Saturday, July 23, 2016

Another Texas Summer

“If I owned Hell and Texas, I would rent out Texas and live in Hell.” General Philip Sheridan

About this time every year, I wonder why I live in Texas. It’s hot and it isn’t going to cool off much for at least another 6 weeks. And, so far, this hasn’t even been a bad summer. We’ve had some rain and up until recently, the heat has been tolerable. But, it’s still a Texas summer and it always wears you down. By late August you’re basically a zombie.

This time of year Colorado and New Mexico fill up with Texans trying to escape the heat, if only for a few days. Texans love the mountains. The mountains are beautiful and, more importantly, they are cool. I used to live in Western Montana and being in the mountains is good for your soul. Even when it’s cold and your tired of winter. And in the summertime, it just doesn’t get any better.

So why does a Texan who has a choice come back and live here? It’s too hot in the summer time. The cities are overcrowded and the traffic is terrible. Yeah, there may be no state income tax, but property and sales taxes are sky high. There’s a lot of crime and it’s a dangerous place. Why are all of these companies relocating to Texas and why do all of these non-Texans want to be here? I guess because it’s Texas.

Texas is like a big, beautiful, bad woman that excites you and makes you uncomfortable at the same time. She’s the one you’re always leaving or coming back to. That’s just who she is. Thank God for air-conditioning.

Friday, July 8, 2016

One Heart At A Time

Our nation is in a bad place right now. At the extremes, we see it played out in Minnesota as a white officer of the law shoots an innocent black man sitting in his car with his girlfriend and a child in the backseat. And, just when we think this is the worst, an angry young black man guns down white policemen in downtown Dallas. Not that long ago, another angry young man, this one white; walks into a church and kills nine black people who were there for prayer and bible study. The list could go on and on. This is madness.

“If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?” - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Solzhenitsyn was right. The line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And we now live in a world where that line is too easily crossed. We have lost our way. Our hearts are dark and darkness is where we are headed. Every issue is now reduced to US vs.THEM. It cuts across politics, religion, race, economics and social issues. It’s all or nothing. If we disagree then one side has to destroy the other. There is no trust. Only fear and paranoia and anger. And all of that leads to violence and a people slipping further into the darkness. If positive change is to come, it must start with our hearts. And this means you and me. One heart at a time.