I am grateful for what I am and what I have. My thanksgiving is perpetual.
— Henry David Thoreau
I know. Another lengthy hiatus between posts readers. However, this time not of my own volition I can assure you. No, this time it was due to an incident that two hospital stays and a couple months plus of convalescing afterwords.
Not going to go into details–but I’m a very lucky man. In fact, if not for the work of medical personnel I can honestly say that there would never have been another ‘musings’ blog. They did all that needed to be done in a their ever professional manner–and for that I will be entirely grateful.
Along w/ the support system I had afterwords–everything was/is in place for as close to as full a recovery as I can hope for. All of this truly appreciated, for sure.
I’m not completely out of the woods yet…but I’m getting there. I feel better/stronger every day and I’m enjoying my morning exercise/routine w/ Girl again. To our joint pleasure, I’m sure. At least from my point of view. No complaints from her since we got back to the city, anyways. She looks as good as ever–still receiving all the compliments she can handle w/ that well-honed grace that you’re either born w/ or not. Re-adjusting to life in the big city again? No problem. She adapts well, to be sure.
So w/o further adieu, readers. Time to press on. Time for another re-boot, if you will. Hopefully this third time’s the charm for this blog.
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There is a harmony in autumn, and a luster in it’s sky…
— Percy Shelley
Every May American naturalist Edwin Way Teale proclaimed spring to be the finest time of the year–but every October reminded him that the autumn days were his true favorite. “In them, as in the days of spring, there is beauty, sunshine, genial conditions. But here there is an added quality, a sense of maturity, of having experienced more, a greater sense of knowing, a sense of ripening, of fulfillment, of acceptance.” I think many Minnesotans can relate to Teale’s sentiment. After making it all the way through our harsh winters–spring arrives and we become so enthralled by the warmth and new green all around that we announce that this is our favorite season–as we come out of our hibernated condition to soak up a sun-filled day. It’s a thought colored w/ a spring-like exuberance and certainly feels right on a 70 degree May day.
But in the fullness of time spring turns to summer and then fall–October arrives on a sunny, warm day and the thoughts/words of Teale resonate as our truth too. And years of experience living in this state have had me in the ‘fall camp’ for many a year now–even in the spring.
How about fall as the first among equals in a land that observes all four seasons to their fullest?
And w/ the leaves right now peaking and in all of their fall-time glory? Well, it’s hard for me to imagine that this isn’t the opinion shared by the majority of our citizenry these days. Most all of the mornings have been spectacular since I got back to Minneapolis. None more so than this week w/ the tree-lined lakes in the city reflecting those fall colors back onto the eyes–the water acting as the mirror–along w/ looking up and taking in the view of the trees themselves.
The StarTribune had a story/headline on Tuesday asking the question…(complete w/ pictures)
Minnesota fall colors … best in the world? It’s possible
Here’s a biased vote in the affirmative. They are just that dazzling in their autumn beauty these days–that I can’t believe anybody that has went for a walk in their midst would make the argument against the assertion. If you haven’t made it to your favorite tree-lined sanctuary yet? Well, you’ve still got some time to do so. Hurry, though. Every gust of that autumn wind knocks a few more leaves off their branched homes. A jaunt this weekend should certainly work. Enjoy the color. Enjoy your fall!
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Words cannot express the joy of new life.
— Hermann Hesse
The above words are meant to convey some of my elation this particular autumn, readers. Topping the list right now, however, is that I became a grandpa for the first time last week. A brand new baby boy was added to the clan–and both mother and child are doing fine. Happy, happy, happy times, to be sure. Tears of joy? That’s definitely what came rolling down my eyes when I saw that first picture of my grand-son. Very emotional moment for yours truly–one that I’ll never forget.
For myriad reasons–but one that involves everyone in my shoes–stems from the biological truth in which that birth entails.
Namely, the hard-wiring from our DNA to survive and replicate which has driven the species for time immemorial. Now the replication process from my point of view extends two generations. A big leap from only one generation. 100 percent, in fact.
In Richard Dawkins’ book, ‘The Selfish Gene’, the author states that he considered naming the book ‘The Immortal Gene’ and goes on to explain the rationale. Some of what Dawkins meant by the possibility of the other title can be put into context by examining the genetic make-up of my grand-son.
50 percent of the genes come from mom. 50 percent from dad.
Since my daughter’s genetic make-up has 50 percent of my genes–simple math means that my grand-son has garnered 25 percent of his genetic make-up from me! Now here’s an ‘immortal gene’ angle quantified even further. My grandparents on both sides have been dead for many years now. But through this new born their genes live on! 6.25 percent of them, to be precise. And my grandparents grandparents? There’s still 1.5625 percent of their genes in the baby. We’re getting back to in and around the civil war era for those births if my math is correct. Either/or, a significant amount of time has gone by from there to here. Biologically fascinating to me and some of what Dawkins was getting at in his book. I can only hope that 1.5625 percent of my genes are still flowing through a body a hundred years from now–like what are flowing through my grand-son’s. That would be a replication success for the ages, to be sure.
There’s more to flesh and blood than DNA, though. Thoughts and feelings, too. And excitement for the days, months and years ahead. Congratulations Brianna and Cody! You done good in my book. May the birth of Creed be the tie that binds you moving forward. And know you’ve got one proud grandpa wishing you all the best right here in Minneapolis. Again, all the best!
Happy musings, everybody.