Things That Go Bump in the Night

There seems to be some disagreement among the various unreliable Internet sources as to the earliest origin of the phrase I used for the title of this blog. Wiki attributes it to the penultimate line in a Scottish poem from 1895

From ghoulies and ghosties
And long-leggedy beasties
And things that go bump in the night,
Good Lord, deliver us!

The Phrase Finder website suggests that it was first found in print in the Bulletin of the School of African and Oriental Studies in 1918. But, both sources agree that the phrase refers to frightening, but imagined events.

And, that brings me to the topic of today’s blog – truly frightening politicians vs just imagined scariness. Back December 2015, I wrote a blog with the tautological title, “Donald Trump is a Bombastic Buffoon.” In that piece, I opined, correctly as it turns out, that the trope being used to parry off the Orangeman’s candidacy that he was “scary” was bunk. I further said, I’m sure correctly though thankfully we’re not running this experiment, that a Hillary Clinton presidency would be a lot more scary given her long track record of failure at, well, everything she ever did in life.

As a quick recap, because I love to pat myself on the back when I’m right (and ignore completely when I’m wrong), the Trump presidency has been precisely what I said it would be – bombastic, boorish, buffoonish, and….wildly successful. The economy and employment are humming along at levels not seen in many decades, we’ve righted the ship on the horrible Iranian deal, we’ve done a legit reset on many of Obama’s other foreign policy gaffes, and we’re finally stepping up to our immigration crisis despite the efforts on the left to stymie him. And, a lot more, but that’s truly not the topic of today’s blog (pat, pat, pat).

I want to return to the topic of what should actually scare us. Not imagined things going bump in the night, but real things that could do actual harm to us. And not just political harm, but actual physical harm. And, by that I mean people like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. AOC, as they now call her, is an avowed socialist. By some estimates, socialism cost 100 million people their lives. Stop, just stop, for a moment and really let this settle in. There are people in the United States of America who voted for a candidate who openly advocates for a political philosophy that failed miserably and killed as many as 100 million people. And, Donald Trump is the next Hitler. Right.

If you were inclined to dismiss AOC as something that goes bump in the night (so you can actually sleep tonight) you might note that she has come to this position with the support of 110,318 people voting in the super liberal 14th district of New York. That’s 0.03% of the US population. Sleep well, right? Not so fast. Within a week of taking office, nearly the entire democrat party establishment has embraced her as their mouthpiece with nearly every declared democrat party candidate for the 2020 presidential election signing onto AOC’s plan that would bankrupt the country and devastate our poorer population within 10 years. And end up killing how many people? Well, 100 million is a starting point.

Friends, that’s not a bump in the night. That’s something to be truly scared of.

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Liberal Hypocrisy, Virginia Style

As my loyal readers know, I have been writing a periodic series on liberal hypocrisy. Each time I write on the topic, I think the hypocrisy can’t get worse, but it always does. The liberal dumpster fire in my home, the Commonwealth of Virginia, may be poised to set the Olympic record for hypocrisy. Depending on how this plays out over the ensuing weeks, months, and years, however, the Old Dominion may also change the political dialogue forever and possibly for the better. It’s very complicated so let’s start pealing the proverbial onion.

For those of you living under a rock, here’s the state of play:

  1. The democrat Governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam appeared in his medical school yearbook either wearing a KKK costume or a blackface. He apologized for doing it, then pretended it wasn’t him.
  2. The democrat Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, Justin Fairfax, has now been accused by two women of rape. One claims to have documentary evidence.
  3. The democrat AG, who would become the governor if both the governor and the lieutenant governor were to be forced to resigned or were impeached, admitted to wearing a blackface to a party in college.
  4. The speaker of the house in Virginia, who would become the governor if the governor, lieutenant governor, and AG were all forced to resign or were impeached, is a republican.

When the Northam photos first surfaced, I have to credit the liberal establishment with a fairly quick call for his resignation, including most black leaders. To the causal observer like me, this seemed like a no-brainer. The left has been desperately searching for dog whistle racism from President Trump, for whom there’s no actual data to support a claim that he’s racist. Nonetheless, the left has been playing their favorite card on him for more than two years, going back to the campaign and election. OK, two points for the left.

