My 50th Anniversary.


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Queen Mary

Today, March 13th,  is another one of those special days and this one can only happen once in my lifetime. On this day, fifty years ago, I and my family like so many others before us, set foot on American soil for the very first time.

We left England in the grand old ship, the Queen Mary who herself was reaching the end of her active life.  After seven days at sea and  like so many before us, we sailed past the Statue of Liberty into New York. We docked at the famous Pier 22 to be met by my Mother who I hadn’t seen since 1946, twenty one years before.

That marked the beginning of my life here in America which has had its ups and downs as most people’s lives do. I have never been back to England but have wished that I had, many times but it seemed that there was always something that prevented my return. Maybe there is still time…

Life in America has generally been very good to me. I did not do so well on the marital and family side of things having been married and divorced three times and have lived a single life for the past twenty one years. That is one of my regrets but it is water under the bridge as I can’t change the past.

On the other hand, I did well in my working life and am comfortably off and most of all, am still in very good health able to go on long hikes and work around the ponds and in my garden.

Would I do it all again if I could wind back the clock? I’m talking about the decision to emigrate to the USA. The answer is probably yes. I still miss a lot about the English lifestyle although my memories are fifty years old and things have changed considerably. The one thing that has not changed is the constant rain as almost every time that I watch the English Premier League on the television, the crowd has on heavy coats and it is always raining. That I do not miss.

I became a citizen ten years after I landed mostly for the work opportunity but I am still very British at heart. A part of me will always belong in England and there is still time for me to go back to visit one last time. For now. I’m looking forward to the next 50 years.

One thing I do know,  the Texas sun beats the English rain…

The USA Election


dsc_4181I have been a citizen of the United States since 1976 and was very pleased and honored to be allowed to become one. Although there are no immediate rewards for citizenship other than a sense of pride, when the elections roll around and there always seems to be something that requires my vote whether it be at the local city or state level all the way to the most recent National Election.

I have always tried to vote whenever the opportunity arose because I felt it to be a duty as a new member of this great country. I have never usually ever got involved with any of the people that I voted for. Some were people that I knew of, others were people recommended by friends and many were Democrats that I ticked if I voted along party lines.

This past election was the first that I got actively involved at least in the sense that I sent money to the Hillary Clinton Fund. Quite a bit of money as it turns out. Voting in any election is a bit of a gamble as you hope that you are on the side of the majority. This time around, I was way off on my predictions although I have to admit so were many other people. That doesn’t make the loss any easier but at least I can be proud of my choice.

I am a bit concerned that with  both the House and the Senate and now the future President under Republican control, some of the issues that have been passed over the last 8 years will all get undone and replaced with other more expensive methods. I suppose that I should not worry for myself as there is not too much that can be affected by many of the changes that will be forthcoming, just as long as Social Security is not affected that is, but things like climate change and clean air and programs to save the Wilderness and National Parks are also likely to be targeted. Big business will have much more say under the new regime and even though I hate to say it, all of the promises that Trump has made to the “little” guy and his supporters on his way to his victory will probably end up as just words with very little action unless there is some benefits to big business. His claim of bringing back jobs are really all pie in the sky as so many of them have been lost not to overseas competition but to the advent of computerization that has replaced the need for manpower.

I half jokingly said that I would move back to England if Trump was elected. There are several things that go against that one being the awful weather that they have over there. It was one of the main reasons that I came over here in the first place when I was given the opportunity. Way too much rain and cold for my liking after living here in Texas for these past 40 years. I have grown accustomed to very mild winters and long hot days of summer and wearing shorts all the year long. At almost 81 years of age, I am a bit long in the tooth to be moving and starting over although I am still sorely tempted to find me 10 acres of land in the back of beyond and build a small cabin and spend the rest of my remaining days living my dream. I could build my own trails and walk whenever I wanted too without getting in my car.

As for the election, this will be the last time I ever get so heavily involved. For me, the gamble didn’t pay off and my side lost. What was forecast as a several point win turned out to be a landslide for the other team. True to form, my candidate surrendered gracefully but I know she has to be bitterly disappointed as are her followers.Now, all we can do is wait and see what happens and whether Donald Trump will come through for all of the people that make up these United States.

BTW, this is still the greatest country in the world and although I am still very British at heart, stiff upper lip and all of that, I am also proud to be an American.