was born her Mother’s Doctor had nine other Mothers in labor at the same time. We were in a private room and the Dr. came in and explained her problem. She knew I had delivered my two by natural child-birth and used the Lamaze system. She rushed in, examined my daughter and announced she was dilated to nine. She slapped some clamps in my hand, saying over her shoulder as she left the room; “You know what to do, don’t ring for me unless it is something you can’t handle.”
My Grand daughter was born, I clipped the cord and clamped it off. I was drying her off, when the Pediatrician came in, checked the baby and put drops in her eyes. Glanced at my daughter and said; “Fine, fine.” Turning to me he announced; “You know where the nursery is, take the baby there and they will exam her.” as he exited the room. I wrapped my precious name sake up swaddled style and proceeded to walk down the hall. All of a sudden I was over whelmed with emotion, I was holding this precious bundle and no one was even watching me. I felt like someone had entrusted me with all the gold and sent me alone to the bank. Goose bumps galore. When I arrived at the nursery things were hectic. All the nurses were busy examining new babies. The nurse directed me to an exam table asked the babies’ name, clipped a name bracelet on her wrist and taking the clip board she said: “Since you delivered her, you can help with her exam.” She would direct me and write down my answers on the clip board. It was all so exciting.
This baby was the perfect child. I never had to spank her. She spent much of her childhood with me and our bond continues to this day. I am so proud of the young woman she is today. She has a successful career, is the Mother of two adorable super smart children and the wife of a man who adores her and the children. She impresses me with her wisdom and management ability.
She called me last night at 10:30 p.m. after working an eleven hour shift as a Chef at the Marriott Hotel. We talked until almost midnight.
She is my joy.
Love, Grandma

Posted in Birthdays..Aging..Fear of Aging..Glories of getting older...wisdom...advice..., Birthing a child... | Tagged | 1 Comment

Fire! Fire! Fire!


The neighbors’ Foster Children were playing with matches and threw them over my fence. They set my five acres on fire. It was a four alarm fire. The children lied about setting it. However, the Fire Marshall got the truth out of them. I don’t think the parents know, I know the children set it. I have not heard a word from them. I believe in allowing people their dignity, so I wrote the following letter.

Dear Family,

We have had some problems with our mail missing out of our mail box in the past. On the chance that you wrote a letter of apology to us about the fire, your children admitted to setting on our 5 acres, to the Fire Marshall. I wanted to assure you we have not received it. I do not want you to think we are being rude by not acknowledging your apology.

The Fire Marshall interviewed me about your children and your household. I assured him that I felt the children were well cared for. I never hear crying or arguing from the kids. The only sound that filters down to me is the delightful sound of Children’s laughter on occasion. I asked him if you would be billed for the cost of putting the fire out. Which can be done if intent or neglect is an issue. He stated that based on my positive report they would waive sending you a bill. I told him I was pleased that was the case, because I feel you are very conscientious parents.

The Fire Marshall told me Laura was going to have the Children sit down and write me an apology. I was very heartened to hear this. Having raised five children I feel very strongly about children being held responsible for their actions.

We have some loss and damage from the fire. Do you have Home Owners’ Insurance? If you do it would cover the fire. We have three of our majestic Oak Trees damaged. I do not know if they will survive. We can wait and see or if you have insurance we could have a Tree Horticulturist exam them. We also lost a Fiber Glass bench that we bought years ago from an auction. It’s value is about $50. One of our wooden packing crates was damaged as well. All in all we are all very fortunate to have so little loss.

Let me be clear. We are not interested in monetary recovery. I just want you to make the children aware that we suffered some damage because of their actions. Some thought might be given to having them come down and do some chores, weeding, raking or watering the garden, perhaps. Only to teach them accountability. Please know that I would enjoy their company. I so miss having children around. My family all live in the Bay Area.

I look forward to hearing from you about this matter.

Our desire is to be good neighbors.

Sincerely,

Mary and Ron

Posted in Man wisdom, Neighbors, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Mink Coats and Foul Weather Gear..