But, wait, it got more complicated after that and the hypocrisy flags started flying. When the first woman accused Fairfax of sexual assault at the 2004 democrat convention, the initial reaction from the left was a measured one, nothing like the shrill screaming they immediately issued when Judge Kavanaugh was accused of sexual assault with no evidence whatsoever. And, while both cases were ultimately he said/she said situations, objectively, Dr. Tyson was far more credible than Dr. Blasey-Ford. In the Fairfax/Tyson case, both parties agreed they’d had sex; it is just a question of whether or not it was consensual. Sorry, does the woman not get the benefit of the doubt? Well, apparently not if the man is a democrat. In the Kavanaugh/Blasey-Ford case, the accuser was ultimately not even able to prove that she has met the accused, let alone had sex with him, let alone had non-consensual sex with him.

At this point in the story, it seems to me that the level of liberal hypocrisy was only at a modest level, that which we expect from the left. It became very clear at this point in the story that the left was perfectly fine throwing Northam under the bus when they believed that the even more liberal Fairfax would become governor. But, when Fairfax came under fire, they had to be more circumspect.

That’s when it got really interesting because the democrat AG came out with his blackface confession, thus opening the possibility that a republican would become governor if all three had to go. And, at about the same time, a second accuser came out against Fairfax, saying she has evidence she could present at his impeachment hearing. Given this level of evidence, it became clear that the level of hypocrisy required to protect Fairfax was untenable so, as of this weekend, they started bailing on him. So, where’s the hypocrisy you ask? The left called for Northam’s resignation. They called for Fairfax’s resignation. Seems like they are standing by their principles, right? Not so fast.

Suddenly, we’re opening a national dialogue about race and blackface. I shit you not. Today’s above-the fold headline in the uber far left wing Washington Bezos Post is entitled, “Northam Vows a Focus on Race.” The lead op-ed piece in the same left wing rag is entitled, “Baseball, Apple Pie, and Blackface.” You simply cannot make this up. Here’s the lead paragraph in the op-ed piece.

Blackface is as American as the ruling class. Throughout the 20th century, all-male fraternal orders, schools, federal agencies and the U.S. military collectively institutionalized the practice. Watching blackface performances was a common pastime for U.S. presidents from both parties. “Blacking up” was seen as an expression of cultural heritage and patriotism throughout Jim Crow America — an era named after a famous blackface stock character — and up until the civil rights movement. Even now, one recent poll by YouGov  found, only 58 percent of Americans oppose the practice.

Stop. Just stop for a minute. Seriously, take a deep breath and just imagine for a moment that Donald Trump or Mitch McConnell had been pictured in their yearbook wearing a KKK outfit or blackface. Do you think the leftist media would position that as an opportunity to “focus on race.” Do you believe the leftists would suddenly look back in history and find that, indeed, white people donning black shoe polish and KKK hoods is as “American as the ruling class” or “an expression of cultural heritage and patriotism.” Oh my God no. How do they even keep a straight face when they say crap like that? Literally every single leftist in the country would be demanding the immediate resignation of any republican so pictured.  But, not the left. In their twisted and hypocritical world, you can declare Donald Trump a racist for “dog whistling,” but turn the blatantly racist costumes of a democrat into an opportunity to focus on race or to note that, indeed, blackfacing is a rich and important part of our national history. Seriously, give me a fucking break.

I don’t know where this goes from here. I really doubt the democrat party in Virginia will oust all three guys and turn it over to a republican. There’s a limit to their willingness to stand up for their faux principles and there’s likely no limit whatsoever to their hypocrisy. We’ll see. Maybe I’ll turn out to be wrong and all three will go, as they should.

