My Grandfatherization

I traveled to Little Rock, Ark., over the weekend for the special privilege of meeting my first grandchild, a beautiful girl named Eller Elizabeth. Here she is:

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With all of its trials and tribulations, it nonetheless amazes me how good life sometimes can be.

Posted in Family

Majority Rule

I didn’t like Hillary Clinton as a candidate for president. Among other things, I felt that she and the national leaders in control of the Democratic Party considered her as practically entitled to be their nominee because it was her royal turn.

I voted for her anyway, though, because I didn’t think Donald Trump was at all qualified to be president, for a thousand reasons. Not the least of which involves the fact that my youngest son is Hispanic and Trump practically painted a target on the backs of Hispanic Americans almost from the day he announced his candidacy.

But now it’s President Trump, and he won decisively. It would be easy to give myself over to despair and blame and even anger, as I see some among the press punditry already are doing. But that’s not the American way, and I hope the Democrats and other independents will resist the temptation.

For the first time that I can remember, the national Republican elite lost control of the party to their rank-and-file, and in the process they won control of the presidency, the Senate and the Supreme Court, and retained control of the House. The national Democratic elite fought off a game attempt by their rank-and-file to take control of that party, and in maintaining elite control, the Democrats managed to lose every branch of government. Could it be there’s a lesson to be learned there somewhere?

So now the Republicans will have to end their strategy of working to defeat every idea the Democrats have. Now the Republicans are actually going to have the ability to come up with ideas of their own and pass them into law. And it will be up to President Trump and the rank-and-file who elected him to watch closely and make sure congressional Republicans’ ideas involve more than exempting wealthy donors from taxes.

For at least a time, I am setting aside my doubts and cynicism in order to allow Donald Trump the chance to prove me wrong and operate to the best of his ability for all Americans. After listening to his acceptance speech, I believe this is possible. To the extent that the United States has succeeded as a nation, this success is due in large part to the acceptance of the concept of majority rule, and the peaceful transition of power.

In the spirit of working to heal partisan wounds and give the guy a chance, I took the small step of removing my previous blog post, in which I expressed disdain for Mr. Trump. It’s not much, but it’s a sincere gesture. Regardless of the fact that congressional Republicans did just the opposite to our current president for the past eight years, I am wishing the coming President Trump achieves great things in office, on behalf of all of us.

Lord knows it won’t be easy.

Posted in Uncategorized

Adam & Eve, Party Of Two – Your Table Is Ready

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Unexpected consequences from the Great Flood of ‘016 include a ruined fig and pecan crop – pretty disappointing to those of us who look forward to those gastronomic treats. However, the pain has been eased by a great load of Hachiya persimmons from what looks like the Tree of Life out back, several large bunches of bananas with more ripening, and a promising crop of Satsuma oranges and Meyer lemons. You win some, you lose some.

Our house took on not a drop of water from the raging Brazos River, which crested at nearly 55 feet just four months ago. However, our five figs and all the towering native pecan trees in the neighborhood stood in three or more feet of water for several days, and apparently that was traumatic enough to ruin the crops. The usually delicious dark figs in back ripened up and looked fine, but when you bit into them, they contained almost no sugar. As for the pecans, most of our trees have almost none. Usually they have many hundreds.

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So you eat what you have. Stop by this fall for a banana-persimmon smoothy.

Posted in Brazos River, Food, Fruit, Garden, Nobody Gets It Like They Want It To Be

The Way We Were

They hadn’t told us there was no passport photographer in the embassy. We only found out that Monday afternoon, when we tried to get in line there, in order to have our small mountain of adoption paperwork finally approved so that we could bring our new adopted son home to Texas with us.

But no, now we had to search for a passport photographer. Luckily, that didn’t take long because several such photographers were parked in vans in the backstreets around the embassy building. We handed little Nick to one of them, he took three photos and handed the baby back. We waited a few minutes, then walked back to the embassy with our Polaroids.

By that time the long line had grown longer, filled with couples and the babies they were trying to adopt. Several more lined up behind us, too, however, as the clock ticked on toward 5 p.m., we were the last couple to have our papers processed. We were happy and relieved. This long adoption ordeal was coming to a close after all this time, and tomorrow we’d fly back to the United States and baby Nick would see his new home.

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Or so we thought.

We were up early the next morning, packing up, double-checking our plane tickets, ready to grab a cab to the airport. Then the phone rang. My father-in-law from back in Texas. Turn on the TV, he said. And there was the plane, flying in slow motion through one of the World Trade Center towers and into the permanent memory banks of my brain.

Sept. 11, 2001, in Guatemala City. No, we soon learned, there’d be no flight. America was closed.

Posted in Family, Kids, Nobody Gets It Like They Want It To Be, Travel, War