I was on the front porch when you drove by and I waved, holding travel brochures in my hand.
In response to a power outage in our neighborhood due to a storm, I decided to remain in bed, go without bathing, stay off the internet, and wait for the city to deliver barrels of meat and hard tack to stave off starvation, but the city restored power the next day and put the kibosh on my plans to be a victim, so instead I called my travel agent.
Now we’re seeing a lot of the United States and life is good.
It’s true that tragedy is the heart of great literature but life is not a published novel and we’re here because our parents got excited about each other and had a very real moment of happiness and if we put some effort into our lives, we can be happy too. Forget national politics - it’s a train wreck because liberals want a leader in a white robe holding out his, her, its, arms drawing butterflies and birds to land on them while conservatives want it to be 1956. But happiness is not dependent on politics.
Goodness and generosity are bestowed on the world by people all around us. Acts of kindness pervade our lives and keep the darker powers restrained.
The lady cashier at the IGA grocery asks “How’s it going, sweetheart?” and I am warmed by her kindness. The smiling manager, Dunkan Echevarria, at Dona Noli Cigars, offers a lighter for my occasional Churchill and wishes me a pleasant evening. Wilson’s Weenie Wagon, the food vendor down the street, slathers plenty of mustard on my hot dog. I smile. He booms “Have a good day, brother!”
I’m now in Charlotte Douglas airport waiting for a flight to Phoenix and a passing Arizonian tells me to be sure to see the “Hole in the Rock” which I think is a joke (I mean, think about it), then find it’s a real place. It’s a joyous day to travel, made so by decent people and God Almighty - not the president or Congress. Politics is as irrelevant to a good day as is Vermont, the Moose Lodge, or dental floss.
Our trip to Phoenix is the beginning of a bus tour of national parks. I will sit by a window and take in the sights while my wife interacts with people around us. I’m a loner, she’s the nice sociable one, and she’ll make new friends before the bus is a mile down the road.
When I write about how good life is, I’m not talking about peace or retirement. I’m not a guy that’s one with himself or the cosmos. I’m talking about the natural goodness of a home, a loving wife, a church community, our three sons, and grandkids we love.
The oldest of the grandkids is a girl, now a sophomore in high school, and I warn her against men. Men invented politics, and are masters of cruelty, treachery, and vulgarity. Men get drunk on authority and power. I tell her to avoid most men, especially the quiet ones that write and are shy. And if you decide to have a man, get one that’s trainable (we respond to biscuits). This could take years. If he doesn’t show early progress, kick him out the front door into the street and start over.
This is what we need to do to Congress in 2020. Hurl the awful performing clowns out on their keisters.
And now, our flight’s been called. After Phoenix, on to the Grand Canyon. Sweet, happy life.
Readers can write to Joe at Joehudsn@gmail.com and Facebook (View from the Hudson). He is author of “Big Decisions are Best Made with Hot Dogs”.