I Waited, Sure Enough It Is

Antietam Battlefield

I have read a lot about the Civil War. Living near Antietam and Gettysburg makes it a natural thing to do. The extreme sadness I feel when I look over the great expanse of grass in Sharpsburg and read the plaque listing the 23,110 young men who lay dead, dying, or wounded there – I have a sense of helplessness and not being able to comprehend how such a war could have happened.

Until now.

After watching the debate, which was unbelievable, and listening to the commentators and focus group discussions, a sense of dread came over me. It was a stark example of the extreme division in our country. Remember the dress on the internet? Some people saw it one set of colors and the rest saw it different colors?

That is when it dawned on me … some of my friends and family see the dress a different color than I do.

What really surprises me is that I feel so strongly about my belief that it creates an irrational difference between me and those who believe the opposite. So much so that I find it difficult to be civil or understanding to those who are on the other side. I can not see how any sane person with one functioning brain cell could condone our current leader’s behavior.

Now I understand how the Civil War happened, how families could be torn to pieces as members faced and killed each other in battle. It is a crushing thought and one I hate to acknowledge but it is the elephant in the room!

Can I wake from this nightmare and resume living a happy life?


It Could Be Worse

Contemplating current events, trying to make sense of life, I was thinking to myself that this is the worst situation I have ever seen.

But then I started thinking back over my short life and considered these situations…

1959-1960: John F. Kennedy’s campaign against Nixon – characterized by accusing JFK of being under the Pope’s control; criticized by accepting endorsement of Liberal Party of New York; recounts of votes and disputes over electoral votes. I remember it more vividly because I was in a Catholic school and the nuns and priests were pro-Kennedy! It was nasty.

1961: Berlin Wall constructed

1962: Cuban Missile crisis – I remember the nuclear attack drills at school, hiding under our flimsy desks.

1963: Assassination of Kennedy – rumors swirled that Johnson had him killed – and the conspiracy talk endures to this day.

1967: the long, hot summer where 159 race riots erupted with the most violent in Newark, New Jersey and Detroit Michigan;  in December, 1967, Miami police chief Walter E. Headley uttered the now-famous phrase “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

1968: Martin Luther King assassinated; Viet Nam war protests everywhere – violent; crowds protest Miss America Pageant; riots at Democratic National Convention.

1970: Kent State shootings – so vivid, like it happened yesterday.

1971: Weather Underground claims responsibility for bombing the men’s room at the United States Capitol; Nixon issues executive order imposing a 90-day freeze on wages and prices to counter inflation.

1972: Gas rationing

1973: Oil crisis

I could go on – every year seems to have its own set of controversial issues.

The climate surrounding the election, the rhetoric, protesting, threats – all seem to pale in comparison to what existed in the past.

I am distressed and agitated by what I see on television but taken against the backdrop of what I’ve lived through these times certainly have a long way to go before they rise to the level of my ‘growing up’ years!

No matter what, the sun always comes up in the morning. Be strong and carry on.

It could be worse.


Lake City Way Ninja Girl

I love it when a new book grabs my cheeks and will not let me put it down until I have read it all the way through!

Such is the case with Lake City Way Ninja Girl by Cait Moore.

I have eclectic reading tastes and love to pick up random books by unfamiliar authors. I am seldom disappointed, and this was no exception.

Much like a roller coaster, but without the long, slow climb to the first hill, the reader is swept through Gaby’s metamorphosis from a 12-year-old rebellious student into a passionate crime fighter.

The narrative does not skip a beat and the heart pounding action flows seamlessly to the final chapters. There was a moment towards the last few chapters where I started to relax, lulled into a false sense of a happy ending, when – BAM! – the story takes a final, gut-wrenching twist that leaves a reader wondering what happened.

I am afraid to say more about the story itself for fear of ruining the many surprises sprinkled throughout. Suffice it to say, the dialog is realistic, the level of detail is perfect, and the plot is not that farfetched. It is contemporary and timely.

