Sallie and I just got back home and we're dog-tired. It was a hot day and a long day, but a good day. First, it was our grandson Chip's 2nd birthday party, and it was held about fifty miles hell and gone from here out in the country on a pumpkin farm/petting zoo/playground of vast proportions. Thankfully, we stayed mostly in the shade apart from the mile-long walk from where the car was parked over to said shade, and back. Needless to say, we drank lots of water.
Chip was in fine fettle, with an ever-present grin on his handsome little face, and a mylar balloon tagged by a string to his collar. Somehow he would manage to get it wrapped around his forehead time and time again, and he had lots of attention from everyone, particularly all the women there who had kids of their own. You see, Chip's got more friends than I have, and I'm happy for that fact.
The days, months, and years now stretch out before us on this Sunday afternoon, and I find myself somewhat pensive, wondering what the future will bring. I'm sincerely hoping, for the sake of all the grandkids, that we still have a country and a world in which to breathe free and express ourselves.
My grandfather was born in 1893, believe it or not. He was a 19th Century boy. He died in 1983 at the age of 90. My own father was born in 1935, and he remembered the town sirens going off in Madisonville, Texas, on VJ Day. Every horn was honking, folks were shooting their guns off into the sky. It was a huge celebration. This gets me to thinking about the times we live in, and the times to come. You see, my generation was never tested. My father was decidedly tested, and before he passed away, he told me about a certain raid into North Korea to get a pilot friend out of their gulag. He was witness to the death of friends during that raid, but they achieved their objective. You could say that the 1950s were a test for him as a young man. Later, he would prove to be fearless back home in the states. He became a Hellfighter working for Red Adair putting out oil well fires in the Gulf of Mexico. I was just a wee lad at that time, and all I can recall is those long six-week periods when he was away from home. My step-grandfather was in one of Patton's tank battallions during World War II. He brought home with him the flag from atop the Reichstag and two ceremonial Nazi swords and two daggers. Later in life I recall staying at his and grandma's house, and he would wake up in the night screaming.
My generation? We experienced nothing. We haven't been tested. Uh uh. Not one iota. But I believe that the test is about to arrive, and the past 7-plus months have been nothing but the precursor, the calm before the storm that is about to come. I don't wish for the storm, but I must tell you that I am ready for it. No one wants to go to war. No one wants to fight. But if the fight comes to me, I'm ready for it. So should we all be.
From time to time over the years, we've heard that this army here or that one there is the greatest fighting force the world has ever seen. While I love the men and women in our military forces, the truth of the matter is that the single largest fighting force on the face of the planet is the armed American people. It's why no one is keen to invade our shores. It's why films like Red Dawn are pure fantasy.
So, here we are. You know, I've heard it said that the days leading up to World War I were some of the most quiet, peaceful, and beautiful days ever experienced. The calm. The calm before the storm.
Let me tell you folks what I am guilty of. In between writing the books I write, I have my ear ever-pressed to the ground, listening for the Indian raiding party that may be coming. I watch and absorb everything. I get chatter from all over, and not just videos. There are personal messages, insider tidbits. While most of us have been asleep, the bad people have been plotting and planning. You see, they never sleep. So I have reason to wonder, on this day of celebration, what the future will hold for my family. While I have every hope it will be good, I await the new day with patience, and readiness.
Okay, I guess that's about it.
Y'all take care.