The Golden Summer

There are moments in life when you know something will end, and you’re not sure what’s ahead, but you know it will be difficult, at least for a while.

I think we’ve all gone through this, when moving, when graduating from a school we loved, or much later, when our kids are growing up and we know they won’t be around like that for very long.

And we can enjoy it a little while. We know what’s coming, but we get a chance to say goodbye.

There are other times that the bolt comes out of the blue. You go out on a beautiful September morning, walk the kids to school, and then get back and make coffee, and there’s a friend on the phone screaming “Turn your tv on, turn your tv on.” And after that day, everything changes, first slowly then very fast, so that a few years later, your writers group of tight knit friends doesn’t exist, your husband has changed jobs, and you have moved, and what seemed to be halcyon days that would last forever are gone.

Or you know, you come back from a trip, sit down for the winter, and plan to visit your parents next year and have all sorts of things you want to do. And then you’re locked down, your city goes to the dogs, your health heads south and two years later you’re in a place you never thought you’d live and your life before is a distant memory.

I’ll say for the last that the very last day before lockdown, as it happens, Dan and I took one of our rare days off, did the Museum of Nature and Science, the Zoo, a walk in the park and our favorite restaurant for dinner. I’ll always have that. That was, in retrospect, my goodbye to the Denver I loved. I just didn’t know it at the time. If I’d known it, I’d have done just what I did.

On the other hand, seeing my parents — given their ages possibly for the last time — is still not possible, for a whole host of complex reasons, of which “I’m afraid something will happen and I won’t be able to come back. And even if I knew Portugal would coast through this, while it will be hell on Earth in the US, I’d prefer being here, where I belong, with my people.” (And that’s true even if my kids were with me there.)

Which one is better? Knowing or not knowing? Saying goodbye or not saying goodbye? One last golden summer, or not?

In the moment we are facing right now, we’re not given a choice, are we?

We know. We all can feel on the ground the thumps of the approaching beast.

Maybe we’ll get lucky one more time. G-d looks after drunkards, fools and the United States of America, and maybe he can still get our butts out of the bear trap, even now.

As some of you — and I myself — have mentioned, even though we’re in deep, deep trouble, the rest of the world is worse, and there is some protection in being the one eyed man in the realm of the blind, even in this.

Maybe we’ll see it play out in the rest of the world and right our boat before we take in too much water.

Maybe. But also, maybe this is the black dog speaking, but that’s not what I see ahead of us. I’m sorry. I think the idiots in power are going to continue idioting because they think no one is onto them.

And I think the water is going to get very choppy, very fast.

Americans aren’t used to deprivation, much less to hunger. I think it will get ugly. Very ugly.

Yes, I think in the end we win. But judging from the other countries that are now rebelling, I think it’s going to come to the brink of an irreversible situation.

Yes, I think we’ll reverse it. I think we’ll come around. I think we’re nowhere near done.

But I also think the next few years… two? three? four? are going to be difficult for almost everyone. We’re going to have to change the way we do everyday things in ways we can’t even imagine. We’re going to go through and have to do things we don’t think we could survive.

A lot of us, who are dependent on daily medication to stay alive, and who might otherwise live for another thirty years or so (forty, judging by my family history) might die if we can’t navigate alternatives.

I think most of — maybe even me, if I get very lucky — will come through this and see the other side. But we won’t be who we are now. And looking back at who we are now, we might very well think of this as our golden time of innocence, before we had to– do all those things, and endure all those things none of us wants to.

So, this last golden summer?

You know what’s coming. We all know what’s coming.

Take a day off. Take your sweetie to a park, or a museum, or the movies, or dinner, or whatever it is you’ve been putting off.

Take a day off and play with your kids.

Is there a trip you wanted to take, and is there some conceivable, not matter how much it requires you to pinch way to take it? Do it. Particularly if you and the family always wanted to.

Sit outside. Savor the peace. Take walks through the neighborhood. Forget your diet for just one day. There’s a chance the government will arrange for you to lose that weight anyway.

Mark some days, a week, a day a weekend. Go to that nice place you always wanted to go. Turn on the music and slow dance with your sweetie.

Be relaxed, be happy and savor it.

Make memories to take you through the hard times.

You can’t change what’s coming. It’s not something a single person can change. And you can’t prepare for everything. There will be things that take you by surprise, and those will hurt worst of all.

But for now, for this golden summer, this calm before the storm, enjoy how very very good life is.

Before everything changes.

282 thoughts on “The Golden Summer

  1. While going through the Air Force Water Survival Course back in [mumble. mumble], I had the opportunity to practice being rescued from the water by a helicopter.

    When you’re floating a fife jacket or those little inflatable things, your face is less than six inches out of the water. As the rescue helicopter gets into position, the blades that keep it flying kick up spray about, if I remember correctly, six feet off the water. Being rescued and being drowned can feel very similar.

    We just need to train ourselves to know the difference.

    1. It could have been worse.
      Navy likes to train helicopter pilots by completely suiting them up in flight uniforms, blindfolding them, and sticking them in a completely submerged, upside down helicopter, and they have to get themselves out of it before they drown.

      1. That’s apparently a standard thing for all Navy pilots. The Topgun Maverick cast had to undergo it, as well, since they spent so much time flying in Super Hornets.

      2. Well, I was just a gunner; but the worst part was the ten or twelve mosquito bites a day I picked up during my week in Florida. I must have been really tasty to those critters

          1. We’ll tag team him. Bring my son along and the bugs won’t even look in his direction. I can bathe in bug repellent, and the dang things treat it like I am just marinating to tenderize myself.

            1. [Mumble] decades ago, a friend and I did a few-day backpack in Lassen National Park. One lake was prime ‘squito habitat (as we found out after setting up camp), and while the bloodsuckers didn’t like DEET, they were incredibly patient. My dominant memory of that campsite was of a group of mosquitoes hanging out near exposed skin, then coming in for an attack when the DEET wore off.

              Didn’t go back to that lake in later trips; others were less buggy and easier to get to.

              Doesn’t help that I’m pretty tasty. One very minor advantage to the drought; not as many mosquitoes even though we’re not that far from the river.

              1. Once did a nature walk where the first posting by the river was about black flies, and the second about the river. One girl wondered why. Someone explained that was because it was still spring. Come black fly season, she’d know why black flies were first.

            2. Now that’s a mystery I’d like science to solve. Why are some people cursed to be so attractive to mosquitoes?

                  1. Like me. But here is a curious thing: I’m not allergic to Portuguese mosquitos. Hardly notice them at all. This side of the Atlantic? I develop “eggs” under the skin. FOR days. And it itches like heck.
                    OTOH I’m a mosquito gourmet restaurant both places.

                    1. Sympathies to the better half (your words).

                      I’m not violently reactive allergic, neither is the kid. But we are allergic. Not just severe itching but celluitius easily and often, which then leads to severe bruising. (No we don’t beat the kid. No hubby doesn’t beat me. Neither of us fell down, or hit doors, etc. Dang bugs.) When I worked in the woods seasonally, when I’d go back to school, I wore long pants and long sleeves, even in Oregon warm/hot fall days (back then there was no one else to blame for anything). Between the mosquitoes, poison oak, and general brush (not like we were hiking on trails), my legs and arms were often red, black, and blue.

      3. It’s called getting ready for a cold shot. Easily the most dangerous accident they face.

        Remember, pilots don’t make more money. They just make it faster.

    2. I learned more about life at USAF Survival School, Spokane, than any place I’ve ever been.Thumbs up from a former KC-135 Navigator.

  2. I am getting tired of the feeling of waiting for something to happen that is gonna have a massive effect on me while being totally out of my control.
    Kittens help. I should also start back fishing, and get around to hunting again.

      1. Should soon be able to spend it working less hard. Took motorcycle ride Saturday to just ride, (as well as not listen to the concert on the Island in the river where a cover band was playing EVERYTHING that gets played on the local radio I don’t listen to)

          1. The cat was not amused. When the concert finally stopped, the fireworks began, near 10pm. Menominee has their fireworks on the 4th or thereabouts out at the Marina on the shores of Green Bay, but Marinette does theirs a week or so later for a Logging and Heritage festival, held on an island in the Menominee River, and the launch point is about 1500 feet from my bedroom. The kittens couldn’t care less, with barely a notice between the two of them, but Allie got even more grumbly.

        1. Did that last weekend. The Costco bill was impressive, and getting it all in a Subaru Forester was a challenging packing experience.

