Old Diary

A Vengeful Man

It is unconscionable that a rich, ignorant, arrogant, vengeful man is inflicting pain on hundreds of thousands of his fellow citizens all because he does not know how to lead, or govern, or even get along like an adult with other thinking adults.  We are in a government shutdown for no other reason than that his party does not know how to govern. It is government’s JOB to pass spending legislation in a timely manner and the current administration’s failure to do so is all on the party in power.

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But more importantly yet is the fact that when donald trump said that the people being hurt by the shutdown were all Democrats anyway.  What we are seeing is a wanna-be-king exercising his facist powers to get even with those whom he sees as his political opponents.  This is a vengeful man trying to hurt those who he thinks are out to get him.  This is the same man that was involved in 3500 lawsuits before coming to office — many waged by him against contractors and workers who did legitimate jobs for him whom he simply wanted to “HURT.”   And now that he has the power to do so he’s going to do anything he can to ‘hurt’ Democrats.

This is not the United States of America I grew up in.  And I’m ashamed at my Congress for letting things get to this point.

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Old Diary

Thinking

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Old Diary

Unto Us a Son Is Given…

The message of Christmas is a message humankind needs to hear.  I don’t care if you believe in God or in Jesus or in Brahmin or Shiva or anybody at all.  Humankind needs to hear that someone cares for them enough to come to this earth and help them.

I won’t call this chorus a “simple” idea, or a “simple” plan. It’s not simple.  There are runs and trills and complex harmonies but it’s worth getting to know; it’s worth learning the words; it’s worth believing.  One is sometimes lead to wonder if we even have composers on earth any more who are capable of producing such intricate and storied compositions.  But we had one.  And he did the job marvelously and the message of this piece in particular out of the entirety of Handel’s Messiah is that it’s someone else’s job and he’s come to deal with things.  Perhaps in ways we don’t understand, but that there IS someone else, there is someone who cares, someone who is in control.

Fixing things.  Saving them.  Salvation.  It’s is no easier than harmonizing 120 voices.  It’s not a simple task and a great many people think they either don’t need it, or that they aren’t  worth it — but their refusal doesn’t change the reality.

We need to hear that someone loves us.

We need to understand we aren’t alone.

We need to understand that it’s OK to fail, because the government shall be upon HIS shoulders not our own.  On a day after a historic stock market close, on a day when elected officials seem powerless to fix the simplest, or the most important of matters, when things seem to go wrong everywhere, when violence to way too common, we need to hear that a son is born.  

I know in a great and scary world that sounds like a fools errand… but the thing is,

Faith always sounds that way to those who have no faith.

But to those who are moved by faith, Those promises are real, are tangible, are worth ruling our lives by.  …for unto us, a Son is given, unto us, a Son is born. 

And those who have faith are called upon to show their faith; to let their light shine so that others can see — and realize that yes, it IS possible to have faith, to believe, to trust.

Merry Christmas friends.

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Old Diary

The Importance of the Unimportant

I’ve been sick the past few days and haven’t written a thing.

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I “missed” our anniversary — spending it mostly in bed — not that we had planned anything “big” for the actual day — we aren’t those kind of people.  We were going to get a nice meal out at a long time favorite hangout to which we haven’t visited in an embarrassingly long time.  Instead I drank fruit juice and sweated out a fever.  Not an auspicious start for our 51st year together but hey — we’re both still here and both still in love and that’s what matters more than any single day or moment.

But that brings to mind a much more important topic and here I am writing on December 23rd…. a day of the year that (for me) has often been a breathe of fresh air.  Between our anniversary and Christmas which coincides with my parents anniversary.  I’m not big about celebrations. I like them but they usually mean extra people around and people tire me out.  So, December 23rd has long served as a moment of calm in the flurry that is December in the United States.