But, I’m more interested in the question of what happens if Northam (and Herring) stays. What does that mean for the political dialogue on race for the next 50 years? It would no doubt change if forever. Would it be for the better or worse? That’s hard to know. If it means it’s now OK for white guys to wear KKK hoods (a clear message if Northam stays), then I would say (axiomatically, I believe) that it’s bad. If it means the left can no longer randomly throw the racism card at the right without cause, as they do all the time now, then perhaps something good comes out of it.  Perhaps this might also begin to address questions around whether politicians should be held accountable for stupid shit they did in high school and college. And by “stupid shit” I don’t mean rape or wearing a KKK hood. That’s not stupid. That’s unforgivable. Forever. But, the reality is that most of us did stuff when we were younger that does not even approximate who we are as adults. Perhaps we might all benefit from recognizing that reality and dealing with it on a case-by-case basis.

If we go there, I would only hope that both parties apply the same principles evenly. Given the hypocrisy on the left, I seriously doubt that.

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NFL Playoff Malaise

It’s about this time of year that my buddy John in Boston sends me a snarky e-mail about the Patriots. This year it was an article by some bozo columnist in Boston about Patriot haters. Each year John’s email has less and less effect on me, as my give-a-fuck for the NFL plummets lower and lower. Indeed, my NFL GAF is now at a level rivaled only by European soccer (well any soccer), women’s pro bowling, and anything to do with Nancy Pelosi. Before I flippantly replied to John’s poke this year, I did some soul searching as to why my GAF is so low on the NFL. Here goes.
1. The Redskins suck. I guess I have to admit that if my once beloved Skins were in the NFC championship game today, my house, nay my life, would be adorned in Burgundy and Gold.
2. Daniel Snyder (see #1)
3. Daniel Snyder’s brand new $100 million yacht (see #1 and #2). No, I’m not kidding. It was in the news this week.
4. Officiating – the game is a fucking joke. Every game is decided by a bunch of octogenarian insurance agents who spend 6 days/week trying to get people to buy an umbrella policy then throw on a striped shirt for 3 hours and attempt to officiate a very complex game with billions of dollars on the line.
5. Too many arcane and ever changing rules. My daughter played HS field hockey and I loved watching her games because she was my kid (and she was really good), but the whistle blew about every 8 seconds for some rules violation that I never understood. When she was a freshman, I’d turn to the parents of the senior players and ask, “Hey, what was that whistle for?” and the senior’s parent would shrug. When my daughter was a senior and I had had 4 years to learn the rules, some freshman parent would turn to me and ask what the whistle was for and I would shrug. NFL football has become HS field hockey with random and unpredictable flags.
6. Violence on the field. Too sad what’s happening to these guys after they retire and the league’s “concussion protocol” is a joke. No high school trainer making $18/hour would allow a kid back on the field after some of these collisions. NFL players stagger into the locker room and are back on the field 10 min later having “passed” the concussion protocol.
7. Crime and violence off the field (probably my #1 reason for losing interest in the NFL). Like all generalizations, this one is too broad, but the NFL is a bunch of wife beaters, thugs, and criminals. I actually did an analysis of the per capita rate of arrests for serious crimes in the NFL (USA Today keeps a database) and determined that if the same rate applied to my firm, we’d have 9 employees arrested every single year for serious crimes. Would anyone do business with my firm if we had 9 people arrested every single year? I seriously doubt it.
8. Sour grapes (see #1, #2, and #3)
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Reuben Foster

My friend Rob recently pointed out to me that the most insidious of all the liberal journalists are the sports writers. Because their subject matter is inherently unimportant (don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge sports fan), they don’t have to even pretend to be thoughtful or cogent in their writing. Never has this been more true than in the analysis this week of the Redskins decision to sign serial domestic abuser, Reuben Foster.

Before I go any farther, let me do some level setting so you don’t blast me. First, I categorically and unconditionally condemn any domestic abuse of any kind. No exceptions. Period. Full stop. Second, as a 50-year Redskins fan, I acknowledge that if there’s a way to fuck something up, the Redskins will figure it out very quickly and do it. The PR around the Foster situation is a case in point.

