Sorry about the absence. I’m back now. Thank you for being patient and sticking with me. My little family has just moved from NJ to AZ. Anne (my lovely wife) and I have started new jobs, I’ve planted a vegetable garden (yummy), and John Feula and I have revived Bucket of Witches, the musical project John and I started some 12 years ago. We’ve written a couple of new tunes and have been re-learning the old ones.
Anne has had several health issues lately which has kept me quite occupied. She suffered a transient eschemic attack (or mini stroke). It was then discovered that she has a blood clotting disorder. Thankfully they caught this before it turned into a more serious matter. She will be on blood thinners for the rest of her life. At least this will control the clotting problems. She also suffered a gall bladder attack and has had the GB removed. Poor girl. She’s been a trooper though and is doing relatively well. She returns to work next Monday.
Sitting in medical waiting rooms has given me some much needed reading time. Since moving to AZ I have discovered and have been devouring the writings of the late Edward Abbey. Abbey has been referred to as the Thourea of the American Southwest, a modern day John Muir, and the father of the modern environmental movement. His work inspired the establishment of the environmental activist group EarthFirst!. Abbey was belligerent and often corrosive but had a wonderful way of transporting the reader to his most treasured and hidden desert haunts. I’m embarrassed that I grew up in Utah and had not discovered Abbey until now. He is an outstanding writer whom I would set side by side with the great Mr. John Steinbeck. (Some of you may know that Steinbeck has long been my favorite author; so placing Abbey on this pedestal is a big deal for me.) I strongly recommend Abbeys work to any reader. You might want to start with his most celebrated novel The Monkey Wrench Gang. I started with the Abbey edited, “The Edward Abbey Reader” and am slowly, absorbingly, making my way through the rest of his work. Ed’s work has also inspired me to get out more and enjoy the desert. I’ve been spending some time in the Superstition mountains just East of Phoenix. Beautiful country. There is nothing quite like the solitude of the great outdoors to help a man gain some perspective. Works for me every time.
As a writer and songwriter I have discovered that my periods of creativity are always preceded by periods of intense reading. If that pattern follows suit, I should be bursting with new material soon. I hope it holds true to form. Watch this space to see what follows.