Iowa Specialty Hospital

Notes from Steve

October 11, 2018

I was near Albany, New York this past couple of days with my friend Cheryl.  She wanted to do this trip to upstate New York for a while, and it was her birthday and I’m saying “yes” to a lot of things now so … Anyway, that accident where 20 people were killed happened about 50 miles from where we were staying.  The story was that people who were married this summer were going to a party with close friends to a brewery - the stretch limo went through a tough intersection and hit a parked car … etc … etc.  As we were driving (Cheryl drove mostly, and she drives like a bat out of hell), I was in a constant state of horror because the weather (like here) was foggy and wet and the roads were windy - and she drives fast.  Please -- as we all know too well -- plan for the weather, no distractions, and be fully aware always when driving.  (by the grace of God …)

A friend of mine from high school posted “You ever just get tired of it all?” Lots of comments from other friends (asking about state of mind to this guy), but also a lot of thoughts regarding the wet gloomy weather and divisive anger in society.  I used to tell my friends that I lived vicariously through their adventures.  Sadly, in this day and age of social media and reality “entertainment” - we (I) find value and intrigue in watching battles.  Maybe not participating in the actual fight, but witnessing drama by others.  Last night I was coming back and my layover was 3 hours in O’Hare.  There was a massive fight (brawl) at the Chili’s in the airport.   Everyone was rubbernecking to get their fill of the ensuing drama.  (Yes, I watched a bit and unfortunately left before the swinging of the fists, which I regretted.)  Then not 10 yards away - a couple was fighting (actually throwing stuff), and also on the plane a guy with two loud kids snarled at some guy who made a comment.  I’m thinking it’s me.  I bring out the worst in people. 

It could be the weather, I guess.  It could be that we are on edge more than ever because of divisions in society or something else.  1. Travel is dreadful.  Years ago, travel was more of a luxury and people were nice and accommodating - now, the airlines could give a rip if you are happy.  That has something to do with it.  2. Cars used to be harder to drive.  You had to remember to turn on your lights and wipers and you didn’t have distractions (cell phones, whatever music you wanted, safe roads and good signage.)  Maybe because it is easier, we pay less attention.  My advice for the week is to disconnect, pay attention, be nice, and be grateful for all we have.  If we become lulled into complacency or unconsciousness, bad things tend to happen.

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