            1. The Subie is good for these runs; we can get a lot of what we used to get at Costco at the restaurant supply. I’d rather not take the Ridgeline; no cover for the bed, and cooler packing in the back seat area is annoying. ‘Sides, Subarus fit in that area; the missing “LGBTBBQWTF for Biden” sticker* isn’t noticed. Not sure with the Honda. (There’s at least a one-night stay, two on the medical trips.)

              (*) Locally, it’s Trump country, but Subies with stickers are rare in Flyover county. More of a truck thing, here.

          1. Just did a Costco run myself today. $375 bill, but the time I got fuel too ($4.79/gal today), and I needed almost a full tank of fuel. But nothing on the CC. (The Costco cash rebates came in Saturday. They are spending a lot faster than I thought they would.) Plus another $175 between Petsmart and Freds. But then the Costco/Petsmart/Freds run for me is a round 12 miles. I’m not buying in a six months to a year allotment.

            1. Yeah, buying for 6 months is a challenge, but we’ve more-or-less nailed it. The post-op med visits ranged from often (mostly monthly for a few months), gradually going to annual. When I was a frequent flyer, I’d get stuff much like our shopping trips to town. Starting at 6 month intervals, we set up this routine, and now that the med visits are annual, I do a med visit in the summer and an overnight around January.

              I keep the shopping list from previous trips and edit. We discovered that there’s a tendency to not check inventory, so we have extra stuff of some items. Really didn’t need the extra Ziplock bags, but they keep. Doing an inventory sheet is on the todo list for the next trip.

              The downside to the semiannual is occasionally missing good sales, or the dreaded “we don’t have X on hand, try next week”. We once had to order Marathon TP online when we couldn’t get it. Fun(?) fact; two Kirkland TP packages equals one Marathon, but they take up the space of two Marathon packs in our shed.

        1. Knocks on wood!

          I also have Oni the Lonely now in review on Amazon, though I think my finger slipped during pricing so I may need a few more days to get it all set….

          Income from that would be welcome, but half of why I want to get it done is so brain has one less thing to worry about! (And will hopefully get back on the second book draft, oy brain….)

                  1. SAH,
                    Love to send you a paperback copy of the “Master Code” for your pleasure and review. (It’s already free for Kindle prime members), I’m trying to avoid paying Amazon for their dubious “advertising/marketing” and want to avoid feeding their “Beastmaster System” (trademark). I think my book is my attempt at a modern Gulliver’s Travels to wake the woke, inspire the deplorables, and to really piss off the elites and their puppetmasters. The day I am banned by Amazon will be a good day!

                    As a creative, alternative marketing campaign, I am starting a “Chain Book”, where I place a sticker inside the cover of the book and give it to a conservative/libertarian friend who likes to read. The sticker basically says, “This is a chain book for conservatives/libertarians to compete against the large publishers and their MASTERS who only promote “Woke” views that fit their Globalist agenda. By reading and spreading this, you are DEFEATING THEM. Read, buy a copy for yourself to support the author, and give this sample copy to a friend.” I wouldn’t mind a few giving a few copies to your blog members who would like to start such chains. Take a peek at the Kindle version, (look at the last chapter “A Final Sermon”) thpendel at you know who.

                    T.A. Hunter

                    1. Please do NOT send me paperback copies. I now read almost exclusively on the kindle.
                      But even on kindle it takes forever to have time to read what they send me We’re very very busy, which means mostly I read “white noise” when I have five minutes.
                      It should settle down in a year or so.
                      The request to email me, was to email the link for instapundit. I believe I already asked you to do so?

                    2. Apologies. I’m still a traditionalist and like a paper copy in my hands! I see all my typos better that way than on a screen! I’ve finally conquered most of the typos, so I finally like my “product” I don’t think I got a request for instapundit. (whatever that is). That was to someone else?

                      Anyway, I’ll continue to try and offer any positive/helpful comments and wisdom on your blog when I feel like I can contribute to the narrative! I do like your blog and its focus more than any others I’ve visited lately!

                    3. SEND ME THE LINK TO YOUR BOOK TO my first two initials, last name at hotmail, and I’ll try to link it at instapundit tomorrow. Sometimes it gets many sales.
                      No apologies. Thank you.
                      Presbiopia means it’s easier to read on kindle than on paper.

        2. We don’t get to run through the Valley of the Shadow of Death. Walking only.

            1. Yeah. Shite. 🙂
              My therapist told me that more than once. Whenever I got a new tool to help process the junk and pain, I’d want to DEPLOY the tool so I could end the misery TODAY.

          1. Marine version, slightly edited: Yea though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I will fear no evil. To one the Lord is with, Death holds no fear. And because he has given me of His strength other evils shall fear me!

            The version seen in many Marine barracks is shorter, blunter, and not suitable.

            1. I just remembered something about “…the meanest sob in the valley…”

            2. “The version seen in many Marine barracks is shorter, blunter, and not suitable.”

              It is indeed, and no, it’s not. I like the mod, though. 😉

              1. Adapted (with permission) from an idea by MadMike Williamson:
                55000 Marines have died in combat defending the United States.
                At the end of days, the Forces of Darkness will assemble to assault the Walls of Heaven. Before those walls they will find those 55000. If they have any sense they will go back where they belong.

                I am not a Christian but a Christian Marine comrade of mine said “Marines don’t use St Peter’s Gate. We go in by the staff entrance.”

                  1. Yep. Paraphrased, of course, but the sentiment is there. 🙂

                    Thanks, Geoff. Semper Fi!

          2. Yea, though I tiptoe through the valley of the tulips of death I shall fear no evil.

            Because, TULIPS!!

            And God.

            Mostly God.

          3. In Britain, much was written about that last golden summer in 2014 before England entered the war, and the lamps went out in Europe…Tolkien had a rugby team at Oxford, composed of his friends…Tolkien was badly wounded at the Somme and survived…only one of his teammates lived through the war…Much worse than the Charge of the Light Brigade…

            1. Tolkien was the reason I learned how devastating the world wars were for England.

              1. Anne Perry has a historical series covering the period of World War I, which goes into considerable detail on the impact of the war on Britain.

                1. Thanks. I just found the series for purchase when income gets a bit more plentiful.
                  Just by the titles and book covers the they look amazing. Thanks!

                2. Confutus,
                  Read Robert Graves’ books, “Goodbye to All That” and “The Long Week-End.” Graves is a tremendous author and he lived through that time, fighting on the Western Front. His perspective is not to be missed if you really want to know how that was. Also, John Masters wrote a three-volume series on Britain and the First World War that is incredibly good historical fiction.

                  1. I loved Masters’ India books (the three military ones, and two of the novels). I’m not sure if I’m up to WWI Western Front novels.

                    1. Hi Red,
                      Try them. I think they may be the best fiction he ever wrote. I don’t think you would be sorry to have spent the time to read them.

                      Now, if you’re in Texas, do me a favor. Go to your nearest Pappasito’s and have some fajitas for me! Years ago I met a guy in South Korea who worked for Cameron Oil Services out of Houston. We were talking about how good Pappasito’s fajitas were and he said, “I’ve been over here six months now. I wouldn’t KILL for a plate of those fajitas–but I WOULD seriously consider armed robbery!”

            2. “…that last golden summer in 2014…”

              Either you meant 1914, or I’ve wandered into an alternate reality, and never even noticed the Paratime conveyor… 😉

            1. “Yeah, though I shuffle, armed to the teeth, through the Valley of Death, I shall fear no evil…” Yes!

            2. “Yeah, though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I shall neither fear evil nor shall I ever stop cursing the GPS program that got me here . . .”

              1. “…cursing the GPS program…” Oh, so you had a Magellan too! 😉 Mine took us into Anacostia. At night. Fortunately, in the rain, so the bangers weren’t out…

          4. There is no way out but through. To the long-time observant, this event has been baked in the cake for a long time.

            I am more hopeful now than I have been in at least 30 years. Many more people now see government and corporations for what they are than ever before, and are reacting with righteous anger. The 60% – 70% who remain willfully ignorant are not a factor. They never are, historically, so do not worry about what they will do. They are lost, weak souls who will do what they are told, by whomever tells them.

      1. Make sure you have plenty of shoes (and eyeglasses spares)….Imagine being in the Revolutionary War or Civil War (on the Southern side), barefoot and marching miles a day!

        1. and eyeglasses spares

          Ah, yes. That one thing that I always have on my face and always forget about when it’s time to stock up on things.