Back to the Foster situation. In case you missed it, the 49ers cut their star linebacker last weekend after his second arrest on domestic abuse charges and the Redskins signed him. There may be some inconsistencies in his accuser’s story and I’ve read they’re now back together, but none of that excuses his behavior, per my comment above. And, while innocent until proven guilty is a core founding principle of our judicial system (except in the case of liberal members of the US Senate and, well, the entire Democrat Party, but I digress), there’s an awful lot of evidence to suggest Foster did something wrong. Let’s just stipulate that he did for purposes of this blog because I want to make an entirely different point.

The outrage, especially from the left, has been deafening in the wake of the Redskins’ signing of Foster. The most comical screams have been from those who are trying to make the completely spurious point that there’s some huge irony that the Redskins wouldn’t sign Colin Kaepernick when their starting QB went down for the season, but they did sign Foster. All Kaepernick did was kneel, they argue. Foster beat his girlfriend. That argument misses many points, chief among them that Kaepernick sucked as a QB and was already benched when he decided to be a disruptive figure by protesting something that all the data in the world show doesn’t exist. And, therein lies the reason nobody wants to sign him. He’s a shitty QB and a disruptive force. And, by the way, lots of people are seriously offended by what he did and that’s not OK.

But, let’s get back to Foster so I can make my main point (finally, thanks for hanging in this far). The point is this: if you contribute a single penny to the NFL by watching it on TV, attending games, buying jerseys, playing fantasy, or writing about it in the Washington Post, you are a complete hypocrite to be outraged by the Foster signing. Why is that? It’s simple. The NFL is comprised of bad guys. Not all of them, but a lot of them.

The USA Today keeps a database of arrests of NFL players for serious offenses (i.e., it excludes minor traffic violations and the like) that goes back to 2000. In 19 years, there have been 922 arrests of NFL players for serious offenses ranging from DUIs on the low end to domestic assault, manslaughter, and murder on the high end. 922 arrests over 19 years is about 49 per year every year for nearly two decades. There are 32 teams with 53 players on each roster. That’s 1,696 players in the NFL in any given year. So, over 19 years, one in 34 players has been arrested, on average, every single year. 107 of the 922 arrests were for domestic violence. That’s one in every 300 players, though studies have shown that domestic abuse goes unreported as much as 90% of the time so the rate is probably much higher.

Google employs 85,050 people (and that’s according to Google so I assume it’s accurate). If Google employees were arrested for serious crimes at the same rate as NFL players, there would be 2500 Google employees arrested for serious crimes each and every year. There would be 283 Google employees arrested for domestic violence every year. Do you think that would be a good story? You might have to use Bing or Yahoo! to find it, but it’d be a hell of a story. As an aside, a Google search of “Number of Google employees arrested” does not yield anything meaningful while “Number of NFL players arrested” yields page after page of direct hits.

Let me say it again, understanding that, like all generalizations, it doesn’t apply to everyone. The NFL is a bunch of bad guys. Yes, there are some really good guys. There are guys helping inner city youth and raising money for worthy causes. But, in the aggregate, the NFL is filled with bad guys that commit crimes and abuse their domestic partners at a rate that is alarming, to say the least and, more accurately, is terrifying. So, if you’re watching the NFL, supporting the NFL, playing fantasy football and so on, you have already made a decision to support a bunch of bad guys. One of the primary reasons (aside from the fact that the Redskins have sucked for 20+ years) that I lost interest in the NFL is precisely this fact. I got tired of watching and supporting a bunch of bad guys. That’s totally unfair to the good guys in the league, but the proportion of bad guys is so high, as demonstrated by the statistics in the USA Today database, that I really couldn’t do it any longer.

So, unless you’re prepared to completely stop supporting or watching the NFL and drop out of your fantasy league, it’s complete hypocrisy to get all up in arms about the Redskins signing Reuben Foster. When you flip on your favorite team on Sunday or let the Red Zone show you all 16 games at once, you’re watching dozens of Reuben Fosters.

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Thank You, Susan Collins

I usually don’t spend much time trying to come up with titles for my blog entries, but I actually did noodle over this one for a while. In fact, I was quite sure it would be “Liberal Hypocrisy, Part IX,” but I’ll save that title for the next case of egregious liberal hypocrisy worth writing about. Don’t fret, that will come quickly.

