Seven Years

I had a notifier from WordPress yesterday that I had been doing this for seven years now. I sort of knew that but it had slipped my mind. Our lives sort of slip into periods and seven years will work for that. I’m well into the ninth of those and likely will see a couple more, if God is willing.

Here are the very first few paragraphs  we published:

I recently had an opportunity to travel by train back to Nebraska from Philadelphia. As most of you who have ever traveled by train know, it gives you a fair amount of time to reflect on whatever crosses your mind. For some reason this trip (which I actually take roughly every year) caused me to reflect on the industrial powerhouse that was America. If you travel by train, you see a lot of industrial areas new and old.  What struck me this time was coming through Pittsburgh, northern Ohio and northwest Indiana was remembering these areas when I was a kid back in the 60’s, when it was very common still to see the black smoke and flames shoot into the air at the steel mills. These were the mills that industrialized America and made the steel that built the machines that won two World Wars and conquered a continent and fed the world.

It is commonly said that steel built the railroad industry and the railroads built the steel industry and it’s true; if one includes coal in the steel industry. What awesome plants they were, for instance, the main street of Gary, Indiana (itself named for a steel executive) ends at the main gate of US Steel Gary Works. And remember a basic element of US Steel; Carnegie Steel produced more steel than Great Britain in the 1890’s. Pittsburgh was much the same, only possibly more so. Here was the steel produced that made the railroads, which then made the largest common market in the world, and the steel for the agricultural equipment that still feeds the world, and the steel for the American automobiles and the weapons and transportation of the American military that won two World Wars  and the Cold War.

On this trip you pass by the old Pullman Plant in Michigan City, Indiana that built railcars, mostly freight cars in this plant (the passenger cars came out of the plant in Pullman, Illinois). Now it is an outlet mall, and American passenger trains have Canadian built cars. You also pass the ruins of the Studebaker plant in South Bend as well as the old Bendix plant (this one is still operating, now owned by Robert Bosch AG).

Most of the plants are still there, many in ruins, some still operating, that gave this region the nickname of the Rust Belt. There are a lot of reasons why it is now the rust belt; without going into those reasons, it is a melancholy sight for a person that remembers these areas in full operation to see it half shut down and falling into ruin. This may truly symbolize the greatness of America in the future, the country that provided a far better living to the average man than anybody had ever dreamed possible; and provided much of it to the entire world as well.

From Reflections on a Train Trip.

There is a pathos in that, a kid from the rust belt seeing it now with fresh eyes, in all its declining glory. It would get worse.

Our best year here – so far – was 2012 with all the excitement of hoping that Romney would win the presidency, and the heartbreak when he didn’t, which explains why 2013 was the worst.

But 2012 was also when my former blogging partner turned up, and soon became the dearest friend I ever had. The one person in the world who I could talk about anything with, knowing she would understand. It was she, above all, who brought me back to Christianity, and introduced me to the wonders of Walsingham.

But all good things (and bad things too) pass. We nearly lost her to cancer in 2014, saved only by what was clearly a miracle from God himself, followed by a long recovery with only limited contact. Then something went wrong between us, and almost two years ago, she was gone. Leaving a hole in my life and my heart that is permanent. Every day, I look at her picture, and wonder what she is doing, and wish she would answer my questions, and give me comfort.

She was a key part of how NEO developed and is still read often here. She brought a perspective that broadened mine and has much to do with why we write about the UK these days.

But by then blogging was part of my life. For most of my life, I followed in my dad’s footsteps, working with electricity, and like the industry itself, doing things with it that he wouldn’t have comprehended. Now, in retirement, I follow in Mom’s, an English teacher, and a good one. I don’t know how good a teacher I am, although as I’ve often said, bringing along apprentices to be better than I was, was one of my chief joys in working.

In any case, it is a habit now, and one I have no desire to break. I enjoy the research, the writing, and most of all, the commenters, here and elsewhere. If one isn’t careful, it can easily become a lifestyle, and an enjoyable one, that I have no intention of ending.

But, to go back to the beginning of this article, how different it is today. We have a president that doesn’t think the future is limited and is trying to get the government out of our way.

The numbers tell part of the story, and it is a joy to read them, as it is to see how an American business perspective changes the entire world. But it is not the important part of the story. The important part is that the sleeping (perhaps the word should be comatose) giant is stirring and once again America is becoming optimistic.

This is something that Romney, for all our hopes, couldn’t have provided, good man that he is. This is something that it took a real estate developer from Brooklyn, who understood the working people to make happen.

So maybe, for all the busted dreams, Obama was the medicine, foul tasting though it was, that America needed.

So here’s to many more, my friends, and yes #MAGA

 

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About NEO
Lineman, Electrician, Industrial Control technician, Staking Engineer, Inspector, Quality Assurance Manager, Chief Operations Officer

32 Responses to Seven Years

  1. Scoop says:

    I guess I would feel much the same if I stuck with the free WordPress account . . . but I wanted to ‘improve’ or ‘do more’ than I could do on WordPress’. So I bought a theme and and paid for a hosting company and a CDN company and the frustration of running into problems which you have to fix yourself or have someone else fix is at times a 10, with 10 being manic.