Originally posted on marysfarmreport:

The three mink coats became one of the best investments I ever made. They were used by all my girl friends that had a special place to wear them. But the best part was the role they played as “Foul Weather Gear”, on the Yacht Mariner II., that I operated as a Yacht Charter business on San Francisco Bay.

My chief steward, Dean Radcliff took such delight in offering a coat to the ladies on board the yacht. He would say; “ I notice that you appear to be chilled. May I get you some foal weather gear? IT IS MINK!” Then as their jaw dropped, he would add, so very casually; “What color would you like”?

I often wore a mink jacket to Safeway over my jeans and sweat shirt with my bedroom slippers some mornings. When I was rushing to the store to grab a quart of milk…

View original 464 more words

Posted in Sailor Daddy | 41 Comments

15 Things I Wish I Had Known About Grief…. by Teryn Obrien


1. You will feel like the world has ended. I promise, it hasn’t. Life will go on, slowly. A new normal will come, slowly.

2. No matter how bad a day feels, it is only a day. When you go to sleep crying, you will wake up to a new day.

3. Grief comes in waves. You might be okay one hour, not okay the next. Okay one day, not okay the next day. Okay one month, not okay the next. Learn to go with the flow of what your heart and mind are feeling.

4. It’s okay to cry. Do it often. But it’s okay to laugh, too. Don’t feel guilty for feeling positive emotions even when dealing with loss.

5. Take care of yourself, even if you don’t feel like it. Eat healthily. Work out. Do the things you love. Remember that you are still living.

6. Don’t shut people out. Don’t cut yourself off from relationships. You will hurt yourself and others.

7. No one will respond perfectly to your grief. People–even people you love–will let you down. Friends you thought would be there won’t be there, and people you hardly know will reach out. Be prepared to give others grace. Be prepared to work through hurt and forgiveness at others’ reactions.

8. God will be there for you perfectly. He will never, ever let you down. He will let you scream, cry, and question. Throw all your emotions at Him. He is near to the brokenhearted.

9. Take time to truly remember the person you lost. Write about him or her, go back to all your memories with them, truly soak in all the good times you had with that person. It will help.

10. Facing the grief is better than running. Don’t hide from the pain. If you do, it will fester and grow and consume you.

11. You will ask “Why?” more times than you thought possible, but you may never get an answer. What helps is asking, “How? How can I live life more fully to honor my loved one? How can I love better, how can I embrace others, how can I change and grow because of this?”

12. You will try to escape grief by getting busy, busy, busy. You will think that if you don’t think about it, it’ll just go away. This isn’t really true. Take time to process and heal.

13. Liquor, sex, drugs, hobbies, work, relationships, etc., will not take the pain away. If you are using anything to try and numb the pain, it will make things worse in the long run. Seek help if you’re dealing with the sorrow in unhealthy ways.

14. It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to need people. It’s okay, it’s okay, it’s okay.

15. Grief can be beautiful and deep and profound. Don’t be afraid of it. Walk alongside it. You may be surprised at what grief can teach you.

What are things you’ve learned about grief that you wish you’d known when your loss first happened?

Posted in Sailor Daddy | 8 Comments

Thanksgiving 2022


Thanksgiving 2022

“Winston, come into the dining room, it’s time to eat,” Julia yelled to her husband. “In a minute, honey, it’s a tie score,” he answered. Actually Winston wasn’t very interested in the traditional holiday football game between Detroitand Washington.
Ever since the government passed the Civility in Sports Statute of 2017, outlawing tackle football for its “unseemly violence” and the “bad” example it sets for the rest of the world”, Winston was far less of a football fan than he used to be. Two-hand touch wasn’t nearly as exciting. Yet it wasn’t the game that Winston was uninterested in. It was more the thought of eating another Tofu Turkey. Even though it was the best type of VeggieMeat available after the government revised the American Anti-Obesity Act of 2018, adding fowl to the list of federally-forbidden foods, (which already included potatoes, cranberry sauce, and mincemeat pie), it wasn’t anything like real turkey.

And ever since the government officially changed the name of “Thanksgiving Day” to “A National Day of Atonement” in 2020, to officially acknowledge the Pilgrims’ historically brutal treatment of Native Americans, the holiday had lost a lot of its luster.