A lot bothers me about what happened to Judge Kavanaugh. To anyone even remotely objective (see Collins, Susan and more on that later), it was a political hit job. Despite all recent democrat nominees to the Supreme Court being approved with overwhelming majorities, the democrats still won’t vote for any republican nominee, unless they come from a state that voted for Trump by 30 points. Constitution be damned – we just don’t like your guy. What they did this time, though, is truly reprehensible and unfair to both accuser and accused. Dirty politics in the worst sense of that term.

What I think bothers me the most, though, is the hypocrisy. With nobody in second place, the #1 liberal icon of the last quarter century is Bill Clinton, a serial rapist and sex abuser. Numerous women came forward with stories of sexual abuse by Bill Clinton, some corroborated and some less so. But, they all had one thing in common. Not a single democrat ever took a single such allegation seriously. Indeed, 25 years later their party nominated to run for president the WOMAN who called these allegations nothing more than “bimbo eruptions.” Imagine if Chuck Grassley or Lindsay Graham had dismissed Ms. Ford’s allegations as “bimbo eruptions.” Liberals would have burned down the Capitol. Literally, not figuratively.

So, when I see women posting on FB or protesting in the streets about how the men on the Senate Judiciary Committee mistreated Ms. Ford or we’ve somehow taken a step backward in women’s rights, I am aghast. Where were these protesters when Hillary made her famous bimbo eruptions comment? Oh, right, they were preparing to make her PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Seriously, just pause and think about that for a moment. Every single republican member of the Senate has acknowledged that Ms. Ford’s trauma is real and that her testimony was both compelling and sad. Nobody once questioned whether she was sexually abused. She was taken seriously and her allegations were investigated by the top law enforcement agency in the country. Unfortunately, there’s simply no proof whatsoever that Judge Kavanaugh was involved in her trauma. The preponderance of evidence makes it clear he was not. Still, the accuser was treated with the utmost respect. The only person in the whole process that mistreated her was Diane Feinstein, who ignored her request to remain private. But, Bill’s accusers are just bimbos. It’s unconscionable, yet it’s how liberals operate.

Of all my screeds on liberal hypocrisy, this one is by far the most troubling. I read a FB comment that queried how republicans can sleep at night. Really? Running a rigorous process that resulted in no corroborating evidence whatsoever is supposed to cause chronic insomnia. But, you can sleep peacefully knowing you came very close to putting in the White House a woman who ardently defends sex offenders by belittling their accusers. Sleep well.

But, despite this glaring liberal hypocrisy (liberal hypocrisy is such a redundancy, I really should just start calling it liberalism), I still opted to title my blog in favor of Susan Collins. If you haven’t listened to her entire speech on the senate floor, I implore you to go back and do so. I promise it will be worth all 44 minutes of your life.

It was very the definition of Statesmanship with a capital “S.” I don’t always agree with Senator Collins as she’s a bit more centrist than I am, but as a part time resident and homeowner in the great state of Maine, I could not be more proud of our senator for her actions yesterday. And, not just because she voted the right way in confirming a brilliant and qualified jurist who survived weeks of personal assaults for which there was no proof whatsoever. No, my gratitude to Senator Collins is for the depth of thought and research that went into her speech. It was a call to action to both sides, but particularly the democrats, to behave like adults and run these confirmation processes, and hopefully other political processes, with more objectivity and honesty, not to speak of respect for the United States Constitution.

Thank you, Susan Collins. Thank you for spending the extra time to make sure we got this decision right. Thank you for requesting and carefully studying the supplemental FBI investigation to ensure there was no corroborating evidence of Ms. Ford’s allegations. Thank you for reminding the country of the Senate’s constitutionally granted role of advice and consent. Thank you for pointing out that liberals now oppose judicial nominees before the nomination has even been made (“I oppose [fill in the blank judge’s name] because…..”). Thank you for reminding liberals that, while the senate is not a courtroom, the basic principles of due process and innocent until proven guilty are foundational in our nation. Most of all, Susan Collins, thank you for restoring reason to the confirmation process that had been hijacked by liberal special interests. I hope this is a lesson to democrats that this kind of baseless behavior will not be tolerated and will not work. I suspect voters will remind them of this again in November.