            1. Mom was blind as a bat until she was 80. Thick heavy glasses from the time she was 5 or so (she thinks). Cataract surgery in each eye, plus a couple of procedures that hadn’t been available until last not quite 15 years, now (she’s 87). Now she doesn’t have to wear glasses, even to drive, legally. Not quite 20/20, but a range that allows her to drive without glasses. She’s not comfortable not having 20/20, and she still needs progressives, or reading glasses.

            2. [Checks spare pair.] With the safety glasses, I’m up to three bifocal specs, plus a couple of computer glasses. Used to have near-perfect distant vision in the right eye, but a very useful cornea surface clean rendered that eye quite myopic (the documents said I’d likely go farsighted. They were wrong).

              OTOH, I have some old scratches in the left cornea. I really don’t want to undergo yet another eye procedure (had enough so that it’s tiresome) at my age, so I’ll live with it. Can’t zero out the distortion, so the left eye is decidedly non-dominant. Still, it’s better than monocular vision.

              Most of my reading is without glasses at all, but if I want to see the displays in the kitchen, I better have the specs or be willing to get close to the clock/weather box.

              OK on shoes for a few years, though I might let Nike get a few bucks for a spare pair of citified shoes. Have to see if Sasquatch Supply has them in stock. 🙂

              1. BIL has become a Nike hoarder. He has, not one, but two daughters working there. They use their discounts to get him all the shoes he wants. Other sister has one daughter working there. Suspect little brother will be following in sister’s wake. Between the 3 nieces we could get in on the shoe bonuses too. Can’t bother. Shoe hoarding is not my thing. I get them, wear them out, after a couple of years, get a new pair … except hiking boots, I have two pair of those.

                1. I prefer Redwing work shoes around the property, but the Nike Air Monarchs do better for me on city duty. It’s also a bit more friendly to the mild bunion I have (had the worse one fixed, but that killed a few months and disrupted domestic bliss. Late July was not optimal for elective foot surgery.)

                  The Redwings do not handle fires; the sole is nice and cushiony but melts. I have a pair of Carolina work boots that do the job; not totally comfortable. I need to see if the steel toed Redwing boots are viable. I lost a pair of firefighter’s structure boots when I tried them a few months after the knee healed. Had to cut one off… Seems the foot and ankle swelled in recovery.

                  1. I had custom Danner work boots, not the ones the wildland firefighting crews were getting, because my feet are small (size 5 mens). My first season woman sized Redwings lasted only two seasons. The Danner work boots lasted until I wasn’t in timber anymore.

                  2. I’ve been using the top end RedWing boots for a couple decades now. I still use the insulated ones down here in Florida, as insulation doesn’t care which way the heat is moving, and SouthEastern pavement gets a bit warm come summertime.

                    1. I’m not sure how old my insulated Redwing Irish Setters are (10 years? Only used in winter months with heavy snow), but they’ve lasted quite well. I know the Carolinas fit well enough, so I’m using them for now. This pair is much better than the cheaper Carolinas I had; those used glue-together construction, and the glue and the sunroom/mudroom didn’t play well together. The current pair is traditional & more expensive, but they’re lasting. When they die, the steel-toed Redwings will get used.

    1. Spinning cats on the wood floor helps. Full disclosure, I am doing this in an attempt to train him out of plopping down on the floor in front of people, which I inadvertently trained him to do by petting him with my feet.

      1. You just made me laugh out loud with the “spinning cats” and for that I am very grateful!

        1. Try making a small patch of wheatgrass available to her. Can be found in many supermarkets. May sop her hurking a all. It did mine.

            1. They eat it and that gives them something so they don’t throw up. Outdoor cats eat grass for the same effect.

      2. Cole, maybe, but Runt moves too fast. She’s very much a “have a seat and I’ll be there shortly and decide if I wants attentions” sorts kitten.

    2. My daughter recently got two kittens. The kittens have helped her 15 year old cat and cheered us enormously. I recommend kittens wholeheartedly.

      1. Back in the day, I lost an old cat, Thibadeaux (she was found in a cane field just outside of that town) around 18 years, and the other old fellow I had, Pierre, wasn’t doing well (he was 16 or so). Then I was acquired by Annie the Insane and he perked up and I think I got much more time out of him as a result. The next year I got Annie’s sister from another litter, and he was content to sit and watch them play, while he lorded over the house. He almost made 19.
        Annie passed this last December, her sister, Isabeau, in Feb. ’20 just before the lockdowns.
        Allie is now 9 years old, Cole is almost 4 months, Runt 2 months or so. I know Cole’s birth date. Runt is the runt of the litter and Momma I rescued from trying to cross a busy street when Runt and her other runtish littermate were too small to easily crawl through mildy tall grass next door (say two weeks and a few days since last mowing) The other kittens were bigger so I figure 6 or 7 weeks maybe 8 between them, in age. Runt and her other small brother looked almost like from a different litter, but Runt has a lot of her mother’s colors.

  3. Such a beautiful reflection. I’m not anxious about what’s coming, but I do need to remember to cherish these summer days too. They can’t take away our joy unless we let them. And we won’t.

  4. It’s a beautiful day here in NJ and I’m watching the crew take down two ash trees that fell victim to the ash borer, another gift from China. I am terribly sentimental about trees and went out and hugged the ash tree that protected my house by catching the trees that fell when we got hit by a mini tornado several years ago. I’m feeling very maudlin.

    Still, you go on or you go under.

    1. Feeling maudlin this morning too. Hugs. I won’t quit if you won’t. 🤕

      1. The golden summer glow
        Fades to autumn’s golden leaves.
        Then the first hints of snow
        Shine silver on the eaves.

        The future lies in shadow,
        But the fire now is warm.
        The harvest is uncertain,
        But my heart still is calm.

        When comes the storm before us?
        When blows the bitter wind?
        It comes like each day dawning
        And goes with each night’s end.

        Look up, hope shines above you,
        It never fades away.
        The storm can only hide it,
        Never blow its light away.

        1. That is so beautiful, thank you!
          I’ll assume the words are yours, and thank you for the gift. My heart leaped like a little kid when it starts snowing.

    2. This morning I told Dan “You deal with life, or life deals with you.”
      Weirdly I too am sentimental about trees, and have been known to cry when they have to be cut down. Maybe something in the deep culture.

      1. We have a very large silver maple tree in our front yard that was a mere sapling when we moved here 33 years ago. Last summer we had a microburst that tore the top of it right off. I ​was devastated. Hubby was going to just have one of his logging buddies come and cut it down and even promised the wood to some of his friends for firewood.

        I. Put. My. Foot. Down.

        It was a lovely tree and would be again if we trimmed the broken parts off. I just knew it. The logger who came sided with me and said there was no reason to cut it down it would be back to it’s former glory in no time. He picked out the broken parts with his picker truck and left the rest of the tree to grow back. It looked terrible. But it wasn’t all dead. Only mostly dead. And there was plenty of firewood for the ones who were promised good maple firewood.

        The best part was about half the town came to supervise the process, offer suggestions and condolences for the damage to our tree. We had no idea how many people had enjoyed seeing it or even knew that it was the only maple tree here. Lots of people love trees, apparently, and I am happy to report that new branches are coming in well already this year. God willing it will be as full and beautiful as ever soon.

        1. That’s great that it was such a community event.

          I will say though… I am shocked that after 33 years it is still the only maple there.

          resumes picking maple seedlings out of the landscaping

          1. Our back maples, two volunteer native Big Leaf versions, and one imported Japanese Green (red trim) Leaf, were very prolific seedling producers this spring. I didn’t think the Imported would do that. Front ones haven’t. The Japanese Red Maple hasn’t. Okay the Japanese Green Maple planted out back was bigger than the ones planted a few years ago out front, even now. But the Red Maple has been in place for 2 decades now. I’ve pulled a bucket full and keep finding more.

        2. We ran into similar when we had to take out our two Giant Sequoias after the 2017 ice storm. It would have been nice to keep them. But when the urban tree removers got into the trees they just started pulling out huge heavy limbs that had broken or partially broken and barely hanging on, without any mechanical aid other than the lift to reach them. That and other invisible issues were uncovered. None of this was “visible” from the ground, which, by law absolved us of any liability problems. Any unanticipated problems were considered “Act of God” and non-actionable. But as non-practicing foresters we had an inkling there could be problems. So the trees had to came down. Neighbors changed their comments to congratulating us for being foresighted, but it was a shame the trees had to go. We agreed. It was a shame the trees had to go. OTOH just having a large limb hit the ground and thump back on the house was the only problem I wanted. Did not want huge heavy limbs dropping directly onto and through the roof, the next time the wind got blowing, let alone come down on a kid walking to school.

