Saturday, March 19, 2016

The Softer Side and Doing Good Deeds

Your Speed: 27 mph
One of the reasons I backed off of political blogging is because I found myself angry and agitated all of the time.  As hard as I worked trying to tell people that in my opinion, Barack Obama would be a terrible president and would spread socialism, would weaken our national security, and would do irreparable damage, it seems no one listened. As loudly as I screamed that Obamacare would be a disaster and would result in thousands of people losing their private insurance coverage or paying higher rates, nobody listened.  I was either preaching to the choir or arguing with brick walls.

I burned out.

I got tired of being mad all of the time.

In place of politics I've diverted my attention to writing on other things and to research for my book.  We've been working on the house and the yard, and spending time with friends and neighbors. Instead of anger and frustration, I'm finding joy in the simpler things that warm your heart.

Last night for example, we sat outside under the magnolia tree, pulled up chairs for my neighbors, built a fire in the fire pit, and the four of us talked and laughed long into the evening. The tabby cat sat in the swing between me and Gena in utter contentment.  Three teenage boys walked by, their voices and laughter carrying across the cool air, on their way to one of the fast food joints on Kings Highway. One of them noticed the flashing speed sign mounted to the light pole so they took turns running past it to see how fast they were going.  The 13 mph champion raised his hands in a Rocky-esque victory celebration before they continued on their way.

It was all so much nicer than thrashing out the latest tax increase advocated by John Bel Edwards or digging through the qualifications of Obama's Supreme Court pick.

For the most part, I'm leaving all that to others these days, with the occasional exception.

My focus right now is on my book.  I want to thank donor Steve for hitting my tip jar yesterday, very generously.  That will help fund my trip to Natchitoches over spring break to get some final research that I need to finish revisions on the book.  I'm feeling some new motivation and inspiration to finish strong!  If anyone else feels so inspired, you can hit the tip jar over there in the right sidebar for the good of research!

In other matters: I've been greatly remiss in not watching the Shape of Shreveport series.  I happened to discover, through a Facebook conversation on the tragedy of Fairgrounds Field, that Episode 4 of the SoS series is online at Real Shreveport. This episode covers two crashes that devastated Shreveport: the plane crash that killed six prominent Shreveport businessmen, and the oil crash that killed the banking and real estate industry in Shreveport.  If you haven't seen it, go over to Real Shreveport and watch it.  It's just over sixteen minutes and worth every second.

You may remember my lamentations over the shape of Shreveport last summer.  It continues to make me sad at the wasted potential of this town.

Another thing I wanted to point out before I get back to work today is the good work Nova's Heart is doing. They always step up to help the less fortunate in our city care for their pets most basic needs and the flooding situation of recent days has taxed their resources to the bone. If you can make a donation of cash or supplies to them, that would be greatly appreciated.  If you aren't familiar with Nova's Heart, this is what they do:

Our mission is to help the pets of those in crisis. We are not a rescue and cannot foster or take in any animals. Our services include minor vetting, food, collars, harnesses, and leashes. We are not funded nor do we have the means to take on critical care for pets ( Parvo, Heartworm positive, or any extensive health problems ) We can set up a Vet appointment for a diagnosis but can't at this time provide treatment. We help the pets of those experiencing homelessness, rescues in need, and individuals that are going through crisis.

Their Facebook page is here. Their Amazon wish list is here. There are many items on that list that don't cost very much. For $20 you can send a flat of dog food. For less than that you can send them leashes and harnesses.  Help them out if you can.  If you don't want to donate online or from Amazon, I'll happily accept leashes, harnesses and bags of cat or dog food and take them to the Levy Street office of Nova's Heart for you.

Time to get back to work.  Take time to do something nice today.  The rewards are tenfold.

1 comment:

GruntOfMonteCristo said...

I think we're all fighting the political burnout these days, Pat. And I remember your lamentation post well where you compared S/B's decline to Des Moines' bloom. I've known urban decay since I was very young, helping my grandfather fix up an historic old house only to walk away from it because the neighborhood became a hell-hole ghetto.

But great cities have a way of coming back to greatness. And S/B has great hope, I think. Keep the faith.

Your story of the evening under the Magnolia tree was wonderful! We do the same thing here later in the season, but they're pines and willows in Denver. Maybe a maple or a honey locust.

Good luck with the research in Natchitoches! Hopefully, they have some good beer there. Gruntessa and I were in NOLA last summer, but have never made it up the Red. Bons voyages!