    I have been tied up the last 4 days trying to get my SSL certificate to work on my site. It still isn’t. In trying to do this, I got booted out of being able to sign into my own website, had a ‘technician’ probably located in India who couldn’t understand the written English who closed down my account with my hosting company without my instructing him to do that. It is still a mess after spending countless hours trying to get to the right people to fix the problems. O joy. What a joy is blogging. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Nicholas says:

      You have my sympathy, Scoop. Running anything complex is always difficult because it involves delegation and relying on other people. Whatever the advantages of the technology age, it just isn’t the same as sitting down face-to-face with people to work through a problem or strategy.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Scoop says:

        That’s the truth. I would settle for a voice on the other end of a telephone. These ‘chats’ are useless except that you can save the info exchanged for litigation . . . if it comes to that. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

        • Nicholas says:

          Makes me nostalgic for the 90s when the technology was beginning to take off, but things were essentially still in “snail mail” mode. We were more optimistic then: 9/11 hadn’t happened, the migrant crisis was not upon us; and the “hate speech” brigade were still in their infancy. Nowadays, litigation is something that’s on our minds more than it used to be; we’re afraid of the state; and traditionalists feel like islands in a sea of fog. Clinging on by the skin of our teeth, ain’t that the truth.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Scoop says:

          Yes it seems the devil is being given his hour.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Nicholas says:

          I was chatting with a friend on Friday about utopian ideas. He was telling me about how some professor used to ask students to imagine utopia as a thought experiment, but she found as the years went by that they couldn’t because they felt it was unfeasible or something along those lines. I pointed out that Marxists think man can build his own paradise, but Christians think God must bring it because our sinfulness will not allow us to build it ourselves.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Scoop says:

          Strange that these new kids can’t envision a utopia; where everything is free and they can do anything they want without any worry of hell or jail etc. Seems that is what they all want or say the want. Sounds like a utopian dream to me.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Nicholas says:

          Being a conservative and a romantic and a fan of Walt Disney and his imagineers, I’m afraid my visions of utopia have a distinctly old-fashioned feel about them (or a 1950s vision of the future a la The Jetsons).

          Liked by 2 people

        • NEO says:

          Those were better visions, I think.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Scoop says:

          Yes the old Tomorrowland was great.

          Liked by 2 people

        • NEO says:

          Indeed. 🙂

          Liked by 2 people

    • NEO says:

      We’ve had our own, still do. That’s why I blog on the free site – my life has enough problems. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Scoop says:

        Yeah, if I knew all the problems that need be solved from time to time I wouldn’t have taken it on. You’re right we have enough day to day problems to worry with.

        Liked by 2 people

        • NEO says:

          They have their place, the free site is not very good for a business, and there are integrated packages that I prefer, and strikes me as good enough, although I’ve considered migrating. Strangely most of the blogger that I know who have, are no longer around.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Scoop says:

          They probably spent so much time tweaking their sites and fixing problems that they couldn’t find time to blog anymore.

          Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          Could be, although some of them found paid gigs, even one on radio, as The Unit knows.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Scoop says:

          Good for them: success stories I always find inspirational.

          Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          Yep, and a few that Romney’s loss just plain disheartened. Not such a good story. So few left from when I started.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Scoop says:

          I know. We each have new battles . . . so maybe they have their new battles as well. I guess we just fight on or surrender. I prefer to fight and I hope they do as well.

          Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          The ones I hear of occasionally are, and yep, that’s good.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Rock On Mate in your blogging! And indeed people come and go in our lives, it is just the way of it! Btw, I don’t believe I have seen this pic of Jessica? Miss her too, and hope she is still after the essence and truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

    *Btw too, do ya think it was your differences on Brexit, that sent her away? If so, sad rather, but surely now we can see the losses with the EU, for both the British as the continental Europeans!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Nicholas says:

      I too miss Jess a great deal. She was a comforting figure, and in these difficult times, I have a great need of that. I am trying to keep hold of the prophetic witness that God is at work in Brexit, but with all these betrayals, it feels some days like the Devil is winning. He won’t go down without a fight, anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

      • NEO says:

        I suspect we all do, she was very special.

        I think he is, but as I tend to say, remember Amerexit took seven years of war, and the ruin of a great many good people.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Nicholas says:

          You’re right, and from the get-go, I always thought once we got clear it would still take some time to become noticeably more prosperous and ordered. I have begun to prepare myself psychologically for some hard choices should things go south.

          Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          Always “hope for the best, and expect the worst.” Other than that, no real advice to give, everybody;s situation is different.

          Liked by 1 person

    • NEO says:

      That was her original avatar pic, although I think this shows a but more of her. As do I.

      Maybe so, it surely didn’t help, but youngins life changes more than we do.

      Like

  3. Reblogged this on Boudica2015.

    Like

  4. the unit says:

    Never said anything, as didn’t know nuthin’ really and didn’t want to touch a raw nerve. Truely, though, I just figured from what I’d read about her recovering in sort of like a convent place, she just removed herself from worldly blogging…and slogging.
    That’s my take. And I feel your pain, as…back yonder came to that fork in the road that didn’t matter which one I took. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • NEO says:

      I hear that, they happen, and sometimes they hurt. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • the unit says:

        Does hurt, long time. Still have to put aside and go on. Can remember though. Ninth 7 years and more. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • the unit says:

          10.875142 to the day of 7th yr. period. 🙂
          Brown eyes and sister gone to Daytona Beach, done left me.
          Screw the cats! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

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