          1. I had a really old Ponderosa pine that was dropping limbs at random. Lots of dead branches (such as Pondo gets, alas), but when the last limb it dropped would have killed anybody, I figured it had run its course.

            One neighbor and his friend (and amateur logger–not great at getting the tree to fall the way he planned, but it came down without trauma) cut it, and now the lengthy process of them getting the logs and firewood out of the way is happening. $TINY_TOWN time is flexible; Real Soon Now seems the most applicable idiom, but the tree is in an out of the way spot, and I’ll feel a whole lot safer when I mow the grasses back there.

            If I only had a few trees, it’d be a tragedy. When it’s a few score, it’s fair game to thin the oldsters.

            1. “last limb it dropped would have killed anybody”

              I hear that. The first limb to come down had a limb diameter of 18″, where it broke, bigger at the stub on the tree. Slammed the ground and bounced back into the house gutter shaking the house. Took all 3 of us to move the limb off the house where it was leaning. Sequoia limbs are heavy. Only limb that “hit” the house. We were lucky. Before it was all done we had 10′ of limbs on the lawn between the driveway and the trees, on the side driveway, and between the house and the tree. No limbs fell on sidewalk/street side. This doesn’t count the limbs that broke or partly broke and never made it down to the ground. Couldn’t see the damage to the trees just looking up, or from the street. But from a distance from the backyard, it was very clear they had to come down. I have/had pictures from immediately afterwards, and when the trees were taken down.

              We did text son to park behind cars in driveway, not on the street, jic, and definitely not in the side driveway where he normally parks.

              At least we’d had the really problematic limb taken out the year before. It was growing out over the house and had turned up for another crown, which Sequoias do. It was 4′ at the base, and over two feet where the limb turned up. (Squirrels and cats were mad at us, they were using it as a freeway from tree to house, squirrels from house to tree.) Had it come down, it would have taken out the living room.

              Took two trips for the self loader to take 6 sections of 17′ lengths. He had a lot difficulty getting the lowest sections loaded, because of the weight. That didn’t count the lower 6′ and 4′ sections the urban tree people had to quarter to get them out (he was hoping to sell to a carver). Normally urban sequoias have no market, at least locally. But the urban tree people had worked a multi-deal for the logs for pergolas for himself, the self loader, and someone with a portable mill. We, and the neighbors, ended up with a whole lot of yard chips, just from the stump grinding. Free for the neighbors, not so free for us.

              1. The neighbor and the guy who felled the tree have mills good to 2′ or so. A couple of other people in the area can handle 3′ plus. I have more fire wood than I need (only used in the shop/barn). If things get too delayed, I’ll move the slash to the burn piles and celebrate the end of fire season this autumn.

        3. We had a maple sapling in the neighborhood — a big sapling, fortunately, because when a hurricane came through, it was split right in half.

          The half left standing is still growing along.

      2. I talk to trees and they speak to me as well. It’s particularly noticeable when the seasons are changing.

    3. Thank you all. I’m a Brooklyn boy so trees growing anywhere are special to me. We’re losing all the ash trees here, though I’m trying to see if I can coppice the stumps.

  5. I donated, possibly a bit more than I should afford, because. I am one of the book fans who was drawn to the blog, and check it a few times a week. Sometimes print it out and leave copies around work ( Some of these people really need a clue! ) And my Golden Summer will be getting to the first Con I have ‘properly’ attended in ~ten years. ( FenCon, here I come! ) We also have what we expect will be our last European River Cruise scheduled for next year; it was paid for and scheduled before the Cvd hit, and has been pushed back four times. So if the [government talking points] don’t hit the rotational atmospheric motivator before then, we may also have that. Otherwise, the investment will be finally gone. My Fixit skills will hopefully still be of value SOMEWHERE in whatever future we face. Otherwise, it has been a good run, and I hope my kids wake up ( instead of going Woke ) in time to survive.

    1. You should not hurt yourself because of me, so I hope you haven’t. And most kids aren’t woke, not really. SOME are, and they are very loud.
      Brandon lost the youth a while back.
      I really would like to visit my parents one last time, but I don’t trust the situation.
      I wish you luck with your summer. Thank you.

      1. Check is in the mailbox, so Brandon the mailman ( poor guy, but he doesn’t seem to mind) will pick it up.
        Back on the road.

      2. Present job is decent money and plenty of overtime. Various levels of “upper level management” ( which goes all the way to Congress, sadly ) are trying to eat the trusty horse that provided good service while apparently believing that said horse will continue to provide all the previous service and benefits while being eaten alive. Hoping I will have time to retire before things suddenly DIE, as that would be bad. But I don’t want to look for ANOTHER job, and need to continue to be well employed to do the things my wife especially enjoys doing, and keeps me moving and exercised, etc. ( She already tends to couch potato in front of the TV, and I am prone to spending too much time in front of the computer. Not going to have a healthy retirement THAT way! ) I am hoping my Navy days when I was young continue to help me balance the many ups, downs and sideways I encounter in life. Yes, stay positive and upbeat, and don’t worry overmuch about what you can’t control, but try to be prepared for the waves you DO see coming!

        Just have to avoid buying any more shoes for a year or two, and I’ll be ahead of the game, as far as how much I chose to give. I have plenty in the closet already!

  6. “Vintage Season” by Moore & Kuttner (as Lawrence O’Donnell; movie adaptation Timescape starring Jeff Daniels.👹👍🎉🍾

    Sent from my iPhone


    1. Yes, thank you, “Vintage Season” is the story. I remembered the story but not the title.

  7. As bleak as our current situation appears, I think that this requisite moment is a precursor for a new equilibrium (and not the Great Reset that the Left wants to thrust upon us). In the new equilibrium we will devolve centralized authority, local decision-making will become the default setting. Instead of radical change, we will have incrementalism, small steps in a desired/optimum direction.

    “Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.” (George Orwell)

    With that quote in mind, it’s important to remember the kindness and generosity of Americanism. Wholesome and good, we have much to be proud of. The Left’s desire to falsify our history is beyond contemptible.

      1. Doxorubicin/Adriamycin is a type of chemotherapy that’s essentially WW1 Mustard Gas in liquid form.

        So it can kill you. But hopefully it kills the cancer faster.

        Among other drugs and the grace of God, it made me well.

        Matthew 6:25-33 is good advice for us all.

  8. A while ago I decided to read the Oz books. I distinctly remember the royal celebration that started off The Emerald City of Oz, and how so much it reminded me of the opening of The Guns of August.

    The Emerald City of Oz was published in 1910.

    And of course this song pops up on my feed. It’s good, very good, just also very sad:

  9. In the mid-2010s, I got nostalgic for Disney World, which I had visited a couple of times as a kid, and made arrangements to go back, and drag a couple of family members along. Immediately afterwards, I kind of reproached myself for the money and vacation time spent, but more recently, I’ve been grateful for that weird impulse, because now I understand that barring some very radical developments I’m not going back. When I last visited, it was already not what it had been in the 1980s,* but it was not what it is now, either.

    It’s important to seize the day, but it’s also important not to be overwhelmed by the reasons we sense for seizing the day. At a certain age, I spent Sunday dreading the arrival of Monday, and Saturday dreading the arrival of Sunday (which was Homework Day, and sometimes Formally Entertain Grownups Day), which is no way to spend the weekend.

    As far as the future goes, I have no crystal ball. If civilization gets past this particular bottleneck, it’s going to be something we today would find kind of cool, but immeasurably weird and alien. That’s all I’m sure of.

    *This is not a Golden Age of Anything joke, or not just such a joke. The decline of sleek, gleaming, vaguely educational EPCOT Center into mere trashy, wine-mom Epcot is as perfect a metaphor for the failure of the futurist/secular humanist project as you’re likely to find.

    1. EPCOT is my least favorite of the four theme parks at Disney World. Half is all “futuristic” curvilinear concrete plazas with glass buildings and absolutely no shade, and half is hokey foreign country pavilions like a third-rate World’s Fair. It has some nice restaurants, and the fireworks are excellent, but that’s about it.

      1. Just be glad that Disney didn’t get to build the EPCOT he wanted. If this Defunctland video is anywhere close to accurate, Walt Disney was batshit crazy by the end.

        1. Yeah, and then some time after his death they built Celebration instead. Celebration is a pleasant place, if a little Stepfordy, but when you get over by the commercial part where the office buildings are it’s kind of surreal.