When we first got married I wasn’t much into “holidays” or “anniversaries” at all.  Oh, don’t get me wrong — I didn’t thing it was bad or anything, but I did think that it was stupid to wait a whole year to express love, or thanks, or appreciation to someone else when they were with you all the time.  For the first few years (as far as I could with my very limited income) I tried to bring home presents to Peggy to show her my love and devotion on “regular” days — non-holiday days — on “just because” days — cuz that’s what they were — just because I loved her.

In the interim I started to make more, and the number of anniversaries and holidays starting adding up and now we’ve been together for a whole half of a century.  To be honest, I can’t comprehend what it means to be with someone half of a century even though I’ve done it.  I have no concept of what a half of a century is.  I have a hard time understanding a year — if I’m honest about it.  TIME is something I’ve always had a very loose relationship with.  My dad would ask me for help (we lived in the same apartment complex), I’d agree under the provision that we wait 10 minutes so I could finish what I was working on and 4 hours later he’d stop by and ask “are you ready yet”  knowing that I’d completely forgotten about the time — and I had.  I lose myself in what I’m doing and there’s no easily bringing me back  until I’ve finished what I wanted to accomplish.

But I digress…

It’s the non-holidays, the non-anniversaries, that show the people we love just how much we love them.  All the rush of the holidays is static.  Traditions can end up just being social crutches for the way we ought to be treating our family and friends all the time but we know that we get carried away with life and need a holiday to guilt us into taking the time to say what’s in our heart and what should be there all the time.  Of course part of it is that we all, pretty much, buy into the selling of holidays, and the selling of anniversaries.  We dare not forget that we are all part of a great Capitalist society and we have a civic duty to consume — so we are taught from early on that we should increase consumption on certain days so that it’s easier for factories to plan their inventories and have products ready for our “demand.”

I love that Peggy and I can still sit and talk about nothing.  I love that we DO sit and talk about nothing.  It’s not the life changing decisions that really matter in a lifetime.  It’s the comfort and the love of knowing someone well enough that you anticipate when their coffee cup is empty, it is still saying please and thank you like civilized people, it is the thousands of tiny actions each and every day that make people strong and that cement bonds.

It’s true too with children.  Buying the “latest and greatest” Christmas toy/doll may make you a hero for a couple days, but being kind to your kids, LISTENING TO THEM ALL THE TIME, smiling at them, showing them you love them and care about them in little ways, all the time –those are the important times.  We build our relationships with our kids not by the holidays but by the ‘unimportant’ days when they need encouragement, or a shoulder, or maybe even a loving push forward.

I was thinking yesterday as we moved around town running errands.  It was my first day outside after nearly a week of being indoors and it felt good.  Everyone was in the Christmas spirit, I could see holiday attire even if they were dressed for the chilly temps.  I was reminded of the years at work when I would wear my Santa hat to work.  I did that for a few years.  I was usually the only one who did.  I hated wearing that hat — it didn’t fit me right and it irritated my brow but I always had so much fun wearing it.  It caught people off guard.  It made them smile.  I didn’t have to do anything else — though sometimes I did “ho, ho, ho,” just for the fun of it, but it was always a fun day, or several day that made people happy.  When I had a desk job and it was just company people who saw me, I usually did it on just one day.  But other years when I had jobs out in the public I’d do it for a couple or a few days depending on the job and the weather — just because I was tired of seeing holiday shoppers with scowls on their faces.

One year, (or was it two — I forget), I was working for a motorcoach company and they were doing a civic thing called the Christmas Bus — It was a nice posh coach that made a couple mile long circuit through Downtown Milwaukee stopping near all the shopping destinations — (I scarcely realized you could log up so many miles driving through Downtown Milwaukee, but I did) — and it was alway fun to see people approach the coach with sullen looks, see me and begin to smile. I got them singing Christmas carols while we drove around — it was fun!

The thing is, we can take a moment to do something nice for people any time of the year.  We don’t have to wait till our wedding anniversary to tell our partner how much we love them — assuming that we do.

