Tuesday, September 6, 2011

BACK TO WRITING

After taking a few days off for a long Labor Day weekend like millions of other Americans, it is time to get back to some writing on a regular basis.  It was a good summer and I found myself slacking off a bit on the writing part of my life.

I did take up a couple of other projects during the summer to help fill the non-writing time.  The biggest thing was that I finally overcame my fear of wireless and bought me this little laptop that I am working on now and set up a wireless in house network.  This has been such a revelation to me.  I should have done this years ago.  Now I can sit here and sit in my favorite chair and comfortable write and not kick my wife off of the desktop computer that she enjoys so very much.

I can hook this thing up to the large screen television and use that monster as a monitor or stream movies from Amazon.com to it.  The ease of use and set up as well as the common sense of setting it up has made it well worth while.

The other project I did came about as a result of getting the laptop.  I have decided that this laptop is going to be my stereo as well as my portable go anywhere computer.  I have been ripping all of my CD's onto to the hard drive here so that I can find any album very quickly instead of sifting through piles and piles of CD's.  I have come across some music I had forgotten I had and what a joy it is to listen to it once again.  The music always stays in alphabetical order by artist or album title.  No longer will I have lost music hiding somewhere in the house.  It will always be here at my fingertips.

As for the summer itself, it wasn't too bad.  The weather got hot for a few weeks but that is not unusual for Missouri.  The river flooded up in Iowa and Nebraska as well as northern Kansas and Missouri but again, not too unusual for the area.  What was unusual was the amount of flooding that took place and the massive damage it did to Iowa.  They have a real mess up there with roads being completely destroyed and it will take a lot of cleanup to get it back into working order.  The infrustructure took a hard it to our good neighbors to the north of us.

Then there was the double whammy tornado season.  One of my favorite cities, Tuscaloosa, Alabama was torn to shreds by a massive tornado.  My sister and her family live down there and thankfully all were spared.  I donated a little money that week at the grocery store to go help the victims in Tuscaloosa.

While the nation was still concentrating on getting Tuscaloosaq up and running an even bigger tornado swept through a small city called Joplin in southern Missouri.  Joplin was devastated as bad if not worse than Tuscaloosa was.  Again I made a small donation to help my fellow Missourians in their effort to get their lives put back together.

Still today both cities are working hard to get back to normal.  Both tornadoes affected me in a way.  I consider the people of Tuscaloosa to be members of my adopted city in my adopted state  Of course the Joplin tornado hit my fellow citizens in my home state that I love dearly.  A lot of people died and were injured in those two major storms but I can only be thankful to God that none of my loved ones were a part of that number.

Now I have dear friends and family in Texas and wild fires are sweeping across the state.  I can only hope that those people that I care so much about come out of the firestorms without being effected by them.

Another project that I took up to fill time was trying to learn how to play the guitar on my own.  I have been at it for about four weeks now and I feel I am coming along fairly well with it.  I am learning the chords and trying to memorize the fingering for them.  I am trying to learn how to switch from chord to chord quickly so that there are not any unwanted pauses in songs that I might be trying to play.  I dug out my Neil Diamond Songbook and my Neil Young songbook to try to learn some songs that I am more familiar with.

I play the piano and I ahve discovered that it is much more difficult to play the guitar.  I have a new respect for those who play this instrument that is so very rough on the fingers and the hands.  My fingers are starting to develop a thickness to the fingertips as I continue to make it a point to practice at an hour a day.  One of these days I will get it.

I made a trip to the emergency room on the July Fourth weekend after falling on some concrete stairs that lead to my basement here.  Incredibly I did not have one broken bone or major injury.  I have fully recovered from that shock to the system.

Lastly, My Aunt June passed away a few weeks ago.  She will be missed by more people than one can imagine.  She had been sick a long time and had battled hard but the time came when she couldn't fight any longer.  I admired and respected her and loved her.  She was a good aunt that I was certainly lucky to have.  She loved books and she loved music.  Two things that I understand only all too well.

Her family will have a huge hole in it that she use to fill and it will never be filled.  While she was here on this earth though, she made an impact on so many lives, mine included.  You'll be missed June for a longtime to come.

So the summer season is finally over and we enter into the fall season.  This month the United States will spend a solemn day in remembrance of a day ten years ago in which terrorist attacked the World Trade Center, The Pentagon, and a third target that was never reached thanks to the bravery of ordinary citizens of this great country.  I am not sure if I will write about that day or not.  It is a day I will never forget though.

Before we know it we will be sitting at Thanksgiving dinners around the country and start the countdown to Christmas.  The cold will arrive along with the snows making us long for the warm days of summer that we just crawled out from under.  Weather in Missouri is never stable and we always seem to long for the season that we are not in.

So I am back again dear readers.  More time will be spent indoors which means more consistent writing.  Thanks for hanging in there with me during the long summer of 2011.

Bill Clark

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