Here’s your Rorschach test

It’s Day 353 of 15 Days to Flatten the Curve. Deb and I are ok.

Over the last five months or so, more than once I’ve talked about the necessity of taking sides — for Liberty, for traditional American culture, for the future of the country itself. Every now and then current events serve up an inkblot, a gauge of where we stand.

This week’s news presented just such a test.

The state legislature in the People’s Republic of California is considering a bill that would prohibit privately owned stores from having separate “boys” and “girls” sections for toys. Right now these duly elected social manipulators are agonizing over whether or not to make the law apply to retail sales of kids’ clothing, too.

Meanwhile, in Free America, South Dakota is halfway to enacting a law that would limit girls’ sports at public schools to biological females. It’s already passed the state Senate. The governor said she’ll sign it. The integrity of women’s scholastic sports in the state hangs now on a single vote.

Only one of these never-thought-we’d-see-the-day stories is grounded in intellectual, social and scientific honesty. Only one of them advocates for decency. Only one of them is worthy of the American ideal.

If you don’t know which one, you’re what psychologists call an effing idiot. I’ll inform Dr. Rorschach.

Tuesday was a great day for working outdoors, balmy for March and windy. I decided, perhaps optimistically, to un-winterize Ernie’s fresh-water system. Step one was to close all the drain valves and switch the water heater off bypass.

I mixed two cups of bleach with a gallon of water, poured it into the gravity-fill port, hooked up the potable-water hose and filled the 100-gallon tank. Then, with fingers crossed, I turned on the bus’s water pump — and, to my relief, it purred. I walked through the coach to test the fixtures, and they all worked (although two of the faucets needed their aerators removed and cleaned).

I did discover an annoying leak on the galley sink’s drain. We’ll get that fixed Saturday.

Rain’s comin’ in this afternoon, so this morning I’ll drain the fresh-water tank, flush the system of the sanitizing solution and fill the tank again. Once I get rid of as much of the chlorine smell as I can, that’s when I’ll test the water heater — another crossed-fingers affair.

I have to keep reminding myself, especially when I run into a plugged faucet or a leaking drain, that this coach had 16 years of history before it came home with Deb and me. We’re bound to find issues of one sort or another. It’s just part of the deal.

Chris Stapleton released the single “Starting Over,” co-written with former Steeldrivers bandmate Mike Henderson, last August. Great tune, and I’ve heard it many times. But it wasn’t until Sunday evening, while working late inside the bus, that I actually stopped and listened to it.

Suddenly I connected with the song. It found me right where I am.

Well the road rolls out like a welcome mat
To a better place than the one we’re at
& I ain’t got no kinda plan
But I’ve had all of this town I can stand

& I got friends out on the coast
We can jump in the water & see what floats
& we’ve been saving for a rainy day
Let’s beat the storm & be on our way

I called Deb over and reracked the video. We listened together.

Now this might not be an easy time
There’s rivers to cross & hills to climb
& some days we might fall apart
And some nights might feel cold & dark

But nobody wins afraid of losing
& the hard roads are the ones worth choosing
Some days we’ll look back & smile
And know it was worth every mile

We looked at each other, smiling, knowing that that the song crystallizes this very moment in our American Life.

And it don’t matter to me
Wherever we are is where I want to be
And Honey, for once in our lives
Let’s take our chances and roll the dice
And I can be your lucky penny

You can be my four-leaf clover
Starting over

Lots of couples have an “our song,” often a sappy love ballad. Deb and I have Kendell Marvel’s “Musta Kept It For Himself,” which I wrote about back in October.

Stapleton’s “Starting Over” is different. It’s an expression of purpose. It not only describes us — it calls us. The road rolls out like a welcome mat, to a better place than the one we’re at….

Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath

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