Pax Pacifica

I know what you’re thinking, how come I haven’t given thanks for my family and friends…yet. Well…that’s what today is about and tomorrow and really everyday. Ensconced as I was for most of the day today in front of the computer analyzing just how the Jesuit “Ratio Studiorum” impacted western education, I was using pictures from school. The students were studying, asking questions and the like and that turned my mind to what I am truly thankful for. Anyone who knows my history since I graduated from St. Ignatius High School (now St. Ignatius College Prep) in 1963 know just how lucky I am to have the family I have and the folks I can call “friend.” It shouldn’t have turned out this good no how no way and yet here I am, older, maybe a little wiser, but alive and mentally active. That last part I attribute to not watching Fox. I can actually think for myself.

Back in ’77 when I finally sobered up I realized that the many years I was in the hole that I missed stuff, a lot of stuff. OK, so newly healthy I dived into trying to establish a family. I wasn’t sure how to go about it since hanging out at singles bars was not an option. So I turned to the San Francisco Chronicle’s “personals” and answered an ad for a singles newsletter. The rest is history. Yes, I met my wife of nearly 30 years through an ad in the newspaper (remember those?). She had two kids and blessed me with two more. I am thankful that all are healthy now. I am thankful that my youngest has found 2 jobs and Sarah may have found “Mr. Right.” (Someone who doesn’t carry guns around with him all of the time, nor is a police officer). My 4 kids, grandkids and Kathy “with a ‘k'” are the light of my life. I never thought that answering an ad would turn out so well. Then of course there is my extended Irish family that would take most of Ancestry dot com’s bandwidth (but the Mormons can afford it I would think).

I am thankful for the friends I have made and kept over the years. Surprised and elated at the discovery the Hanley group on FB and of course the bunch of Paul Hanleys I’ve met on Facebook as well. I also value the friends I made when I lived in Dublin, Ireland and Derry, Northern Ireland (including the surviving families of the Bloody Sunday massacre and the kids in the bogside). Good friends that rise to the occasion when things get a bit rocky. So there we are. A melange of freaks and geeks and being both I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Happy Thanksgiving to all…

and so it goes…