The Decade Tag

21976128-71A3-43F4-A745-F9AD19E25B79Sadje, from Keep It Alive, and JP from The Wide-EyedvWander, each tagged me for this thing called “The Decade Tag.” The idea is that, once tagged, we are supposed to share some of our highlights from the past decade and, if we want, a few low points. And to also answer four questions Sadje asked.

So, in 2010 we bought a condo in San Francisco and moved all the way across country from New England to San Francisco. In 2015 we sold our condo and bought a single family home. And in late December of 2019, we bought a home in the suburbs on the East Bay, which we’ll be moving into the first week of February.

What else? I retired at the end of 2016. After taking nearly a two year break from blogging, I started this blog in May 2017. This past year my son got married and his bride quickly got pregnant. My daughter got divorced in 2012, but is very happy with her current boyfriend and housemate, who she met in 2017.

My wife and I have hosted many visitors from back East and elsewhere since we moved to San Francisco, and that’s been fun.

I’d say that, overall, this past decade has been a pretty good one. Well, except for the election of Donald Trump as POTUS in 2016. Come to think of it, that one event has turned the second half of this past decade into a pretty shitty one.

Now for Sadje’s questions.

How are you planning to spend the next decade in improving your health?

Okay, before this next decade is over, I will have become an octogenarian. So my ultimate goal is to still be alive through most of this new decade. I am not sure if I’ll still be around when 2030 arrives, but given the current trajectory of climate change, no one may still be around by 2030.

Have you noticed your tastes in music, literature and clothing change drastically over the last 10 years?

In the early part of this past decade I inexplicably started listening to contemporary pop music. But by the middle of the decade I wised up and went back to my classic rock roots. I don’t read as many books these days as I did a decade ago because there are too many distractions (like blogging). But, otherwise, I haven’t changed much, taste-wise, over the past ten years.

How would you rate your last decade in terms of achieving life goals?

One of my life goals was to retire with a comfortable financial cushion, which I achieved. The other life goal was to stay alive through the decade, and I managed to do that as well. So I suppose I’d give myself a four star rating.

Do you think our planet will be doing well in the next decade?

Not if Trump gets re-elected and the climate change denying Republicans keep the majority in the Senate. If they do, the planet might not survive to see the next decade. Or at least the human race might not survive.

Now I think I’m supposed to tag other bloggers, but I’m not a fan of singling out others, so I’m tagging everyone. Tell us about your decade and answer Sadje’s questions.

Fandango’s Provocative Question #41

FPQWelcome once again to Fandango’s Provocative Question. Each week I will pose what I think is a provocative question for your consideration. By provocative, I don’t mean a question that will cause annoyance or anger. Nor do I mean a question intended to arouse sexual desire or interest.

What I do mean is a question that is likely to get you to think, to be creative, and to provoke a response. Hopefully a positive response.

This week I came upon a quote from Zadie Smith, an English novelist, essayist, and short-story writer.48F9BB42-DD80-4A1C-BEED-1D12CC1DB85EI was originally going to use her quote for my response to Linda G. Hill’s One-Liner Wednesday prompt today, but the more I thought about the quote, I decided that it would be better suited for this week’s provocative question. Here’s her quote:

“The past is always tense, the future perfect.”

I love this quote. It’s a play on words with respect to verb tenses (past tense and future perfect tense). But it’s also more than that, isn’t it?

Our pasts are filled with many moments and memories, both good ones and bad ones. Yet when many of us think about our pasts, we often tend to focus on the negative moments, those times and events that we may regret or where we wish we’d done or said something different.

But our pasts are what made us who we are today and because of what we have learned — hopefully — from our pasts, we have a chance to make our futures better and brighter. And maybe even perfect.

So this week’s question is for you to discuss what you think about Zadie Smith’s quote. Do you believe that the past is always tense, the future perfect?

If you choose to participate, write a post with your response to the question. Once you are done, tag your post with #FPQ and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Or you can simply include a link to your post in the comments.

The issue with pingbacks not showing up seems to have been resolved, but you might check to confirm that your pingback is there. If not, please manually add your link in the comments.

Twittering Tales — The Safe House

A5BDB26C-BCC4-48AA-9F26-8549E8414911They gave him a new identity and moved him to an isolated safe house. It was at the end of a long driveway and couldn’t be seen from the main road.

But when he saw the lights from the approaching car shining through the blinds, he knew his past had finally caught up with him.

(275 characters)


Written for this week’s Twittering Tales prompt from Kat Myrman. Photo credit: Nadiya Ploschenko at Unsplash.com.

Fandango’s Provocative Question #35

FPQWelcome once again to Fandango’s Provocative Question. Each week I will pose what I think is a provocative question for your consideration. By provocative, I don’t mean a question that will cause annoyance or anger. Nor do I mean a question intended to arouse sexual desire or interest.

What I do mean is a question that is likely to get you to think, to be creative, and to provoke a response. Hopefully a positive response.

For this week’s provocative question, I am going to leverage a comment that one of my followers made on one of my posts. He wrote, in response to the lyrics of a song I posted, “You might say that we shouldn’t apply today’s standards to history, but I disagree.”4961E034-9D24-4249-A85C-62E09CA6F6F8This got me thinking about the positions former US Senator, former Vice President, and current Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden took decades ago on issues such as busing, at the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas with respect to Anita Hill’s allegation of sexual harassment, on criminal justice laws, etc.

It also called to mind what was just revealed about a telephone conversation that former President Ronald Reagan had with Richard Nixon, in which Reagan said, “To see those, those monkeys from those African countries — damn them, they’re still uncomfortable wearing shoes!”

So the provocative question this week is this:

Do you believe public figures (e.g., politicians, celebrities, athletes, authors) — or anyone, actually — should be judged by today’s standards for their words or actions from decades earlier? Why or why not?

If you choose to participate, write a post with your response to the question. Once you are done, tag your post with #FPQ and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Or you can simply include a link to your post in the comments.

The issue with pingbacks not showing up seems to have been resolved, but you might check to confirm that your pingback is there. If not, please manually add your link in the comments.

#FOWC — Empty Words Empty Promises

874CC013-EEE5-479E-B59A-A9798F78C12CIt had been thirteen days since Sofía had been detained in the compound. And thirteen days since she last saw her daughter, Isabella.

Sofía thought about the difficult and often harrowing journey of the past two month that she and Isabella took, striving to reach the U.S. border to seek asylum from the country that took the lives of her husband and teenage son. Little did she know that she would be treated like a criminal when she got to the border and would have her last remaining child snatched from her arms and taken only God knows where.

Sofía was only thirty, but she felt as though she was suffering from a midlife crisis. She’d experienced horrors in her young life that most women twice her age could not even imagine. And now she was living a waking nightmare, detained in a compound, and separated from her only living child.

Whatever happen to those words of hope carved on a plaque at the base of the Statue of Liberty, words that Sofía had committed to memory:

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

“Empty words, empty promises,” Sofía thought, the tears of hopelessness and despair streaming down her cheeks.


Written for Teresa’s Three Things Challenge, where the three things are thirteen, midlife crisis, and past. And for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge, “compound.” And for the Word of the Day Challenge, “striving.”