        2. Shrug. He was a control freak, which served him well in his day job of herding artsy, drama-prone, and occasionally backstabbing cats towards a particular entertainment-related goal. His utopian (to us dystopian) city fantasies reflected both that and the fantasies of the mainstream culture of his time. He didn’t live long enough to learn better. Remember, there was a time when even Poul Anderson thought the UN was a good idea.

      2. Today it’s terrible, but in the 80s, the futuristic side was actually convincingly futuristic, there were actual shade trees, and every one of those polygon pavilions had an air conditioned, high-capacity ride (mostly the same Omnimover rider system as the Haunted Mansion) inside, trying to educate kids about farming, energy, imagination, or the history of transportation or communications.

        It was a first rate World’s Fair, instead of a third-rate one in those days. I’ll grant you the overly extended layout. There’s a reason people call it Every Person Comes Out Tired.

        1. I agree. I visited Disney World the first time circa 1982. EPCOT seemed amazing at the time, and stuck in my mind.

          My wife and I made plans to meet some cousins down there this spring (right before the controversy blew up) but we were late to the game with the insane reservation system they imposed on top of the tickets and were stuck going to EPCOT and paying for ParkHopper to get to Magic Kingdom in the afternoon. EPCOT has NOT improved with age, mine or its. On the bright side they had the flower festival going at the time, so at least we could wander around with family and take pictures of pretty floral displays before departing for the greener pastures of Magic Kingdom. TomorrowLand seemed more realistic/futuristic than EPCOT. Given what has blown up since I don’t see us handing Disney a huge chunk of change like that again anytime soon. Even if things change, I sure don’t see EPCOT as high on the priority list.

          1. We took kid 25 years ago. Did the package with vehicle *rental, all park access, and park hopper. Always meant to take him back a few years later, just never got around to it. Thought is was horribly expensive then. It is prohibitively expensive now. Sister and BIL take an annual trip with their kids, and now grandchildren to Disneyland; or have. For reasons, not related to the current Disney controversy, I don’t know if they are continuing.

            /* we were not flying 3500 miles and not also taking in Florida Shamu, let alone Kennedy Space Center.

      3. Fondly remember our last time there when we visited the Moroccan pavilion. A woman was weaving a pile rug on a vertical frame loom. When she realized I understood what she was doing I got a whirlwind demo of rug-making.
        Pulled out my drop spindle and was almost instantly surrounded by excited teenagers. One was saying, “My mom does that! My mom does that!”
        It was a good experience.

  10. I’ve always wanted to land on the dot at Airventure in Oshkosh. It’s the ultimate small airplane pilot adventure and this will probably be the last year I could go, except I don’t have my pilot’s license, don’t own an airplane, and can’t afford either one. So I signed up as a Student Pilot and hired a flight instructor to give me lessons including a cross-country navigation practice flight which just so happens to end in . . . Oshkosh.

    Where there’s a will . . . .

    1. Congrats! When I worked up in that area, Oshkosh coincided with the peak of spray season, so I never got a chance to go. (I was dispatcher, map-maker, chemical mixer, office watcher, non-spray charter pilot, mechanic’s assistant, general dogs-body.)

  11. I have it on good authority that the sun will rise tomorrow, though I have spent a fair amount of time where it sets in November and doesn’t rise until late January. Either way we soldger on, make the best we can of it, be it good or bad.

    Yep times they are a changin’, hard rains gonna fall, bad moon rising, light at the end of the tunnel may be an on rushing locomotive….

    None the less I’m quite sure if we hope for the best but plan for the worst we can not only get by, we may surprise ourselves and even enjoy the ride.

      1. Actually, up here in that vague eastish, westish, northish, southish, sorta way. Today, for example it’ll set at 25° on the compass dial. 😉

        1. North of North-Northwest is still sorta westish
          And all of 3.5 hours of “Night”, too
          Around 8 hr and 40 minutes of night here just above the 45th parallel

  12. We just got back from visiting 4 of our kids who live half a continent away.

    We didn’t have the time or the money to do so, however hubby and I both worry that if things get sporty we won’t have the chance later. Grandpa spent 2 hours a day teaching a granddaughter to drive a stick shift car and I got to teach the 2 youngest grandkids Little Bunny Foo Foo. It was a great trip. Including the drive back on the 4th of July when we were able to see first hand how very patriotic the heartland still is.

    Our kids are all very well to do and will hopefully be able to weather a storm they have no idea might be coming for them because they all believe the MSM that things are great. And things are great for them because they are in careers that are very lucrative. They really don’t get how it is for regular people these days. One daughter-in-law thinks that people in the country are poor because they waste too much money giving it to the church and have no ambition. It makes us sad that they have decided that making big money in the city is more important than family. We didn’t raise them that way. In spite of their attitude, we love them and especially the grandkids. We wanted them to know if things get bad they can always come home.

    One hopes they manage okay and we can use our extra resources, such as we have, to help those around us here. But we are glad we made the trip knowing it might be a while before we see any of them again.

    1. One daughter-in-law thinks that people in the country are poor because they waste too much money giving it to the church and have no ambition.

      Sounds like someone figured an appropriate counter-retardation to the avocado toast nonsense…

      1. Well she is on a very strange limited vegan diet with outrageously priced premade food that comes in the mail. Everyone else in the house fends for themselves for food.

        Avocado toast would be an improvement in her diet. She has become very unhinged since giving up meat for virtue signaling purposes.

        She is one of the bitterest unhappy people I know. It breaks my heart to see her suffering like this. But there is nothing I can do but pray. It’s in God’s hands, although she actively hates even the mention of Him or Prayer. So I don’t tell her I pray for her. She would be very angry I am wasting my time with it.

        1. I was referencing the common delusion that young people are broke because they eat avocado toast and have cell phones.

          Rurals being broke because they give all their money to church and don’t have ambition is the same thing in a different direction.

          1. I didn’t know that was a common delusion.
            I didn’t know young people were particularly broke, beyond being at the start of their wealth building journey.

            1. “Broke” for Millennials/Zoomers means “won’t ever be able to buy a house”, not “can’t put food on the table”.

              1. As compared to my “pay the bills and rent or get groceries.” I paid the rent and made the contents of the pantry and fridge last as long as I could. That was a very, very long month (bad weather so no flying and my office work only paid for the basic bills.) I lost some weight.

                  1. Thank you. That was back when I flew for a living, but I remember it quite clearly. Some things I only have to suffer through once before I get the Hint. Other times . . . Well, I’m very glad that Himself has the patience of ALL the saints, not just one! 😀

              1. I’m an early Xer, and I had ginormous student loans that I didn’t pay off until I was in my late 40s, and only because of big yearly bonuses at my work.

                But I didn’t go whinging about the unfairness of it all, because I knew perfectly well that I brought it on myself. I got a History degree specifically because I knew I was going to law school and didn’t need a BA that would be job-worthy, and then I got halfway through law school (more loans) and then dropped out.

                So boo hoo, Millennials. Maybe you shouldna got that useless degree, maybe you shouldna gone to grad school for an advanced useless degree, maybe you shoulda spent your 20s and 30s improving your job skills (= salary) instead of coasting.

                1. This!
                  If regular people can pay it off then get about your business and pay the bill.

        2. My mom suffered a DiL who was satan in jeans. I’m so sorry. I saw how she suffered.

        3. Sounds like she’s desperately trying to hold off the Hound of Heaven, so there’s hope.

        4. About 30 (yikes!) years ago, I went vegetarian for a few years. At least at that time, even hard-core veggies had a hard time dealing with virtue-signalling vegans. (Hmm, only one vowel off from horrible poetry makers. Did Douglas Adams have experience with the RL group?)

          “Q: How can you tell someone’s a vegan?
          A: You don’t have to. They’ll tell you, ad nauseam.”

          Never been broke, though I did horrible things to my credit card balance years ago. She Who Became $SPOUSE helped me fix that character defect. For values of fix. OTOH, the credit card is paid off every month and Dave Ramsey would approve.

    2. Let’s hope, for their sake, that they don’t get caught up in the great post WuFlu realization that the vast majority of the laptop class are redundant and that they too are one or two paychecks from a severe reduction in living standards. Last big white collar shakeout was 1991/92.

      In an odd way, going from upper middle class to middle-middle is the hardest transition psychologically. Downturns are what happens to the dirt people not to us. These people won’t starve, but they tend to be caught up in the seduction.

      A cut in the laptop class is another grey swan in my scenario planning.