Eating in the dining room was also a bit daunting. The unearthly gleam of government-mandated fluorescent light bulbs made the Tofu Turkey look even weirder than it actually was, and the room was always cold. Ever since Congress passed the Power Conservation Act of 2016, mandating all thermostats – which were monitored and controlled by the electric company – be kept at 68 degrees, every room on the north side of the house was barely tolerable throughout the entire winter.

Still, it was good getting together with family. Or at least most of the family.

Winston missed his mother, who passed on in October, when she had used up her legal allotment of life-saving medical treatment. He had had many heated conversations with the Regional Health Consortium, spawned when the private insurance market finally went bankrupt, and everyone was forced into the government health care program. And though he demanded she be kept on her treatment, it was a futile effort. “The RHC’s resources are limited,” explained the government bureaucrat Winston spoke with on the phone. “Your mother received all the benefits to which she was entitled.
I’m sorry for your loss.”

Ed couldn’t make it either. He had forgotten to plug in his electric car last night, the only kind available after the Anti-Fossil Fuel Bill of 2021 outlawed the use of the combustion engines – for everyone but government officials.
The fifty mile round trip was about ten miles too far, and Ed didn’t want to spend a frosty night on the road somewhere between here and there.

Thankfully, Winston’s brother, John, and his wife were flying in.

Winston made sure that the dining room chairs had extra cushions for the occasion. No one complained more than John about the pain of sitting down so soon after the government-mandated cavity searches at airports, which severely aggravated his hemorrhoids. Ever since a terrorist successfully smuggled a cavity bomb onto a jetliner, the TSA told Americans the added “inconvenience” was an “absolute necessity” in order to stay “one step ahead of the terrorists.”

Winston’s own body had grown accustomed to such probing ever since the government expanded their scope to just about anywhere a crowd gathered, via Anti-Profiling Act of 2022. That law made it a crime to single out any group or individual for “unequal scrutiny,” even when probable cause was involved. Thus, cavity searches at malls, train stations, bus depots, etc., etc., had become almost routine. Almost.

The Supreme Court is reviewing the statute, but most Americans expect a Court composed of six progressives and three conservatives to leave the law intact. “A living Constitution is extremely flexible”, said the Court’s eldest member, Elena Kagan. ” Europe has had laws like this one for years.
We should learn from their example,” she added.

Winston’s thoughts turned to his own children. He got along fairly well with his 12-year-old daughter, Brittany, mostly because she ignored him. Winston had long ago surrendered to the idea that she could text anyone at any time, even during Atonement Dinner. Their only real confrontation had occurred when he limited her to 50,000 texts a month, explaining that was all he could afford. She whined for a week, but got over it.

His 16-year-old son, Jason, was another matter altogether. Perhaps it was the constant bombarding he got in public school that global warming, the bird flu, terrorism, or any of a number of other calamities were “just around the corner”, but Jason had developed a kind of nihilistic attitude that ranged between simmering surliness and outright hostility. It didn’t help that Jason had reported his father to the police for smoking a cigarette in the house, an act made criminal by the Smoking Control Statute of 2018, which outlawed smoking anywhere within 500 feet of another human being. Winston paid the $5,000 fine, which might have been considered excessive before the American dollar became virtually worthless as a result of QE13.

The latest round of quantitative easing the federal government initiated was, once again, to “spur economic growth.” This time, they promised to push unemployment below its years-long rate of 18%, but Winston was not particularly hopeful.

Yet the family had a lot for which to be thankful, Winston thought, before remembering it was a Day of Atonement.

At least, he had his memories. He felt a twinge of sadness when he realized his children would never know what life was like in the Good Old Days, long before government promises to make life “fair for everyone” realized their full potential.
Winston, like so many of his fellow Americans, never realized how much things could change when they didn’t happen all at once, but little by little, so people could get used to them.

He wondered what might have happened if the public had stood up while there was still time, maybe back around 2012, when all the real nonsense began. “Maybe we wouldn’t be where we are today if we’d just said ‘enough is enough’ when we had the chance,” he thought.
Maybe so, Winston. Maybe so.

Mark Twain once said: “Its easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”

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