My brother, Duane

Three fragmented images keep coming
to mind when I think of my brother. It is like a movie preview; short clips
showing glimpses of what’s important; but there’s no ending, no beginning. The
first swatch of thought is Duane making sure his wife has a car with a good
transmission, one which will run from Wyoming to New Mexico. Second, his dog,
whom he takes on the road with him when he drives the 200 miles from Basin to
Greenriver, is left at home. And third, Duane’s on the phone, trying to call my
Mom. He’s just about to drive that 200 mile distance to go to work in a factory
that makes diapers. My Mom’s not at home, so he leaves a message, then hops
into his truck, sans the dog, and takes off on the last trip of his life.


Tragedies happen to people all the
time, but when it hits close to home the clock stops and you begin to think of
little things leading up to that one sad event.



We had almost made
the circle. My family and I started our vacation in Dublin City, Ireland, a
thriving, bursting-at-the-seams kind of place, with young professionals and
expensive European cars. We hopped from Dublin to London where we discovered
more opulence. Wealth oozed from every street, storefront, and passerby. Our
hotel overlooked the Marble Arch, and through it many a Lamborghini, Ferrari,
Bentley and Aston Martin purred its way toward, I’m sure, a swanky address. We
left London impressed by its culture, scenery, and extravagance. We took the
Caledonia Sleeper overnight from London to Inverness, Scotland. We toured
Scotland, which in its own right is on the upward swing, then headed over the
waters back to Ireland, this time to Belfast.

We disembarked
from our ferry ride, hailed a cab with a driver who had obviously read volumes
on Muslims, Iraq, and the conflicts between east and west. His comments were
intelligent and insightful, and I left the cab feeling a little deflated from
my own lack of study and knowledge.


Our Emerald Isle Vacation —June

Our family plans a
beach vacation every summer, and this year was no exception. We searched the
Emerald Isle Realty website, found the perfect house for us, and then worked
out the kinks: when should we travel, should we take our bikes, could we take
our portable grill? We decided on activities suited to a wide range of
ages—eleven to forty-six. Everyone agreed that sitting on the beach, plugged
into our iPods, whiling away the day watching puffy cloud formations on the horizon
would take up a good portion of our time. But we also wanted to stay active. So
our first outing was kayaking in the sound.

We spent most of
the day paddling around small marshy landmasses observing the local bird life.
We spotted herons, varieties of ducks, and terns. We next headed toward an
island known for fossilized shark’s teeth. We stepped out onto the sandy beach
as crabs scuttled past our feet. 
Shells, burnt wood from campfires, and sea grass undulated below the
surf. Then, right at the edge of land and sea, buried halfway in the sand we
found them—perfect specimens of fossilized shark’s teeth. The searching proved
to be almost as engrossing as the call of the waves back at the beach.

bloodthristy killers--I mean the people

Did you see the picture of the dog, torn, beaten, a look so sad in his eyes you want to take him home. Well, you can't take him home because some violent well paid football player has taught him to kill. Please read the article on CNN at  

After reading the article or articles this morning about football player, Vick, who reportedly has a contract for 130 million dollars over four years, the highest paid quarterback in NFL history, and his side job as dog fighting entrepenuer, I wanted to throw the worthless thug in the ring with the dogs.  Let the animals he has trained rip him apart for a few minutes. I may sound as bloodthirsty as the dog owners, but I see abuse of animals or anything else as something that needs to be fixed in America. Too much money, too little conscience. I hate reading the news and seeing one more person giving in to what is the most base, the most bruttal and ugly part of themselves.

I hope Vick and all the others face prison time.  I hope anyone who hurts another animal or person feels the sting of their own cruelty.

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