      1. Downturns are what happens to the dirt people not to us.

        Wags hands. The poor do not feel downturns. They were poor before, they are poor afterwards. The rich don’t feel the downturns, sure they have less financials, but they aren’t (generally) using it all to survive. At worst it is inconvenient.

        The middle class OTOH feel it. It is a heck of an not fun adjustment and disappointment. All you can do is make lemonade with lemons, putting one foot in front of another.

          1. Got the unofficial degree in the process. I’ve mentioned before that hubby’s 35 year career had an annual, or two, lack of work, unemployment. Granted, toward the end it was two – three weeks year-end, annual, or generally 2 to 3 weeks summer “Act of God” (fire closure). There were more than a few years at the beginning that it was 5 to 8 months.

            Regarding Laptop class. I’m one of those. Granted wasn’t laptop when I started, but chose programming because if one job goes away, another one is just one application away, or at worst a few short months, unlike timber. And the salaries were very, very, very, good. Um, not quite. Not either, not in my experience (only one example, only takes one example to prove something false). I know I’ve mentioned the ’02 – 04 journey before. It was so NOT fun. We were lucky. 100%. We did have to touch savings, even after cutting down to the must make payments, but it was savings that wasn’t dedicated to anything else. I know people who had to take penalties on their IRA/401(k) and children education 529 funds. We were able to pull ourselves out of the hole. Others were too. Some never have. Everyone from the same company that went under in ’02.

            1. I’m in the laptop class and spent over two years on video conferences, I’m also part of the conversation about what it all means at the firm. I suspect it’ll be a shock for a number of “networkers”

              I’m also the son of a mother and father who went from well off to poor when they were children — add to that my wife being a fireman’s youngest, of seven, child and we’re both maniacal savers. I’m pretty sure we passed that on, surely the need for a year’s expenses in the bank. That’s why I learned options to manage my own money — you can calculate your maximum loss quite precisely and go from there.

              I got fired twice, once for being wrong and once for being right. Luckily, I had no immediate financial worries and the wife said, we’ll just have to get on with it, which helps. It’s all about expectations.

              1. Never got fired. Jobs left me, one way or another.

                We always saved one salary, and saved first from the other (IRA/Roth and 401(k) when became available). Where we got into trouble, was spending to my salary even after I surpassed his. We should have switched to saving my salary. Our bad. When the higher salary you are living to, goes away, it gets challenging.

              2. I got caught in the 2001 dot com bubble-burst. Had been with Hewlett Packard since 1979, and was shifted to Agilent when HP decided that computers were the be-all and end-all. Agilent management thought the dot-com boom would last forever, and when they were proven wrong, proceeded to exit the semiconductor business.First layoff in my life. At the same time, Silicon Valley became Software Valley. Urk.

                I lucked into a consultancy job that lasted for 10 months until the customer went under. The generous paycheck funded our remodel, and a year after the checks stopped coming, we sold our house. (The buyer paid cash; eBay was ascendant at the time.) Profits and savings funded a decent place in S Oregon, and we made improvements while keeping a close eye on spending. Once retirement money came into play, we were and are doing OK.

                I grew up lower-to-middle middle class (much of the time in a wealthy suburb), and I saw Dad doing stuff for himself or working with friends who were in the trades to keep the house going. I don’t have the same type of friends, but the first inclination is to try to do something ourselves. Not always practical, but we’ll see what we can do.

                1. Getting out of school we figured on annual lack of work since we were in timber. When I switched out of timber for computers, figured getting somewhere, I’d be good. Was I ever wrong. Technically 6 jobs in 35 years. But really feel the first 3 were prep while I was back in school. Having IP shutdown the division, and having the ’02 caught up in the dot com bust, hit out of left field, both times. Never did take the last job for granted from the day I started, until the day I retired 12 years later; was not going to be hit out of left field again.

          1. What is going to piss the poor hungry in the US, is when they learn the current PTB are shipping food out of America to our nominal enemies, like they are oil from the US reserves. The oil being shipped off is a “what the h*ll” reaction currently. Food? Will be a lot more deadly and screaming.

            1. Possibly done with great fanfare, officially as an act of “compassion,” for the world’s poor. If enough of the self-identified “elite,” pull the, “You people are spoiled, it won’t hurt you to experience some real privation,” it could get very ugly, indeed.

            2. And then SURPRISE, that will NOT buy any votes…. at least not “send to office” votes.
              It might buy of PLENTY “let the bastages air-dance” votes, however.

              1. I suspect they think that if things get real sporty the military will save them from any serious repercussions. I also suspect that in that event, given what they’re doing to the military (“Who cares about readiness? Learn those pronouns, peasant! And you unvaxxed, out!”), they may be in for a rather rude awakening. The real kind, not the woke idiocy.

  13. G-d looks after drunkards, fools and the United States of America, I can safely say I resemble two out of three of that remark! I’ll leave it to you all to figure out which.
    That said, we all have to prepare according to our best interest, if possible. Cruising some of the comments, it makes me sad to see some folks are still on the other side of the wire that will inevitably go up between blue and red.I know, it’s your home. I get it. but like the kids in the cheapo horror flick, I see you guys in the cabin in the woods, and know what lies beyond that door to the basement. Prepping is more than stockpiling rice and beans – though that is never a bad thing – prep of place can be as important as anything. Don’t think you will get the chance to flee when the time comes. even if you keep your gas tank full, how far will that take you? In October of 2020 my wife and I drove from G-d’s Country to eastern Penn. to buy an antique cook stove. It was about 18 hours one way not including Siri taking us down the bunny trail to the guy’s house. we couldn’t do it on one tank of gas being the point, so if you’re deep tangled up in Blue, Now’s the time to get the hell out of Dodge.

    1. I have a reasonable hope that Indiana will pull through reasonably well. Yes, Indianapolis is pretty Blue, but we’re on the outskirts with reasonable lines of flight if things go crazy. If things start smelling like they’re going to really get bad, I may load some of the sales canopies for outdoor events into the van, along with the camp chairs, so I have at least a little lead time if we need to flee to limestone country and the private campground where we have a membership (we do events there).

      Fingers are crossed that downstate Illinois doesn’t go too crazy, but ready to offer shelter to family there if need be. Worried most about family member in California. In normal times he’d be able to land on his feet, but he’d have a hard time if the market for software engineers disappears.

    2. That’s why I looked for rural property in western WA, even given proximity to Seattle/Tacoma. Eastern WA would have been cheaper and more insulated, but I didn’t want to have to try to drive over one of three mountain passes if SHTF or The Big One hit, most likely at the same time 100,000 other people tried to do the same thing, and potentially in the middle of winter.

      I’m an hour and a half away from Tierra de Balzacq, whether I drive the whole way or take a ferry. And I’ve plotted out the “avoid cities and freeways” long way around just in case.

    3. There is blue and there is BLUE. Technically, I am in a “blue” state… but I am in a RED area. The blue is pretty much two or three cities and one other area (that is going red as people realize WTH is going on). I expect things will get WEIRD(ER) but that I can “shelter in place” without much issue. That said, I keep wondering what I’ve overlooked and want to figure out a backup system for the backup system’s backup system. Paranoid? Prudent? Yes?

  14. We have a way off-grid cabin in Vermont which we’ve spent a lot of weekends working on… And I’m not totally clear why the urgency, but I think some part of me thinks “now or never” and that it might be useful to somebody as a place to escape to. Takes less than a tank of gas to get there anyway. Should probably stock it with canned food and such…

    1. When you go there, please be careful– we just lost a couple that had been family friends since I was a teen because they went up to check an anomalous power bill on their camp trailer.

      Wasn’t that they left a light on.

      The guy who broke in and was living there shot them.

      1. Wow. One hears of this possibility. Not often someone can point to a real occurrence. I too am sorry. And Angry.

        1. ne hears of this possibility. Not often someone can point to a real occurrence.

          Yeah, one of those things that everybody knows is an issue. Mom’s still mad at the gal. (I think you know the way I mean.)

          With all these places dumping folks out of prison, not keeping the known insane, all that nonsense…. :shakes head:

          1. Very sorry to hear that; I hope they got the dirtbag, even though that doesn’t fix the loss. Everyone: In these times please keep situational awareness; if it “feels wrong” it probably is, and the bump in the night may be the dog or cat, but it may not. Be ready to deal if it’s not. The “clothes and weapons” adage isn’t just a cute saying.

            1. They found him.

              …he was a known issue who’d been breaking into remote places and stealing stuff.

              For months.

              But hey, not a big problem, right?

