OREGON WILDFIRE UPDATE:
On Friday evening, the air quality where I live returned to “good”, the best ranking on the scale. It creeped up a few points on Saturday but still in the “good” range, remained there on Sunday and is there this morning.
That doesn't mean our terrifying air is done for the year. Some fires are still burning, there might be more, the wind can change. We live – all of us - on so many levels nowadays holding our breath. I haven't unpacked my go-bag.
Just over a week ago, I posted some blog housekeeping notes about disruptive comments a drive-by reader had left and explained why I banned that person from future commenting.
There will be no banning today. This housekeeping is of a more personal nature – all of you and me.
First: some readers have commented that they are amazed that given my diagnosis of cancer and COPD and that I am now in hospice, I still publish this blog on a regular schedule.
Well, yes, and that is because it is what I do. It is what I have been doing for more than 16 years. It gives shape and form to my days. I love writing this blog. I love trying to say just what it is I mean as truthfully and artfully as I can. And, sometimes I succeed.
It has been interesting these past three years making the style transition from mostly reporting on issues of interest and importance to elders, to a much more personal blog about what it is like to be dying, a topic that is all but taboo in our culture generally so it's not like there is anyone much I can crib from.
It took awhile to find my way but I think it's working fairly well now. I learn more about myself and this final journey during the effort to be as clear as I can be for you, TGB readers, but also from your responses and support.
You make me stronger, more resilient and therefore more capable of dealing with this ultimate fate of every living thing. Just so you know, I'm not nearly as brave as some of you have said. I just wake up each day and go forward within the limitations of this diseased, old body. I have no other answer for what to do than that.
Next: The number of reader emails has increased a lot over the past two or three months. As in the past, I try to answer each one if only, sometimes, with a thank you but it has now gone beyond my capability to keep up.
My stamina wanes week by week now so there is a decreasing number of useful hours in each day. You say the loveliest things but I wear out so easily even just sitting at the computer sometimes that I must cut back the time I spend here.
If you do not receive a return email, please understand that it is only the disease stealing my energy, not that I am dismissing or ignoring you. I read every note I receive.
Not infrequently, emails sound like they are meant for the comments section. I think this happens when subscribers click “reply” in the email they receive with the day's blog post, but those returns go only to me via email.
To comment for everyone to read, click the title of the story in the email. It will open in your browser where you can scroll down, click the word “comments” and add your message to the conversation in the box provided.
Next: Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Some things happen at an awkward time for blog publication. Usually, I write blog stories the day before they are to be posted and in doing so, I can miss late-breaking news items.
Last Friday evening was one of those times. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death was announced after I had shut down the computer for the day.
I thought for a few moments I should rewrite Saturday's Interesting Stuff to include that news. But it was the end of my day, I was tired and decided it was such big news that no one needed to hear it from me.
Almost everyone who commented on Saturday mentioned Justice Ginsburg briefly. It is an enormous political event and to some of us, a personal one too.
So let's make some space here today for anyone or everyone who wants to, to talk about Ginsburg in the comments - the ramifications of an “instant” nomination from the president, how that might affect the election and whether anyone besides me doesn't believe a word Senator Susan Collins says about how she will vote about anything. And, of course, the wonderful Notorious RBG herself.