You see, that’s something that bothers me.  For a few years I did wedding photography and I have to say I will never understand the thinking about weddings today.  Ours was small.  At the time we were active with two churches, helping out at each.  Each wanted to do showers for us (ideas which we most impolitely quashed) and we could easily have had a wedding with 400 or more guests — there WERE that many people in our lives.  But we settled instead for a family wedding in a private home with 30 guests and a receptions a few miles away in a local restaurant with 38 guests.  It was perfect.  We could enjoy our own event and the people who mattered most to us were the ones to witness that most important event.

Today we see tens of thousands of dollars spent lavishly on what amounts to a big party – and still nearly half of the couples will find themselves in divorce court.  I don’t get it.  When I had my photo studio I’d have 4 hour blocks of time to get to know my models and I was amazed at how many of them had been married more than once — in their 20’s and 30’s.  And more than twice…. And…. ‘nuf said.  I don’t know what people think marriage is about…. or for…. or whey they do it…  Surely a lot of folks don’t think it can, or should, or ever does last for a lifetime.  But they are the ones who lose out.

And they lose out on the unimportant days. They begin losing out when they take their partner, or their child, or their parent, or their friend for granted.  When they don’t bother any longer with “please” and “thank you.”  They begin to lose out when they refuse to sacrifice the littlest thing for the other party: refusing to get out of the car without an umbrella, setting arbitrary rules for who must do what, and a gazillion other little insults that say, “you can sacrifice for me, but I’m not going to sacrifice for you.”  That is the beginning of the death of 1,000 knife cuts.  We initiate it ourselves, and most often we don’t even realize that we have signaled the end or our own relationship at that moment — but we will continue on down that road until we reach an ugly Dead End sign.

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AS I say… December 23rd is often a break between storms and I hope you are using the day well.  Our daughter will be back from Minneapolis tonight and we’ll have her and her hubby over to ours for Christmas day.  I’m sure it will be lovely.  But it’s the unimportant days that matter most.  The days like today when no one expects you to do anything out of the ordinary that are the best days to do something lovely.  I’ll leave it to you….

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Old Diary

Travel is not something you’re good at

The fact that we are not traveling as much as we had been has been on my mind of late.  There really hasn’t been any time in my life when we have been this sedentary; I have to accept that a major reason is simply getting older and the sad fact that our bodies don’t always do what we want them to do — but still, it’s a reality that requires acceptance. Failure to accept only results in personal unhappiness; so what’s the point?

I came across this quotation recently and it stuck in my craw….

“Travelling’s not something you’re good at.  It’s something you do. Like breathing. You can’t work too much at it, or it feels like work.  You have to surrender yourself to the chaos.  To the accidents.”  — Gayle Forman

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Getting around is a lot of fun; or at least it should be. I don’t mean that we ought to be giddy just getting into a car or a train.  Rather, it seems that life — even the tumult and the stress — can be pleasant and acceptable if we mind our attitude.  But enjoying a thing doesn’t mean you aren’t working at  it — and yet I know a lot of folks that thing travel (in particular) is supposed to be something that is easy and carries no stress.

This idea, that you aren’t meant — ever — to get good at travel, is provocative. But the reality of travel, for anyone who’s done a fair bit of travel is that you can’t predict all the variables and there are going to be glitches in any plan you make.  You may luck out for a while and plan several successful trips in a row but that does not make you invincible.  And sooner or later the odds are going to catch up to you.

  • Cancelled flights
  • Wrong turns
  • Lost wallets / credit cards
  • Passport / Visa problems
  • Queasy stomachs
  • Lost suitcases
  • Overbooked hotels
  • Rooms overlooking a dumpy parking garage
  • Noisy neighbors

You know the drill.  Things you can’t control that threaten to “ruin” your trip.  But the thing is, it’s pretty presumptuous to think that just because you plan something that such a plan might actually be the best plan available.  Or even that “BEST” is a word anyone should use in the context of  T-R-A-V-E-L.

For 6 years we made our way around the U.S. in an RV.  Yes — planning was necessary.  You can’t just park a 40 foot motorcoach and the automobile you are towing anywhere.  In most cities even parking at a curb to go shopping is problematic, and overnight?  well, forget that unless you like paying for parking citations.