              1. Color me completely unsurprised. Good that they got him, but actually, I’m sort of surprised they even bothered to look; after all, he probably didn’t misgender anyone, or use the wrong pronouns. Or, horror of horrors, enter the Capitol grounds unarmed… 😦

                That’s why I could never be a cop; ones like that would tend to die while attempting to escape, and I don’t need that on my conscience.

              2. Good to hear the creep of interest has been caught. Um, was this in an area that I should be familiar with? Locally, we’re getting drug issues (illegal MJ grows and drug deals that entail shooting) in another rural area south of us, but haven’t heard of something like this. Not yet, anyway.

                  1. $SPOUSE might know the area, but we don’t have family or friends there now. OTOH, our area could run into similar problems, with the occasional cabin or trailer. Much of which would be offgrid. Hmm.

                    1. I was already nervous about relatives– especially older ones– in out of the way areas.

                      It hasn’t reduced any.

                    2. Pretty much all of the national forests and BLM timberlands is dangerous anymore. Late ’70s but both hubby’s (fire crew) and my crew (presale) had times where we’d go into units (in my case well off the road), and have to turn around and hike out because of finding MJ grows, or other drug making activity. While the last season we were on the same district, prior seasons we were on different districts, different forests. Heard the same from other classmates. Didn’t matter which state, which national forest, which district. Got to the point where at least the crew leads (technically permanent USFS employees) were illegally packing. Have heard since then that they are now officially law enforcement.

                      Then there is the CA state police (might have been Shasta county sheriff? I didn’t see the markings, it was getting dark) interaction when we stopped along the highway going across Shasta from I-5 to come in the north east side of the Tetons. We’d pulled the truck and trailer over because the dog needed a potty break. Sheriff pulled in behind us. Wanted to be sure we were okay. We were told that wasn’t the safest thing to do along the stretch of the highway. Only pull off in commercial areas. He stayed with us until we got loaded back up and going. Wow. News to us. Forests were our thing. Not anymore.

  15. The drought is part of what’s chewing on me. I don’t like droughts. Droughts bring fire, and crop failures, and ranchers selling cattle, and hard times. There’s also nothing I can do but pray and water the plants that I’ve designated as the survivors, then the others. shrug’s tail

    1. And a pop-up and drench storm dropped a third of an inch on RedQuarters. It helps. Now, to shift the larger pattern and get slow, soaking rains going down-state . . . That’s a wee bit above my pay grade, alas.

      1. Dagnabit, where are all those huge lighter-than-air ships with huge augmenting Lift Engines bringing icebergs to places they’d be appreciated?

  16. I’m attending two cons this year, TravellerCon US (never been to it, love the RPG) and Dragon*Con (done more than once, but last time was many years ago, fan Mardi GRas and has turned out to surprisingly be a redoubt against the Woke at their height of power, which is now receding). Also, Duran Duran will be in Ft Worth towards the end of the year. Working on my Masters, my SCUBA instructor quals, my pilot training, my first book and making plans for my first garden. May be signing up in the Reserves.

  17. We had the entire, immediate family, on my side, together for the first time in forever. Niece’s wedding. Most of BIL’s family made it in too, they are further afield, in the US (from Cape Code to San Diego, the Florida Keys, and points between). We’re all closer – Hockinson/Vancouver Washington, greater Portland, and Eugene, Oregon). Glad we got a hotel for the night and stayed for the breakfast at sister’s place on Sunday.

    Sister and BIL are headed off again, this time for a cruise with Greece as the central theme. They want to travel. Their attitude is if they get stuck somewhere? “Crap! Deal!” (with a lot of complaints on FB, but deal non-the-less).

    I have no desire to travel that extensively. More power to them. We are planning a late fall trip, by vehicle, but haven’t made the reservations. Plan to be flexible. Packing accordingly. Mother nature has already greatly modified part of the plans, the part with a few days in Yellowstone, flooding hard axed access to Lamar Valley, for this year (it is possible, maybe, there might be a work around by late fall, we won’t count on it).

    1. I was wondering if the People’s Republic of Ashland (spilling north to Medford) was going to be crazy when I had my medical trip last week, but all was fairly quiet. Don’t have to consider a Westside trip until January (optional Costco run, mostly), and I already nixed the trip back east for my mother’s memorial service. Mostly for reasons, but a hundred mile drive is a pain, and even a flight would be four times worse.

      I’m trying to get certain projects finished this year. Weather is tolerable, mostly, and my body will let me get most of them done. Looking at the Done! list sounds golden.

  18. I keep telling people this is the golden age. Appreciate what we still have. My estimate of the coming death toll has gone from 2 billion in December 2020 to 3 billion now. I just thought we would have civil war, not that the left would first crash the world economy. Picture N. Korea as future for most of the world. So, compared to the coming horror, current troubles are as nothing.

    The twin practices: Joy and gratitude. The one rule of marriage. It is impossible for me to be grateful enough to my wife of 50 years.

    The price of ice cream bars has gone up. We can still get ice cream bars. Bacon is still available here in Mordor west despite the efforts of the left. Be grateful. Spread JOY.

    1. That is one benefit of being in Hog Country, bacon is readily available. And often on sale.
      But… it is best if the wind blows the… aroma… of a hog operation AWAY from one.

  19. I’ve played orchestra concerts where we had no idea whether would crash and burn before reaching the end of a piece (mostly we didn’t). This summer? It feels like that.

    Travel-wise, we did at least manage to see one set of parents again this summer. The other set lives halfway around the world or so, in a major population center…

    Joy and gratitude.
    And Hope! Remember the bottom of Pandora’s box.

    1. There are 4 infinities we encounter. HOPE, JOY, LOVE and PEACE. They also are the four weeks of advent. Each not affected by circumstances, each an aspect of God.

      My explanation of true HOPE. You are trapped in the middle of the swamp. Alligators all around. It seems hopeless. You hear a voice call from the distance. “There is a way out.” You angrily holler back: “What do you know?”

      “Because I was where you are, and I got out.” True Hope does not promise success. It does not promise it will be easy. It simply offers the true possibility of real Hope, that it is possible. Fake hope is when someone tells you, “I didn’t study for the test”, and you offer: “I hope you will pass.” No Hope.

      When I would talk to parents with children fighting OCD, the most important thing I could offer was that it was possible to get through to the other side. It was possible. Not easy. Not a sure thing, but possible. I offered true Hope.

      May we all find true Hope in the coming days, to get through to the other side. To know that it is possible.

      1. Indeed!

        I am reminded that I also felt this way in the days before Katrina landfall on the gulf coast. Seeing what was coming, knowing there was nothing I could do to prevent it, knowing that many would ignore warnings from afar, and hoping it would turn out for the best.

        Kind of like the odd light just before a really bad thunderstorm. Everything just looks different. And the suspense is tangible.

        Hope is the hidden tool that helps you consider even the most unlikely options for success.

        Good luck to all of us!

        1. We must distinguish between true HOPE, and false hope. False hope like the CDC and those “vaccines” they “hoped” would work. Cults provide “hope” that is based on lies. Witness their “hope” they have him this time.

          What is truth? To know Hope you must know what is true.

  20. The next two weeks are our big double-header. AnimeIowa in Coralville and Tampa Bay Comic Con down in Tampa. I’m just hoping things hold together until we get home from then — and in the meantime try to enjoy the trips as much as I can, because it’s possible they’ll be our last shows for a long time. (The rest of the ones on our current roster are all within one tank of gas from home, or at least a family member’s place where we could hole up until we can fill up and get the rest of the way home).

    And yes, I’m one of those people who depend upon medicine to live a normal life. I have a stockpile, but it’s a finite supply — good to tide me over gaps, but if I can’t resupply when it runs out, it’s just a matter of time before I become so weak and lethargic and brain-fogged that I’m effectively useless. Not a good way to be if things go truly bad.

    But I’m still hopeful enough that I bought a rechargable Bluetooth keyboard for my tablet, figuring that if electricity becomes intermittent but society doesn’t completely unzip, I can do my writing on that machine and transfer to the laptop when power is on. And both tablet and keyboard can be recharged from the solar array we use during our campground shows.

  21. Yep – a golden summer, to savor those bits that are peaceful, beautiful, secure. My grandson’s first tooth. Spending the 4th of July at Canyon lake, basting in the sun, watching other families, seeing a sailboat tack back and forth. Filling the pantry, enjoying the antics of the white kitten that we got, to be the grandson’s personal feline attendant. Fiddling around in the garden, getting the last touches done in the room that we renovated. Hoping that life in the Shire will go on, as it always has done, from day to day.

