Tuesday, February 14, 2017
You Never Know What Happens Next with the Minivandians
I was framing this post during my morning walk, and had a small hope of getting this blog out before 8:00 AM, but stuff intervened.
I wrote the review of "Tales of the Minivandians" more than two months ago, for selfish reasons. You see, the FIRST part of the book is a selection of tiny little tales, each one an example of what suburban families experience, but transported, with magic, to another place where swords and magic are a routine part of life. So, a story about the time the tree root system invades the drain line (and I have had to deal with that FAR too many times) is translated into a battle between a magician and a tree spirit.
I like the concept. There is magic and nobility in a PTA meeting....yeah!
Every story was funny, and delicious, and I just didn't want to read them all at once; it would be like binging on peanut brittle. So, I read enough to be able to write a review - the author DESERVES a review - and then, every night or so, I'd pick up the book, and read something else. This is how I recommend YOU read the book, as well.
The last part of the book takes a different approach. It's one, cohesive story, giving the background of the family. It's pure swords-and-magic, and it tells a good tale of bravery, fortitude, and other things that guys like me enjoy reading. Not gory and nasty, only creepy enough to make you get a tiny spooky feeling; good guys (of either gender) have values that hold up under stress.
I even had the title all picked out. I had half of the post written, mentally.
(Ummm...ideally, there is a transition inserted here. It didn't happen that way. Sometimes life doesn't give smooth transitions, even though they are a good idea in literature. But there isn't a transition in what I'm writing, because there was no transition in what I was living.)
And then: well, I didn't expect what happened then. I got a message that my new grandson was being transported to the nearest neonatal intensive care unit. He was a bit premature, and was still having some breathing problems, and the hospital where he is born is an old, country facility, so: off to the nearest first class place for babies, in Savannah, GA.
He's going to be alright. I spoke to his grandmother, who is a nurse, and she said she was coming back to Atlanta on Wednesday; if he was in real trouble, she wouldn't be doing that. So, he's going to be alright.
But it served to remind me, one more time, about how fragile life is, and what a thin bubble we are treating as if it were 12 feet of reinforced concrete. There isn't a one of us that's safe; we are, literally, a heartbeat away from having our complacency come crashing down on our heads.
Some of it should NOT be coming as a surprise; every single one of us has a mother and a father who is mortal. We all are looking at a life which will contain some loss. And it's just goofy to think that we are exempt. Sure, that time can come earlier than we expected, and can be as a result of someone else failing to follow best practices; but, that's an additional source of grief, and not an exemption from it.
This isn't particularly romantic for Valentine's Day, and also has nothing to do with Tom Rogneby's excellent writing, but it seems to me that it's a good idea to be as kind as possible to as many people as you possibly can. I get it that there are some people that are so toxic, that there isn't much that IS possible. But, sooner or later, they are going to get slammed, or you are going to get slammed, and you may just possibly have need of that person, or they may have need of you.
Pardon me: I dither. I have no wisdom for you. Just keep breathing in and breathing out, and do the next right thing. If I come up with better advice, I will pass it along.