The book is a must read for young adults and I expect young ladies will get much inspiration from Gaby. I am sure my granddaughters will enjoy it when it is wrapped up under the Christmas Tree this year.

If you have never heard of Cait Moore – now is the time to pick up Lake City Way Ninja Girl and get to know her. I highly recommend the book without reservation.


Is Corona Virus Real?*


Up until I got the phone call from my youngest son, Daryll, all of the news was just that – political posturing, insults, fear-mongering – stuff that happens to someone else.

“Dad, Sandy was in a meeting this morning at the hospital and one of the patients on her unit tested positive for Covid 19.”

“What!?!? Is she OK? What are you going to do when she comes home? Where is she going to stay?”

“We don’t know anything yet.”

“Put her in the motorhome! Don’t let her touch the girls!”

“Dad! Calm down. We don’t know anything yet! Besides we just had a concrete extension added to the driveway and it’s got to cure four weeks before I can pull the motorhome out of storage and put it by the house!”

After a few hours stewing about it, my blood pressure returned to normal, and I tried to put “parent/grandparent” back in its cage.

Two days later I got another phone call, this one from my youngest daughter.

“Daddy, Lizzy has been sick for about a week and I finally took her to the doctor. It’s not strep or the flu and they’ve set her up for a Covid-19 test.”

“What!?!? Oh my God!”

“We have an appointment tomorrow afternoon at the hospital for the test.”

I’m not patient and waiting for answers is stressing me out!

The next day, Daryll sent a text to the family group – Sandy is sick and is scheduled for a Covid-19 test!

Then the final straw yesterday – Darcy was working on some paperwork for her mother and needed some information. It was just about dinner time and she dialed her mom’s home phone. There was no answer so she tried the mobile number.

I heard her say “What! I don’t know how this switched to the Fire Department! I was just trying to call my mother.”

Apparently, whoever answered told her he was there with her mom who had activated the emergency call function by “pulling the cord” in her apartment.

Her legs had given out and she collapsed coming out of her bathroom. She couldn’t make her legs work and rolled over to grab the cord by the nightstand.

The EMTs took her to the hospital and got her settled in a room. Darcy’s sister, who lives closer to her than we do, tried to get in the hospital but they turned her away.

Later in the evening Darcy’s sister got a call from the hospital that they had done a chest x-ray and detected Covid-19 damage and would be keeping her.

Today, at lunchtime, Darcy just talked on the phone with her mother, who seems to be in good spirits other than wanting out of the hospital.

Now we wait for the results of her Covid-19 test.

Lightning doesn’t have to strike me more than three times to get my attention!

I’m staying home until the coast is clear and hope everyone else does the same.


*Everything is real except the names – privacy and all that you know.

Indefensible by Thomas Banks

The story is amazing!

A fascinating book that might end up being the headlines of tomorrow – though I hope not.

I ended up almost reading from start-to-finish in one sitting. The story and writing style grabs your attention and keeps you invested in the story. The tension is very high with a few twists tossed in to keep you on your toes.

The premise is extremely realistic, the conversations and interactions indicate a high degree of technical knowledge, but the reader is not bored to death with explanations or sidebars explaining what was said. I can’t help but compare the author’s writing with Tom Clancy’s books after his first. Mr. Clancy chose to ‘educate’ the reader and show off his knowledge. Mr. Banks on the other hand, assumes the reader is intelligent and can look up any items they want to clarify. I enjoy Mr. Banks’ writing more.

Assuming that terrorists will continue to seek ways to strike fear into the infidels then this is a plausible and achievable way forward.

I particularly liked the pilot dialog and behaviors and stopped for a moment to review the author’s bio to verify he had flight experience.

I can’t say too much about the plot for fear of mentioning spoilers. Leave it to say Mr. Banks has created an amazing story that could cause you to get a few grey hairs or begin to look up next time you hear a whining sound above you.