I missed a couple of news cycles. Things were happening too fast and I couldn't keep up, and the Clintons were driving me crazy.
But it's all worked out. Obama has prevailed and my equanimity has been restored. Let us not forget, even if you don't support Senator Obama, that he has two equally important responsibilities. One is to be the Democratic candidate for President. The other is to be a father to his two young daughters.
I don't think Senator Obama is right about everything and he is not the savior of our country, but I will go a long way to protect his privacy and his dual role. The fatigue that was showing on his face last week was obvious to many -- he has more to do than to race from airport to airport. He also has to read bedtime stories. And when Michelle Obama talks about the sacrifices they are making on this campaign, she means the loss of family time.
So, give these people a rest, and that goes for John McCain and his family as well. He has a boy in the service in Iraq. That weighs on his mind as much as becoming President.
With that in mind, and with the two nominations being fairly settled -- this is a very good time to take stock and to get off the frantic pace.
A few ground rules or in order: Age is not an issue. John McCain is not too old to be President. Cindy McCain won't reveal her income taxes. Neither did an equally wealthy Teresa Heinz reveal her income taxes in 2004. The men and women serving in Iraq are not stupid farm boys. They are educated, intelligent, and motivated -- as is John McCain. They say McCain has a hot temper, but that doesn't mean much, unless you're on his personal staff.
As for Senator Obama, charges that he is unpatriotic, un-American, and elitist should be fiercely resisted. He's from Chicago. He's not a country boy. I live in a rural area myself, but the idea that country people are truer folks is completely wrong. Obama plays basketball -- that's a city game. He plays hoop and other people shoot ducks -- fine. Most of our population is urban, despite the Jeffersonian myth, and pandering to the "rural elite" is a phony ploy.
CHANGE OF SUBJECT. Madonna, at age 50, having borne two children, is going on tour again, so her picture is on all the magazine covers -- her new "figure" is unveiled. It is so unattractive. She has somehow acquired the body of a prepubescent androgynous 12-year-old. The new mechanical Madonna body is presented like a styling change in Detroit when they had new models every year. This year she is anorexic, unlovely, unnatural, and anti-erotic. Where is the pasta? She is a disgrace to Italian woman everywhere.
Many women I know are 50 years old and older, and have born one or several children and the variety of their figures is very appealing. But I suspect those women aren't Madonna fans anyway.
It's the kids who look at Madonna's cover shot and think, "If I starved myself, and lived on wheat grass, and hired a personal trainer, and had a little work done, then I could look like Madonna."
Dreadful..... I like real Italian, but then I remember Sophia Loren.
COLD SPRING. Farmer Dave confirms that the Skagit Valley is having it's coldest spring since 1982 -- according to figures at the research station. It hasn't rained that much, but it sure has been cold, and the farmers are three weeks behind in the planting because the fields haven't dried up enough. Still, Farmer Dave says he has to plant now, but he feels guilty about that because running a tractor across a muddy field compacts the soil in a bad way.
Compacted soil is bad -- light, fluffy soil is what you want.
The berry crops -- blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries -- should come in fine, but they will be late.
But the potato crop is a worry, and that is the principle money-maker around here. Planting three weeks late in the spring does not mean that the weather gods will give you three weeks grace in the fall when the spuds are harvested. A shorter season means a poorer crop.
And potatoes are getting VERY important -- with rising food prices and all that. The time will come when people don't come up here to see the tulips -- they'll come up here to watch the potatoes grow and be very thankful that we have so much to eat.