Founder’s Forum: Winter of Survival and Introspection

By J.B. Lester

Winter finally arrived in St. Louis and our family of feral cats is doing their best to weather the cold. We have a shelter for them and we feed them. We give them fresh water numerous times a day as the water freezes in just minutes. The cats have grown thick coats as the temperatures demand. They seem to be doing well or at least as best as can be expected. We will continue to keep a watchful eye on them to make sure they make it through the winter. They do seem tough enough. Sometimes it just takes the right instinct to survive what life throws at you.

One thing you can count on about getting old, is that all your parts are going to run out of their warranty. In fact, some days I am glad I have another day to enjoy as many of my friends and acquaintances from over the years have passed on. I wondered why my grandmother always checked the obits first thing when getting the newspaper. Now I get it. Sad but true. And as challenging as health problems can be, I am glad that modern medicine and science have been able to keep me around to see another year. Oh, sure my cancer came back recently, but a fairly routine surgery in February should help. I also got a new heart valve last June that has given me my pep back. My parts may be wearing out but at least they have some new ones for replacement. Hey, I am not saying it’s easy. Sometimes it’s a pain in the ass. But there is always a bright side to every disaster I guess. I am still here for now. My grandchildren will still have to put up with me. My daughters still have to say, “Dad” when I do or say something that embarrasses them. My wife will be my caregiver as we made a pact long ago to take care of each other through better or worse. I will be back on my feet in no time and ready to enjoy the next solar eclipse from the backyard of my daughter’s house in Festus, Missouri. My sister is coming from Colorado just to see the eclipse and all of us of course. Dear Lord, please keep the clouds away.

This is also a year of political challenges as we are asked to once again make lemonade out of lemons. I have always said you don’t vote for the person but for what he or she represents in the party platform, the issues of the day. I have to now say I have amended my advice. If one of the choices is an indicted criminal, narcissist, sociopath, then you should probably not vote for that person. Maybe choose an alternative path than that of the direct road to Crazyville. I, like so many of the people in this country, wish we had other choices, but when it comes time to vote, choose wisely. Let your quiet introspection and not your anger make your choice. Democracy may be in the balance. This is a trial, and we are the jury. Let your conscience be your guide. Vote as if your children’s future is at stake.