But just because we were forced to make some travel plans did not mean that we had to plan out every detail of our day.  Or every detail of our stay in a  particular place. Traveling by air or boat or train is just the same;  you may have to insure that you arrive at a terminal in time to meet your transportation but that doesn’t mean you have to schedule every minute of every day.

If there’s one thing that computers have done to us — to our detriment — it’s raising the concept of maximizing things to the Nth degree.  I know a lot of folks that feel just because they flew over to Europe that they need to see and do as many things as possible.  But people living in Europe (this is just an example) can spend their entire lives living there and never get around to doing all the things we have read about in travel books and magazines.  The idea that if we don’t get in all our pre-determined outings and all our pre-paid excursions that we have failed in our travels is ridiculous.  But in a world that is judged by “accomplishments” a great many travelers fall prey to just this sort of folly.

At the end of our RV life I had come to understand that it’s possible to actually feel like travel was work.  I still enjoyed our time on the road but the necessity of planning had worn thin.  Maybe I had done too much of it for too long?  I don’t know.  Maybe my mind was writing checks my body could not cash?  Both of those, I suspect and a few more reasons as well.  But I had gotten to the point (and I suspect I’m still there) where I wasn’t interested in the same kind of spontaneous travel that once had been the hallmark of our life together.

It was nothing, in our early years, to drive 200 miles for a Saturday breakfast at a restaurant that we knew and loved.  Or to leave the house with 5 days off and at every highway intersection to turn in whichever direction was the sunniest.  In the days before a medicine schedule we pushed our bodies and never worried about time-of-day; something we cannot afford to do now.  We don’t have the schedule and the duties of a job but that does not mean that life leaves one footloose and fancy free just because they are retired;  there are other constraints that pop up like weeds in the lawn that you can’t quite completely obliterate.

Our aborted plan to travel West was followed with a very different kind of trip — much shorter drives each day in an effort to figure out how much we could do in a day and still end up feeling rested on the next morning and pushing on about that far again.  We’ve got some ideas but at this age we are also discovering that every day can be different and just because a certain goal was easy to accomplish on day one doesn’t mean it will be on days two, three, four, and five.  For a guy who literally NEVER thought much about his physical limitations I’m getting pretty tired having to do so now.

And yet, I’m reasonably healthy — meaning that I can still do most of the things I actually want to do.  My wants and wishes have changed over the years and I don’t find myself quite so intent on difficult physical exertion;  good thing too — because a lot of them I could not do.  And some of the lesser physical activities aren’t so easy either — and after you’ve pooped out a few times there is a tendency to hesitate trying again.

Don’t get me wrong; being willing to talk about changes in life does not make me depressed or negative.  I talk about these changes because I know I’m not the only one going through them and I think it’s important for people to know they aren’t alone; that they share a great many commonalities with a great many people.  Actually, I’m pretty upbeat about my life.  By this age my dad had had open heart surgery once.  He was facing a second visit to the cardiac O.R. and he had other problems as well.  My mom was the healthy one in the family — until she wasn’t — she hardly had a sniffle until she finally allowed herself to see the doctor and found out that she had advanced stage uterine cancer.  She struggled for 18 months before she passed — ten years before my supposed “sicker” father.   I’ve got my problems but I’m a functional human being who laughs every day, I’m married to a wonderful gal whom I still love after 50 years,  we have an apartment that’s well cared for in an area where we don’t have to worry too much about our safety.  We live in a country that allows us freedom of travel and freedom of expression.  Even if it is temporarily being governed by a bunch of idiots.  So, in my mind, life is good; I’ve got no complaints.  Some observations?  Sure.  A bunch of them.  But complaints?  No, not a one.

