Letter From New York 12 11 2014 Feeling a bit like a country gentleman…

It is a winter wonderland outside the cottage today; three or four inches of snow fell overnight and once again transformed the landscape into a perfect winter scene. I am finding delight in the beauty.

Feeling quite like the country gentleman this morning, I lingered over coffee and the NY Times. The steady din of noise since the release of the Senate Report on torture has diminished a bit.

Obama is in an uncomfortable position; some Democrats are accusing him of a cover-up of a program he ended. Abroad, some international bodies and certain countries are howling for prosecution. At home, we seem to be saying let bygones be bygones with a Get Out Of Jail card being handed to those involved.

Jihadists are swearing revenge for our “torture” which seems to me to be a case of the kettle calling the pot black.

Down in Washington there is brinksmanship over passing a $1.1 trillion budget. Democrats are howling because of some late night insertions of rules that would relieve Wall Street of some regulation. Petitions are being circulated. Denouncements are being made.

A deal will probably happen.

Out in California, the north part of the state is preparing for potential flooding from heavy storms that are potentially going to break the worst drought in the state’s history. I think I read that this drought was the worst in 1200 years!

Falling oil prices are a blessing and a curse. There was an almost three hundred point dive on Wall Street yesterday as a result. The common motorist is a bit relieved to find gas for under $3.00 a gallon in most places – but not here in my little town. Still up around $3.25 in Claverack.

It is also, despite the constant rattle of depressing news, the Holiday season and I spent a frustrating half hour on the 800flowers.com website attempting [and finally succeeding] in ordering a gourmet basket. Either the site was slow or my connection was lousy but it was a painful enterprise. But still, it was one of the last things to do on my Christmas list.

We’re down to fourteen days until Christmas and I feel remarkably ready; usually at this time of year I’m feeling a bit of panic! I guess that is the upside of being a country gentleman for a period.

Sometimes I love this inactivity and other times I chafe and feel jealous of my friends who are off doing things with great purpose. I am lounging my way toward Christmas and now am about to leave to have a Holiday lunch with a friend.

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