  22. Just bought plane tickets to go California to visit family. Husband hasn’t seen his parents since January 2020. I’m planning on going to Ireland next year to see my brother. We’re keeping on, keeping on.

  23. “G-d looks after drunkards, fools and the United States of America”

    Here is why I think the third one is true:

    The Mayflower Compact  1620

    “In the name of God, Amen. We, whose names are underwritten, the Loyal Subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord, King James, by the Grace of God, of England, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, e&.

    Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honour of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia; do by these presents, solemnly and mutually in the Presence of God and one of another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politick, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the Ends aforesaid; And by Virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions and Offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the General good of the Colony; unto which we promise all due submission and obedience.

    In Witness whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cape Cod the eleventh of November, in the Reign of our Sovereign Lord, King James of England, France and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth. Anno Domini, 1620.”

    And more particularly, “…mercy rejoices against judgment”. These are times to cry out to the Lord for mercy for our own individual sins, extend mercy to others, and to intercede for the nation.

    Psa 89:14 KJV Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face.

    Psa 101:1-8 KJV 1 A Psalm of David. I will sing of mercy and judgment: unto thee, O LORD, will I sing. 2 I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. 3 I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me. 4 A froward heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked person. 5 Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer. 6 Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me. 7 He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight. 8 I will early destroy all the wicked of the land; that I may cut off all wicked doers from the city of the LORD.

    1. 99 per cent of our “leaders” today would sooner drink the hemlock, than swear these vows or repeat these words in public. Domine, miserere nobis,

    2. Greetings Mrs. Hoyt good health to you and your family. Personally left the US back in 1991 when I moved to Israel and became a citizen of the homeland of my forefathers. But still have family in Texas and a tremendous debt of gratitude to the US.

      President Biden shall soon travel to the Middle East. What does this mean?

      Biden’s State visit to the Middle East & Israel.

      Nothing to see, move on. Biden will not negate the Petro-dollar monopoly which President Nixon negotiated to counter the demand made by the French for gold or silver for their international dollars. Uncle Joe will not return the US dollar to a commodity based gold/silver currency. OPEC’s economic alliance with Washington shall not change. OPEC shall require all countries who buy their petroleum to pay in US Dollars. No other currency permitted to pay for Middle East produced petroleum products. Washington’s taxation of OPEC petroleum brings much needed cash into a totally bankrupt system.

      Obviously this State visit, not the forum to address the growing threats to American internal anarchy and chaos on its domestic front. The storm clouds of Civil War hang over Washington something like the hangman placing a hood over the head of the criminal. American Civil society degenerates on a daily basis into deeper chaos and anarchy between and among American citizens who hate and despise one another worse than they do foreign enemies abroad.

      The coming Mid-term Congressional elections promise the political retirement of Pelosi, Waters, and Adam S(c)hit/ff, the pollution and smog of Californian politics. Israeli leaders wait with great anticipation, the return of President Trump, and his excellent leadership to restore Order and calm within a very fragmented American ally.

      The American national debt does very much concern Israeli strategic interests. If America falls into an internal revolution, Israeli relations with our Arab and Muslim neighbours would most probably likewise collapse. The public divorce of Arab stateless refugees compares to Black September of 1970. Uprooting the Arab stateless refugee nihilism from among our nation has become a heightened priority.

      But this State visit, by a senile President, such crucial issues – completely ignored. Biden’s handlers have directed him to address different types of “external superficial bandages” for the festering wounds caused by the terrorism made Balestinian refugee criminal populations, temporarily residing within the borders of the Jewish state.

  24. I wish I had gotten to London a second time. I’m thinking that plans that include overseas are already off the map. Other than that…I’ll try my best. I have a new dog to love.

  25. “..maybe he can still get our butts out of the bear trap, even now…”
    I have no doubt that is true but He will need our help.

    Life has been different fior a while, and it will be even more different soon; we have gotten through Different before and we will again.

    This time, however, The Lesson Will Be Learned and The Survivors will no longer tolerate any deviation away from the Path of Righteousness in future; deviations will be quelled forthrightly, immediately as they happen.

    Welcome to Different Times.

    1. Heh. Remember Men in Black?

      Kay: A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it.

      Don’t hold your breath for any spectacular changes.

      1. There’s a common saying that to find the intelligence of a group (usually in reference to committees, but it works for mobs) divide the IQ of the least intelligent member by the number of people in the group. Given what I’ve seen over the past couple of years that saying may be overly optimistic… 😦

  26. This , in my most humble but invariably correct opinion, must join the articles you have written which are examples of profundity and (collective) introspection for our race. I will refrain from offering my own septuagenarian thoughts on things as they stand and as they appear to be heading, but hope everyone will appreciate my avoidance of making the elbow in the ribs connection of golden summer rains being summer’s golden showers.

        1. Omnisexual – he’d screw anything and anyone as long as it was hot enough

            1. I’m not even sure he required breathing. He certainly didn’t require any particular species.

              1. Thetis. There was a prophecy that her son would become greater than his father and given the family history, Zeus decided it was not worth it.

        1. Fish are fast-moving vegetables. Carp are slow-moving fish. Therefore carp are vegetables. QED

  27. It’s hard to enjoy the moment and not be bitter and wrathful, especially when none of this had to happen.

  28. I might have done things different and tried to cram in way more if I had known, but I had a memorable day in November befor the lunacy started. Had a Sunday off work just after the end of the busy season, went to a nice Mass and hung out with friends after, went on a fun solo hike where I made up my mind to finally get a new dog, swung by a library book sale, and picked up my favorite clam chowder for dinner. Nothing crazy, just a nice happy day before the storm, one that can never be repeated in that insane place ever again.

  29. Good morning,

    I’m like number 200, so I’m not sure if you will read this, but I wanted to pay you a compliment. You see, many, many, many years ago I read articles by Peggy Noonan and enjoyed her warm down to earth commentaries; before she went full borg a few years ago. Your article reminds me of those days and the comfort you offer concerning appreciating what we have while we have it, still resonates in my mind.

  30. I do hear the thump of an approaching beast. That beast is you, and me, and lots of people who think there’s no reason we can’t have those Golden Summers, Falls, Winters, back right now.
    Except for a corrupt cabal that loves itself, hates us, grabbed power and screwed everything up.
    This thumping beast that’s you and me is going to thump the corrupt cabal out of power in elections so thumping that the cabal won’t be able to steal it.
    So yeah, this summer is goldenish, and a thumping beast is approaching, and people are quaking in their Birkenstocks. But not me and not you. Fall inevitably follows summer, and winter, and then a new Spring where the beast that’s you and me can plant new seeds that will grow into a summer that’s golden beyond gold, and best of all, it’s only the beginning!

  31. But I also think the next few years… two? three? four? are going to be difficult for almost everyone. We’re going to have to change the way we do everyday things in ways we can’t even imagine. We’re going to go through and have to do things we don’t think we could survive … I think most of — maybe even me, if I get very lucky — will come through this and see the other side. But we won’t be who we are

    The biggest change for most of us, is we are going to have to make the effort, and assume the costs and risks, of NOT delegating our decisions to others as we have been used to doing.

    The preparation for hard times you have discussed frequently in recent months is one form of taking back those decisions, at significant cost compared to expecting yet another “stimulus” check … or trusting your union and/or employer to just be there to give you what you (think you) deserve, in wages and bennies, for working 40-and-no-more … or simply trusting your kids to the educators (public, parochial, or private) instead of staying engaged with them and reinforcing the understanding that you are NOT subordinate to their alleged expertise and their conventional wisdom.

    The easy way is low cost, until What Can’t Go On, Won’t as the good Professor likes to say,

    We all have embraced, in varying degrees, the confession Reagan warned us about: that a little intellectual elite in a far-off capital can plan our lives for us better than we can ourselves. We’ve bought into it because we have been led to believe that Smart People™ are ALWAYS smarter than we are with our close-to-the-problem/skin-in-the-game insights which they lack.

    That is how we have arrived in this mess.

    But to forsake that way of life is scary for many of us … it is perceived as working without a net, and a foolhardy risk that will leave us looking like a fool if we fail. So instead we go all Flounder and trust the Smart People™ and Nice People™ who have not had their Field of Dreams plowed by objective reality until WE are the ones getting plowed by their idealism.

    Taking that risk, is the way to keep the condescending, arrogant bulls behind those ™ labels, from plowing through the china shops of our lives. We have to render them irrelevant to our future.

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