EJ's take on entertainment and travel plus a few pointers in a fairly smart-for-old-person way

Sunday, November 7

On the Seasons of Baseball, Football, Politics & Life

Pete Seeger used words from the book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible in his song, so I guess I can borrow some words from the Byrd's song for my story. You know the one about everything having a season? Maybe it was all about sport’s seasons.

To Everything…There is a season …

So October baseball and the baseball season are over and my Twins got cheated by the evil Yankees. Then my Vikings got rooked by the refs and Randy Moss ran a fake. Oh wait, I mean he was a fake. Their season is going nowhere on the fast track. Then Nov. 2 pulled a punch to the gut with the thought of tea partiers in places of power. We preach against extremists in other countries so why are they electable here? All hail the season of hate.


To Everything…There is a season …
A time to gain, a time to lose

A time to rend, a time to sew
A time for love, a time for hate
A time for peace, I swear it's not too late


There might be a season for everything but still I fear the truth in the words of my late father. His political wisdom was subtle but right on. Pre-election 2008 when he was grumbling about voting and how it wouldn’t make a difference, I said, “Dad, you gotta vote. If you don’t vote then I don’t wanna hear you bitchin’ about the way things are.”
         A time to build up,a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones,
a time to gather stones together

We talked about the need for change, about politics in general, about issues for seniors, about racism and his pretenses of racism, he grumbled some more, and some more. After about 20 minutes of “discussing” the state of the country he delivered those prophetic words. “By God ‘W’ and his crooks got this country so far down the toilet I don’t think your guy or any other damn politician can pull us back out.”

His 75 years proved to me many times that you don’t need a formal education to be smart. After I said he might be right but we had to try something different, he said, “I don’t care who you are, we ain’t getting’ outta this mess in 4 years or even 8 years—maybe not in your lifetime. It sure as hell won’t be while I’m still around.” True. True. True. And true. Wise man.

He did end up voting for a Black man (he said; I believe it based on his complaints) and he was hopeful about the cost of pills and bills for all his health needs. He prided himself with pushing buttons so I got razzed a lot. Those on the other side of the spectrum in denial of his politics got their share of ribbing. One of the last real conversations we had a couple weeks before he left us was about that same topic.

He told me he was proud of me for standing up for my beliefs. He admitted he voted because he shared some of the same views. He said he knew I wanted to make a difference for senior citizens (old farts were his words) and people in need (don’t have a pot to piss in). For not having a very “touchy/feely” relationship he was wide open when he said he loved me and advised me to keep writing. “You’re damn good at it so you better keep doin’ it."

For someone like Dad who worked a shift job of physical labor everyday and never knew any other way to say those words, made me breathe deep a few times just to keep it together. Quite a contrast from the words he said when I told him I was no longer teaching. “By God that kind of money is hard to come by.” That was the serious part before he went into the routine about how easy teachers have it with summers off and short work days and blah, blah, blah. He put up a good front but I know he was proud of the difference I made for kids. Still, for him to tell me to keep writing and that I was good at it pretty much validated my decision.

I suppose when it’s all mushed together, the Twins will have another shot at a run in the play-offs and the Vikings can still make something of their season. The upheaval in politics will eventually swing back to middle ground. Hopefully, each of us can learn about tolerance and start working together.

In retrospect, even my father is still with me in many ways. Although he died in the summer of 2010, his wisdom continues to influence me on a daily basis.

A time to be born, a time to die                         
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

Yup. Nothing like death and dying to get your priorities straight. He might not be here physically but I know Grandpa Bud comforts Andy (Zipper) when he watches over her. Their unspoken bond is just as real as the radiation and chemo her body gets each day. They share some of that same stubbornness. It made him survive some rough times like heart surgery, lung surgery, cancer. That attitude and deep faith might help her cheat the ‘C’ word for a few extra years. She will have her season.

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven


A time to build up,a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together


As I sit in silence in our room in Rochester, MN trying not to weep, I think about my daughter.
I think about my dad. I long for his quiet strength.
Small things like laughing about photos, sharing with new and old friends and the kindness of family keep reminding me he is still here in many ways and I aim for hope.

But I guess sometimes it’s too hard to reason with emotions. Sometimes it is just too hard to tell if the falling leaves mean a season is ending or another season is about to begin. In sports it is easy… in life, not so much. Whatever it means, there is a reason.
It is not for me to decide.

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven   


A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep


To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven