Monday, September 22, 2008

Monday September 22, 2008...On the other hand

On the other hand, It's now the beginning of Fall. We've passed the equinox and we're headed for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Everyone's back in school and cool evenings are back. The harvest is just around the corner and the days of heat and dry are ending. These are days of the year that we've worked towards all year long. Now is the time for a bit of reflection and memory of earlier autumns. The beautiful colored leaves shimmer in the sunshine before drifting slowly to the ground. The smells of autumn in the woods are pleasant and cool. The squirrels are harvesting the acorns and the animals are preparing for the coming winter. It's a time of bountiful harvest. It's a bit quieter and not quite so hectic and people seem to smile a bit more.

I like Fall.

Monday September 22, 2008...Remember eight years ago?

Remember eight years ago when we were, as a nation, spending less than we were taking in and talking about saving the surplus to apply towards social security as it was originally intended. We were in the process of actually operating somewhat fiscally responsibly. Those days didn't last long. George said that we had enough to balance the budget and cut taxes primarily on the wealthy. George and Dick met behind closed doors with their friends in the energy business to develop an energy policy. We were on the precipice back then and didn't even know it.

Since then things have pretty much ended up in the proverbial handbasket and we're another day older and deeper in debt. I hope we are going to wake up from this nightmare and start to set things back on track. It's been a growing nightmare for the last eight years and we've spent our resources with little to show for it. We can only hope that the future will be brighter and that our next leader will be more interested in the people of our nation.

This last week, it feels like we're rushing to spend all of anything left to spend before the election. The next presidency will be left with the mop up after the mess. It will take years to figure a way out of the financial situation we are in. Those years may be tough, but if we're trying our best to help each other then we'll at least have some hope. If we keep ignoring and putting off solutions and concentrating the wealth in fewer and fewer pockets, then hope will be hard to come by.

I just hope that we don't start a war before next January and find ourselves digging deeper.

Eight years ago, I was much happier. We'll see what the next four years bring.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Tuesday September 9, 2008...Pet People

I was talking with my daughter the other day and she stressed the point that she and her family were “pet people”. I thought about why I have never had pets.

As a boy, we tried to have dogs, but they always died of distemper. We had a canary (not much fun) and we were adopted by an alley cat, but the cat would come and go for weeks at a time. I guess I never really got attached to any animal.

Once you adopt an animal, you are completely in charge of their care and feeding. You can't leave them behind, untended, while you go off to the mountains or to travel around. You need to make arrangements for them if you're going to be out of town for any time at all. That makes it pretty hard to take vacations.

When I was a boy, I remember only taking two family vacations. When I was married, we took several vacations but didn't have any pets at the time. Since I've been independent, I have made many trips and taken many vacations, but I never had a pet to worry about. I notice that my daughters and their families have many pets, but they don't take many vacation trips.

I guess you have to make up your mind which is most important to you. I've always wanted the freedom to go where I wanted and when I wanted and felt that it wouldn't be fair to have a pet locked away while I roamed.

If you have a pet, it's like having a child. You are responsible to take care of that pet 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It's a major decision, if you're going to do it right.

I admire you “pet people”, but I really enjoy my freedom.