Crunch Time

I had a bad night. I could barely sleep from the constant coughing and nose blowing. I did finally catch about 90 minutes total sitting upright in an armchair.

Today is the day I had pegged to get serious about packing for the move. We have 100 flat boxes and a boatload of paper and tape from the moving company we hired. I know how I’m going to combine items but I really need to muster the energy to do it.


I came down with a head cold while I was in Florida. I really thought the worst was over but it seems to have doubled back and I’m worse than ever now. I have an appointment for a physical so I’m kind of hoping the doctor tells me I have pneumonia and I shouldn’t fly to Chicago on Wednesday for a two day business meeting. I would welcome that. I’m not looking forward to the meeting or to the travel itself because of the way I feel.

But enough about my physical condition! Oh, did I mention that I chopped off a bit of fingertip that got in between a pair of scissors and a roll of bubble wrap?

Morning is my most productive time so best get cracking, Suzette. Those baking dishes aren’t going to wrap themselves. I’m tired, though and not coughing at the moment so maybe a little nap right now won’t hurt.

Badass

Once not all that long ago, I was sitting next to a man at a business meeting. He was a mature man with a long lean appearance  and he wore a 2 ft long pony tail. He watched me take my folding cane out of my business bag and let it fall open. Then he proclaimed to the whole dinner party,  “That is one badass cane!”

It was the first time in my life that I had ever been associated with the notion of badass and I was thrilled about it, let me tell you. On the other hand, the compliment was about my cane.

Whenever I think about that day, I ignore the inconvenient details and remember it as the time that someone called me a badass. You should be thinking about me that way, too.

Soup Chat. Any Chat Except Disaster Chat.

I’ve caught a few glances of TV ads for something quite intriguing: Progresso Light Chicken Pot Pie  Soup 100 Calories Per Serving. So many words that don’t belong together in that sentence. Historically, I’ve been Team Campbell’s all the way but I do like a good pot pie. However, I am afraid that this will be nothing but some anemic chicken chunks floating around in a milk-like liquid. People who are attracted to chicken pot pies are not necessarily interested in 100-calorie serving sizes.  They’ve also got a Light Creamy Potato with Bacon & Cheese Soup 100 Calories Per Serving. Now you tell me.

[Okay. A little disaster chat. But it’s new disaster chat, meaning the new nor’easter disaster, not the old hurricane disaster or the older creek running through my basement disaster, or the older yet bullet in the wall of my childhood home. I suppose I didn’t mention that last one to you before. Sorry – it got pushed down the list as each new disaster burst onto the scene.]

Hurricane/Nor’easter update:  Day 12 without electricity. Fortunately, the area where my son lives went back on the grid. Here’s a joke:  so we relocated there just in time for a nor’easter to knock a tree down on top of my car. Here’s the punch line: all tree services are still busy with hurricane cleanup.  It’s 3 week wait.

If I had an orange car, you’d be able to spot it here more quickly.

UPDATE: the Homeowner’s Assn landscaping crew came around and freed my car from its bancheous prison. Don’t feel sorry for me – feel sorry for the tree. That thing was a double flowering crab apple and it was magnificent.

Hunkered Down And Holed Up

Hurricanes! Amirite?

Day 8 still no power at our house but half an hour away, our son is back on the grid so we bugged out and headed for heat and lights. They say that we might have power back in our house on Wednesday or Thursday.

What have I been up to all this time? Lots of closet cleaning, lots of napping and lots of reading about LBJ. Hal K. Rothman’s “LBJ’s Texas White House – Our Heart’s Home” makes me want to live in the Hill Country of east Texas, Doris Kearns Goodwin’s “Lyndon Johnson and The American Dream” made me wish she wasn’t so clipped and cold about a man she had a close and complicated relationship with and Robert Dallek’s “Lone Star Rising – Lyndon Johnson and His Times” clearly laid out the opposing forces that made the man’s personality what it was.

One thing that comes through loud and clear in any book you read about LBJ is that no matter what kind of finagling it took to make things happen,  he sincerely believed in the causes he championed. He was a long -term thinker and deeply aware of how his words and actions would affect his legacy. I read and reread the speech in which he announced that he would not seek reelection in 1968 and could not help but compare his principles and motivation to those of America’s current president. this came at the end of 30 minutes updating details and changes in strategy about the Vietnam war:

“For 37 years in the service of our Nation, first as a Congressman, as a Senator, and as Vice President, and now as your President, I have put the unity of the people first. I have put it ahead of any divisive partisanship. And in these times as in times before, it is true that a house divided against itself by the spirit of faction, of party, of region, of religion, of race, is a house that cannot stand.

There is division in the American house now. There is divisiveness among us all tonight. And holding the trust that is mine, as President of all the people, I cannot disregard the peril to the progress of the American people and the hope and the prospect of peace for all peoples. So, I would ask all Americans, whatever their personal interests or concern, to guard against divisiveness and all its ugly consequences.

Our reward will come in the life of freedom, peace, and hope that our children will enjoy through ages ahead. What we won when all of our people united just must not now be lost in suspicion, distrust, selfishness, and politics among any of our people.

Believing this as I do, I have concluded that I should not permit the Presidency to become involved in the partisan divisions that are developing in this political year.

With America’s sons in the fields far away, with America’s future under challenge right here at home, with our hopes and the world’s hopes for peace in the balance every day, I do not believe that I should devote an hour or a day of my time to any personal partisan causes or to any duties other than the awesome duties of this office–the Presidency of your country.

Accordingly, I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your President.”

Can any one anywhere in this country imagine Barack Obama putting the country ahead of himself?

Lyndon Johnson remains as unpopular now as he was at the time of this speech. Although he carefully crafted and controlled his public image at every moment, in the end he donated 100% of his papers to his library in Austin without censor for “history to be his judge.” His library is the only one with no fee charged for admission and the papers are open to all who seek them. Can anyone anywhere in this country imagine Barack Obama doing that?