Thursday, December 18, 2014

'Twas a week before Christmas

Today I'm feeling as if I've been caught in a time machine and developed some sort of psychic whiplash. MinnPost has an article by Brianna Bierschbach on "Why are Minnesota's elected officials studying a 30-year-old legislative session?" I was there during that session, working with friends and associates on a couple of pieces of legislation. I was also a stunned and mortified observer when a "friendly fire" point of order killed a prospective raise for my boss just about half an hour before Speaker Jennings gaveled the session to a close sine die. Fortunately, it wasn't one of the pieces I was working on. Politics then, as now, is full of surprises. Kind of like Life.

I have no idea where the move to normalize relations with Cuba came from. In fact, I never saw it coming. It puts me in some sort of deja vu to the days when there was a pre-Castro Cuba. (I'm old enough to remember that.) Neither did I expect that the Governor of New York would ban fracking or that the Obama Administration would block oil and gas drilling in Alaska's Bristol Bay. I'm happy to put each of those surprises under the tree to be unwrapped as presents for a better, more sustainable future.

Taylors Falls Library at Christmas
Taylors Falls Library at Christmas
Photo by J. Harrington

Since the front of our house is an undecorated construction zone, enjoy the picture of the front stairs of the Taylors Falls library. Now that the hammering and pounding is diminished today, I can actually think about and be glad we avoided the chaos of construction last Autumn while we were in the midst of the wedding preparations and celebration. Christmas comes every year. Weddings are only supposed to happen once. (Not always true, I know, but we live in hope.) Therefore it is better to have construction chaos at Christmas time than at wedding time. Having been through all of this this year, my preferred solution would be to have remodeling done during a year when there are no weddings in the immediate family and to have a house sitter in charge during construction, while the normal occupants are off on an extended cruise or similar vacation. Unfortunately, neither my karma nor my bank account will support that approach. I am really happy the house didn't collapse as the old siding was removed. This barn shows what can happen when maintenance is deferred too long. No reindeer will be landing on that roof and no babes will be laid in a manger there.

a collapsed barn
a collapsed barn
Photo by J. Harrington

The Hammer

By Carl Sandburg 

I have seen
The old gods go
And the new gods come.

Day by day
And year by year
The idols fall
And the idols rise.

Today
I worship the hammer. 


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