Covering a lot of ground…

Page one of my uncle Henry's letter. Despite all he faces, he's still sharp and insightful.

Last week I retyped in this space a letter from my uncle Henry in Portland, and to a good response from several of you.  Thanks much.

I responded in kind to Henry.  That letter is shown below.

Although my letters to Ellen and Reid are evolving as we speak (see “Behind the woodshed”, October 29) what Henry will read is a product of necessity.  He will read a little bit about a lot of things.  Since I don’t write to him very often there is an urge to cover a lot of ground.


November 3, 2010

Mary and Henry: Henry, you have to be careful in what you wish for because here’s the latest installment of my church newsletters.  It was only eight pages this month because A) there just wasn’t as much news and B) I ran out of steam as the issue deadline approached.  But people still like it, and you’ll like that in November, I’ve persuaded my Pastor to take part in a Pastor vs. Pastor column (the title will likely change) (eds. note: where he will face off against some other Presbyterian minister on some pressing issue of the day.  They won’t so much take opposing sides as just write differing views.

Thanks for your handwritten letter that arrived a week or so ago.  It was a wonderful read.  If anyone has had a lifetime of experiences, it’s you.  I’m impressed that your handwriting is legible enough for the average person to read, and doubly impressed that you confess to not using e-mail and the other avenues of Internet communication.  If I hand wrote my September letter to you, you’d still be trying to decipher it to this day.

It looks like us Democrats took a licking in yesterday’s election.  I just don’t get the voting public.  In 2008 they put a black man in office, but with their short attention spans and what-have-you-done-for-me-lately mentality, they forget the prior eight years of economic and diplomatic sins that cannot possibly be overcome in the space of two years.  I think we get what we deserve.  There just seems to be more of a mean-spirited, attack dog approach these days.  I didn’t turn on the TV or radio last night or this morning to listen to the talking heads talk, talk, talk.  That’s not reportage.  Things seem to turn on very shallow, small picture issues.

I’m trying to persuade Tom and others to join me on a backpacking trip in Wyoming next summer.  He said he, Eli and Ben rode their bikes past the very spot where we would propose to enter the high country.  If the people who say they want to go actually do go, we may split into two sub-hiker groups.  I’ll take the slow pokes and Tom and Reid can take the faster crew.  We’d both end up in the same places but at different rates of speed.  I’ll really be excited to have Tom up there.  He’ll like it.  It’s not like the Cascades or Olympics, but drier with good views.

Thanks for calling mom.  That seems to greatly lift her spirits.  She really seems to be doing better these days.  Ralph has her with a doctor who has throttled back her medications and that has evened things out a great deal and removed her moments of anger.  I’m not quite sure what the doctor did but we all ought to be very appreciative of it.

Well, my nose had better get back to the grindstone so that everyone here perceives I’m holding up my end of the bridge.  It was wonderful to get your letter and I hope this one finds you hale, hearty and well.


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