Lex Parsimoniae

I haven’t seen my grandson in a year, although I’m the only one with that status in this household. Just didn’t work out, although I’ve certainly seen him, in the sense of speaking with me on a screen. Not the same. Will take it, any day. The boy lives 1200 miles away, and there are always complications.

There should be no mistake: If called upon, I’d drop everything and move into a tent in my daughter’s backyard for a year or a decade or the rest of my life if he needed me to be there. Hardly even worth discussing.

On the other hand, now I get to see some of the major changes up close and personal, and apparently there have been changes of late. He’s taller and leaner, all of a sudden, for one thing, and he seems to keep pushing the boundaries of what his apparently ginormous brain is capable of absorbing.

So that’s on my mind. His father is currently out of the country for an entire month, so this visit comes at an opportune moment, particularly since my daughter has a wedding to help plan and participate in almost as soon as we arrive, Grandparent Patrol. We need costumes.

I’m a big fan of Occam’s Razor, or at least the philosophy of keeping speculation to a minimum and looking for the simplest answer. It gets me out of my head and my tendency toward magical thinking.

And the news has all been Occam lately. I’ll admit to a little surge of patriotic pride that our system might actually still work the way it was designed, although I’m more than a little cynical these days about running out of luck. Still, if we elected a criminal to be President of the United States (as I suspect; your opinion may vary, and I may be wrong, of course), the wheels of justice seem active lately.

I don’t have inside information, though. I just see patterns, and read smart people who know things. Legal things. Several of them belong to the President’s party (ostensibly his party, you know), although I’m pretty cynical that this structure will survive, too.

Or, alternatively, it could just be a bad chapter. We’ve had them before. At any rate, I think the end of 2018 will be interesting on that front, and I continue to watch and read and just, you know, wonder.

As I do about everything, really. An old friend of mine today shared an article on Facebook from a source that looked sketchy, but I read the piece and it was exactly that. Misspelled words, theories presented as absolutes, scare headlines, scare quotes, scary stuff, most of which seemed to be nonsense.

This is a bright woman, nice and doing great work among the least of us. She wants to believe what she wants to believe, which is what the hackers knew from the beginning but then. Every con man has always known this.

So Hillary Clinton ran a child pornography ring/pizza parlor, and so on. It’s not hard to figure out.

But I suspect we’ve got a whole bunch of chickens and they’re heading home now. It’s hard to look away. Fake news has always been around, but now we know primarily whom to blame (well, ourselves, but Facebook is in bad trouble). We seem to be learning, slowly.

I do want to look away, though. We all need a break. I just haven’t figured out mine yet.

The trip to Texas in a week or so will be a big one. I’ve been sending our resumes again lately, looking for something that might possibly use my skills, which is fun except I’m not sure I have that many. I do, really, but some of them are just being comfortable with certain things, and all in all I’m cynical once again. Just not pessimistic. We’re doing OK. I just really need health insurance, even as healthy as I appear.

But November is done, worst month ever, and I have holidays and all that entails. There are craft bazaars and concerts and potlucks and decorating. There’s an elementary school in the neighborhood of our church, which from the outside and surrounding area looks perfectly normal, not rundown at all, nice neighborhood, but this is an old story. There are at least 20 families always in desperate need, quite a few homeless.

And every year we adopt them, our little church, and although I’ll admit to rarely making a contribution (I just don’t have much money) it always breaks open my heart. Forty people or so provided $2700 of gift cards for Thanksgiving and we’re starting in on Christmas (we found out the cards are much more welcome, especially at Christmas, so the parents can do their own shopping). I find this remarkable generosity from a blue-collar, probably majority retired congregation (getting younger, though, which is inspiring; we seem to be a beacon of tolerance in an increasingly intolerant Christian community).

As for me? A mystery wrapped in a lean body that is trying not to get leaner. A future that sometimes looks dismal and other times feels adventurous. Again, I have my health. I have a bunch of Christmas movies.

And I have a grandson who needs me, although he is blissfully unaware of this, which makes me happy, too. I prefer to work undercover. By the time I leave, I intend for him to know all of the countries of Africa, Asia, and Europe, and to be able to do a passable Al Pacino impression, and I’m feeling pretty confident right now.

Chuck Sigars2 Comments