Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

The Meaning of Life (and the 3 cent dollar)

Sarasota, Florida

Mrs. Phred is back after a week of looking after an elderly aunt in South Florida. When she leaves for extended periods, I become progressively depressed and begin to wonder about the meaning of life, the Universe and everything.

Mrs. Phred came back last night. I had an epiphany during her absence and came to realize that I define myself entirely in terms of my usefulness to other human beings. I no longer have an airplane to navigate, college students to educate or a large corporation to guide into the future. Now my world has shrunk into my ability to drive Mrs. Phred around in the RV, manage her finances, provide 24/7 tech support, be a warm body at night and cook a good fish dinner. Today, I was so upbeat about her return that I began a workout routine in the weight room.

My son wants me to install insulation on his room addition and do the interior and exterior painting this winter. That's a good thing in terms of usefulness for something.

My cousin Everett and his wife Midge came to visit today. Everett is one of my three war baby cousins born within weeks of me (while our fathers went off to defeat evil) in 1943. We are all Viet Nam era veterans, including our one female cousin, Kate. I'm especially close to Everett since we are both CPAs (he's smarter than me).

We talked about many things: Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--Of cabbages--and kings--And why the sea is boiling hot--And whether pigs have wings.

Everett reminded me of a banana split eating contest that we had at age six back when a good banana split was 25 cents and how it ended in a draw after three each. That was back when neighborhood ice cream parlors dotted the landscape and before most families had TV. $1.50 as a tab for the six splits is equal to about $30 in 2010 money. You could hire a good house painter for $1 an hour back then or buy a nickle coke at any gas station (can I check your oil, sir?).

The Motley Fool is recommending "Doctors without Borders"...as a good place to make a donation to help in a little way with the Haiti catastrophe. I'm off to make a painful donation.

We landed at the Haiti Airport years ago in a 727 on the way to a dive trip in Martinique. They had a fence to keep the Haitians out. there were scores of skeletal hungry looking Haitians hanging on the fence looking at us with big eyes. The Haitian security forces had sub machine guns to keep them out . I'm not sure that I agree with Pat Robertson that they deserve what they got because they made a pact with the devil 200 years ago to get rid of the French. What a strange dude. He also said Katrina was the result of the gay rights movement

Go make a donation. It's the right thing to do.

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