Monday, October 02, 2017

The Joys of Being a Grandparent

The Joys of Being a Grandparent

By Fred Owens
My daughter Eva and her wife Lara went through a lot of trouble having this baby. Nine months of pregnancy for one thing, and then they had to buy baby gear and go to classes and read books. Also they had to get good jobs, get married and buy a house in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle.
(These infants should just be delivered by Amazon Prime. Just call them up, order a baby, and have it delivered in two days. I'm sure Amazon is working on just that.)
Then after the delivery, which is quite an effort in and of itself,  they have to take care of the little fellow for the next 18 years, day and night.
All that and I get to have a grandson. It was easy for me and it's much better than Christmas.
Walter Finnegan Chatterjee Owens was born July 29 right after midnight. He was born with a full head of hair and a serious expression on his face. He will become a man of substance and good character, and we will have a lot of fun together. We expect to take him to the zoo soon enough. I wonder what his favorite animal will be -- the giraffe, slow and tall? the golden monkey scampering?
His parents call him Finn. He will part of the generation that builds Stage Three Zoos. Stage One were the kind where animals were kept in cages and they paced back and forth and often went mentally off range from that unnatural confinement.
Stage Two Zoos, what we have now, are for more natural and far less confining.... but still I think we can do better than that. Finn will be part of that progress, building Stage Three Zoos, if they are even called zoos at that point, viewing animals free from harm.
Of course, mimicking nature is a limiting concept. At our zoo in Santa Barbara the lions are caged right next to the giraffes. Set them all free, set the lions free, set the giraffes free and see what happens -- the lions will stalk and kill and eat the newborn baby giraffes.
I told Finn when I first held him in my arms, "It's a good world you were born into, but we need your help because some problems we could not solve and we're hoping you might make it right."
Finn brings hope. Walter Finnegan Chatterjee is his name. Walter for strength, Finnegan for the singing  and Chatterjee for his great-great grandfather who came from India.
Puerto Rico and Texas
The national media has little imagination. They pick a dominant narrative and stick with that story.  Take Texas, please. Take it.
Seriously, I mean consider the Texas hurricane, Harvey drenching Houston in endless flooding rain. The narrative, adopted by right and left, is that of people helping each other and volunteers coming to the rescue, taking matters into their own hands. Self-reliance at work, the way it should be. The Cajun Navy makes a good story.
But that story got old, so the national media came up with another narrative for Puerto Rico when Maria struck -- the story was people crying and begging for help, waiting for the government to come and fix things.
Well, Puerto Rico got the short end of this. In fact, this isle was blessed with many redeeming acts of courage, compassion, and generosity. Folks with a roof still intact invited unknown neighbors to bed down in their shelter. People with only ten gallons of gas shared half of that  fuel with the people across the street. Injured children were dug out of fallen buildings by passing strangers.

The Puerto Ricans fed stray dogs and hugged their children. They propped up one board on top of another and began rebuilding their homes. They are rebuilding right now and not waiting for instructions from FEMA.

But these many miracles did not fit the dominant narrative. Instead we saw videos of people crying with their hands out.
Puerto Rico deserves better. Puerto Ricans are strong and self-reliant. If they got nothing -- nothing! -- from the mainland, they would still recover and survive. They will rebuild their island. It was a paradise and it will be again.

The national media needs to get this right and tell the whole story.

(This is not to excuse Trump's behavior in dissing the mayor of San Juan. You can count on Trump to take a bad problem and make it worse.)

The Trump Scenario. Trump's strategy is simple: a determined and cohesive white minority can dominate a diffuse and disorganized multi-cultural majority.
He needs the support of his base, but does not need the Puerto Rican vote, or my vote, or yours. We can see that strategy at work in Trump's lazy response to Hurricane Maria.

Gardening News. No news this week.
Writing News. I might be working with a writing coach/editor to get help on my memoir of childhood.  I don't need any help. I know exactly what I'm doing, but I got challenged by my son Eugene. He said I was too stubborn to ask for any help with the writing. Well, I can't pass up the dare, so I sent the manuscript to a woman who works at the University of Southern California. . She will read what I have written and I will listen to what she has to say about it. Furthermore I will actually make the changes that she suggests. So there!

Subscription Drive.
A $25 or $50 subscription to Frog Hospital comes with the promise that I will try my best. I have been writing this journal since1998. I have written some hundreds of issues of this journal, and some of it has been very good indeed and I would like to continue writing this, and I would like you to send me a check for $25 or $50 or punch the PayPal button.
You can find the PayPal button on the blog. Go to Frog Hospital.Or make out a check to Fred Owens and mail it to:
Fred Owens, 1105 Veronica Springs RD, Santa Barbara, CA 93105

thank you very much,

Fred Owens
cell: 360-739-0214

My gardening blog is  Fred Owens
My writing blog is Frog Hospital

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