Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I’m Baaaack . . .

Snoqualmie Falls in the Cascades near Issaquah, Washington

Yes! I’m back on the east coast after three weeks on the west coast. A synopsis of my 22 days of travel will follow in a post in the near future. I was traveling on July 4th this year, from early morning until late that night, so I didn’t have an opportunity to reflect on the significance of the day in writing this year. But, to be honest, I really didn’t have much to say about it anyway. I don’t want to appear to be unpatriotic, after all, I’m a U.S. Air Force veteran from the forgotten war – Vietnam, the one where U.S. military were cursed at and even spit at, but I’m still proud to say I chose to volunteer to serve my country for four years rather then take my chances with the Selective Service (what does that really mean??) conscription or run off to Canada or some other “safe haven.” 

This is not a political blog, never intended to be and I’ll do my best to keep it that way. But, as I listen and watch the media feeds of the BS emanating from the two political party system machines, I see that once more this citizen is faced with an election of the “Evil of Two Lessers” once again. And many people wonder why I’ve chosen my “living free” lifestyle.

At any rate, I returned a week ago, on Wednesday, July 4th, having left on June 13th. When I returned, the east coast temperatures were still in the triple digits and the mid-Atlantic region was still recovering from power outages impacting over four million people and clearing up thousands of fallen trees and huge limbs ripped from trees. There were an untold number of houses and other buildings damaged by the high winds along with damage to cars and trucks. And while I was on the west coast I was enjoying comfortable temperatures, low humidity (in California) and the green, lushness of the Pacific Northwest. Providence was with me on this trip, well other then the flights from hell I experienced between Fresno, CA and Salt Lake City and Salt Lake City and Seattle. But, those are tales for another post.

It’s pretty dry here in the east. Grass is brown and brittle already. That usually doesn’t happen until sometime in August. The news media have been blasting out the news from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announcing that the first six months of 2012 are now officially the hottest six months in U.S. history and that the 12 months since July 1, 2011 are the hottest 12 months in U.S. history. Something like 24,300+ weather records have been broken during the past six months and thousands of those records were heat related. I’m recalling this from last night’s network news, which I don’t make a habit of watching, by the way.

These are challenging times. As a society we are facing so many challenges all at the same time. How all of these challenges impact each of us communally and individually is largely up to you and me. As a pragmatic, realist, existentialist I choose to accept that they are what they are and each of us has choices on how we allow them to impact our individual lives. Some of us will hold onto the idea that we can each contribute to a solution to the various challenges. Others will tend to realize that we are each responsible for ourselves first and once we feel secure (however we define the word “secure”) we can reach out to others who are willing to help themselves and give them a helping hand, as long as they don’t pull us into the abyss.

We all want to know the “truth,” but black and white is becoming harder and harder to discern with all the spin. While our technology has made our lives so much better in so many ways, it’s also opened opportunities for us to be scammed and befuddled by a long list of “puppet masters” vying to control our minds for one reason or another from selling products to make us look younger or get our vote so they can control us through government. This post could easily lend itself to a book and maybe someday it will. But, for my purposes here, I’m simply stating that I’m back in the east and from what I can tell the only thing that has changed is ME, because I met new people, experienced new places, did some interesting things and chose to expand my mind because of it.

I hope, for those people I came in contact with during my 22 days on the road, I made and left some kind of positive impression and impact. I never ask nor expect anyone to change or buy into my ideas or philosophies. That’s up to each individual. But, if I at least leave them thinking and questioning “truth” for themselves, perhaps they will experience their own form of epiphany and their lives will be improved in some measurable way. 

So, keep tuned as I introduce you to some of the folks, the places and the experiences I enjoyed and gained from during my adventure. Oh yeah! And thank goodness the heat wave has broken, at least for the time being.

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