Wednesday, April 5, 2017

March Madness

March 2017 has come and gone and, what of importance, happened to me in those 31 days. "Good fences make good neighbors" from a Frost poem cropped up in my mind when I thought of writing this piece about my own "March Madness". 

Yes, there is a fence, part of the way, dividing daughter Lia and Marty's property from their neighbor to the east of them. Mark and his wife, Sharon, who are really good neighbors, helpful and friendly, social and caring. It is something Mark did for Connie and me that triggered my own personal "March Madness".

Writing hasn't left me, yet, though many known and unknown to me, I bet, wish it had. I am neither academic nor scholarly with my ventures at connecting words into phrases to make a point. Once I was a voracious reader. Pre-iPad I read every day both business wise and for enjoyment.  Today, I am as many, many also are, enslaved to the screen pad of their worldly instrument. We all spend an inordinate amount of time perusing Facebook, reading eMails, and in general surfing of the web. My enjoyment now is turning the TV to Music Choice - Light Classical - and lightly listen to music of the masters. 

Mark, the neighbor, dropped over and asked Connie and I how we were doing and in the conversation Connie said about books she was reading. In a split second Mark went back through the gate to his house and returned in a flash with three books : "On The Edge Of Survival" author, Spike Walker ;  "The Shack" author, Wm. Paul Young ; and "The Road" author, Cormac McCarthy. 

Connie started reading The Shack and I picked up Spike Walker's book because of Mark's recommendation : Mark's older brother, Matt, now a Rear Admiral in Washington, DC., was a principal character in the unfolding of Walker's gripping saga of survival. Matt Bell commanded the coast guard cutter assigned to try to off load the crew from a huge Chinese freighter floundering without power. Weather no one had ever seen so bad, waves at record heights, winds at hurricane force, and the dark of night so frightening ; all elements had to be ignored, had to be overcome. Spike Walker thrives on describing harrowing tails like few other writers can do. Jump ball for my March Madness started between three book covers.

Picking up "The Shack" after consuming a book of survival where every page grips a reader and won't let them go, may to some, be sort of a let down. It wasn't ! A modern day family living a normal life is crushed by an event seemingly unfathomable but what comes next defies all modern day thinking. If you have all your faiths wrapped up and folded away, "The Shack" is a must read for you.

Last read but not the least of books was "The Road". From a thrill a minute book, to spiritual testing beyond the norm in "The Shack", to "The Road", a book hard to describe. Now to be found in film theaters, "The Road", will take some acting to pull off the abject horror found in its pages. If this story is the eventual episode of mankind, heaven help us. Disappointment, disillusionment, and despair fill these pages in a way a reader never wants to put the book down. Odd this response, but true in my experience. 

The best March Madness I've had in many years of my 82 that I've been privy to. All made possible by the swift action of a neighbor who, "like a good neighbor", thinks of others as he would himself. Could this be the affect of living in Sorrento East ?

Ronald C. Downie

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