Yup it's me again....... To quote one of my favorite writers Mr. Mark Twain,"The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated". Has it been 2 months already? Oh well, I guess I got sidetracked. My beautiful bride has tolerated my innate ability to disappear for decades now. After many years of a simple trip to the store turning into an all day adventure, she has learned to be patient. Actually, now that I think about it the cell phone may have saved my marriage. It allows me to meander about from one thing to the next while giving my lovely the security of finding me when she needs to. Epiphany! What I once considered to be a leash turns out to be a life ring. Like the whistle that brings in my Lab when she swims out to far, that phone steers me toward home time and time again. So what I have been up to? Not much really, started school back up, traveled a little, and enjoyed some really great fund raising events in Kodiak. The folks over here really know how to rally around a cause and throw a party at the same time. The best cure for winter doldrums? Live music, good food, and throwing money into the pot to help out a neighbor, the school band, local kids football, or local recycling. You name it this island raises money for it and they do it party style. Man I love this place. I have also been catching up with many old friends, and I have noticed some trends forming amongst many of them. Disillusionment. They are tired of the government over governing, they are tired of the rich corporations getting the mulligan and a cash band-aid to help them over the hump. They are tired of political players worried more about an esoteric party game than the good of a country their families have sacrificed to defend and support. Worse yet they are getting tired of each other. Several of my friends are choosing to end decade long commitments to their spouse. Some have completed that painful journey, some are in in the midst of the quagmire, and others are on the edge staring into the abyss. It saddens me to bear witness to their pain. There is no joy in divorce folks, no matter why it is happening. Divorce is filled with remorse, loss of self, and fear. Later things may be much better, but the process is painful; period. What troubles me, is all the folks who have been together for decades and are calling it quits, without giving it one last try. Once the children are grown, and the day to day challenges of raising a family are over, they end up staring at each other saying, "NOW WHAT?". Good question really. You have outgrown the passions of youth. The hot, steaming, I gotta have you feeling has mellowed a bit. The joys of raising the little ones, the war rallies that united you over the teen-aged ones, and the fight to keep it all together are over. SO NOW WHAT? Hold hands, that's what. Go to movies. Hang out with your friends (together). Go to events, volunteer together. Read to each otherand doing it holding hands. Sure you want to develop personal time and activities, but stay together. Now there is time for both. Relish it folks, you earned it. The transition from children to empty-nesters is twice a difficult as the transition was to parenthood; believe me. Once you cross that bridge, overcome the barriers modern society places before us all, and ignore the "grass is greener" mentality that has brought our nation to the edge of morale and financial disaster. Your reward will be joy of sharing your new adventures with a person you understands you, accepts you, and loves you. Why are so many couples willing to spend hours in therapy to stay together for the "good of the kids", but unable to try it again later? I mean really, we should be older and wiser right? Isn't 20+ years of struggle and triumph worth a few more hours trying to learn how to adjust to the new life you have earned? It may be hard, it may be painful at times, it may be worth it too. So take baby steps. Start by holding hands. I must depart after this rather long rant from my heart. Peace Ya'll & do the right thing. Even if it's difficult.