Thursday, September 07, 2006

A reminder

Kinda frustrated right now.
After a week of beautiful weather for climbing, it's depressing, damp and dingy outside, and that's kinda how I feel on the inside. The forecast calls for a 60 percent chance of rain, which, all you poker players now, means 100 percent chance you will get sucked out on if you are ahead that far. It also means 100 percent rain, basically, in the mountains, or storms or snow. A high of 35. Winds up to 25 mph.

Does that sound fun to you?
Me either.
So I'm staying home unless the forecast changes.

People ask me if my climbing has changed since I had Jayden. Not really, I tell them. I still do dangerous routes.
But this has changed me in this way: Before I'd be more willing to just risk it and see if the weather suddenly got better. Now if I'm going to spend that much time away from him — usually climbing is at least a 12 hour day when you factor in the driving — I want a decent shot at the peak.
It doesn't sound like I'm going to get even that.

I may regret it tommorow, but I'm not going unless I pull a three-outer and the weather clears. As the forecast just keeps getting worse, I doubt it will happen.


• • •

I'm not a "God Bless the U.S.A." kind of guy. I think Bush is probably our Worst. President. Ever. I really hate the war in Iraq. And now they want to ban online poker. Hmph.

But I wrote this editorial for the Tribune that will run Sunday, and I believe every word of it. I hope you enjoy it and have a good weekend.

It’s still painful to see clips from what was one of our worst days in America’s history.

Even five years later, seeing that second plane slam into the innocent World Trade Center sends a spike through our hearts. If you catch any video of those people jumping out of the buildings, chances are you still have to avert your eyes. And footage of the collapse of the two towers can still bring tough, brave men from our local fire departments to tears.

But one memory, an important memory, should bring a smile to your face.
We responded with a patriotic flourish we haven’t enjoyed since World War II.

We sang “God Bless America” at ball games. Flag pins, flag shirts and flag hats became hip additions to our wardrobes, as if they were endorsed by fashion gurus from the show “Project Runway.” We even cheered for the hated, rich and somewhat snobby New York Yankees because we knew that city deserved a World Series after taking the kind of punishment no place should ever have to bear.
Most of all, we brought our flags out of the attic, dusted them off and flew them proudly, day and night, as a defiant fist-shake to the cowards who attacked us.

On the five-year anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, even for just one day, it’s time to fly them again.

The way we showed our love for our country was something positive out of all the horror. It was proof that good things can come out of unspeakable acts. It was a way to show terrorists that nothing will shake us from our foundations of freedom.

It’s probably safe to say that we always loved our country. We just forgot along the way to show it. Marriages suffer from the same natural tendency to take something so stable, so comfortable and so natural for granted. And yet, just as a heart attack, a car crash or the need for counseling can bring back the affection married couples once shared so freely, watching so many of us die so unexpectedly and without warning made us realize how dangerous it is to assume our country will always be there for us.

It seems funny to fly our flags on a day that was so terrible. After all, we fly our flags on holidays, days that are fun to remember and enjoy and celebrate, such as our nation’s independence.

Fly our flags on Sept. 11, then, to celebrate how our nation responded to such a knee-buckling strike.

Fly our flags to celebrate that patriotism and keep it in the backs of our minds.

Fly our flags to celebrate how one of our worst days soon became some of our best.

1 comment:

slb159 said...

I watched the CNN recap of their 9/11 covereage...was just amazing...yeah, a truly tragic day