Greetings my fellow port swillers!

Well, I think there can be no doubt that Spring has finally got her act together and begun operations in the neighborhood of Port Swiller Manor.  There’s greenage on the trees, the bleeding heart in the front bed is in bloom and the windows are wide open.  Also, today was the first day that ol’ Robbo had to pull out his mower and weed-whacker.  Always a nice thing when they start right up after sitting idle in the garage all winter.  (I would mention that I also put the hammock out today, but since I seem never actually to get the chance to use the durn thing, this is an annual milestone of much less actual importance.)

Of course, this being Spring means that the weather has turned schizophrenic, with temperatures yo-yoing all over the place and extremely fast-changing conditions.  Indeed,   Friday morning we had our first thunderstorm of the year.  The middle gel and self were sitting in the ol’ Wrangler down to school, waiting for it to be time for her to go in for choir practice, when suddenly a bolt of lightning hit one of the towers above us.   Scared the bejaysus out of both of us, I assure you.

This morning saw the annual parade and opening ceremonies of our local Little League.  The opening pitches were thrown out this year by none other than Robbo’s beloved Nats’ right-fielder, Jayson Werth.  (He and 1st baseman Adam LaRoche both have kids in the program.)  For all his alleged ball-handling prowess, Werth managed to put two out of the three pitches into the dirt.

At any rate, as the “Star-Spangled Banner” was sung at the ballpark, I found myself musing sadly.  It seems that every day the headlines become more and more horrible, filled with bread and circuses, bald-faced lies and behind-the-scenes Orwellian power-grabbing.  There can be little question that we are and have been on social and economic paths that are simply unsustainable.    (Of course, we’ve done this to ourselves through softness and lack of vigilance and our failure to drown all the Baby-Boomers in buckets at birth, and a lot of people still somehow don’t seem to understand how deep the trouble is that we’re in.)  But now, I think, we’ve finally reached the point where it’s all coming to a head one way or the other.

Personally, I don’t believe that the country is actually doomed.  What I think is going to happen is that those trying to finish up installing the Brave New World are going to overreach in a way that finally makes the citizenry wake up.  (No, strike that.  I actually think they already have.  Now we’re just waiting for the math to catch up.)  It’ll make ’em wake up because it’ll hurt like hell.    Collapse of the dollar?  Food shortages? Riots a la Cyprus?  Persecutions and scape-goatings? Oh, you betcha.

But you see, I also think there is something that sets up apart from late-Republican Rome or Paris in the Terror or early 20th Century Russia or Germany or, for that matter, Modern Europe.  I think that although, as I say, we’ve got lazy and complacent, there is still a seed of autonomy and self-reliance in our national character.  When push comes to shove, I think, I think, that we will remember what we’re made of.  (You see that, for instance, in the public resistance against draconian gun-control.  And the Tea Party.)  It’ll be ugly, to be sure, but I believe that in the end we will come out intact on the other side, without either Caesar or Big Brother and hopefully wiser and stronger for the experience.  (Do you know that I actually had a conversation with the Mothe a week or two ago about what the military would be likely to do in the event they were ordered to turn on trouble-making citizens?  And that it was a conversation in earnest?  We agree, by the bye, that it is extremely unlikely they ‘d cooperate in any such strong-arm tactics.)  At least, that’s my hope and I’m sticking to it.

But as I say, I am saddened by all this.  Not so much for myself, but for my children.  I’m betting that the Crisis hits in the next five to ten years, right in the midst of their young adulthoods.   I figure that I can face whatever comes with a kind of resigned stoicism and a sense that if I get caught in the crossfire, at least I’ve already had my turn.   But it pains me to think about what they’ll have to go through when their world is turned upside down.

Ah, well.  Better go jump in that hammock while I’ve still got the chance…..

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