Sunday, and we’re having goulash again in this post

We had goulash when I was a kid, though it wasn’t cooked in a cauldron and seemed to be more of a stew with all the leftovers in the fridge stirred into it. It usually had paprika in it or, if it didn’t, I sprinkled it across the top of my bowl at the table.

  • In the novel in progress, the main character is a long-time student of Karate. How do I communicate what her outlook on life is like? I wondered. I’ve found Funakoshi’s book The Twenty Guiding Principles of Karate to be very helpful.  Those of us who appreciate a rather Zen-like approach to life, find much to like in this little book.
  • When a friend learned I was just finishing Robert Galbraith’s (aka JK Rowling) Troubled Blood, she wondered whether I thought she might like it. I told her she was on her own this time in making that decision. Why? The book features an old-style detective and is very long, very British (people are always stopping for tea), has a lot of characters in it, and takes its time working through a complex plot to the final showdown. I liked it, but then I’m old and eccentric. I’ve read most of the books in the Comoran Strike series and will probably read the next one.
  • My wife and I are staying away from the news, and have recently enjoyed watching “Bull Durham,” “No Time to Die,” and “The Great Escape” as alternatives. (A long Robert Galbraith novel will also distract you from the shootings and the ongoing blunders in Congress.)
  • Ploughing along Sun Road – KULR photo

    Our Georgia heatwave has backed off a bit from those 100° heat index days from earlier in the week to a balmy 89°. Meanwhile, Montana’s Glacier Park is having heavy snow with a chance of avalanches. Gosh, Mother Nature needs to get things under control. And then there are floods around Yellowstone. If I had a choice, I’d select the snow–but not the avalanches.

  • Today is Father’s Day, and my daughter and granddaughters are way up in Maryland while I’m miles away in Georgia. Thank goodness Facebook gives us a way to remember the holiday. My father has been gone since 1987. Not sure he would grok the Internet or Facebook, but he would remember this picture taken near Santa Cruz, CA when I was little. Yes, I come from the San Francisco Bay Area and had family all over the place in that area when I was little. I’m the kid on the right who seems to be either cold or scared.
  • When I see these old pictures of my parents, I’m very concerned about the pictures of me my daughter and granddaughters will be showing people 50 years from now. I don’t think I’m going to look as good as my parents looked.
  • In more mudane news, Facebook has yet to fix the software glitch on my author’s page. If they keep stonewalling me, I’ll probably delete the page before the week is over. c’est la vie



A daughter’s questions

My daughter was born in 1976, is married, and lives with her husband and two children in Maryland. My wife and I planned to visit them this spring, but the pandemic nixed our travel plans.

On Father’s Day, she sent me a Facebook message with a series of “Questions for Dads” that read as follows:

  1. Can you tell me about your best friend when you were a kid and one of your adventures?
  2. What is the oldest story you know about our ancestors?
  3. Can you describe a favorite memory of a family member? Do you have a favorite snack, song, television show, recipe, comedy?
  4. What is your first memory?
  5. Did you ever get in trouble as a kid? What happened?
  6. If there were a biography of you, how would you want to be described?
  7. What is the best advice you remember from your father?
  8. Is there anything you wish you had said to someone but didn’t have a chance?
  9. What do you wish you had spent less time worrying about?
  10. What is the best part of your day?
  11. What is the last thing you changed your mind about?
  12. What things helped you get through a difficult time in your life?
  13. What trip or place is most special to you and why?
  14. What would you like to re-experience again because you did not appreciate it the first time?
  15. Can you tell me something about yourself that I don’t know that you think would surprise me?
  16. What habits served you the most through life?
  17. What is the best mistake you made and why?

Typically, when asked questions like these, I respond with flippant answers. But, as I told my wife, I didn’t want to do that because these questions were a gift that–if I answered truthfully–would bring us closer together. So, I poured a glass of red wine and started typing.

I did the best I could. I suspect most of my answers were things she didn’t know. When I printed them out, they became four single-spaced pages that I mailed to her via the USPS this morning.

When I was in college, my father sent me a series of letters about his life during high school and college. It was the kind of stuff that didn’t come up in conversations around the dinner table. I was happy to get it because it shed new light on just who my father was. I hope my daughter will feel the same way.

Most of my life is a mystery to my daughter because it happened before she was born, and even before I met her mother. I don’t know where she found the questions, but it made my day to see them. Will my answers surprise her? Yes, I think they will.



Happy Father’s Day

For Father’s Day, here’s another poem written by my father that was once posted on our refrigerator door:

Yet I Can Live

I cannot pierce the veil that hides
The unreal from the real
Nor penetrate the curtains
Which the Infinite conceal;

I cannot well define the Deity
Nor His eternal plan,
Explain the miracle of life,
The mystery of man;

I cannot with this finite mind
In true perspective view,
Yet I can live, yet love, yet serve,
See beauty, seek the true.

–Copyright (c) by Laurence R. Campbell

SATIRE: If your thoughts turn to humor on Father’s Day, I invite you to read Jock Stewart’s latest column called “Father’s Day is No Laughing Matter”

HERO’S JOURNEY: For thought’s about the shadows in the hero’s path, I invite you to read “The Shadow Knows”