I suspect that the merit of our quotation-for-the-day is subject to your own experience.  If you’ve done a lot of travel you may not have reached the same point as I.  Then again your personality may view travel from a completely different point of view.  I have one friend who cannot understand why I ever want to leave home — EVER!  If you look up the definition of “homebody” in the dictionary I’m sure you’ll find their photo.  They find everything about travel to be troubling and not-worth-the-effort.  I think their point of view is just as skewed as mine because I have travelled so frequently.

But I think the most important aspect of this quote is simply the realization that travel is — above all else — unpredictable.  At a given instant you may walk into the best restaurant in the country — or the worst.  You may have planned an ideal cruise — or discover halfway through that the engines went dead and your luxury cruise ship needs towing into port — as happened recently to one ship.  You can’t plan the weather 6 months in advance and Mother Nature will decide for herself when it’s time to drop a foot of snow or blow up a tropical storm.  Travel is controlled chaos — and a great deal of the time there isn’t even any control.

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Old Diary

Blogging Words & Pictures

Blogging is a great deal different today than it was 10 years ago.Screen Shot 2018-12-14 at 9.17.48 PM  Back then pretty much everyone was computing on a desktop and having to format a blog for a notepad or a smartphone was still unthinkable.  You sat down and wrote, you added some graphics to make the presentation a bit more appealing and that was that. And then things changed. “Toto — we’re not in Kansas any more!”

I have been slow to embrace mobile media.  To this day my preference is my desktop computer but I do own a notepad now, and I recently upgraded my smartphone to the latest and greatest iPhone and I’m taking a new look at how I communicate and why.

I still can’t bring myself to do video — perhaps some day — but for now I’m still a “stills” guy who’s trying to communicate in a world that offers a great many options and sometimes NONE of them are any good.

Take blog formatting for example

They say that nearly 30% of the Interwebs are powered by WordPress blogs.  I would not be surprised if that were true.  And for anyone who doesn’t know about WordPress it’s a unique form of digital publishing that uses pre-designed formats to present information in a form that is exceptionally easy to format and re-format and re-format again at the drop of a hat.

If you’ve been reading my blog for any time you’ll know that I have played around with changing my “look” a few times.  I’ve tried some of these formats, and thought about using others, but knowing that readers like to feel comfortable — coming back to the same homey place day after day — I have been slow to experiment with different formats in the search of one that works as well for the desktop as it does for the smartphone or tablet.

The bottom line is, there is none (that I have found) that really does an excellent job at all three.  The problem is that graphics aren’t designed to do the same thing in multiple formats and sizes.  The shape of a laptop screen is hugely different than a smartphone and the scale of a notepad doesn’t lend itself to simply scaling up or down to a different device.  All three formats really have to be designed independently using the same basic text.

But, in the end the one thing that matters most is communication.  I’m not a blogger who gets millions of views and thousands upon thousands of readers.  Why I even think or worry about it is rather silly — except for the fact that I know a few other writers are readers and they too struggle getting their message across — just as do I.

Until recently my dear wife was putting up with an iPhone 5C.  She doesn’t use her phone very much.  I can count on one hand the number of phone calls she gets in a month.  But she does like Facebook and that has become a way of keeping in touch with family and friends that she feels comfortable with.  It had been bothering me that she would try to read the tiniest print on that little screen and I didn’t know how she could do it.  But she resisted even having a phone for a long while and once she had that 5C she really didn’t want to have to learn another phone at all.  There are some of us who really don’t like or get the whole digital world and I do try to respect that even when it befuddles me.

Until recently I had been using an Apple 6 Plus which has a bigger screen.  But to be honest I almost never looked at my blog on it.  And even it displays a blog slightly differently than Peggy’s 5C.  Not just in scaling, but also in graphic layout.  How those things move around on the page “magically” is beyond me (well, not really, I KNOW, but I don’t want to implement a design on my own — not at my age).  There was a time that I tinkered with layout and formatting — heck there was a time when I was sending typesetting to local newspaper office and getting back rolls and rolls of typeset film to be pasted up for galley proofs — and I don’t do THAT anymore either.  Times change and I do my best to keep up (or not to look too silly doing it my way).