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Baseball, Beer, and Math

Despite numerous injuries to position players, starting pitchers, and relievers, my Washington Nationals are hanging around the top of a greatly revived National League East. However, that does not mean all is well in the Nation’s Capital, as my letter below to Maurice Ruffin, the Director of Guest Experience for the Nats, will demonstrate. Whether they respond or not any day that I can bring beer, baseball, and math together is a damn good day!

Hi Maurice,

I’m writing to you because you have the enviable title of Director of Guest Experience for the Washington Nationals and this email is all about the experience of this very loyal guest and many others like him. I have been an avid baseball fan for 50 years, an avid beer drinker for 40 years, an avid Nats fan for 14 years, and a full-plan season ticket holder for all of those 14 years. I have had few or no complaints about the Nats other than perhaps Matt Williams’ horrid decision to pull JZimm in game 2 of the division series in 2014 in favor of Drew Storen. However, I am moved to write to you now becuase you have so totally botched the delivery of the second most important item in the ballpark (baseball being the first). Namely: beer. As a Coors Light aficionado, I was devastated when you did the deal with A-B, thus filling the ballpark with that swill known as Bud Light in lieu of the cool mountain water in Coors Light. But, hey, I get it. That’s business. I’ll live.

But, now the big screw up is in the options for the vessel in which that swill is delivered. Currently, the smallest can of beer in the ballpark is 25 ounces. Let’s do some quick math, in which I will refer to “one beer” as a standard 12 oz beer. I would estimate that the average beer drinking fan drinks 4-6 beers per game (you may have actual data on this; feel free to share and perhaps we can refine the math on a conference call). Let’s call it five 12 oz beers per game per beer drinking fan. According to SI, the average length of an MLB game is 3 hrs and 5 min. Let’s call it 3 hours to keep the math simple. That’s 180 min. Thus, 5 beers over 180 min suggests a drinking pace of one beer every 36 min. It turns out that back in the 1980s, I got bachelor and PhD degrees in chemical engineering and my PhD thesis was in heat transfer. Unfortunately, it’s been a very long time since I used that knowledge and I remember none of so I’m unable to actually use it to calculate how long it takes for a beer to get warm, but I thought I might impress you with it anyway. I digress. I think we can all agree, even without fancy engineering degrees that the absolute maximum amount of time a beer can remain cold off ice on a hot summer day is about 30 min.

Wait, hold the phone, that works perfectly for a 12 oz beer, which our calculations show is just about the amount of time the average fan takes to drink the average 12 oz beer. Perhaps the last swig of backwash is a tad warm at minute 29, but for the most part you’ll enjoy a nice cold malted beverage (hopefully while watching Max strike out another 5 hitters). But, if you double the size of the beer, you at least double the time for consumption. I might argue you more than double the consumption time because my average consumption time of 30 min assumes some time in between beers to belch and pee. If you try to cram two beers into one can, as the Nats have so ineloquently done, I think you may push the average consumption time per 12 oz unit even higher. But, giving you the benefit of the doubt, let’s call it 30 min per 12 oz, or 60 minutes to finish a 25 oz beer (rounding off again in your favor). Now, here we really don’t need math or any knowledge whatsoever of the heat capacity of beer (represented by the Greek letter rho, if I remember my engineering formulas). Indeed, all we need is common sense. If I poll a random 10 guys with beer guts whether a beer will remain cold for an hour in 85 degree temps, I will get 10 (beer) belly laughs.

So, as you can see by this very simple mathematical and engineering analysis, the numbers on the beer delivery at Nats park simply don’t add up. You are ensuring that you have a ballpark filled with people drinking warm beer for roughly 50% of the game. And, while I once heard the adage that “warm beer is better than nothing and nothing is better than God, therefore warm beer is better than God,” I’m really not buying it. Rather, I think you have a ballpark filled 50% with people having a bad “guest experience.” Imagine if you invited 20 guests to your house for dinner and handed 10 of them a nice cold beer and 10 of them a warm beer you left sitting out on your deck for an hour. I would submit to you that the latter 10 will not be happy guests. So, why would you, as the Grand Poobah of Nationals Guest Experience inflict that type of inhumane pain on your guests at the ballpark.

