On Writing

The urge to write has always lurked in the recesses of my brain, and at various times manifestited itself in different, even unusual, ways. My first writing outputs were of the write-on-command type. You know the kind. Five hundred words on the Ural River Valley, or an essay on the objectivist philosophy of Ayn Rand. The subject, form, and length determined by someone else. I wrote because I was required to in order to satisfy some other requirement, such as a class assignment. Indeed, I got pretty good at it… not only for myself, but for others as well. I found I could knock out a paper on almost any topic (typed, double-spaced, with one carbon copy) at...

My Lover, My Friend, My Wife

My Darling Wife, Sandra Faye Fernandes, nee Lyday, was born on September 1, 1942 in Port Arthur, Texas.  Almost a year before my birth.  I, of course, have relentlessly reminded her of her age seniority to me, saying that she fit right into my penchant for older women.  I don’t think she ever thought it was funny.  Still doesn’t.  Her father, James Tilden Lyday, called “Tilt” by all, and his wife, Faye, had reluctantly left their farm in Fannin County, Texas for the promise of a high paying and patriotic job in one of the many petrochemical plants in South Texas supporting the war effort.  That didn’t last long, but there Sandra...

God’s Reward

Yes, they are.  God’s reward, that is.  Grandchildren are god’s reward for not having killed your own kids.  I posted a piece called “It Doesn’t Get Better Than This,” on August 5, 2007, which was something of a paean to the joys of grandparenting.  Upon rereading it recently, I’m prepared to double down on everything I said or tried to say then.  I’ve also alluded to traveling with grandchildren in a series of posts in 2012 under the rubric of “Europe with the Grandkids,” wherein I referenced our familial policy of undertaking a major travel outing with each of our grandchildren on or about their 12th...

The Battle of Grenada

Just to be clear, it is Gra-nAY-da, not Gra-nAH-da.  When you’re there next, I don’t want the locals thinking you’re a rube.  And I, of course, will not admit to having made this egregious mistake during my stay here. The island country of Grenada – self-monikered “the spice isle,” nutmeg specifically – seemed a cut above the other Caribbean islands we’ve visited so far, but is still a long, long ways from a place I would put on my top ten list. Part of my problem is that while driving around with our taxi/tour driver, I kept thinking of the virtually inexplicable action of the Reagan administration, when he...

Barbados Redux

We were first in Barbados about thirty years ago on an emergency trip from London in search of some March fun in the sun.  Darling Wife S. and I had booked rather late, but there were many flights on British Airways to the former island colony.  In fact, Barbados did not get its independence and enter commonwealth status until 1966, so the remnants of the Caribbean raj were still much in evidence.  If one stayed at the iconic Sandy Lane, (still going strong), one might have thought to be on the coast of Devon with, of course, some tropical accoutrements. Today, things have changed. Time does that, doesn’t it?  I no longer hear the lilt of of the natives...