But the reason for this post is to talk about the challenge of different devices.  There is an expression I have shared a few times, and I’ll do it again today:

“If you want to be understood you have to make yourself understandable.”

Those words apply elegantly to what words we use.  But they also apply to things like whether our words can be seen;  whether we are somehow distracting from our message by the way we are placing it on the page; and how hard it is for people to even get to our message.  Bloggers take great pains dealing with SEO — that’s “Search Engine Optimization” if you will — it’s the art of telling the search engines like Google where you are and what you offer and doing it in a way that will get your name at the top of the search list.  If you think about it, that’s quite a feat.  I’ve done searches and Google has told me that there were 31,000,000 hits to my query and then it proceeded to give me the first page with 20 items.  Who is going to page down more than a page or two — and the guy who’s website is 30,999,999 down the list is not going to get a lot of traffic off the InterWebs.

Because I write primarily for myself, and my audience is sort of a second-hand blessing, I don’t think much about whether my blog comes up early in the hit list.  I’m not after hits, per se.  But I do care about the readers who hang out with me regularly.  And I’d like to make it easy for them to read what I’ve written and sometimes staring at the options available for different formats is really a disheartening thing.  I know we all have our own value systems and while trying to read teeny little type is not my favorite thing in the world I DO read tiny script when someone I value is writing.  So, some of the “dilemma” that  bothers me is a matter of personal choice.  We can choose to read something that is difficult to see if we value it enough.  And we can choose not to read something that might be written in large letters and be easy to read.  I make that choice daily with newspapers and other media that I simply don’t care about.

Still, just like one might clean the house before company comes because you want your guests to feel safe and at home — so too, writers struggle not only with the words they write but also with whether you can be comfortable while you read.  In book publishing there are choices of paper and font and typesize and the size of your printing press. Some books are set in a typeface so that the number of pages will work out to the proper number of paper folds when the book comes off the presses.  Paper choices are made to accommodate the price of the finished book and artwork is designed for the cover to entire you to pick up the book and purchase it.  A range of decisions are reached to get that book into your hands and keep it there — in the book business.

In blogging there are similar decisions to be made but they are very, very, very different. Sometimes there are no good options.  One satisfies with what’s available simply to get the message out there even if it’s not in it’s optimum form.

Every couple years I struggle all over again with how to make it easy for you.  I rarely know if I’ve succeeded or scared readers away.  But, I do my best.  And that’s all I can do.

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Old Diary

Writing the Written Word

Writers are a self-disparaging lot, aren’t we?

I was eating lunch at a lovely little (or not so little) Italian restaurant with Peggy the other day.  It’s a place we discovered in Racine called Infusino’s; part of our post-move-to-Milwaukee exploration of S.E. Wisconsin.  Anyway…. a threesome came in and sat at a nearby table.  They were workers — I mean that in the sense that you could see they did physical work, outdoors — by the clothes they wore and also by their relatively loud conversation.  The oldest among them brought up a family member who “doesn’t work” (from the conversation — not all that quietly held — it was clear he was a day trader.

It’s a thing, this idea that “work” is supposed to be difficult, physical, and tire you out.  I’ve heard it a gazillion times, ‘specially after I started getting jobs that allowed me to sit at a desk to do my “work.”  My immediate family are / were all workers.  They DID stuff, not just THINKING stuff.  And there was a clear bias towards honoring people who exerted their muscles not their brain.  That’s not to say I wasn’t encouraged to use brain over my braun — actually I was — everyone wanted the next generation to be better educated than they were.  But, because they had no experience of what it was like to have such a job, it was assumed that desk jobs, and writing in particular weren’t hard work. 

I’ve spent a fair amount of time writing in my life — I published a bi-monthly journal for several years, I’ve kept this blog running for more than 10, I’ve putzed around with a few other blogs and galleries. I know how tired I have gotten by the end of the day, and even if my muscles aren’t aching, my brain has often been aching!

I really laughed when I saw this graphic because it says a lot about what really happens to the writer.  Let me say that I think the percentages in the graphic are wrong, but the idea is pretty much right on about writing.  A lot of it “happens” when you are nowhere near a keyboard.

writing

You can’t create out of nothing.  The raw materials a writer uses are … his/her life.  The ebb and flow of living show up in your words whether or not you want them to.  I remember when I was in my early twenties I wrote a letter to a friend whom I saw a few weeks after sending the letter.  “How was I handling the conflict in my life” I was asked and I was stunned.  I had not spoken (directly) to anyone about what was going on — but what I failed to realize was that in the tenor of my note, my choice of words, my avoidance of topics, I had telegraphed my state of mind to a good friend.

Writing can do that.  If the writer is being transparent you give away more of yourself than you ever imagine.  And being willing to be transparent is one of the real challenges of writing.  It’s easy to write if you are just telling facts you accumulated from some research; that’s a high school essay, a college term paper, a doctoral thesis.  But what makes a writer — you know, the writers you want to read, the ones who’s books you cannot wait to be released — is a certain vulnerability that comes with transparency. Somehow they get down onto paper the living that you inhaled and exhaled and cried over and laughed about.  Somehow they make you feel more human than you were before you read them.  Somehow they honored your living by telling a story that has nothing to do with you — and yet everything to do with you.writing copy

It’s not really about surfing the interWebs. It’s about moments of clarity when your brain isn’t trying to write so that you can see clearly what the topic is, and who the characters might be, and what they are doing and whereand when, and why and how.

Finding that “clean air” in which to think can be tough.  For years I found my clean air when I drove.  The years driving truck and the months traveling around the country representing someone else gave my mind  a chance to scale heights and explore depths that I otherwise would not have travelled to.  For others the time might have seemed a waste — to me it was like Columbus setting foot on the new world — the beginning of an article, the start of a concept, the inkling of something ahead.

I don’t think writers honor their process very often.  Like a lot of jobs it’s easy to let it get old and stale and let what should be a joy become a chore, or hard “work”.

I think I’ll remember that threesome at the restaurant for a lot of years.  I really don’t care how they feel about people who think for a living instead of exercising their braun. But I will always be thankful that I didn’t have to spend my entire lifetime doing that, and that I honored the power of thought.

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1:23 p.m.

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For as long as I’ve been blogging I have tried to post new articles nice and early in the morning.  Ah… but you see there’s a problem with that.  It suggests that I’m up and moving early in the morning  — which I’m not so much anymore — even though I may have scheduled that post a week or more ahead of time.

Well, I’ve been reflecting on how life has changed in this past year since returning to Milwaukee and I’m going to make a change in my 12 year habit.  I’m going to start posting at 1:23 p.m..

Going forward, I may not post every day.  That’s been the case this past year more than ever before.  I had gone more than 5 years without missing a post date.  But now that we are living in sticks & bricks again, and we’re getting older, we aren’t nearly the busy travelers we were during our fulltime-RV-days.  That more irregular post schedule just seems to make sense now.

Also, I’ve been toying with a more conscious change in content.  The Life Unscripted theme fit very well during our traveling years.  Now that we aren’t quite the same wandering nomads I’ve had time to think about different things and one of the realizations has been the various ways in which both Peggy and I have become increasingly like our parents.  So, it’s possible I may retitle the blog: “Becoming My Parents” — although the address (ppazucha.wordpress.com) will remain the same.

Life changes.  Fortunately, we’re able to keep up with most of them.  Some drag us down more than others but it helps to be perpetually optimistic (though that’s getting harder to do too — given the idealistic void in government and the looming crises of varying sort).

Hang in there with me.  I’m doing my best to adjust to those things I have no control over.  And not only to adjust but to thrive.  I think that’s important:  to thrive no matter what is going on.  It doesn’t pay to let the world get you down: we all have a great deal to be thankful for, and the only thing holding us back from thankfulness is:  US!123-2

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