Sunday, April 6, 2014

A (unfinished) Letter to the Family

 4 Nov, 1980
Hi, Cherie and Kids:

     Another form letter to bring you up to date on what this maverick's been doing, and how healthy he is at present. I was making great strides toward my normally good health, walking about three miles at a stretch, occasionally, without strain. Then I decided to try the Mesa Trail here, which runs generally along, or among, the Flatirons, those great sandstone slabs, standing on end, which are quite well named. It is a mountain trail, of course, with a fair degree of steepness in many spots, and some large steps of stone, which required a lot of assistance from my shoulder and back muscles, along with a cane, to surmount them. My nephew Jack (Lucile's son) has really been a great help to my moral and health. He sponsored me as a Shaklee dealer, which is company is probably the leader in good vitamin and mineral supplements, so I've had really good nutrition. Then his upbeat, determinedly optimistic personality has helped me to toughen up, and fight my ailments, instead of meekly accepting them, and thereby getting progressively more disabled. The lack of a paycheck for ages (it seems like from another life; it has been about five months) has been somewhat of nuisance, also. I should get my first check from Social Security this month sometime, for Disability.
     The weather has been quite mild, this week it has been up to 70° F., or higher, most days. Getting windy now, though, and about time for a heavy snow. Jack (nephew) says he can fly me to I. F. The church we go to said they can come up with money for the plane fare. Can somebody pick us up at the I. F. airport? And maybe check the Shelley motels, to see if there will be openings? You'll all be impressed with Jack; he's quite a guy.
     You know, if I can handle all the pain I've had, and still having, and come out of this in a good shape, I'll consider it the greatest accomplishment of my life. And the feeling of being imprisoned, in a weak, ailing body. Maybe you can give me a call, preferably about 8:30 or 9:00 pm, let me know how things are. I'm not sure just when we can make it. I'd like to stay about three days, to make sure the kids know how to take care of the guns, and will handle them safely. And to get enough memories of you all, to carry me through another year. I'm not sure where I'll be, or what I'll be doing, after I get back in shape. 
     Fran and I have gone to Transactional Analysis groups to get in touch with our inner problems and desires, and we've found there is quite a difference in our life styles, so we might have to get a friendly divorce, to give each other the chance to attain our personal goals.
     I'm not sure yet what my goals will be; I've been concentrating more on regaining good, physical condition; I can't do much till I do. Jack and I might go into business together; he's doing quite well with Shaklee; it would be handy, to have a few hundred a month coming in from that.

"Where Falls the Blame?"

It must be observed that the human race
Has developed a method for saving face.
When a human being makes an error,
His monster ego is beset with terror.
He turns around, and what does he do
But blame that horrendous mistake on you.
You, of course, have a reputation,
And will not brook the implication.
You deny the accusal vehemently,
And turn the blame inclemently.
Finding a fall-guy, you throw the muck
And rest content, having passed the buck.
But really, why fret who has the blame?
The error's still there, all the same.
We should be concerned with just the correcting,
And leave wholly off with all the suspecting.

"Religious Drag"

When in the houses of the Lord
Are you ever passing bored?
As you flounder through the talks
Does your mind take frequent walks?
You focus on the medium
And find him fraught with tedium.
With wide yawns does your mouth gape?
Do you long for some escape?
You shift and squirm as boredom creeps
Seek the best pose for a sleep.
Then ragged snores from your throat creaking
Make background music for the speaking.
Well, take a piece of sound advice
Every talk can't be concise.
One does not just seek great thrills,
And we must take some bitter pills.
There's no simple useful learning;
Mental wheels take some turning.
Exercise some tolerance;
Hear them out at every chance.
All have a word and want to share it;
Do your part and grin and bear it.

Daddy and me in 1978 (or thereabouts)