I am available to speak by phone any time or, alternatively, I’d be happy to meet in person to discuss. But, if we meet in person, I will expect a cold beer at the meeting.


Bruce Robertson
Nationals Season Ticket Holder

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R.I.P. Aunt Peasy

My beautiful Aunt Peasy at her wedding to my Uncle Andy, with my sister, Amy, and me

Another holiday season, another funeral blog. Ugh. This time last year I wrote about the passing of Andy Fox, brother of my brother-in-law, Tim Fox. I attended Andy’s funeral in Denver almost exactly a year ago and wrote about how much I wished I had gotten to know him better while he was alive. That blog was a reprise of one I had written in 2015 about Dick and Jody Vilardo, with a similar them of “I wish I knew them better while they were alive.”

This weekend, I attended the funeral for my dear Aunt Peasy Love in St. Louis. I almost wrote this blog before I left for St. Louis. For, unlike Andy Fox and the Vilardos, I knew her very well. She was almost like a second mother to me. So, obviously, I wouldn’t learn anything new about her at the funeral, right? I’m glad I waited. I was wrong. So, here I am again, sharing my feelings about losing someone close to me, again wishing I had known these things about her while she was alive. Even though I knew her very well, I wish I had gotten to know my Aunt Peasy even better while she was alive.

The blessing in this is that it brought me a revelation for a New Year’s resolution. And, unlike prior pledges to eat better, curse less, go to the gym more or other untenable goals, I think I can actually make progress on this year’s resolution. I hereby resolve to learn more about the people I’m close to. In so doing and while hoping I don’t lose anyone close to me in the coming year, I at least hope to avoid the “I wish I had known more about so-and-so while he/she was alive” syndrome. Don’t be surprised if I ask you more invasive questions in 2018. I mean well by it.

There was a lot I heard about Aunt Peasy, known to her family as M’noe, that I did know and was not surprised to hear in the wonderful eulogies provided by her children, my three first cousins, her husband, my uncle, and the pastor who had been dear friends with Peasy for nearly 50 years. I was not surprised to hear about her compassion and open-door policy, for I have stayed at her house dozens of times over the years. I had met many of the stray dogs she took in. On my last visit, just a few years ago, I even met the wild turkey she adopted (it lived outside, but got fed every day, just like the dogs). I had met many of the tenants she had taken in to live on the third floor. And, of course, I had experienced her hospitality as a guest myself on so many occasions.

I was not surprised to hear of her fun-loving spontaneous nature, as best recounted by my cousin Fats, who read from a college essay she wrote about a late night horseback ride through Forest Park in St. Louis.

Finally, and importantly, I was not surprised to hear people talk about her honest and straightforward nature. She never pulled a punch with me. She loved me like I was her son, but she also told me what was what when that’s what I needed to hear. That was as true when I was 10 as it was last summer.

But, while none of that surprised me, I did learn about a side of Aunt Peasy that I did not get a chance to experience and that was her spirituality. Her Pastor, Jerram Barrs, spoke eloquently about her relationship with Christ and how that guided her life. I’m not sure why the topic of spirituality never came up between Aunt Peasy and me. And, given how clearly she lived her life in Christ, I’m embarrassed that I never raised the topic with her. But, most of all, I’m now very sad that I never got the chance to compare notes on our respective spiritual journeys. I think about all the hours I spent on deserted Islands off the coast of Maine with her and I never sat down on a rock and spoke to her about God. What a missed opportunity.

I will miss Aunt Peasy terribly. She was a very special person and the world just went minus one without her. And, while I am sad that I didn’t get the chance to talk to her about her relationship with God and about mine, I am comforted that she was so close to God and the Peace that must have brought to her at the end of her life on earth and beyond. R.I.P. Aunt Peasy. Rest in the Peace of the Lord.

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