This has been a stressful winter for Barb and I with the late start, medical issues, tire and loading troubles while still being able to save money for our impending Alaska trip this summer. Tack onto that all the normal camping and travel SNAFUs and I can only thank God for my wife. We survived mostly due to her patience and ability to control her cranky old husband. She has always made things seem not so LARGE.As for many retirees, technology and social media is an important part of our modern informational network. We are able to keep in touch with children, grandchildren, and a wide variety of friends. It's help in travel throughout the winter is incredible. The convenience of utility apps is instrumental. We're never really out of touch unless we want to be. However, in social media it is easy to get caught in the traps and pitfalls of anyone else with a computer and an opinion, let alone the mainstream media MSM. The country has become incredibly divisive and uncivil since the election two years ago. We all have our opinions, but these days that only leads to more conflict. There seems to be no middle ground anymore. The lack of the subsequent civility is certainly troubling. I used to assume that we would always be able to separate politics from friendship, but this has become not so simple. I blame society in general for this, but mostly the MSM. I use Facebook quite a bit. I have found it a windfall resource for reuniting with old high school and Air Force friends. I have tried on more than one occasion to stay out of politics online, but to no avail. I have my opinions as well and am certainly not perfect.
I am ashamed to say that I have lost two good friends during this past winter due to our difference of opinions. One was a long time friend from high school; very well educated. We had some very good debates, but in the end he could simply not condone any of my opinions or the fact that I voted for Mr. Trump. I am the one who ended the friendship. I feel bad for that, miss our discussions, and the fact that we could not bind together as Americans rather than party affiliates. I have tried to reach out once again, but to no avail. I don't blame him. I am still in danger of losing another relationship due to the very same differences.
I am nearly 66 now, quite obviously set in my ways due to a lifetime of work and personal experiences. I served 22 years with the US Air Force and another 20 years teaching elementary school. My wife and I volunteered every year with the Community Center for Aging during the holiday meals, donate regularly to charities including several of my former students in need. We donate nearly 120 pounds of dog food yearly to our local foster/rescue agency. We also donated to the Olympia, WA Toy Run the past two years although unable to attend. During research for my next book we have passed out many 'Blessing Bags' to homeless on the streets while listening to their stories.
I am a product of my upbringing, my environment. I thank God every day for parents who raised me in their shadow although at the time I may not have agreed. Dad has been gone for nearly 20 years now and in some small way I am grateful for that; these issues would have sickened him. I know that the only thing I can do is to continue on, live a good life, and give/receive love and respect where it is due. I like to believe I am a generous soul and would like to remain as such. As I said, society is changing. Let those that believe in that continue, but do not expect us that have thrived under the old system to agree, or surrender. I do respect your beliefs. The majority has always ruled. I pray for that to continue. You can have yours without infringing on mine. If love does truly triumph over all, then we should begin to prove it. Remember the Golden Rule? As a society we have forgotten so much.
"I am not the same, having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world"
Mary Anne Radmacher
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