I thought, after New Year's, that I would be returning to blogging shortly. Alas. In December, the roller coaster cranked higher and higher on the elevated track with holiday pleasures, rewards, and good news. In January, the ride was definitely down hill and nearly off the tracks. But I think we've reached the bottom of the ride and the little train is slowing down at the gate for us to get off. In December, both my children and their chosen ones came home for Christmas. My daughter announced her engagement and her fiancee flew out, after several days of delay due to the fierce post-Christmas day snow storm in the East, to meet the family. My son, with his wife, was here for the holiday for the first time in years. And my wife's niece and her new husband and baby were here twice. I cooked three dinner parties in a week. Each memorable. Each joyous. The season ended in early January when my son called with the wonderful news that he and his wife were expecting their first child, our first grandchild. Then January descended. My daughter's grandmother--the mother of my first wife--died at ninety-nine years of age. My daughter flew back from New York for the sad occasion, which was, despite her grandmother's age, unexpected; her grandmother was weak but not suffering from a major disease or illness. Early in the morning, according to the attendant in her assisted living home, she complained of difficulty in breathing, then simply expired. Several days later, I had to take my wife's mother, eighty-four years of age--my daughter's surviving grandmother--to the nearby emergency room. She was in ER for two and a half days, then in the hospital for two and a half days. She could not be left alone at any time, as she was delusional and repeatedly attempted to tear off the monitor lines and the tubes attached to her trying to leave. My wife's brothers came to help us attend to her at night. Within a few days we all were exhausted. On her fourth day in the hospital, I came down with stomach and intestinal flu. I was in bed for two days, more or less on my own, and I was exhausted for the following four days. After my wife's mother returned to her assisted living home, our labors lessened, but vigilance was required. My wife had to spend the first night back with her mother, because her mother was so weak as to fall down repeatedly. We hired a night nurse to stay with her until her strength returned. Affairs have finally calmed down. And my thoughts return to my past times, including blogging. I read days of unread blog posts this evening and enjoyed the observations of my conservative community on the parade of political follies. But in truth, it was a relief, nearly liberating, not to pay any attention to the news and to politics and to President Obama for over a month. All of America does not spring out of the nation's capital and all that is worth saying does not spring out of the Presidential mouth. Indeed, most does not. It is good to be reminded of that. That is the perspective that will probably stay with me for a few weeks, as I return to the keyboard make my observations about America's headlong rush to the future.