The New Year

Another new year is upon us. We ended last year on a positive note. Vivian tested positive for Covid. Now that’s positive!

She got over it without any symptoms. The rest of us tested negative. Some combination of quarantining, vaxxing, and plain-dumb-luck worked in our favor. Happy to report we are all good. Around us Omicron continues to whirl through friends and families near and far, but so far, with mild consequences. We spent a quiet NYE’s on our back deck with champaign and party things that Becky thoughtfully sent us because we had to cancel the little party that we had planned.

Last weekend, on a lark, Nina invited us to camp at Inks Lake with them and we did. On Saturday evening, we went out for a sunset hike and then a meandering longer walk on Sunday morning. The girls – Jo, Vivian, and Ouiser, drove back home after dinner on Saturday. Without electronic devices, Evan, Nora, and Felix devised interesting games to keep themselves occupied. I often forget how convenient and relaxing a trip to Inks Lake can be.

School is back. Vivian’s school is taking a break from in-person classes for a few days – which she loves. She can hop out of bed at the very last moment and into her armchair for a class. Evan’s soccer season starts back this week, so there go our evenings and weekends. My work is keeping me busy. It is rewarding to spend hours disentangling real or imaginary problems with a bunch of bright people.

The first anniversary of the beginning of the end of democracy in the US came and went. While the poor brainwashed masses are ending up in jail slowly, the master idiots behind the plot remain at large, still poisoning the well that we all drink from. Over fifty percent of a major political party in a fairly advanced country have bought into an extremely destabilizing lie. I am not a pessimist by anyone’s definition, but it is possible that the 2020 elections was the last truly fair elections in the US for a while.

The other morning Jo tearfully said that Betty White had died. I said I was sorry and I truly was. But then in a small voice I asked her who Betty White was. She explained. We had ourselves a good chuckle. After all, she made so many people laugh over her almost 100 year lifetime. Later that week, in our little drinking group with a philosophy problem, we contemplated reality and the absurdity of our existence which brought me back to thinking about Betty White and life and death. And then a few days later, Evan’s teacher sent us a note. She had been discussing the role of emotions in persuasive writing with the 6th graders. They had talked about Aristotle’s triangle of Pathos, Logos and Ethos. In my world view, Logos leads, Ethos follows, and Pathos could be somewhere back there for all we care. An argument without logic or ethics isn’t one. So in class, with or without first raising his hand, Evan apparently said “Emotions are a sign of weakness”. Which led to the teacher’s note. And a discussion at the kitchen table that evening about the importance, even if not on the virtues, of Pathos. Life goes on. Ob-la-di.

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