In yesterdays blog, I shared a letter to a great writer, Syl Jones, who I admire.
He got back to me and said he's more than happy to help me write a column about anti-Semitism with a specific twist towards the Upper Midwest. Most people see Minnesotans as "so nice." And to re-affirm this, I want to say that I've made some very special friends in MN, many in the 12 step program. But like any Coin, there are two sides. There's the "nice" side and the "repressed angry" side. I'd say I'm a nice person but my Side B can be pretty tough on others.
I'm going to just let my experiences simmer a bit before I start writing a column. Mr. Jones did say "Are we living in an age where right-wing political movements have suddenly make it okay to hear the comment you heard at The Dakota?"
For me, it's been a busy year - gratefully so! I came back from TX with our home all dismantled. Annie decided it was time to remodel our upstairs bathroom. The linoleum was all cracked and the plastic tub was cracked. So she bought a new tub and had the floor and shower area tiled. I came home to a big mess. There was a new granite top blocking the walkway from the garage into the family room and a new lamp between my side of the bed and the bedroom wall.
After being away for two weeks, I'm tired and it's hard for me to handle the unmanageably of coming home to a chaos! Oftentimes I've got too much going on internally and need order around me to relax. For me, order is good. We'd had a snowstorm and the cushions on the lawn furniture had not been taken inside so in order to save them, I decided to go to the laundromat and use an industrial machine to wash them. My younger son was supposed to change the oil in his dirt bike but that didn't get done either. And the snow blower wasn't attached to the tractor. I guess that's why households need "a man in the house." Flattering to some but not to me. The combination of all these things caused me to get uptight and become irritable. The anti-Semite, at the Dakota, added fuel to my fire!
But I'm happy to report, lawn furniture cushions are clean and stored, bathroom (I painted the ceiling and walls) is almost done, we used the truck to pull Isaac's dirt bike to get it started (didn't want to start in the 20 something degree weather) and we changed the oil. We got the snowblower attached- so things are in order at the moment.
Tuesday morning I received a call from Isaac, our 17 year old. "Dad, I crashed the Durango into a snowbank." I should have first asked if he was okay but I didn't. He proceeded to say "there's anti-freeze dripping all over the place." "Is it drivable?" I asked. "No dad, I smashed the front end pretty good." "Okay, Isaac. I'm not happy with this news. This is the second accident you've had in the past 6 months. You're obviously moving too fast. Leave the car and get to your first class." My plans for the day were suddenly changed. Instead of going to work, I drove to the Arby's parking lot, where our truck was sitting. I called Triple A to get the car towed in to our mechanic, hoping not to make a claim BUT after he called me he reported extensive damage. "Ken," he said, "you're kid did a good job - the car's going to need a new radiator, oil cooler, fan, a/c unit and bumper and a bunch of body parts."
Oh well, the beat goes on. Isaac's currently w/out wheels and he's going to have to pay 1/2 of the $500 deductible. I want him to feel the pain of pulling money out of his pocket to experience what it takes to pay for all this stuff. (He has a job). I even had him call the insurance company to report what happened. I told him "Isaac, the Durango isn't a toy. It's almost two tons of steel that can cause grave harm. This isn't like thrashing around on the snowmobile where you can be going 50 miles an hour and suddenly stop on a dime." It didn't help that we'd had a big ice storm and then snow on top of the ice making the roads very slippery.
My grandfather used to tell me when I was moving too fast, "Kenny, the slower you go the faster you'll get there." May he rest in peace!
I'm enjoying sitting amongst my family in Omaha and banging out these words on my laptop. Annie and I have made-up and I'm breathing a little easier.
Thanks for reading this. I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving Holiday!
p.s. After almost 3 years, my BMW motorcycle restoration project is finished! It's a classic airhead, a 1982 BMW R65LS (looks like a Fokker Triplane).