Monday, July 25, 2011


...there is a wee bit of politics in the following...enter at your own risk.

My eldest Daughter, Son-in-law, and grandson Christopher dropped by Sunday afternoon for a short visit. They arrived after the storm blew through that brought straight-line winds that must have topped 40 knots and swamped a sizable collection of power boats who didn't leave "Party Beech" in time. Some rain shafts were still visible around the lake and way off to the east was an occasional stroke of lightning, but the air was 20 degrees cooler and a gentle wind blew out of the southeast. Kristin and family are headed to a new home soon and will not get the chance to be on the boat often, so we headed out for a late afternoon sail that gifted me a moment every grandpa hopes for. On the way back with just our big screacher catching what it could of the following breeze, little Christopher and I settled in on the bow to watch the water go by. He sat in my lap to point out the birds, say "SWOOSH" to the bow wake, and tell me how the wind could make the boat go even though he likes to "run with the motor." Just the two of us on the bow of a sailboat wafting though the last of an afternoon on a little lake.

A moment set against the background of this weekend's violence and hatred and political evil. I really don't know how else to describe it. Cutting funding for programs that provide real help to 10s of thousands, if not millions, of people may - in fact - be necessary. (Or not. I don't actually know, but then again, neither do you.) But without a single serious consideration to ending at least 2 wars and closing what everyone concedes are TAX LOOP-HOLES? Then there is the horror of Norway which turned out to be a politically motivated - no matter how demented - act. How is that not evil at work? At the moment everyone who wants to be president is against something, gay marriage, global warming...the strangest being those who are running for government because they are against government. Isn't that like working to be a doctor because you hate to see people get better? If you did become a doctor, what sane person would go to you for treatment? It would seem much of the power structure of the world is arrayed against finding a magic moment with a grandson. There are countless twisted out there who would gladly attack yours and my little boat and family if they thought it would gain them one ounce of political advantage or a few moments notoriety in the 24 hour news frenzy. There are others who will gladly make our lives harder if they think it will provoke us into voting against the other guy. We sail in a sea of savagery and heartless hypocrisy.

And yet there we were...a quiet, no-one-will-ever-know-about-it, but somehow defiant moment where laughter and pure joy eclipsed an entire world. A moment riding on the bow of a sailboat named Kintala.

The more of us who do things like sail with family, the more we win. Not because we fight but simply because we exist.


RichC said...

Of course "rich yacht owners" are fodder for politicians seeking votes. (just as are "bankers on Wall Street" and "Corporate Jet owners") For those who believe the answer is more taxes as a way to balance the bloated government and spending problem, I suspect that at minimum you better prepare for more user fees, permits and licenses if you are a "luxury yacht" owner.

Of course I didn't need the political reminder while escaping on your blog ... there's enough of that everywhere else. (but hey I could use more of that "grandparent" stuff!)

TJ said...

RichC, I don’t begrudge the taxes I pay – it is part of living in a first world society that has clean water, air, public education, an intricate transportation system (that includes navigable waterways) and an unending list of benefits that come from working together. I am not happy that many of the very rich and many of the largest corporations enjoy those same benefits and profit from that shared effort, while manipulating the system to get a free ride and avoid paying taxes.

That being said, mainly I was just trying to get a handle on the difference between my weekend on the boat with little Christopher and that of a lot of other people. Sometimes I have trouble grasping why I have been such an extraordinarily lucky person. This past weekend just kind of highlighted that feeling.