Independence and Then What

July 1-7, 2022

Dear Family, Friends, and Diary,

Two weeks after my last diary, I find myself again asking: "Why write?" There isn't much noteworthy for Marianne and me, and that's not all bad. World events continue, including the war in Ukraine, but are there remarkable milestones? Maybe, maybe not. But, from past history, I do recognize that is it sometimes useful to just have a mark in the sand as a reminder. That's what this is, a sand scribble.

Comments on the World

Shinzo Abe was assassinated yesterday. The world does not need to add turmoil in Japan to uncertainty everywhere else, but there you are. Russia has succeeded in pounding eastern Ukraine into submission. The "new war" does seem like just an extension of the eight-year-old "old war" in the Donbass and it's tempting to think of another decade in a similar mud pit.

Speaking of dirt, Prime Minister Johnson seems to have finally been chased out of 10 Downing Street. Great Britain managed to rid themselves of the bad haircut leader, eventually. Meanwhile his American equivalent is mounting a return in a bald attack on reason and democracy.

The Washington hearings about the last Trump-led attack on reason and democracy are moving along, unclear on actactionable results and ignored by many. I suppose it is hard to worry about history as we are constantly warned about the perils of current and coming inflation. Even the comfortable margins of our own retirement plans and savings seem not-so-comfy, and we are far, far better off than most of America.

Health Update

The room elephant seems to be gone, leaving behind scars needing physical therapy and a tiredness that requires a little extra rest. We'll take it.

Covid isn't gone and we are struggling with what we need to do about that. Wear masks? Avoid crowds, big, little, indoor, outside? The semi-hermit life is getting real old, but the local positive test rate is approaching 20%, implying that one-in-five of the people in the crowd harbor a virus that we would probably survive. Probably.

Aging also isn't gone and won't be. Should we ignore the ache's and pains? That's OK, but how do we not worry about the next future? Our lifestyle is alcohol-free, weight-controlled, routinely-exercised, vitamin-infused, but so what? Our genes are fixed and 75+ years wear-and-tear is already inflicted. What to do now?


What we should do is to seek distractions. Food and flowers are everyday options. Almost every day, Marianne paints or studies the process. An August 2nd, two-painting, invitational, show distracts her. While she escapes to her art hut, I cycle between YouTube, books, TV-news, walks, and puzzles. It's OK, but I do hope we shake out of this routine.


Independence Day did provide a remark-able distraction. In past years, (1999, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019) we have hosted July 4th gatherings, but this year is was simpler to just join neighbors on the Cambridge Avenue Commons. I ate enough to reverse a week of dieting.

crowd posers
announce bubble Jon

On the following Saturday we had another party, sort of. It was the monthly Zoom gathering with cousins from Seattle, San Francisco, and Idaho. For a couple of hours, we laughed, shared left-ish political thoughts, talked about our futures, and generally enjoyed ourselves. For me, these cousin calls are among my favorite technology applications.

A good memory to end this sand scribble.

I promise, sooner or later, we'll be doing something more interesting.

Stay tuned,

John and Marianne.