Thursday, July 2, 2020


     These are just a few personal notes. I’ve been getting a lot of email lately from readers piqued by certain comments I’ve made. As the political garbage is even more garbagy than usual, and Linda and the Colonel are doing a fine job of addressing it all, I decided that this might be an acceptable time to answer some of the questions I’ve been asked.

Joy The Corvette.

     The day I sold her was a sad day, really. But there comes a time when one must admit to one’s limitations, and my physical limitations have worsened considerably since I acquired Joy. Inasmuch as the time is drawing near when I wouldn’t be able to get out of a vehicle that low-slung without external assistance, I decided the time had come for us to part company, that Joy might bring a little joy to some younger and more limber owner.

     Joy was fun to drive. I hoped to get more use out of her than I did: in part because of the Wuhan Virus and the associated shutdowns; in part because the C.S.O. didn’t like driving her; and in part because I have another fine car that’s more versatile and needs exercise just as much.

     But I shall remember her fondly.

Joy the Newfoundland Puppy.

     I should never have agreed to this. I don’t think I’ll be getting a lot of sleep between now and the grave. But some decisions, once made, cannot be unmade.

     Joy is, in many ways, a joy. She’s already bonded to us both, very affectionate, and endlessly playful. But she seems to need to pee and poop about once an hour. You should see my back, strike that, perhaps you shouldn’t. Anyway, she gets us up in the middle of the night just about every night for that reason. The consequences of not responding to her cries are severe.

     The C.S.O. keeps saying that “she’ll get used to it.” (“She” meaning Joy.) I don’t know that I ever will. Does anyone have any advice about how to get a 12-week-old puppy to sleep through the night?


     Yes, we really are preparing for a grand relocation. Our current target destination is North Idaho, the region around Coeur D’Alene. It will be my first move in more than forty years – but it’s not going to happen right away. Among other things, we have a house to sell, possessions and animals to make provisions for transporting, and finances to arrange for a major purchase. In all probability, it will be a year or more before we can pull the trigger. Moreover, events over that interval might change any or all of our intentions.

     Why North Idaho? Well, I have a long-distance friend there – Adrienne, who runs her own little corner of the Web — who’s spoken so glowingly about the area that I had to look into it for myself. I’ve liked everything I’ve learned about it:

  • It’s a conservative sort of area;
  • It has seasons much like New York’s;
  • There are lots of Catholics and Catholic institutions;
  • There’s plenty of space despite the recent surge in relocations to the area;
  • The cost of living is less than here on Long Island;
  • The homes for sale in my price band are quite impressive;
  • And the folks there know what it will take to protect what they love.

     For a wonder, the C.S.O., who’s been adamantly opposed to relocating ever since we got involved with one another, likes it too. But as I’ve already said, it’s not going to happen this week. Stay tuned for developments.

The Fiction.

     I recently decided that Amazon was not a sufficient retail channel for my fiction. Accordingly, as their current KDP Select intervals have expired, I’ve been moving my books to Draft2Digital, a publisher / redistributor that places books with all the significant online retailers, not just Amazon. If you prefer a retail outlet other than Amazon, chances are you’ll be able to find my fiction there fairly soon, if not right now.

     Amazon was instrumental in making the eBook a force to be reckoned with, and bless it for that. But the eBook can now stand on its own as a respectable medium, so it’s time to “go wide,” and thus to promote a greater degree of competition in that marketplace. Hopefully this move will also bring me a wider readership, though given my abysmal promotional skills, I can only wait and hope.


     Yes, my op-ed stuff has been getting both shorter and less frequent. I’ve been doing this since 1997, and it’s begun to pall on me. How many times can I say essentially the same thing? How long can I keep doing it, seeing the country proceed on its wobbling, intermittently self-destructive course, and not become too frustrated to continue? The sense of futility, especially in light of the events of this year of Our Lord 2020, has become difficult to dispel.

     I’m not going to toss in my cards just yet. But don’t be surprised if my op-ed emissions dwindle still further. What’s the use? is a hard obstacle to surmount, especially for an old man with a seemingly endless list of tasks before him.

