INSITEVIEW- - tom shugart's weblog

Thursday, January 09, 2003

Thanks, Dean

I’ve been meaning to compliment Dean Landsman for his descriptive account of his holiday trip to Florida to see his parents. His post helped me to recall two facts: first: the East Coast of South Florida during winter break is a complete zoo—to be avoided if at all possible, unless stop-and-go traffic and hour-long waits at restaurants are your idea of a good time.

There are many benefits to your children growing into adulthood, as mine have. Not insignificant among them is that you no longer have to spend your precious spring or winter breaks going to Florida to visit the grandparents.

Man, life was so much simpler when I was a kid. There was no such thing as grandparents in Florida or Arizona, except for the very wealthy. All you had to do was to get bundled into the back seat of the family car on a Sunday afternoon for a short drive over to Granny’s or Gramp’s.

The second thing of which Dean’s post reminded me was how easily old people fall into complaining, and how I am flat-out determined not to let that happen to me. I’m not a whining kind of guy at all—a pretty even demeanor overall. But put me into bad traffic or a long line, and presto! The Devil suddenly takes over my organism and I become a bitchy little maniac.

Dean’s post is serving as a potent reminder to me to cool it, or I risk ending up like all those misanthropic old folks down in South Florida that he describes so well.

From now on, I’m going to do my best to remember the wonderful old lady in her nineties who lived at the same retirement center as my mother. This sweet old gal would survey the scene in the center’s dining hall, shake her head back and forth disapprovingly, and say, “What are all these people bitching about? Life is what you make it. It’s really not very complicated.”

Further thanks to Dean for the following:

"Gulf Wars - The Movie"

Don't miss this. It's hilarious--and miraculous too. It manages to make Condi Rice look like a babe. That's gotta be worth a view!

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