Aug. 1, 2016
I’m going to bed now but will be back tomorrow to clue you in on what has been going on….
Aug. 11, 2016,
Where did the time go. I am in the last week here in the States and only have two more stops to go. I have left the vehicle that my niece organized for me with her daughter, the famous Katrina of St. Vincent’s Children’s home fame---volunteer for the whole year of 2015. She will take me, tomorrow, Friday, Aug. 12, to my brother in Greensboro, NC. (I am now in Aiken SC) (You should check the maps to see where I have been, and now, and where I am going.)
I checked the mileage that I covered and it is just about 6000miles of driving (about 9600 Km.). Not bad. The highlights, of course, were mostly people, family, friends whom I haven’t seen for four years or more, just soaking them up, having, sometimes, deep and serious conversations and also fun time, like my uncle Cas and his wife Rose and I laughing at ourselves, us old people. What do old people talk about when they get together, Ha, “ Yeah, I had my other knee done last week” or “ I’ve been having trouble with my bowels lately”, or “ Can you come over to my other side ‘cause I can’t hear in the ear on that side”, etc. etc. etc.
Sometimes I avoided politics because we were on different pages (or even planets), but for the most part, people seemed to be worried that Trump would actually make it to be president, as he doesn’t seem to have the qualities needed for a president. But, at the same time, the mistrust of Hilary was strong, although she has many of the skills and lots of knowledge that would normally qualify her for the job.
I got onto Google and got her biography and also got the biography of Trump. To me it was clear who was the most qualified, but I leave it up to you to judge for yourself. It’s quite a bit of reading but, for Americans, the vote, this time, is so important, I think it is worth the time to read and then decide.
Aside from my beloved family and friends (I can’t begin to start naming names because they are all too precious and I would bore you for the next 15 chapters) so let me say that some of the other things that got my attention were: 1) trees---Holy Moses, after living in Transkei for the last 35 yrs., where trees are as scarce as hen’s teeth, I was deluged with trees all along the way. Super beautiful. But, there was a blight on some Blue Ash trees as bugs seemed to have gotten inside and were killing them (In Michigan alone, 7 million trees, they say, died, because of this blight. Wow.) The Appalachian Mountains and the Smoky Mountains and the mountains in Vermont were exceptional. 2) the maize. In July and August I was in Maize country and I was green with envy to see the beautiful dark green maize more than 2 metres high, getting ready for harvesting. I remember our drought year when, if there was any maize at all, it wasn’t more (in most parts) higher than a metre, if that much. Also fields and fields and fields of soya beans, I think enough to feed half the world. Wow. The Americans are really blessed with a fantastic country. 3) Drought…. Also here, especially in California, the many fires tell the story… the earth is so dry that it doesn’t take much to start a fire, which will grow and grow and grow because there is so much tinder. I took some pictures just outside of Los Angeles. It could have been Transkei. You would hardly know the difference---dry and brown, as in winter. 4) As I drove down Hwy US23 in Southern Ohio and Southeastern Kentucky and the Hwy 80 there I saw stunningly awesome mountains and cliffs and what all to knock your eyes out. I was driving and had a deadline so I wasn’t able to take pictures but I guess I will try to see if Google has something, pictures, and send them off. Wow. Bringing a connection with nature and the creator, super beautiful. 5) Just about everyone is involved in some way if trying to respond to the needs of the most disadvantaged in one way or another or trying to make a better, more aware and responsive society to the many needs that often go unrecognized or neglected. I am proud of them all. This is my family. These are my friends. I am also blessed to be connected with such beautiful people. 6) I have been touched by the deep love and concern for the ailing partners of my cousins and aunts and uncles. Lots of serious health problems that demand 24/7 tough and gently love and concern. I was deeply moved and impressed by their love and care for one another.
What I say here about the States is also true of my friends in the U.K. who were first on my list for visiting. Yes, I am richly blessed.
And now, the last few days here, I am with my beloved Katrina again, and her mom and Dave and Ann, her parents. Soon I will be with my brother John, and his wife, Donna, who have been more than super supportive during this whole time.
I think that this is enough for now. I will try once more before I leave next Sunday to collect a few more thoughts together. I was telling our people here that they have Trump and we have Zuma, so there are challenges all around. Love and Peace, Cas.
PS. Fr. Guy’s checkup was delayed because the machine wasn’t working but we will hear from him next week. So far, he is holding his own. He should have been dead last May, 2015, but here he still is. Call it the power of prayer, as he explains to the doctors who are baffled by his condition. He should be dead, but….. Thanks to you all for you prayers for him.