     At any rate, Liberty’s Torch will go on for a while longer, at least. I’ll keep writing. So will Linda, the Colonel, Margaret, Historian, and Dystopic. Hopefully our aggregated efforts will manage to keep you entertained.

     Enjoy your day, and Independence Day weekend.



Happy Independence Day to you, yours, and everyone here.

People say "Happy Fourth of July" to which I respond with the above, and say "Independence Day is an event, July 4th is just a date".

Linda Fox said...

Nooooo! Don't quit!

Set yourself a schedule - plan your posts ahead of time, and stick to it. That's what's carried me through some "I need to stop doing this" times. While you still have some energy, deliberately slow things down. You'll last longer.

And, consider tackling a project - put your posts into a collection - it doesn't have to take all that long, and it reminds you of just how much you've done with writing.

Also, take some time to reflect as you begin the moving process - what memories are you uncovering? Some tips for the change-over. Pictures of the old homestead, along with some memories that will be missed.

I do hope you manage to get in a few in-person trips to the new location. You need to become known sufficiently to have some friendly faces looking forward to your moving in. I've moved (MANY times - more than 25, when I stopped counting). For many people - particularly men - it can be VERY hard to break into an established culture. Yes, I know you know at least one person, but you need to find:

- a group of guys to hang out with - might be K of C, local charity group, volunteer emergency services auxiliary - some group, though, that is looking forward to seeing you regularly.
- a church - volunteer, as quickly as you can. No better way to become known to the community.
- local city council, town hall, school events. Patronize them, help out with their yearly activities (even if that's only bringing money and spending it on semi-junk). Bring baked goods. Make lasagna for teacher's days, nurse appreciation, etc.
- some way to help your wife also adjust. Help her get hooked up with others. Ignore your tendency to be somewhat of a hermit, and plan on going out at least once a week. She'll probably fairly quickly find her niche. It's your job to find yourself some friends.

Francis W. Porretto said...

I'm not quitting just yet, Linda. This is more of a "Heads up" to the readership, that none of our regulars should be terribly surprised by the reduction of my output. If I have something to say about some topic of significance, you may rest assured that I'll say it.

As for the move, I doubt that my rather reclusive ways will change much. I'm the opposite of social. Indeed, keeping to myself has been my preferred way of staying out of trouble. Beth is far more social than I and is likely to have no trouble getting connected.

Michael Stone said...

Thank you, Mr. Porretto!

I love hanging out here and think of it as one of the highlights of my day.
Happy 4th to you and yours.

Amy Bowersox said...

I've never visited the Coeur d'Alene area, but I have stayed overnight in Twin Falls a few times (en route to or from Portland, where I have family and friends) and found it to be a pretty decent place.

Come to think of it, that's another good reason to sell the ' probably wouldn't get as much good use out of it up there anyway.

Swede said...

I have driven through Coeur d'Alene and Spokane several times, it's a very pretty area.

Cederq said...

As one who lives in the North Central area of Idaho, I have lived in 10 states over the course of my life and this place here is far prettier, and accommodating then I have experienced. I live about 150 due south from Coeur d'Alene and 155 due North of Boise in the Camas Prairie. I won't move from here ever. I am rooted. Good luck moving here Mr Porretto, you won't regret it.

Ragin' Dave said...

You're coming to my home town. I'll be there myself in about three years once the military is done with me. I shall have to find you and buy you a drink once we're both in the same location.

riverrider said...

take heart. i'm detecting a disturbance in the fore, much like a sunami travels the ocean virtually undetected before exploding onto the shore. i almost hear the music from jaws playing. i believe is acosmic convergence of sorts. there are games afoot in china and the world that dwarf our little struggle but our's holds the key to it all. only a few months now.

paul scott said...

OMG a New Foundland, that really does need a new bank account and it's own room.

Paul Bonneau said...

I'm a big fan of Idaho also. Do watch out for the taxes though; they are higher than they should be. And there is an infestation of Muslims in southern Idaho. I've been through CdA many times. You have to like mountains...

Might take up fishing, it is amazing around there. You'll be knocked out of your socks when you see a meadow full of camas in bloom.

Wife and I used to own this ranch for some years, but now I'm stuck west of the Cascades again: