Edited image of photo by Rudy N. Vogel

Five months without writing a word here. Creating this entry feels like breaking the surface after being under water far too long. Refreshed after a purposeful hiatus, we’re bursting with energy and a myriad of subject matter to share.

Our unanticipated submergence into silence started shortly after we wrote about our family “blues man” and his battle with lymphoma: No one could go through four years of this shit without enduring immeasurable physical and mental anguish. Yet, as I said earlier, he is everything I am not; everything most of us are not. To be in his presence, to talk to the man on the phone, you would never know—to paraphrase B.B.—the burdens that he carries are so heavy. Within days of posting that entry, Rick was rushed to ICU, where doctors told us his burden likely had become too heavy. Of course, they underestimated the man. We’re so thankful he made it through a very bad time … again.

Also during the interval of silence, we went through the process of selling our old home, finding a new one, and settling in. The goal was to downsize, which we kind of achieved by a reduction of a mere 530 square feet.

While that was occurring, we learned that Jerkwater Town, the sequel to Falling Down, would be published by iUniverse. That good news meant dedicating a significant portion of each day to honing the first draft into a final manuscript. Jerkwater Town is expected to “break surface” in late September. We’ll keep you posted.

Between submission of the final draft and polishing the text following our editor’s review, Jane and I spent three weeks in Spain and Portugal, two beautiful countries sharing contrasts in history and modern advances. With this trip, we have shared the good fortune of visiting a baseball-team worth of European countries. Each has left a lasting impression and borne fruit for comparison to our way of life in the United States.

Finally, these experiences, recent news events, and the impact of a cardinal year in my age have combined to inspire consideration of my generation, the Baby Boomers: what we were, what we did, what we could have done, and one last opportunity to fix the things we screwed up.

We’ll be sharing thoughts on these topics over the coming weeks.


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