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My books can be purchased as e-books for only $1.99. If interested, just click here: Books.
Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Saturday, September 3

Winter-Spring Depression & Political Thoughts Then and Now

I know the seasons are wrong, but I wrote this a few years before I retired from teaching in 1993, and I like it so much I'm going to stick it in here. How sad it was that I felt such depression about life passing and my teaching career coming to an end:

One early spring morning, probably in 1991 or ’92, as I drove to school, I was feeling really down about the seemingly interminable winters in western New York. Probably also feeling that my career in teaching seemed interminable also, sort of like spinning my wheels in the muck of an early spring snowstorm. And the closing line from Shelley’s “Ode to the West Wind” came to mind: “O, Wind, if Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?”

Maybe it’s because I’m a golfer. Maybe it’s because I’m a normal human being who values the gold of the sun more than the pewter-gray of rain-swollen clouds. I don’t know. In any case, I dislike that much-too-much-too-long time between winter and spring, between mid-February and mid-April . . . between the weariness of winter’s inactivity and the joy of spring’s springiness.

Late February, early March—western New York along Lake Erie (good name for a lake in this part of the world—Erie, eerie, weary, bleary). The sun shines rarely enough in western New York, even in the summer. But in that too loooong time between winter and spring, it seems like it never shows itself.

Day breaks (or does it only crack?) at 7:00 a.m. and the light climbs through dismal rain or damp snowflakes. I drive to work with headlights on and windshield wipers slapping to and fro. In the gray of morning, the roadsides reveal dirty gray snow and in the ditches brown, red, gray weeds and bushes bowed down by winter. The maple and birch trees are black streaks against the rising eastern sky, still leafless, the branches still blank and lifeless. An occasional pine points greenly skyward. A crow flaps tiredly across the highway to land on leafless apple tree on the first hole of Sunset Valley, a short par-3 course just before I get to school. The bird must be as winter weary as I am, and he watches me go by almost as if to say, “Caawww! Caawww! Maybe next year I can talk the missus into heading down to Arizona!”
I hear him, and I echo the sentiment.
* * * * *
I had this to say exactly four years ago, and in light of this year's elections coming up, it's interesting enough to repeat it:

Couple of stats I find interesting. MSNBC reports that thus far $160 million has been spent on negative campaign ads, and $17 million on positive ads [and this number waaaay higher now than then]. Hmmm, seems a little disproportionate to me. I must be politically naive . . . or maybe just stupid. Why can’t we regulate the amount of money spent on any campaign on both a national as well as a state level, make the amount small enough that no candidate would want to waste money on the sort of attack ads we now see . . . over and over again. Why should elections now be decided by the amount of money candidates can raise instead of on their stand on issues? A billionaire doofus can now buy a seat in congress if he’s willing to spend most of his fortune.

And this regarding the numbers who question Barack Obama’s citizenship (You remember the Trumpster’s claim?): 17% of the American people, 23% of registered Republicans. I wouldn’t have thought we had that many truly stupid people living here. As long as I’m being politically offensive, I might as well repeat what I said a few months ago. If Obama loses this year and is a one-term president, then whichever GOP nominee wins [and I can now say Mitt Romney is the one], he too will be a one-termer because he too won’t have fixed our nation’s ills. And guess what will happen in 2016: Hillary Clinton will become the first female president in U.S. history. There, write it down

Okay, did anyone write it down four years ago? If not, you can do it now.

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