Slowing down to enjoy life

Slowing down to enjoy life

By Dave Duffy

Dave Duffy

Issue #135 • May/June, 2012

Dave with granddaughter Clara

Every issue I gear up mentally to write the editorial for the magazine by studying the political and economic issues facing the country. Each issue it gets harder and harder as I get madder and madder at the politicians of both major parties, the ineptness of our government on both the national and local levels, and the seeming depth of the death spiral I envision America as being on. This issue, as I put myself through the same mental torture by trying to write about the many different ways our government lies to us using things like rigged unemployment numbers and phony inflation statistics, I suddenly extended my arm over my desk like a big windshield wiper and swept all the accumulated paperwork onto the floor. I spared my computer.

I went out onto my front deck and hit golf balls into the woods for about an hour, then retrieved my Remington 870 shotgun from a rack and disassembled it so I could install a new LED light assembly on the forend. Then I walked my property with two of my five cats following. We visited the big rock that is the grave marker for Molly, my old black lab who recently died, and went on up the 300-yard winding path to the spring that is the source of water for the house. It was one of those Pacific Northwest days when the ocean is still but the storm is gathering. I could see across about 50 miles of awe-inspiring ocean glass.

A storm gathers over 50 miles of glassy ocean. (Photo by John Silveira)

On the way back I visited the chicken house, retrieving several eggs by reaching under an angry hen who pecked my hand. I like being pecked by an angry hen and have tried to persuade my eight-year-old granddaughter, Olga, that she too should not be afraid to reach under the hen when retrieving eggs. When I got back to the house, I called my wife, Lenie, who is the business manager for the magazine, and suggested I take her to dinner. She was delighted.

Life can be pleasurable and rewarding if you don’t let yourself get overwhelmed by the disturbing news of the day. Sometimes you have to calm down, slow down, and refocus on what is important. It’s not a corrupt government that is important, although we must keep an eye on the rascals within it, but our personal world and our families. You cannot spend all your time battling dragons.

I’ve always had a tendency to dwell too much on things. Since my daughter, Annie, took over the editorial side of Backwoods Home Magazine three years ago, she gave me the time to step back and do some fishing, golfing, shooting, and reading. She also gave me my third grandchild, Clara, who has become my good buddy at the office.

It can be hard to change an old dog, especially when there are so many dragons that need slaying. But by golly, at age 67 I’m going to try and calm down and enjoy all the pleasant things in my corner of the world. Maybe there’s a lesson here for all of us.

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